* Posts by Andy The Hat

609 posts • joined 21 Oct 2010

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Giant frikkin' British laser turret to start zapping stuff next year

Andy The Hat
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Re: A likely (west side) story

The way the navy are going it'd be more effective to steer the ship close then lob very hungry sharks at the enemy with a rubber catapult.

Or, going high tech, perhaps a battery of Vector ® Squid Guns ... (should that be a kalamari of Squid Guns?)

Or just smack Kim-J-Whatsit across the hairstyle with a wet cod until he gets really annoyed ...

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Tick, tock motherf... erm, we mean, don't panic over GDPR

Andy The Hat
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And here come the fines ...

"the government says they’ll demand that: “Businesses must notify the ICO within 72 hours of a data breach taking place” (my italics); GDPR says notification must happen: “not later than 72 hours after having become aware of it”.

Keep that wording and whereas GPDR means you'll be fined for doing nothing after you find out a breach has occurred, the UK wording means that if a problem is notified to a company ten years after it happened, the company immediately closes the hole or takes remedial action they will still be fined because they didn't deal with the problem ten years ago despite having no knowledge of it ...

As usual, it's deliberate wording to create easy money for the Government. Fines are actually being used as stealth taxes.

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North Korea attacks Bitcoin bods to swell its war chest says FireEye

Andy The Hat
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Bitcoins are real, they're actual things and I believe in them. I'm about to give my hard-earned to a really reliable organisation run by a bloke I totally trust that I met online in a country where stuff is obviously nice in exchange for a really secure investment opportunity. I think everyone should put money into them ... along with time shares and a nice Spectrum retro-games opportunity ...

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44m UK consumers on Equifax's books. How many pwned? Blighty eagerly awaits spex on the breach

Andy The Hat
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Did I opt in ...

I seem to recall the clause "we may contact credit reference agencies ..." at the bottom of some contracts which I took to mean "we'll check to see if you've got a dodgy financial history". At no point do I recall "we will give data to credit reference agencies which will be stored in a database outside the 'safe harbour' agreements.

To be honest, that one company can have so much personal data without the knowledge of the individual is damn scary ...

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Gov claws back £645m in BT broadband from subsidy

Andy The Hat
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Can someone explain please?

Correct me if I'm wrong but HM Pip-Squeezer has taken back some subsidy money (or not actually given it to them) from Openreach who are installing broadband. As a result, HM Money-Bags will immediately give that money back to Openreach to install broadband ...?

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Sub plot subplot thickens: Madsen claims hatch fumble killed Swede journo Kim Wall

Andy The Hat
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She was a journo ...

... so she probably had a notepad. Thus it's feasible that she decapitated herself accidentally with a particularly severe paper cut whilst folding an accurate origami model of the sub. The resultant nervous tremors caused further paper cuts and removal of her limbs. He (Cap'n Sub Mariner) was so horrified that he opened the hatch to let said body parts out of the sub before he too experienced terminal flesh wounds ...

Before you say it's not possible - have a search on the inter-web for "I decapitated myself with a sheet of Basildon Bond" ... between "The witch turned me into a newt, my subsequent path to health" and "Cutting you toenails with a sythe, a unidexter's guide."

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Microsoft extends free Windows 10 S to Win 10 Pro upgrade offer

Andy The Hat
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Re: Is there a TARDIS in the room?

Maybe true but when you get to a certain age everything dissolves into a time slurry so you can't remember exactly when it something happened, only roughly which end of the slurry river it was ...

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Andy The Hat
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Is there a TARDIS in the room?

In the 1980's M$oft were hauled over the coals for abuse of market dominance and forced used of their own browser coupled with their OS. How come they're still allowed to do it with 10S?

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Couple fires sueball at Amazon over faulty solar eclipse-viewing goggles

Andy The Hat
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Re: American sue culture at it's best.

"Argghhh my eyes! I'm so blind I can barely see where to sign this document multiple times with which my lawyer is suing Amazon ..."

150K sold, how many returned? How many simply not used because of the extensive advertising campaign about fake glasses sourced from Amazon? How many of the 'fakes' were simply non-compliant with the new ISO standard (such as Baader Solar film used for solar scope filters which lets through a bit too much uv for the naked eye standard) but would actually cause little or no harm if used for direct viewing over a period of a few minutes?

Seems to me that the actual number of 'faulty' devices out there and actually used was probably very few ... How much damage was actually done could be an interesting discussion for the medical examiners in court.

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Google routing blunder sent Japan's Internet dark on Friday

Andy The Hat
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Attack vector?

Looking at this from a non-expert point of view, is this not a potential 'soft underbelly' attack vector? If one mis-configuration causes some meyhem, what would be the results of half a dozen simultaneous, deliberately planted false 'adverts'? Although obviously possible for an insider to deliberately or accidentally implement mis-configurations, is there enough inherent security to prevent it being possible for an external third party to do that with multiple targets?

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Uh oh, scientists know how those diamonds got in Uranus, and they're telling everyone!

Andy The Hat
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Because 'large' diamonds can be produced in all sorts of stupid colours for the vain, and smaller ones for industrial use can be produced on a relatively large scale with a uniform structure (not all diamonds are equal). Without such plants we would not have affordable diamond cutting tools.

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Voyager antenna operator: 'I was the first human to see images from Neptune'

Andy The Hat
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There's someone there?

I'm sure I heard a documentary - "War of the Worlds" or something - when they were calling "Can-berra, come in Can-berra ..." and nobody answered ... dum dum dum, da da da, da da da

Mr Stephenson must have been on tea break ... :-)

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UK.gov cloud fave Amazon comes under fire for tax bill

Andy The Hat
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Profit

More and more Amazon stuff, even if apparently physically sent and sourced from the UK is "fulfilled" by Amazon Europe (of whatever form) who I assume contract Amazon UK to supply the goods - that way the profit on the goods is paid mainly to Amazon Eu not Amazon UK which is a neat way of legally sneaking around UK tax as the Amazon UK profit is only on the warehousing contract not on the goods supplied. In addition of course, all that IP for the delivery/warehousing infrastructure has to have royalties paid by Amazon UK to Amazon Eu so that obviously eats into profit And no doubt Amazon UK pays Amazon Eu for its data handling ... which is probably contracted out to AWS UK who also pay royalties to Amazon Eu ...

In the world of big business it's not how much money you apparently make but how you can *legally* move it around that matters.That's why small companies don't have a chance ...

Whichever way you look at it, it stinks. Rip up that tax book and start again - Maggie ballooned it and Blair (being a good Socialist) expanded it even further and if that isn't a good enough reason to believe it's a system designed to allow corruption don't know what is ...

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DJI drones: 'Cyber vulnerabilities' prompt blanket US Army ban

Andy The Hat
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Please, never again ...

"availability tends to trump security concerns."

Please never use the word "trump" in the same sentence as "security" unless it's in a context such as "Trump really has sod all idea about security."

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WannaCrypt victims paid out over $140k in Bitcoin to get files unscrambled

Andy The Hat
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The most worrying comment is ...

"NHS Digital stopped short of advising health organisations in England not to pay the ransom because it couldn't be certain that all hospitals had backed up patient records."

A massive organisation, generating and routinely manipulating data for arguably the most important records relating to the citizens of the UK admitting that it may not have secure, regular and reliable backup procedures in place? If that's not verging on the incompetent, I don't know what is ...

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Flash fryers have burger problems: You can't keep adding layers

Andy The Hat
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Coat

An idea ...

Solder the devices on top of one another with only a free select pin to operate the low or high level (literally) device - double the capacity at probably 75% the performance ... with decent caching and a nifty algorithm possibly even better.

If I suggested that was what we used to do in the 80's none of the youngsters would believe me ...

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Don't make Aug 21 a blind date: Beware crap solar eclipse specs

Andy The Hat
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Facepalm

Actually no ...

"Isaac Newton and Galileo both wrecked their retinas by examining the Sun,"

Doh!

Galileo actually ended up with cataracts in his old age. Although it is possible, there's no evidence that his eyesight was damaged as a result of his solar observations at all.

Newton looked at the sun as part of a deliberate 'afterimage' experiment (self experimentation was one of his things) and his sight was temporarily affected but gradually returned over time.

And you can easily get shade 13 welding glass - even Amazon.co.uk sellers list it.

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Hackers can turn web-connected car washes into horrible death traps

Andy The Hat
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Film, Book, Play?

Does this seem like something from a Stephen King novel? "Christine - This time the car gets it." Or "Saw 173 - All Washed Up"

Be great for getting rid of those "dirty scumbags" from the other gang with little or no evidence (if you use an anonymising system). Little bit of enticement, "Getta your big pappa's car washed here." then crush them, give them the brush off, blow them away, hang them out to dry and polish them off ...

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NASA lights humongous rocket that goes nowhere ... until 2019

Andy The Hat
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Back of a fag packet

If we were being green we'd replace all this nasty noisy stuff with helium balloons.

If we need 8E6lbs of thrust that's 3.5E9g. Now a 2l party balloon filled with helium will support about 2g so all we need are 1.75E9 helium balloons ... or, in honour of the great film, 1.75 Ups per launch and a big balloon pump ...

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US spies hacked our phones over the air, claim pipeline protesters

Andy The Hat
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Rubbish story

This story is obviously untrue as the US Government does not spy on its own citizens.

Even as I typed, I felt there was a minor factual inaccuracy in that sentence ... if I can just put my finger on what it is ...

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An 'AI' that can diagnose schizophrenia from a brain scan – here's how it works (or doesn't)

Andy The Hat
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This is a moot point - as the original diagnoses (pl. sp?) are purely subjective it is always possible, perhaps even probable, that any individual diagnosis was incorrect.This makes the AI results as a comparative measure equally subjective and prone to "inaccuracy" ie not reaching the same conclusion as a psychologist.

In any such "interpretive" field, do we accept AI's computational results, where results are by definition subjective, as equal to the "correct", human derived conclusion?

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European Parliament keen to throw news publishers a bone

Andy The Hat
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Will this only relate to the free content on 'paid' news sites? If I run a site with a single blank page that's available by paid subscription, can I charge the search robot owner for any page on the main site when scraped by a search engine?

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May the excessive force be with you: Chap cuffed after Star Trek v Star Wars row turns bloody

Andy The Hat
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Easy ...

Trumps agenda - plenty of alien bashing in that ...

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Nationwide banking suffers its own Black Wednesday

Andy The Hat
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Re: Strangely

"They might then get asked awkward questions such as "what local branch?""

or, in my case, "You mean the local branch that I joined because it usefully closes after I get back from work at 5.30pm ... oops 5pm ... sorry 4.30 ... no no, 4pm now. So, the branch that is no longer accessible to me ...?"

It's obvious that branches are being closed earlier and earlier to limit their usage and generate a good reason to close them. Which makes it (a) impossible to the oldies to use them and (b) all the more important the the main front end is incredibly resilient. Having said that, I've had very few problems with the system.

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Boffins' five eyes surprise: Bees correct colour for ambient light

Andy The Hat
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Of course, they can't sting other creatures without generally dying. So they're not perfect.

That's where you're wrong - not all bees have barbed stings so can give more than one wallop.

Just another step closer to perfection and ruling the Earth!

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Brit prosecutors ask IT suppliers to fight over £3 USB cable tender

Andy The Hat
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You miss the point.

The bureaucracy droid has to generate the tender, audit the tender documents when returned and issue the final tender. He could have ordered the part from Amazon or Joe Bloggs Computer sales down the road but that's not his job.

When no tender documents are returned due to it being a "bloody stupid thing to tender for", the bureaucracy droid asks their preferred Megacorp to bid and supply an approved part which they do at a single price of £25. A follow up order can then follow for 30000 of the items at a generously discounted rate of only £15 per item. It's a win-win for bureaucracy jobs, Megacorp profits and of course us, the great unwashed people, as they've got such a good deal by bulk purchasing ...

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European Commission chucks cash at UR – the universal language of mind your own biz

Andy The Hat
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Privacy

Given the mootings of May, the Frenchies and Mt Jerry about restricting an individual's online privacy, I find it somewhat ironic that the EU are funding a project explicitly designed to extend it.

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UK Parliament hack: Really, a brute-force attack? Really?

Andy The Hat
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not necessarily stupid ...

generally while you're brute forcing the passwords in an obvious way and giving the techs the runaround to sort that out, they're too busy to notice you discretely dropping trojans or hacking the system somewhere else ...

More likely to be an idiot script-kiddie though and, as a terrorist act involving a computer, we'll need to ban encryption obviously ...

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Researchers solve screen glare nightmare with 'moth-eye' antireflective film

Andy The Hat
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But ...

anyone who moth traps will tell you that a lot of moth eyes reflect brightly ... They have a compound structure that channels the light striking each "optical window" to the optic receptor and I can't really see where the light scattering off the surface comes into it or would be evolutionarily advantageous. The only differences between the compound eye and a conventional single aperture variety is that light striking the eye is absorbed differently (there's no lens surfaces for instance) and. due to the roughly spherical surface positioned on the side of the head, light rays striking outside a defined and limited angle would not produce the expected reflection back to the observer from the retina. Perhaps it's the internal absorption structure they are mimicking, not the external surface?

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UK parliamentary email compromised after 'sustained and determined cyber attack'

Andy The Hat
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Re: If it did not have 2FA or certs it was asking to be hacked

"If he were only allowed three tries he'd send Nanny around."

Nanny, Nanny? How did you know that was his password? And it's got a capital and everything to make it hard for Mater to guess ...

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Homeland Security: Putin’s hackers tried to crack electoral networks in 21 US states

Andy The Hat
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propaganda?

"the use of Russia's English-language state media as a strategic messaging platform"

However true that may be, how many US voters watch RT (or have even heard of it) and thus how much influence would it have in the real world?

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Months late, unaudited: ZX Spectrum reboot firm files accounts

Andy The Hat
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Accounts?

Do Companies House actually accept accounts like that as official filings?

If so I'm going to start writing some ... I've got an old fag packet somewhere ...

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LIGO physicists eyeball a new gravitational wave

Andy The Hat
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Re: Two solar masses (in energy) escaped

The gravitational field of the black holes obviously extends beyond the event horizon. The gravity of two multi-stellar masses will indeed "whip the space time around" as they try to accelerate each other, liberating energy as they produce gravity waves. This obviously reduces the energy of the local black hole system. Because the energy of the system is proportional to its mass (E=MC^2), that liberation of energy will effectively reduce the mass of the black hole pair ... by a mechanism known as "magic stuff". :-)

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BT considers scrapping 'gold-plated' pensions in bid to plug £14bn deficit

Andy The Hat
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Re: Much like my pension, which I'll likely never get.

I work in education and, despite the local pension scheme being well managed and profitable, have had my pension "renegotiated" downwards twice in the last ten years as "public sector pensions are in major problems".

That's cobblers.

It's a myth that the *average* public sector pension scheme is underfunded or badly run. I've paid in for thirty years so far at a regular (slightly increasing) percentage of my salary and can look forward to a £15k (yes, FIFTEEN) pension in 15+ years time but public sector employer contributions have varied widely, including taking pension holidays ... oh, hasn't any Prime Minister or Chancellor mentioned that?

It's only the top brass, civil servants, MPs, judges etc that get non-contributory or low-contribution civil service type pensions *and* can retire early on full pensions. Yet, during renegotiation, the civil service unions were screaming as some of their members would have to actually make a contribution to their pensions!

"Public sector" pensions are *not* all equal - do not tar us all with the same brush.

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Seminal game 'Colossal Cave Adventure' released onto GitLab

Andy The Hat
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This is proper gaming.

I played this extensively on the school RM 380Z under CP/M in about 1979/80.

Two years later my brother then played it during his time there too - despite there being options like Galaxians on the few Speccys they had.

How many games have actually stood the test of time?

How many people were sad enough to watch the entire video walk through in the article and note the differences in his version?

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Intel gives the world a Core i9 desktop CPU to play with

Andy The Hat
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I'm too old ...

My first PC had 1/13 the DRAM of the L3 cache on that mother ... and it was about £50/Mb stick.

Best I go service my Zimmer frame ...

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

Andy The Hat
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Re: "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

I tried combining a quick knuckleball with the Duckworth-Lewis method once and my double-entendre bone took weeks to recover ... :-)

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T-Mobile USA sued by parents after their baby dies amid 911 meltdown

Andy The Hat
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You're obviously not as cynical about the US legal system as some of us here ...

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Andy The Hat
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A modern trend

The last time I had anything to do with the emergency services they confirmed the location they had on their screens as that of the incident (the phone may not be the location of the incident). In the case of panic or whatever you then have two possible location data streams. What happened to that most basic of questions?

Perhaps this is simply a case of over-reliance on technology?

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Just so we're all clear on this: Russia hacked the French elections, US Republicans and Dems

Andy The Hat
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Proof of hacking

The challenge:

Prove that Russia can really influence an election - get the Lib Dems a majority in June ...

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DSL inventor's latest science project: terabit speeds over copper

Andy The Hat
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Magic ...

It's all smoke and mirrors I tell you. When I were a lad, you needed waveguide for a 1GHz signal, and then they made computery things that ran at 100MHz and didn't swamp Radio 1 with noise - though I admit it was hard to tell the difference ...

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Comet 67P's oxygen could be a breath of fresh air

Andy The Hat
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Re: Sceptical ...

"UV that breaks H2O up? ok ... but hydrogen gas that "combines" with solids on the surface, you need quite some energy for that and, if you have the energy, you have to keep oxygen away ... "

As I said, there has to be a mechanism which doesn't result in significant quanities of free hydrogen...

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Andy The Hat
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Sceptical ...

If this was the mechanism there would be twice the amount of molecular hydrogen produced. Whilst this wouldn't be as gravitationally bound as the oxygen I would have expected significant detection of it in the 'atmosphere' and especially in the comet's plume but I can find no report of either. There is the possibility of chemical reaction with CO, CN etc to form some of the larger molecules they did find but a plausible mechanism for that reaction cycle would then be needed ...

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Months after it ordered a review into allegations of mismanagement, how's that ICANN accountability drive?

Andy The Hat
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Happy

What's the problem Sir?

Well Doctor, every time I try to speak nothing meaningful comes out. I think it's because of disspain causing issues ...

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Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

Andy The Hat
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What is a 'communications provider'? The wires of the transport network or the establisher of the communications protocol?

What if banks for instance could be regarded as "communications providers" because they implement 'secure' e2e comms protocols for financial transactions directly between their server and a client over the internet? What about Paypal, Amazon, your doctor or dentist or anyone else initiating something as simple as an https connection? The entire eBusiness system could fall on it's knees as an insecure (backdoored by law) system.

That would be scary.

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UK patent troll protections tweaked – lawyers exempted

Andy The Hat
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Will this new law protect my registered design and trademark if, for instance, someone was using a completely different logo with a completely different trading name but decided, if a consumer was completely blind, then it was similarly fruity to mine and would take me to court ... ?

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China launches aircraft carrier the length of 2.1 brontosaurs

Andy The Hat
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Chinese bikes don't leak oil ...

Chinese bikes don't last long enough to need oil ...

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FTP becoming Forgotten Transfer Protocol as Debian turns it off

Andy The Hat
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Re: All this nostalgia ...

FTP, Kermit, Zmodem? It'll be memories of SCSI cables or VGA next ... I need really to retire on the grounds of having too much old crap in my brain ...

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Kremlin-backed DNC hackers going after French presidential hopeful Macron

Andy The Hat
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Is this a story?

There's no actual credit to this story or source of it's 'news' so I have read it with a full bucket du sale.

Trend Micro are quoted as 'the APT28 crew have also targeted ...' but the article specifically does not state "Tend Micro report that ..." or similar accreditation in relation to the first paragraph.

Is it not possible that this is a "Je suis paniking. J'ai le possibilite de losing to Le Pen <spit!>. Je must get mon media connections substantiale to releaser les stories horrible about les Ruskies nastyeux hacking moi."? (Ludicrous French accent optional!)

Bets on the next story being 'Le Pen was responsible" (available from dodgystories.fr and other good fake news outlets...)?

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Nikon snaps at Dutch, German rivals: You stole our chip etch lens tech!

Andy The Hat
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Is this simply a litigation-fest? Nikon decided it couldn't make enough money from the technology license agreement. So it refuses to renew the license then, when the time is right, they sue the companies that can make a profit from it for far more than the license would have cost ... I would imagine (hope!) if Nikon were found to have refused to even discuss a continuation of a license agreement then the court would take a dim view of a subsequent claim ... that's close to monopolistic interference in the third party's business.

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