* Posts by druck

1543 posts • joined 6 Jun 2007

Google: 'Even in the desert, privacy does not exist'

druck
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Boffin

Not satellite

Satellite images, at least the ones google uses, aren't a threat to privacy, as you wont even see your house unless its the size of the googleplex. All the high resolution overhead shots are _aerial_ photography.

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Official: Eee PC range to expand

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Listen

In case Asus are a bit hard of hearing, let me shout to remind them why the 701 was so sucessful:-

TWO HUNDRED QUID

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Robotic camera mount captures panoramic wonders

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Your own twin

Will it be like those panoramic cameras they used to do the school photograph? Every year someone would stand at one end then run round the back of the camera to appear again at the other, making their own twin.

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Set sail with Garmin's seafaring satnav

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Not under the sea

Boating; yes, sub aquatic Lotuses; no. GPS doesn't work under water, unless you trail and antenna to the surface, which might give the game away to Stromberg...

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LG plotting autumn offensive against Eee PC?

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Missing the point again

They are missing the point again. £200 is the target price for these types of devices not £350. Ok, back just after Christmas I'd waited so long for the EEE 701, I paid nearer £250 to get hold of it. But I would not have even considered buying it if it was over the £300, that's in to full size lap top territory.

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Reding vows Autumn assault on EU data roaming charges

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Data roaming rip off

Can't come too soon for me. My bill this month is an extra £40 due to a few MBs of data from my EEE while I was camping at Le Mans. Vodafone couldn't even tell me the exact cost before I went, and the price per MB isn't entirely consistent on the bill either, despite it all being from their recommended partner network of SFR.

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Has ISO already rejected anti-OOXML appeals?

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Bastards at BSI

What's the news on the complaints against the BSI for reversing their initial outright rejection of OOXML without following their own procedures?

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Google and the End of Science

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google fight

Did it really need 4 pages to dismiss this web 2.0 style nonsense. If google fight had been round in Copernicus' day, would they have just put in "earth-centred" and "sun-centred" and accepted the one with the most number of hits?

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Holidaymaker gets £31k data roaming bill

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How much

Its not always easy to find out how much the data tariff is before going. Last time I took the laptop over to Europe I checked on the website and it mentioned "up to £12.50 per MB" so I phoned the enquires number to ask what they exact rate for France was, they couldn't tell me, I'd have to get in touch which ever network I was connected to. They couldn't even say for their recommended choice of SFR, bloody useless. At least they've now put up the exact cost of £5/MB on the website.

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TVonics MFR-300 micro digital TV set-top box

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Grannies wont get it

Back when they turned off the old 405 line analogue signal they claimed the switch over to 625 line was a sucess as only a couple of people complained. Well it wasn't quite the case.

When I was a toddler we used to go round to travel to granny's once or twice a year. We'd put the TV on but I could never watch kiddies TV (which I think just consisted of Playschool back then) in the morning, because it was on BBC2 and unknown to her at that time it was a 405 line set and BBC2 was only broadcast on 625 line.

The next year granny apologised that we couldn't watch TV as it had broken, and was just displaying static. What actually happened was they'd switched off 405 line signal, and the set was working, but now as much use as chocolate teapot. She didn't realise this, and didn't watch the TV that much anyway, so didn't want to complain.

The same thing will probably happen with my mother in 2 years time when analogue is switched off. She wouldn't have a clue that one of these boxes are needed, and wouldn't want to fiddle around with the aerial lead anyway. She wont have to as I bought her a digital ready LCD when the last set stopped working, but it needs an aerial upgrade as the existing loft one doesn't pick up any digital MUXs despite having a good analogue signal.

If its left to her she probably wont do it before the signal is switched off, and I will find her sitting there knitting in the dark, because she didn't want to complain.

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Chillblast Fusion Juggernaut gaming PC

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Dead Vulture

Comparisons

The text seems to suggest this is fastest machine reviewed to date, but the Alienware Area 51 ALX scores better results across the board. That review compares it with the Mesh Q8, please can we always have closest equivalent system's figures shown on any performance graph, as otherwise its just a bunch of fairly meaningless numbers.

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Bill Gates has gone, what's his legacy?

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Gates Horns

Visonary my arse

"History will record Gates as a visionary. Gates was a bits and bytes man"

My arse he was. His only real programming was Altair BASIC, Gates is a business man, one of the most shrewd, cunning and ruthless ones that has ever existed, but not a visionary. He had a lucky break selling someone else's DOS to IBM, and has capitalised on it for nearly 3 decades, running rings around the competition and regulators, making a success of Microsoft's late to market, mediocre clones of true innovators products.

Microsoft has screwed over its competitors so successfully, it has taken the rise of a completely different business model of open source development, which can't be bought up and crushed, to emerge and take the running. Gates has shown no vision in the last couple of years to be able tackle this new threat.

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Cambridge congestion charge plans shelved

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Bribe?

If central government has the half billion pounds to improve transport in Cambridge, why is there the bribe of getting the local council to introduce congestion charging?

Could it be the only way this gutless government can force its agenda of national road pricing on us, is piecemeal council by council. In the same was as its trying to sneak in ID cards for certain groups at a time, while making it more difficult for everyone else to avoid?

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Force listeners onto DAB by killing FM

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Stop

Analogue Cars

So who is going to pay to have the highly integrated proprietary manufacturer's head unit in my car upgraded to DAB when they switch analogue FM off? I won't be, so I guess I wont be listening to any radio whatsoever after that, as that's the only time I do at the moment. The 6 disc CD changer might get a bit more use, or perhaps I'll just enjoy the sound of the engine instead, its often better.

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Sub-£100 Eee rival ship date slips

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Tipping

As nice as the girlie is, if she takes her hand off the machine, its going to tip over backwards isn't it?

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FCC tests 'vindicate' white space lobby

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Won't Work, Can't Work

As Mage says above, this wont work because it just can't work. Only fuckwits like Microsoft who think they are too big to be governed by the laws of Physics think otherwise.

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MoD proposes Salisbury Plain spy-plane droid playground

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Doodlebug tipping

I wonder if you come in high from the rear without being seen, you can tip the UAV in to instability like the Spitfires used to do with doodlebugs in WWII. Should be even easier in a high wing, but they might notice Cessna tyre prints on the wreckage.

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Amazon.com's US site KO'd!

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IMDB was down too

It also took out www.imdb.com too, but no holding page in that case, just a very unhelpful 404.

Interestingly, trying the last two addresses for it in the Amazon net blocks reported by Netcraft, (72.21.211.32 and 207.171.166.140) I was able to access the site, which functioned except for returning broken links to images.

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Tiscali subscribers to be sold to Vodafone tomorrow: report

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Phorm

Interestingly Vodafone's WAP portal has a phorm like setting for if you want your usage tracked to serve you customised ads or not. It has 3 settings, non customised, customised using your WAP browsing history, and customised using browsing history and all other information Vodafone has on you. I disconnected at that point as I was just checking to see if WAP was as CRAP on my new phone as the last one (and it was). Lets hope they don't install the same system on any broadband they get their hands on.

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Tech luminaries honor database god Jim Gray

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Black Helicopters

Tribute?

"The No-Fly List," Lindsay said. "Brought to you by Jim Gray."

I thought it was supposed to be a tribute? Nobody would want that travesty of liberties to be on their epitaph.

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OMTP publishes standard, but what is it really securing?

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No more Talks

This will break accessibility software such as Talks, which needs to hook in to all sorts of operating system routines, by fair means or foul, in order to gather the information it needs on what has changed on the screen, so it to be spoken to sight impaired users.

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Tory proposes street-legal Segway legalisation

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No

Britain does not want to be come a nation of fat lazy bastards, well any more than it is at the moment. You either walk or you get on a bike. Bikes are bad enough on the roads without some 6mph gyroscopically stabilised mountain of lard holding up traffic and ignoring red lights.

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Dutch ban voting computers over eavesdropping fear

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Anonymous ballot

Edwin wrote: "I don't really care *who* knows what I voted"

You wouldn't say that if you wanted to vote for the opposition in Zimbabwe. With our hard won freedoms being systematically ripped from the statute book and ever more crimes and pre-crimes created in their place, don't fool yourself in to thinking we could never be put under the same sort of pressure in an election.

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Airbus jets could be converted to fuel-cell propulsion

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Silly idea

No pilot of any sort of plane will accept the idea of only turning the engine on at the end of the runway, and immediately taking off. Power checks are needed first to give you confidence they aren't going to fail at the worst possible time, which is immediately after take off. In commercial jets this is done on the taxi out, smaller planes stop at the hold points, in either case it involves burning as much fuel as a good few minutes taxiing.

Finally the idea of putting electric motors on the landing gear powerful enough to taxi the plane, even slowly, is fraught with difficulties. The gear is designed to be very light otherwise you need even more powerful hydraulic gear to retract it. Also under emergency gravity assisted deployment if it is too heavy it might rip itself off. It is enough of a challenge to compensate for the aerodynamic changes while deploying the gear without factoring in further weight and balance instability.

Lastly by far the most important consideration is fuel efficiency in the air where the plane spends more of its time, and any excess aircraft weight is a non starter. Its just another hair brained idea by the carbon cultists, which ends up causing more problems that it solves, and will have no effect on climate change.

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Oz driver sticks seatbelt on slab of beer

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XXXX for the Amber Nectar

Ozzies couldn't give a XXXX about child safety, couldn't risk getting a ding in a tinny of the amber nectar.

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Canadian toddler dies after VOIP 911 call

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Do you know where you are?

I too though this was pretty silly, that you should always give the emergency operator your address, and they should go by that. But I remembered I was at my friends new house last weekend, its only the second time I'd been there, the first time I put the post code in to the sat nav, this time I just remembered the route. We'd a bit of a heavy drinking session and he was sick a couple of times during the night, if he'd started choking to death on his vomit and I dialled 999, would I have known the address?

I cant remember the house number, its the one just round the corner, I know the road name, but its rather a silly one and I'm not sure of its spelling. Its a brand new estate so I'm not even sure which of the neighbouring villages it belongs to. As its new they might ask what road it is off, and I don't know that either. Pretty frightening that you could be somewhere but not know how to describe it.

About the only way I could give them a precise location would be to start rummaging though my friends draws to find a letter with the address on it, which hopefully I'd think of during an emergency with my friend rapidly turning blue.

So automatic location services are a good idea, but only if they work.

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NASA ditches Itanic for new Xeon-based SGI giant

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Coat

High Performance Fiddling

All that processing power should allow them to fiddle the historic temperature data even quicker.

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Added green burden could ground flying cars for good

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We should have done it by now

If we hadn't done everything to discourage British innovation from the 1950s onwards, our white coated boffins would have come up with nuclear powered directed thrust (like the Harrier) personal vehicles, and we'd have spent the past 50 years making them safe and quiet. Instead its got to the point we can't even build a big shed to get people and bags on and off aircraft.

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Watchdog bares teeth at mobile premium rate scams

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Regulator or Rogue?

How many people are now put off from reporting such things because the regulator, formerly ICSTIS and now PhonePayPlus, sounds more like a rogue operator, than the companies they wish to complain about?

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Zango's adware fox desperate to guard net henhouse

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Re: It could be worse...

Herby wrote: "If this DOES continue, those who sell stuff over such media as say TELEVISION could rightfully sue the TV vendors for having a MUTE button."

Worse than that, banning the ability to fast forward through adverts when using a PVR.

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Web 2.0 bloat trebles web's waistline

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87% Toss

"87 per cent of web video streaming sessions are abandoned in the first ten seconds" more likely because well over 87 per cent of web videos are complete toss rather than any problems with buffering.

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E-passport security flaw allows remote ID of nationality

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Black Helicopters

Tinfoil hat

I just hope the double layer of tinfoil in my leather passport holder actually works.

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Global-warming scientist: It's worse than I thought

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Flame

Funding round?

Is it time for another IPCC funding round already? Better wheel out the "oh no its worse than we even told you last time" research papers.

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Vodafone chief tells mobile users he knows where they live

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Live! is dead

I don't normally use Vodafone 'Live!', but just got a new handset so thought I'd just see if it had changed since last time. On going to check my bill I noticed a privacy option, which had settings for very targeted ads based on what you looked at on Live! and your personal details from Vodafone, mildly targeted ads based on just what you looked at, or just junk ads, I selected the latter and promptly hung up never intending to use it again.

Its nothing but trash attempting you to spend money anyway, being WAP its abysmally slow and clunky. Using Opera mobile to access the real internet is far quicker and uses less of your data tariff in to the bargain. But then what guarantee do we have that either Opera or Vodafone isn't going to be sniffing this too?

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Scotland Yard criminologist: DNA-print troublemaker kids

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Re: Major/minor crime

SrahB wrote: "Actually some bloke went into my flat years ago and nicked my wallet and left a fag butt behind, and the police got him on the DNA from it. So it does happen with small stuff. I was surprised myself that they'd bother, but I suppose it counted as burglary. Impressed they could get it from a dog end, too."

And criminals are well aware of that, the easiest way to get away with a crime is to frame someone else, and its never been easier to do than with DNA evidence. Just pick up a discarded fag end from someone you know is on the register and leave it at the scene of a crime. Unless that person can come up with a cast iron alibi (such as already being locked up at the time) a jury will convict as DNA matches are a billion to one certainty according to CSI on the telly

Its already happening, gangs of car thieves already leave the butts of their rivals behind to hamper their comptetitors. Just think how much easier it will be when you know that instead of having to fit up a well aware fellow criminal, any unsuspecting member of the public is fair game to take the rap for you.

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Why I downgraded from Vista to XP

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Linux

Outlook, what a joke

Some anonymous Windows sycophant wrote:

"Does Outlook run on Ubunto? No, it fucking doesn't, therefore he's pretty bloody stuffed if he wanted to, god forbid, access his corporate mail."

Even if using Exchange server, you can access email via POP or IMAP with dozens of vastly superior and more secure email clients than Outlook, which run on Linux, Mac OS and even Windows. If that the only justification you can came up with for sticking with Windows in a business environment, salvation is at hand, you will be able to ditch Vista and XP, and then perhaps save yourself the heart attack you are rapidly building yourself up to.

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Ban booze in supermarkets, says health adviser

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Wrong way round

Booze isn't too cheap, and why should those who sensibly enjoy the odd pint a week be penalised by yet more indiscriminate taxes? The problem is the young have too much money and can afford to binge drink. Solution; get rid of the minimum wage, especially the younger band. That way employers don't have to pay good money to some piss head that spends half of every day nursing a crippling hangover and the other half waiting to knock off to get smashed again.

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Air pollution driving midweek rain

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Where's the frigging problem?

Wetter weekdays and dryer weekends, where's the frigging problem?

The question is; what can we do to enhance this beneficial effect?

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Pentagon pundits demand sensible raygun research

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Sci-Fi blink blindness

The problem is everyone born since the 1930s has been brought up on sci-fi where invariably every spacecraft uses a beam weapon, therefore it must be the way to go. For example phasers in Star Trek, but at least they also had photon torpedoes - now that's where it's at!

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MiYahoo's future rests with open source and courage

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Pirate

Eating their own dog food

There is no way Yahoo will be allowed to continue with open source systems post merger, Microsoft has to eat its own dog food, anything else is admitting there is a better way of doing things - despite the fact everyone already knows this. Look at when they consumed HotMail, which at the time worked quite well on FreeBSD/Solaris, it only became a running joke when they forced it over to the completely inadequate Windows platform.

Yahoo! you! are! next!

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Geeks fight the smelter with embedded processor-based box

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Ditch x86

Just think of the power you'd save if you ditched the horrendous legacy x86 instruction set and the logic in every chip to turn it in to something that can actually be executed by a modern processor core.

Of course that would mean ditching a certain obscenely bloated and inefficient OS which is tied to x86, and using something you can recompile with gcc to any number of more energy efficient architectures.

There might be something in this green computing after all.

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Veggies a 'perversion of nature': Official

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Security fears stymy online sales

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Alert

Bad advice

"Look for a padlock symbol in the bottom right of the browser window and for the website address to begin with 'https://'"

No! Look for where your browser (which may not be Internet Explorer) normally puts the padlock symbol, it should be on part of the browsers toolbars and not in the web page itself. You've had article before about how people are fooled by a padlock symbol appearing anywhere.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06/07/why_phishing_works/

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Ofcom puts digital dividend on the auction block

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Completely screwed over

So the viewing public has been completely screwed over, and we'll never have a decent free to air HD TV service. It will be entirely coincidental that Murdock's press continues to support the government come the next election.

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Steve McClaren secures 2007 Foot in Mouth award

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Leaves on the line

Don't know why the Translink one is in there, it sounds perfectly ok to me, despite being a bloody poor excuse.

The Nestle one is just crying out to say "it don't taste like what it orta".

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Microsoft wireless keyboards crypto cracked

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Re: Bottom Line: it's not secure, it's convenient

Brett Brennan writes: "Let's look at this realistically. You have a wireless transmission that has a range of 10 meters. So anyone that is trying to eavesdrop on it has to be close enough to get clear reception of the signal."

Just because your wireless keyboard wont work further away than 10 meters doesn't mean that someone with more sensitive equipment can't pick up the signal substantially further away, in surrounding buildings or out in the street.

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Solwise DMP-1120w UPnP/DLNA network media player

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Boffin

Sixty Percent?

I would have expected review highlighting so many failings to garner a much lower score. Are half the marks just for the unit turning up and spelling its name correctly?

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Biometrics won't fix data loss problems

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Its not about the best biometric

People seem to be forgetting its not about the best biometric, it doesn't matter if palm vein patterns are better the fingerprints, you can't leave them behind at a crime scene so it doesn't fit in with the government's agenda of fingerprinting everyone so the police can consider everyone to be a criminal suspect.

All that waiting for someone to commit a crime, presumption of innocence until proven guilty, right to a fair trail, etc is so last millennium when you can just trawl a huge database and solve all the county's ills - as ID card advocates seem to beleive.

The more we push the view that fingers prints aren't sufficient, the greater reason they will have of moving on to stage 2, which is to require a DNA sample too. Assuming they haven't already managed it, by arrest the entire population over the next couple of years, as seems to be the current intent.

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Iowa house swallowed in grain bin collapse

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IT Angle

Stop talking the piss

<- Note

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How HMRC gave away the UK's national identity

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Physical size of data

"Even 25 years ago, who could have possibly thought this is a safe way to send private information about 25 million people?"

25 years ago, all you would have got in an envelope is a few sheets of paper. The physical storage medium able to contain 25 million records would be the size of a suitcase, and a few years before that the size of a room. Now you can put millions of records on a laptop, CD, DVD, or memory stick the size of your thumb, and lose it in an instant.

Systems should be designed so there is no way copying of vast amounts of data on to portable media. If it needs to be physically transported instead of transferred over secure encrypted comms links, there should only be one place it can be done, and whatever medium is used on should be contained in a lock box changed the arm of a security guard for every second of the journey.

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