* Posts by Schultz

1140 posts • joined 22 Oct 2007

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Dyson hair dryer

Schultz
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Boffin

I'll assume it is 'supersonic' only,

so the neighbors won't wake up.

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Jaron Lanier: Big Tech is worse than Big Oil

Schultz
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'Big Tech' being on the wrong side doesn't put the copyright industry on the right.

The copyright industry went so far beyond common sense with their efforts to protect their assets for eternity that even Google and MS look like heroes when picking up the fight with them. Let's hope their fight destroys enough of the current system to bring about something more reasonable

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Irish researchers sweep smartphones clear of super bugs

Schultz
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Facepalm

Antibacterial nonsense

You carry more bacterial cells than human cells in your body. Wash your hands before dinner and stop worrying about your phone. Oh, and while we are at it, when did you last put your keyboard through the dishwasher?

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UK authorities probe 'drone hitting plane at Heathrow'

Schultz
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WTF?

The average drone ...

looks more like this: http://goo.gl/Axq5Ku (Aliexpress link), runs without explosive fuels and is not a hardened steel construction. The statement "made of sturdier stuff, can carry liquid fuels and have rapidly-rotating rotors that could conceivably damage a plane" therefore sounds a bit of hyperbole. Still, those drone operators should follow the rules just like the model plane operators did in the past.

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US anti-encryption law is so 'braindead' it will outlaw file compression

Schultz
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Boffin

Bending the natural sciences to conform to political will ...

is hard to do. Even the Nazis didn't follow through with their aryan science. So calm down and let the politicians go through the motions of trying all those approached that don't work.

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Music's value gap? Follow the money trail back to Google

Schultz
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Simply broken

I have not purchased music (online or off) for years. I am quite selective in what I listen to and I am not willing to pay lots of money for legally sampling music online. I pretty much gave up hope that they'll ever create a system that will work for somebody like me. The only music I bought in the last >10 years was boring old CDs, directly from artists I already knew. I was excited for some 5 minutes when Pandora launched (and I found and bought some new music in the days), but they were quick to shut out the bigger part of the world and that was that.

There is a lot of money waiting to be spent worldwide, but the system is broken and apparently nobody can put Humpty Dumpty back together again.The artists and producers dream of the golden days when everybody replaced the payed-for LPs and tapes with an expensive CD collection. They forgot that, historically, even wizz kids like Mozart barely made a living.

Cry for me, Argentina, -- no, that's still copyrighted. Cry me a river -- oops not that one either. Just forget it then.

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Picture this: An exabyte of cat pix in the space of a sugar cube of DNA

Schultz
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An exabyte in the space of a sugarcube...

but for reading out you need a lot of supplies to run the polymerase chain reaction and those will not be reusable. Add up the total volume or supplies required for writing and reading data, it'll look a lot less efficient. (As in many orders of magnitude less efficient.)

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Lotto 'jackpot fix' code

Schultz
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It's the lottery ...

so the players get ripped off anyways. Some days of the week, somebody else did the ripping off, should I care? Add it to the arguments why the lotteries should be closed. See John Oliver explain the other reasons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PK-netuhHA.

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This year's H-1B visa lottery jammed full in just six days

Schultz
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Coat

Some of the jobs may just move overseas...

Let's face it, there will always be pressure to reduce the cost for lower skill jobs. If the US closes their door, jobs will move to other countries. India is a few time-zones away, but maybe it'll be an opportunity for Mexico or Canada to start operating the IT departments for US companies with those highly motivated immigrants.

You might not like it, but those kids from poor countries also want their slice of the pie and they are willing to move across the world to get it.

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Taking an artsy selfie in Stockholm? You might need to pay royalities

Schultz
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Trollface

Slippery slope, what exactly is art?

Please close your eyes now because if you look at the artwork below, you might owe me some money!

...../\

/\/\|.|/\

|........|/\

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Adblock wins in court again – this time against German newspaper

Schultz
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Unhappy

So humanity made a little progress in killing online ads ...

when will humanity figure out how to kill offline ads? I just don't get why every bus window in the Western world must be plastered with ads -- I personally value having a view when sitting in a bus. The same applies for pretty much all the other public ads too. Who decided that it was acceptable to sell every square meter of public city space for advertisements? You want to advertise Coca Cola to me? Sell me a Warhol painting for my living room.

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Zombie SCO rises from the grave again

Schultz
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Go

Aaah, the legal lottery...

you have to play if you want to win!

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Internet users don't understand security or privacy, says survey

Schultz
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Government mistrust in Germany and Korea

The government mistrust in Germany and Korea is not so surprising. Germany still remembers the role of government data collection back in the days when computing devices from Hollerith (also known as IBM Germany) allowed to sort and kill some 6 million Jews and commit a good number of other atrocities. The survivors' tales nicely highlight that secrecy / privacy has its values.

In Korea, you find a very high awareness of technological issues and a nice string of political scandals to illustrate government misuse of data (typically to smear the opposition).

Also, neither country has yet seen a major terrorism attack that could be exploited to instill fear of the 'darknet' (whatever that is). Let's hope it stays that way.

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Schultz
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Happy

And 80% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Really!

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The FBI lost this round against Apple – but it aims to win the war

Schultz
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Stop

With the "war on drugs" winding down...

and the "war on terror" loosing steam (there are much less boots on the ground in the middle east now, even though ISIS seems more involved in terror acts than the Taliban ever were), maybe the war on crypto could be next. It does check some boxes:

- Requires continuous government spending (check)

- Can be extended ad-infinitum (check)

- Vague goals that allow to declare success (or need for increased efforts) as politics demand (check)

- Creates sufficient emotions in the public to support the "war"???

Well, their test case against Apple failed that last point. Maybe the war on crypto should then just stay part of the bigger war on terror. Carry on.

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Boffins urged to publish in free journals by science sugardaddy

Schultz
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AC above

Wow, you should go into journalism, I hear they pay by the word ;).

You did a good job laying out the problems of the current system. Unfortunately there is no easy solution to improve the publication business and science funding. Many things that look good on paper may be completely unfeasible -- but who should tell so, except for the specialists in the field who try to (over)sell their ideas. ITER is a great idea? Maybe, or maybe we should invest more in smaller scientific projects because the fusion thing just is not ready yet (and spending billions at a time may not be the most efficient way of getting there).

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London's $40m 'flash crash' trader is to face extradition to the US

Schultz
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Re: Fix

Introducing a delay in trades doesn't necessarily remove the ability to play the system - you just have to be that microsecond faster than your prey, some 5 seconds in the future.

Better to collect all orders and execute them in discrete bunches -- let's say every 1, 5, or 10 seconds. Running a faster computer or a shorter cable won't give you any advantage then. You'd need to hack the data lines from the competition to game the system and that surely must be illegal even if you happen to be a big bank.

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Dodgy software will bork America's F-35 fighters until at least 2019

Schultz
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Facepalm

WaitWhat? Affordability challenges?

Wasn't this plane meant to save a lot of money by replacing a lot of overly complicated and expensive specialized planes? I guess they decided to go for the greatest common denominator, or was that the greatest common divisor?. Well, you know what I mean -- or maybe you are just as confused as the managers behind the F-35 project.

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Snowden WAS the Feds' quarry in Lavabit case, redaction blunder reveals

Schultz
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Mushroom

"The guys trying to blow up your car, shoot you on the beach, ... are deffo bad guys."

So the US soldiers in their diverse wars, the drone operators, and those covert CIA operatives are always bad guys? They did a lot more blowing up and shooting up than the opposition ever managed. But then, so were the soldiers fighting Nazi Germany. And Hitler himself would not be caught by your definition, he only gave orders.

Sometimes people fight for some greater good (democracy versus fascism), sometimes they fight for survival (Assad), sometimes they fight for a badly defined concept (war on terror). To figure out who is on the right side is not simple and some poor fellow fighting for freedom in the middle east has the same chances for being right or wrong as you do. But he probably put some more thought into this than you did -- because he decided to risk his own life in the fight.

Let me close with a citation from Steven Weinberg: “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” I think religion should be replaced with 'belief' to also catch the evil committed in the name of Fascism, Communism, and Capitalism. Keep that in mind when you vote for the next Believer in the oval office.

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Boffins build laser that can twist its own light

Schultz
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Boffin

Re: Momentum? Does light have mass then?

Photons have no rest-mass. But then they always move with the speed of light and never exist at rest. So that's all right.

Einstein derived that the mass m is given by: E = m*c**2; m = E/c**2, with energy E and speed of light c.

The impulse p was described by deBroglie: λ = h/p; p = h/λ, with the Planck constant h and wavelength λ.

Put them together and you get E = hν = hc/λ, with frequency ν -- another fundamental equation of physics.

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Schultz
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Boffin

Some nerdy comments for Graham Dawson

You can exhaustively describe light by defining it's location (3D in space), impulse (--> propagation through space) and polarization (field vector perpendicular to the propagation direction).

To create "Orbital Angular Momentum" (OAM), scientists use a spatial polarization mask to obtain "geometric phase control" (see Nature article). So they play with polarization and impose different polarization properties on different spatial parts of the beam. They didn't create some magic new photon property of OAM, but they just play with location dependent polarization.

All OAM stories I read about make a big deal about the potential applications in data transfer (multiplexing the throughput of an optical a fiber via OAM control). But fibers only transmit a limited number of modes (let's call those OAM states) -- if you increase the number of transmitted modes by using a multimode fiber (bigger diameter), you'll always have increased signal degradation and loss, so the total information you can physically transmit does not scale proportionally to the number transmitted modes.

I'd be very happy if those OAM people would come up with some magic to improve data transmission, but I just don't see the physics working out for them.

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Schultz
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Facepalm

Use quantum physics language for photons ...

Bam, you got 'new science'. (New, as in: nobody ever heard it before).

Use the old-fashioned language of "polarization" and "interference" -- and the new science doesn't sound so new anymore. It's a good thing that the physical reality doesn't really care about your language, so go ahead and spin your photons into new orbits as much as you care. Just make sure they don't get too dizzy, it would be a pity if they fall over.

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'Just give me any old date and I'll make it work' ... said the VB script to the coder

Schultz
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DD-MON-YYYY

sucks for sorting dates. I like YYYY-MM-DD -- everything ends up in the right place without any effort.

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Obama puts down his encrypted phone long enough to tell us: Knock it off with the encryption

Schultz
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Thumb Down

"Free markets are the antithesis of crony capitalism"

No, because even "free markets" are based on rules and whoever makes the rules can select the winners and losers of the game. This is the whole basis of the 1% discussion.

Of course you might equate free market with anarchy and the absence of rules. In that case, the strongest will take what he likes and start imposing his rules on everybody else. Free markets are an abstract economic concept and any real exchange of goods is limited by implicit and explicit rules.

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DARPA to geeks: Weaponize your toasters … for America!

Schultz
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Mushroom

Need more than one device ...

for creative world destruction. Let's say the microwave feeds back its stored magnetron energy (through the smart multiplug) through the toaster, focusing a standing EM wave to burst and ignite the over-pressurized isobutane coolant coil of the nearby fridge.

If I can come up with it, so can your smart toaster!

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SCO vs. IBM looks like it's over for good

Schultz
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Don't Nuke It!

Or we'll have SCOzilla coming for us next.

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Donald Trump promises 'such trouble' for Jeff Bezos and Amazon

Schultz
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Just a successful PR campaign

My theory is that this started as a cheap PR campaign for Trump. As in: "Hey, I'll run for president. Worst case it's a lot of cheap PR, best case I'll be the next president."

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European Patent Office still in nosedive as union denies reaching deal

Schultz
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Facepalm

"misunderstanding"

Your article indicates that the EPO management is badly misunderstood.

EPO: "very close to an agreement that was ready to sign" -- NOT

EPO: revised version of the "request" to EPO management would remove direct criticism of Battistelli. -- NOT

Maybe you are on to something here. I wonder if the conflict might be based on everybody misunderstanding the EPO management ... Keep asking those questions, it might get entertaining.

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Offers? Opera's board likes Qihoo, says shareholders should too

Schultz
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Farewell, Opera

I really liked the browser back in the days and still used it occasionally. I always hoped they might develop themselves as European alternative in an increasingly privacy-aware world.

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Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!

Schultz
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USB - - > Serial

Was there ever any other way?

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Assange will 'accept arrest' on Friday if found guilty

Schultz
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"Most offenders don't run up £x Million pounds in policing costs"

The cost involved in catching a suspect should have no impact on the penalty. It's the job of the executive to catch him and the job of an independent judicative to judge him. If you start mixing those two, you dilute the separation of powers. I should mention that I am not British and don't really know how serious they take the separation of power over there.

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Cops hate encryption but the NSA loves it when you use PGP

Schultz
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Holmes

Using encryption identifies you as a potential terrorist...

but we already learned that we are all potential terrorists (at least those of us who don't live in the US). Using encryption will now make you doubly suspicious? I wonder how many terrorists they already caught with their PGP metadata. And whether they ever get any false positives ;).

Or is it just FUD to scare all those real and imagined terrorists?

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Billion-dollar blood-test unicorn biz Theranos 'putting lives at risk'

Schultz
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Alert

Ouch!

Looks like the fancy nano-testing is not quite production-ready yet and the big question is whether a billion dollars can fix that problem. The laws of nature are a bi*ch, they don't yield when you wave a big wad of cash.

Let's hope that the backup plan of building a billion-dollar old-fashioned conventional testing facility works out. That was what they were talking about with that "room that processed over 90 percent of the samples at the time", right?

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Apple growth flatlines ... Tim Cook thinks, hey, $80bn is still $80bn

Schultz
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"growth in services revenue"

Is this an euphemism for fleecing existing customers?

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Why does herbal cough syrup work so well? It may be full of morphine

Schultz
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"Respiratory depression is a well known side effect"

My bad, didn't read to the bottom of the page. But at least, progression to death is very rare.

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Schultz
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Boffin

"...respiratory depression and severe allergic reactions"

Funny, none of those is a side effect of morphine. Maybe they just made it up or, more plausibly, they simply named side effects from the herbal part of the cough medicine. Similar side effects might be found for a large number of other herbal medicines: natural ingredients are not heavily regulated but can still be a danger to your health. It probably would look somewhat silly if they'd (truthfully) state that morphine is one of the safer ingredients of the concoction :).

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The last time Earth was this hot hippos lived in Britain (that’s 130,000 years ago)

Schultz
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Thumb Up

I enjoyed reading this article

It contained facts that were new to me (entertaining ones too, Hippos!). It gave an interesting geological perspective, outlining similarities and differences to today -- but without forcing any speculative conclusions on us. I don't understand why so many commentards unload on this article, it leaves it to the reader to make the comparison and decide if those parallels are scary or irrelevant.

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GCHQ spies quashed this phone encryption because it was too good against snoopers

Schultz
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Angel

"The third myth is that we encourage vulnerabilities and leave them there."

To be fair to the man, he's being payed to say this and to do that. He has kids to feed, a retirement package to package, and a responsibility to the British public government. Somebody has to do the job. Ask Beria about it.

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Future Snowden hunt starts with audit of NSA spooks' privileges

Schultz
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“unauthorised or inappropriate activity”

Doesn't that describe most of the activities revealed by Snowden?

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Thinking of buying a Surface? Try a modular OLED Thinkpad first

Schultz
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Go

Re: chiclet keyboard

My X230 has a chiclet keyboard. First I was skeptical, but it is excellent. It has good key spacing and the feel of a real keyboard. I like it as much as the good old X40 keyboard, which was my earlier reference (let's not talk about the intermediate models). Give it a try and be surprised. (Or not.)

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2016 in mobile: Visit a components mall in China... 30 min later, you're a manufacturer

Schultz
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Re: "ignited the PC revolution"

Guys, it's an Advertisement Blurb. you are not supposed to take that stuff seriously, even if it's from the last century / millennium (pick one)

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Death Stars are a waste of time – here's the best way to take over the galaxy

Schultz
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Many small(ish) weapons are not desirable!

Those would give too much power to pesky subordinates that might turn insubordinate. Better to have a single big weapon and a Dearth Vader type to keep the local minions in check.

Watch the movie and you'll see what I am talking about.

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Juniper's VPN security hole is proof that govt backdoors are bonkers

Schultz
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Mushroom

Is is this an indication...

that the 3-letter agencies already run their 'Manhattan Project' for accessing worldwide communications?

- Spending billions on computing infrastructure,<check>

- Actively hacking or subverting networking and telecom providers, <check>

- Best possible secrecy, <check, the original Manhattan project also only lasted for a few years>

The Manhattan project was completed when the US had the weapons to reduce the whole world to ash. What will be the success indicator for this Manhattan II project? Something Orwellian?

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Kiwi judge rules Kim Dotcom can be extradited to USA

Schultz
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Big Brother

Just look at him: guilty, I say, guilty!

Does the prima facie argument remove the requirement to follow due process? From what I read in the past, the extradition documents seemed to be a bit sketchy. But maybe that's not so relevant in this case.

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Canadian live route map highlights vulnerabilities to NSA spying efforts

Schultz
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"securing the endpoints"

Securing the endpoints is surely crucial, but it still makes sense to address the routing issue. Think about it as two-factor security.

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Google says its quantum computer is 100 million times faster than PC

Schultz
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Whats the trade off?

You get a quick answer, but then you have to spend a lot of time figuring out which question you answered.

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Obama calls out encryption in terror strategy speech

Schultz
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Boffin

skelband: "Atheism, BTW, is not a rational belief."

I disagree: It is completely rational to believe only in things that can be perceived or or measured. To agnostically wait for evidence for God (or the flying spaghetti monster) can be rationalized, but is not more rational than being atheist.

Upvote me if you agree.

Leave it to the almighty if you disagree ;).

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Are you the keymaster? Alternatives in a LogMeIn/LastPass universe

Schultz
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Go

Re: Compromised host tolerance?

Use your phone (synched by Dropbox) for password lookup in keepass if you don't trust a computer. You'll have to type the password the good old fashioned way, but that's not too bad if you chose reasonable passwords. I usually edit the suggested 'random' passwords in keepass to remove the most exotic special characters and to create more readable character sequences - makes a world of difference when you encounter language specific keyboards.

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GCHQ can hack your systems at will – thanks to 'soft touch' oversight

Schultz
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Go

How about you qualify 'successfully'?

Success is relative. I found some articles from Tom Engelhardt quite enlightening. He outlined how many billions of dollar went into building, dare I say, a police-state? To protect the population from great dangers:

"Take the United States, a place where, in the years since 9/11, the danger of being attacked by an Islamic terrorist could be slotted in somewhere between being “shot” by your dog and being shot by a toddler who has found a loaded, unlocked gun in your house, purse, or car."

Go ahead and read some more from the quoted article, it's quite refreshing.

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Hillary Clinton: Stop helping terrorists, Silicon Valley – weaken your encryption

Schultz
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Facepalm

Re: It IS an adversarial situation

Perhaps a genius will emerge who can, in fact, determine a way to make everyone happy, but I'm not holding my breath.

Such a genius has emerged and helped create the Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator. It probably looked like a workable solution to said genius until everybody caught on, a few years later.

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