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* Posts by Andy The Hat

793 posts • joined 21 Oct 2010

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Morrisons supermarket: We're taking payroll leak liability fight to UK Supreme Court

Andy The Hat
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How far the employer can be responsible for an employees actions?

If something is done in work's time and in the interests of the company it can clearly be argued that the company should be vicariously responsible. If actions are committed against the company then surely that company cannot be held vicariously responsible for it's own demise?

If the company were enabling actions (by providing access to the data in the normal course of duties) then the court appears to be saying that the company is vicariously responsible. However, when a guy went for an 11 mile jolly involving a 'police chase' and demolition of loads of cars with a massive dumper truck in Norfolk (which he was legally employed to drive) *he* was held responsible, the company were not.

I think this opens a can of worms. What the Judges appear to be saying is that if an employee wants to take the company down, they should do it in the office, in work's time, using a computer.

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Apple boss demands Bloomberg Super Micro U-turn, Russian troll charged, NSA hands out cash, and more

Andy The Hat
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confused ...

"The strategic goal of this alleged conspiracy, which continues to this day, is to sow discord in the US political system and to undermine faith in our democratic institutions,”

I thought Trump was doing this?

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So, about that Google tax on Android makers in the EU – report pegs it at up to $40 per phone

Andy The Hat
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I can't quite understand how the charging model can be based on the resolution at which you view a jpg of a cat. A physically bigger unit with more pixels (so you can see the entire pussy) but a smaller dpi (still beyond the resolution of human vision at a foot) costs less ... Marketing is a wonderful thing.

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Spotted: Miscreants use pilfered NSA hacking tools to pwn boxes in nuke, aerospace worlds

Andy The Hat
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Russians, sorry Kaspersky, are good at finding and declaring "Western" state sponsored hacking tools (but are derided in the west)

The NSA, sorry Symantec et al, are good at finding "Eastern" state sponsored hacking tools (and are declared to be bastions of freedom)

Both are good at what they do but is one better or more trustworthy than the other?

I suggest the entire exercise is just playing politics with political masters in order to control the populations for the benefit of the elite (much like the basic aims of any other self-styled religious leaders).

If both sides believed in "freedom", perhaps a more open and formulated approach to producing decent, secure networks and software without holes (deliberate or otherwise) would be a better use of everybody's time?

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UK.gov asks: Are sadistic AI price-bots ganging up on you?

Andy The Hat
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AI?

Having been out of the AI loop for some years, how close is AI (as spouted here and by Google etc) to real AI? Is it, as I suspect, still programmed algorithms trawling even bigger data sets at a faster rate and still "20 years away" as it was 30 years ago?

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Broadcom, its baffling $19bn CA biz gobble, and the fake Pentagon memo crying about national security

Andy The Hat
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Musky causes reduction in stock price - result: fined $20m and loss of position

Some Republican on Capitol Hill does the same thing ... result? Anyone fancy a sweep stake? I bet on "wrist slap" and "Trumpish congrats"

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300,000 BT pensioners await Court of Appeal pension scheme ruling

Andy The Hat
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Re: I blame the cursed one

I remember when the companies continued to take contributions from employees but took pension holidays themselves *and* raided the pension funds to 'reinvest' in themselves down the pub ... Now they find themselves in pension deficit ... bar stewards

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With sorry Soyuz stuffed, who's going to run NASA's space station taxi service now?

Andy The Hat
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"NASA is understandably not going to rush humans into space in untested craft."

Maybe not but IIRC their boss, His Excellency of Trumpton, has no qualms about it ...

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Andy The Hat
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Re: No worries

"lolled"?

Sadly that's the first time I've ever seen "LOL" used as a verb ... does this mean that I could use such sentences as "I FFSed when I saw LOL used as a verb as, until today, I though LOL was an annoying noun."?

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I find your lack of faith disturbing, IBM: Big Blue fires photon torpedo at Pentagon JEDI cloud contract

Andy The Hat
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Single company, massive contract requiring huge capital investment, loads of semi-audited money piped from military budget to one company's back pocket, odours of Government back-handers, company can't deliver, contract fails, tax payer writes off another failed IT project.

What's new?

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Andy The Hat
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Re: "I think you are confusing your universes."

"Shut up, Wesley."

Oh bugger, it'll be Nora Batty next ...

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It's a cert: Hundreds of big sites still unprepared for starring role in that Chrome 70's show

Andy The Hat
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I have sat in the corner and considered every possible semantic tweak which would allow the word "prominent" and this company list to be in the same paragraph. I even swigged some watered-down super-potent-water to help my brain function but ... nope, nothing.

I am in the process of setting up an alternative web site for the IT professional - homeotech.ca.ck. This allows you to chuck a virtual bucket of water over any remote pc, declare it working and avoid a site visit ... We'll split the fee 90/10 (obviously I've got to factor in the cost of the homeostatic electro-fromage in the virtual water)

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SpaceX touches down in California as Voyager 2 spies interstellar space

Andy The Hat
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Re: Nominally ??

Nominally : word (American)

1. means what the hell the Americans want it to mean at the time as they are reinventing the language.

"The Americans speak a nominal English nominally, unlike the rest of the world that does it properly."

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Super Micro China super spy chip super scandal: US Homeland Security, UK spies back Amazon, Apple denials

Andy The Hat
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Just curious as to why the NCSC in the UK spoke up so rapidly in support of US corporates rather than simply denying knowledge about what had, until that point, been a Chinese/US issue?

Either there is something to this story or Bloomberg have had an incredibly complicated scam played against them with the aim of discrediting Chinese manufacturing ... If the first, there's a massive and organised closing of corporate and governmental ranks, if the latter it smells of very high level organisation. Either way I have a bad feeling that there are Governmental organisations with more fingers in this than they should have ...

Of course the absolute conspiracy theory would say the Chinese did it, the US discovered it very early and turned the system to deliver false information to its masters ( making it a double agent ). That way the US have to deny any earlier knowledge and will be wanting to kick Bloomberg for cutting off a known spy link ...

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Chinese tech titans' share prices slump after THAT Super Micro story

Andy The Hat
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Re: Interested

... but they don't exist ... allegedly ...

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UK pins 'reckless campaign of cyber attacks' on Russian military intelligence

Andy The Hat
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Re: APT28

Nope, got that wrong. It was APT38 ... not sure whether that's more or less malicious than 28.

Wonder whether the presence of any such fingers in the hacking pie is provable, likely, possible or just 'politically convenient' because the Daily Fail will print it in big letters and any state denials can be swept away without argument ...

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Andy The Hat
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APT28

Were they not declared to be North Korean yesterday?

I'll take a bet on Chinese tomorrow and Iranian on Saturday ...

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Google is still chasing the self-driving engineer that jumped ship to Uber

Andy The Hat
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I find this strange.

How can a company attempt to indemnify someone against committing an illegal act?

"It's ok colleague, you kill Big Joe but tell the coppers that you were acting on our behalf and we'll take the rap for you." Isn't the employee committing the crime and Uber, at absolute minimum, aiding and abetting a crime?

Or is aiding and abetting not a crime in US law?

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Resident evil: Inside a UEFI rootkit used to spy on govts, made by you-know-who (hi, Russia)

Andy The Hat
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... and didn't many of us say as much when it was jumper-less flashing was introduced?

Personally I'm surprised this attack vector hasn't been hit much harder.

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Holy smokes! US watchdog sues Elon Musk after he makes hash of $420 Tesla tweet

Andy The Hat
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Re: Margin Calling..

You misunderstand the US markets ... threaten action, shares fall, shorts buy up, Musky gets a relatively small slap on the wrist, shares pick up and shorts sell for big buck profits ...

Threatening action, in itself, is blatant manipulation of the market. In the event of such action shares should be suspended *before* the announcement and trading recommence only after completion of the investigations/case/whatever.

Not saying the system is blatantly corrupt but ...

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New theory: The space alien origins of vital bio-blueprints for dinosaurs. And cats. And humans. And everything else

Andy The Hat
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Ok, so it's a typo ...

... but I like the name of the new chemical 'phopshine'.

Obviously developed for polishing silver if you have dirty cutlery whilst having lunch in a vacuum or notice your pesky bracelet has tarnished charms on the way to Mars ...

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Brexit campaigner AggregateIQ challenges UK's first GDPR notice

Andy The Hat
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Aha!

Finally the ICO have managed to find a firm that nobody in the UK cares about and who are probably as guilty as sin but have enough money to make a GDPR point which will potentially get some cash for the UK Gov lawyers ... err ... coffers.

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Microsoft 'kills' passwords, throws up threat manager, APIs Graph Security

Andy The Hat
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Re: Ahhhh

Now Mr Smith, as US Customs and self-appointed Police Force (World) we require access to all your data ... Forgotten your password you say? No problem, where's your phone Sir? Now look into the phone not around the phone ...

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Bouncing robots land on asteroid 180m miles away amid mission to fetch sample for Earth

Andy The Hat
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Need help

How does one pronounce "MINERVA-II1"?

Minerva-eye-eye-one perhaps? Minerva-eyeee-one? Minerva-dash-eye-eye-one? Minerva-el-el-one? Minerva-one-one-one? Or even Minerva-two-one? Very confusing nomenclature ...

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'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

Andy The Hat
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Excuse me ...

I apologise for interrupting this very stimulating "you're sexist" "no I'm not" comment tennis but perhaps a basic question can be answered by somebody for a non- F/B specialist like me?

Does Facebook sell specific categories of advertising including 'jobs' (or similar) or are all adverts accepted as non-specific in subject?

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Now here's an idea: Break up Amazon to get more shareholder cash

Andy The Hat
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Re: Controversial?

Perhaps it would be more sensible to have a four way split - AWS, warehousing and distribution services and the retail market itself and Amazon IP. That way Retail could pay W&D both rent and service charges, AWS for cloud services and Amazon IP for using its IP, W&D could pay AWS for cloud and also Amazon IP, and AWS would roll it in on the basis of the organisation paying itself but they still that massive Amazon IP charge paid to wherever in the world it's convenient to hold the IP.

The W&D, AWS and Amazon IP charges are so high that the retail side would make next to no taxable profit in its geographical location, the W&D would make little taxable profit after overheads and those pesky AWS charges and Amazon IP considerations. AWS, well which geographical location was used for the processing of a transaction? Play it correctly and whichever host you use is geographically 'offshore' so pays a conveniently small local tax bill ... And the Amazon IP you lock up in little batches all over the tax-haven world. Everyone wins as long as they've got a 'B' and a 'Z' in their name.

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Russia: The hole in the ISS Soyuz lifeboat – was it the crew wot dunnit?

Andy The Hat
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Re: Astronauts did it? Bullshit

It was noted that astronaut Idiot Plebstone asked for help whilst hanging an oil painting up just before the emergency ... or was it Igor Plebski? I always get those mixed up.

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Berkeley bio-boffins' butt-blasting belly-bothering batt-teria generates electricity

Andy The Hat
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Re: Do the math(s)

exactly where I was going ... big jobbie error somewhere ...

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New MeX-Files: The curious case of an evacuated US solar lab, the FBI – and bananas conspiracy theories

Andy The Hat
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Re: china... its all about china

Not China, just some arch villain generating limitless power with diamond encrusted panels. It must be true, I saw a 90minute documentary about it ... someone called Bond was heavily involved ...

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Guess who just bought Maplin? Dragons' Den celebrity biz guy Peter Jones

Andy The Hat
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Re: re. "extensive" customer data.

As stated above, would this not be illegitimate use of customer data thus illegal under GDPR?. Be interesting to see if El Reg could start digging into what can legally happen to your data after a company buyout ...

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2-bit punks' weak 40-bit crypto didn't help Tesla keyless fobs one bit

Andy The Hat
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Re: Problem-solution dichotomy

""She dropped her keys as she got into the car"

How did the car start if the key was outside the car?"

I believe it was a BMW and the fob was still laying on her drive when she got home. The signal sensor was too strong so the system still allowed button start but, and crucially, it did not re-check for the presence of the fob unless a restart was required. Many vehicles will have warning indicators if the fob is out of range - this didn't. It also meant that she incorrectly assumed the vehicle automatically locked when she parked it and walked away ...

Whether that was a correct implementation of the ignition system and whether a software update was rolled out as a result I'm not sure but I know the story was escalated through the dealer.

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Andy The Hat
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"a half-baked biscuit solution"

Fewer soggy bottoms please :-)

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Andy The Hat
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Re: Problem-solution dichotomy

My friend's car had keyless entry and keyless ignition. She dropped her keys as she got into the car, did a 30 mile journey and a day's work then had to call the supplier for recovery as she didn't have a key with her and they couldn't get into it without significant work ...

Out of interest, do keyless ignition systems have any form of automatic steering lock or are they 'so incredibly secure' that it's no longer required?

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Generally Disclosing Pretty Rapidly: GDPR strapped a jet engine on hacked British Airways

Andy The Hat
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Re: Less Daily Mail please ...

The Reg report of the declaration was on 7 Sep 2017, ie about 5 weeks after the breach. I stand by my comment.

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Andy The Hat
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Less Daily Mail please ...

Not commenting on the breach, just the reporting style. Even I, an old thicko, can work out that

"detected its breach on July 29 last year, but only told the world months later on September 7"

is a bit heavy on the bias.

In my dictionary "months" would be multiples of "month". Two "month" would be a good start for "months", three would be ideal. Just because it says "July" and "September" in the timeline does not make it three months - it's still only a few days more than one. Actually "weeks" would be good ...

Perhaps if there is a breach on New Year's Eve and it is declared on New Year's Day, the report will suggest the declaration being made "years later"?

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America-China tariff tiff could flip the switch on Cisco price hikes

Andy The Hat
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I can't see how a US border import tariff would be applied if the export was to the European market ... or are we also part of the hair monster's dominion?

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By gum: Supermicro's Samsung storage ruler server uses secret SSD

Andy The Hat
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Does anyone else think these are starting to look like banks of Star Trek control crystals?

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Law firm seeking leak victims to launch £500m suit at British Airways

Andy The Hat
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Perhaps I'm wrong?

My problem with all of this 'hacker' stuff is that the company who, by any stretch of the imagination, was a victim in this case is the one who will get smacked by whatever claims/fines are imposed. It's like fining the victim of a bike theft because they fitted a cheap lock ...

Why aren't we spending more money chasing the actual perpetrators instead?

That of course does require that the company did something to protect their data in the first place requiring nefarious means to access it ...

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Voyager 1 left the planet 41 years ago – and SpaceX hopes to land on Earth this Saturday

Andy The Hat
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Re: Land where?

Voyager's trajectory will bring it back to Earth, someday.

It's just just going the long way round

... not if the Borg intercept it first. They'll know where we are, how to get there and they'll realise they've got a massive potential payout for deformation of character by those nasty Hollywoodians on Earth...

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Neutron star crash in a galaxy far, far... far away spews 'faster than light' radio signal jets at Earth

Andy The Hat
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But could there potentially be a medium that increases the speed of light? - Maybe it is the defining property of "Dark Matter" :)

Nope. It has been shown that dark matter doesn't interact with the electromagnetic spectrum. I do not believe the is any current theory that allows c as a fundamental limit to be broken.

I note that in this whole discussion thread that "super-luminal" velocity as we understand it has been avoided, I suspect that's mainly because even a partial explanation would make your brain hurt (it did mine!) Although not quite the same but far more approachable, Cherenkov radiation (seen as the funky blue glow in nuclear storage ponds) can be considered the result of superluminal particles ... which *do not* travel faster than light but travel faster than light *in that medium*. c, the speed of light in a vacuum is a constant and an ultimate limit in any frame of reference. The speed of light at any point in spacetime is variable and only has an upper bound of c.

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Microsoft sharpens its claws to cut Outlook UI excess, snip Ribbon

Andy The Hat
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Cruft

Thought Cruft was dog related but today I've got a new word in my vocabulary ...

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Australia's Snooper's Charter: Experts react, and it ain't pretty

Andy The Hat
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What happened to the Judiciary?

Much like the similar UK Act, there seems to be a steam roller of 'avoid legal warrants at all costs'. I don't know why but side-stepping the traditional rule of law - allowing Judges or magistrates to make clear decisions about validity of individual communication 'taps' - and putting that power directly into the hands of 'enforcement agencies' or, worse, one or two politicians in a secret way smacks of Big Brother.

This juggernaut needs to be stopped.

If the same Act was presented with 'with judicial oversight' sprinkled at each point I think there would be less bad feeling and general suspicion about it.

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Amazon meets the incredible SHRINKING UK taxman

Andy The Hat
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I do find it amazing that a company with such tight margins and minimal taxable profit can be so financially efficient that they can still find a few coppers to invest in space exploration ...

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Brit competition bods to probe Experian and ClearScore merger

Andy The Hat
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Is GDPR valid here?

If company A buys Company B does the customer database of B become the property A and subject to legitimate use *without* having to confirm with all the parties in the database? I thought there was a rule about this ...? If you do indeed have to confirm with customers, how do you do that without using the database?

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BBC websites down tools and head outside into the sun for a while

Andy The Hat
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Scary

Was it just me or did other people find that rag doll test card image scary?

I miss the selection of test cards - used to see them all the time so you could set the tv up correctly. Now you have to set reds by David Dikinson's face which varies depending on the last coat of Cuprinol ..., blues by the colour of the Brexiteers' rosettes which brighten and fade depending on the state of the Pound, and greens by the grass at Wimbledon but that's currently brown so doesn't help much. Be great if there was a regular 5 minute test card window at some point for all channels - be more interesting to watch than "Rental Properties Under the Sledgehammer" - but then again it may show just how terrible the current SD broadcast quality is on static images ... I doubt if you could even use the contrast bars on some multiplexes ...

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Sorry, Neil Armstrong. Boffins say you may not have been first life-form to set foot on the Moon

Andy The Hat
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Re: That means you heard it before it was released

'Eclipse' seemed to be the album title of choice for a couple of years around the '71 and '72 eclipses. I would guess the 1973 Jade Warrior album was the conflicting one ... Can't believe a fundamentally experimental album is still being talked about and apparently still selling well nearly fifty years after its release. Also can't understand why there was not a single PF album in the second hand record shop I found the other day ... Genesis, Yes, ELP, Tomita but not a hint of Pinkness anywhere ...

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Geoboffins spot hundreds of ghost dunes on Mars

Andy The Hat
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Giant?

Compared to a lot on Earth they're certainly not 'giants' - the larger deserts of the world have dunes hundreds of meters high. Maybe these are giants on the Martian dune scale?

As it's a photograph, perhaps ninjaturtle is right - it was taken as the sandworms were breaking the surface and another shot is needed to confirm movement ...

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$100m sueball smacks Huawei over Facebook HQ infiltration claims

Andy The Hat
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I agree - an annual meeting of companies does not generally infer the open exchange of confidential information just a bit of networking and nosying around to try to gauge the direction of the market. Perhaps there is more to this story that one shindig - how would you 'infiltrate' meetings at Facebook HQ (assuming they were indeed restricted in some way) without significant subterfuge but, on the other hand, why would you be 'infiltrating' a non-confidential meeting ...? More information required I feel.

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European Parliament balks at copyright law reform vote

Andy The Hat
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Re: McCartney

As usual, an individual who happens to have loads of money and a potential axe to grind makes the headlines and can try to directly drive the political process at the highest level. Bert from Scunthorpe, Abbi from Brighton and Jessie from Bognor on the other hand are ignored as they're not rich, not famous and wish to present balanced political opinions based on common sense and research ...

Democracy is such a wonderful thing.

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Seagate's Barracuda SSD bares its teeth at PC, laptop upgraders

Andy The Hat
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MTBF

After quoting total write life and warranty, is the actually any reason for a human to bother with MTBF "having a useful increase" up to 205years ...? If it was ten or even fifteen years I'd think about it as I'd possibly get a fail in five but this is more or less stating that it won't fail in the life of this tech ... or the next one!

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