* Posts by veti

3118 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

Navy STEALS? US sailors dispute piracy claim

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The government also adds that as a German corporation, Bitmanagement’s claim “may be jurisdictionally” barred by 28 U.S.C. § 2502(a), but it doesn’t stop there.

“To the extent that Plaintiff’s claims are premised on ‘willful infringement’ or any other basis beyond the scope of 28 U.S.C. § 1498(b)…Plaintiff’s claims are barred by sovereign immunity,” it adds.

Wow. In other words, the navy is actively trying to burn its boats, no pun intended, and close off any option it may want to exercise in future to buy software from any foreign provider.

That's ... sane.

Dirty code? If it works, leave it says Thoughtworks CTO

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Did you read the article?

Although I suspect IE4 might actually be quite secure. Have you tried logging in to your bank with it?

Adult FriendFinder users get their privates exposed... again – reports

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Re: I'm getting reluctant to sign up for ANYTHING

BrexitDelete means BrexitDelete!

As the poet has it, "The moving finger writes, and having writ/Moves on, nor all thy piety nor wit/Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,/Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it".

Time was, people had to live with what they published. Now it seems everyone wants the right to have their own past words forgotten, even though they blazoned them forth to the world at the time.

Newsflash, publishing is a one-way process. Thanks to the wonders of modern trade and manufacturing, for the price of a cup of coffee you can buy everything you need to keep your private thoughts to yourself: a pen and an exercise book, to keep in your bedside drawer.

Fake election news meltdown vortex sucks in Google

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Re: We will never know

Before you stop counting ballots, you need to be satisfied that not only the presidential tally is settled beyond doubt, but also the votes for senators, representatives, mayors, councillors, sheriffs, judges and dog-catchers. Right down the ticket.

As long as any of these positions could still be in doubt, you should still be counting the votes. And it'd be perverse to count a ballot and not tally all the votes on it.

But please don't take my word for it, contact your local board of elections and ask them. It's a question that deserves an authoritative answer.

Encrypted email sign-ups instantly double in wake of Trump victory

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As for " future government that we don't know we can trust" being just around the corner, it's been in power for the last eight years, even if you're too ideologically blind to notice.

It's been in power for at least the last 16 years. Remember who it was that created the "Department of Homeland Security" (or "KGB", as the Russians would call it).

Arguably it's been in power for 160 years and we've never experienced anything else.

But really this isn't about "trusting" anyone, this is about being scared shitless of one specific person. Trump has already managed to break American democracy (remember, the primary purpose of democracy is to convince the losers to accept the result, and that's not looking too good right now). And because he clearly doesn't have the faintest idea that there even is such a thing as "truth", nobody has much idea what he's likely to do next.

Panicked WH Smith kills website to stop sales of how-to terrorism manuals

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Re: Growing your own food can

As usual in the US, the facts are a little more nuanced than that.

There are some states that have laws about what you can do with rainwater on your own property. Some of them have complex regimes of 'water rights' and 'permits' to do things that would otherwise be forbidden.

So yes, the story is wildly exaggerated, but it's not complete fantasy.

The hated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will soon be dead. Yay?

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Re: I wonder

The legislatures do "have an input", informally. Who do you think does the negotiating in the first place?

But imagine if the treaty were being negotiated directly between the legislatures, which is what A/C is basically proposing. It'd be like:

- "Senator from Indiana, this proposal would mean more imports of Australian steel. Block this or you're out on your ear!"

- "Senator from Wisconsin, this proposal would mean New Zealand cheese would get cheaper. Block it if you want to see another term!"

- "Senator from California, the Australians and Kiwis won't extend their copyright terms unless we agree to take more steel and cheese. Talk those idiots round!"

Imagine that across hundreds of industries in all 50 states. Now expand it to the power of 11, because that's the number of other countries involved in the TPP. How could it ever work?

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That's what it looks like, when the Free Market gets to vote with its money. You may have bought a US made cellphone, but not enough of your fellow Americans agreed with you.

If you don't like it, why not petition some patriotic billionaire - like, e.g., Donald Trump for instance - to set up or buy up plants manufacturing the things you want to see manufactured in the US, and run a "Buy American!" advertising campaign to sell them in preference to imports?

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Re: I wonder

You can't "modify" a treaty unilaterally: every party has to agree to the same text. You can't have one country's lawmakers say "yeah, we'll take all that except for these three clauses" - if you do that, you have to go back and get every other country to sign off on the revised version.

If there are ten countries signing the deal, that means ten legislatures all proposing their own amendments. Imagine the to-ing and fro-ing to get them all to agree on - well, anything. Remember the final text has to be unanimous.

I would certainly agree that there should be more time to debate it. No reason why the thing should be rushed - legislators should be allowed to brood on it for years, not months or weeks. But putting the word "modify" in there - implies that you haven't thought things through. In the end, there has to be a straight yes-or-no vote.

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Re: TPP's biggest problem was the secrecy under which it was developed

Yes, trade deals are always negotiated in secret.

The reason for this is pretty obvious if you look at - well, Donald Trump f'rinstance. Now imagine trying to negotiate a deal with multiple other countries, with the entire brigade of self-interested billionaire publicity hounds tweeting misleading half-baked bullshit about every clause that even gets proposed, long before anything is agreed.

Wouldn't be possible. Even back in the days of newspapers, pre-Twitter, it was recognised as impossible; now it'd be much, much worse.

The problem with bilateral deals is that the larger party basically gets to set the terms. You know, like the shrink-wrap EULA you click through when you install software. The publisher can afford to say "take it or leave it", you can't (always) afford to walk away.

So of course the US is all for bilateral deals with smaller countries. It's we smaller countries who should be wary of that. That was the theory behind multilateral deals such as the TPP, although there's a reasonable case that it didn't work and we were still being shafted.

The US is about 20% of the world economy. If we all have to do without it for a few years - well, that'll cost obviously, but if the alternative is taking it up the backside from Trump - I for one am willing to take a pay cut to avoid that.

Toblerone's Brexit trim should be applied to bloatware

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Re: Bah!

Actually, roundabout 1999 Microsoft did try to "make menus smaller". Thus we got the infamous "menus with disappearing options", which made it basically impossible to document how-to anydamnthing with Word or Excel at that time.

Anyone remember the key combo, I think it was something like <Ctrl>-<Alt>-<_>, which turned your cursor into an underscore character and meant (although this was far from obvious) that the next thing you clicked on a menu would be removed from the menu? Now there was sheer genius.

Assuming the object was to generate more support calls, obviously.

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Re: "Diluting plenty of software might actually make it better"

"Spyware" generally has a negative price. The question is, "who's willing to pay extra for this stuff without the spyware?"

And the answer to that is generally such a vanishingly small segment of the (consumer) market that they just don't get serviced.

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Re: Major Bloat

Dropbox. HTH, HAND.

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Five months after the vote, the pound is down by 15-20% (depending on what particular basket of currencies you measure against) from before it.

Five months. That's some "panic".

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Most eloquently (as far as I know) explained by the sainted Joel Spolsky, here.

Trump's torture support could mean the end of GCHQ-NSA relationship

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Re: Scaremongering

So your suggestion is, "don't discuss or prepare for anything, because you don't know what's going to happen - wait til it does, and only then react"?

That might explain quite a bit, actually. Thanks.

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Re: Stick to tech

Intelligence sharing involves a lot of tech.

And I'm sorry, but I don't think the world has much laughter to spare for El Reg right now. We've got bigger things to guffaw at. Naming no names.

UK spying law delayed while Lords demand Leveson amendments

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So let's get this straight...

If you're a government-licensed "news publisher", you can do what you like and not be taken to court - is that right?

And if you're not, then when you get taken to court, you have to pay whether you're guilty or not?

This is the very worst kind of law: the kind that creates a two-tier justice system.

When I was trained as a journalist, in the 80s, my trainer very proudly drummed into me: "The only special privilege a journalist has, the only right you can ever claim, is the right to be treated exactly like every other bugger. Anyone can whip out a camera or a notepad, anyone can talk to people, anyone can publish what they want. Having a press card doesn't make you immune to squat."

That's a great principle. It's the absolute foundation of a free press. Don't let Ms May fuck it up any further.

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Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

what do you call it when the citizens vote in a referendum and then one of the losers can get the citizens' decision overturned by a court?

I call it a "country".

See, we have these things called "laws", and you can do whatever you want provided you work within those laws. But you do have to work within them. Otherwise you can get into a lot of trouble.

Hope this helps.

FBI's Clinton email comedown confirms it could have killed the story in a canter

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Really? I just counted, there are close to 8000 messages in my email right now. What should I do?

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Re: The Dead Zone

Yeah... the US has previously imposed "no fly zones" over Iraq, Bosnia & Herzegovinia, Libya, without any legal mandate, and somehow we've survived so far.

World War Three doesn't seem as bad as we thought.

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Re: Like the alleged 'shooter' at the Trump rally

If people planning to vote for Trump in NH and MI aren't willing to admit it, then why are the polls so close in those states?

And shall we talk about the people, women especially, in Wyoming and Kansas who aren't willing to admit they're voting for Clinton?

For the sake of your country, and mine too - please get over it. The system is the system. If you want to change it, go into politics and fucking learn how it works. Right now, Trump's voters - all of them, as far as I can tell - are at the level of the guy calling tech support because "my internet is broken", just because they can't be bothered to take the time to figure out how it's supposed to work.

Computer forensics defuses FBI's Clinton email 'bombshell'

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Re: @Kiwi ... .I sense political meddling.

the DoJ tanked the investigation by not allowing a Grand Jury to be paneled.

Or to put it another way, "did its job". The DoJ denies FBI requests for grand juries every day. That's its job.

Hilary Clinton has spent the past 30 years being investigated for everyfuckingthing, by some of the most brutally partisan and highly motivated lawyers on the planet. And they've never yet managed to pin an indictment on her. Of course they're pissed, of course there's an ocean of mud to sling and no shortage of useful idiots to sling it. And plenty of things that sound somewhere between "bad" and "unbelievable" when you just reference them, as you do, with no context.

Is she a crook? I assume so, yes. In the same way as every American politician since Washington has been a crook. But Trump? Trump doesn't even pretend to be honest.

FBI drops bombshell, and investigation: Clinton still in the clear

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Re: Just another

Yep, both sides know that every time people talk about their candidate, they remember how much they hate them, so they do everything they can to get people to talk about the other candidate.

My working assumption at this point is that Comey is being blackmailed by the Russians.

In any other year, I would have laughed that thought off as ridiculous. But right now? Looks really quite plausible.

Any questions? No, not you again at the back, please God no

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Re: I know that feeling

Ah, recycling...

A couple of years ago, my council got the brilliant idea of spot-checking people's rubbish bins to make sure they weren't throwing out recyclables in the trash. The plan was, if they found more than 5% recyclables in your rubbish, they'd send you a nastygram that might potentially escalate to a fine. (No mention of how they'd measure the "5%" threshold.)

Of course, there was no question of checking people's recycling bins for the reverse error. So the obvious solution was to stop trying to sort, and just throw everything in the recycling bin.

Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister

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Re: Was'nt one of the " reasons" for these referendum reasserting the soverignty of Parliament?

I agree, if unelected judges try to overturn the referendum result that would go very badly.

What they can and should do, however, is make sure that all the obstacles are properly addressed and all the hoops jumped through. In the end it'll be Parliament that makes the decision either way; and if the obstacles and hoops prove too difficult for Parliament to overcome then so be it, but that's still Parliament's decision, not the judges'.

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Re: Thursday's explosive anti-Brexit judgment

I have no firsthand experience of the Eton debating society, but based on the products that it puts out, I think its standards must be considerably higher than what we saw during the referendum.

Yes, both Cameron and Johnson were duplicitous, deceptive c-words. But neither one was doing anything even remotely like their best work. Why not, we can only speculate.

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Re: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

This is the era of consumer protection. We need a law describing what can and can't be sold as a "top-class banana".

The only question is whether we should make that law ourselves, or outsource it to some other body. To me that's an easy choice. If I don't give a s*** about the shape of my bananas, then let me outsource it - I don't want any more of my tax money spent on thinking about the question than absolutely necessary. It's far better for the UK that the EU makes decisions like that, because it cuts costs for the exporters (in banana-producing countries).

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Re: Media and entertainment

Keep in mind there's quite a lot of MPs - quite possibly even a majority - who want nothing more than to see the government fail to meet its self-inflicted deadline. Or any other deadline.

If they can figure out how to torpedo the whole thing while pinning the responsibility on someone else - anyone else - they'll leap at the chance.

Lengthy arguments before the Supreme Court, missing deadlines, constitutional confusion - it all helps to generate the sort of smokescreen that might give some creative soul the opportunity they're looking for.

Quite possibly, even Ms May herself would be in that category. If she can inspire her "opponents" to take her to court on cases she knows she'll lose... set deadlines she knows she'll miss... make arguments she knows will be shot down... it is just within the bounds of possibility that she might yet pull off the political manoeuvre of the century, which would be to reverse Cameron's brainfart without pissing off the voters - any more than they already are pissed off, at least.

Survey finds 75% of security execs believe they are INVINCIBLE

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Re: What's the problem

You jest, but there's a kernel of truth in this. The report is written as if "breach == armageddon". But we know that's not true, because - again, according to the report itself - companies tend to get breached more than once. Considerably more.

So relevant questions would be, what do you even classify as "a breach", and how severe, on average, are those that do happen?

If there's only minor damage, then it really doesn't make sense to throw a lot of resources into preventing them. It's like clocking your stationery supplies. Sure, you can make employees sign out every pencil they take from the cupboard, but I've never heard of anyone doing that because it's self-evidently stupid.

Facebook chokes off car insurance slurp because – get this – it has privacy concerns

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Re: Well thought out idea.

The self-discipline required to maintain a facade like that would, itself, be a pretty good indicator.

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Re: Precious

Yep, the real crime here is "trying to bypass Facebook's publicly available APIs".

If some freeloading outsider can come along and exploit Facebook's data without paying Facebook for it, then the data itself stops being so valuable.

Smart Meter rollout delayed again. Cost us £11bn, eh?

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Re: Smart meters have only ONE purpose

You forgot cutting off the supply without entering the property for non payers...

You say that as if it's a bad thing. How would you rather your electricity company dealt with non-payers?

(a) Just ignore them, let everyone else pick up the tab. That'll work until "everyone else" catches on and stops paying too. So, probably about a month.

(b) Send out a quiet, inoffensive man in a dark suit to sneak onto the property, find the meter and disconnect it manually, if they can. If they can't, then fall back to (a).

(c) Send out an entire squad of burly goons to kick in the door, subdue the inhabitants and smash the meter with a crowbar

(d) Flick a switch in a remote office somewhere

What's your preferred option?

In answering, bear in mind that whatever is done to disconnect it has a big effect on what will need to be done to reconnect it.

C'mon, it's the current year! Report finds UK gov could save £2bn by modernising IT

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Quite. And therefore, any measure of saving that depends solely on cutting staff is not gonna happen.

And everyone knows it.

Which means that this report is produced by... people who are talking as if absurdities were real, because they're too lazy or just too dim to think of anything that might really work.

And El Reg is reporting this completely insight- and information-free analysis because?

No nudes, bloated apps, Android sucks and 497 other complaints about Apple to the FTC

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Re: Dear Editor...

What do you mean, "mostly clickbait"?

How do you think online newsletters survive? Clickbait is literally their stock in trade. Writers are graded, and rewarded, solely on the basis of how many clicks they can get.

Note, this isn't just El Reg - it applies to just about every website. (Those that you pay a subscription for are sometimes, partially, exceptions. But even there, clicks are a huge metric.)

Password1? You're so random. By which we mean not random at all - UK.gov

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They shouldn't. Heck, if a website's only function is to show you ads, it has no business requesting any password at all.

On the other hand, if it looks after personal data - like, f'rinstance, if it allows you to upload your CV for forwarding to selected advertisers - that's another story.

UK minister promises science budget won't be messed with after Brexit

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Re: politicians lies

Err... no, that's not fair.

They're promising to work hard for something. They may or may not keep that promise. But they are also warning you, up front, that the result is not guaranteed, usually because they're not in a position to guarantee it.

If you read that as a promise to guarantee the outcome, then that's on you.

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So what's your answer then? Keep having referendums until one gets the right result?

I guess if it's good enough for Scotland...

Data ethics in IoT? Pff, you and your silly notions of privacy

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Re: tyrants

Not all choices are equal, though. There is such a thing as "I don't give a flying fornication".

Imagine if you got into a taxi, told the driver your destination, and she responded with "Would you like to optimise your route for time, price, or emissions?" You're in a hurry, so you reply "Time". "Would you like me to break the speed limit slightly?" Hmm, tricky - if you say "no" then obviously it'll take longer, but if you say "yes", does that make you jointly liable when she breaks it? Is she recording this? Now you've placed me in a dilemma, and I wanted to spend the journey mentally preparing for an interview.

There's such a thing as "too much choice". I want service providers to make a lot of choices on my behalf. I regard it as the height of laziness when they badger me for all these decisions that they should have been able to take for me.

Microsoft: We're hiking UK cloud prices 22%. Stop whining – it's the Brexit

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Re: Work the problem?

@Terry Barnes: The best interest of your country is served by ignoring a referendum result?

Okay, I'm not saying you're wrong. But please, think through what that would mean, and what it would look like. Specifically, how the 52% would respond to it.

Actually, I guess I am saying you're wrong, and I devoutly hope I'll be able to say the same thing to Trump voters in a couple more weeks. You lost. Get over it. That's how democracy works.

Parliamentarians ask Obama to withdraw Lauri Love extradition request

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Oh, FFS...

If you go to Spain, acquire a hunting rifle, go stand next to the Portuguese border and shoot across the border, killing someone who's in Portugal - it's the Spanish police who'll arrest you, and the Spanish courts who will try you. This is not controversial, it's a very simple and well established rule.

Why should hacking be different?

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Re: Just don't send him

Why is the Anonymous Coward so adamant that "Aspergers' is no excuse", when nobody is actually suggesting that it is?

Yes, OK, Aspergers' is no excuse. Consider that strawman well and truly unstuffed. Meanwhile, the rest of us are discussing reasons why the defendant should be tried in the UK.

Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons

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Re: Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

@enTeeEm009: if by "this" you mean "the context-free copy-n-paste hatchet job from some random hack" above, the one with the multiple downvotes, then I can't refute its statements because there aren't any. I don't see a single verifiable "statement of fact" in that post.

Clinton is a typical politician. (Well, not entirely - she's singularly uninspiring, has never produced a memorable quote or slogan that I'm aware of.) But she believes in Getting Things Done, and to that end she wheels and deals with the people who, collectively, have the power to make things happen. That's what politicians do. It's what every president since Washington has done. It's Clinton's misfortune to be doing it at a time when internet activists are intent on dragging the whole sausage-making process out into the open and calling it "corruption", generally because they didn't get everything their own way.

It's how the republic is designed to work. The way Clinton goes about doing things is exactly what the US constitution was designed to facilitate. You make friends, you build support and constituencies, you do deals. And you Get Things Done.

This "corruption" meme is not "telling it like it is". It's the opposite of that, it's "telling it like you would like to believe it is". Because of course, if the system is rigged by the powerful, then that absolves you of responsibility for the things that have gone wrong. It's a lie, and it's a lie that is designed to infantilise Americans. That is, to persuade them that they are powerless, and their only chance is to place their trust in a demagogue who "promises" that he'll look after them.

The Donald is the antithesis of the American Dream. Just to be clear, by "the American Dream" I mean:

... that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement... It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.

The Donald wants to close America's borders, to discriminate and judge people on the basis of their birth, parentage and religion - all of which is the opposite of allowing people to "attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable". And if that weren't bad enough, he now shows disdain for the most basic values of democracy, such as "respect for dissent" and "accepting the result".

Heck, even Trump's television career has been built as a display of patronage: he makes people "successes" on the basis that he, the mighty Authority, declares them successful. He's much, much more like a medieval monarch, than like any kind of democratic politician.

I don't hate America. But in all honesty, I think Donald Trump does.

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Re: Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

Yeah, be sure you get out and vote VERY WISELY on November 28th. Wouldn't want to miss it.

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Yeah, I'm going to treat that with all the seriousness that Adams himself treated it, when I told him that his blog was suppressing my comments.

I still have his reply somewhere. It's basically a denial that anything was happening, despite clear evidence that it was. Adams's sudden concern for freedom of speech (on a privately owned platform, note) comes too little, too late as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: I had a huge Twitter argument with a Trump-bot...

Yeah, I've failed the Turing test before too.

But at least I had the grace to be ashamed about it.

Donald Trump running insecure email servers

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Re: He's just a candidate

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Trump's whole case for his own fitness for office that "he knows how to hire the best people to get the best job done"?

So showing that he's hired the Three Stooges to maintain a crucial piece of his campaign infrastructure - is kinda relevant.

Czech, mate: Cops cuff Russian bloke accused of LinkedIn mega-hack

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The FSB is nothing if not pragmatic, they'll use whatever works.

In England, umbrellas and tea are both obvious weapons. I don't doubt they would also deploy pasties, scones, beer, mint sauce, HP sauce, Marmite, Jaffa cakes, prawn cocktail flavoured crisps, battered fish, lamb balti or prawn crackers, as appropriate.

A health food nut might prove a challenge for them. Maybe that's when they'd break out the umbrella.

Blighty's Home Office database blunders will deprive hundreds of GB driving licences

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Re: Anyway, I have a question


The "purpose", as with about three-quarters of what they do currently, is to appease this bloke.

And it's easy to belittle that, but it's a mistake - because he's a real bloke and up until June he'd been feeling pretty disenfranchised for the past 20 years or so. If people feel their votes are being ignored, that's when life gets really dangerous. It's got nothing to do with substance, and everything to do with perception.

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Re: Stasi nation

"An election as soon as possible" would be a promise, not a threat, to the present government.

They'd like nothing better than to go head to head against the present opposition.


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