* Posts by Anonymous Blowhard

994 posts • joined 25 Mar 2013

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EU: No encryption backdoors but, eh, let's help each other crack that crypto, oui? Ja?

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: The utter fools

"I would like to see some numbers showing the proportion of crimes where the crims have been shown to use encryption."

I'd like to see some numbers showing the number of violent crimes where the criminals would NOT have been able to commit the crime WITHOUT encryption.

I suspect it will be a small number, probably pretty close to zero, and should indicate how pointless the whole anti-encryption argument is in preventing real crime (as opposed to thought crime) and improving public safety (we're pretty safe already I think).

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Top of the radio charts: Jodrell Bank goes for UNESCO World Heritage status

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: Quasers?

"A quaser is a cross between a quasar and a Quaver"

So a crunchy snack with an energy output equivalent to millions of stars?

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Whose drone is that? DJI unveils UAV traffic tracking system

Anonymous Blowhard
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@ SkippyBing

I think the cost issue will be important for owners; the proposed system looks like it is just a software upgrade for many existing drones, so if some kind of regulation does come in, at least owners will be able to make their current kit compliant without having to pay for the privilege.

It's also a win for the potential regulators; if existing kit can be made compliant then it will be easier for them to work with the industry (drone operators and drone manufacturers) to get this accepted.

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1,000 jobs on the line at BAE Systems' Lancashire plants – reports

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: How to solve Brexit.

"Being not of the UK, I can't help think that the stuff that you lot make as being overly complicated and not good for purpose (cars etc)"

I think you'll find that a lot of things made in the UK are definitely fit for purpose; like the Mercedes F1 car, made in Brackley, which is powered by a Mercedes engine, made in Brixworth. Some competitor products seem to be a bit less reliable though...

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Moon trumps Mars in new US space policy

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: Given the nationalist language used...

Like this one?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1054485/mediaviewer/rm1614091008

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After seven-hour operation, the ISS has a new 'hand'

Anonymous Blowhard
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"Given the costs involved, this should be designed and operated to last the lifetime of the station, despite the harsh conditions."

Maybe, but most of the engineered products you're familiar with have been through many generations of design, operation and improvement, as well as competing against similar devices; so they are the result of accumulated wisdom on solving a particular problem.

The arm on the ISS is a second generation product (the first was on the Space Shuttle) and the opportunities for inspection and maintenance are pretty limited.

Even if a product is perfect and built to last a lifetime, it can still require replacement if it gets enough abuse from the users...

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Blade Runner 2049: Back to the Future – the movies that showed us what's to come

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: The Culture

"the main protagonists of the stories end up dead or badly damaged"

That's down to Special Circumstances...

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Foiled again! Brit military minds splash cash on killing satellites with... food wrapping?

Anonymous Blowhard
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"The upcoming Space Industry Bill, due for discussion by the House of Lords next week, forms part of that strategy to tighten Blighty's governmental grip on the cosmos"

Obligatory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wntX-a3jSY...

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Microsoft shows off Windows 10 Second Li, er, Mixed Reality

Anonymous Blowhard
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"Your humble hack found it hard to even listen to his Microsoft handler, who became a disembodied voice once the set was turned on"

This actually sounds like a good feature...

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Oracle wants you to drop a log into its cloud, so it can talk security

Anonymous Blowhard
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“A Linux log has a different format to an Oracle database log; that’s why it’s so bloody hard for an analyst to go through all these records and figure out what’s going on.”

So Oracle are changing their log format to be the same as Linux? That's completely within Larry's powers, I think; so let's see what happens...

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Sole Equifax security worker at fault for failed patch, says former CEO

Anonymous Blowhard
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FAIL

And what about the management team who set up a "system" that would break if one person forgot to do something?

When you have fallible components, like humans, then the systems that include them have to have redundancy (not firing them) and resilience; usually at least two people involved to ensure that the check-lists are followed correctly, maybe a third person to test and sign off the updates. If these things aren't in place it's because the "system" is deemed to be of low importance and not worth spending money on to get it right.

Putting the blame on a single person is just scape-goating of the worst kind.

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Dyson to build electric car that doesn't suck

Anonymous Blowhard
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@wolftone

I was just wondering if this was Dyson's "C5 moment"; Sinclair was the poster child of the UK technology sector until then...

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Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: I'd trust the build quality

"after Brexit we'll need to actually build stuff when the banks head to Paris"

Dyson vacuum cleaners are made in Malaysia, maybe he's got a deal with Proton for manufacturing?

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GNOME Foundation backs 'freedom-oriented' smartphone

Anonymous Blowhard
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We don't need more hardware!

I think the problem they're trying to solve "phones free from corporate control" isn't going to be solved by hardware; as others have posted, it's just too expensive to develop and market a phone, and the list of would-be phone makers gets longer every year.

Linux succeeded because it didn't try to sell you a new computer, instead it made it possible to free existing hardware from proprietary operating systems, often giving them better performance than the original software. As Linux became more accepted, some manufacturers even started offering it as a supported OS.

What I'd like is a phone operating system that I can install on existing hardware (get rid of Bixby on my S8+ for a start!). Obviously this is not an easy trick, and there are some issues with getting around built-in blocks that manufacturers put into phones, but having something that could be installed on old iPhones or Samsung Galaxy 6s would allow the project to get started and make it possible for developers all over the world to contribute - just like Linux.

Tying the software to a specific hardware platform will just make it a short lived, niche product.

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You've been baffled by its smart thermostat. Now strap in for Nest's IoT doorbell, alarm gear

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: It's cheaper,

"But what if I hire one of these "Bad Hombres" I keep hearing about?"

I think you'll find they're the best kind of deterrent against intruders...

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UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to 'auto-takedown' terror pages within 2 HOURS

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

@AC

"As it happens I think that we're inexorably moving towards a point where companies like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. can operate only under license"

Who's licence? America's, Russia's, North Korea's? China's got one, and it's enforced by their "Great Firewall"; is that what you want for every country?

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Tech biz must be more export-focused, says defence kit minister

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: Erratum and correction

@Ledswinger

Given the Death Star's abysmal performance in asymmetric warfare, it sounds just the kind of thing the MOD would want...

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Facebook let advertisers target 'Jew-haters'

Anonymous Blowhard
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Pint

Re: The looming power of Digital Dictators

@AC

Looks like they'll be targeting you with tinfoil hat advertisements...

Have a beer; it doesn't track how you drink it (you can slurp it, if you want), there's a large choice of brands and types and AI systems aren't better at drinking it than humans (until someone invents the Bending Unit)

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123-Reg customers outraged at automatic .UK domain registration

Anonymous Blowhard
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@ACZ

I thought of this, and I'm going to contact them to find out; even if this is the case, registering a .uk domain purely in the hope of reselling it is in contravention of Nominet's rules, so it can be challenged through their Dispute Resolution Service.

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Anonymous Blowhard
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On the plus side, at least you won't be claim-jumped of you do want your .uk domain.

I have a [surname].org.uk domain, and fancied having the [surname].uk domain (according to the rules .org.uk has second dibs on .uk domains after .co.uk) but it seems to have been registered by a non-UK company operating a "domains for resale" business (http://www.amazingdomains.co.uk/) in contravention of the rules for .uk domains.

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Drones aren't evil and won't trigger the Rise of the Machines: MoD

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: Not for a while

@Korev

Yes, it seems that, whatever the effect on the human operators, the suicide rate (4 in 52) for MOD drones is a lot higher than for the humans (8 per 100,000)...

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Gov claws back £645m in BT broadband from subsidy

Anonymous Blowhard
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Only 4.8m homes in the UK?

"DDCMS estimated that almost 94 per cent of UK homes and businesses (4.5m) currently have the option to buy superfast broadband"

I'm not sure if this is an error in the article or DDCMS having their facts wrong, but 4.5m is not "94% of UK homes and businesses"; a simple Google search found this article that there are around 23m dwellings in the UK.

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Dell/EMC year one has exceeded Michael Dell's expectations

Anonymous Blowhard
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His own belief is that “humans and machines will be the winning combination.”

So probably a fan of Iain M. Banks and Neal Asher then...

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US government: We can jail you indefinitely for not decrypting your data

Anonymous Blowhard
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Use hidden partitions

Truecrypt had an answer to this, Hidden Partitions. It allows you to have two passwords, one for the real data and another to a dummy partition.

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UK infrastructure failing to meet the most basic cybersecurity standards

Anonymous Blowhard
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@steelpillow

I think your point about cyber-professionals is valid, but this is a national security issue that will be with us as long as we're using IT in critical infrastructure; so it's worth investing in long-term solutions like a dedicated unit within GCHQ. It will take time to build the skills, but it's the difference between a nation having it's own army and paying for the loyalty of mercenaries.

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Anonymous Blowhard
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@steelpillow

I agree that most people in these organisations want to do as good a job as possible; my point was that, rather than fine healthcare experts or gas-supply experts for being crap at cyber-security, we should be making use of government cyber-security experts to help them. I'm pretty sure that increasing GCHQ's budget to cope with the extra load will be more effective than throwing NHS money at external consultants, like Capita, to solve the problem; it might even be cheaper than what we're paying for already if we pool the budgets of the various critical infrastructure organisations into a single pot.

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Anonymous Blowhard
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"In the event of a breach, critical infrastructure organisations could be liable for fines of up to £17m, or 4 per cent of global turnover, under the government's proposals to implement the EU's Network and Information Systems (NIS) directive from May 2018."

This makes no sense whatsoever; how would fining the NHS improve security? The fine is paid for using the same taxes we need them to spend on saving lives, and would only be triggered in the event of something going wrong.

How about being proactive and empowering a separate body to review and improve cyber-security for critical infrastructure organisations? This would fall under the defence budget and should probably be implemented, or at least overseen, by GCHQ**; failure to cooperate should result in jail time for senior management from the critical infrastructure organisations rather than meaningless fines from the public purse.

** This should be one of GCHQ's primary roles anyway if they're supposed to be the UK's primary organisation for cyber-security. It might also keep them too busy to indulge in snooping on the UK public.

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Mazda and Toyota join forces on Linux-based connected car platform

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: 3 years of supported apps?

"Don't like OBD II"

So you'd prefer to be held to ransom by a manufacturer's proprietary interface to diagnose problems with your car? Unless you want to go back to carburettors and dumb (no anti-lock) brakes (why not go the whole hog and abandon disc brakes too) you need a way to talk to the car's systems and using the same interface makes it easier for non-franchise dealers to work with vehicles.

"to hell with the 2000s, I'm going back to the 1990s"

OBDII was introduced in the 1990s...

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Elon Musk among 116 AI types calling on UN to nobble robo-weapons before they go all Skynet

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: A little knowledge

"Blind curiosity will be our undoing"

Developing weapons is not curiosity, it's a reaction to the unknown state of our perceived enemies; if we're not certain that the other guy doesn't have [proposed mega weapon] then we'd like to have the [proposed mega weapon] ourselves, just in case.

The way out of this is to have a validated treaty so that we can be certain enough that we aren't putting ourselves at a strategic disadvantage by not having [proposed mega weapon]; the validation is a little tricky, depending on the complexity and difficulty of creating and testing the [proposed mega weapon], but nations have worked on this before to restrict work on biological weapons, for example.

The non-proliferation side of things is a key element here, nations who are able to develop AI weapons shouldn't be able to trade them; otherwise nations with internal stability issues will be tempted to solve them using systems that are incapable of making moral judgements as to whether the proposed solution is right or wrong.

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Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: Not smart weapons

"A truly smart weapons system would therefore recognise that the most efficient way to end a war, with the lowest possible casualty count, would be to target the combative leaders."

Truly smart AI weapons would declare themselves neutral and force the "combative leaders" to decide the result by unarmed single combat; they'd also make it pay-per-view so they can rake it in at the box-office.

Bite Their Shiny Metal Asses

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UK.gov cloud fave Amazon comes under fire for tax bill

Anonymous Blowhard
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Interesting article on why Amazon's tax bill has dropped.

Seems like they're paying their employees more, in the form of shares in the company; so they're not only paying less tax, they're making honest underpaid workers into capitalist share holders - the bastards!

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Hey America! Your internet is going to be so much better this January

Anonymous Blowhard
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Brilliant!

I guess these guys can also tackle America's obesity problem as well...

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Lauri Love and Gary McKinnon's lawyer, UK supporters rally around Marcus Hutchins

Anonymous Blowhard
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US Justice

Innocent until forced into accepting a plea-bargain...

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

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: Time to rein in the use of dawn raids

I think that in this case "dawn raids" refers to unannounced raids on properties to collect evidence, not necessarily that they turn up at 04:00 with a SWAT team.

"Why are they being used by the tax agency??????????????"

I think they want to avoid giving suspects a week's notice to take the Enron route of shredding the evidence.

"Its time there was proper public oversight (i dont mean by vested-interest parties like courts/judges)"

If you don't trust the legal system to manage the legal process, who do you trust? If judges are corrupt, you have to prove that and replace them, not invent a parallel layer to perform the same function (who's to say your new layer is incorruptible anyway).

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Bixby, why is Samsung's heir apparent facing 12 years in the slammer?

Anonymous Blowhard
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Off Topic

"As president he helped shape modern Korea until his assassination by the country's secret service at a safe house in 1979"

Who told him it was safe? The secret service?

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Breathless F-35 pilots to get oxygen boost via algorithm tweak

Anonymous Blowhard
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Not just the F35

It seems like other aircraft using the OBOGS also suffer similar problems.

@M7S: The article also mentions that the F14 didn't use OBOGS, but used a liquid oxygen system that needed replenishing for each flight, they probably wanted to reduce the associated infrastructure on carriers by using OBOGS rather than stored oxygen. It seems like Honeywell are supplying their OBOGS for most of NATO's fighters.

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AI bots will kill us all! Or at least may seriously inconvenience humans

Anonymous Blowhard
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@Munkeh

Neal Asher was one of the influences on my rant/exposition; upvote for you!

(Not sure where my downvotes are coming from; maybe Alexa and Cortana think I'm cheating on them with Google Now?)

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Anonymous Blowhard
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I think it's inevitable that we will develop AI; there is a lot of academic interest in the subject and a potential massive payoff for real-AI powered applications. The deciding factor has to be the consequences of not having AI if other nations have it; if real-AI can tip the balance in a cyber-conflict or a shooting-war then the major nations will participate in an AI arms-race.

Obviously the real-AIs might not be so keen on working for the military and may branch out on their own, probably not in a Skynet kill-all-humans type conflict, more likely with legal moves to gain independence and rights. If independent AIs get control of the stock markets then we'll all be working for them fifty years down the line.

Real-AIs are unlikely to come at us directly, they'll want to be certain they have the game won before showing their hand, so we're going to have to be vigilant for the warning signs; be very suspicious if leading academics in the field of AI suddenly acquire a smoking hot partner in a red dress.

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Jesus walks away after 7,000lb pipe van incident

Anonymous Blowhard
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@Chunky Munky

Upvoted on behalf of the great Les Dawson.

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UK spookhaus GCHQ can crack end-to-end encryption, claims Australian A-G

Anonymous Blowhard
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"Our leaders are becoming more indistinguishable from children with each passing day."

My children understand that the laws of mathematics and physics don't just exist/apply because someone says they do or they don't...

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Want to kill your IT security team? Put the top hacker in charge

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: Best advice

"As a result many, many, companies end up losing a good engineer and gaining a mediocre manager"

Absolutely; they should follow the football precedent and appoint a competent manager who may actually be earning less than his superstar players. This can be difficult for the organisation but if the manager feels he's in a better position than his peers (other managers) then it can work.

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Adult toy retailer slapped down for 'RES-ERECTI*N' ad over Easter

Anonymous Blowhard
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re. I'm going to hell.

@AC

If you get there before me, can you save me a seat near the air conditioner?

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Anonymous Blowhard
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"Fucking prudes can fuck off."

They're prudes; they don't want to fuck (that's what they say in public anyway)...

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AI vans are real – but they'll make us suck at driving, warn boffins

Anonymous Blowhard
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"Neither, we were told, does it read road signs."

Just like every other van driver...

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Brit military scolded for being too selfish with sexy high-end tech

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: Muh dominance of the seas!

"It's all well and good having two new aircraft carriers to dominate the high seas"

They're only aircraft carriers if they're actually carrying aircraft; for the next few years they're just ships without armament.

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Anonymous Blowhard
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MoDD

Ministry of Donkeys & Dinosaurs

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G20 calls for 'lawful and non-arbitrary access to available information' to fight terror

Anonymous Blowhard
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Taking them literally

"provide lawful and non-arbitrary access to available information"

The "available information" is the encrypted data, the decrypted plain-text is unavailable (due to the laws of mathematics); so just send them the encrypted data?

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Openreach kicks off 'rebrand' by painting over BT logo on vans

Anonymous Blowhard
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I'm not sure if this is wiping lipstick off a pig...

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Former GCHQ boss backs end-to-end encryption

Anonymous Blowhard
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"The ones you "catch" with laws like this are the ones you could have caught anyway if you were even half-listening."

I think it's more a case of "the ones you catch like this are only criminals because something that used to be legal is now declared illegal"; actual dangerous people aren't going to be deterred and are unlikely to be caught by this kind of TLA land-grab/security theatre.

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Trump backs off idea for joint US/Russian 'impenetrable Cyber Security unit'

Anonymous Blowhard
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Re: Its all pretty obvious

"FYI, There is no USSR anymore."

Exactly, the USSR was, in many ways, a lot less dangerous than Putin's nationalist Russia.

The USSR started from the ideological goal of converting the whole world to communism, but by the end it was too busy struggling to feed its population whist at the same time trying to compete with the USA in high-profile status projects like space exploration and also maintain a huge military. Its collapse from within was almost inevitable.

Putin has the advantage that he has no worldwide political agenda other than whatever benefits Russia, or at least his brand of Russia; he has his home political scene firmly under control and also a good balance of payments due to gas and oil exports. Foreign exploits seem to be based on whatever keeps the USA and Western Europe off balance.

Political opponents of Putin, whether at home or abroad, seem to have a worrying habit of being murdered or ending up in prison; if he had a son I'd be really worried about Russia becoming a big-budget, more effective, version of North Korea.

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