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* Posts by Mike Richards

4208 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

Time to party like it's 2005! Palm is coming BAAAA-ACK

Mike Richards
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I'm considering a blockchain rolodex startup.

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ZX Spectrum reboot latest: Some Vega+s arrive, Sky pulls plug, Clive drops ball

Mike Richards
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Re: What we need

I expect North Face and Superdry are two of those so-called popular music artistes that you might find on certain bands of the FM spectrum if you ever tune away from the Home Service.

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Bank on it: It's either legal to port-scan someone without consent or it's not, fumes researcher

Mike Richards
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Re: CMA is overzealous

The CPS has guidance for prosecutions under Section 3A of the CMA which covers the likelihood that software was being used to break the CMA. Amongst other things, prosecutors should consider:

• Was the software developed to obtain unauthorised access to a computer?

• Does the software have legitimate purposes, such as testing a device's security?

• What was the context in which the software was used to commit the offence compared with its original intended purpose?

I can't see how he has a case here. The CPS will point to their guidance.

https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/computer-misuse-act-1990

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Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

Mike Richards
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Re: what the fuck does PC LOAD LETTER mean?

You were dancing on the edge of the volcano there!

I trust you didn't risk driving home? That would have been the day the balance of the Universe would require that you were run off the road by a juggernaut filled with faulty printers.

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Now that's a dodgy Giza: Eggheads claim Great Pyramid can focus electromagnetic waves

Mike Richards
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Re: Something wrong

It's the second pyramid, that of Khafre which retains part of its casing.

Judging by the whacking great gouge in its side, the picture is of Menkaure's pyramid. The damage was done by workmen belonging to Saladin's son, al-Malet al-Aziz Othman ben Yusaf who wanted to quarry the pyramids for building stones. Such is the quality of the building, they did precious little damage apart from stripping the casings.

If you want to see a pyramid with casing nearly intact, a trip to the twin pyramids at Dahsur near Saqqara is recommended. One of the two - the Bent Pyramid - is in especially good condition (apart from not actually being a true pyramid).

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Mike Richards
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Re: "building material with the properties of an ordinary limestone is evenly distributed"

The sarcophagus, burial chamber, the relieving chambers above the burial chamber and the portcullises in the antechamber are all made of Aswan granite. The rest of the pyramid is constructed from local Giza limestone and was originally cased with Tura limestone from the eastern bank of the Nile.

[mine's the one with the Ark of the Covenant in the pocket]

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Think tank calls for post-Brexit national ID cards: The kids have phones so what's the difference?

Mike Richards
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Obvious really

The only way to stop a malicious and incompetent government department from misusing personal data held about citizens is to give more personal data to that malicious and incompetent government department.

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The Solar System's oldest minerals reveal the Sun's violent past

Mike Richards
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Re: Hibonite Gems

It's a rare mineral occasionally found in high-grade metamorphic rocks that have been subject to enormous pressures and temperatures, but not quite brought to melting point. Almost all of the samples mentioned in the books come from Madagascar.

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Oh boy: MPs prepare to probe UK.gov's digital prowess and tech savvy

Mike Richards
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Re: So...

'Thank-you for coming Minister, we'd like to ask you about your department's use of computer technologies...

'...I'm sorry will I repeat what? Oh - com-pu-ter - yes that's right, like the box on your desk with the funny cat videos - only bigger. Moving on...'

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How much do you think Cisco's paying erstwhile Brit PM David Cameron?

Mike Richards
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'How much do you think Cisco's paying erstwhile Brit PM David Cameron?'

Too fucking much.

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UK privacy watchdog to fine Facebook 18 mins of profit (£500,000) for Cambridge Analytica

Mike Richards
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Re: Conclusions?

This is a real issue with machine learning. How much of the stuff is replicable when algorithms are proprietary and data sets aren't published? A lot of news about data science shouldn't be considered 'science' because the results aren't replicable.

But it's being pushed as the next big thing even though no one really knows how it comes to its decisions and many of those decisions and insights are of only marginal statistical significance. Dredge enough data long enough and you'll find some correlation - chances are it's bollocks, but you might make a billion.

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Mike Richards
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Re: Conclusions?

With Facebook there are also all the 'shadow accounts' of people who haven't actively signed up with the service, but about which Facebook knows a lot from them being included in users' messages and photographs. Their personal data is at risk, but they don't have any way of deleting it from Facebook - because they don't have an account.

How these accounts can possibly be GDPR compliant is something of a mystery to me.

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Mike Richards
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It's a shame the ICO didn't demand that Facebook stops processing Brits' personal data until it can demonstrate to the satisfaction of an independent body that it is not abusing it.

And at least the ICO has done something, there's still no pressure in Parliament to reform our electoral laws to cope with social media and campaigning.

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You're indestructible, always believe in 'cause you are Go! Microsoft reinvents netbook with US$399 ‘Surface Go’

Mike Richards
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Re: A good windows ink device?

I don't think Remarkable does handwriting recognition - yet.

That would be the obvious next step (and have me buying one in a flash) - even if they went via a third party and used another service to do the heavy lifting. I'm thinking about how the rather lovely Livescribe smart pen integrates with Evernote's handwriting recognition to produce text.

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Former wig-wearing Twitterphobe replaces Hancock as UK.gov's Secretary of Fun

Mike Richards
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Re: Some good news, at least

I'm really hoping they will send our new Foreign Secretary on a tour of Latin America:

a) it's a long way away from the NHS, but mostly;

b) the Spanish pronunciation of 'Hunt'.

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Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

Mike Richards
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Re: Fgs

There's a Black Arrow rocket in the Science Museum and doesn't Leicester have a Blue Streak standing around doing nothing? By jove, we can have a space programme again!

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Mike Richards
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Re: NATO... And the German car industry.

Airbus was originally proposed by Hawker Siddeley, Breguet and Nord to rationalise construction of a single airliner rather than having three competing planes each taking an uneconomically small share of the market. The name itself came from Hawker Siddeley. In 1966, the three founding partners were Sud Aviation (now Aerospatiale), Arbeitsgemeinschaft Airbus (Deutsche Airbus) and HS. The memo of understanding was signed by the UK, France and Germany in 1967.

The UK then had one of its usual fits of incompetence and withdrew in 1969, fortunately for the sake of UK aerospace, HS was allowed to continue wing design as a partner outside of the formal consortium. The UK rejoined as a formal partner in 1979 when British Aerospace bought a 20% share in the company.

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UK Minister of Fun Matt Hancock opens London infosec upstart creche

Mike Richards
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Re: Swansea 0 London 13 mil

Absolutely - it's not like there are plenty of places outside of London with top-notch universities teaching cybersecurity or with established security businesses that could help mentor startups.

Give it six months and this place will host one company spurting 'innovative' cybersecurity-related spam advertising on social media and the government will trumpet it as a success nearly as dizzying as Silicon Roundabout.

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Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century

Mike Richards
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Someone should implement a date format starting at 'around 6 pm on 22 October 4004BCE'.

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Software changed the world, then died on the first of the month

Mike Richards
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Re: Wait a minute...

I have less of an edge on my rolling pin.

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Uber's London licence appeal off to flying start: No, you cannot do driver eye tests via video link

Mike Richards
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'Move fast and break things' and self-driving really don't go together.

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Outage? No, phones are playing silly buggers, insists Sainsbury's Bank

Mike Richards
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Re: Well that's odd

You got further than me. I was given the 'go away and come back later' message for most of Sunday and Monday.

On Tuesday I was able to pay my credit card bill - I think. The site said the money had been taken, but it hasn't left my current account and hasn't appeared on the credit card yet, nor have I had an email confirmation that the transaction has been made.

I blame Jamie Oliver - not just this, but in general.

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Atari accuses El Reg of professional trolling and making stuff up. Welp, here's the interview tape for you to decide...

Mike Richards
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Re: Oh how the might have fallen...

Could have been worse - you might have had a Plus 4.

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Donald Trump trumped as US Senate votes to reinstate ZTE ban

Mike Richards
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Re: You call this a trade war?

'Pah! When I were a lad we had propertrade wars - gunboats off Iceland arguing about who owns the cod! But if you tell that to kids today...'

We lost that one... to a country with no navy, but one with a long history of being Vikings.

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Google-free Android kit tipped to sell buckets

Mike Richards
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Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

Mondaine are the other company that comes to mind with their Swiss Railway watches. Looks good, tells the time, battery lasts ages.

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National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

Mike Richards
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Re: Of course National ID cards are the answer

Yes - you'd be so worried about the surveillance state that you'd never leave your home and in doing so massively cut transport emissions.

They could also be used to clean a frosted up windscreen.

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Mike Richards
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Re: Main issue I've always had with the ID Card schemes

Had ID cards been made real, the government would have breathlessly announced the scheme was now completely 'self-funding' thanks to innovative third-way stakeholder-engagement multiplatform linkups with Facebook and Google.

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Mike Richards
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It's their answer to everything

Two of Javid's predecessors, Charles Clarke and Alan Johnson, have popped up with their answer: identity cards.

Claiming benefits: ID card

Underage drinking: ID card

Buying tobacco: ID card

Terrorism (they're against it): ID card

It's a one-fuckup-fits-all policy.

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Ex-Rolls-Royce engineer nicked on suspicion of giving F-35 info to China

Mike Richards
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My understanding is that they're way behind in jet engine technology - so much so that they still buy them from the Russians.

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Mike Richards
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Re: Stupid... Just stupid...

I like the apocryphal story that French intelligence were aware the KGB was sniffing around Michelin at the time the tyres for Concorde were being designed. Because a very heavy plane landed at very high speed it needed special synthetic rubber - something Michelin had cracked, but the Soviets had not.

Rather than round up the spies, the story goes that the French instructed Michelin to come up with something the consistency of bubble gum and let the spies get their hands on that formula.

I've never seen an authoritative source, but I rather like the image of a TU-144 stuck to the runway whilst a lot of men in fur hats stand around wondering if their next trip is to Siberia.

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Tech firms, come to Blighty! Everything is brill! Brexit schmexit, Galileo schmalileo

Mike Richards
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Re: Good old Alan T

They're going to keep bringing Alan Turing into anything vaguely tech-related aren't they? Everyone knows the man was a hero and a genius, so they assume their pet projects will get some reflected glory from Turing's work. Expect any number of PPE ministerial statements along the lines of:

Alan Turing would have loved automated car tracking.

Alan Turing understood the importance of technology in war so he would have worked on our new megadeath 7000 hunter-killer drone project.

Alan Turing's work made biometric ID cards possible.

...

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Mike Richards
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Re: Hmm

The MayBot isn't exactly showing the best in British intelligence. You'd get more out of a slightly racist speak-your-weight machine.

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Dixons Carphone 'fesses to mega-breach: Probes 'attempt to compromise' 5.9m payment cards

Mike Richards
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Re: Perhaps I need a forwarding email address for every shop

Did not know about that - thanks!

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Every bloody gadget in the house is ringing. Thanks, EE

Mike Richards
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Re: in time any internet device with audio in and audio out will work

And then it will be a smart lightbulb calling you to pass on a message from the fridge that you're out of milk.

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Britain's new F-35s arrive in UK as US.gov auditor sounds reliability warning klaxon

Mike Richards
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'Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, the RAF's Chief of the Air Staff, chipped in: "If you can’t see us coming, you won’t be able to stop us, so with its stealth and other world-beating technologies the F35 Lightning takes the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy to a whole a new level of capability."'

Lockheed Martin certainly saw you coming.

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British egg producers saddened by Google salad emoji update

Mike Richards
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Confused

What is this sa-lad that you talk about?

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1,300 customers of Brit bank TSB defrauded due to botched IT migration

Mike Richards
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Re: "CEO said city law firm Slaughter and May is conducting an independent review"

The next step is to kill off your competitors and have a monopoly on mediocrity.

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Mike Richards
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Re: Another false claim...

Politics would mean a pay cut, so I suggest he's going to be appointed as a university vice chancellor.

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At last: Magic Leap reveals its revolutionary techno-goggles – but wait, there's a catch

Mike Richards
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Wow!

Based on that performance I can only conclude they share a media team with Elon Musk.

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US govt mulls snatching back full control of the internet's domain name and IP address admin

Mike Richards
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This from the same government that contains the FCC

"Which foreign laws and policies restrict the free flow of information online?"

It's not the foreign laws and policies they need to worry about.

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Finally, San Francisco cleans up the crap from its streets – yes, all those fscking scooters

Mike Richards
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I've heard this somewhere before

'One company – Bird – has already responded through its lawyers claiming it has no responsibility for what its users decide to do when on their scooter.'

Ah, the old 'we're just a tech platform' argument.

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Un-bee-lievable: Two million Swedish bugs stolen in huge sting

Mike Richards
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Poor guy

"I'm angry and sad. The same kind of sadness as when you have to put down your dog."

Is there anything more Swedish than trying to quantify the exact type of sadness? Hope he gets his apian pals back.

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Your F-35s need spare bits? Computer says we'll have you sorted in... a couple of years

Mike Richards
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Re: I'll have some of that business please

£23m includes the cost of the extended warranty and a premium rate phone call to the customer care team at Lockheed Martin.

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Dawn spacecraft to get up-close and personal with dwarf planet Ceres

Mike Richards
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Re: Infect it with terrestrial trash?

Probes to Mars and Titan are sterilised before launch (although the Soviets may not have done so with some of their early Mars probes). The type of sterilisation depends on the mission, but are formally known as COSPAR Category III and Category IV. Mars missions are further categorised depending on whether or not they are searching for life.

Dawn was classified as Category III requiring a ultra-high cleanroom. In part this category was due to the probe making a Mars flyby and there being a non-zero chance of it splashing onto Mars; but also because Ceres had previously been identified as a site where there may be evidence of life or its precursor molecules.

Probes to the Moon and Venus only need a lower Category II certification since neither is thought to be capable of supporting life as we know it. Category II requires the mission planners to inform the world of where the probe is going and the impact of it - well impacting - such as if it contains toxic materials or radioisotopes that could be hazardous in the future.

There is also a Category V which is reserved for sample-return missions; again this is subdivided into whether probes are going to potentially life-bearing destinations.

And finally, Category I is for missions going to places where there is no possibility of finding life or its precursors - such as solar probes.

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Mirror mirror on sea wall, spot those airships, make Kaiser bawl

Mike Richards
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Perhaps another jaunt is in order

There are some more sound mirrors at Abbott's Cliff near Folkstone.

Anyone know of any others?

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Mike Richards
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Re: Helium?

It’s a mistake in the article. Every German airship was inflated with hydrogen, although Hindenburg was originally designed to fly with helium.

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Dixons to shutter 92 UK Carphone Warehouse shops after profit warning

Mike Richards
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Re: Are Dixons...

Airports have Dixons Travel offering all the charm of the old Dixons stores with additional hard selling and eyewatering markups.

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Mike Richards
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I'm rather surprised they haven't pounced on home automation as the next opportunity to offer barely-functional stuff they don't know anything about at a premium.

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Facebook's democracy salvage effort tilts scale in Mississippi primary

Mike Richards
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From their public statements it is quite clear that Facebook considers itself a publisher when it wants to be - and simultaneously isn't a publisher when that would be inconvenient to the bottom line.

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You've heard that pop will eat itself. Boffins have unveiled a rocket that does the same

Mike Richards
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Re: I love the $5 multimeters in the picture

It does look rather like the great British shed has been involved in producing this bit of boffinry. I trust a suitably Bryllantined pipe-smoking gentleman is lurking just out of view.

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