* Posts by Pen-y-gors

1654 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

Head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan steps down for 'personal reasons'

Pen-y-gors
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Re: "terrorism, crime and many other national security threats."

Well, duh, obviously!

1) RIPA will only be used to tackle terrorism and national security threats.

2) RIPA was used to tackle dog fouling

Ergo: dog fouling is a national security threat

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All the cool kids are doing it – BT hikes broadband and TV bills

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Re: Sport

Time for Ofcom to split BT - into BT Sport/TV and communications.

Provided they don't lose too many of their 2 million BT Sport customers BT will get £80 million a year in income. They are paying £320 million a year for Premier League football, plus £80 million for the Ashes next year. Which means that fixed-line subscribers are paying an extra couple of quid a quarter to subsidise BT Sport!

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My hole is a private thing – see for yourself

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VR Rules

VR won - last spring we were all fitted with secret VR headsets wired into our eyeballs, and we now live in a VR generated universe. You want proof? What is allegely 'happening' today in Washington?

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'Beeeellion-dollar' mastercrooks in hotel, restaurant blitzkrieg

Pen-y-gors
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Greed, greed, greed...

I don't understand them. If they stole a BEEEELLION bucks in 2015, why aren't they now relaxing on their private tropical islands, surrounded by beautiful young and willing people, and swilling shampoo from platinum pint mugs. Why waste time stealing more?

(Unless of course they're merely paid underlings and the dosh is all going to VPs personal ICBM replacement fund)

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Korean boffins vow 1,000km-an-hour supertrain

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Tubes are cheating

If they want real commercial success they should develop something that does 1000km/h on existing track. First run from Stockton to Darligton? Then I'd like to see it do the Cambrian Coast line, and maybe Settle-Carlisle across the viaduct. That would be a sight to see!

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UK, you Cray. Boffins flex ARM in 'first-of-its-kind' bonkers HPC rig

Pen-y-gors
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Isambard?

Memories of Round the Horne:

Sultry voiced Betty Marsden: "Hold me Isambard"

Bill Pertwee "Hold your own Isambard, Miss!"

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Apple sings another iTune following Brexit as prices rise by up to a third

Pen-y-gors
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Trollface

What's the problem?

History shows that the majority of Apple products are purchased by people in the category "more money than sense" so I doubt if they'll notice.

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: For Once

@nathan 13

"Thats because we voted to leave the EU, it is that hard to understand. That means the single market, freedom of movement, EU courts etc etc etc

Errrm, actually it doesn't. Leave the club means leave the club. The ballot paper said nothing about getting rid of all the good things which can be retained in other ways.

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CBI: Brexit Britain needs a 'sensible and flexible' immigration programme

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Re: Oh my goodness, think of the Curry Houses

It's curious that we argue over controlling EU migration, but ignore non-EU migration. The government already have total control over non-EU immigration, but (bar the curry houses and the students) don't seem to have done anything about reducing it for years, particularly while T May was Home Secretary. Why is this? Surely nothing to do with drumming up support for her position by blaming all the country's problems on a bunch of 'foreigners'? That's been done before, many times and in many places. It was never justified.

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Re: Employers have called for a "sensible" immigration programme

@astrax

The problem is that it's T Mayhem and her friends that are labelling 17 million leavers as racist xenophobes - and agreeing with them.

The ballot paper didn't mention anything about bloody foreigners or any other reason. It just said In the club or out.Nothing about what sort of out. But Mayhem has decided that the only thing that matters is to keep the bloody foreigners out, whatever the short and long-term cost to the country, and regardless of what people actually think. Once the deportations start there'll be millions whingeing about "Oh no, not that nice Ladislaus from down the road. He did a great job on the roof and his daughter is friends with my son"

It was a completely ill-advised and ill-thought out referendum. A sensible solution would be to blame Cameron and friends for the whole mess, string him up on Tower Bridge, set the referendum aside, and have a new process which offers a range of workable and thoroughly costed options to choose from..

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Ransomware brutes smacked 1 in 3 NHS trusts last year

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NHS network security?

So the vastly large and complicated NHS network is vulnerable, not really a surprise.

Now, what do the following NHS arms have in common: Ambulance trusts and the NHS Business Services people? Yes, they can all access data under the new IP Act.

Our data is safe in their hands.

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Facebook pimping for politicos despite fake news 'purge'

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Re: Not My Fault...

Truth is absolute - something is or isn't true, so it's not too difficult (in principle) to be an arbiter of truth.

But Zuck is quite happy to be an arbiter of morality, which is something that varies widely. His moral views (e.g. worse-than-Victorian attitude to images) must be enforced.

He doesn't do irony I assume?

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: Oooh, I see a BIIIIG problem here....

I feel like a bit of stiring here - I've contacted the Electoral Commission for their comments!

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Pen-y-gors
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Oooh, I see a BIIIIG problem here....

UK electoral laws on spending can be very tricky. There are very strict rules on expenditure by (or on behalf of) candidates in a constituency, but no limits on national spending by a party. I'm not sure if the fact that an advert is targetted at an individual elector has an impact (e.g. via e-mail, facebook based on their profile) - I suspect that as an individual elector can only vote once then the advert would be deemed to be for the candidate even if they aren't mentioned by name.

But if the national party is focusing advertising on a particular constituency they may have crossed the line, in which case the cost of the adverts will need to be added to the candidates bill, and as they normally spend right up to the limit that would push them over, and make them in breach of electoral law.

I think this should be referred to the powers-that-be for some guidance. Do we have any constituency specific examples?

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SpaceX makes successful rocket launch

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Well-heeled masses

purveyor of space rockets for the well-heeled masses - that's an itsy-witsy bit snarky! It's true, but in a good way. A few years ago even the well-heeled few couldn't afford their own rocket. Now it's commonplace. The Japanese had a failure the other day for a small rocket that was trying to launch a 4kg payload, but the rocket only cost $4 million. India got a satellite to Mars for $74 million.

Space is becoming everyday - ain't that wonderful?

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Pen-y-gors
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facts and figures

As I understand it, these Iridium satellites are part of a new, 81-satellite, setup that replaces the present 66-sat one (although spaceX site simply says 'at least 70 satellites). And they currently have another 6 flights booked.

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Playpen child sex abuse archive admin gets 20 years in the Big House

Pen-y-gors
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So, just to get this right...

For two weeks the FBI was running a kiddie-porn distribution network? In what alternative universe is that acceptable (or legal)?

What's next? The FBI carry out assasinations so they can catch the people paying for them? They start selling coke on street corners so they can catch the people the buyers give it to? Bug business offices so they can get information that they sell to stock traders so they can get them for insider trading?

The job of the FBI is to uphold and enforce the law, not to break it. Time to lock up some senior FBI people for a very long time.

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US Marines seek more than a few good men (3,000 men and women, actually) for cyber-war

Pen-y-gors
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Bit of empire building here?

Why does the US Marine Corps need a cyber-offense capability?

I appreciate that the US Marines still exist as a separate entity (as do the Royal Marines) for historical reasons. Navies fought on water, armies fought on land, and eventually, Air Forces fought in the air, and Marines were soldiers who fought from ships.

But surely there is no need for a country to duplicate specialist units in each service? Cyber-skills are needed but wouldn't it make more sense to have a single team that provides a central cyber-resource? Given the tendency of each service to guard their own territory and treat the other services as a bigger threat than the enemy, I can see great opportunities for chaos and confusion as each services cyber warriors plant malware on the same Russian system, and then spend ages attacking the people who planted the other malware!

A military unit with the job of running up beaches, guns blazing, really doesn't need its own cyber-offense unit.

Time for a central unit I think, in the same way that things like Military Intelligence are usually handled.

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Boffins turn timid mice into psycho killers – by firing lasers into brains

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I thought military as well - fitted into helmets and one signal from base and it's instant berserker mode. Could be quite good for war elephants too.

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Microsoft sued by staff traumatized by child sex abuse vids stashed on OneDrive accounts

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Re: @Pascal

@toughluck

and should the Royal Mail/US Postal service be liable for not steaming open and reading every letter and parcel?

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Crims shut off Ukraine power in wide-ranging anniversary hacks

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On the bright side

Putin doesn't need to write a new statement denying it. He can just recycle the Drumpf ones.

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Re: How sure this is not hype

Out of idle curiousity, given that Crimea has been invaded and occupied by a foreign government, what use are grid pylons between Crimea and the rest of Ukraine? Surely a sensible approach would be to cut the power anyway, so whether the pylons are up or down is irrelevant.

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Peace-sign selfie fools menaced by fingerprint-harvesting tech

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Holmes

Old idea

The first suggestion that fingerprints can be copied/faked was a long time ago. The Red Thumb Mark by R Austin Freeman was first published in 1907. It's the first book about Dr Thorndyke, a 'scientific detective' - better than Holmes! All available on Gutenberg, and they're jolly good!

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The top doc, the FBI, the Geek Squad informant – and the child porn pic that technically wasn't

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Re: I call bullshit

So it sounds as if this 'technician' should be looking for a new job following dismissal.

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: Re. slack space

The kind of policeman we need, in fact.

Ah, but so rarely find....

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Backpage.com kills adult section, claims government censorship

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Who on earth?

Whatever the arguments over 'censorship', surely the fundamental question is who on earth would knowingly and publicly make money by running adverts for child prostitutes? How do these people look in a mirror in the morning? Do they tell their mothers what they do for a living?

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Re: US Constitutional Law is a tough problem.....

Shooting on sight sounds reasonable - but see other Reg story about Fark being blocked from Google for publishing picture of 19yo girl which a respected psychologist said was clearly of a child. Who defines a child? In the UK it means 'dressed as a schoolgirl even if you're 73'. Thankfully guns are hard to get in the UK.

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Anti-smut law dubs PCs, phones 'pornographic vendor machines', demands internet filters

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Re: Move along, there's nothing to see.....

Probably has a very good chance of passing...

Why are these people allowed out on their own? I assume they're allowed to own automatic weapons and drive fast cars, but does someone make sure they aren't allowed near sharp objects or matches?

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What do you call a firm that leaves customer financials unencrypted on a hard drive? RSA

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'Lost forever'?

The drive may be lost forever but I suspect the data may well re-surface in various less-than-salubrious parts of the Web.

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CES 2017 roundup: The good, the bad, and the frankly bonkers

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Valerie - someone likes it

Beeb are reporing that someone has nicked two Valerie prototypes from CES!

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38565913

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: Project Valerie

Not much use as a "latop" but seriously neat for a portable development machine. I recently needed a new daily-use machine and ended up with an MSI 'gaming' laptop, simply to get serious oomph, big SSD (and a 17.3" screen). I really like the idea of the Valerie screens.

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I quite agree

The smart jeans are naff, or at least their suggested use. But haptic feedback from satnav is a brilliant idea. I seem to remember seeing something last year about shoes with it fitted. And haptic feedback works even when audible instructions are impractical.

How about when you're wandering through a big, strange city? Holding expensive phone in hands is recipe for robbery. Or you're carrying things in both hands? Or if you're blind - guide dogs avoid obstructions, but they don't usually respond to "take me to Nando's". How about police, military or James Bonds trying to silently approach a target? And @YeahRights biking and cycling of course.

Someone could make serious money with a bluetooth gadget that hits in the shoes, or on the wrist or wherever.

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NGO to crowdfund legal challenge against Investigatory Powers Act

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Re: Done!

Pledged. At the rate this is going, ElReg commentards could fund this by ourselves!

(But what happens to El Reg when we're all in gaol?)

[One weakness on the Liberty sign-up page - they ask us to share on FB and Twitter, but that would like the real me, and my credit card, to my definitely unreal FB and Twitter accounts]

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Top cop: Strap Wi-Fi jammers to teen web crims as punishment

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It should be considered...

So the cop accepts it can't work but still thinks it should be considered. Hmmm....

I've got an even better idea. As any fule kno, 16-year-olds, hackers or not, are unable to get up before mid-day. So we just change their watches (okay, clock on their phones) so they always show 8am and they'll never wake up. Or even better, stop the sun in the sky just after sunrise.

Actually it would be fun to have a working jammer - kids all over the place sitting in Starbucks, sipping a latte and reading a book - and causing some very angry customers.

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FBI let alleged pedo walk free rather than explain how they snared him

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Headmaster

Re: depends on which side of the Atlantic

Having the misfortune to be born in America does not excuse illiteracy. The word is derived from the greek παῖς • ‎(paîs) m, f ‎(genitive παιδός);, (not to be confused with the Welsh pais=petticoat) and traditionally in real English was spelt pædo-whatever. Pedo-philia sounds like one of those odd Latin/Greek hybrids like tele-vision.

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Apple's CEO Tim Cook declines invitation to discuss EU tax ruling with Irish parliament

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The times they are a' changin'

Back in the day, when someone received an 'invitation' from the 'boys' in Sinn Féin (and their 'friends') they wouldn't dare say no!

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FM now stands for 'fleeting mortality' in Norway

Pen-y-gors
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solar powered FM radio

Yep, got one sitting on the windowsill for just that eventuality.

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Bank robber reveals identity – by using his debit card during crime

Pen-y-gors
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Excessive sentence

He doesn't deserve jail time. He should have to go through school again, starting in Kindergarden, and not being allowed to leave until he's got the US equivalent of some A-levels. Thern he might be safe to live on his own and handle sharp things and matches.

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3... 2...1... and 123-Reg hit by DDoSers. Again

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Mistaken identity?

Are we sure it wasn't a not-very-bright GPU hacker who wanted to take down ElReg instead?

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Dodgy dealer on Amazon lures marks towards phishing site

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Worrying

It's worrying that this can be run via the amazon site - surely amazon can detect code that redirects the checkout? Odd that they have to axe individual accounts. Is there no pattern?

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Routes taken by UK prosecutors over supply of modified TV set-top boxes

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Dodgy law

I hate it when the lawyers try to twist laws to uses they weren't intended for.

I'm sure if they try they could find a way to prosecute this under the various terrorism or anti-kiddie-fiddling laws? Or even the Treason Act?

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Switzerland says Uber's an employer, sends social security bill

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Re: I is confused

Or, to put it another way, "Once you sign a contract with X as an employee you are strung up to their terms and conditions that can be very restrictive" - that's the point - if they're too restrictive then you ain't an independent contractor, no matter what the 'employer' tries to say.

And let's face it, independents tend to pay rather less in taxes than combined employer+employee - that's the loophole Uber are trying to wiggle through. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...

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The Suva have a point

It's not that dissimilar to the old IR35 arguments that we had. Basically if you are told exactly what to do, where and when then you're an employee. For heaven's sake, one place I worked we had 'contractors' who had worked there full time for seven years and played for the company football team!!

If Uber simply set some minimum standards, and allowed drivers to bid for a job at a rate the driver offered, when they felt like doing a job, then they might get away with it. No wonder they're looking at autonomous cars! (Although what's the betting they attract a special tax levy - I seem to remember that in the early days of motor cars that employers paid a tax on chauffeurs)

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Russia to convicted criminal hackers: 'Work with us or jail?'

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How long would it take...

for someone with a decent pair of bolt cutters to wander along the Russian border and cut Russia off from t'Interwebs? It would make the world a much nicer place.

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Internet of Sh*t has an early 2017 winner – a 'smart' Wi-Fi hairbrush

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Re: Incredible

Is there really no end to this stupidity?

Sadly, no. Well, not until a massive asteroid wipes out all human life on earth.

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Re: $200 for all that tech?

That's more reasonable. Selling something cheap for lots and lots of money is just a sophisticated way of redistributing surplus money. Bit like gold-plated audio cables.

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Re: I have actually thought of an IoT that might be useful

How about a cooker that detects a ring/oven has been on with no pan on/in it for x minutes and turns it off.

Even simpler, and no net connection required.

I suspect there are high end cookers that already offer this, otherwise I'd patent the idea.

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Joe Public likes drones and regulations, finds UK.gov 'public dialogue'

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What the public wants...

is basically bread and circuses. Ask about drones and the thought process is Drones = Bling = tech toys = Yay, fun! No thought of the implications. If you asked 'the public' if they should each be given a million quid I'm fairly sure they'd say yes, without thinking through the implications for inmflation, savings etc.

Basic problem is that 'the people' are not renowned for clear analytical thinking. There is much evidence for this <feel-free-to-ignore-if-you-voted-wrexit-or-trump>, just think of certain recent public polls in the UK and the US</feel-free-etc>

It's very depressing for someone who is at heart convinced that democracy is a good thing to discover that the opinion of 'the public' is generally not a good guide as to the most sensible thing to do.

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Amazon files patent for 'Death Star' flying warehouse

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Re: Reloading

I did wonder about that. If the drones can only be used once due to inability to reach 45000 ft, where do they land? Do they park a container nearby for them to home in on,before sending the full container aloft to the mother ship?

And what about weight? Presumably drones won't be used to deliver a new 55" TV to a fan at a football match, so presumably it'll be fairly small items. In which case the majority of the payload of the mothership at take-off will be one-shot drones.

And how is this a better way to get T-shirts to football fans than having a stand outside the ground?

Or are they assuming a very, very high attrition rate for the drones from local shotgun owners?

Whatever, it's really an expensive solution in search of a non-existent problem. I reckon Amazon are just winding people up.

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The Life and Times of Lester Haines

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Greatly missed

The world needs more like him.

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