* Posts by Rol

793 posts • joined 24 Jan 2013


Amazon meets the incredible SHRINKING UK taxman


Tax is optional!

A brilliant observation by David Mitchell, a British comedian, pointed out how the UK tax system is based on an obfuscated set of rules that increasingly punish the decent and honest.

Seeing as it is within the capabilities of the rich to decide exactly how much or how little tax they pay, it boils down to how morally centred you are.

Far from encouraging an honest and civilly minded population, it rewards the most deceitful and morally corrupt.

It's about time our tax laws were devised by those of us who haven't got a plethora of interest to protect.


Heir to SMS finally excites carriers, by making Google grovel


Re: SMS vs random new system

If only your observations, of how the current spam system has failed the world, were implemented.

In reality the very failings that everyone wants fixing, will never get fixed, as they generate billions of dollars for businesses and carriers.

And after a lengthy period of holding my friends hand as he detoxed his iphone, which his ex had managed to hack with ease, using an off the shelf app. - I'm predicting a surge in dumb phone ownership. within months of this new messaging protocol coming into use. It's going to be a slavering beast from hell, prettily dressed up as the new shiny thing you must have.

Once upon a time, it was envisaged that humanitie's end would come in one sudden impact, be it a space rock or lots of little impacts from the nuclear arsenals of the world, but it's becoming clear, the end of humanity is arriving in small incremental packets of loathsome botheration.


BOFH: But I did log in to the portal, Dave


"Hello. You're through to IT Support Support. How may I help you?"

"Err... IT Support Support?"

"Yes, we help you navigate your IT support system"

"So you're not IT Support?"

"Correct. We're not"

"Err.. I think I've dialled the wrong number"

"No hold on there sir, if you have an IT issue then we're the people to talk to"

"But you're not IT support"

"I'll explain. IT support has reached the point where dealing with them has become counter-productive. In many cases, simply standing on your desk and screaming for help with, whatever irks you, would illicit a more useful and immediate fix. We're that knight in shining armour"

"..but you have no knowledge of our systems"

"I beg to differ. Due to outsourcing, the UK has approximately half a million ex IT support workers, currently employed as barristas, litter pickers and dog walkers. Between them they hold the collective knowledge of every byte of software that has ever been written and they have worked for every IT firm you are ever likely to deal with. We are all on 24 hour call, and so we are best placed to fix anything, or tell you how best to get your company's IT support to jump to attention and rain assistance upon you like they really gave damn"

"I see. That's great"

"So...How can I help you?"

"Yes. Well my screen's upside down"

"That's an easy fix sir. Do you have a male colleague working next to you? Perhaps one that is sat there trying to hold back a fit of laughter?"

"Err yes there is. How do you know these things?"

"Years of experience sir. Now I can tell you how to fix this very easily, but I'd rather give you a more permanent fix. Repeat these words loudly enough for the smirking jerk next to you to hear - 'interfering with another users computer is a sackable offence, but we'll overlook it on this occasion if they immediately undo their prank' "


"Hello sir. Did it work?"

"Well yes it bloody well did. They dived over lickety split and did a ctrl-alt-arrow and it's back to normal. Thank you"

"Not a problem sir....One Americano coming up"


"My apologies, a customer has just ordered a coffee"

"Are you serious?"

"You've seen Brazil. Well I'm just one of the many Harry Tuttles of the IT world, helping to keep the wheels from falling off of the careering supermarket trolley that your superiors bought into because it was the cheapest"


Typical cynical Brits: Broadband speeds up, satisfaction goes down


I don't believe the gripe with ISP's is down to the service.

I'm with Virgin and am highly satisfied with my connection. My gripe is the price and the lengths they will go to, to up that price.

All my account information is held on their servers, but do they email me to say the contract is nearing its end? No! Their idea of informing me the contract has lapsed is the usual bill, but with a demand for more money.

Negotiating a new contract really does take you into a world of misery, that often as not requires a revisit a month later when you realise the new contract has not been actioned, and is now being denied it was ever agreed.

After nine years of loyalty, and paying the bill on time, I would have hoped the whole fiasco of brinkmanship negotiating would have ceased ,and I was automatically offered their best deal.


Go large!!!

Problem is, I don't want to go large. I'm happy where I am.

My ISP, seemingly every year offers me a free upgrade to my bandwidth, and without fail puts up the price about a month after.

I used to pay less than £19 for broadband and a few incremental "free" upgrades later I'm paying £29

I now refuse all free stuff from them and have begged them to put me back on 10Mb, which is still more than I need.


Re: Virgin Media...

Yeah, I noticed that too, and it's not just a VM thing as several companies don't offer up their contact details, even when logged into their sites.

Best bet is to type into your search bar (Google / whatever)... Contact virgin media.

In Google the top highlighted response is the answer you are after.


Who needs NAND when rust never sleeps? Seagate dines out on nearline disk drive boom


Hexadecimal. Write on!

The tech necessary to drag out tiny variations in the magnetism of a disc has been around some time. It is commonly used to recover data that has been overwritten and clearly demonstrates how a single bit of data on a hard disc can have more than just the two values of one and zero.

Now consider a hard drive with a second read head. In write mode, it reads ahead of the read/write head supplying the precise orientation of each bit in the write heads path, so that the power can be specifically tailored to turn that minuscule section of the disc from its current value to one that can be identified on a scale of zero to seven, or nine, or maybe even 15, so we could write hexadecimal code directly to the drive, where once we only written a binary one or zero.

A 2TB drive would then become a 32TB drive. Write times decreased by a factor of 16 and read times decreased by 32 as the two heads share the work.

Way back in computing's early history a couple of attempts to go bigger than binary ended in failure, due to the complexity and vagaries of early electronics. Those are no longer stumbling blocks, and I'm puzzled why that direction isn't being explored today.


Facebook furiously pumps brakes on Euro probe into transatlantic personal data slurping


My data. My website. My rules!!!!

Here's an idea for a business and a service..well two actually..MyHouse and Me!

MyHouse is a database containing all the pertinent details of the property, such as energy meter serial numbers, and their current readings. Energy efficiency values, date of construction, construction type, etc.

MyHouse has restricted access, with only the occupier, council and energy providers allowed. The occupier can grant other agencies limited rights of access, with a one off temporary account.

Thus, the occupier ned only limit themselves to one set of privacy standards, which they themselves have full control.

And Me! is basically the MyHouse application for all your personal details, which again would be the sole repository of all your data, which again, you are fully in charge of. Access is granted on your terms, and can be as limited or comprehensive as you wish.

Once these two sites have been set up they would be the only place on Earth where those details are kept, with all other organisations removing your details from their systems in place of a reference and churning access code, supplied on demand to authorised users.

Effectively the likes of Facebook would have nothing other than a link to your Me! site. They would have none of your details on their servers, and therefore nothing to sell.


DRAM makers sued (yet again) for 'fixing prices' (yet again) of chips


Thank God for America...again!!

If the case is proved, will other trading nations seek compensation for its businesses and citizens?

I obviously exclude the UK from any such obligation, as we wouldn't want the populous grasping hold of any ideas they could seek a remedy in rip off Britain.


Bill Gates declined offer to serve as Donald Trump's science advisor


Science advisor to Trump v's Half-life of Carbon-11

How short-lived would that post be?

Within minutes of some worthy person taking up the office, they would be fired for attempting to burst Trump's balloon of ignorance.


Grab your lamp, you've pulled: Brits punt life-saving gravity-powered light


Where there's muck there's.....


A friend of mine, some time ago did a bit of work on self fuelling robots. Basically. they would seek out a food source to ingest, which would then be turned into electricity via their artificial stomach.

I was very much hoping that that technology would have advanced to the stage I could take my toilet off-line and reduce my sewage charge to zero, while converting my effluent into electricity and probably some kind of briquette, that I could either burn or sell to kids as cinder toffee.


BOFH: Guys? Guys? We need blockchain... can you install blockchain?


Retro Revival

"What on Earth is this?", the boss yelled, as he stormed into the office clutching a pencil that had a metre of paper tape trailing from it, a paper clip, and then another metre of paper tape trailing from that.

"It's the result of your demanding we introduce blockchain to our systems"


"The only practical application was in procurement, so they might better track the company's assets"

"Yes, yes, but that still doesn't explain the tidal wave of bunting that is hanging off of everything I see"

"Well, to implement blockchain in any meaningful manner, we had to be able to identify each element individually and also encode its entire history into its identifier. And that identifier is printed onto the paper tape. I'll show you. Let me have the pencil."

"Gladly, here."

"I'll just run it through the reader and..... and .... hey presto, That pencil was bought from Pencils r Us under the PO number 451225425 on 12/07/16. Authorised by Mrs Simms and delivered on 18/07/16 as part of a consignment of 1000 pencils. It was stored in "goods in" until 30/09/16 until it was...."

"Yes, yes" the boss wearily interrupted "I see, and what of the other length of paper tape, what's that for?"

"Well the paper tape is equally an asset and so it too requires a blockchain identifier, which we cleverly managed to incorporate the asset of the paperclip and itself into, to prevent mindless iteration"

"In what possible sense can we justify this?"

"Well, seeing as every asset carries its own history we have removed the need to store that information on the servers, however that cost saving is dwarfed by the processor upgrades required to generate the blockchain code"

As his hunched over form shuffled toward the door I quickly stopped him in his tracks. "Hold on boss, you need this" and I handed him another length of paper tape.


"It's the new blockchain for the pencil, with the latest status update encoded in"

As he disappeared down the corridor I turned to smile at the PFY, who was already grinning ear to ear.

"I think our recently formed company might get dissolved very soon" I knowingly murmured.

"Yes, Punched Paper Tape r Us seems to have had its day once more, but what a gloriously enriching revival it was."

"The only question now is, do we put the profits into Bitcoin or a good old fashioned offshore tax haven?"


Can't log into your TSB account? Well, it's your own fault for trying


Happy belated anniversary Dabbs

I do believe "backdoor man" alludes to the underhand art of cuckolding, as in. "Jesus! It's my husband. Quick! Leave by the backdoor". Well, that was Zeps take on it - "Come in my front door, hear my backdoor slam"

Then again if your back door slams as you're coming in the front door you might want to avail yourself of the services of a proctologist.


HMRC delays digi tax plans amid Brexit customs woes


Staggered Brexit!?

From day one, most of those in the South East of England could have jumped on a ferry, at times, for only £1, and slipped off to mainland Europe to buy shed loads of cheap booze and tobacco.

That convenience was somewhat lost on those further placed from the Channel and so I would like to suggest import duties be waived for those living upt North for a reasonable time after Brexit. Say, ten or twenty years.


'Well intentioned lawmakers could stifle IoT innovation', warns bug bounty pioneer


Let's get physical

A three-way switch on the IoT device that controls access.

Position 1:- Input locked. Firmware cannot be flashed or the device accept any input beyond negotiating with predefined networks. Effectively it will only broadcast its data to the users network at a refresh rate previously set by the user.

Position 2:- Input guarded. As position 1, but with a whitelist of user defined input parameters. A soft option position 3, if enabled at set-up, will allow the device to operate as if in position 3 mode, but this would only activate on receipt of the correct 256 bit password from authorised networks.

Position 3:- Input open. Intended for initial set-up and update use only,

In general, domestic users would not enable soft mode 3, as they would normally have access to the device to physically flick the switch to position 3.

And basically, if I can't have a degree of physical control over the IoT device, in a manner like the above, then I'm not having it.

And yes, I've told my electricity supplier exactly where they can stick their smart meter.


Wanna work for El Reg? Developers needed for headline-writing AI bots


Rol Scarlett faced as he's caught snogging Johansson again and again and again...

Having given it some thought, I have decided it would be far easier to create a blindingly brilliant headline, and then set about crafting a story to go with it.

We could buy up spare intelligence agency time on the grey market and give them the already written article as their mission to make it real.

I appreciate ElReg wouldn't be the first organisation to come up with such a tactic, and they might have to pay some kind of royalty fee to several governments, but removing the constraint of factual accuracy from the problem, makes the coding far easier.

All I'd want is a one off payment of this headline coming true, and I'll happily work for free.


Capita contract probed after thousands of clinical letters stuffed in a drawer somewhere


Once all the business of the world is in the hands of a cartel of companies, the only products and services to be had will be substandard and overpriced.

Just look at how Kraft has ravaged the food market, by buying up and shutting down the makers of quality goods, in an attempt to standardise a huge range of products to the lowest point they can legally get away with.

Capita is the Kraft of the service industry, busily managing everyone's expectations downward.


Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap


Re: Dear Mr Musk....

Who best to apportion technology development grants?

The government who need a weeks training on how to turn on a computer or a man who has proven himself time and again to be a forward thinking innovator?

Many of the projects Elon has picked up and run with, would otherwise still be getting kicked around by nervous investors, more interested in limiting their potential losses than in trying to save the world.

In my mind, a world with just one Elon Musk can balance out the nightmare of several Trumps.


Security hole in AMD CPUs' hidden secure processor code revealed ahead of patches


Re: And this isn't the only fault with AMD CPU's..

Dear Reg

Can I have a slice of the extra revenue generated by my gauding the humourless PR bots of Microsoft and Facebook into down voting my comment?


And this isn't the only fault with AMD CPU's..

Out of interest I tried to install Windows 8 on my AMD computer and without hesitation it allowed it to happen.

Piqued by this obvious flaw I also tried to install Windows Vista, and you know what, it too managed to get its grubby fingers all over my pristine hardware.

It seems AMD will allow any and all of Microsoft's products on its computers, without the slightest of checks.

Come on AMD it's about time you fixed this, and stopped such evil malware from gaining full privileges on feckless people's computers.

And while I'm at it, Firefox. Yes you! What on Earth is wrong with you? Only the other day I accidentally clicked on a link to Facebook and guess what happened? Yes, without any warning I found myself on Facebook's login page, and only a couple of steps away from oblivion.

Sort yourselves out Firefox before it's too late.


UK.gov admits porn age checks could harm small ISPs and encourage risky online behaviour


Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971

"Sir! Sir! I've just found this brown envelope on the chair. It must belong to that man from the Make Money Make Porn lobbying group"

"Are you sure Smythe?"

"Well he has been sat there for the past hour bemoaning how the porn industry needs to reign in all the freebies everyone seems content to slurp up"

"Yes, I see how that might appear, but to be safe I best take hold of it and see if he comes back"

"I could chase after him sir"

"No! No need, if he notices it's missing he can arrange to have it collected"


"Enough now Smythe. The unsolicited goods act is quite clear on the matter and Mr Lipstick Round The Nipple has three months in which to affirm his rights to the item and retake possession. After which it becomes my property"

"Yes sir. Of course sir. Is there anything else you need assistance with?"

"Mm. Yes as a matter of fact I do. You remember Mary Whitehouse and her campaign against, well, nature."

"Yes I do"

"Well I need you to find her modern equivalent, because I have some mean minded legislation to push through parliament"


Why stop there?

As a way of enforcing the fast spreading 20mph speed limit on many roads, the council could force drivers to buy a red flag carrying robot which can run no faster than 20mph in front of the car.

Sounds no less bonkers than having to hand over your credit card details to a porn site in Nigeria.

My ISP knows full well I'm over 18 and have no children, so why isn't that sufficient to stop my internet getting fitted with training wheels, a bib and a Nanny McPhee bottom wiping service?

If I was a full-blown conspiracy theorist, I'd be inclined to think the whole thing was designed to support ISP's in charging more for a more intrusive service, whilst also supporting a more effective means of charging for porn in a world that has gotten accustomed to viewing it for free.

And if my many years under the yoke of Tory governments has revealed anything, it is their finding of ways of forcing the public into paying into Tory donor/owned businesses, has been at the heart of every policy they have ever concocted.


Capacitor maker zapped with price-fixing charge


So, once again, the entire world gets duped by a price fixing cartel and once again it is only America who will gouge these companies for billions.

Admittedly, the EU has on occasion stepped in and discharged its duty to protect its citizens, but somehow, I very much doubt the UK's, go it alone, department for bending over backwards will ever hold corporations to account. Even when the heavy lifting of proof has been done by the eager departments of others.

As usual, if you're a British citizen, any redress for corporate overcharging will need to be rectified by buying a car boot load of gear stolen from a warehouse along with instigating a couple of fraudulent insurance claims.

Surely it would be better for society all round if our justice system acted instead of leaving it to each and everyone of us to seek our own karma balancing restitution?


ICO whacks Welsh biz with £350k fine for 150 million nuisance calls


Re: Proper punishment

They each throw a twelve sided die and shout out a number from 1-4. The die would relate to the month and the number roughly transcribe to the week where a BOFH article appeared.

Their punishment would be to share the fate of whoever it was that foolishly tangled with our hero in that article.

Perhaps an eight yard skip carefully positioned under THE window would help with clearing away most of the mess.


Senators call for '9/11-style' commission on computer voting security



..they'll want to wait until all the evidence has been sent to China to be recycled before they open an investigation. Otherwise, how would it be like the 9/11 investigation.


Tesla hit with official complaint over factory conditions


Re: unions could be beneficial

Warning! Offensive lyrics.



That virtually impossible classic compsci P vs NP problem is virtually impossible, say boffins


I can see a more efficient way of coding the problem and that is by rotating the board by 45 degrees to also generate diagonal co-ordinates.

Then we would only need four one dimension arrays:- two arrays of length n and two arrays of length 2n-1

So in an 8x8 board, if we placed a queen at 3,4 we can make x(3)=true y(4)=true and diagx(6)=true diagy(9)=true.

Subsequent queens need only check one element of each array to confirm a position is valid.

I had a go at creating the formula to generate diagonal co-ordinates for an n x n board, but I ran out of beer mats and ciggie packets, and whiskey and ciggies, and I'm sure someone did it several centuries ago.


Er, Ofcom, please tell us more about Murdoch's £11.7bn Sky bid


It's a done deal.

Murdoch will get what he wants, and those who could have stood in his way will either get what he was offering, or not get what he was threatening.

We're damned to hell.

It's not too late though, Trump and Kim could save us all the bother.


Corporate criminal tax offences likely to further increase HMRC's use of dawn raids, says expert


Re: Time to rein in the use of dawn raids

"What on Earth is going on in the car park?"

Pointing, seemingly indiscriminately, at every car out there. The PA has piqued my attention, and I wrench myself out of the chair to stroll across and see for myself.

"That doesn't look right" And I find myself once again following my PA's lead "What on Earth is going..It's....Oh my God! It's HMRC doing a casual afternoon raid"

The instinct to clutch at my chest, in a hope the heart attack would go away, is quickly averted as I find my hands busily pulling hard drives out of enclosures and smashing them on the desk.

"Quick, quick! Take these...and..and...Take them down to the canteen and bung them in the microwave. Full power for twenty minutes"

The PA is looking slightly disturbed and contrary to my instructions is still firmly affixed to the spot, several very long nano-seconds after my clear and precise orders had been given. "Come on! Move! Go! Do it!"

"I don't believe microwaving will have the desired effect, but more than that, I can't be involved in any illegal activity"


"I'm sorry, but I'm not risking jail for a measly 25K and a free parking space"

"You ingrate, And I bet when they start asking questions you'll sing like a bird"

"I can't take the risk not to. I'm sorry"

"Oh well" as I strolled toward the window to see the last of the officers trundle into the building "I bet you can't fly like a bird" And you know what. He couldn't.

And that is why HMRC do dawn raids and not just saunter in mid-afternoon.



Dark web doesn't exist, says Tor's Dingledine. And folks use network for privacy, not crime


He was contracted to help develop the network by The United States Naval Research Laboratory, who among other things specialise in tactical electronic warfare.

The only reason us plebs get to have a go on it, is because they need a forest of users to hide the trees that are busily doing the governments work of undermining nation states around the world.

To think information gathering agencies haven't got a means of analysing their own network is asking too much.

Of course, now that several of the big illegal operators have perished and their user base been either arrested or awoken from their ignorance with a fright, the forest is thinning out a bit, hence a need to reassure everyone it's safe to go back into the water.

Now he may genuinely believe every word he says, but what's the betting there are elements of the network he knows nothing about, as his security clearance isn't Satanic Monster level


Clear August 21 in your diary: It's a total solar eclipse for the smart


I see an opportunity

Donald Trump branded binoculars.

Let's see them find the polling station after that little caper.


It took DEF CON hackers minutes to pwn these US voting machines


Argos. Shop and vote with ease.

"Hello sir. How may I help you today?"

"Ah, yes. I'm here to vote and the..."

"Certainly sir. We have 24 terminals around the store, and you can use any one of them to vote or make a purchase from our extensive range of high quality goods"

"Yes I know. I've just tried to vote and it tells me:- That item is current;y out of stock"

"And what was it you were trying to purchase?"

"I wasn't trying to purchase anything. I just want to vote"

"Sorry about that sir. Would you mind pressing your first finger against this terminal and I'll investigate further.....Thank you"

clickety click click

"I'm sorry sir but that item is out of stock"

"What item is out of stock!!!"

"Your vote. It seems you have already voted"

"Well I assure you I haven't"

"I will raise a query and the Election team will contact you shortly"

"And that's it?"

"Well I'm afraid so sir"


The following morning the country awoke to the news Breville Sandwich Toaster had won the election and voters could collect their purchase in-store.


The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY


Betting on breakfast

many years ago, I used to rent a room in my mates house, who being veggie, insisted the whole house was veggie.

No problem, as just down the road was a brilliant cafe.

Full breakfast was a feast:- thick cut bacon and black pudding, with everything else in similarly, go large, quantities. After eating, it was arguable whether I was affixed to the planet or the planet was affixed to me.

Well such a feast didn't come quick, so with time to spare I amused myself on one of the many poker machines or pinball machines they had. By the time the meal turned up, I had usually clocked up about a tenners profit which they duly paid out. (Obviously not always, but on sufficient enough occasions for me to have eaten there for years at no cost)

Years later a friend mentioned the place had featured in the Guardian's good food guide, and I thought I'd make an effort to call back....What a disappointment. The gambling machines had gone, the ethos of service had been replaced with some perverse take on profit maximisation and the food no longer satisfied at any level, be that quality, quantity or value.

How is it that we're told the world is moving forward, when experience suggests the opposite is true?


How not to do it

Visit many of the cafes and restaurants in England and order a full English breakfast, and what you get is exactly what a proper English breakfast should not look like.

Firstly, if the bacon came from a supermarket it isn't bacon, well it is in a very superficial sense, but any form of matter that is only two dimensional has no substance. You'll need to go to a proper meat retailer to buy bacon.

Secondly, and oh boy have I had some arguments about this one, buttered bread, NOT SLICED IN HALF!!!! It's the choice of the eater to make or not make a sandwich out of the smorgasbord of deliciousness, not the goose-stepping, Nazi, butty fascist "chef"

And black pudding, which should be at least half an inch thick, and not sliced into nothingness as they do with bacon.

The rest is pretty standard, oh, except for the brown or red sauce argument. It is perfectly acceptable to force the people who have a one bit digital taste bud to eat their sugar ruined meal out of sight, like behind a skip or in a toilet cubicle.


UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren


Re: This is a bad thing

If you have been keeping up with events, you might be aware that a significant proportion of the general public absorb information, whether it be factually correct or not and then make important decisions.

If ASA had any proper power, the whole referendum vote would be rerun, and this time without the lies.

Yes we live in a society where the mass of idiots that suck up disinformation have reached such a critical point, they have the power to transform everything to shit.

We need a Darwinian task force to cull the numbers to an acceptable level, perhaps back to the tried and trusted standard of one idiot per village.


Luxembourg passes first EU space mining law. One can possess the Spice


Re: Yee haw!!

Perhaps one solution could be that all the asteroids you own get taxed at the rate they would be if in production.

So to bank an asteroid, as in own it and not allow it to be worked, costs the same in tax as if it was in full production.

There's no point trying for something like that with our current land banking blight, as the ones benefiting from it are the ones we would have to ask to legislate against it.


Yee haw!!

How does one go about staking a claim?

That is the most important aspect of all this space mining talk.

Can I send a fleet of shoe box sized drones out with hundreds of rol flags to plant on everything they touch, and hence own the entire Sol system's resources?

or more importantly can Precious Metals Inc, effectively go on an asteroid banking mission to ensure its more Earth bound resources remain highly scarce and therefore highly profitable.

We've seen how land banking works to the detriment of communities, so surely we need to take that experience and legislate against that happening out in space.


UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks


Re: Not Dark Web, but Lite Web

I hear what your saying, but in the same way I can download the onion browser and go all dark web if I wanted to, the choice is still with the consumer, unlike V-chip.

If the IT community don't fix the problem of children viewing porn then as the article is pointing out, far darker forces will take that as a remit to step in and ruin it for everyone.

Perhaps the WWW needs some radical fixing, so it becomes impossible to circumvent certain aspects of its workings, and thus be able to define safe zones.

A little bit more overhead in nodal chit chat would suffice, like the implementation of an audit-able block-chain which would ensure nothing gets in or out of the petting zoo we set up for the kids.


Not Dark Web, but Lite Web

I have very little understanding of the Dark Web, but know it requires a special flavour of web browser to access it.

Well how's about a web browser that can only access white listed sites. And if access to the download sites of normal browsers like IE or Firefox for example are blocked then I'm sure something kiddie friendly can be rolled out, that isn't easily worked around.

I suppose hard-wiring the browser to point at the Lite DNS and only that would be workable.

And provided the youngsters have had their account permissions correctly set, than that should be enough.

Well obviously there is one more thing to do:- make it an offence for an adult to allow children to access porn, whether directly or by not implementing adequate safeguards.


I read that legislation somewhere in the pipeline will allow businesses to sue the government for lost revenue due to their changing the rules.

So it looks like the gravy train is about to pull out of the station and you'll need to get your porn site up and running if you want to cash in on a lifetime of government subsidised grumble.


Eggheads identify the last animal that will survive on Earth until the Sun dies


Last life standing?

That'll be the one with the technical ability, not biological fortitude.

It may seem odd that a human would want to stick around when all around is turning nasty, but never underestimate the madness that underlies our species.

I assume in a few billion years we will have developed materials and mechanisms that would allow us to colonise the surface of the Sun if we so wished, so continuing to live on Earth once it has turned toxic to all life isn't so far fetched.


You wait ages for a sun, then two come along at once: All stars have twins, say astroboffins


Re: @Pascal

It could just have easily fallen into another star cluster.


Re: Binary/Twin Star?

It's not beyond logic to assume the forces necessary to unbundle Sol from Nemesis, came about at ignition, and likely as not given the other gas giant/protostar a push toward ignition itself.

Thinking as to why stars like our Sun appear to come in pairs:-

Perhaps as a body travels through a nebula the material that falls into it's gravitational influence collides together many many miles behind it and thus coalesces into a substantive body, which in turn would have a similar wake of material falling into the recently travelled path.

I guess a reasonable way of demonstrating this would be to scatter iron filings onto a smooth surface and then race a very strong magnetic ball across the surface.

I would expect the filings would be drawn to the magnet, but due to the initial inertia and the speed of the ball, they would mostly end up in a line along the path the ball took. And once we factor in the likelihood that gravity would coral these individual particles together, and in a frictionless environment still be travelling in the balls general direction would eventually become a significant brake on the initial ball, and thus they end up in orbit.


Internet of snitches: Anyone who can sniff 'Thing' traffic knows what you're doing


"Whoa! What's that you got there Agrippa?"

"It's a gun"

"A what?"

"A gun. If throws small arrow heads out like a ballista, and you don't even need to wind it. You just put this magic black powder in this hole here and then your arrowhead and then you point this end at what you're trying to kill, and then smash this bit of flint on this bit of iron here and..."

"Is it supposed to do that?"

"Err, I don't think so. Does it look as bad as it feels?"

"Err, Are you in excruciating agony and wish you were dead?"


"Then yes it is a bad as it feels. You appear to have lost half of your face"

"I think we should wait a millennium or two until they've ironed out the flaws"


UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election


There was a time.....

After the latest carnage on the road, government ministers are revisiting lowering the speed limit and looking too, to boost employment, as the man with a red flag walking in front of your vehicle is touted as the only solution.


UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT


back to basics?

With limited functionality for users comes limited opportunity for hackers.

Why did the NHS fall over itself to accommodate every whim and fancy, of what is predominately an IT illiterate gaggle of muppets.

It was chaos, as midwives and managers GP's and gynaecologists, queued round the block to have their input on how the system should work, and look what we've got. An all singing all dancing system that has more potential points of attack than a Cruft's show in North Korea.

"What!!? You're entering my diagnosis onto the same PC you've just been reading your emails on? Are you absolutely without compassion or did you win your license to practice at a gurning contest?"


Italian F-35 facility rolls out its first STOVL stealth fighter


There was a 72% turnout in the referendum.

And UKIP has the cash receipts for a significant number of them.


Come on guys. That's totally mainframe, and not in the slightest PC.

That's like saying the British are out and out racists, because they voted for Brexit, when the truth is, only a fraction of the population are goose-stepping zombies, and the rest were told it was in the bag, so didn't get off their arses to vote.

You can't judge an entire population by the frothings of a handful of nut jobs that miraculously found themselves wielding power.


Amazing new boffinry breakthrough: Robots are eating our brains


Humanity Optional

If we look at our current economic model, we can see that many millions are employed to meet the desires of the few.

That those many millions are rewarded sufficiently to also have their desires met is only a passing phase, as AI will replace a large majority of them, just as engines replaced millions of horses, containers replaced millions of dockers, and deodorant replaced soap.

When you have land, capital, and an AI workforce, do you really need the hard work of enterprise too?

Your AI bots using the resources you have coveted can conjure up your hearts desire. Why go to all the bother of trading, you already have all you need and may ever want.

Well, I'm saying you, but odds are, you, like me, will be displaced.

In the short term, the poor unfortunates will have a very short career in the Soylent Green factory and a population equilibrium will be established.

Then again, we could send those bots out to mine the shit out of the Solar system and manage to fully resource every citizen on the planet, but that's socialism, and where's the fun, when sadistic capitalism is off the menu.


Intel redesigns flawed Atom CPUs to stave off premature chip death


Re: Out of Warranty

Throughout the EU, and yes that means Blighty as well, high ticket electrical items (more expensive than a kettle) are covered for 5 years.

A TV with one years warranty does not need a further, "pay through the nose" extended warranty, as despite what the manufacturer and retailer are bleating, it has FIVE years cover against manufacturing errors.

So the Atom being fundamentally flawed is sufficient for any EU citizen to claim a refund / repair if that component fails within five years.




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