* Posts by Mephistro

1287 posts • joined 8 Oct 2007

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Fugitive UK hacker turned ISIS recruiter killed in Syria

Mephistro
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@ Andy Non

You have a good point there. But let's not forget that the Old Testament does exactly the same. Please allow me to modify the last sentence in your post:

"The Ancient Testament is riddled with hatred, violence and murder against everyone: Disbelievers, homosexuals, women to be treated as sex-slaves and so on."

There are still 'Christian' sects and groups that completely abide the Old Testament.

"Danger, Religion!"

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Android in user-chosen lockscreen patterns are grimly predictable SHOCKER

Mephistro
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I use both...

... the numerical code and the sliding pattern (a complex one). The main advantage of using both methods is that the sliding pattern covers/obscures most marks potentially left when entering the numerical code. This protects my phone against the thermal camera method recently described in other Elreg article, and from analysing scratch marks on the screen.

The downside? it takes longer, and friends and family scoff me for taking so long to unlock my phone, and also for doing it always while no one except me is able to watch the screen. Another case of peer pressure working against security.

I also change the pattern and code every two months or so, which is a PITA.

Anyway, after going through all this, I don't feel my phone is 'safe'. I try to keep personal/sensitive data out of my phone as much as I can, switch on geolocation only when I needed, and so on.

What? Paranoid, me? :O)

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Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate

Mephistro
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Devil

Re: Proof

These approaches may work, but there's an easier method. Whistle-blowers. Offer a reward for employees or ex-employees informing the authorities of any illegal throttling, and whenever the occasion rises, send a group of auditors with a warrant and a SWAT team, just in case ;-). At the very least it would improve the work conditions at ISPs.

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Mephistro
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Facepalm

"...rather than clamouring for "neutral" networks, which in reality don't, can't and will never exist."

Andrew, this is the best example of the Black or White Fallacy I've seen in a long, long time.

It's akin to saying that, as we can't completely banish crime, we shouldn't bother with cops, courts and such.

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C For Hell: Data centre meltdown for irate customers as C4L GOES TITSUP

Mephistro
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Re: Another day...(@ac)

"Things which are based on complex software have bugs."

I think you answered your own comment with that sentence. Problems and bugs grow exponentially with complexity. Taking all your IT infrastructure into "The Cloud" means that you'll suffer errors from many different sources -ISPs, cloud providers, VM software, datacenter software and hardware... plus possible combinations of these- and you don't have any control over (most of) said problems or bugs. Add the issues with consumer lock-in, security and privacy and the picture gets even darker.

There are cases where the cloud makes sense, but nowadays it's being peddled for just everything, and companies are swallowing the bait, the line, the sinker and the f**king fishing rod.

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Mephistro
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Devil

Another day...

... another cloud SNAFU.

To me, the IT world is beginning to look like a huge pack of lemmings on crack. The cloud, tablets, BYOD...

What worries me the most is that I'm beginning to remember with nostalgia the days when we complained about WinXP's lack of security. At least we had some kind of control over our hardware and software. Ahhh, those were the days!

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Could our fear of fracking be appeased with CO2 sequestration?

Mephistro
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@ TheVogon (was Re: Talking about how the fractures never get near the aquifer (@ Francis Vaughn))

"And the answer is not until the several KM of non shale rock on top of them is removed..."

Disingenuous. There are fracking sites where the shales are less than a kilometre deep, and the "non shale rock on top" may be permeable and/or full of cracks. Even if the top layers of rock are solid and not permeable, injecting high pressure gas will lower the temperature of the shales and surrounding areas causing negative thermal expansion and potentially making the creation of cracks in the upper layers much more likely.

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Mephistro
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Re: Talking about how the fractures never get near the aquifer (@ Francis Vaughn)

"The only reason you are interested in them is that there is a seal above them that contains the gas. If there were no seal the gas would have long since gone."

This may be the case for oil and gas wells and tight sands, but shales and coal are, so to say, their own seal, i.e. they keep gas in small bubbles distributed through their mass and don't need another geological formation acting as a seal.

This implies that , as the reason for fracking is making said shales permeable to fluids so say fluids can be recovered, once you've finished the fracking process, you end up with an entirely different kind of geological formation, i.e. a permeable rock.

So, the question is not whether these fracked formations will leak, the question is when they will leak.

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Mephistro
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@ Doctor Syntax

This seems to be a solved problem: "we already pump CO2 into wells in the North Sea as a way of disposing of it"

It's solved -more or less- when the objective is to keep pressure high in the wells, so as to extract the last barrels of oil and keep the wells under the same pressure they withstood originally. It's not so 'solved' if you take in account the costs of capture and transport, or the risks, which aren't so insignificant as these experts -paid by the industry- want us to believe. Liquefying CO2 is an energy intensive process, and the stability of the geological formations subject to these methods is not a settled matter at all. If some minor earthquake affects said geological formations, we'll find ourselves in deep shit.

Injecting CO2 in an almost empty oil well affects a geological formation that has proven itself able to keep the high pressure without leaks for many millions of years. Injecting CO2 in shales adds too many new variables to the equation.

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Biz that OK'd Edward Snowden for security clearance is fined $30m for obvious reasons

Mephistro
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Angel

"...submitted incomplete background check reports to the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM)"

So, the guys who hacked the OPM were given lots of false data thanks to USIS. It's clear that USIS deserves praise and not a fine! ;-)

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Donald Trump dumps on Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

Mephistro
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Re: "...details a plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico." (@ Boltar)

"God, not this tired old argument again."

Which argument? That the Big Wall will only worsen things? I'd like to hear your counter-argument.

Fact is, the US govt. seems to agree with me, as they are doing zilch -aside from some hand waving - regarding the issue. Which measures should they take, you'll ask?

First the switch: lots and lots of surprise inspections in the areas where illegal workers are more common, e.g. construction, agriculture, domestic service... . with big fines/prison terms for illegal employers. Remember, in most cases the "illegals" are the victims here.

Then the carrot: helping the development of the countries where the illegals originate, both economically and politically, so as to prevent people from wanting to escape the terrible conditions in said countries.

Instead, what the US does is spending trillions in stopping perhaps a 20% of illegal immigrants -so as to appease the voters-, milking the origin countries off most of their natural riches and capital, and directly promoting criminal/dodgy/corrupt regimes in said countries to facilitate the above said plundering of natural resources.

I think that the main reason for this sad state of affairs is that in the US the main objective is private profit. The current status quo allows the government to put pressure on salaries -with all the consequences you list in your comment and then some more- while keeping the public happy " 'cause something is being done".

In short: the US economy is designed to depend on very low wages/living standards for a big % of the population, and, sadly this won't change by itself, even if you reduce illegal immigration to zero, as other means will be used to keep salaries down (e.g. more economic meltdowns).

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Mephistro
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Devil

"...details a plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico."

I'd love to see that wall built, if only to see how well American economy does without slave cheap/illegal workers. In the end it would probably be good for Mexico and the rest of Latin America.

The cost of building, maintaining and manning such a pharaonic infrastructure would be an added bonus.

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Another root hole in OS X. We know it, you know it, the bad people know it – and no patch exists

Mephistro
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FAIL

Re: Using page zero...

Back then I wrote a few assembler programs both for MOS 6502 and Motorola 68000*. The dangers of misusing NULL pointers were well known back then, and palliative measures were described in most books regarding assembler programming. I seem to recall some big C programming books (K&R perhaps?) also discussed these issues.

Finding this kind of FAIL in a modern OS is like learning that in some first world hospital the surgeons don't wash their hands before operating patients.

* Disclaimer: I haven't written a single line of assembler in almost ~30 years, so the situation may have changed, but still...

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Pure and simple: Why Gartner's and IPOing storage biz's numbers didn't line up

Mephistro
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Re: "People make mistakes"

And now I know a new trick too! :-)

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Two weeks of Windows 10: Just how is Microsoft doing?

Mephistro
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@ Clatters

"I updated my 80 year old Dad to Mint 17.1"

Now, that's serious hardware compatibility! Go, Mint, go!!!

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

Mephistro
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Re: the "China Export" logo exists

Not sure whether it exists or not, but I'm pretty sure that many imports from China brandishing a similar logo haven't even applied for the official CE logo. On top of that, the Wikipedia link ("...and was in discussion with Chinese authorities to ensure compliance with European legislation" )seems to hint it exists. A different matter is whether this fake logo was created originally by the Chinese govt. (I think this is not the case, but I might be wrong) or by some cadre of dodgy Chinese manufacturers.

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Mephistro
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I've seen that unicorn often enough...

... to seriously doubt the validity of the European commission response. Perhaps it was true when the EC produced said response, perhaps it's only a forgery by many Chinese manufacturers. Anyway, the "China Export" logo exists, it's almost identical to the CE logo and back then the EC was negotiating with the Chinese authorities to change the "China Export" logo so it couldn't be confused with the "true" CE logo. It would seem the negotiations didn't go too well, as you can still see those forged logos in every piece of low quality electronics gunk manufactured in China.

If the EC really wanted to fix this problem, they would be confiscating stuff with said forged logos at customs, warehouses and shops. Collusion? Corruption? Incompetence?

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Oracle pulls CSO's BONKERS anti-bug bounty and infosec rant

Mephistro
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WTF?

Numbers, numbers...

"... security researchers find about 3 per cent and the rest are found by customers"

So they think it's OK for their customers to suffer find a 30% more vulnerabilities than they would find if a bug bounty program was in place?

Corporate cultures can be so-so, bad, terrible, and then there is Oracle.

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Hasta la Victoria Siempre, GDS! This is not the end, no way

Mephistro
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Devil

Priceless...

That sticker with "gov.uk - 4th July" is just priceless!!!

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Hacktivists congratulate Daily Show's Jon Stewart via Donald Trump's website

Mephistro
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Re: Too Funny. (@ Arnaut the less)

"Worst of last two Presidents competition:

Obama second.

GWBIII next to last."

ROFL!

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New twist in telco giants' fight to destroy the FCC's net neutrality

Mephistro
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@Charles 9

"And who cares if the bodies float downstream. They'll have been looted long before then."

Then the shareholders would surely have something to say about that, wouldn't they? If the management "loots the bodies", they stand a good chance of spending the next ten years in several courtrooms defending themselves from serious charges, with absolutely no support from the public opinion.

...the government can't prevent a business from performing a voluntary liquidation...

IANAL, but being an essential communication service, I'd bet good money there are several provisions in the laws allowing the government to grab or nationalize the infrastructure in cases like this.

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Mephistro
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"...why don't they play the nuclear option... " ..."You want things done your way, YOU do it!"

The government wouldn't need to do it themselves. They could just terminate any exclusive territorial deals with the current telcos and pass laws making easier for the competition to enter the market.

And on top of that, after the Internet has been declared a Title II comms service, cutting the service for whatever reasons would probably be a legal no-no.

One way or another, what you are suggesting would probably end up with several big telcos bodies floating downstream.

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US Census Bureau IT systems hacked, data leaked by Anonymous

Mephistro
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Angel

Typo in the article

"...TTIP and TPP, which the US and other nations are negotiating."

Should be:

"...TTIP and TPP, which the US is trying to force down other nations throats."

Please, Elreg, stop moving around the corrections button.

;-)

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NASA: 'Closest thing yet to ANOTHER EARTH' - FOUND

Mephistro
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Trollface

Re: Won't work...no women will go.....

Why go there to double their weight, when they can do it here, in the comfort of their own homes?

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FireEye intern nailed in Darkode downfall was VXer, say the Feds

Mephistro
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Re: Yet more gibberish...

I thought that either the Britons involved were very big or the countries were really small. Glad to see I was wrong.

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ACLU wants to end NSA mass spying forever – good luck with that

Mephistro
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Re: long live the fourth amendment, oh wait its already dead

Totally true. And is a general tendency. Countries like the U.K., France, Spain or Germany -Germany, of all countries, that after only ~25 years after the fall of the Wall seem to be willing to have another go at dictatorships! - are developing a panoply of gag laws and '"security laws", misinformation by big media, terror threats (real or imaginary), and the whatnot.

In short, they're wiping their arses with their citizens rights! And they're getting away with it!!! :-(

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Hacking Team: We’ll be back in the spyware biz before you know it

Mephistro
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Pint

"...claiming that foreign governments have a right to wiretap Americans inside their own homes without court oversight, a right that not even the U.S. government claims for itself..."

True that, but the U.S. government has also given itself the right to wiretap other countries's citizens without any oversight whatsoever. This case is going to be really interesting. Where is the popcorn icon?

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Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue

Mephistro
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Re: Perhaps

So the five rings have been trademarked? Miyamoto Mushashi must be spinning in his grave!

Mine is the one with the wakizashi in the pocket.

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Lizard Squad kid bandit who did 50 THOUSAND HACKS dodges cooler stint

Mephistro
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Holmes

Re: They gave him the light sentence

Either that or the Fins don't fancy sending teenagers to prison except for the most heinous crimes.

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Office 365 prices 'to rise by up to 13 per cent'

Mephistro
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Trollface

"...prices 'to rise by up to 13 per cent'..."

Run for your lives!!! Here comes an avalanche of told-you-so's!!!

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Dormant ALIEN SLIME LIFE frozen in SPEEDING comet will AWAKEN - boffins

Mephistro
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@ David Pollard

"The problem with panspermia is that it still doesn't explain how life started"

No, but it explains how it disseminated from its origin point. Which could be in a planet not unlike ours, but placed half a galaxy away, or in places like Europa or Mars in our own solar system, or God knows where.

We should accept that probably we'll never know for sure. This universe of ours is really good at destroying information.

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Hacking Team havoc shows even 'security experts' suck at security

Mephistro
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Defining Hacking Team and HBgary...

... as 'security firms' is a little bit of a stretch, in my opinion. They seem to be doing just the opposite thing, making the Internet a less secure place and, by extension, making the world less secure also.

I'd like all these (in)security firms -and they governmental customers- to FOAD, preferably in flames. I'll keep on dreaming. Sigh...

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Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has)

Mephistro
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Devil

At last, Microsoft giving good advice to their customers!

Please allow me to misquote W. Churchill:

"You can always count on Microsoft to do the right thing, after they have tried everything else."

;-)

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Silly Google's Photos app labelled BLACK PEOPLE as GORILLAS

Mephistro
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Happy

On the other hand, if I am included in their images database, ...

... I'm probably classified as an albino silverback.

This is clearly NOT a case of racism. It's plain stupidity without any additives!. ;-)

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Palaeoboffins discover 500 MILLION year old ARMOURED WORM

Mephistro
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Devil

Re: Distance

An example of Turing-Style Cabageness Test (TSCT for short):

Q: Can you perform photosynthesis?

A: Hmmm... yes!

Q: Do you belong to the Brassica genus?

A: ... yes?

Q: Do you possess thick edible roots?

A: ... ... yes?

*** WRONG ANSWER!!! - WRONG ANSWER!!! - YOU'RE A TURNIP!!! ***

We could call it the Sauerkraut-Kampf Test.

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Mephistro
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Devil

Re: Distance

" ...than the difference between a man and a cabbage."

I know some human individuals that wouldn't pass a hypothetical "Turing-Style Cabbageness Test", let alone a full Turing Test!!!

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Mephistro
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Re: Ediacara biota?

True! Actually, this thing quite resembles Hallucigenia, a Burgess Shale fossil from the same period.

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Mephistro
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Re: Hairy Collins Monster ?

"I must invent a new fly for salmon! :-)"

Cut the euphemisms and call it by it's proper name: "A morningstar for salmon!

:-D

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UH OH: Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends' friends

Mephistro
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Mushroom

Kill that WiFi Sense thing!

WITH FIRE!!!

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Mephistro
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Isn't this obvious that this method to disable WiFi Sense is designed for making the costumers fed up with opting out of every new network they visit, or they'll just forget about it.

Must of us IT folks may understand the issue and put some remediation, but most persons out there are like sitting ducks regarding this issue.

Thanks to this article, I'll advice all my clients, family and friends -again- to steer well clear of Windows phones.

Thanks, ElReg. Some days I feel like the frecking Sisyphus!!!

;-)

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Mephistro
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@ Your alien overlord - fear me

"On a similar topic, what if I use just WPA, how could I get access to a WPA2 network or via versa?"

On most devices I see nowadays -including smart TVs, WiFi routers and WiFi network cards- you can configure both protocols to work at the same time, i.e. looking for both kinds of WiFi networks and choosing the right set of parms. ..

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US SaaS firm bows to Snowden concerns with UK-based datacentre

Mephistro
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Re: Another company treating their potential customers as if they were retarded*

Oh, and let's not forget about those other corporate execs that understand the cloud related issues, but will use it anyway if it makes their numbers look better and puts them closer to a promotion or bonus.

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Mephistro
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Flame

Another company treating their potential customers as if they were retarded*

More news at eleven.

* Which is probably the case for all those corporate execs who know shit about IT but accept everything some snake tongued salesperson tells them and at the same time ignore the advice from their own IT departments. Sigh...

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Microsoft releases free Office apps for half of all Android phones

Mephistro
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Black Helicopters

Hmmm... 'Microsoft' and 'free' in the same sentence...

It's a trap!!!

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Uber app will soon maybe track you 24/7, cry privacy warriors

Mephistro
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Angel

"We care deeply about the privacy of our riders and driver-partners ..."

Ahhh, there's nothing like the smell of corporate bullshit in the morning!

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Ready to go again, soldier? Final Fantasy VII remake revealed

Mephistro
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WTF?

Out of curiosity...

... Elreg, what is this article doing in the Hardware section?

Thank you!

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Mephistro
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"...regularly requiring 40+ hours to complete..."

It took me closer to 100 hours of gameplay to finish the game, completing most of the optional missions and playing and replaying the mini-games for hours. Thanks to that, I smashed Sephirot flat into the ground in a few minutes without any effort.

I think I got really close to developing a bad case of OCD, but it was worth it! :-)

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EU MEPs accept lonely Pirate's copyright report – and water it down

Mephistro
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Angel

Small typo in the article

"... many of her colleagues have been BRIBED by the rights holders community..."

Here, fixed!

Sorry, couldn't find the damn corrections button! ;-)

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Did climate change scare off vegan dinos for millions of years? 'Yes'

Mephistro
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Meh

@ Toughluck

"Basically, after we burn all coal, oil and natural gas, Earth's atmosphere will be like in the Paleozoic/Mesozoic era?"

Quoting the article: "... similar conditions could develop and suppress equatorial ecosystems."

Which makes perfect sense as current fauna & flora are adapted to the current conditions and their survival would be at stake. And the same can be said about the crops and cattle humans need to survive.

"So, Earth can support 4-6 times higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and the temperatures will still not reach Venerian levels?"

Most of the ecosystems we depend on for our survival would be totally screwed long before Earth temperatures reach Venerian levels. And everything from crops, cattle and fisheries to fresh water and energy generation would be seriously affected also.

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Indie review of UK surveillance laws: As you were, GCHQ

Mephistro
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"Modern communications networks can be used by UNSCRUPULOUS CIVIL SERVANTS AND POLITICIANS for purposes ranging from cyber-attack, terrorism and espionage to fraud, kidnap and child sexual exploitation."

Fixed!

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