* Posts by Jimmy2Cows

1950 posts • joined 6 Feb 2015

Royal Mail mulls drones for rural deliveries

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Re: Swallows...

That an African or European swallow?

UK's internet spy law: £250m in costs could balloon to £2 BILLION

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Re: The rule of thumb

Indeed. I'd be amazed if the final bill only reaches 2 billion, given that was about the level of previous cost estimates for IMP and CMB.

Following that rule, 6 - 20 billion is more likely.

Funnily enough (but not haha funny), their targeted 12 billion saving from benefit cuts lies pretty much bang in the middle of that range...

Financially cripple the poorest in society and spy the crap out of them for no overall cost increase. I'd like to believe gov can't sink any lower, but I'm sure they'll find some way to outdo themselves.

'I posted winning race ticket in Facebook selfie ... and someone stole it!'

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Coat

Well blow me...

What a big mouth you have...

Ice 'lightning' may have helped life survive Snowball Earth

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Facepalm

Re: Freeze Lightning Shirley!

My bad, it was Stargate Atlantis. One of the later episodes of season 5 I believe.

Kinda feel like a tool now...

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Pint

Re: Freeze Lightning Shirley!

Upvote for SG1 reference

Pluto flashes its unusual pits

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Alien

Never mind the pits...

It's the lighthouse/beacon/antenna/point-singularity-projector looking thing in the upper left corner of the first image they should be interested in...

Connected kettles boil over, spill Wi-Fi passwords over London

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Re: I wonder

However if this were to happen at say 3am, it would cause all sorts of issues.

Very true. Didn't occur.

Good point, well made.

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Holmes

Re: I wonder

Nothing.

Happens all the time after popular TV shows anyway. Millions of viewers at the end of Corrie, East Enders, X Factor etc. all firing up the kettle during the ad break (or between programs on Auntie Beeb)

Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

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Check your settings on Update as they're forcing them to Auto Update

@Mark85 good catch - thanks

Windows Update is now back how I want it. Not how they want it. MS, you sneaky bastards...

Volvo to 'accept full liability' for crashes with its driverless cars

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Re: this issue will get solved eventually

Insurance companies would love you to have a safe driverless car.

They'll love paying out less.

Though it would be great to think this translates to lower premiums, corporate greed and thirst for ever greater profit means this is unlikely.

More likely premiums will stay the pretty much same for driverless cars, while skyrocketing for people who want to drive manually.

The only way premiums will drop is forcibly by legislation. With a corporate-friendly government in power, and large supply of cash-stuffed envelopes from the insurance lobbyists, don't expect to see that becoming law any time soon.

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Re: Crash for cash

Recorded telemetry and sensor data in driverless cars (speed, GPS track, distances to cars in front/behind/oncoming, all-round video and radar/lidar data etc) prior to such crashes essentially rules out any profit to be had. That data is an insurance assessors wet dream and will prove categorically who was at fault.

That's if they can even get the driverless car to crash into them. These things will always react faster, out-brake, and remain at a safer distance from the car in front than any human driver.

Expect some attempts from the more stupid crash-for-cash tools, before they realise it'll be near impossible to crash into a driverless car and make it look like the driverless car is at fault. Then they'll give up and go on to easier pickings.

Cops must get a warrant before raiding phones, email, etc (in California)

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Holmes

Always follow the... um... proceeds of dodgy dealings...?

Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday signed off the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to require a search warrant for electronic searches.

Almost as though there might be something incriminating or at least career-endingly embarrassing on his phone he'd want the opportunity to remote-wipe if the feds come a-knockin'...

Cynical? Moi? Mais oui mes amis!

Leno and Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) introduced the bill back in February.

These guys too perhaps?

NASA boffins on Pluto: We see skies of BLUE and... RED water ice

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Devil

Re: All blue

But what if said atmosphere's content absorbs blue light while reflecting or not interacting with other frequencies...? Ain't gonna be blue then...

His advocate---------------------------------------------->

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Alien

Why's it so red..?

Well.. duh!!! It's clearly bolognese sauce exuded by the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

NASA has unexpectedly stumbled upon His lair, an incursion which cannot stand unpunished and humanity will suffer His wrath.

Eventually. I imagine the commute from Pluto is a bitch.

Assange™ offered 'plans for escape by flying fox to Harrods'

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Re: Apple Security

Kinda agree with this.

Maybe not so much about relative security, more that the perps see Apple users as likely higher value targets. Which shows how dumb said perps really are, given Apple's 13.9% market share in Q2 2015

http://www.idc.com/prodserv/smartphone-market-share.jsp

If the rest of the market is so insecure compared to Apple, surely it's worth targeting the 86.1% of the market that ain't Apple...? Low hanging fruit an' all that.

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On the other hand, he'd never find his way out either.

A plan with no drawbacks.

Audi, Seat, Skoda admit they've been fiddling car pollution tests as well

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FAIL

Of != Have

@future research:

What is the problem with that, Language does change over time?

Fuck it, why not just allow "of" and "have" to be used interchangeably? Nothing could possibly go wrong with that now, could it...?

May I of one have whatever you're smoking please?

If this is your idea have a brave new world, I want to of no part have it.

Indianapolis man paints his ball every day – for FORTY YEARS

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WTF?

@Khaptain Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

I honestly couldn't care less for what anyone does in the privacy of their own home, that's their problem.

What I do not care for is the fact that the media, in this case El Reg, pump this crap onto the screens/newspapers/medium of their readers.

Society is being dumbed down to a level the leaves me in complete despair.. and what do I see, people on a tech site that defend this kind of thing.

Ummm... yeah... so you know this is Bootnotes, right?

In other words - expect inane bollocks just like this, which is a welcome relief to the overwhelming seriousness in the world. Seriousness that seems to have sucked you into it's clammy, graping maw...

It's not broadband if it's not 10 Mbps, says Ovum

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WTF?

Only 4 devices connected on average?

That all? Seems way low.

Phones, tablets, TVs, Sky boxes, streaming TV boxes, PCs, laptops, consoles, CCTV, alarm systems, smart (urgh) appliciances ... any household with kids is likely to have a some or all of these, perhaps many times over. 3 kids here and between us we've something like 15 devices online.

Anti-peeping-tom drone law nixed in California

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Meh

Re: Super Cali's Governor Brown something, something ... ah screw it

Sub Ed's really not making the effort any more...

Apple hypegasm countdown. What will the new, big iPad ACTUALLY be called?

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Re: Tellydangle

Low hanging fruit...?

Drunk Japanese warrior cuffed after NINJA STRIKE on shop robot

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Pics or it didn't happen...

Am I the only one who's disappointed there's no video showing this heroic ninja warrior in action? I wanted to see a 60 year old roundhousing the robot...

I'd offer this beer to the guy, but it seems like he's had enough already...

British killer robot takes out two Britons in Syria strike

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Re: Victims?

Re: Victims?

And we made a formal declaration of war on ISIS when exactly? Ah they are not a nation how convenient for us.

Nation state or not, ISIS are a (somewhat) organised military force with a stated goal of eradicating our way of life.

Pretty sure we effectively declared war with them some time ago, this is just a continuance of military operations. Had it been two non-Britons killed by drone strike, I doubt there would be anything like the fuss this has generated.

We don't have boots on the ground because we are not at war with the sovereign states ISIS is attempting occupy, control and turn back into a Caliphate.

This could have been done legally and above board instead we have our politicians playing real life Call of Duty.

How, exactly? Send local plod round with an arrest warrant?

You need to grow up. These aren't criminals, they are traitors who decided to become enemy combatants in an ongoing military operation that was entirely started by ISIS / IS / ISIL / whatever the fuck they're calling themselves today.

I for one will lose no sleep over the death in combat of two treasonous scumbags.

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Re: Victims?

Victims?

Wrong word.

Completely agree. Traitors. Nothing more, nothing less.

Join an enemy military force, official nation or not, you're fair game for military engagement.

Astroboffins EYEBALL 13 BEELLION-year-old galaxy far, far, farthest away from Earth

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RE: There is no fixed speed of light. It is just a huge lie.

There is no fixed speed of light. It is just a huge lie.

Whatever we see is in realtime always.

Unfortunately it is still like in the Middle Ages and soon after that... pseudo-science lies claimed to be the absolute truth.

There are people that know the truth and they hide it from the public.

Dude... whatever you're on... do less of it. A lot less.

Anti-botnet initiatives USELESS in sea of patch-hating pirates

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Re: Who's responsible

Sounds like where I work, only your place has more "IT" people (they clearly aren't actually proper IT people, or they'd be able to configure the server themselves). Actually the place you're at sounds like a cushy job for 6 people to sit around doing fuck all and get paid for it...

Here, the only guy who knew much about IT (wasn't actually an IT guy, just happened to grasp the enough for us to get by) has just left, and now any and all IT consideration is a finger waving exercise outsourced to the lowest bidder. Sad.

US Air Force: 'Loose tweets destroy fleets'

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How many is too many?

Choose your preferred metric! If we assume that it's population, then I have to ask why with only 5x the population, the US needs 70x as many combat aircraft as the UK? Even on the suspect land mass metric, they've either got twice as many as they need, or we've got half the number we need.

From a naval point of view, the CIA World Factbook identifies the US coastline as only 1.6x that of the UK, so I have to ask if you're arguing that the UK needs 14 aircraft carriers, and nearly 400 frigates?

Doesn't necessarily mean they have too many. One can equally argue we don't have enough...

There's no "right" answer to that. Depends on which side of the equation one sits. That and threat landscapes shift all the time, suddenly an excess can become insufficient.

Australian court slaps down Hollywood's speculative invoices

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I should be an account

No, no, no... You should be an English teacher.

Flying Spaghetti Monster spotted off Angolan coast

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Fawning...

The somewhat fawning line "through the generous help of offshore oil and gas companies" does stick in the throat somewhat.

Yeah it's a bit sickly, but at the same time BP etc don't have to let these guys use their ROVs. So in that context, they are being generous, and chaps benefiting from this generosity are politely acknowledging this.

I think to call it "fawning" is unfair. They aren't saying BP are on wondrous and magnificent endeavours for the good of all mankind, just thanks for letting us play with your toys.

BLADE-WIELDING BOTS conquer humans in RADIO DEATHMATCH

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In other news... FCC members early adopters of iRobot automated lawn mowers

Mysterious benefactor supplies FCC panel members with auto-mowers prior to presentation of the case, the damn things are just too convenient to risk being made inoperable due to pesky things like broadcasting in a restricted band. Won't somebody please think of the FCC!?!

[troll]

So who care's if it pisses off some geeks looking for booze in deep space, right?

We're the freakin' FCC! We don't mow our own lawns.

[/troll]

Exploding Power Bars: EE couldn't even get the CE safety mark right

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Re: Red-top article?

Not clocked the bright red top banner heading on each page on El Reg, huh...?

Too subtle perhaps?

Safe as houses: CCTV for the masses

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Netatmo's Welcome costs €199, which is presently about £140.

That may be the exchange rate, but oddly it never works out that way.

It'll be at least £199 and you fucking know it!

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Well I'm shocked

Increasing the percentage shown on a sensitivity slider increases the sensitivity... well spin my nipple nuts and send me to Alaska,whoda thunk it?

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Is it just me...

...or do those apps for both products looks suspiciously similar? The motion detection icons are virtually identical, just mirrored. Feels like the same outfit was used by both makers.

Buffoon in 999 call: 'Cat ate my bacon and I want to press charges'

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Alert

It's a crime...

...against bacon!

I demand immediate action against the soulless perpetrator and all accomplices!

For their sake I hope it wasn't crispy. That's a doubling of the sentence right there.

Flippin' heck, meet the Internet of Things wallpaper

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Elegantly simple, but his site is full of marketing BS

Like it. A wonderfully simple idea that looks like it could scale to cover vast areas whilst being lighter than existing solutions and using a lot less power.

Sure, it's a variant on the mechanical flip-pixel displays but without all that bulkiness. Well done indeed.

Unintended flipping due to breezes might be an issue but could be engineered around; encase the screens (or subsections of very large screens) comes to mind. All in all a very clever solution.

Then I looked at his website... sigh... hoping for some more detail about the magnetic control processes, but no...

Besides opening up new aesthetic possibilities, this technology is radical in two engineering respects - it does not use conventional electromagnets to move the pixels, and it achieves complex pixel movements without a complex control system. In other words - it shouldn't work, but careful co-evolution of the hardware components and the control software has created a surprisingly elegant and effective design (patent pending).

In other words - it shouldn't work

Argh!! Hates that.

What? You designed it to do something else and this was an entirely unexpected result? Bollocks!

Of course it should work! It's what you made it to do.

The fact you do it with a slimmed out electromagnetic process - that at a wild guess varies the attraction and repulsion laterally across each pixel with respect to the backing to flip it then stick it back down - is a neat discovery, but don't play us for morons by saying it shouldn't work.

Microsoft boffins borrow smartmobe brains to give wearables 9x kick

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Headmaster

of off!

I would have thought...

Just because the contraction would've sounds a bit like would of, doesn't mean it is.

BT issues formal whinge to Ofcom over Sky dominance in pay telly

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Meh

Pot meets kettle, discusses lack of brightness difference...

BT tries to move into a market that where Sky, and to a lesser extent Virgin, have operated for many more years, and then complains that guess what? The company that's been there longest has dominant share.

Sadly this seems to be the default position. Rather than, oh I don't know, compete, try to manipulate the regulator to damage the competition.

Ford's 400,000-car recall could be the tip of an auto security iceberg

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Re: How do you turn an engine off if the off-button doesn't work?

I'm assuming you mean when parked, not whilst driving...

Pull one of many fuses for the fuel pump, fuel injection, engine management, or ignition systems. any of these will stop the motor.

Do not cover the air intake. You won't lose a hand but you will get a poor air/fuel mix in the cylinders that could lead to all sort of expensive damage, for instance to your catalyst. They don't like fuel contamination.

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Stop

Re: OTA updates are NOT the solution

Holding programmers accountable for bad code is what is required.

Respectfully disagree. Furthermore I respectfully suggest you know nothing about development processes or the differences between unit, regression and product testing.

now is the time to put an end to dangerous, deadly and unacceptably poor programming code and it's implementation

You really don't have a clue do you. This is almost never the case in safety critical systems. A failure to understand the process leaves you blaming the wrong people.

Applying a proper, rigorous and thorough testing program is the solution. Ensuring that any issues flagged up are taken seriously rather than swept under the carpet because another iteration of the development cycle costs another couple of million.

Making the programmers accountable is not the answer. Programmers should never be responsible for product testing and QA, for the simple reason they are programmers not testers. They know the code they have written and subconsciously avoid doing stupid or unexpected things with it. This has the natural effect of missing bugs.

Programmers do perform unit and regression tests on their code. But these can only be expected to perform within the scope of specifications the programmers have been given.

Bugs don't just arise from programming mistakes, and the ones that do are quickly weeded out in the unit and regression testing phases. In critical applications bugs tend to occur due to poorly specified requirements or operating conditions outside of anticipated ranges. This is not a failure of the programmers. This is a failure of specification, of understanding the original problem.

And these aren't actually bugs, these are failures to properly define the problem at the outset. It is the responsibility of requirements analysers and product specification engineers and their management to ensure all aspects are adequately specified before coding starts.

It is the responsibility of programmers to adhere to the specifications they are given, and of development managers to ensure this happens.

It is the responsibility of product testing to ensure that firstly the product meets the original specifications, and secondly to ensure that it doesn't royally fuck up when pushed beyond the original specifications.

Depending on the severity of problems found at this time, it is up to project stakeholders to decide what further action is needed. They will make a risk assessment and can choose to iterate the specification, programming and testing cycle again, or release the product as is.

None of this is the responsibility of the programmers.

Ultimately responsibility falls on the upper management layers of the company as a whole for failing to ensure they have delivered a safe, secure and working product. They are the ones whose job is supposed to be to make sure, really sure, that everything has been done correctly.

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Holmes

@Simon B:Why do we need cars that need...

You are of course free to buy an older car without all the computery gubbins. No-one is stopping you.

These things may appear to be pointless excesses, but there's a solid reason behind each choice. As the extra complexity is generally more expensive, and manufacturers want to be able to sell their cars, they don't just add this stuff on a whim.

Just because you don't see the benefit doesn't mean there isn't one.

A computer system to turn the ignition off when a barrela nd key works with no less benefit.

The intention is to improve security.

Simple barrel and key is open to hotwiring, it's just a switch that in some cases can carry a very high current - so is also a potential fire hazard if there's a wiring fault.

The electronic barrel has a transponder that reads a code from your key. That code is passed to the car's security module which decides if that key is allowed to start the car. That is why keys have to be coded to cars. Accessory positions 1 and 2 may still be simple switches, or they may also be enabled by the security module.

Secondary benefits are automated start/stop, and remote start.

Attaching to a laptop to bring wipers to the middle so you can change the blades, as the blades hide under the bonet when you turn them/the car off.

Design aesthetics and aerodynamics are probable reasons here. Manufacturers seeking that fractional improvement in drag reduction will conceal the wipers as this helps smooth airflow over the car.

As for being hidden under the bonnet, just open the bonnet when the blades need changing. This is normal practice on modern cars. I've never seen one that needs something plugged into the diagnostic port to change the wiper blades.

computers and electronics are great, but do we really need one to do simple mundane tasks which REALLY don't need making super complicated?! It's all about robbing the customer blind

I'd say it's more feeling the need to add automated and "intelligent" features as an attempt to differentiate in a competitive market, with a nod to making things more complicated than the average owner can handle so will maybe return to the dealer.

EU directives mean that servicing and repairs can be carried out at any VAT registered garage without affecting the manufacturer warranty, so you are free to take your car to just about any garage you want.

You need to connect your car to my gizmo mate to find out why your car is in limp mode. It'll give me an error code whih i can look up to tell me. Oh btw it costs £60 jto do that; just to tell you what's wrong.'

Sure, dealers like to scam you by charging half hour or hour labour just to plug in a computer that gives the result in 30 seconds. Know scam that is easily avoided.

You can buy yourself a £20 code reader and look up the fault yourself, then research the problem yourself and decide if you can fix it.

And you are still free to take your car anywhere to get repaired. Doesn't have to be the dealer. And dealers are often franchises so even if you do go to a dealer, the manufacturer doesn't see a penny of that. Dealer buys cars from manufacturer, parts sometimes from the manufacturer. That's the end of the relationship. Manufacturer does not benefit from service and repair jobs.

What's the alternative? Cars that tell you nothing about the problem so you pay out for hours and hours of diagnostic labour charge just to find the fault, then you still have to pay for the fix as well?

Going into limp mode is usually better than the car simply dying on you and refusing to start. you can at least get home or to a garage instead of being stuck at the roadside.

One MEEELLION users download Facebook-pwning droid game

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CoPilot

Seconded. I don't want a constant data connection active, so spent a while researching the alternatives, and CoPilot came out on top for my needs. Got it on my phone, in my cars. Offline maps, regular updates, lots of features.

Smart meters set to cost Blighty as much as replacing Trident

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Re: Control the language, control the debate...

Sadly, you've nailed it.

Will a data centre be driving your car in 12 years' time?

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What he said

^^^^ exactly this ^^^^

There are enough terrible drivers around as it is, and they drive manually every day.

Will there be some mandated annual retest of drivers with automatically piloted vehicles to ensure they can safely take over if and when needed? Or will they just be left to go "Oh FUCK!!!" and hit some innocent bystander because they forgot what to do?

Whilst the mechanics of driving are not so easily forgotten, the skill, the reaction times, the ability to predict what other drivers are likely to do, not panicking when the slightest unexpected thing happens, even just the feel of the pedals under your feet so you aren't stalling the motor each time you take your foot off the clutch or pressing the brake so hard you face-plant the steering wheel - these are things that require constant practice to maintain.

There are other questions too, like: will it be legal to "drive" (ok this is the wrong word - be in the driver's seat of?) a piloted car without a licence if it were to only shut down and park itself in the event of a data connection failure? Since the occupant isn't actually driving and cannot if the car won't let him/her, does this mean we could legitimately see kids behind the wheel of daddy's prized motor?

UN corruption cops commence probe into domain-name and patent body WIPO

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Just to say about ignoring cheaper bids...

He is also accused of overruling an IT procurement decision in favour of a bid from an acquaintance, despite cheaper bids being on the table.

Not making a judgement about whether or not the deal was... questionable... but the cheapest bid is not always the best one. The sensible choice looks at the value of each bid, and the cheapest bid rarely offers the best overall value.

The guy seems bent as a nine-bob note, and given his position of power there's a good chance he is, but overriding the cheaper bid isn't necessarily dodgy and the fact it went to an acquaintance may be irrelevant.

Bank of England CIO: ‘Beware of the cloud, beware of vendors’

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Flame

Sounds like a bigoted, stereotyping git to me

“Particularly in technology we want to recruit people who we wouldn’t normally recruit – specky, geeky kids hacking in their bedroom,” he said. The philosophy is fresh thinking and ideas will flow from diversity and cause disruptive change for the Bank.

Why, because all your staff are handsome, strapping and athletic? Not the best way to attract the kind of people you obviously need, resorting to passive-aggressively offensive stereotyping of your target employees.

Twat.

Oi, UK.gov, your Verify system looks like a MASS SPY NETWORK

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Not a flaw...

Government “identity assurance” programme Verify contains "severe privacy and security problems" including a major architecture flaw that could lead to "mass surveillance" – according to an academic paper.

That's not a bug. That's a feature. A very much intended, planned and designed feature.

Danezis questioned the reason behind why the system was designed with a single point of failure, but said no explanation has been provided.

The reason is simple. It is entirely deliberate. No way they're going to change it though, or admit it even could be a design flaw. The best you'll get is a canned statement about how it has been designed to be entirely secure with end-to-end encryption, and there's been no evidence of any compromise, intrusion or security breach in the system since it began operations.

Interestingly, the American version of an identity system, the Federal Cloud Credential Exchange, shares similar design flaws, according to the paper. But Danezis said there is no evidence the systems have been deliberately designed in this way by intelligence agencies.

Of course there's no evidence. This common "flaw" is a deliberate feature allowing spooks to compromise the system at will and will have been planned to leave no trace. Hard to imagine it isn't being abused in exactly this way, given the Fed's thirst for privacy invasion and mass data collection.

Are ALIENS hiding on Jupiter's Europa? Let's find out, cry NASA bods

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RE: why does it cost $120K per hour to fly a B-2?

It's a big expensive plane that needs a lot of fuel, lot of crew and support both in the air and on the ground, and a metric fuck ton of maintenance per flight hour.

I know Wikipedia isn't always the most reliable source, but it gives it pretty good rundown of costs.

Scroll down to Program costs and procurement, last paragraph.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_B-2_Spirit

AT&T fined about 3 days of profit ($100m) for limiting 'unlimited' plans

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Facepalm

Re: what is The Reg

@AC: Dude... really!?!

Version 0.1 super-stars built the universe – and they lived all the way over there, boffins point

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Re: Question

Fair point, my last sentence perhaps wasn't worded as clearly as it should have been.

Obviously you can't create hydrogen-1 via nuclear fusion. I should have said there would be no Population IV stars because the necessary elements for Population III already existed immediately after the big bang. Thus no need to synthesise hydrogen, or fuse hydrogen into helium.

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