* Posts by Voland's right hand

4244 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

Uber slapped with $9m fine for letting dodgy drivers pick up punters

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Re: I have this great idea for business model

No you do not.

Al Capone already had it.

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Re: Land of the free

his will follow the person around for the rest of their life

Not everywhere. Some countries like Austria take erasing spent convictions so seriously that you cannot even get any information on them once they are spent even if the person re-offends.

Apparently Josef Fritzl HAD a prior conviction. One that nobody can get hold of - it has been wiped.

So once again - you have the full spectrum starting with UK where some stuff is nearly impossible to erase to countries like Austria where it is a criminal offense to keep on file "dirt" and use it once a conviction has been spent.

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London mayor: Self-driving cars? Not without jacked-up taxes, you don't!

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Just let's not go down the Blair + Brown route shall we?

It took only a couple of years for people to forget that Blair and Brown government threatened any local authority wanting to improve traffic flow with a reduction in their budget equivalent to the loss to the exchequer from less fuel being burned at start/stops.

We are now back at it again - we are looking at sabotaging a technology which can potentially reduce urban pollution and make thousands of lives better instead.

FFS, taxation is a form of "buying civilization". Just tax the lot. Actually start by taxing the Pri(ck)us infestation in London. There is way too many of them defeating the "congestion" part of the congestion charge.

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Crypto-jackers enlist Google Tag Manager to smuggle alt-coin miners

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Hahaha

Tag manager has been in my noscript blacklist for ages.

I do not see the point of supplying even more info for the ad targeting engine (the tags). They leach enough as it is from other spyware sources.

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'Urgent data corruption issue' destroys filesystems in Linux 4.14

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Re: Slackware-current ...

This is one of those moments when you start admiring OpenWRT, Debian, etc perseverance on staying with kernel long term release for as long as possible.

Living on the edge is for err... people who like living on the edge...

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HPE CEO Meg Whitman QUITS, MAN! Neri to replace chief exec in Feb

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Re: Whitman did the right thing

Looks like most of the remains have been ditched by now. Making it seem a positive thing to downsize after a decade or more of bungled take overs is disingenuous.

Sorta. Most of the takeovers should have never happened. HP of old failed to correctly integrate every single takeover I can remember all the way back to the DEC/Compaq merger.

While there is nothing positive in admitting that these have failed and trying to clean up house, it had to be done. It was predetermined on the date her predecessors took over all of those previous failed acquisitions.

It will be predetermined in any future acquisitions too, because all large acquisitions are determined by beancounters and marketing, NOT engineering nowdays. Any synergies are determined as "synergies" - cost savings by beancounters.

There is no real analysis of how it relates to products on both sides and what does it change for real in the way the company does business. There is no engineering plan BEFORE the acquisition commences. It is done as an afterthought, very late in the M&A process or long after that.

Disclaimer - I have done M&A due diligence for more than one Tier 1 Silicon Valley company. I did not see an in-depth "engineering change" analysis even once. At all. It was all "what do we get from buying this sh**", not "how does buying this change OUR way of building sh**".

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Re: Job well finished

Wow! Whatever the hell you are smoking sounds like some good shit.

Language barrier and missed SARCASM tags.

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Wait, did Oracle tip off world to Google's creepy always-on location tracking in Android?

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Some day it will enslave us.

Some day it will enslave us.

We are quite far down that way already. Just look around you at all the people spending every spare minute of their lives of f***book and try to visualise a fair election if Zuk decides to run for a President.

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HP Inc – the no-drama one – is actually doing fine with PCs, printers

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Credit where credit due

I bought my last laptop from them. And will probably buy the next one. And the next one after that if they are still around.

Why? Because the service manual is readily available and the whole thing is serviceable and repairable.

Only basic trim clips and standard Philips screws. Not even Torx. No glue, no weird special screws. No need for a heat gun to open it. As things SHOULD BE.

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From Vega with love: Pegasus interstellar asteroid's next stop

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Re: One wonders ...

will be able to give it a fairly hefty whack with a laser

Do not complain after that when the near-C railgun missiles start hitting Earth. We opened fire first.

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This would give simulated gravity at each end, in the hollowed out living quarters.

Like around: 1E-4 G?

You need it spinning at ~ 0.5 rpm or thereabouts for it to be usable for artificial gravity (it is quite funny to see all the sci-fi trying to simulate artificial gravity as they never spin it to anything near the speed you need to get anywhere with it).

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IMO it is unlikely our governments would choose to spend tax money this way, if they can buy votes instead ...

We may need one. It is not a question of if, it is a question of when as the next one may be heading this way instead of slingshotting around the sun to go somewhere else.

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Re: Oh sh!t!!!

Since when are Pak driving around Mon Calamari cruisers?

This look suspiciously like a remnant of a long fought battle in a Galaxy far, far away which has been disabled and left to float unattended.

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Debian package depicts 'Tux the penguin' with sheep in intimate ASCII

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Re: Good call.

That's exactly how MS deal with all the ascii porn in Windows.

I suggest doing a quick search of what was the default magic number in some of the Azure/HyperV code which had to be open sourced so it can be distributed as a part of Linux. Hint - it was not the well known "0xdeadbeefdeadbeef" value.

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Germany slaps ban on kids' smartwatches for being 'secret spyware'

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Good news, bad reporting

El reg, shame on ya - you are a day late after the Graunidad.

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MPs draft bill to close loopholes used by 'sharing economy' employers

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Many charities use support workers on zero hour contracts for various valid reasons. Your suggestion would cripple charities with greatly increased labour costs and be detrimental to the care of the disabled and other vulnerable groups.

1. As Ledswinger said there is no reason not to give charities an exemption.

2. Caring for the groups you have mentioned is a blatant example of zero-hours abuse in the marketplace. If you have 30 disabled you as a charity are taking care on a council ward, the time it took this week is not going to be drastically different from the time it takes next week. The only time it changes are medical emergencies and in that case it actually goes down as NHS takes over.

The only reason the care worker taking care of that is employed on a zero hour contract is exactly that - convenience and ensuring that he/she continues to get the 7.36£ average hourly pay for a care worker at 40 the same way he/she did at 20 (this is according to national statistics for UK). Excuse me for being blunt, but as far as hypocrisy goes that is possibly on par with Mike Ashley - you are in a position to offer a proper job, you have the proper work, the work is pretty much nailed to an exact number of hours per week and you deliberately screw the worker who actually does the work. On top of that you try to climb on an even higher soap box than Uber and you beat yourself in the chest about being charitable and public morals.

Bleurgh... excuse me while I retch, and frankly I am not sure about the exemption on charitable organizations.

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We say that companies should pay higher wages when they are asking people to work extra hours or on zero-hours contracts.

Actually that by itself should do it. Make the minimum pay to be 2x statutory minimum on zero hour contracts as well as any overtime up to a full 37.5 hour week on part time ones. I suspect that they will not have the guts to do that though (*).

Top this up by prohibition of any contractual relationship between a company and self-employed at tax level. Only physical persons can employ a self employed which is not registered as a company or at least sole trader. You want to be "self employed" which works for Uber - fine, company house, LTD and proper accounting please. Nothing personal, just business - I am paying a 5 digit sum in taxes and NI per year and while I am happy for this to go to people who are in need, any ideas that it should pad scumbags like Uber or Delvieroo bottom lines is off the menu.

This will sort the whole Gig Economy/Sports Direct situation overnight.

(*)Time to get on "write to them" and send a Christmas card to my MP on this subject I guess

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Chainmail tires re-invent the wheel to get future NASA rovers rolling

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So how do you heat it?

The "shape recovery" magic property of of titanium alloys needs heat. The alloy has two temperatures:

1. Recovery range - if you warm it up to that temperature it recovers its "remembered" shape

2. Memorize range - that is the temperature you beat it into shape at.

Most alloys recover ~ 100 degres or thereabouts. So how do you heat the tyre to that temperature on Mars? Bonus points for doing it evenly so it does not warm up too much and too fast ending up remembering its current shape.

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DNS resolver 9.9.9.9 will check requests against IBM threat database

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Re: Silent single point of failure

Bollocks.

Concur.

I had 100+ machines answering single IPs when running DNS in an ISP 15+ years ago. Every single one of them was answering for primary authoritative, secondary authoritative, primary resolver and secondary resolver.

I would not trust IBM in their current state to implement anycast correctly though.

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Massive US military social media spying archive left wide open in AWS S3 buckets

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It's "борщ", not "борьщ"

I stand corrected. Too much time spent in other Slavic countries so my Russian spell-fu occasionally gets confused :)

As far as healthy... If you are going out in -20C to chop wood - yes. If you are eating it and then going back to a desk job - I beg to differ.

A properly done single portion of the Russian variety exceeds the daily dose of cholesterol and and calories intake for an adult male. The Ukrainian variety is outright lethal unless you have grown up with it so your stomach can digest stuff like that.

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It depends on which side you want to win. Me, I'm sticking with the obese cheeseburger eaters because *no ne* of value likes borscht.

+1 for the борьщ reference. Valid point.

I shudder at the the thought while admiring the metabolism of anyone capable of digesting a real one - the one where you stick a spoon and it stays vertical for at least half a minute before starting to slowly tilt to one side. Compared to borsht cheeseburgers and Mountain Due are diet food.

By the way, if you think Russian borsht is horrid, wait until you try the Ukrainian take on it (Ukrainian cusine is essentially Russian, but with a double dose of cholesterol). Unfortunately we did not take this one into account when taking sides (maybe we should have).

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Why Boston Dynamics' backflipping borg shouldn't scare you

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Re: That is the question...

Fixed it for you: Everyone knows only Cylons can make YOU toast.

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Lloyds' Avios Reward credit cardholders report fraudulent activity

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Blah Blah Blah

Our dedicated Fraud Operations team are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist any customers impacted by fraud.

What a wonderful way to produce ZERO infromation and ZERO customer confidence in whole 3 paragraph. That clearly competes for the "most vacuous and meaningless PR statement of the year" award.

Why on earth would you use a middleman instead of going directly to Amex (+/-) BA is beyond me.

There is no need to get that card from Lloyds - you can get it directly.

But... You never know... Every train has its customers and every fraud has its marks.

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The Reg parts ways with imagineer and thought pathfinder Steve Bong

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Re: You idiots!

Expect a writ from Moscow, probably with some sexual harassment allegations thrown in for good measure :-(

That... May... Be... A very interesting organizational structure of the Human Remains department...

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Kaspersky: Clumsy NSA leak snoop's PC was packed with malware

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Re: What's implausible ...

Cease being surprised.^2

USA govt has gone a bit too far down the road of privatization. Have a look at all recent incidents and read them in detail from this perspective - starting from Snowden, going through this one and finishing with the Angst In Her Pants lady.

ALL CONTRACTORS.

More than half of the agencies workload especially in the infosec and development area is subcontracted and at least some of them definitely cut corners to increase margins.

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Re: Cheapskates?

Paid by the hour contractor. That much is also known - the guy was not on permanent staff.

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It also shines light on just how much would an antivirus package ex-filtrate if it decides that something is potential malware.

While the goal is "for the greater good", the functionality and capability does not go well with operating it on machines which contain classified data.

This is applicable to ALL modern commercial antivirus packages and doubly so to the free ones (AV vendors use the free versions as an early warning/capture net).

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Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

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Re: No car tax?

All speed averaging cameras are capable of dumping ANPR info for this purpose. All of London low emission zone cameras can do it too. Same for the congestion charge. Same for parking charges. Same for...

Not doing so is a waste of public money - in most cases we f*** paid for the bloody things to be put up. In the cases where they are private (ANPR at parking entrances and exists) the police is perfectly entitled to ask for a nicely formatted dump once a month.

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It's artificial! It's intelligent! It's in my home! And it's gone bonkers!

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Applause

I wish I could +1 articles.

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Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

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Re: Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

Seats one. Where does the lovely Mrs. jake sit?

I just realized - the bloody thing has no left-right wheel drive bias. There is a LOT of truckers in Europe which will be very interested in that.

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And the million-miles thing? Yeah, I don't think so.

There is no technical reason for everything except the battery to last much more than a million miles. That is the long term killer advantage of properly done electric and properly not hybrid (Not Pri(ck)us abominations). The wear, tear and servicables are an order of magnitude less than on a normal internal combustion.

Now the battery lasting 1M - different story. I have to see that to believe that.

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Re: Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

Finally, only a 500 mile round trip on a "tankfull"? Total show stopper.

Not in some other places (not California). That is what you are ALLOWED to do with one driver in 24h in order not to endanger the others. 500 miles at 55mph is 9h. If you are caught driving more than 10h per day in this country (based on your tachograph reading) you can kiss your class A goodbye. Straight away.

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Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds

I would not want to be the first driver to run out of electrons a few miles from a charger because they'd used too much power taking off from traffic lights which can be almost every block in US cities.

Ever heard of regenerative breaking? The biggest difference between a leccy and an a gasoline vehicle is that a leccy vehicle recoups >60% of the stop/stop cycle.

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Interesting

If there are chargers at truck service areas, truck is a good candidate for electric. It has a pre-defined range which is ~ 500 miles per day. 60 miles per hour (speed limiter), mandatory limits per day and mandatory rest periods which end up with ~ 500 miles per day with one driver.

Finally proper aerodynamics on a truck though. Applause. It is about time someone built something that does not look like (and has the air resistance) of a brick privy.

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Fake news ‘as a service’ booming among cybercrooks

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Old News

Fake news as a service boomed during the referendum and really became mainstream during US election. There were whole factories in some really interesting places like f.e. rural Macedonia producing stories and publishing them.

It has been a mainstream "as a service" operation for several years now. This report is way out of date.

There is an interesting corollary to the fact that it is mainstream - this means that you can no longer eliminate election skew by an external actor(*). Stuff comes from nowhere, made-to-measure and built on a contract. Even if you ban one source, the next one will be published via a different one. So eliminating troll factories as attempted at the moment is actually counterproductive - it is better to deal with enemies you know then surprise attacks coming out of nowhere.

I will not call it interference as it is something which has been done since humans came up with the election concept. Spreading rumours to influence elections is a millennia old sport. The difference is the scale, speed and cost reduction.

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Prosecute driverless car devs for software snafus, say Brit cyclists

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Re: Hmm

f cyclist on a country lane with no street lighting, in the dark .

Could be worse. Could have no lights, dark clothing and drunk and zig-zagging across the whole road. I was unfortunate to have to try avoiding those twice in the last year. The second was so shitfaced that he fell of the bike in front of me.

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Re: While were at it....

you can be damn sure that I would claim on the insurance for the damage

Sure you will not. The cost of the damage to a bicycle in an average scrape with a car is significantly LESS than the excess on any insurance policy I know. I have been literally run over by a classic case of "woman driving off in cold weather" and the only damage to the bicycle was a write-off wheel worth 30 quid (*). That is less than the excess on my credit card insurance for crying out loud.

If you have more damage to the bicycle, you are probably in hospital as well and we are looking at an "insurance situation as we know it".

That is different from the cost to the car where a single item of bodyshop work is PAST the excess level. So frankly, if the cyclists are insured, the only people to benefit will be the drivers.

That may not be such a bad thing after all. Will make some people cycle more sanely.

Her husband actually showed up with a new wheel at my house the next day and tried to explain me that I am full of it and he cleaned the ice off her car. It took 30 seconds to show him that this does not help with the demisting and his wife was driving with a 30cm by 30cm visibility cleared of fog on the inside off the windshield. At which point he realized that they are lucky I did not press on the case and left.

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Re: RE: GOT AWAY WITH IT

He got away with it in as much as he is now serving an 18 month sentence, yes.

A driver who deliberately removed his brakes and went on the road to kill a pedestrian by driving like a nutter would have been given up to 15 years, The more common number in a case where the modifications to the vehicle have been deliberate is ~ 7 years. He got only a year and a half.

Do I need to say more?

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Re: Fair enough, but...

We also need legislation to make the (small number) of nutter cyclist

Absolutely. I wish I could give you +10.

I cycle and maintain the cycles for the family where everyone cycles. Some of us clock > 4k per year cycling in an urban environment. As a responsible cyclist I would like to sign under this, despite knowing that it is a very tough one in the UK. Just to be clear - I also drive (clocking > 18k in a some years).

UK has no identity document requirement, so the only option the police has it to impound the cycle and/or arrest the person on the spot for the worst cases. I remember when they used to do the former (I have never seen them do the latter). Nowdays - they cannot be arsed. As some other people noted - the legislation is mostly there, just nobody can be bothered to enforce it.

There are plenty of people who deserve being arrested and/or having their precious >400£ bicycles put into a garbage press in front of them too. I see anything between 2 and 5 idiots per mile cycled who jump red lights, bunny hop in front of cars, have no lights while wearing dark clothing during the hours of darkness, ignore priority at roundabouts and worst of all have no brakes (the f*** fixie riders).

As far as the legislation - all for it. The case when a woman got killed in broad daylight by a cyclist on a fixie without brakes and he GOT AWAY WITH IT with only 19th century legislation being applicable comes to mind. Cycling dangerously and cycling on a not road-worthy bicycle should be punishable offences. Same as it is for driving and cars.

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Belgian court says Skype must provide interception facilities

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discovered that a weblink in Skype messaging gets visited in under 10 seconds

That is normal as the new Skype attempts to generate a inline preview. All the other usual suspects do it too.

Now, what else do they do with this information as well as how they relate it to you personally and how do they map it onto advertising are a different story.

This is one of the many reasons why MSFT killed the p2p early skype protocol. It was observing how F***book, Google, etc are correlating messaging with web views in a way usable for printing money and it could not print money the same way. From that point on the days of p2p skype were numbered.

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Is Belgium generally known for being anti-cryptography?

Not really.

The case is not about cryptography. It is about running a communications service and does it constitute a telecom operation as defined in law. A telecom operator in nearly all countries must provide lawful intercept, usually based on court order. The side effect of this is that you are not allowed to run a completely opaque service as an operator. Users can run it. Companies can supply software to them to do so. Telcos and Service operators cannot.

In any case - it is old news as far as MSFT is concerned as their service is now cloud-centric and with no end-to-end encryption. So while they probably could not provide intercept on the old Skype protocol, they have no issues doing it today.

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Yes, I took Putin's roubles to undermine Western democracy. This is my story

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Re: I don't get it?

You must be new here.

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US govt's 'foreign' spy program that can snoop on Americans at home. Sure, let's reauth that...

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candidate X's position on section 702 would leave the US open to terrorist attack, Senator Y supports keeping Americans safe"

Which is one of the reasons why most of Europe (not counting UK here as it has no concept of written constitution) have the right to privacy of correspondence as a constitutional right. The ones that do not (once again except UK) have a law to that effect. The chapter 23.2 from the RF constitution I quoted earlier is a cut-n-paste+translate from the German one (if memory serves me right).

USA has NO right to privacy of correspondence period. Neither in law, nor in constitution. There is a patchwork of precedent derived from litigating correspondence related cases on 4th amendment grounds, but they do not make up a law. As a result, using 9/11 as a precedent Mr Shrub and Co have successfully pushed into production a system which would make Stazi proud (*).

(*)No comment on UK. It is pointless to comment when a country is competing with Saudi Arabia to be the last country in the world to have a written constitution and the concept of fundamental rights.

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Russian for section 702 shitshow is

Closes to Section 702 shitshow is: http://constrf.ru/razdel-1/glava-2/st-23-krf

Section 2 to be more exact: Quoting:

Статья 23 Конституции РФ

1. Каждый имеет право на неприкосновенность частной жизни, личную и семейную тайну, защиту своей чести и доброго имени.

2. Каждый имеет право на тайну переписки, телефонных переговоров, почтовых, телеграфных и иных сообщений. Ограничение этого права допускается только на основании судебного решения.

Translation of section 2:

Everyone has the right to secrecy of his correspondence, telephone conversations, mail, telegraph or any other means of communications. This right may be restricted only by a court decision.

I believe the American equivalent is the second amendment - everyone has the right to bare guns.

Matter of life priorities: Guns GOOOOOOD, tits bad, Guns GOOOOOD, privacy bad. Sharing is caring you know. Always share everything with BIG BROTHER too.

I know, I should put some SARCASM tags, but cannot be arsed to.

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Intel drags Xeon Phi Knights Hill chips out back... two shots heard

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2+2=?

Interesting. This coincides with Intel poaching the AMD GPU head.

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Q: Why are you running in the office? A: This is my password for El Reg

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Good excuse

Sorry, boss, I cannot log in onto my work PC. Got a sprain from playing basketball yesterday and the system no longer recognizes me.

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Coming live to a warzone near you: Army Truck Driver for Xbox!

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Re: Second hand sources?

One more thing I missed in the article.

The range of any British Artillery is under 25km - both the AS90 and the Challenger cannot throw anywhere near the range of the ancient 1950-es BM21 if it is firing modern ammunition - it is 45km. The newer ones - Tornado and Whirlwind throw to 100+.

It will take not artillery - it will take rockets and the Royal Artillery has in total as many launchers as one Russian or Chinese artillery regiment. Old ones too. Only the yanks, Turks and Greeks in Nato have the upgrades to throw to 140km and beyond. Royal Artillery does not, so if (god forbid) the UK army will ever meet an opponent armed with these it will need to rely on friendly air support (F35, cough, cough, sputter, cough, cough, sputter) instead.

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Re: Second hand sources?

Whole thing reads like lots of bull which is somewhat away from reality.

1. The Russian Army have long sold off and disposed off BM21 Grad described in the article which also does not have some of the capabilities described. BM21 is not in active service in the Russian army any more. This differs from Ukraine, Donbass rebels and everyone around them (Armenia, Azeri, etc) who still use them. BM21 is a war crime weapon by modern standards - it wipes out indiscriminately whole areas and is used predominantly against civilian targets (some footage of how it is done by Ukraine can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYu73JKDUZw . And here is the result: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcc-cgWpU0Y - hospitals, firestations and other "military targets". Worthy of our other sponsored darlings the Taleban.

2. The Russians are now at: Tornado-G (which can be mistaken for Grad as it uses the same caliber) and Whirlwind (Смерч) - 2 generations after that. The main weapon deployed by both is not thermobaric (though they have that in the arsenal). The main weapon is cassettes with guided individual elements each of which can take out nearly any armoured vehicle or tank presently in use (it attacks from top).

3. The article missed the BIGGEST difference in Russian drone deployment scenarios compared to NATO and the biggest danger. Russian drones can be launched as a munition by the actual multiple rocket launcher. As a result, instead of a slow propeller driven spotter drone (as used by NATO) which can be picked up by radar from 30-40 kms out and taken out early on by a suitable AAA system there is a rocket munition which traverses the distance between the battery and the approximate target area in less than a minute. It reports within a minute tops, the targets are programmed and the battery opens up. Then it gets really ugly. The range is up to 100km for both systems presently in use (instead of under 30km for Grad). Presently, NATO forces have little or no defence against anything like this.

4. If stuff out of point "3" above was used anywhere around Crimea or Donbass we would have known about it. As the systems in question are _NOT_ inside Ukraine and some of the munitions (especially the drone one) have not been exported it would have signified irrefutable evidence of Russian involvement. It would have been all over the press (and there would have been much more dead than 2 battalions).

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Amazon to make multiple Lord of the Rings prequel TV series

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Low(er) budget is not necessarily bad

The significantly low(er) budget Dune miniseries done by the sci-fi channel are light years ahead of the 1984 David Lynch idiocy which had an order of magnitude higher budget. Similarly, a season of Babylon5, Stargate, etc was created on a fraction of the money used on a StarTrek Deep Space 9 or Star Trek NG per-season budget. Huge Budget does not necessarily make a good movie. Rogue one had only 3 quarters of the budget used by The Force Awakens delivering a significantly better film in the process.

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