* Posts by W.S.Gosset

456 posts • joined 18 Nov 2016


Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers

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Re: Can you blame us?

Well, I've gone through 5 passports for work-travel including 2 "fat ones", for a long time there was working in 3 countries a week across Europe (in my No Deal state!!! OMGWTF), and have turned-around and built-up businesses across Europe, America, Asia, and the UK. All in a NoDeal status.

I'm also a born NoDeal boy who couldn't even pop over from London to France without a separate stamped visa.

I've learnt to my cost that nearly every fed-to-children Australian stereotype re the world is wrong, so within a month of arriving in Europe and a few WTFisms just threw them away and absorbed what was actually happening rather than what people (especially the locals) shouted. This took a lot of time and work and, frankly, I don't think you COULD do it properly unless you'd actually WORKED and FAST across borders and at a very high intensity/little margin for error. (I think my France perspective turnaround was the sharpest; but also the violent inversion of what Germans will tell you is the relative "efficiency" of genius/efficient North Germans vs risible/useless South Germans vs bathetic (shudder) Austrians is another wtf (it's the other way round, in case you're wondering), as is the peculiar inversion of French vs German Swiss (vs French and Germans) in terms of getting anything done). I'm also a trained quant and researcher at the interface of economics and finance with pointy-end experience in finance and corporate turnaround (subject of/quoted in international investment banking journals, eg Risk, Futures & Options World, Global Corporate Treasurer, etc) who necessarily and compulsorily had his arse pinned to the wall on predictions vs reality, very publicly. So far: no mistakes.

I've also spent time at the pointy-end of various flavours of IT. Apparently the 7th person in the world to manage 4-way DRBD replication, for example (and reverse-engineered a much nicer way of writing the configfiles than is documented) ; and spent 2 weeks writing a P&L engine in a custom language I'd only ever seen the week before (+RDBMS) (then another teeth-grinding 6mths on the data-adaptors), which ran for a decade until the framework was retired without a single bug the entire time, but running according to my clients nearly 10% of Europe's M3 ; and...

The UK Remainers insist that everything I've seen and done will be impossible for NoDeal UK people or businesses, because they'd be treated like me, an Australian, or like some of my employers, American. Both NoDeal WTO, you might notice.

I've also learnt that newspapers are only useful for getting heads-ups of things that might be worth digging into properly.


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Re: Can you blame us?

Do feel free to read back what I wrote.

Slowly. Take deep breaths.


You merely underlined what I pointed out...

(but failed to mention the EU's sting in the tail: no brexit, merely loss of EU-input)

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Re: Can you blame us? @DuncanLarge

Well, you're missing the point, but at least you're aware that EEC-participation ("Norway") HAS been repeatedly proposed by the UK.


>My sense is that likely none of the current EFTA members would welcome a narcissitic, fantasy dominated, politicaly fractures and totally self-centered country into their organization.

Nonsense. France is the second/third-largest economic participant and profoundly the largest political participant in the EU.

W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

Invoking Article 50 "now" includes Article 50's provisions. Which include the time lag sufficient to allow preparation without drama. 2 years.

UK Parliament and Civil Service instead fought to stop any public sector preparation. They succeeded -- brilliantly, in fact. [Second-order effect: stultifying private sector preparation, since they need Certainty regarding Sovereign activity] A particular micro-/tactical- triumph was to remove all non-civilservants from the brexit discussions. Offshore observers were first gobsmacked, then tearing their hair out at the stupidity.

Do not try to pin the consequences of deliberate spoiling tactics by a tiny subset of self-interested parasites, on the relative wisdom of the action chosen. It might raise cheers from the echo chamber, but it's not real.


I have seen now precisely ONE commentard raise an antibrexit point which has some validity. See the chap just before you. Although even he is only in the vague neighbourhood, rather than being aware of the actual situation: supply chains are to the key point as parsley is to pesto: adds tastiness but not critical -- but he is (the first!) in the right ballpark. Nor has he acknowledged that the current situation could only ever exist due to the UK's fundamental ur-cultural differences with the continental EU (with the partial exception of Austria). Which, given the rock-steady 600,000/yr immigration to the UK from the poverty states of the EU, combined with the 400,000/yr Brits exiting, could realistically only have a ~20yr lifespan anyway before material cultural/economic homogenisation: evaporation of that advantage.

That advantage, by the way, has been shown by much research to accrue to only the immigrants and to the ultra-rich.

There is also one other antibrexit point. Fundamentally related but a different industrial sector. Again: the driver is regulatory arbitrage of artificially-distorted (and hence fragile, and indeed being actively worked against by the EU) cost-base, which is itself driven by cultural differences. Differently, changes in this sector will be (are currently) visible sharply almost immediately (12mths) rather than over a generation. But counter that: the UK advantage there is SO large, that apart from some faffery intrachange, that sector will still at worst collapse back to what it was pre93: world-dominating.

Both should have been the sole focus of hte post Article50 declaration's "Deal!" negotiations, because if handled even halfway sensibly would have had UK in precisely hte same position post-brexit as pre-brexit.

Instead, the civil service took a deliberately "whatever you say" approach, including deliberately deciding to confine their "negotiations" to a deliberately antagonistic "moral stance" presented by the EU.


Whatever happens next, it's got nothing to do with the intent of brexit. It was deliberately smashed from Day 1. By a tiny subset of self-interested parasites.

But please don't conflate tactical sabotage with the strategic sensibleness of the original position.

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> "They need us more than we need them".

Errmm... continental europe has a larger $exposure to the UK than vice versa.

Not sure where you got the "easiest trade deal etc." but that's toy-town. If the EU (bureaucrats) was rational, yeah sure. But they're not -- they're parasites, have been since day 1. I hit the UK in '96, and even by then I had my eyes out on stalks at what was going inside the EU. And also, at the blithe startling ignorance within the UK of the reality.

Granted, I was working all over the EU so got to see it up close and personal.

But still... you'd think Brits would AT SOME STAGE pay attention to what the EU is in fact rather than in fiction.

And no idea what the ONS might have blurted at some stage, but I was operating at a level where the ONS was merely one data source, and not a hugely good one, and if you've descended to the level of individual civil servants offering opinion pieces on political matters, rather than restricting themselves to numbers, you're in trouble. And I'm sorry, but the numbers are black&white (and I'm a quant/markets boy from way back and only work on real, verifiable sources) and if some junior twonker in the ONS came out with that, well, the EU's own published numbers flatly contradict him. As do the UK Treasury's own published numbers a la payments to the EU. As do the ONS's. "Whoops", etc.

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I am intrigued by the (so far) 1 thumbdown.

Someone doesn't like arithmetic?

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> Long term residents in the UK from other countries should have been allowed the vote, too.

They were. Voting in the UK is by virtue of residency, not even by right to be in the country. You can be illegal, but registered resident, and you can vote.

I'm Australian. "Indefinite Leave to Remain": nb, not a citizen. I legally voted in every UK election whilst I was there.

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spot on, but:

> leaving will ONLY free up $280M-odd per week for the NHS, rather than the $320M-odd "promised"? - eye roll -

No, it really was the larger number (more like £340m/week iirc: ~£18bn / 52).

That's the sum of the amount of pure subsidy the UK paid the EU (£8.5bn) (after rebate), plus the amount of UK money that the UK handed control over to the EU for spending within the UK on whatever projects the EU thought were virtuous (~£9.5bn).

But that's only if you applied the full amount to the NHS. Which would be a bit silly. There were SOME things the EU applied the UK's 9.5bn to which would still be done after the UK re-took the reins. It wasn't all half-built bridges and so on.

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> The biggest clusterfuck of all was Government negotiating for most of the two years

I think most people with actual experience of hard-arse balls-on-the-table-and-the-hammer's-hovering negotiations would instead describe the last 2 years as :

* the UK govt pleading rather than negotiating,

* the UK govt acting as supplicant rather than equal party with specific and genuine requirements,

* fucking insane.


I mean, the SANE way to have started this 2 years ago, would be to simply (but loudly and publicly) kick off full prep for full independence/normal status (relabelled by one group as "no deal").

Then bring the EU's demands to the table.

Which, since they were specifically created and worded to be unsolveable (Norway and Switzerland are mute demonstrations that the Irish Backstop is furphy rather than murphy), the UK would have simply stated "not acceptable" and walked away.

Which would have left the EU policrats with no leverage vs the UK yet still with the HUGE internal-to-policrats NEED to try to score points off the wicked splittists. Which means they would have come back with something at least noninsane, in an attempt to get an actual discussion. And THEN maybe a sensible middle-ground could have been found, for the UK to gain an advantage over other countries like Australia or Canada or America, rather than being just like them.

Worse comes to worst, the UK would have had 2yrs to build extra truck parks and hire more border staff, etc. No dramas, no rush.


I mean, this is Negotiation 101.

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Re: Can you blame us? @DuncanLarge

> I have heard various EU spokespeople say that we are welcome to restart on Norway+, Canda+, or any pre-existing deal with any other 3rd party country.

That's interesting. What is being reported&quoted offshore is only EU spokespeople saying all such are completely off the table. Norway, eg, I've seen flatly stated to be not possible. By very very senior EU Commission types. Eg, commissioner...

Can you remember where you saw/heard these statements? I'm interested to follow it up.

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Re: Can you blame us?

> when we tell them we want a hard border with the EU while having no border with the Republic of Ireland

No, that's what the EU told the UK had to happen.

For god's sake, has NO one been paying attention? Is EVERYONE just taking their "facts" from partisan newspapers' headlines?

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Re: Can you blame us?

> The "backstop" exists because of this, and also because the UK doesn't want to be in either the customs union or a free trade agreement: both of which would be valid "implementations" of the referendum.

The backstop exists because the EU wanted to punish the UK by making the exit as gnarly as possible so created the backstop as --and I quote EU documents-- a "moral issue". In fact, their entire original (and still unmoved) position they describe as a moral stance.

And pretending that the UK has not tried to be part of the customs union (the only EU-related referendum which the Brits voted "+" for), or to have an FTA (what do you think the bulk of the negotiations have been about?) is literally fantasy, literally madness. The EU is on record, for example, as flatly rejecting repeatedly every attempt by the UK to maintain customs union participation, as it had pre '93. Expressed in bizarrely sneering ad-hominem tones and with repeated emphases that the UK's either all-in or all-out.

Have you paid ANY attention whatsoever to what's been going on?

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Re: Deals

> Some people seem to think this "deal" is a forever thing.

It is.

Things have moved on from the original (UK-only) suggestion re Deal. (You are correct about the original UK intention/discussions.)

In its current form, specified by the EU, it IS a forever thing.

Same as the Euro.

There are no exit provisions from the Euro.

There are no exit provisions from the current "Deal".

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Re: Deals

> Why try so hard for the bad deal?

The first Remainer I've seen actually put his finger on the nub of the problem.

The political class and the civil service have deliberately wound up this insane scrabbling NEED for "a DEAL, mummy!!"


Just get the hell out. You already have deals with every country including the EU (the EU is a WTO member). As was obvious from the first demands by the EU, they were playing solely to fuck up the UK, and haven't they done well.

Anyone else notice the EU is playing the same NASTY subtle trick with the Irish backstop that they played with the Euro?

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Re: Can you blame us?

> accept rule from our elected representatives in Brussels

I admit to having been baffled by the Remainers whilst I lived in the UK, but I've paid close attention to the ElReg commentards' recent posts on the topic as the deadline approaches and the ranting rises, and people actually explain their reasoning.

I've come to the conclusion that Remainers have little or no experience with, or even knowledge of, either international trade or the actual realities of the EU. They have myths, they have stereotypes, they have beliefs. But those are not connected to what's actually there, what's actually been happening.

This post is an example.

The "elected representatives in Brussels" have precisely zero power. The EU Parliament is just theatre. The power rests in the EU Commission, and the MEPs just eat the dogfood they're given. The Commission, btw, is entirely self-selected civil servants. It is absolute rule by bureaucrats, it is the bureaucrats' ultimate triumph of weaselling into power. It's "Yes Minister" on steroids and meth.

Vote or don't vote for your MEP -- s/he is entirely meaningless and just a pre-guaranteed drain on the EU coffers. It's barely even a talking-shop. It's pure theatre to cover the actual control by bureaucrats.

And the scary thing is: how MANY people have been snowed by the false structures being given names which they associate with something quite different.

"No Deal" is a wonderful more-recent example of deliberate re-badging of something to imply it's very different from what it actually is.

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Re: Can you blame us?

> I hear the French are looking forward to saying no to that request. This is a pointless exercise in trying not to leave the EU and if we are lucky the members wont tolerate it.

Hear hear. First breath of fresh air I've seen in the clusterfuck that is the UK political class + "civil" "servants" attempting to hijack the referendum, was the Australian media here reporting last week that the EU is seriously contemplating rejecting all this faffery time-extension and just forcing a hard brexit. Not for any good reason, just more of the "fuck YOU" attitude they've taken from Day 1, but hey, you can get a good result for the wrong reasons.

Despite all the mad propaganda, a "hard brexit"/"no deal" means no more than the UK operating as a standard normal country.

Incidentally, it also means the UK will get cheaper beef and chicken -- the ongoing ex-EU trade deal work has already led to tariffs on these being cut by 40-50%. Lamb will see no change (ATM), so bad luck if you were looking forward to cheap NZ lamb cutlets. :(

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Re: Scotland/Wales want increased powers locally

> "and then rejoin the EU, where they will have a lot more influence than they do in the UK"

That's what a lot of people think, but that's not the case.

Scotland is mad keen on the EU because FREE MONEY.

Problem: the bulk of that money has been the EU redirecting UK money (over and above the direct £8.5bn subsidy by UK to EU, the EU also takes over over £9.5bn of UK money to distribute internally to UK, which both the recipients and the EU rebadge as EU subsidies rather than involuntary UK subsidies) to Scotland, as an impoverished zone or economically disadvantaged zone or whatever the precise EU term is.

So, post Brexit, that money disappears, and Scotland is swinging in the wind looking for pure EU handouts.

Basically, "influence"-wise, in reality, they'll be another Greece.

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Re: Scotland/Wales want increased powers locally

> elected representation.

You know, the thing a lot of Leavers claimed didn't exist

In any real sense, this is accurate. The European Parliament is just theatre, has no power. All power resides in the European Commission. Which is entirely unelected public "servants".

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Re: Scotland/Wales want increased powers locally

> constitutionally (as things stand at the moment anyway), Parliament can't just keep calling for another vote on the same thing until the "right" answer is given.

...unlike the EU...

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Re: The only conspiracy @JoshOvki

MacOSX auto-defrags as it goes: upon (every) access, any file over 10mb (IIRC) is checked for fragosity, defragged if fragocious, and THEN accessed unfragostically.

Introduced @ 10.3 IIRC.

Russian sailors maroon themselves in Bristol Channel after drunken dinghy ride goes awry

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Re: Disappointed


That's a deci-dauphin, isn't it?

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Re: Mate of mine

Technically, ALL deaths are of heart failure...


;) copyright Robert Heinlein about 1960, IIRC

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Re: 4am?

> managed to find a boozer still open at that time of the morning

This had me too flailing backwards, mouth agape and eyes out on stalks, arms windmilling for balance even as I reached for the strictly-for-medicininal-purposes as I struggled to cope with the shock.

Something open? At 3:45am? In BRITAIN????

Good luck finding something open even in the middle of London at that time.

I... I... *glug*

I salute the heretofore unwitted magnificence of the Russian merchant sailor.

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Re: lost in the Bristol Channel

"Port! I said Port!! This is SHERRY!!!"

New phone who dis? Facial recognition models more farcical despite progress

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A BRILLIANT v.short scifi CLASSIC which everyone should read if they haven't already, and read again for a chuckle if they have.

"You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."


"You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

Vengeful sacked IT bod destroyed ex-employer's AWS cloud accounts. Now he'll spent rest of 2019 in the clink

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Meta observation

It's VERY noticeable from the comments here, that ElReg's commentards know buggerall about security in terms of anonymity in context of the real world.

Hell's bells, I was covering my tracks vastly more thoroughly just for anon-blogging nearly 20yrs ago. What's being offered here by way of comment or disparagement or recommendation is hair-raising, in terms of people's understanding of security. As in, you'd be busted at step one of law enforcement's follow-up.


Although, to be fair, the actually knowledgeable people are hardly likely to chime in with a HOWTO on this sort of forum. Hmm...

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> the hoster of choice for those attracting abuse

Donald Trump? Theresa May? Bill Shorten?

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Re: Idiot

Hmm! I'm in Oz not UK now: what stats did the UK article provide?

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Below-Par Performance

> Needham's identity was traced through his IP address

For once, that excuse-for-termination would seem to be valid.

Croydon school rolling in toilet roll after Brexit gift deemed unfit for the Queen's Anus Horribilis

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Re: Water

“By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

Paul Ehrlich, Speech at British Institute For Biology, September 1971.

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This has already been done -- it's called the WTO.

You need to be aware that "No Deal" is a bullshit phrase designed to trick people into thinking you don't already have a deal. Or rather, over 165 of them, one with each WTO member.

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Re: Water

Oh, priceless. Has Tim Flannery made his way to England?

Thank god, we could seriously do without his hysterical bullshitting. He ran exactly the same line in 2005-2007 in Australia, screaming urgent need to build major desalination plants, all mothballed until needed, never have been, ongoing maintenance costs are around A$1bn/yr iirc.

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> legal uncertainty in a no deal situation

There is no legal uncertainty in a WTO situation (apocalyptically rebadged "no deal" for hysteria-sake).

Which is what the UK will be in. Same as Australia, USA, China, etc. All of which have absolutely no toilet paper or indeed ANY international trade because they too failed to make a Special Deal with one group of countries.

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes

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Re: Simply Ghastly...

> In previous two (or three) flights, the pilots also observed the same thing. Except, those pilots "accidentally" (or mistakenly) disabled the MCAS and made it.

If you're thinking of the 2 Yank pilots: minor correction:

they disabled the AutoPilot, and the problem went away.


Which then raises the questoin of the link between the autopilot and MCAS...

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Re: Simply Ghastly...

This is probably the best description yet of the actual events&thought-processes in the cockpit at the time.

It's for situations like this that the Flight Engineer used to be a mandated part of hte flight crew. Take a lot of the engineering aspects off the flightcrew when the shit hits the fan, so that the flightcrew can focus on the aeroplane, not on what its machinery is trying to do.

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Re: Want to try to reprogram it so it feels and drives like an F1?

Or the old 50s/60s' test-pilots' saying:

"If you put a big enough engine on a BRICK, it will fly."

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Re: To have complex handling is not the same as to have poor dynamics

> that fighter jet is perfectly balanced

No, it is UNstable. It can NOT fly without CONSTANT inputs correcting its instability, its fuckups.

It is SO unstable, no human can respond fast enough to its fuckups to avoid it crashing immediately.

Hence, a computer constantly corrects its fuckups to keep it on a given stable 3Dvector, and applies an algorithm to the human pilot's jigglings of hte controls to work out the intended change to the vector, then adjusts to that new vector.

And it is not the only one. A number of fighters have been built this way in the last 30 years.

Don't get the pitchforks yet, Apple devs: macOS third-party application clampdown probably not as bad as rumored

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and the re$t...

> who right now have to pay $99 a year for said status

More importantly : PLUS 30% of all purchase/subscription fees


For any _professional_ developer/company, rather more significant than $100/yr...

Ransomware drops the Lillehammer on Norsk Hydro: Aluminium giant forced into manual mode after systems scrambled

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Re: Origin

or even better if Norsk did nuclear

then we'd have: "Norks get Norsk Nukes"

massive bonus points if NK spokesperson of irrelevant gender had big breasts.

"Norks' Norks: Norsk Nukes -- Swedish Chef implicated"

Where's Zero Cool when you need him? Loose chips sink ships: How hackers could wreck container vessels

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Re: Serious infrastructure carnage

> "'Vessel' is reserved for logs or other official documents."

Hmm, good point. I was thinking from the point of view of the people hiring & directing & making/losing money from the vessels, rather than that of the people actually ON them.

(So your iron ore trader/marketer finds, negotiates, and closes on a 12mth contract for 25,000 tons a month, then throws that to the freight traders, who find, negotiate, close on, then monitor/manage a 25,000 ton compartment and/or vessel to pick up from that port FOB & deliver CIF, while the traffic management boys have the day-on-day job of managing all the logistics drama of getting it from minehead to port & thru all the assaying and stockpiling and so on from to FOB status.)

My apologies. We're both right, but in different frameworks.

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Re: Serious infrastructure carnage

And that's just a cruise ship (barely moving; drifting). They weigh nothing. A thin weak box of air.

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Re: Serious infrastructure carnage

Heh. But on a more serious note:

England nearly lost WWII in 1939-early1940 due to mines being laid IN their ports & roads, never mind normal routes. The pilots later got the glory for the Battle of Britain re a tactical attack, but the minesweepers were digging out truly startling quantities of explosives out of the ports for a year prior : a strategic attack. The Battle of the Atlantic was actually more important than the Battle of Britain, in terms of the war. Reason: supplies.

Relatedly: Can you think of any sovereign nation which has been aggressively building military capability and extending territorial positioning, has been exponentially increasing aggression, has a recent (10-20yrs) history of exponentially increasing hacking/cracking for Nation State purposes, has a ~3,000yr history of pretending social/diplomatic niceties then conducting surprise attacks, and has a strong recent history of conducting NationState-crippling passive-aggressive attacks by eliminating trade/supplies?

In answering that question, you might note something rather startling that happened just yesterday, re the last item in that list.

9/11 & kamikazes (and "ogging") demonstrated conclusively that often the weapon-delivery system is more dangerous than the weapons, so long as you don't care about the people in it. And even ordinary vehicles are actually lethal (cf. trucks & cars used by terrorists the last few years). It just takes someone/some group to decide to DO it.

From hard drive to over-heard drive: Boffins convert spinning rust into eavesdropping mic

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Telephone 11kHz?

> sampling rate of the telephone system (8 kHz)

I thought the standad POTS was 11kHz?

'Java 9, it did break some things,' Oracle bod admits to devs still clinging to version 8

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Re: Surely its down to lack of support ....

"shor" is the best typo ever

That marketing email database that exposed 809 million contact records? Maybe make that two-BILLION-plus?

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Re: It's not called...


Microsoft flings the Windows Calculator source at GitHub

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Never mind all that rubbish, what about the best thing ever about Microsoft Windows? Minesweeper!

The algorithms! They're manipulating all of us! reckon human rights bods Council of Europe

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Re: It's been going on for a long time

Actually, it was a higher turnout than nearly all British elections. Which are binding.

Judge snubs FBI's bid to snaffle Autonomy docs ahead of founder Mike Lynch's UK showdown

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Re: So Lynch lied

I missed any Reg stuff, was just checking in on the financial organs. Well, initially, anyway.

But if you've ever worked at that level in that field, every single damn statement of Lynch is a great big screaming red flag with black flags smashing you in the face. Re fraud, deceptive accounting, and being nothing more than a noise-making salesman riding a brief wave of socially-created opportunity despite being clueless of market, tech'y, or ethics.

But HP is full of precisely the same sort of parasites. And I've seen this internal-corporate senior-hysteria over and over and over, so, no, not real surprised at HP. HP was utterly swamped by hysterical parasites 20yrs ago, no real change now, and Lynch is a parasite's parasite.

The final giveaway was him coming out ranting and swinging and posturing, and demanding evidence etc, and denying etc. , coupla years back when the accusations first started flying. But never actually addressed the concerns, merely conducted public attacks re them. Kinda an abstracted ad hominem. And I looked at that (seen it before), looked at the dates -- yee-up, he's still inside the sale's vesting period.

And boy, didn't he go very suddenly very quiet once the contract's vesting vested. Job done, you see.

Well Holby damned! We've caught a virus: Brit medical soap operas team up for 'cyber' episode

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Re: Nah

Wait, sorry, was this one of the stories where it's NOT mandatory to drag brexit in, no matter by how tenuous a link?

Sorry, I... I thought it was compulsory now. God, how embarrassing.

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Thumb Up

> Ah, the old “your name in lights” joke.

Genius reference.


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