* Posts by Pen-y-gors

2982 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

Home Office seeks Brexit tech boss – but doesn't splash the cash

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Unbelievable

52% in 2016 but falling rapidly, as far as the YouGov polls go.

Actually, I have a theory...

May and her criminal coterie are happy that everything is turning to shit on a daily basis. She did want Brexit, but has realised that it's impossible in any meaningful way. Problem: how to get out of it without ending up dangling from a (metaphorical) lamp-post with a howling mob waving pitchforks around her ankles.

Answer - blame someone else.

There's an interesting court challenge underway at the moment that claims that Art50 should not, constitutionally, have been invoked, and the blatant expenditure fraud by Leave means that the whole referendum should be annulled.

Perfect opportunity for May. "Oh, pooh, blasted judiciary, but the law is the law and must be obeyed. I better withdraw Art 50".

Shit-storm obviously follows, but at least not national bankruptcy, and May may manage to escape in an open boat in the confusion.

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Pen-y-gors
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Reports?

How long does it take to write

"Brexit IT is Brexit IT"

"Red White and Blue Brexit IT"

"The easiest IT systems in history"

"Let's spend £350million a week on Brexit IT systems"

"Oh god, I'm so depressed"

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: Not Enough if you ask me

I think a lump-sum golden hello of, say, €10 million, paid into an Irish hedge fund account, plus a new identity and Irish passport should just about cover it. Thankfully European arrest warrant won't be available to get the lucky winner back from Co.Kerry or wherever they decide to hide out.

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Oh my Tosh, it's only a 100TB small form-factor SSD, SK?

Pen-y-gors
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Re: No-one will ever... need more than 64TB on a 2.5inch SSD

@Milton

I refer the honourable member to the statement allegedly made by Mr William Gates in 1981 "640K ought to be enough for anybody", often paraphrased as "No-one will ever need more than 640K".

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: No-one will ever... need more than 64TB on a 2.5inch SSD

Youngsters these days, don't know their history. Bet they don't know who Grace Hopper was either.

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Pen-y-gors
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No-one will ever...

need more than 64TB on a 2.5inch SSD

Actually, I'm waiting for someone to invent a storage system that uses long transparent crystals. That would be cool.

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Medical device vuln allows hackers to falsify patients' vitals

Pen-y-gors
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Bit of a bummer.

We are all well aware of the need for security with, well, everything! IoT in particular of course. But spare a thought for the poor sods developing this stuff 14 years ago. I don't know if they genuinely didn't think of the possible problems, or whether they thought that no-one would be enough of a sick bastard to play with critical medical systems for fun or profit.

Either way it's tricky. This old system has holes, I suspect the latest systems have holes. We can make systems that are much, much more secure. But that takes time and money.

Question: is it better to get life-saving technology into the market now at an affordable price (but with an obscure hole or two), or wait another five years (while people die) and then deliver something secure at twice the price, making it less widely used.

I have no simple answer. Do we trade off the possible risks of injury due to (unlikely) hacking against likely deaths from delay and increased price?

I think better to focus on US voting machines!

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Emma's Diary fined £140k for flogging data on over a million new mums to Labour Party

Pen-y-gors
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Re: UK's 11 main political parties

Sadly in many Labour held constituencies, they could put up a blind pig as candidate and it would still get elected with more than 50% of the vote

Very much not just Labour. In many Tory seats they have put up a blind pig and they got elected.

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Revealed: El Reg blew lid off Meltdown CPU bug before Intel told US govt – and how bitter tech rivals teamed up

Pen-y-gors
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Re: and?

Co-operation is good - usually, and when dealing with similarly-minded co-operative peopl.

But...Not telling the US Government about known flaws is surely a sensible security precaution?

If they told the government, then within hours they'd be exploiting it themselves, for who knows what nefarious purposes! So definitely a way to protect their customers until a fix has been sorted.

Sometimes co-operation is not a sensible approach.

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Click this link and you can get The Register banned in China

Pen-y-gors
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Pint

Re: Negative influence

@Hollerithevo

because the Goths, Alans etc will just keep on coming

There was me about to make some snide comment about the problem of hordes of Alan Partridges, but I did a quick check. I can now add the Alans (or Aryans) to my list of invading tribes, along with the Visigoths, Ostrogoths and Vandals.

Just doesn't have the same ring about it as Vandal! "You bloody Alan! look what you've done to my lawn!"

Pint for educating me!

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: Just to be helpful:

I don't get this - Xi looks nothing like Pooh - Disney or Shepherd version. Unless this is the old 'all you western round-eyed furry animals look the same to me' syndrome, in which case no Yogi and Boo-Boo in Beijing.

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Basic bigot bait: Build big black broad bots – non-white, female 'droids get all the abuse

Pen-y-gors
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Re: The non-Hispanic whites

I usually tick a box at random.

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Pen-y-gors
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Gold?

How do they react to gold robot butlers with an irritating subservient attitude?

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The wheel turns slowly, but it turns: Feds emit IoT security tip sheet

Pen-y-gors
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election swinging?

before the Feds come knocking on your door after your microwave has attempted to swing an election at the behest of a not-nice foreign power

But presumably OK if it's a nice foreign power? Like that lovely Mr Putin who is such a chum of the Prez? "Webcams for Trump!"

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UK.gov ploughs cash into creaky police technology

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Yes, *UK* Police

Then we can sell off all the prisons as well.

I thought they already had? G4S?

But they will never get rid of prisons - without prisons how can you lock citizens up for years for trivial reasons? (Wandering around naked springs to mind)

But to be positive, we'll need some to incarcerate all our MPs and their friends after Brexit.

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: UK police?

England-n-Walez I suspect.

Westminster refuse to devolve policing, and the wonderful BritNat 'Welsh' Labour government in Cardiff are happy with that.

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: £100m funding ....

Beat me to it!

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Get drinking! Abstinence just as bad for you as getting bladdered

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Of course wine is good for you

Use it to wash down a large bar of Cadbury's Fruit and Nut choccie (fruit, nuts, cocoa is a vegetable as well, so another 3 of your five) and you're nearly there.

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2TB or not 2TB: Microsoft fiddles with OneDrive as competition offers twice the storage

Pen-y-gors
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It would be nice...

if they just got the blasted thing to work.

Our community group uses OneDrive - very handy for sharing files.

Our main laptop (Win 7) now can't handle it - the sync system disappears. Try reinstalling it and it says there's a newer version already there, please remove it first. Uninstall fails. Microsoft advice? Uninstall and reinstall!

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Now that's a dodgy Giza: Eggheads claim Great Pyramid can focus electromagnetic waves

Pen-y-gors
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Re: A wavelength of 200 ... metres

Na, Radio 4 Long Wave is 1500m

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Cheap NAND nasty: Flooding market with chips threatens prices

Pen-y-gors
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Ab Fab economics

I notice that all these new FABs seem to be in and around Eastern Asia. As I understand it, these are plants that cost billions to build but need relatively few people working in them. I can understand businesses that rely on heavily manual processes siting their factories in areas with generally low costs and easily-available child- and slave-labour, but do wage costs make that much difference on something like a FAB? Presumably only a small proportion of the construction costs can be attributed to local wage rates?

So how does the economics work? Why not build more plants in the EU and US to reduce risks of trade war problems? Or is it that the bulk of their output will actually be used in products made in Eastern Asia?

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Beam me up, UK.gov: 'Extra-terrestrial markup language' booted off G-Cloud

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Overlords

Yep. Lord Vetinari would make a far better City Boss than May...

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FBI boss: We went to the Moon, so why can't we have crypto backdoors? – and more this week

Pen-y-gors
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Man on the sun

'if we can put a man on the moon, surely we can put a man on the sun,'

Actually, that's not a great analogy for back-door encryption. It's not physically impossible to put someone 'on' the sun, just insanely difficult. It is not mathematically possible to have encryption back-doors without undermining the whole encryption system.

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UK.gov commits to rip-and-replacing Blighty's wheezing internet pipes

Pen-y-gors
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New build first?

It seems that the priority is that all new builds will get FTTP early on.

How does that work? Village with FTTC. Someone gets permission to build a new house in someone's garden next to the cabinet. Does Openreach convert the exchange to FTTP and string fibre to that one house as a priority over converting the village next door completely to FTTP?

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Google Chrome: HTTPS or bust. Insecure HTTP D-Day is tomorrow, folks

Pen-y-gors
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Re: I have LetsEncrypt...and...

Yes, installing Letsencrypt certs on my main reseller a/cs is a P.o.P, but adjusting the .htaccess redirects to make sure it all works, and finding the odd embedded http reference in 10-year-old code is more of a faff, and when you have dozens of sites to work through, there are other priorities. It's also tricky to explain to a small customer why you're adding an extra £50 to this year's hosting bill for a brochure-ware site.

And sometimes not so easy on shared hosting packages.

I suspect I'll wait until customers complain, then upgrade convert to https, and charge them for the time.

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: Letsencrypt is free but it sucks

@AC

Also where are Letsencrypt code-singing certificates

I love the idea of singing certificates! Lines of PHP sung to Queen's greatest hits. Sing-along-a-Python. COBOL as a Bach cantata.

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Friday FYI: 9 out of 10 of website login attempts? Yeah, that'll be hackers

Pen-y-gors
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Re: password reuse

@Martin an gof

If you live in rural-ish Wales, the question young people will soon be asking is "What's a bank branch?" - All the banks are shutting down local branches as fast as they can.

There's no thought of the impact, or looking at ways to mitigate the impact. Granted that branches are less important than they used to be - hole in the wall for cash, internet and phone banking etc, and the local manager was stripped of all authority years ago. Now it's usually 'computer says no' if you go in to ask for an overdraft.

But they have their uses - why can't the banks work out some arrangement for a shared branch system so that humans who prefer face-to-face can get service. And what about businesses who need to bank cash? I use the Post Office, but they don't usually have night safes!

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Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Barclays for security?

If you can document it, that sounds like some sort of offence has been committed by Barclays.

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: Plus sign in email addresses is often fun

I find it's easier to have an extra domain e.g. getstuffed.org.uk and then use different names for every site - tesco@getstuffed.org.uk, ukgov@ etc.

Forward everything to another a/c but it's handy for throw-away things.

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Pen-y-gors
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University

A certain university somewhere in mid-Wales has password rules that forbid anything like a dictionary word in just about any known language, and checks it. They must have a Cray handling the password validation.

Contain both upper and lower case characters (e.g., a-z, A-Z)

Have digits and punctuation characters as well as letters, e.g., 0-9, !@#$%^&*()_+|~-=\`{}[]:";'<>?,./)

Are at least six alphanumeric characters long.

Are not a word in any language, slang, dialect, jargon, etc.

Are not based on personal information, names of family, etc.

If I remember rightly, you can't reuse the last 30. But at least it only forces a change every year.

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Ah, British summer. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the internet is on the fritz

Pen-y-gors
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@Orv

The whole theory of an InterNET is that it's a network. No node should be connected by a single link. So an area like 'Portsmouth and Southampton' should have a fibre link running northwards, but also another running east towards Brighton and thence to London and probably one running west to connect up to Bristol or Swindon and then back up the M4.

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'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

Pen-y-gors
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@Snarky AC

So in about ten minutes you could exhaust the entire monthly movie output of Hollywood. That'll be useful, particularly if you can watch it as fast as you can download it.

Believe it or not there are use cases for fast fibre, albeit not for everyone. I have 300/30Mbps FTTP. I recently had to shift a number of 1GB+ MySQL backups between office and various servers. Took minutes. ADSL had taken 7hrs to upload 1GB of videos!

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Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again

Pen-y-gors
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New version of Cluedo

I think an IT-themed Cluedo could be fun

"The PFY with the Halon in the ops-room"

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UK.gov is ready to talk data safeguards with the EU – but still wants it all

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Dear club we just stormed out off in a fit of rage

@Roland6

Problem is that you can't retain the benefits of membership without also accepting the obligations. The four principles? The EU might be willing to do something along those lines, but it wouldn't be a rebate for opt-outs, it would be a massive extra charge to opt-out of e.g. free movement.

No cherry-picking...

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Pen-y-gors
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DNA?

Similarly, if the UK were given access to the EU's Prüm DNA exchange tool, its five million DNA profiles "would nearly double those currently available".

So, UK has 13% of EU population, and 50% of the DNA samples? If we have that high a rate of convicted serious criminals then I think the EU will be glad to see the back of the UK. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding things and it's just that the UK police are ignoring GDPR and taking and keeping far more DNA samples from innocent people than they can justify. Surely not...

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Tech support chap given no training or briefing before jobs, which is why he was arrested

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Back in my day

Training? Luxury!

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Geoboffins spot hundreds of ghost dunes on Mars

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Someone's dangled their modifier!

And how big is it now? In standard Reg units please? Bigger or smaller than Drumpf's ego? Bigger or smaller than Drumpf's manservant hands?

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

Pen-y-gors
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'Competition' in utilities is rarely sensible. How is it more efficient, economically, to dig up a street twice to lay two pipes instead of one? How is it more efficient to have two delivery drivers travelling the same route and dropping off at the same houses? The so-called 'competition' in gas, electricity etc is a Tory fantasy, that just complicates things. Competition between wholesale suppliers of leccy is a different thing entirely.

Same with fibre.

Of course, one needs an element of regulation, and I wouldn't like to see 'nationalised' utilities again. But Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water offer an interesting model - a private company with a monopoly that is a not-for-profit! Of course, we have very high water bills, but that's a combination of them actually doing a lot of work on the infrastructure and them being forced (thanks to a contract signed by the UK government) to supply water to England at 1p per 73 gallons.

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Pen-y-gors
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@Ledswinger

and if we pulled out of the EU we could save £350 million an hour and spend it on all sorts of things. I'd vote for upgrading the domestic water supply network to dispense Gin instead of water.

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Former wig-wearing Twitterphobe replaces Hancock as UK.gov's Secretary of Fun

Pen-y-gors
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Lawyer?

Wright had a career as a criminal lawyer

I thought all lawyers were, by definition, criminals?

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: Some good news, at least

@Mike Richards

b) the Spanish pronunciation of 'Hunt'.

Unt?

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Big contenders in the broadband chart this week, but who will be #1? Well, not Britain

Pen-y-gors
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Agree - time to get rid of copper. Also should be discounts for crap speeds.

But...when they do provide FTTP, and after the inevitable installation cock-ups are sorted, it works quite well. No extra cost. No issues about 'living near the cabinet'. In my case they even switched the phone to fibre (so the hard-wired extension no longer works, but that's another issue!) 300Mbps is the advertised rate, and that's basically what I get. Rather less when I connect via a VPN though, but 50Mbps is pretty good for most things.

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Leatherbound analogue password manager: For the hipster who doesn't mind losing everything

Pen-y-gors
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How to waste bad people's time.+

Obviously the big danger is losing it. Which is why I keep mine on a few sheets of A4 and take a photocopy from time to time.

But would you really write your passwords in plain? Surely anyone with half a brain would obfuscate them? Add three random characters in the middle or something? There will then be a lot of frustrated bad people trying and failing to login to your a/c with your p/w

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RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89

Pen-y-gors
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RIP

It must be quite satisfying to come to the end of the journey knowing that the main thing you have done in life was to give great pleasure to millions of children over many years.

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Pen-y-gors
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Space Education

A generation of Register readers was educated on space through the popular stop-motion children's TV show

True for me - well mainly the Clangers but also watching the Apollo missions live on TV. Somewhere I still have the three large scrapbooks of newspaper clippings I gathered about Apollo 11.

I wonder if that influenced my decision to study Astronomy at Uni?

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Google weeps as its home state of California passes its own GDPR

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Legitimate business interests

User privacy needs to be thoughtfully balanced against legitimate business needs

"User privacy takes precedence over unjustified business desires"

FTFThem

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CIMON says: Say hello to your new AI pal-bot, space station 'nauts

Pen-y-gors
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Coffee?

A random thought. How well does a caffetiere perform in zero-G?

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Git365. Git for Teams. Quatermass and the Git Pit. GitHub simply won't do now Microsoft has it

Pen-y-gors
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EXGIT

It's on the way out. This Git is pushing up the daisies etc it is an ex-Git

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Marriage of AI, Google chips will save diabetics from a lot of pricks

Pen-y-gors
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More vapourware?

Several different approaches for non-invasive blood-sugar monitoring have been under development for some years. Various products have been plugged as being available real soon now. They involve clips in the ear, sensors on the thumb and the palm of the hand. None of them so far seem to be actually available.

I'll believe this when I see it. Personally I don't care who makes it or how it actually works, just please get it onto the market soon.

It would really dent Bayer Pharma's profits though...

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UK taxman warned it's running out of time to deliver working customs IT system by Brexit

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Government office is unable to hit deadlines.

In other news water is wet

I'm sure we've discussed this before. Is it true to say that water is wet? Or is it that other objects, after coming into contact with water, and retaining some on their surface, are the things that are actually wet? A towel can be wet, as can a labrador.

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