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* Posts by Mephistro

1086 posts • joined 8 Oct 2007

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Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM

Mephistro
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Coffee/keyboard

ROFLMAO++

Funny as Hell, but also a little bit scary.

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What We Do In The Shadows? Laugh ourselves silly, mostly

Mephistro
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I'll make an exception...

... and watch this film in the theatre instead of waiting for the porn version. "Who we do in the shadows" doesn't sound as such a great title.

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Roll up, roll up, Microsoft's rolled up dozens of OS fixes

Mephistro
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Angel

"Many reviews are unreproducible in this publication"

What??? Are they written in Klingon??? ;-)

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Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION

Mephistro
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Re: Erm..

"Warrants 20 lashes from a multi-plug power lead and a dozen Hail Adas, at least."

(ROFL.)

For good measure, I'd add 20 genuflections before A. Turing's portrait. And those who don't repent and do their penances will see their geekdom badges publicly removed from them and destroyed, and nobody in these forums will ever invite them to beer again. It's worse than hell! ;-)

And I totally agree with the confusion between netcams and webcams you pointed out.

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'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal

Mephistro
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Angel

"...that the Panel considers to threaten freedom of expression, the openness, stability, resiliency, or security of the internet"

So are they going to dismantle the NSA at last???? About fucking time!!! ;-)

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LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

Mephistro
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Re: Just because they're organic doesn't mean they're biologic...

"The idea of whole, viable bacteria brought in over interstellar distances over stellar timescales is downright silly"

Sorry to -at least partially- disagree, but comets would be an ideal method for disseminating bacteria. They provide lots of cold storage, protection from UV and other harmful radiation in the surface of the comet (thick dust), and protection from harder radiation in the inside.

Even some scientists believe that some comets could have liquid cores maintained by heat from radioisotopes. And comets being thrown off the solar system were a common occurrence in the Solar System's early History, according to computer simulations.

The part of your comment about complex compounds in comets acting as precursors for life makes also a lot of sense, though.

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Mephistro
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Re: It leaves you wanting more. (@ Terry Cloth)

"Panspermia is ultimately unsatisfying."

Truth and science don't need to be 'satisfying', at least not in the sense of the word that you are using.

Yes, I'd also prefer to know the whole history, but there are also many things we will never know for sure, more so when they are related to things that happened many millions of years ago and/or many thousands of light years away.

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Anonymous ‪hacks the Ku Klux Klan after Ferguson‬ threats

Mephistro
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Devil

"KKK has been a disgrace to rational human beings of lighter complexions for 150 years."

For some time they were an even bigger disgrace to rational human beings of darker complexions. ;-)

In case he exists, this little guy in the icon is probably waiting for them with a big smile.

Fuck'em all with a cactus, mate!.

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Mephistro
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Pint

This makes clear -again- that, some minor gaffes aside, the fine lads at Anonymous have their hearts in the right place. A well deserved pint for them.

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Uber exec wanted to sic private dicks on critics ... Hey, Emil Michael, COME AT US, bro

Mephistro
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"... if you're not causing trouble, you're not doing it right."

This should be engraved in 1 foot tall typeface in every news outlet's office walls.

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You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes

Mephistro
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Re: Bloody rubbish (@ Ketlan & ashdav)

You beat me to it! Good reflexes, Sirs.

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BOFH: An UNHOLY MATCH forged amid the sweet smell of bullsh*t

Mephistro
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Re: What's a female BOFH? (@ Anonymous Dutch Coward)

Holy Mother of Cheesus! I need another dictionary just to understand words.exe's output! :-)

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ZZZAP! Climate change means getting HIT BY LIGHTNING is likelier

Mephistro
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Re: Extrapolate this?

A measly 100% chance? I want to know when we reach a 200% chance!

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Danish lit star Helle Helle, Marianne Faithfull and Jim Al-Khalili on Quantum Biology

Mephistro
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(@ DavCrav)

"well, computers have rules they have to follow"

Just like human brains. In the case of brains it's a set of biological (genetic, chemical, physical, etc.) rules. Those rules can be 'emulated' or even 'simulated' in a 'normal' computer. The 'entity' resulting from such a simulation should show the same kind of behaviour as a human brain.

"there are things that you can say about the system that you cannot prove within that system. In particular, the statement "this system is consistent" is one of them."

That's true both for human brains and for computers. No human brain can say about itself 'this system is consistent' without lots of external data. Actually, no human KNOWS whether human brains are consistent or not. :-)

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Mephistro
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I have several issues with that reasoning. The biggest one is that, even if a 'brain' can't be directly programmed, it can be simulated. Given enough processing power and enough knowledge about the way brains work, a human brain could be simulated, loaded with a set of -probably synthetic- memories and knowledge, and put to work on this kind of problems, and solve them. Even if we lack the technology necessary for this, it still works as a thought experiment.

Claiming that humans can solve a kind of logical problems that no computer can ever solve is, in my opinion, the same as saying that there is some 'magical sauce' in the human brain that prevents it from being understood.

Evidence of souls, Midiclorians or similar entities is really scarce, so there must be some other factor at play.

You know, I've always wondered if Turing's works would be different had he known the concept of 'fractal dimensions' from chaos theory.

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Mephistro
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"...Gödel statements must be true, even though they can't be proved algortihmically."

It depends on what you mean by 'algorithmically'. Any set of logical operations to input data can be translated as an algorithm. Same thing regarding logical tests and philosophical arguments like 'reductio ad absurdum'. What is exactly the part of the process a machine can't perform?.

I can understand K.Gödel using such a limited definition for algorithm, as IT was an emerging field back then, but this argument seems to have aged poorly.

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FIRST for HUMANITY: Fridge-size PROBOT headed for COMET TOUCHDOWN

Mephistro
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Re: In space no one can hear your sonar

"The trick is to stick your emitter and microphone right into the comet."

Ha! At last, revenge for all those innocent humans that have been 'probed' by aliens over the years! This will show them!!!

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NASA floats million-dollar airship prize for 20-20-20 vision

Mephistro
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Devil

Possible typo

Richard, shouldn't that be the NSA instead of the NASA?

Sorry for not using the corrections button. ;-)

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Printing Bad: Meth found in laser printer cartridges

Mephistro
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Re: This doesn't make sense..

"So why would it be shipped in?"

Probably the crooks made some risk calculation, and decided it would be safer for them making the product abroad and then sending the stuff through customs. Production in Australia has lots of risks and depends on several controlled substances, that in turn have to be smuggled into the country, significantly rising the risk of being discovered.

On the other hand, in China, you probably can rent an industrial facility to make tons of this stuff, pay the workers a minimal salary and be safe from police interference, just by greasing the right hands.

Obviously, the 'production abroad' method needs some safe way to send the stuff through customs, and these crims thought they had such method. Soon someone will try to improve it by making meth look like toner, probably by adding squid ink.

He he!, it's an arms race, only that one part has to expend many millions in customs agent's wages, detector devices, surveillance and the whatnot, while the other just needs to go to the fish market. :-)

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Mephistro
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Angel

After reading this article, I finally understood...

...the reason nobody was using printer cartridges for smuggling high purity heroin.

Thanks, ElReg!

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Bloke, 26, accused of running drug souk Silk Road 2.0 cuffed by Feds

Mephistro
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Devil

"Would be a nice touch if someone compromised a CIA server and hosted SR3 there"

That would be the official version. ;-)

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Mephistro
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Childcatcher

Re: Another one bites the dust (@ AC, whenever*)

"Legalisation will increase consumption, no doubt about it."

On the contrary, there are lots and lots of doubts

"Just because something isn't being eliminated by being illegal isn't an excuse to give up. Why not legalise child abuse as the laws aren't stopping it?"

You dare to equate drug consumption -which is mainly a victimless crime, or at most a crime where the criminal is already punishing himself- with child abuse? In which universe do you live?

*note: Please ElReg, bring back the old date system for the comments. If you do it, I wow to name my firstborn after you**. Think of the free publicity!!! ^_^

**note: ElReg Mephistrez is a nice sounding name, isn't it? :P

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Mephistro
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Re: Another one bites the dust (@ Jack of shadows)

"If they were at all serious about this, they'd attack the sources."

That's worse than useless. When you neutralize a source, the price of the substance in question goes up, providing incentives for other places to become new sources. Take a look at what happened with cocaine. The more pressure you put in producers and importers, the more incentives for other parties to enter 'the market'.

Can anybody think of a way to stop this vicious cycle? And no, "Kill all the bad guys!!!" doesn't work.;-)

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Yes! It's DRONE PORN. And we don't mean shiny pics of UAVs

Mephistro
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Angel

Re: I realise some guys love their gadgets...

"until you've had it caught in a blade, lifted up, and stretched to a thousand feet long..."

Yeah! You'll know what real pleasure is when the drone's batteries finally dry up!.

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Hot, horny bees swerve PLANET-SAVING DUTIES as climate warms, claim boffins

Mephistro
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The species in this study was a solitary bee, and they are just speculating whether climate change could similarly affect social bees.

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Ex-NSA lawyer warns Google, Apple: IMPENETRABLE RIM ruined BlackBerry

Mephistro
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Re: Chewbacca defence?

"why would an 8-foot-tall Wookiee want to live on Endor, with a bunch of 2-foot-tall Ewoks?"

It would seem that addiction to midget porn is a pan-galactic issue.

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Spyware-for-cops Hacking Team faces off against privacy critics

Mephistro
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Re: Kaspersky should be worried about what Russia sells to authoritarian regimes...

"Looks like some competitors wish to target Hacking Team - as if it was the only companies developing and selling such tools"

Sorry to dissent, but the competitors are probably crossing their fingers for not being affected by the potential fallout of this. If the public's eye focuses on this issue, chances are that these competitors will also suffer the consequences. Giving hacking tools the legal status of 'ammunition' could potentially put these companies under several levels -local and international- of regulation, and smother them in red tape. Which would be a good thing, imo.

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3D PRINTED GUNS: THIS time it's for REAL! Oh, wait – no, still crap

Mephistro
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Meh

Yes, Lewis, but...

- Making a whole weapon using 'the right materials' takes lots of ability and very specialised knowledge and tools, and is really difficult and time consuming. Making only the barrel -from some standard tubing- and some other pieces -e.g firing pin and cartridge retainer and expeller- is orders of magnitude easier and needs very standard tools -a lathe,a press drill and an electric welding kit- which are in common use by many different kinds of hobbyists.

- A non-rifled barrel makes it really difficult to hit something at more than twenty meters, but most shootings happen at far closer range. Agreed, none of these guns will be used for sniping, but at close range a shotgun type weapon is something to be taken very seriously.

- These weapons are really difficult to track. The only way to do so would be through the marks in the rifling made by the lathe, and then comparing said marks with different lathes. But the lathe marks change over time, whenever the machine is adjusted and drills and other parts swapped.

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Yes, Samaritans, the law DOES apply to you. Even if you mean well

Mephistro
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Re: One hand

"...and a warning of that type to one of his closer friends might have very well saved his life."

One or several of his closer friends should be close enough to him to notice there was something wrong, and acted consequently.

Seriously, leaving this kind of task to an app is beyond stupid.

And to those who claim that this is not personal information because it was posted in a public forum, please think again. The fact that you went out yesterday and stayed for an hour in a café may not be personal information, but if someone compiles a list of all the places you have been, with date and time, that list very clearly breaks your right to privacy. In other words, data aggregation can transform public data into private data.

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Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST

Mephistro
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Re: Re:The simple fact is (@ pseudonymous blowhard)

"the idea that pre-Soviet Russia was at a "middle-ages-level" of development isn't correct."

It's, depending of how you define 'development'. From the top of my head, ~90% of the Russian population back then consisted in peasants living as serfs in a feudal system, which is exactly what Russia was until Red October.

Tsiolkovsky was a very lucky man, for having the education and the wealth to pursue his interests in a country where famines and disease killed routinely hundreds of thousands or even millions of people, and almost everybody lived in homes without sanitation or running water.

Some of the punishments the Russian people had to suffer to attain these goals -e.g. massive deportations to Siberia to provide workers to the area- were terrible and my post doesn't condone the Russian Governments of the era for such acts.

But regarding 'development', there were shitloads of it.

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Hungary PM ditches internet tax plans after mass protests

Mephistro
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Thumbs up for the Hungarians!

"...another mass gathering at 5pm tonight in Budapest to celebrate the government’s decision."

Drive that nail deeper, this way 'They' will take longer to forget.

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Plasma-spaffing boffins plan spaceships driven by FRIKKIN' LASERS

Mephistro
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Re: In atmospheric rockets and jets? Seriously? (@ Mark 85)

"The abstract and the other link talk about the laser being ground based"

Yes, but how would you set up a ground based laser to work in this fashion with a jet plane? Even with rockets working in the atmosphere, their trajectories aren't usually vertical, so you would be pointing at the rocket's nozzle with a significant angle, which would cause an asymmetry in the impulse, which is probably a bad thing for this scheme.

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Mephistro
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In atmospheric rockets and jets? Seriously?

What source of energy would those lasers use? Anything below a thorium reactor would seem inadequate. I mean, the experimental airborne lasers and their 'batteries' fill most of the innards of a 747, and they only carry enough energy for a few shots. The source of energy for this should be able to work for several minutes (in the case of rockets) or for several hours for jets.

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UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw

Mephistro
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Devil

"allowing them to illegally slash their energy bills"

So smartmeters could end up being a good thing!. Go figure!

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Hey, YouTube lovers! How about you pay us, we start paying for STUFF? - Google

Mephistro
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Trollface

Re: Sharing the winnings?(@ Ledswinger)

It's a true work of art. I'm suffering an acute case of Stendhal Syndrome right now. I'm gonna lit another toke, see if it cures this condition. ;-)

PD.: I also would suggest to the IEEC that they make the use of tags compulsory for cat images and videos, so they can be easily filtered out.

Thanks for your attention.

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Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?

Mephistro
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Meh

The data bandwith...

... doesn't seem something to write home about. On the other hand if the price is right...

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You! AT&T! The only thing 'unlimited' about you is your CHEEK, growl feds

Mephistro
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The fine should be...

... the money they saved from not creating the infrastructure that would allow them to offer a truly unlimited plan. Plus interests.

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The future health of the internet comes down to ONE simple question…

Mephistro
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Re: Problem with organisations everywhere...

"I can't see an alternative to the US Gov smacking them over the head again and imposing a sensible governance structure"

An alternative -a quite effective one methinks- would be other similar organizations sprouting everywhere, collaborating among themselves and bypassing/ignoring ICANN. So an 'European ICANN', an 'Asian ICANN', and so on would be controlled by the governments in their geographical areas. This would also present issues, but it would be far better than putting all the eggs in the same basket and giving the American govt. control over all the Internet.

This way if they screw again or get too greedy, they might find themselves losing most of their power and income sources.

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Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool

Mephistro
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Meh

My experience with this kind of tools...

... might be a little outdated, as the last time I used "seriously" one of these tools was circa 2005 with -sigh- MSaccess (hence the quotation marks around the word 'seriously' ;-).

But from what I remember from that visual design tool, it had similar issues. It was a quick and dirty way of defining queries and database relationships and it generated code that was difficult to read/debug and sometimes very inefficient for non-trivial tasks. On the other hand you could do in a few minutes a work that, using a text interface could take a few hours.

Now what riles my about MS retiring this tool 'cause it has issues' is that, instead of fixing the issues -i.e. making the tool better, more efficient and able to create more readable, structured and documented code- they go the easy way and just remove it. They seem to stick to their policy of removing from users of their products the ability to choose, as they did with things like the ribbon and the start menu in Windows 8. They don't learn, do they?

I'd bet that they couldn't find enough interns to rewrite this tool, so they chose to scrap it instead. :-)

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Pay a tax on every gigabyte you download? Haha, that's too funny. But not to Hungarians

Mephistro
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Facepalm

The next step for the Hungarian government:

Taxing air!!! Fuck Yeah!

And Hungary is a member of the EU since 2004, so Hungarians already pay VAT for their Internet connections. This new tax would cause Hungary to collect -paradoxically- far less taxes.

Another case of harebrained politicians repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot.

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Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

Mephistro
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Re: Bah!

"it cannot be economically weaponized"

True that, and It seems to me that that's precisely the same reason why thorium reactors haven't been developed. They are perfect for space exploration and many other uses, but thorium can't be used to make huge explosions.

But I reckon the biggest problem problem with anti-matter is that it's astronomically expensive to obtain and will remain so for a foreseeable future. If we are lucky, our descendants will be able to make relatively inexpensive antimatter in a few centuries and, hopefully, use it for reaching other stars.

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How to get $542m from Google: Dress as a SPACEMAN with dayglo dancers – Magic Leap

Mephistro
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Happy

Yes, it's pure magic

Gentlemen, please place your money on the table... Thank you.

Now you see it... now you don't !!!

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Satya Nadella's $84.3m pay packet: Did he use the 'female superpower' to get it?

Mephistro
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Unhappy

Re: Depressing

"It's actually quite depressing to think about it."

The same happens with most of the workings of the Good Old Boys Network. Eighty four million dollars for Satya, cause he is a good chap, plays by our rules and will return the favor.

Depressing, indeed.

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SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION

Mephistro
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Re: I find this report...

I think -I'm no expert either- that a signal able to cover -even intermitently- the original signal would play havoc with missiles guidance systems that rely on GPS, and with all the military kit that uses GPS. And each of these 'impersonator satellites' could be able to impersonate several GPS satellites simultaneously.

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Mephistro
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Re: I wonder if theX-37B story is related to this one?

Yes, 'rods from God' were my third option.

But I don't think it would make much sense with the current situation with ISIS.

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Mephistro
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I find this report...

...specious.

***rimshot***

And my bets on what they were testing is that they're trying new ways to eavesdrop satellites data traffic. Another candidate would be a device for impersonating a GLONASS (or any other GPS satellite) satellite or disabling it, something that could be very handy in certain scenarios.

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FACEPALM! HP cert used to sign malware

Mephistro
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Devil

The malware is set to phone home, which is what led to its detection.

Yep, HP detected the malware when it phoned them!

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Jonny Ive: Flattered by rivals' designs? Nah, its 'theft'

Mephistro
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Re: I also watched this popular TV programme in the 1970's

Upvoted, but Kubrick and Clarke were there before.

Anecdotically, they also described a device with all the functionalities of a smartphone in "The lost worlds of 2001". From memory, a small device that was a (wireless) phone, a camera with flash and video, and a computer with messaging at the same time, and that was used by 'people' in an alien crowd to record the arrival of their first human visitors.

I've commented on this 'smartphone' several times at several forums. This is because I still find difficult to believe the extreme precision with which they forecasted a technology that was ~35 years in their future. Kudos to them.

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Slap for SnapChat web app in SNAP mishap: '200,000' snaps sapped

Mephistro
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Devil

Divide by Zero

And you'll get the number of years until the general public gets a clue that everything you post online has a good chance of being made public and bite you in the ass years after the fact, no matter what some corporate mountebank tells you.

It's also about the same time it will take the governments to stop private companies from scamming the public non stop.*

Of special relevance is the fact that the people whose privacy has been compromised weren't the ones who used a dodgy app/gave their passwords to a third party/had their device haxxored/did some terribly stupid thing, but the ones who sent their snapshits to them.

I'm always trying to explain this to my clients, family and friends, but 90% listen attentively to my short, informative and not boring at all sermons (;-), they nod, and make encouraging noises and thank me profusely. One month later they're opening executable files that a friend sent them over email, giving their email addresses and passwords to any page that asks nicely, sending texts and images they wouldn't like to see printed in their obituaries, visiting webpages that require that you disable some of your security settings to have the privilege to see some cheap porn, and in general, doing really really stupid things.

Mark my words: Internet will be the end of Mankind!**

Note*: And I don't mean sending some spammer or scammer to the slammer (he!) twice a year so the public sees said governments as 'doing something about the problem'. I mean, as an example, preventing the telcos from profiting from scams or requiring a copy of a contract signed physically by the customer before allowing him/her to be charged for 'premium services' ~='scams'.

Note**: hopefully "...as we know it." ;-)

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Hey, non-US websites – FBI don't have to show you any stinkin' warrant

Mephistro
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So why bother to send a letter of request to a foreign country...

... when you can just hack the foreign servers?

I'm hoping the Icelandic judiciary will take issue with this act by the FBI and consider the organization as a whole guilty of a serious crime.

And to the USA as a whole: It makes sense to treat your allies the same way you would treat North Korea in a similar case. NOT.

Disclaimer: I reckon this Ulbricht guy to be a piece of scum, but if the feds and other TLAs are allowed to use these tactics against 'true criminals', what exactly stops them to use said tactics against the rest of the population, criminals and innocents alike?

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