* Posts by Mephistro

1201 posts • joined 8 Oct 2007

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Osbo: Choose a f*cking IoT fridge. Choose spirit-crushing driverless cars

Mephistro
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Devil

Typo in the article!!!

"The Chancellor promised to pump £40m into the development of Internet of Things"

It should be:

"The Chancellor promised to dump £40m into the development of Internet of Things".

Here, fixed!

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'The troll stats saddened me as a human, but didn't surprise me as a boffin'

Mephistro
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Re: I used to have an old dictionary

When I was sixteen I had the opportunity to 'play' with one of these ancient punchcard things that a family friend had in an old storehouse. Didn't enjoy it much, as by that time I was addicted to programmable calculators, whose use was far more enjoyable than that of the old IBM beast. :-)

To the point: I totally agree with your central point. It's the exact same thing I thought while reading the article.

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Mephistro
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Re: I used to have an old dictionary

"Concise Oxford, from about 1950. ..."

My Merriam-Webster 11th edition says that the word "computer" originated in 1646 and it doesn't list the word "computor", so one of these two publications seems to be wrong.

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Mephistro
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Holmes

Re: I used to have an old dictionary

"I would be interested to know the language, probably a pre-77 version of Fortran."

Ermm... no.

From the article:"Oh we didn’t have any programming languages. They weren’t very common back then.”

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Curiosity rover RENDERED ARMLESS by short circuit

Mephistro
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Coat

"As to what porn a 2 tonne laser-armed space tank watches, I leave that as an exercise for the reader's imagination..."

Hmm... an M1 Abrams? Frau Merkel? A BigDog robot?

Brain hurts!

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Mephistro
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The poor bugger...

... probably cut a buried power line. It happens all the time.

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Canadian bloke refuses to hand over phone password, gets cuffed

Mephistro
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Happy

Re: Beaver pelts(..borked graphics)

Where do you think I got the idea from?

Chowd.

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Mephistro
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Devil

"I'm always locking myself out of stuff."

That ability will probably be really useful for you soon, citizen!.

Postdata: MWAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!

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Mephistro
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Re: Beaver pelts

Nice idea. I could also suggest a little bit of meddling with the graphics driver so as to change refresh rates-for a single user- in such a way that the graphics card seems to be borked. I did something similar in a PC 20 years ago, as an April 1st joke.

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'Just a kid' Zuck's word is his bond ... but NOT in his backyard, lawsuit claims

Mephistro
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Re: Markie Sugar town Cannot be Trusted (@ tombo)

"Do kids in state schools really all reach their full potential?"

Perhaps I should have highlighted certain parts of my comment, e.g. "to allow every children the opportunity". Which, FYI, is not the same as "... really all reach their full potential?"

Same thing regarding "People who think parents should take no responsibility are part of the problem". Are you sure I'm part of that group of people? Hints:"Yes but no" and "...whose parents don't have the time, knowledge, will or motivation..."

Yep, low scores in reading comprehension, indeed. 0_o

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Mephistro
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Re: Markie Sugar town Cannot be Trusted

"Parents need to take some responsibility too."

Yes but no. The whole point of having a socialized education system is to allow every children the opportunity to realize their full potential. Even the children whose parents don't have the time, knowledge, will or motivation to help with the children's education.

A good education system provides social mobility, a level playing field (sort of) for the unprivileged, and creates lots and lots of wealth by helping the talented to reach higher skills levels. A society that allows only the children of the wealthy to become engineers or scientists is a society with too few scientists and engineers.

The ones that support 'fwd.us' and similar initiatives -usually big quangos and their owners and managers- just are proving IMO that they don't give a flying shit about children, education and their own country. Because, as fellow commentards have pointed out already, this kind of initiatives and the lack of support/funding for the education system will make any country that follows them totally irrelevant in a few generations at most.

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Want that awesome new Apple TrackPad? Don't get a MacBook Pro

Mephistro
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Re: @ Suricou Raven (@ Dave 126)

"...making the device both more expensive to manufacture and assemble, and more expensive to recycle"

Regarding the cost of manufacture and assembly, how much would the methods I described cost? pennies per unit? I can understand your reasoning -up to a point- for products that cost, say, €100, and whose margins are razor thin, but for expensive gadgets it's just plain greed. If a manufacturer saves a few pennies per unit at the cost of halving the life of the device or making repairs after the warranty period several times more expensive, I reckon said manufacturer is scamming its customers. And a well designed gadget could be disassembled in seconds, and these structural elements - e.g. rubber blocks and metallic latches- could be recycled very efficiently.

And regarding recycling, the glue itself is not recyclable and the heating process will probably damage other components of the device (plastics, batteries,...). And what's more, it needs some specialized equipment, - e.g. an oven with precise temperature control- and energy.

"The manufacturer is responsible for the end-of-life disposal of products"

An obligation many manufacturers fulfill by sending the units to some third world country in a bulk carrier or simply dumping them in some discrete landfill. I don't think ease of recycling is, sadly, one of the top priorities for the manufacturers.

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Mephistro
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@ Suricou Raven

"Glue is pretty common in phones, tablets and the very thinnest of laptops. It's part of the 'quest of thinness, ..."

Sorry to dissent, but there are other solutions that don't add to thickness and at the same time don't make gadgets almost impossible to repair. I can understand the use of glue in elcheapo phones and netbooks, but the use of glue in Apple's expensive gadgets is, in my opinion, pure and simple planned obsolescence. As an example, combination of sliding parts, latches and rubber 'stoppers' wouldn't add weight nor thickness to these gadgets, but would allow a good degree of serviceability and ease of recycling.

I can't believe Apple's designers (or Microsoft's or Samsung's or...) aren't aware of the existence of these alternatives.

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

Mephistro
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I never met him personally...

... and have only listened his voice in an interview.

Still, I feel as if an old friend has passed away.

Thanks, Terry, and Godspeed!.

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Should online pirates get the same sentences as offline ones?

Mephistro
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Megaphone

Warning!!! (Was Re: nothing competes with:)

WARNING!!! WARNING!!! JEREMY CLARKSON IS IN THE VIDEO!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

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White-listed phish slip through Google Apps

Mephistro
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WTF?

"...and handed the duo US$500 by way of thanks."

Perhaps I'm being a little bit paranoid, but the amount awarded seems designed to discourage security researchers. Either that or G is pathologically tightfisted. Seriously, US$500?

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Broadband routers: SOHOpeless and vendors don't care

Mephistro
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Re: @ Mephistro Why, oh why...(@ Ian Michael Gumby)

While you have some good points, i think you're forgetting some important facts:

- Most SOHO modem/routers are sold by ISPs to the customers, who usually pay the kit over a period of months, and agree to a minimum stay term. As sellers, they have a responsibility over the kit they sell. The flaws discussed in the article clearly describe a "not fit for purpose" product.

- There are a few SOHO modem/routers with no known serious vulnerabilities. Yes, they're probably more expensive than kit sold by the ISPs nowadays. So what? Let the customer more time to pay the device. Fixed.

- SOHO modem routers are made by the millions. Adding a few good coders to create and test the firmware should add no more than $1 to the price per unit.

- ISPs usually add changes to the firmware. Sometimes it's these changes that compromise the kit.

- Adding a little bit of regulation regarding routerscomputing devices and their support, and what's expected of the makers and the distributors in terms of security, would be a good thing. As other fellow commentards have pointed out, the automotive industry without regulation would be a frecking bloodbath.

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Mephistro
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Why, oh why...

...aren't the makers and distributors of this gunk being held liable for their lack of due diligence? Most of these 'defective by design' units are distributed by ISPs who also ignore due diligence when evaluating a new router. Yes, ISPs should also respond for this rolling SNAFU.

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OK, they're not ROBOT BUTLERS, but Internet of Home 'Things' are getting smarter

Mephistro
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yes, the dishwasher and toaster can talk to each other, but what will the conversation be?

Mandatory quote:

Sink: "Sir's accoutrements are precisely where sir has left them, and should the toaster say otherwise I remind sir that it is a wastrel."

(From Fallout New Vegas Old World's Blues.)

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Adobe launches cashless bug bounty

Mephistro
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Facepalm

Great idea!

Instead of wasting money rewarding the monkeysresearchers for their work, they offer instead a virtual badge that will give the researchers as much true social recognition as farting aloud in crowded rooms.

Adobe's CEO (to himself): "I can envision thousands of hackers queuing at Adobe's HQ. For the first time in history, Adobe's products will be bug free!!!. A new age is coming for Adobe!!!"

And then he run out of bath salts.

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‪Obama criticises China's mandatory backdoor tech import rules

Mephistro
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Re: At the risk of being controversial...

I stand corrected. Needless to say I haven't read anything from the guy, except several aphorisms. It could be one of those cases when the theatrical trailer is far better than the film !. ;-)

And perhaps we should consider Confucius in his own historical context. Compared to the alternatives (bloodthirsty feudal warlords enslaving the rest of the population without any laws to restrain them) Confucius was a big improvement, imo.

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Mephistro
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Re: At the risk of being controversial...

"But, at the end of the day their hearts are in the right place, ..."

Are you sure of that? Totally totally sure? Are these TLAs and their staffs incorruptible? How many of them have already found ways to 'monetize' their positions, either by selling data to criminals or foreign states or private companies? How many will find said methods -and use them- in the future, given that corruption seems to grow exponentially over time in any big institution?

If we allow this to go on, who do you think will rule your country in say, thirty years? Yep, the ones that can blackmail or bully everybody, the ones that can have laws and rulings tailored to their liking, the ones that want to know where you are, and who is with you, and what you think at any given moment, day or night. Yes, those ones!.

If Americans don't fix the issue ASAP, I prophesy that the NSA and pals will have turned the USA into a full blown dictatorship by then. The current bunch, compared to them, would be like comparing Confucius with Hitler.

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Mephistro
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Re: The difference is... (Charles 9)

"But that leaves the "haters gonna hate" plots..."

Well, those "hatters gonna hate" dudes (and dudettes)(let's call them "sickos" for brevity) have to obtain funding, training, shelter... . They don't have some oppressed people backing their effort. Of course you could picture a terrorist group formed and supported exclusively by sickos. Said terrorist group would have some internal power struggle every six months of so, and would murder far more of its sicko members than innocent citizens. :-)

On the same vein, it could be argued that having all the sickos in a terrorist group makes it easier to deal with them. The current situation, with sickos spread everywhere, with extra thickness in politics and big money areas, makes the issue intractable. ;-)

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US watchdog: Anthem snubbed our security audits before and after enormous hack attack

Mephistro
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Easy peasy!

1) - Put on hold all federal payments to Anthem until the audit is complete.

2) - Give them an ultimatum to allow the audits or have all their contracts terminated. No more than two weeks, please.

...

4) - See how they bend over faster than a mousetrap. Profit !!!

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Snowden, NSA spying, hard drive malware ... what we need is a UN privacy watchdog!

Mephistro
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Yeah, it's probably useless, but...

...given the way the US Govt. and the US courts have being closing any legal tools available for the EFF to fight the NSA and pals, it probably makes sense. It also helps keeping the issue in the mind of Joe Public, which is a good thing.

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The spy who leaked me: Ex-CIA boss Petraeus 'fesses up to blabbing intel to his mistress

Mephistro
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Coat

But... but... He did it willingly!!!

I mean, he did it for his Willy, didn't he?

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Google offers 'INFINITY MILLION DOLLARS' for bugs in Chrome

Mephistro
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Re: Simple infinity

Well spotted!

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Why does the NSA's boss care so much about backdoors when he can just steal all our encryption keys?

Mephistro
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Linux

Re: Next week's news:

Your first counterpoint may be true, but I find your use of the Little Devil's icon a little bit too minoritary.

Your second counterpoint does nothing to prove or disprove my second point. I said already that "open-source is no panacea" though with different words. The methods you describe to corrupt open source are much more difficult (i.e. more expensive) than simply slapping some NSL on, say, Google or Microsoft, ordering them to add a backdoor in their -more or less- closed source products, and also imply bigger risks.

And before you say it, yes, I know they could bribe/blackmail/fool/waterboard some member of Opera Software's staff to surreptitiously include the backdoor in their product, but by doing that they'd be running a serious risk of exposure and of being arrested by the Norwegian Police or the EU institutions. This would be bad for NSA's business, wouldn't it?

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Mephistro
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Re: Next week's news:

"They actually went after the WebKit engine"

Two points:

a) - "Citation needed".

b) - WebKit is distributed under BSD and GNU and its source code is available for review by anybody. Not saying it's impossible to compromise it, just that it's orders of magnitude more difficult than compromising proprietary software, and any vulnerabilities in the engine have a far bigger chance of being discovered & dealt with by the developer community.

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Mephistro
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Devil

Next week's news:

"Following Admiral Mike Rogers suggestions that the NSA would order backdoors installed in web browsers, Norwegian company Opera Software's share prices rose a 200%. "

Yep. He is an idiot.

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Iran hacks America where it hurts: Las Vegas casinos

Mephistro
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Devil

Well, I hope they paid him well...

... for explaining "HIS" opinions, where the word "HIS" stands for "coming from a huge gang of lobbyists*".

I hope the FSM or the Karma or Yahveh or whoever will bury him under tons of shit, most of it of his -own creation.I wonder how much financing would that idea receive at a Kikcstarter campaign. This way we wouldn't need to bother any deities!

Mhhhh... Got it!: "Throw Clapper down the ..." Ermm... Does anyone know a word that rhymes with Clapper? TY for your help.

*Note: you know, Big Money, the Industrial-Military Complex, Mafiosi, ... The usual suspects. :-)

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Net neutrality victory: FCC approves 'open internet' rules in 3-2 vote

Mephistro
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Re: Good (@ doctariAFC2)

How do you know "net neutrality" was "enforced",...?

Probably by knowing the implications of considering the Internet as a "Title 2" comms service.

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Mephistro
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My hope is that...

... these events are the beginning of a Sanity Outbreak regarding Internet and its governance and laws, worldwide.

Yeah, I'll keep on dreaming. :-)

Anyway these are really good news. At the very least a step in the right direction. Perhaps the pendulum is bouncing back at last?

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So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

Mephistro
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Re: @Mephistro (tl;dr)

"There was no infamous brouhaha back then"

You know that the word 'infamous' has several meanings, don't you? And I remember reading about this particular SNAFU in some computer magazine several months after the fact, and reading comments in forums during the 2000 outbreak of bad capacitors. So it wasn't the Capacitorgeddon, but neither was it a trivial matter.

Capacitor failures have happened since their invention, for any number of underlying reasons

Yeah, but if you see at least one of them -probably more- failing in every mobo served by a company, you can safely conclude that said company's quality testing process is crap.

And an equipment vendor that'll repair things outside the warranty period is a rare sight

Actually, the failures happened always in the first fortnight after purchase, with two systems being directly DOA. The replacement machines exhibited the same behaviour. The amount of work we had to do in order to move the data and reinstall the OS's was simply unbelievable.

Must be a truly known and endemic issue (like it was in 200x) to get free service.

Not in Europe. And I thought that the USA had similar rules, but I might be wrong. The reseller finally took away the systems and reimbursed my customer, after receiving a copy of the technical report and letter from the company's lawyer.

"15-20 years is a very long time..."

Sure. But I operate following a simple rule: No company screws me twice, if I can prevent it. The incident related in TFA seems to hint strongly towards Lenovo's current management having the same philosophy the company had in the nineties.

Seriously, the most infamous -or disgraceful, if you prefer- part about this incident is the way Lenovo tried to elude their responsibility. At first, they claimed the issue was caused by failures in the customer's leccy supply and/or the grounding. Luckily, the customer's electrical installation had been certified a few weeks before the purchase, so Lenovo and the reseller had to look for a different explanation.

The next step was a meeting full of weaselspeak where they hinted -without saying it clearly- that the affected computers had been sabotaged. We had none of it, of course, and shortly after sent one of the units to an electronics firm for the forensic examination.

After the events, I learned that other people had been having the same issues MONTHS BEFORE MY CUSTOMERS ORDERED THE MACHINES!!!

When Lenovo acquired IBM's PC division, my first reaction was of incredulity and a lot of profanity. ;-)

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Mephistro
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Re: @Mephistro

Not to give too many details, but Lenovo was selling computers and mainboards under that brand since the nineties, in my country at least. They weren't very known or popular then, but they were there nonetheless. One of my customers was bitten by the above said trouble with capacitors and Lenovo and their resellers denied everything. And yes, it was due to defective capacitors. To put it short, we had to learn the truth by ourselves, by sending one of the affected mainboards to an electronic engineering firm.

And yes, there was a similar outbreak -I think the one you refer in your post- a few years later.

And FYI, Lenovo was created in 1984 and started pushing their kit overseas sometime around 1992.

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Mephistro
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Re: They shot themselves in the head (@Shadow Systems)

people doing the buying have the power to say "Loo, that program is crap. Don't include it or we'll take this purchase order somewhere else."

Not all business grade computers are purchased by big quangos, and I'd dare to say that not even a majority of them are. Disclaimer: I don't know if they're actually adding crapware to systems sold to small/middle sized companies, as I haven't purchased or advised to purchase any Lenovo kit since the infamous brouhaha with the bubbling capacitors in the nineties.

And yes, Microsoft 'should' forbid the installation of crapware in systems sold with Windows pre-installed, but I somehow doubt they will do that. Instead they seem likely to add their own layer of crapware and force it down the user's throat, the same they tried to do with Win8 and they'll apparently do with Win10.

Fuck'em both with a shovel!.

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El Reg chefs whip up Post-Pub Noshographic

Mephistro
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Happy

The first step is missing

"Are you able to understand a simple flowchart in your current state?

YES: Continue.

NO: Collapse discreetly upon something soft and warm (excluding wife and dog) . "

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Hellooo, NSA? The US State Department can't kick hackers out of its networks – report

Mephistro
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Devil

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch

Nuff said.

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Violin-fiddling boffins learn that 'F-HOLES' are secret to Stradivarius' SUPERIOR sound

Mephistro
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Re: Pointless fact:

Thank you!

I always thought that Stradivarius was just their mid-range line of products, with the same luthiers making also the Stradirareus -luxury product- and Stradimanyus (the economy model).

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Mephistro
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What??? Violins also evolve???

That's a rotten lie! All violins were made by God!!!

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TITANIC: Nuclear SUBMARINE cruising 'Sea of KRAKENS' may be FOUND ON icy MOON

Mephistro
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After watching the design of this submarine...

... I think space boffins should get over their obsession with anal probes. Nuff said.

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ANOTHER US court smacks down EFF's NSA wiretap sueball – but won't say why

Mephistro
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Unhappy

If there was a Nobel Prize for circular arguments...

... this judge would deserve to win it several years in a row.

' ...the government's arguments in favor of the legality of the program were "persuasive, and must remain classified." '

The 'government's arguments' in this case are probably a brown envelope containing a thumbdrive with pictures, videos and sound recordings of what Judge Jeffrey White did in his last visit to Las Vegas, sprinkled also with his preferences in Internet porn. Persuasive arguments indeed.

From my point of view, nowadays the USA is about as democratic as Venezuela or Iran, i.e. only in a very superficial way.

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Snowden leaks LEGALISED GCHQ's 'illegal' dragnet spying, rules British tribunal

Mephistro
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@ poopypants

" As soon as it becomes public knowledge, a determination is made, and it becomes one or the other"

So, following some interpretations of quantum mechanics, there is another universe where they took the other way and justice was served, and the citizens weren't treated like sheep . And, further down the line, there is another universe where the perpetrators receive more than a slap in the wrist.

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Ross Ulbricht, in the library, with the laptop: Silk Road boss found GUILTY of all charges

Mephistro
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Re: What defence?

“There were no little elves that put that evidence on [Ulbricht’s] computer,”

The problem with this assertion is that the elves in question have been spotted in the wild and are routinely employed by, amongst others, the FBI.

I'm not saying that he isn't guilty. But, if he wasn't, how could we possibly tell?

</AdvocatusDiavoli>

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Mephistro
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Happy

Re: Other than

Free Hat!!!

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Microsoft's Nadella: Congratulations on 12 months of not being Steve Ballmer

Mephistro
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Devil

Barrack Obama???

I know for a fact that WWIII will be caused by an auto-correct error. ;-)

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Avast there: MEELLIONS of Androiders scuttled by 'adware' game app

Mephistro
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Devil

Re: Malware Solution

"it doesn't have any unwelcome side effects like turning you into an arsehole, sheep or barista"

"Excusatio non petita accusatio manifesta"

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Spent the weekend watching Game of Thrones? You're a FAT LONELY SADDO

Mephistro
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Happy

Re: Surprise(@ AC) (tl:dr)

"No difference when you compare with WoW"

On the contrary, there are several important differences.

- In WoW you have to be continually thinking and finding ways to improve your gameplay/equipment, strategies, etc. . Meanwhile the telly usually just feeds content into your brain. That delivery method (TV) very often surpasses our brain's 'filters', 'antimemes', bullshit detectors and similar defensive processes.

-WoW is a social game, in which interaction with other players is fundamental. You get valuable training in planning, collaboration, collective problem solving, haggling and the working of markets, you name it. WoW also works often like a social network, with people discussing/chatting/frolicking through chat channels and voicechat. On the other hand, the TV includes no way to interact with other users, so there are married couples who watch their favourite shows in different TVs or families where every member has a TV in their sleeping room. TV favours isolation, while WoW creates an almost velievable simulation of a human society.

And yes, WoW is addictive as hell, but that addiction usually cures itself in a few years, when players get finally tired of the game. I know because that's what happened with me and my WoW addiction. Have heard the same history from other ex-players. For the first years, it was really funny too.

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Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

Mephistro
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Re: Begun the Ad Wars have

I'm using Privoxy on Windows. Nice, fast and does everything I need it to do.*

* That is, after several hours spent learning the workings of the configuration file. Sigh...

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chickpea stew à la Bureau des Projets Spéciaux

Mephistro
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A suggestion

Lester, please include 'fabada asturiana' in your next post-pub article. That is, if you survived the chickpeas.

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