* Posts by Adam 1

1888 posts • joined 7 May 2012

Five Eyes nations stare menacingly at tech biz and its encryption

Adam 1
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Don't worry. We've got Senator "metadata" Brandis to ensure that the public are protected from extra-territorial abuse of such a process.

CONTENT CAUTION: The linked transcript has been known to induce the following symptoms: crying, hysterical laughing, nausea, confusion, despair, anxiety, bewilderment, and total agreement with Walkley Award judgement criteria. Reader discretion is advised.

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Specsavers embraces Azure and AWS, recoils at Oracle's 'wow' factor

Adam 1
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Re: Subheading

Eye see what you did there.

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Lockheed, USAF hold breath as F-35 pilots report hypoxia

Adam 1
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Re: Is this part of...

And why not. I imagine the main limitations on performance are the meat bags inside who you need to keep alive. There is only so many G's of force that a pilot can survive, let alone function within. Plus they need air, water, waste disposal, ejection seats, parachutes etc.

I would have thought it more effective to have a swarm of hundreds or even thousands of drones if you are spending north of a hundred mill a pop.

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Donald Trumped: Comey says Prez is a liar – and admits he's a leaker

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> "Although Mr Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet"

Setting aside the interesting interpretation of today's events by one lawyer for a moment, is there any truth in that statement?

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Infosec guru Schneier: Govts WILL intervene to regulate Internet of Sh!t

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simple (in theory)

Specify that remotely exploitable vulnerabilities that could lead to data being exposed, devices being bricked, local networks being accessed, the device being reprogrammed, etc as being a "major fault", triggering consumer protection laws.

So when [iot vendor] sells [new and shiny] and then 6 months later fails to provide a security patch, products can be returned for a refund/repair/substitution. Actually this for mobile phones too please.

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Senator blows a fuse as US spies continue lying over spying program

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But terrorists! And the other monsters under your bed. We need more funding pronto.

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Russian hackers and Britney Spears in one story. Are you OK, Reg?

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Re: Hit me baby one more time?

> Turla espionage tool has repeatedly re-emerged since its discovery in 2014.

So if I'm understanding this correctly, they did it again?

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Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

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> So if the various Governments get together and come up with some scheme that makes it financially disadvantageous to offer these services then I'm sure all these "high minded" companies will abandon their principles and follow the money.

Here. Take a look of Product v2.0. Just like Product v1.8 but without all that privacy. Would Sir like to upgrade?

Maybe you are right that the 'WhatsApps' of this works saw the opportunity to be painted as the good guys in the fight against out of control mass surveillance. It doesn't matter. It is cheaper to provide end to end these days. We have seen this movie before. What happened when ABP introduced a new feature to let through some ads from marketers who agreed to their protection racket fees? Things like uBlock came along to do the exact same thing the old one did.

The signal protocol is public. The minute WhatsApp start using something inferior, they will stay to lose market share. First will be those techies who really care about privacy. Then the next time they get asked to install the new shiny ithing on behalf of a family member they will say "that used to be good but the new version is breaks your privacy, use this instead".

What is that bloody clunking noise. Sorry, gotta go. Someone left the stable door open again.

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Hotel guest goes broke after booking software gremlin makes her pay for strangers' rooms

Adam 1
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Re: ma1010 "Sounds like a lawsuit"

Geez a bunch of victim blaming going on here. Maybe their credit rating wasn't sufficient for a credit card. Maybe they don't want to pay fees. Who cares. They were still wronged and deserve reasonable compensation.

I had my visa debit card fraudulently used probably a decade ago. I was on a different continent and hemisphere to the shop claiming my purchase which made protesting the transaction much simpler, but I was still down a few hundred bucks for a week or so before the refund came through. The process is the same whether it's debit or credit. The difference with debit is that you are literally out of pocket until they sort it out. It is definitely a gotcha of debit cards.

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Do cops need a warrant to stalk you using your cellphone records? US Supremes to mull it over

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>> "My medical history is private."

> ...in an ideal world. This is not one of those.

I get where you're coming from, but privacy is an attribute of the information that is not lost but rather violated. The infamous icloud "hack"/"our passwords are crap" saw many private photos exposed to people that the subjects of those photos did not approve. They don't become non private just because someone dumps them on pastebin. The owner may no longer have a practical way of a asserting their right to privacy but that doesn't mean they don't have that right.

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Re: Location services isn't binary

> At least on iOS, you can turn it on or off individually for different apps.

You can do that on android marshmallow or newer. You can also install (on any android version) a fake GPS app and convince the app you are elsewhere. Quite handy for testing your geofencing software feature works whilst simultaneously showing the pointlessness of geofencing on a device you don't control.

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Adam 1
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I think you might be somewhat confused over the meaning of private. My medical history is private. That means that I have the right of control over how that information is used and to whom it can be shared. I might choose to share it with my doctor because I trust them* and I am comfortable that it is beneficial to me. I might permit my doctor to share that information with a specialist. I might permit the specialist to share a very small portion of that information with my employer to assert fitness to work. Add my health insurer or hospital or ..... As you can see, it is no longer a secret, but it is still private. There may even me some reason to share this information with apps on your smartphone. Healthcare claim apps, flappy birds, it doesn't make a difference whether you think the app has a reason to know. The question is about informed consent and control. No more no less. So if someone chooses to let Google track every time they are at home or work or school or the shops or a place for their bowel movements, as long as they are providing informed consent, who are you or I to tell them they can't. Sharing with that company may be unwise, but that doesn't mean they don't have the right to choose who to share their private information with.

*that is independent of whether that party is deserving of that trust.

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Adam 1
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> The police went to mobile phone operators and retrieved four months' worth of location data that showed Carpenter was near each of the locations when they were robbed (or, more accurately, his phone was).

And what about all the other customers whose location data was uncovered during this fishing exercise? Why do they not deserve protection against unreasonable searches? I like the guilty being caught and charged as much as the next guy, but there is good reason why we don't give law enforcement a free for all, why we establish limitations on their powers to search or compel data. Balancing the right to not be interfered with in your day to day life against the necessity of catching the bad guys is the very reason that we have things like warrants.

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Class clowns literally classless: Harvard axes meme-flinging morons

Adam 1
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I, for one, welcome our new Harvard University overlords.

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The nuclear launch button won't be pressed by a finger but by a bot

Adam 1
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Re: We've already had a nuclear war.

Nah, the trick is to be far enough away from ground zero that you don't get smote but near enough that you still get superpowers*

* I would offer credit except I can't remember who originally made that joke.

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Tech industry thumps Trump's rump over decision to leave Paris climate agreement

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Re: cripple your own economy

> So where, and at what cost, is the backup generation/storage for when the sun don't shine?

An absolutely legitimate question. I am not a fan of picking winners. Let the market offer solutions. Most likely some mix of household battery, grid battery, pumped storage, demand shifting, home energy efficiency improvements and gas peaking plants.

Let me ask you a simple question. Do you think that in the next decade, electric cars with the range of one of today's car will be available at similar prices to today's cars? I don't think that's a big stretch. I also don't think it is a stretch to imagine a 100KW/hr battery sitting the cars in every other garage. That battery would run my house for 3 days.

As for the developing world, they are largely not going to be rolling out the distribution networks required by coal. In the same way their telecommunications networks are much more mobile centric than the West, their power producers are also going to be distributed small micro generators rather than GW scale plants. It is just a more economical way to do it.

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Adam 1
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Re: cripple your own economy

Cancelling the subsidies. I'd go for that. Can we cancel the diesel fuel rebates for the mining sector while we are doing this "let's not cross subsidise industries"?

There is a tipping point where solar becomes cheaper than coal. That happens this year for many places, even if you make others subsidise the cost of your carbon through higher healthcare costs and general insurance risks.

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Trident nuke subs are hackable, thunders Wikipedia-based report

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Re: Boom

> So no, not really worried about a v boat being hacked by hippies with iPads.

Maybe not, but have you considered the risk of someone plugging in their laptop and typing in

UPLOAD TROJAN

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Crapness of WannaCrypt coding offers hope for ransomware victims

Adam 1
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I'll hedge my bets that even if it did nothing to read only files, the ransomware would still be effective in its goal of extracting payments.

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Boffins play with the world's most powerful X‑ray gun to shoot molecules

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Re: xenon atoms, iodomethane (CH3I) and iodobenzene (C6H5I) - Boring!

It forms Chuck Norris.

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Ransomware realities: In your normal life, strangers don't extort you. But here you are

Adam 1
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Re: Inevitable - erm no

@Paul Crawford

Not disagreeing on your broader point, but that wouldn't have stopped Wannacry and the real danger of ransomware is the user writeable stuff. If a zero day exploit from your local friendly TLA is used to install the malware, losing kernel32.dll is nothing an hour with the recovery DVD isn't going to fix. On the other hand, losing 2017SalesLeads.xlsx is going to be somewhat more awkward.

My view is that we need to use heuristic analysis on the shared folders to detect and limit the damage. For example, certain accounts have no business overwriting folder upon folder, and copy on write can be used to quarantine the suspicious activity. Furthermore, the structure of the most common file types can be checked for consistency. An xlsx file is simply a zipped folder of XML documents and stylesheets with an open specification. The server can validate this. Same with many other formats like jpg, MP4, etc. Where suspicious behaviour is observed, test a random sample of files for validity by the server itself and suspend the account if if fails.

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Plutus Payroll clients given hope pension payments will land

Adam 1
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is that how El Reg makes a tidy profit?

> “Superannuation” payments are made by Australian employers into retirement pension funds. The payments are compulsory and are made at a rate of nine per cent of an employee's salary.

Only paying Simon 9% on his super? Next investigation is what they're doing with your other 0.5%....

Also, it's not necessarily your whole salary with exclusions for overtimes and a few other things.

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Twice-crashed HPE SANs at Oz Tax Office built for speed, not strength, and turned off error reporting

Adam 1
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Re: Settlement?

Er, you mustn't be familiar with the recent history of Oz government IT systems.

Exclusive to el reg: We have the transcripts from the confidential negotiations....

Gov: You stuffed up big time. We will sue for $500 million in losses.

HPE: counter offer. We will pay you $1 and you can say it was our fault.

Gov: Even better. I'm hungry, who wants lunch?

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Network Time Protocol updated to spook-harden user comms

Adam 1
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Can we kill off monlist while we're at it? Why does the protocol need a way to forge a flood of UDP traffic to the IP address of choice from an unauthenticated user?

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UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

Adam 1
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Clearly the problem here is that the security services need much bigger haystacks...

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Emissions cheating detection shines light on black box code

Adam 1
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Re: Cheating?

If the regulations were two sentences long, you would be right. But pretty sure there are clauses that specify that the behaviour must be achievable in real world driving and not a special test mode (VW) and that any factors that might make the standard tests unrepresentative of normal behaviour are to be disclosed (FCJ).

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Adam 1
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Re: FCA case...

But but but rogue engineer. Like all multibillion dollar companies, we let our engineers have unfettered free reign over parts of the ECU that could see the whole fleet banned from sale in several of our largest markets.

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Adam 1
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Re: Mandate open source

For example at the moment it looks like VW's European non-USAian customers will get no meaningful compensation.

TFTFY

To be honest, if static analysis was as effective as implied in the article, our antivirus products would work much more effectively. All a rogue company would have to do is push through so many changes that trigger false positives in the analytics tools that the regulators would not be able to practically do their job.

The simpler solution here is to ban all sales of any make for 3 months plus the amount of time taken to repair defective vehicles already sold if caught.

Provide other manufacturers the ability to self report any past misdeeds with VW-esq penalties. Any new model caught playing similar games, or any existing model that hasn't been caught would trigger the 3 month+ ban.

Finally, rather than pay they own coffers when someone gets caught, set aside a large proportion (say 50%) as a bug bounty style payment to private researchers who discover and report cheat devices to the regulator.

Avoiding cheats is simply making compliance less costly than any benefit they would have had by cheating.

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Vegemite tries to hijack Qantas name-our-planes competition

Adam 1
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Re: The unfriendly skys?

Why would anyone want to see snakes on a plane?

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Bankrupt school ITT pleads 'don't let Microsoft wipe our cloud data!'

Adam 1
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Re: Once you send your data to the cloud

It is not Microsoft's data, but neither is Microsoft under any obligation to store it. If they still want that service, the administrator can approve payment of the invoice.

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Telecoms fail in UK takes down passport scanners in Australia

Adam 1
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Re: International data transfer?

> Interesting point about data going international though, were they trying to connect to GCHQ

Still. It's going to fall over less frequently than Telstra.

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Russian RATs bite Handbrake OSX download mirror

Adam 1
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Re: Yes...

The sorts of folk mentioned by insane reindeer are not who you want to be running commands starting with rm -rf. Just saying.

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Today's bonkers bug report: Microsoft Edge can't print numbers

Adam 1
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Re: PDF in a Browser?

I thought foxit was now wrapped in spyware installer crap. Haven't touched it for years now.

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Adam 1
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Re: And all the students that get stuck with Windows S!

... and all this time I've been thinking of United as a bunch of pricks for overbooking. Honest mistake of the passenger counts printed through Edge explains it.

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Adam 1
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Re: BWA Hahahahahahahhahhhahhahahahha

I'd upvote you twice but edge only lets me upvote you 42364326 time.

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Australian Taxation Office named as party preventing IT contractors being paid

Adam 1
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Re: I know who will have first dibs

> if the Oz Revenue Dept. felt they were owed something by Plutus it would follow this same pecking order

I guess it depends on whether the government feels the political heat enough to try and leave some scraps on the table for the state coffers in lieu of having no palatable alternative gst carve up.

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Let's go live to the Uber-Waymo legal war – and see what's happening

Adam 1
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Re: $250 million

Free biro? Luxury! All my work biros seem to get downloaded from my desk by person's anonymous and unauthorised. Those and bloody HDMI cables from the projector. There's got to be a black market for biros and projector cables.

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Don't click that Google Docs link! Gmail hijack mail spreads like wildfire

Adam 1
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Boffins gently wake the Large Hadron Collider from annual hibernation

Adam 1
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Re: Winter upgrade boosted 'inverse femtobarns'

I agree we need a better unit for density. Inverse Knights would seem an excellent candidate.

Make it so El Reg!

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What is this bullsh*t, Google? Nexus phones starved of security fixes after just three years

Adam 1
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Re: Happy

I recently upgraded from a nexus 5. It's power button had broken and got stuck in a reboot loop (yes, known issue). So I installed an app to wake up the phone with the volume button instead so I could still use it. Then the microphone stopped working (yes, also known issue). So I got myself a cheap Bluetooth headset so I could still use it. Then the battery dropped so low that I couldn't be more than an hour or so without a charge. It finally died after replacing the battery.

I didn't buy a Google phone because I don't need a 1300AUD telephone.

Your comment may be correct for the nexus but I'm afraid it is not with the pixel. Unless by fraction you are considering numbers greater than one.

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Adam 1
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3 years is ok, but ....

It has to be from date of purchase, not first release. If you are selling these things still in 2016 then you should be still patching them to 2019, even if a particular phone was purchased in 2013.

Windows Vista (released 2006) only ended security patch support a few weeks ago. (And even then you can still wave about a large wad of cash and get updates). Why can't phone makers do the same? If it's a cost thing, I would have paid an additional $100 for "guaranteed monthly security patches for 5 years".

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KickassTorrents kicked out again, this time by Australia

Adam 1
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4096 can be expressed as 8.8.8.8

Just pointing out some interesting math.

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iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

Adam 1
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Re: Dear Apple.

> You were at least a contender in my list of potential computer vendors for my next one

I don't mean to sound rude, but as one who considers multiple potential vendors, you don't strike me as their target market.

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Alaska dentist 'pulled out patient's tooth while riding a hoverboard'

Adam 1
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enough jokes

This alleged act was totally reckless. The hover board could have caught fire. What next? Appointment reminders on a note 7?

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Drunk user blow-dried laptop after dog lifted its leg over the keyboard

Adam 1
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Re: Good on Jim

> but I don't like coffee

A BOFH who has never had his coffee. Ouch!

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Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

Adam 1
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What did <blink>Geocities</blink> ever do to you?

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Adam 1
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Re: "People don't hate adverts"

> and yesterday it were dresses

Sorry bout that Earl. We just assumed you were a lumberjack.

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Switch on your smartphone camera and look how fertile I am

Adam 1
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> a device that is essentially a glorified microscope optics attachment for a smartphone is not exactly a new idea and has not been for the better part of a decade probably.

Absolutely correct. Such an attachable microscope lens is definitely covered under prior art. There is, however, one novel part of this invention which you have missed but any of the highly trained USPTO officers​ could have recognised. This is not just any attachable microscope lens, but rather an attachable microscope lens on a mobile device. Don't beat yourself up though. Sometimes the novelty of an invention is hard for a lay person to recognise.

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Back to the future: Honda's new electric car can go an incredible 80 miles!

Adam 1
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Re: Hydrogen fuel cells

Hydrogen is not a fuel in the same sense as petroleum or diesel. There aren't any special rocks you can whack a drill into and slurp it out. Instead you find the atoms attached in other molecules. You then need to apply some energy to those molecules to break the bonds. When you burn that hydrogen in a fuel cell, you get some of that energy back. In other words, it is closer to a battery. You consume some energy to charge it up (create the H2) then consume it in your motor.

And whilst you can do it from water, it is probably​ cheaper at scale to start with natural gas. There are two big problems with using natural gas for that. Firstly, it is far more energy efficient to just burn the gas itself. Secondly the waste CO2 kind of misses the point of replacing the internal combustion engine. That plus the fact it isn't renewable, that hydrogen is very hard to store, that it's energy density is rubbish and so requires liquefication (hugely energy intensive) and is way more expensive means it will never be a better fit in cars than batteries. It's only advantage over batteries is that you can get 300-500km range in a few minutes. There are other use cases where fuel cells do make sense, but not here.

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Prisoners built two PCs from parts, hid them in ceiling, connected to the state's network and did cybershenanigans

Adam 1
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Re: The Shawshank Connection

Edward SCSIhands

The FireWire

The Li Ion King

The Switch

The Terminal

Frozen

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