* Posts by grizewald

72 posts • joined 22 May 2015


Bitcoin value jumps as PayPal says it will accept cryptocurrencies... once it has the kinks worked out

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"The Kinks" being ownership

PayPal will happily sell you Bitcoin, but the problem is that you don't actually own the coins in your PayPal wallet; they are owned by PayPal.

From PayPal's Cryptocurrency FAQ:

Will I get a private key for the Cryptocurrency I buy on PayPal?

You own the Cryptocurrency you buy on PayPal but will not be provided with a private key.

If you don't have the private key to your Bitcoins, then by definition, you don't own the coins.

Something to look forward to: Being told your child or parent was radicalized by an AI bot into believing a bonkers antisemitic conspiracy theory

Big Brother

It's an ancient fact that "there's one born every minute".

Many people are naturally gullible. Whether they are deluded by a friendly AI, a hostile AI, someone with a tinfoil hat or the latest propaganda from their own government makes no difference. Trying to ham string GPT because people are stupid sounds like a meaningless exercise to me.

The sinister part of this entire debate is the creeping censorship which is spreading like a bad disease over the Internet. Governments all over the world are suppressing certain forms of speech while ensuring that "officially approved" speech is unchallenged. The same governments which decry China blocking speech which does not agree with the party line are doing exactly the same thing and using the same excuses as China does.

The fact that people are gullible is something that these governments are fully aware of and are exploiting to the largest possible degree.

One core skill which should be taught at school is that of critical reasoning and source criticism. Far too many people seem unable to look at the source of information and ask themselves what agenda may lie behind the creation of things that they hear and read. Of course, trying to educate children to be suspicious of information which they cannot verify would make it harder for governments to maintain the status quo, so I don't expect to see this type of skill being taught in classrooms any time soon.

'There is no way we can keep coding local': GitPod's cloud development platform released into sunlight of open source

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This is just a scheme to let developers kick back just like the Office365 users whenever some some dumbass at a major routing node stuffs up a core router again.

Why have half the company not working when the Internet connection goes down for the n-th time this week when you can have the entire company not working?

Oracle and Salesforce targeted in €10bn GDPR lawsuit backed by profit-making litigation fund


The problem with being tracked like this

is contained nicely in this paragraph from the article:

Salesforce told us: "We design and build our services with privacy at the forefront, providing our corporate customers with tools to help them comply with their own obligations under applicable privacy laws – including the EU GDPR – to preserve the privacy rights of their own customers.

Let's see now. I'm not Salesforce's customer and I'm probably not the customer of Salesforce's customer either. All I am is someone to profile.

As I have no relationship with either Salesforce, Salesforce's customers or their customer's customers, I cannot be asked for consent. Without any form of consent then tracking me must be something done without my express or implied consent. Even if I might be deemed to be a customer of Salesforce's customer by agreeing to the terms and conditions of using a particular web site, I always make sure that I do not consent to passing my data to third-parties. If Salesforce track me to other web sites that I'm not a customer of, they really have no legal right whatsoever to collect data about me on that site and add it to my profile.

Like other commentards, I'm not exactly in love with the idea of ambulance chasers, but if this is what it takes to rein in this kind of surveillance capitalism, then I'm all for it.

Have I Been Pwned to go open source – 10bn credentials, not so much, says creator Hunt


Fair comment. I also don't see why the sale needs to include any stolen credentials in a useful form. Hash the mail addresses and only publish the hashes. It wouldn't change the ability for the site to tell you if you've been pwned or not.

As to finding anyone trustworthy and dedicated enough to run, maintain and most importantly, update the site that Troy created so that it retains its reputation is probably the hardest part of trying to pass it on.

I'd say that some things people create on the Internet are much like children: once you have given them life, you have an inherent responsibility for them. This responsibility may include giving them accommodation at a hotel (your house) for many more years than you may have expected!

The only hope I'd see for the site is if a truly independent non-profit organisation with the right competence and drive offered to take it over. EFF comes to mind as they already publish quite a few tools to help people avoid some of the more common dangers on the Internet. This kind of resource should be right up their street.

UK puts £200m on table for dynamic purchasing system to supply public sector with AI


I need help to decipher this article!

Maybe my wetware needs some (non-existent) AI help, but I have a few problems comprehending the buzzwords in this article.

What on earth is "a dynamic purchasing system"?

Why do organisations who spend taxpayer money need an "opportunity to purchase" something as ill defined as "AI"? (Which doesn't actually exist in any form which I'd apply the term to.)

Furthermore, what the hell do they need an AI for even if it did exist?

Why does providing them with this "opportunity" require blowing £200 million on something which sounds like a buzzword bingo invention?

Why can't these rich public organs access "a wide range of competition" (whatever that means) without a "dynamic purchasing system"?

Where did all this money to burn suddenly come from? Isn't the country broke?

I might not live in Blighty any more, but I don't seem to remember my skills in my mother tongue diminishing to such a extent that I can't understand an El Reg article any more.

Do I have early onset Alzheimer's disease? Or is my uncontrollable aversion to bullshit playing up again?

Please help!

Confused of Stockholm.

Speaker for yourself: Looks like 5 patents are table stakes as Google countersues Sonos


I hope google destroy them

Sonos have been showing increasing signs of being a desperate company for some time now. The more a company becomes hostile towards its customers and begins to view hostile litigation as an action which might save it from obscurity and eventual collapse, the more certain it becomes that all they fear will come to pass.

I'm no big fan of google, but Sonos seem to be begging for destruction and I hope google deliver it.

Surprise surprise! Hostile states are hacking coronavirus vaccine research, warn UK and USA intelligence


Bullshit article based on bullshit press releases.

"Hostile countries". What kind of dumb expression is that?

This article is all about attributing motive to unknown actors with zero evidence of the intent of the attacks.

An equally plausible explanation is that the usual actors are taking advantage of the fact the the targeted companies are likely to be "rushed off their feet" busy at the moment and are less likely to notice being penetrated.

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

How about some analysis of your own Gareth instead of just recycling dodgy press releases like most lazy print hacks?

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere


If my bank's online banking system used something as crude and insecure as a password to identify me, I would be switching to a bank that understands security issues pronto!

UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told

Big Brother

What is this fascination that people have with carrying a tracking device with them at all times?

If I don't feel like talking to people, I turn my mobile phone off. I rarely take it with me when I leave the house. I don't see that changing. Nothing is so important that people can't leave a message or call back later.

As if people in the UK don't have enough information collected about them already. Now they want to add everyone you even came within a few metres of you to that vast trove of circumstantial evidence and people willingly agree to provide it? Madness.

Trello! It is me... you locked the door? User warns of single sign-on risk after barring self from own account


So easy to say

So hard to do.

"The obvious conclusion is: first, to back up data stored with external services..."

Most cloud services like Trello don't offer any easy way to make a backup of your data, or if they do, it's normally in a way that loses the structure or uses some impenetrable proprietary format which only works on the cloud service in question.

A fine example of the "no backup at all" is Photobucket. They make it very easy to put all your photos on their service, but the only way to download your own data from them is to go through each picture, one at a time, and manually download each one.

I believe it's called "lock in by design".

Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much


Re: Paris...

Meh, set the keyboard to US-ASCII and learn to touch type. Problem solved, regardless of what is written on the keycaps.

London court tells Julian Assange: No, coronavirus is not a good reason for you to be let out of prison


Re: @idiottaxpayer @Zolko

Sweden has an inquisitorial justice system, not an adversarial one.

Therefore, there is no jury. The guilt of the accused is assessed by the magistrates who judge the case. As Sweden's magistrates are politically appointed, it has a well deserved reputation for its courts being anything but impartial when the case in question has political ramifications. What they did to the founders of The Pirate Bay is an excellent example of the problem.

Sweden is also known for happily handing over two "persons of interest" to the CIA for rendition to a black prison, regardless of the fact that the two people had Swedish citizenship. No courts were involved in the process.

Having been set up by two young women who are lifelong members of the social democrat party here in Sweden and seeing that the two girls would be represented by a friendly lawyer who is a senior member of the same party, I think Assange had every right to fear that he would be handed over to the USA without so much as a word if he stayed in Sweden.

Broadcom sues Netflix for its success: You’re stopping us making a fortune from set-top boxes, moans chip designer


Truly disgusting behaviour

Sue another company because they innovated and developed a new market, cutting into your dinosaur tech bottom line? How low can they sink?

I really hope that Broadcom's bad faith use of what are more than likely bad patents ends up with them losing huge amounts of money, losing their reputation and ultimately ceasing to exist as a company.

A pathetic law suit from an increasing pathetic company.

Microsoft Teams gets off to a wobbly start as the world and its cat starts working from home

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I don't praise Microsoft very often, but

the fact that Teams runs on Linux, with all features, is just great! Trying to use Skype for Business in a Win10 virtual machine is a dead loss as audio just echoes and echoes. Teams works very well, for both audio and desktop sharing.

I didn't notice any problem with voice meetings today but just as I was finishing my day, chat seemed to die, but I didn't care as my day was over.

Super-leaker Snowden punts free PDF* of tell-all NSA book with censored parts about China restored, underlined


Well said!

Ed Snowden is indeed a real hero.

The man has given up everything and put his life at risk to do what his conscience told him was right. He confirmed what many of us already suspected but few had any idea of the depth and breadth of the USA and Five Eyes surveillance machine.

His revelations confirmed the fact that the governments of the world view the electorate as their subjects, that they no longer understand what "public servant" means, and worst of all, that they really couldn't care less what any of their subjects think about it.

The most disturbing thing that Snowdens revelations have revealed is the utter apathy that most people have to how their government behaves. The same 'having your vote' play for the gallery continues. Far too many people spend their lives in the fantasy world of television. Most importantly, the governments of the world are perfectly aware of the fact that your average man couldn't give a toss about what the government does as long as there's a glib explanation. They know that there are not enough people who see how corrupt and broken the system is to anything about it. And so the politicians increasingly treat the people with contempt because they can.

Things will only get worse.

I'm just about to start reading the book. I hope I can find some answers in there as to how Ed Snowden feels about how little concrete effects his revelations have had and what he thinks of the apathy most people show towards these and other burning issues.

iCloud hacker perv cops nearly 3 years in jail for stealing and sharing people's private, intimate pics


My comment was correct at the time

but it appears that the article has now been quietly corrected.


Do maths much Gareth?

Four years. Nearly four years. 32 months.

Last time I checked, there were 12 months in a year, so his sentence was "nearly three years" and not four or nearly four.

Ooh, watch out Google. You've got competition. Verizon has a new 'privacy-focused' search engine


"Microsoft" and "privacy" in the same sentence? Shurely shome mishtake?

I really can't see what those two words are doing in the same sentence. Did Microsoft push a Windows 10 update which removes all the telemetry, advertising and other personal data slurping code from their OS?

No, I thought not.

Join us on our new journey, says Wunderlist – as it vanishes down the Microsoft plughole


As a consumer, I don't use any Microsoft products.

As a programmer, I am forced to use Microsoft products by the fact that my employer mandates the use of Microsoft's operating systems and technologies.

In the old days, the saying was "Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM.". Now it's "Nobody ever got fired for choosing Microsoft.".

Seeing as how Windows 10 and Microsoft's cloud services can hardly be deemed compliant with the GDPR, I'm still wondering why some people haven't yet been fired for choosing Microsoft.

Metasploit for drones? Best of luck with that, muses veteran tinkerer


Re: Conclusion fail

Being an idiot and causing someone else harm through irresponsible use of a drone (or anything else for that matter) is already a criminal act covered by plenty of laws which can be used to visit retribution upon said idiot.

What is utterly out of proportion is subjecting all RC flyers to draconian registration, licensing and "education" laws which far exceed those required to drive a motor vehicle.

People killed by motor vehicles: too many to count

People killed by RC multirotor craft: zero

The main reason behind repeated drone hysteria stories being fed to the credulous media and the knee-jerk legislation which follows is so that Amazon and Google can lay claim to the airspace between ground level and 100 metres for their drone delivery projects.


Re: Conclusion fail

Quite so, but that implies that politicians act based on evidence and logic - something I won't be holding my breath waiting for.


Conclusion fail

"While the academic interest in drone hacking is high, the real-world consequences of drone hysteria, fuelled by a credulous media is becoming increasingly annoying as politicians draft pointless laws about a hobby which has never killed anyone. "

There, FTFY.

If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is: Nobody can decrypt the Dharma ransomware


Re: Surely decryption is possible...

"So not impossible just very very very time consuming"

You're missing about 10^24 copies of the word "very" there. I don't know how you define impossible, but I'd say that "not possible before the sun goes supernova" is, for all intents and purposes, a good definition.

That's not long division, Timmy! China school experimented on pupils with mind-reading tech

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Were you drunk when you wrote this artice Richard?

Even without atrocities such as "parentals" and barely grammatical sentences starting with "But", this article is probably a new low for The Register.

Two years ago, 123-Reg and NamesCo decided to register millions of .uk domains for customers without asking them. They just got the renewal reminders...


Decent of them???!!

They take your money without agreement, send you off doing work to find out which domains you have actually ordered, waste your time having to find this information and then contacting them to ask for a refund, and you call them DECENT?!

For god's sake man!

The minimum acceptable response from them would be:

Your money back.

Plus interest and any charges involved in returning it.

Plus a minimum of one hour of your time, say £100.

Zapped from the Play store: Another developer gets no sense from Google, appeals to the public

Big Brother

Just a glimpse of the future

This is only a taster of what await us.

When "AI" systems make all the decisions, like if you can get credit, if you can rent accommodation, if you can get medical treatment, if you are guilty or innocent of a crime, there will never be an explanation for a decision because nobody knows why the "AI" made the decision.

What will be certain is that the "AI's" decision cannot be contested because it must be right.

Trying to stay off the grid and not live your life through F*book or similar will be counted by the "AI" as a huge black mark.

The days of self-determination, privacy and individuality are now in their winter of old age.

Welcome to your brave new world.

There once was a biz called Bitbucket, that told Mercurial to suck it. Now devs are dejected, their code soon ejected



I had enough trouble getting some of our devs to use Mercurial. Now I have to start over and get them to use git instead.

Thanks for nothing Atlassian!

Lenovo ThinkPad X390: A trusty workhorse that means business but it's not without a few flaws


I'd just like to say

that trackpoints RULE!

As a long time Thinkpad user, in my opinion the trackpoint, when fitted with a rounded sandpaper surfaced nipple rather than the recent soft rubber one, is the best pointing device ever. With the right acceleration settings, it's way more accurate than a mouse or any track pad. It also keeps your fingers on the keyboard where they need to be.

Police costs for Gatwick drone fiasco double to nearly £900k – and still no one's been charged


Re: Bit unfair

"Bungling" would appear to be far too generous.

"incompetent, arrogant, fascist pigs" might be more accurate.

Quite how the Chief Constable can spout this kind of insulting, threatening crap about his force's harassment of an obviously innocent man and get away with it beggars belief. His behaviour is wildly inappropriate for a senior policeman and at the minimum should warrant an official and public chastisement and apology. Personally, I think he should lose his job.

It would appear that the rules in Blighty these days are "Big Brother is always right, even when he is wrong and anyone who dares question this is obviously a terrorist/child molester/subversive (delete as appropriate to fit Big Brother's fear icon of the day)."

Chin up, CapitalOne: You may not have been the suspected hacker's only victim. Feds fear 30-plus organizations hit



So here we have someone who, even to the most casual reader, obviously doesn't have all their mental ducks swimming in the same direction and they are treated as if they are some cybercriminal mastermind caught sitting on piles of ill gotten gains.

This looks like a vindictive, spiteful prosecution of someone who is probably more in need of help at a mental hospital than being locked up in a disgusting American prison.

Is there actually any evidence that she sold any of the data she downloaded? There's a huge difference between downloading stuff to prove that you can and selling it to fraudsters to have fun with.

Q&A: Crypto-guru Bruce Schneier on teaching tech to lawmakers, plus privacy failures – and a call to techies to act

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Thanks Iain!

It's always good to listen to Bruce Schneier's more informal comments on some of the vital topics with which he works.

Bruce is one of our time's most influential IT people, and rightly so. I have followed his blog since it started nearly fifteen years ago and have learned volumes from his ideas and discussions. His analysis is razor sharp. He has also gained a justified respect for his objective, impartial and trustworthy communication and his robust criticism of those who have rightfully earned it, regardless of their position or status.

I can see attitudes changing towards employees working sabbaticals, secondments or private projects together with government. I think such arrangements would help the company with better informed and wiser employees and absolutely improve the way the tech industry and government interact. Above all, and maybe most importantly, it would increase knowledgable public oversight of the government's IT efforts considerably.

Society needs to have much more control over what their elected (and unelected) representatives do in their name and interest. It's not just about incompetent public authorities burning taxpayer money on countless failed IT projects, it's also about government passing utterly flawed legislation which affects the new world which modern communication technology brings to us in unexpected, invasive and repressive ways. The ramifications of some laws being passed now will be felt most harshly by our children who have grown up in this new world.

As Bruce notes: "As employees, technologists wield enormous power." If tech people want to have a closer involvement with government, they need to start raising their voices. I think recent events have shown that some companies have obviously felt very uncomfortable in the light of public employee protests. This is an effective lever which employees can use to change company behaviours and policies.

On a broader theme: regardless of which industry we work in, we must always remember that our public servants (elected or appointed) are just that; our servants. Society is the employer and is entitled to complete oversight of the job which we pay the state to perform. We are also required, as employers, to conduct such oversight. As far as I can see, there is far too little of either happening.

Without effective oversight, there is no real democracy. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

RIP Dr Peuto, Zilog and Sun's bright SPARC

IT Angle

Re: Dutch semiconductor makers

IXYS make some really nice linear MOSFETs.


Boffins debunk study claiming certain languages (cough, C, PHP, JS...) lead to more buggy code than others


And they get paid money to do this?

There are so many confounding factors here that even attempting such an analysis is pointless to start with. I'm sure the various teams of researchers are fully aware of this.

Research something useful instead!

Epic's Fortnite fail: Ancient UT2004 server used for login-stealing proof-of-concept


That explains something...

Back in April last year, I started getting lots of "Epic Games - Help Protect Your Account" e-mails saying my account had "been locked" due to multiple invalid login attempts.

The e-mails appear to be genuine, but I never did anything about them as it was just a throwaway account to download an SDK. This would appear to be very old news.

Do not adjust your set, er, browser: This is our new page-one design


Don't mind one way or the other

I read The Reg via the RSS feed which lands me on the story's page if I open the link. Visiting the front page is something I do very rarely.

What's all the C Plus Fuss? Bjarne Stroustrup warns of dangerous future plans for his C++


Code style

For goodness sake!

for (int i=0; i<MAX; i++) ++v[i]; // increment each element of the array v

Should be:

for (int i = 0; i < MAX; i++) ++v[i]; // increment each element of the array v

People who don't use white space properly should be taken behind the bike sheds and shot!

Indiegogo lawyer asks ZX Spectrum reboot firm: Where's the cash?


Plexidrone anyone?

The Plexidrone scam, which raised $2.3 million on IGG, has been dragging on since 2014 or earlier. The company behind this spectacular vapourware - DreamQii - are still merrily selling "Pre-orders" for their vapourware on their web site and have still not shipped a single drone to a backer.

Where is IGG's pursuit of DreamQii?

Lots more backers, lots more money and a far longer string of bizarre excuses for missing deadline after deadline after deadline.

Maybe they're untouchable up there in Canada eh?

Youth crime falls as kids stay inside to play Grand Theft Auto instead of going out to steal cars



Doesn't anyone else find "kids today know that they’re under constant video surveillance" disturbing?

It's a sad reflection on society that such surveillance is accepted and taken for granted.

So net neutrality has officially expired. Now what do we do?


Re: Competition

Indeed. This is a significant hole in Kieren's analysis. The cable companies have a captive market.

Don't like us selling your surf history? Tough. Who else can you get your Internet from?

If there isn't actually a free market, assuming that the market will solve the problem is a non-starter.

Leave it to Beaver: Unity is long gone and you're on your GNOME


Re: New Linux poweruser here ...

If you can't search for information, critically evaluate what you find and come to your own conclusions, you are lacking essential skills, not just for this industry, but for your life in general.

RIP: Sinclair ZX Spectrum designer Rick Dickinson reaches STOP


Re: With all due respect to the family and friends of the deceased

I can assure you that dealing with cancer and specifically with the treatment for it is very much a battle.

Quite why you think this is a myth is beyond me.


Like many commentards here, I also started with a ZX80 which I built from a kit. It was the inspiration which turned an electronics hobby into a career in computing.

My respects to Rick and my sympathies to his family and friends. As someone who has also felt the cold hand of cancer on my shoulder, I know how hard a fight it is.

I'd just like to note that Jim Westwood is credited with designing the ZX80 and ZX81. See: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/15/heroes_of_tech_jim_westwood/

Maybe they worked together on the Spectrum?

Facebook grows a conscience, admits it corroded democracy


This is a stupid discussion

I am surprised to see people on here talking like they don't understand the Internet.

Let me get this straight now...

Some people in one country think that they should control what people on the Internet can say?

The Internet is an independent territory. It does not exist in a physical place. Nobody has the right (or ability) to control what happens there. The only way to stop it is to turn it all off.

Life is full of mis- and dis- information. It is your responsibility to be critical of information you receive, regardless of its source. The Internet is no different.

Private submarine builder charged with murder of journalist


Re: jury...

Don't fool yourself with the idea of the grass of justice being greener in Sweden.

The magistrates who decide your guilt are politically appointed. They don't come from your peers. They don't think the same way as many of your peers. They accept evidence from security guards, parking attendants and similar wannabe police without question.

Once the machine gets hold of you here in Sweden, you're screwed. If you get caught with the chemicals from smoking weed in your blood, you are breaking the law and will get a record for minor possession of a controlled substance. If you have a driver's license and want to keep it, you will have to pay for your random piss test every month for the next year. (This is in addition to the fine you pay which is sized depending on how much you earn.)

If some security guards at a nightclub decide to drag you into their detention room and beat you silly while they wait for the police to arrive, your word is against police approved security guards. You have no chance in the courts. None whatsoever.

Trust me. I live here.

Microsoft finally injects end-to-end chat crypto into Skype – ish...

Big Brother

Souce code

So, does this mean that Microsoft will be making the source code to Skype freely downloadable so that their use of Signal can be independently verified to ensure that this isn't just a feeble attempt to be seen to be protecting users' privacy while handing the data over to the government as usual?


Thought not.

Also, if M$ are suddenly so keep on protecting users' privacy, how about a complete description of all data exfiltrated from systems under the guise of 'telemetry' and allow it to be turned off completely?

Cisco can now sniff out malware inside encrypted traffic

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Clickbait subtitle

It doesn't detect anything inside encrypted traffic.

It uses metadata to characterise TLS traffic.

UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration


Redaction for the sake of it

The document is so heavily redacted "because terrorists"?

Give me a break. There are far simpler ways to take down aircraft than flying drones into them.

If anyone needed proof of the fact that government repeatedly uses nonsense to prevent people reading the truth of reports that taxpayers have paid for, this is the best ever.

Lauri Love's US extradition appeal judges reserve decision


Re: Just send him over there and good riddance.

Surprise, surprise! An AC judge, jury and executioner.

You also seem to claim the gift of prescience as demonstrated in your absolute knowledge of his guilt.

Your spiteful little rant disgusts me.

I'm sure of one thing. It is that you will never rise to the position of a judge. Your reasoning is flawed, your knowledge of the law is incorrect and the only motive for your post appears to be that you have a vindictive way of thinking. The fact that you also know so much about what happened with Assange in Sweden also confirms your delusional superpowers

Lauri should be tried in the UK. He broke UK law when he hacked the US computers.

Cops jam a warrant into Apple to make it cough up Texas mass killer's iPhone, iCloud files


The last sentence should end:

, something that makes encryption useless for everyone, as people who understand encryption have repeatedly pointed out.

The way it's written makes it sound like "privacy and security advocates" are somehow an obstacle to something desirable.



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