* Posts by Suricou Raven

1501 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Surprise! NSA's first ever 'transparency' 'report' is anything but

Suricou Raven
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Re: Its Newspeak, the language of today...

Do it right! Newspeak grammar places adjective before noun. It's 'thoughtcrime' not 'crimethought.' The word is used several times in the novel, as well as appearing as an example of word construction in the appendix.

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Maplin Electronics sold for £85m to Rutland Partners

Suricou Raven
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Maplin?

They used to sell components, didn't they?

The last time I went in a Maplin store was for an urgently needed fiber cable - just your basic ST-ST. The staff had no idea what one was, and they didn't keep any in stock. Website only, they said.

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US Supremes just blew Aereo out of the water

Suricou Raven
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Re: bad news

Scalia probably still thinks televisions come with a dial to find the channel.

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EU copyright chief: We could SMASH these infinite copyright contracts... just wait

Suricou Raven
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The lending thing makes sense.

The purpose of the EU in most areas is unification of markets. They just want to prevent a situation where a book is published in one EU member state but not legally available in another. A lending exception would help a little here.

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Fearful of the drone-filled skies? Get some protection

Suricou Raven
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Re: Try this then

BBs would just glance off. What you need is streamer. Just some string tied to a rock to give it some mass - it'll tangle in the props.

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Mellanox gives InfiniBand a 5 BILLION PACKET/sec cloud dose

Suricou Raven
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Re: Mighty Speedy!!

No, we don't.

That's what the RDMA is for. It reduces CPU usage greatly by allowing the network itsself to take over much of the internal shunting of bits around in RAM from application to kernel and back.

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Barack Obama was almost eaten by a robot giraffe

Suricou Raven
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Just the prototype

It just needs some miniaturization work to make Llamatron.

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FCC to spend $2 BEEELLION to install Wi-Fi in US schools

Suricou Raven
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I see where this is going.

I picture many lobbyists lined up at the FCC, all explaining how important it is for the government to buy their products to best benefit the children and hinting at cushy private sector jobs. I've no doubt a big chunk of the money will go to buying all those schools iPads to use with their new internet access.

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Bankers bid to use offshore temp techies

Suricou Raven
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Re: This is actually a good thing.

Or you can get some trained monkeys fresh out of uni to handle the day-to-day operations in your national offices. If something goes wrong that the monkeys can't handle, you just fly one of your very small team of consultants over to fix it.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Er, I don't see anything wrong with it

It's not a problem for what it does directly, but for the consequences of what it does. It allows for increased international competition in the labor market. That's great for employers, and good for their customers too as some of the savings will be passed on to them. It's not good for employees, as it contributes to the 'race to the bottom' regulatory scenario. If country A (Say, the UK, or America) requires things like maternity/paternity leave, minimal annual leave days, sick pay, worker compensation for injury sustained at work, pension contributions and so on then employers will be able to simply not hire in A, and instead hire someone from country B where none of that is an issue and they are free to overwork their employees and toss them aside when finished with. This in turn means that country A has to lower their standards of worker protection to remain competative, because an exploited worker is still more productive than an unemployed non-worker.

There's always been a tension between employers and labor, but increasing globalisation tilts things a lot further towards the employer's favor. There are similar concerns about the secretive TPP treaty allowing businesses to be more internationally mobile, as it would make it much easier for them to shop around for the cheapest, most exploitable labor.

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Congress passes crackdown on NSA surveillance

Suricou Raven
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Re: A *very* small step on a very long road.

9/11 did a lot more damage to the national ego than it actually did to the country.

In terms of death toll, the 9/11 attack killed roughly as many people as die in road accidents every month in the US. Think about that: Every month, the US is hit by another 9/11 in the form of avoidable accidents. No-one cares. It's hard to see how terrorists could out-do 9/11 unless they managed to get their hands on a nuclear bomb somehow.

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Mobe battery flat? These ELECTRIC PANTS will pump things up

Suricou Raven
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How do you wash them?

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Oz trade minister: TPP will happen in 2015

Suricou Raven
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The TPP is about something-or-other. Hard to say what exactly that may be, as it's all secret!

The leaks reveal that it's largely about eliminating tarrifs and streamlining customs procedures between members to reduce the cost of international trade. There is also some meddling in domestic politics (It restricts the size of state-owned enterprises, part of the US's long battle against the evil commies). The contriversial parts are the intellectual property reforms. These involve shifting much of the burden of enforcement onto ISPs - requiring they block infringing websites without all that hassle of a court order, or else become liable for the infringement themselves. It appears to also broaden the scope that can be covered by patents (I'm not sure if it actually requires members recognise software patents, most of the concern is about drugs) and prohibits members from passing crisis-exemptions to allow manufacture of cheap generic drugs in the event of a public health crisis.

A lot of it is likely to duplicate the SOPA law that didn't pass in the US. Thus the secrecy. There was enough public outrage against SOPA to defeat it, so this time the backers have learned from the experience and will make sure the content of the treaty doesn't become publicly known until *after* it's been ratified. The public cannot be outraged about that they do not know about.

The Worker's Rights issue, I think - I'm not at all sure about this - relates to TPP making it a lot less risky and a lot cheaper to outsource internationally. It doesn't directly lower standards, but rather could trigger an international 'race to the bottom' to bring wages down. Good for the manufacturers and consumers, but not good for the employees, who will see even more of their jobs disappear and relocate to Vietnam where wages are even cheaper than China, unions are illegal and health-and-safely law is a distant dream. Currently outsourcing is limited by the expense of customs, tarrifs, shipping and regulation. TPP does away with a lot of that, and allows companies to very easily simply shift their operations to wherever the costs are lowest - which means whichever country has the least worker protection is going to attract industry to exploit that, and the only way to retain jobs is do do away with things like unions and workers' rights that make places like Vietnam look so attractive in comparison to employers.

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Tor is '90 per cent of the net' claims City of London Police Commish – and he's dead wrong

Suricou Raven
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Re: Maybe...

Met != CoLP.

The Met is just your basic police force, for the capital. They are mostly concerned with 'the usual' - burgleries, muggings, car theft, the occasional murder. The expected.

CoLP are a police force for The City, that tiny bit in the middle of London that runs a good chunk of the global economy. They don't do street crime much. Their main focus is on financial and business crime - fraud of various types, insider trading, the crimes that happen when you cram lots of financial businesses together. They are sometimes criticised for having a rather too-close relationship with business (which supplies much of their funding), which goes some way to explain the substantial resources they devote to enforcing copyright law and seizing counterfeit goods. CoLP management considers copyright infringement and the manufacture/import of counterfeit goods to be economic crimes, and thus an area that the CoLP should be focusing on.

You still might see a CoLP officer on the streets if you're in the City, but never outside. You can tell them from the Met by their hats: Met have the famous blue chequer pattern. CoLP have the same pattern, but in red.

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DANGER MOUSE is back ... and he isn't half a GLASSHOLE

Suricou Raven
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I predict suck. DM was a product of the time - a remake just wouldn't be the same. They'll take it too seriously.

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YouTube will nuke indie music videos in DAYS, says Google exec

Suricou Raven
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Don't forget 'teenage male singing generic love song about unnamed girl.'

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Yes. Facebook will KNOW you've been browsing for smut

Suricou Raven
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Re: Where is Diaspora?

Even if it was working and perfect in every way, it wouldn't work. Social networking operates on positive feedback - people use a network because they have friends there.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: will ignore the do-not-track mechanism in browsers including Internet Explorer

Host.txt is old - this house has six laptops, three tablets, four phones and a desktop, so using a hosts file on them all would be impractical. I just have a transparent proxy on the router computer which handles the blocking.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: So...

They can still gather plenty of data bassively. Every time you see a like button, it's being served from Facebook - they know where you are. Even if you disable cookies, they probably use a combination of IP and browser fingerprint.

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Suricou Raven
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So...

How do we go about feeding it bad data? Some sort of browser plugin?

I don't trust them to respect an opt-out.

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'Hashtag' added to the OED – but # isn't a hash, pound, nor number sign

Suricou Raven
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I work with children. It's very common to hear them now talk about the 'hashtag key.' I think most of them had never had reason to think of the symbol until twitter repurposed it.

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US Marshals seek buyer for Silk Road's Bitcoin

Suricou Raven
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Doing it wrong.

Selling them all off at once means few people could afford to participate, resulting in them getting a below-optimal price.

A better approach would be to break them into many auctions of maybe a hundred coins each.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Um, what?

With ease. Simply delete the wallet file.

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Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant cancelled

Suricou Raven
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Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

Methane doesn't last long in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide hangs around until a plant gets rid of it. CO2 is actually a very weak greenhouse gas, it just makes up for that by sheer quantity and persistence.

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Panasas: Avoid lengthy RAID re-builds - use our dodgy-file tart-up tech

Suricou Raven
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HE6 drives?

Have you seen the price of those things?

For some enterprise users, money seems to be no object.

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Frikkin' laser beams on its head: Formlabs announces Form 1+

Suricou Raven
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Re: It's nice, but one missing feature.

Well, I'm sold. But I'll hold off until the price falls - I'm having quite enough fun with my cheap-but-effective K8200. The print quality isn't the best, but it'll do.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: erm it's all well and good but...

No, but the FDM printers can. Working with exotic materials is rather fiddly, but people have managed to get them printing sugar paste. Load one up with cake mix and put a hot air gun on the end and it should be doable.

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Suricou Raven
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It's nice, but one missing feature.

Where are the cheap chinese knock-off refills?

A thing like this is a long-term investment. That means I'd want to see many manufacturers competing to provide the resin. This isn't just to drive down prices, but also an assurance that even of the manufacturer goes bankrupt in a few years or shuts down production of resin in order to drive people to a newer successor product there will still be a supply of refills.

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The Force of tax breaks brings Star Wars filming to Blighty

Suricou Raven
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Filmed in the UK for the tax breaks,

But mostly filmed in front of a green screen.

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Google's URL-hiding 'origin chip' is 'backburnered'

Suricou Raven
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Re: As if it'll work.

On further thought, it would actually work for case 1. Still leaves the problem of 2. though. And case 1 only works by exploiting user ignorance.

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Suricou Raven
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As if it'll work.

1. http://facebook.com:view.php@scummydomain.net/sucker.html.

2. Homoglyph attacks in IDN remain an unresolved issue anyway.

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Cheap, backwards-compatible PCIe 4.0 on track for 2015 2016

Suricou Raven
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Can we expect dirty patent fights?

Will this be one of those standards like DLNA where every member tries to include features that can only be implemented using patents they own?

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UK govt preps World War 2 energy rationing to keep the lights on

Suricou Raven
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Chuck it down an ocean trench or throw it down a deep hole and seal it off. The volume of waste is small enough that 'hide and forget' is a viable approach.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Let's get Fracking

Old is also strategically problematic. Oil comes from the middle east (they hate us) and Russia (They hate us). Gas comes from Russia (they hate us). Not a good thing to depend for energy upon countries which are slightly hostile now, and may be at open war in ten or fifty years.

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Massive news in the micro-world: a hexaquark particle

Suricou Raven
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Unstable.

10e-23 seconds? Cool fodder for the theorists to play with, though.

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DOCX disaster recovery: How I rescued my wife from XM-HELL

Suricou Raven
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Re: Unusual error

That thing has nothing to do with XML at all. It just extracts truncated ZIP files. When it comes to actually making some sense of the half-a-document you get from it, you're on your own! In many cases, even recovering nothing but the textual content of a document is still valuable.

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Suricou Raven
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Unusual error

By far the most common corruption I've found is in the form of truncation - people yanking out their USB sticks before the file is fully written. The ZIP container stores the index at the end of the file, so you can't even open it unless it's all there. After finding every so-called document and zip recovery utility quite useless, I just wrote my own one. It'll let you recover at least partial contents of the zip, hopefully including the document.xml from which raw, unformatted text can be easily extracted.

Then I just pass it back to the user and tell them to fix the layout and unmount properly next time.

https://birds-are-nice.me/programming/zipfilerecover.shtml - if anyone ever needs it.

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UK govt 'tearing up road laws' for Google's self-driving cars: The truth

Suricou Raven
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Chaos ahead

No matter what happens with the regulatory side, what about civil law? It's going to take a decade to work out the liabilities.

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Kim Dotcom: You give me proof of govt corruption in my case, I give you millions

Suricou Raven
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Re: UKIP ranter I expect

"What you have forgotten is that Hollywood studios generally do pay the people who do the work."

When they have to. They invented 'hollywood accounting.'

There's a reason you always see films reported as 'Grossed $X on a budget of $Y.' Because on paper, almost every film loses money. If there's no profit there's no corporation tax, and you can get away with lower royalty payments.

Avatar? Harry Potter? Star Wars (New, not sure about old)? All lost money, officially.

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Redmond is patching Windows 8 but NOT Windows 7, say security bods

Suricou Raven
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But wouldn't any software developed to use these functions then be unable to run on Windows 7? Perhaps that is Microsoft's real motivation. It will increase the amount of 'Windows 8 only' software developed.

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China puts Windows 8 on TV, screams: 'SECURITY, GET IT OUT OF HERE!'

Suricou Raven
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Re: Software piracy?

You assume it's commercial. They'd probably be quite willing to spend tax money on developing the software and giving it away free within China if doing to brought economic benefits greater than the development cost.

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Queen's Speech: Computer Misuse Act to be amended, tougher sentences planned

Suricou Raven
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I sense ambiguously worded laws on the way!

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Former Microsoftie becomes US ambassador, opts to swear in on KINDLE

Suricou Raven
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I expect to soon read an article somewhere saying that by not sweating on the bible is spitting on American values and another demonstration of liberal hate for Christ.

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How Bitcoin could become a super-sized Wayback Machine

Suricou Raven
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I read the paper. They haven't.

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Suricou Raven
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Familiar

This sounds a lot like Freenet, except with an ugly cryptocurrency thing bolted on.

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No spinning rust here: Supermicro's cold data fridge is FROZEN

Suricou Raven
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Re: No iron in hard disks

Tradition.

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Congressman pitches bill to disarm FCC in net neutrality warfare

Suricou Raven
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Degraded service, for a start, as it creates a perverse incentive. If ISP's 'regular' traffic is delivered too well, there's no reason any service provider would pay up for prioritisation. So it removes any incentive for the ISP to upgrade their infrastructure.

Think of it as the 'regular' and 'premium' sandwiches at a shop. There's a higher margin on the premium sandwiches, so the shop would rather sell those - but if the regulars are too tasty, who would pay extra for a premium? So the shop has to make sure the regular sandwiches are tasty, but not *too* tasty, so that anyone who can afford it will pay for the premium instead.

In broader terms, it also creates a barrier to entry that prevents innovation. The big sites and services that we have today could afford to pay up for priority class, but startups could not, placing them at a disadvantage.

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Congress divorces NIST and NSA

Suricou Raven
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We can trust some algorithms. The ones the NSA recormends to the US DoD and other important government agencies.

If the NSA could break them, then the NSA would know that China is probably well on the way to breaking them, and if the NSA knew that then they wouldn't be advising the rest of the US government to use them - especially the military side.

Of course, civilian implimentations of those algorithms may still contain deliberate insecurity and back doors.

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CERN: Build terabit networks or the Higgs gets it!

Suricou Raven
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“operate, in a high-radiation, high magnetic field environment, at bandwidths exceeding 100Gbit/s and without losing a single frame”

Sometimes, you've just got to put up with the fiber trailing across the room.

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Privacy International probes GCHQ's mouse fetish

Suricou Raven
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It's not that complicated.

GCHQ wanted to send a message. Their way to do that was to make their destruction as expensive and inconvenient as possible. They ordered the over-destruction simply to raise the bill for replacing it all and cause as much disruption to business as possible while new equipment was obtained.

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