* Posts by Gray

336 posts • joined 15 Jan 2008

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White House cyber-general says US must be able to cyber-nuke the worst of the cyber-worst

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Trollface

Hard on the heels of success ...

"The CISPA and CISA legislation that has some people worried will come to a vote this week, and he said the word in the White House is that both will pass without a problem.

Of course both will pass! Our glorious Congress passed the Patriot Act, and set up the FISA Court, and we've basked in the glory and success of both those achievements!

Consider the fruits of American intelligence gathering and pin-point military involvement: Iraq and Afghanistan are stabilized and prosperous, Syria has seen the light and adopted a Constitutional government, Iran and Saudi Arabia are consulting together on the first wave of free elections in both countries; Somalia has been accepted in the United Nations, and Yemen is hosting peace talks between Israel and the newly-mandated Palestinian state. All terror threats against the United States, and indeed, the Free World, have ceased to exist!

Now, concerning that encrypted and unregistered computer sitting on your desk ...

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RSA supremo rips 'failed' security industry a new backdoor, warns of 'super-mega hack'

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Top US Democrats cry death to Comcast-Time Warner hyper-gobble

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Devil

Re: Poor Politics

Only when Comcast-TWC has achieved a significantly indomitable monopoly share (thus emulating the Microsoft success principle) will they be empowered to offer the ultimate user experience or programming creativity or the total-immersion internet experience that the techno-rabble deserve.

Rock on, baby. Kick the FCC obstructionists out of the way and proceed apace!

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Gwyneth Paltrow flubs $29 food stamp dare, swallows pride instead

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Windows

A matter of perspective ...

Having grown up dirt poor after the WWII victory years, I can say that one needs to live in the US environment to really understand the problem with poor families and their diet.

First off, there's really no food education in US schools; nothing much about basic cooking or nutrition. In my day, there was some "home extension" material pushed by the government, and Home Economics classes for girls, and Shop classes for boys. All home skills were assumed to be taught by mothers and grandmothers. Poor diet habits got passed down the generations. Over time, that has devolved into a gross divide between "fashionable" food habits in wealthy areas, and prepared fast food habits for poor inner-city or rural districts. And basic living skills are no longer part of the curriculum in public schools.

More recently, access to wholesome, affordable food has become problematic. America's tumble into corporatism is reflected in the megastores and where they're located; usually in upscale, wealthier areas. The concept of "food desert" is a uniquely American development. Poor neighborhoods are left with rip-off corner convenience stores, and junk food outlets. And if there is access to a proper supermarket, 95% of the shelf space is dedicated to over-processed quick 'n easy stuff, and acres and acres of rumbling freezers filled with ready-to-eat convenience stuff. Basic foods are on the floor shelves, mostly out of sight, and wholesome produce -- veg and fruit -- is sorted, waxed, and polished, and is obscenely expensive.

Two other factors have a profound effect. Lack of cooking skills, and lack of a proper kitchen and cookware to prepare nutritious meals. It takes both taste acculturation, cooking education, and accessible (and affordable) cookware to prepare family meals, day after day. (Decent cookware has become absurdly expensive in recent years; that's why the typical donation-based Thrift store shelves are usually stripped clean of any good skillets, pots, or pans.)

Give a poor or homeless US family bags of rice and dried beans, a sack of spuds, a head of cabbage and a bunch of carrots, and you might as well go ahead and kick them in the teeth for good measure. Most are not able or equipped to handle food in that form. A box of quick ramen, a pack of instant mac n' cheese food, or a Big Mac with a super-sized side of fries is far more accessible to them.

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RADIOACTIVE WWII aircraft carrier FOUND OFF CALIFORNIA

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Trollface

Cheaper to just leave 'em

In military reasoning, it was cheaper to leave 'em right where they sat, rather than fly them to the desert boneyard. And then there's that pesky radioactive decontamination thing affecting the airplanes ...

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Blaze it: US drug cops taken to court to ensure all dragnet snooping records are destroyed

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Boffin

No war on drugs ...

The so-called war on drugs is actually an oppression of America's underclass, and a war on the underground economy. I've believed for years that if the drug trade were quashed, America's inner cities would erupt in rioting and flames when the underground economy collapsed and an entire underclass that has little access to education, employment, and economic parity, would refuse to lay down and starve. As hateful as it is, the drug trade, gambling, and prostitution, the bastions of gang crime, are the only revenue streams flowing in the depressed ghettos. And the only upwardly mobile path of opportunity for most ghetto kids is gang membership.

State and federal authorities do little other than keep the urban ghettos cordoned off, quarantined and isolated, to prevent the spread into affluent suburbs. The police skim a fringe of offenders, as proof of effort. There is no political support from either the state or federal level to deal with root causes. Meanwhile, the deepening urban cancer and expanding drug trade provides an incredibly convenient opportunity for expansion of federal surveillance powers, hence the DEA spying and massive information gathering. Congress has neither the will nor the means to pull these agencies back, now that they've got their tentacles embedded in the social data stream. Information is power; nobody yields power willingly.

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Is this what Windows XP's death throes look like?

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Holmes

Re: web or not

Four machines in this household alone, running dual-boot: WinXP to run essential (and expensive) legacy software; and Debian 8 Linux, for web research, finances and banking, and email.

Two things that don't show up: none of those machines expose WinXP to the 'net or to trackers, so it's under the radar; and Microsoft will never realize another penny from this household. As for Linux, it does the job and nobody is keeping score. It's all about as relevant as tracking what OS is running the systems in one's family car.

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Google-gate: 'Toothless' watchdog FTC nibbles furiously on journalists

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Trollface

Thou shalt not!

Quashed government investigation? Nothing new there ... it's as old as good-old-boy politics. But to embarrass the government, an agency of government, or a government official? Thou shalt not ... and therein lies the offense. All was well until the NY Times made reckless, irresponsible use of that unfortunate document. And some unfortunate FTC mid-level employee has been demoted to counting used toilet paper rolls in the fourth sub-level basement lavatories.

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Wind turbine blown away by control system vulnerability

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Trollface

Re: Oh Good Grief

Well, in this case I'd expect a malicious hacker would be content to override the governor limits, thus letting the windmill thrash itself to pieces in the next windstorm. Just for kicks.

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Scientists splice mammoth genes into unsuspecting elephant

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Facepalm

Re: Cool

Splice those genes into the typical American lawyer, and we've got a great, hairy, saber-toothed sloth with 12-foot tusks and an insatiable appetite.

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IS 'hackers' urge US-based jihadis: 'Wipe yourselves out trying to kill 0.00005 of US forces'

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Black Helicopters

All this crap hysteria

is working just as intended. Mindless media, bloviating politicians, security pundits, paranoid security services, and nervous civilians ... awash in a flood of "terror events" from the bloody Middle East ... are now looking nervously over their shoulders or pointing self-righteous fingers in a renewed Call to Arms in the American Homeland!

As for armed US military service people walking the streets or waiting in ambush at home, get a reality grip, people! The US military takes a profoundly dim view of their personnel carrying weapons in civilian settings, and never on base while on duty. It doesn't happen. Police and plain-clothes agents of civilian agencies, yes. Service people not on active guard duty, no.

ISIS terror propaganda wins: not only is the sky falling, but the ground is exploding beneath our feet. Alarm! Alarm! Trust no one!

Get a grip, people!

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FCC to Verizon: Blocking 911 calls? That's a $3.4m paddlin'

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Trollface

Re: Precisely the point

But that's precisely the state of American consumer protections ... if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.

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'All browsing activity should be considered private and sensitive' says US CIO

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Alert

We really have one?

"The CIO of the United States has floated a plan ... "

I mean, we really have a CIO ... ? Huh! How about that ... !

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Swedish prosecutors finally agree to London interview for Assange™

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Facepalm

"an interview with [Julian Assange] at the Ecuadorian embassy in London would lower the quality of the interview..."

That phrase, quality of the interview, uttered in the light of on-going NSA, CIA, and Gitmo revelations ... is more than a little chilling! But since it comes from our more gentle, civilized, restrained Swedish neighbors ... no sinister implications there?

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Google MURDERS Google Code, orders everyone out to GitHub and co

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Trollface

TANSTAAFL

It's been said, wisely, that there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. That might be a good thing to keep in mind whenever some corporate entity offers a "free" service. How many such services have unexpectedly pulled the plug on their guests when some vice president wannabe suggests that 1) the emperor is naked, and 2) that cool honey-trap hosting service is a money pit.

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Wikimedia chucks sueball at NSA and DOJ over mass surveillance

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Angel

Re: It's who you know...

Relax. The Justice Department will block this suit.

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Oi. APPLE fanboi! You with the $10k and pocket on fire! Fancy a WATCH?

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Re: Hmm...$10,000...

No ... you don't really need a watch any longer ... unless you find yourself needing to use a sextant and almanac to find your position several hundred miles from land. That's where my Casio GW-500A proves its worth. Resets itself every day, and bang-on accurate to the second.

Or you could dispense with the timepiece and try it with your sundial ... !

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Re: Hmm...$10,000...

GW-500A ... the "Atomic" solar-powered recharging watch. Better than a chronometer; resets every night from WWV. Nice present from my son. Casio rules. I did celestial sun shots with this one; time is good to the second. Too bad my eyes aren't!

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Is there a cure for cancer sitting at the back of the medicine cabinet already?

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Facepalm

One senator with a snowball ...

The principle is well established here in the US ... take a world full of scientific accord, and neutralize it with one self-aggrandizing US Senator standing up with a snowball in his hand, proclaiming that his opinion plus the continued existence of snow stands as proof positive of his unassailable position.

Same with the US healthcare system. People die. People have always died, and will continue to die. That's no reason to get all hysterical and undercut the world's most profitable economic enterprise (next to big oil and weapons sales.)

Antacid tablet, anyone?

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

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Windows

Savor the measured cadence of one hand clapping.

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'Fry-OS 8' iPhone BLEW UP MY PANTS wails roasted Johnson

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Windows

Re: who are Cook & Co?

That would be Timmy & the Apple Fritters

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US Army plots new petascale monster and 'tactical cloudlets'

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Facepalm

I feels a headache comin' on ...

In the blizzard of such unimaginable puffery, I see the ghost of the French Maginot line ... reborn in digital dreams.

Think mud ... snow and ice and frozen mud. And bone-weary grunts in the snow and ice and frozen mud. And all the horrors of crushing, unrelenting reality. Then think of idiots in uniform deep inside think-tank chambers dreaming of impregnable Maginot creations.

“significantly increase and tailor advanced computing architectures and computing sciences technologies on the forefront to enable land power dominance.” Ayup, and we'll counter that with a 15-year-old Chinese hacker and a jar full of red ants.

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Intel, Apple and Cisco crossed off Chinese Gov's kit list

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Trollface

Border control: ( ==> yes :: no |<== )

Jobs, technology, and production flow inward; products flow outward. China grows. US closes 65,000 factories. What's wrong with that?

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

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Windows

Seems obvious to me ...

if you want security, don't put it on the internet.

And thinkin' on how they're goin' after air-gapped boxes,

maybe you shouldn't put it on your fuk'n computer, neither!

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Porn on Blogger – Google takes stiff action

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Ayup ... or down south in OZ ... there, yer words can get yer bum behind bars!

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Facepalm

Re: Hide this breast that I dare not see.

In America it is the Satanic "nipple" (female) that brings all to a halt. Observe how it was a nipple-slip that imploded an entire Super Bowl half-time extravaganza; videos and breathless reports of which reverberated from shore to shining shore long afterwards.

An acquaintance who is a literary sort maintains a personal blog on Google's service. Last evening she received a stern missive warning that her site was deemed proscribed under the new policy. She has no graphics, no videos: only text stories of an adult nature.

No actual human corporate entity perused her literary works; rather, it was the Google-bot that detected her "Warning--Adult Content" label on her welcome page to warn that kidlets and fundamentalist zealots might find content inappropriate for their undeveloped minds.

Ah, Google! Thou Champion of the Unchallenged Mind!

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$533 MEEELLION – the cost of Apple’s iTunes patent infringement

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Trollface

If there is to be any hope ...

Apple has the cash reserves to force a fix for the broken US patent system.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

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Angel

Re: A plague

"I am much in favour of creative writing being done in plain text..."

Try using the text editor of your choice and Markdown text markup. If the basic set of Markdown formats doesn't quite fit the bill, then use the enhanced MultiMarkdown codes. Plain text becomes the master/archive file (imperishable for the ages!) and the various outputs (.rtf, .doc, .pdf, .odt, etc, etc) will produce a fully-formatted document for final consumption.

Another vote for Scrivener, absolutely unmatched for creative writing, which also comes with a fully-integrated MultiMarkdown suite.

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Hoping for spy reforms? Jeb Bush, dangerously close to being the next US prez, backs the NSA

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Re: Meet the brother ...

We are deeply grateful that Mother Bush chose to have two sons ... only the two.

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Mushroom

Y'all jus' don't understand our inherent goodness ... !

"Please keep in mind, all yew out there, that we Americans are the True Defenders of Liberty and All that is Right! We single-handedly took on the Evil Empire of Godless Communism and defeated it! We met the Communist hordes all around the world whilst yew lily-livers sat on yore hands and pissed and moaned that the onliest way to be safe was to cower under yore beds ... while we sacrificed the blood of thousands of our truest American Sons and Daughters to keep the planet safe for Democracy!

"Now we see the emergence of the Adherents of the False God, them Terrorists who respect no decent Christian or Democratic principle or our God-Given Way of Life ... and y'all would DENY us True Defenders the Technology to shine the Light of Retribution upon those Radical Muslim cockroaches? Those Terrorists who seek to impose Sharia Law upon the World? Them who seek to Burn and Behead every Christian Believer who will not Submit to their Murderous Ideology?

"If yew have done nothing wrong; if yew stand on the side of Right and Majesty, in this struggle against the Godless Hordes, yew have nothing to fear, for we stand Fearless and Determined in the Cause of Justice!"

There ... that ought to get them voters thinkin' proper thoughts about who deserves a rightful place in the White House!

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

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Trollface

Inexorable pressure ...

Speaking of secrets ...

The 2016 Presidential election promises to be 'Murka's first Billion-dollar race. Odds are that our ruling elite will soon realize that this is an unsustainable escalation. Negotiations will commence in 2018 behind closed doors, accords and agreements will be reached, and a "favored candidate" will emerge as a clear and obvious choice for a dazzled electorate in 2020. The 'losing side' will quietly carve up the spoils behind the scenes in equitable consort with the 'winning side.'

The Constitution? It's best safely ignored. That's no secret. Only hopeless idealists and radical malcontents cling to its pitifully outdated guidance.

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'Worse than I imagined': FCC commish slams chief's net neutrality bid

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Boffin

Business as usual

Secret texts, no public disclosure, changes in the regulations following votes and passage ... see how governance has evolved in 'Murka?

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Microsoft explains Windows as a SERVICE – but one version remains a distant dream

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As long as they provide Wordpad 365... that'll work.

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Brit Linux distro CrunchBang calls it quits

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Linux

Allow me to disagree!

I've used #! (Crunch Bang) Linux for a couple of years now. No, I don't own a netbook. Couldn't type on one of the damn things if I had one. Keyboards on 'em are a sick joke. Where #! excels has been the older hardware, the castoff orphans from Windows XP. This so-called "minimal" distro allows older boxes, laptops and desktops, to run blistering fast compared to their former Windows sludge. As for the other "popular" Linux distros, there are some excellent ones to be had, but there is also an abundance of bloated distros with spinning, wobbling, clothesline windows and big-bang window switchers. None of which do anything to get the job done, but prove that even a quintuple-core, 6 Ghz machine with a 20-gig RAM bank can be brought to its knees with gratuitous eye-candy.

#! limited? Not at all. Access to the entire Debian repository made #! equal to the other Debian spin-offs.

Obscure? Again, not true. #! was consistently in the upper quarter of the DistroWatch listings.

Phillip (Corenominal) will be sorely missed, as will #!. However, it will continue to serve on my older hardware until the day the Debian repo no longer supports it.

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Assange's cop chaperones have cost £10 MEEELLION to date

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Trollface

I'm willing to bet ...

... that if we could pull off a FOI request here in 'murka, that we'd find a budget line item hidden somewhere in our foreign aid disbursements paying for those London plods. And another budget item covering the squad of CIA agents at Heathrow in case Assange does make it to the airport.

The best possible outcome for both governments is that the Ecuadorian staff has Assange on a rich diet and he'll keel over from cardiac arrest (or it will appear that way).

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NASA: Check out this TWIRLY SPACE DWARF – and NEVER moan about our budget

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Thumb Up

Re: "... photos NASA later released as a GIF."

They done flushed Flash.

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Satya Nadella, Year One: Has Microsoft's new CEO cut the mustard?

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Thumb Up

Finally!!

Windows 10 Office for my wristwatch. Oh, the joy ...

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Dish, the FCC, and a sly trick to leave American taxpayers $3bn short

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Devil

How to win friends and influence people ...

What the h*ll is all the stink about? This is how the game is played. Truman said it: "If you can't stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen!"

Big Business is about one thing, and one thing only: maximizing profits and seizing market share.

If the bureacrats were so stupd as to leave the gate open, and hold a general hog-calling, they got no business bitchin' about being stomped in the mud by a stampede of pigs! I wonder if Dish will now share that $3 Billion with a general rate reduction for its customers? Bwaa-haaa-ha-ha-ha NOT!

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Who's come to fix your broadband? It may be a Fed in disguise. Without a search warrant

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Trollface

Keep a pet judge handy

it seems that lately it has become so easy to get a search warrant over here that they don't think they even have to give a reason any more.

Any US police agency (local, state, federal) worth its name keeps a pet judge handy. Now that most judges are elected, it looks really good for their "tough on crime" creds. All they ask is a bit of restraint: it's never good for a cop to embarrass the judge. But wait! That's what the prosecuting attorney is for ... to shield the judge from some stupid cop's aggregious screwups!

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Zimmermann slams Cameron’s ‘absurd’ plans for crypto ban

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Trollface

They are overlooking an opportunity

Instead of railing against encryption for the masses, the gilded elite should instead embrace this as an opportunity: official license for unlimited personal encryption. Renewable annually. At a modest, reasonable administrative and activation fee upon formal application, certification, accreditation, and approval.

(Persons deemed to be security risks need not apply)

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Bankruptcy could see RadioShack close doors for good – report

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Windows

Radio Shack will not be missed ...

RS stopped being relevant years ago. Example: I tried to buy a basic mutimeter for my grandson. RS selection was limited and overpriced. I found a much better selection at better prices at the local Home Depot building supply warehouse, in their electrical aisle. Now a garden-variety VOM is/was about the most basic hobbyist gadget there is. And RS couldn't compete in their own market niche!

Don't blame the minimum-wage employees or the harassed store manager. They are pressured to make daily sales; providing knowledgeable service is not in their job description. Wage advancement and promotions based on service or skill or dedication are no longer factors in retail workforce compensation. Human Resource computers crunch sales figures vs. hourly wage = profit quotient. Minimum wage wins every time.

Sad, tragic even, but it's tough to mourn a corporation that committed suicide by repeatedly shooting itself in both feet until gangrene eventually reached the head.

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Get internet access to those POOR country bumpkins, says UK.gov

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Devil

Re: Farmers and Bumpkins, paaah

@ Boltar: I should introduce you to the super-educated Ph.D. who stood with arms crossed before her sagging chest and informed me, haughtily: "If those who live in the country wish access to medical care, they should move to the city!"

I didn't bother to inform her that if all the farmers & ranchers took her advice, she'd soon starve.

As for rural internet access here in the U.S., my good friend outside of town has access to nothing but dial-up service, but he makes a gallant effort to access the government websites, during those few moments when Microsoft Update doesn't have his line tied up with a multi-megabyte patch download.

UK digital service centers within a 30-kilometer radius? Isn't that about the distance a farmer can cover on his tractor -- there & back -- to get assistance? Just wondering ...

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US Ambassador: No, net neutrality will NOT allow the UN to seize control of the internet from us

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Windows

Re: The new bogeyman

There is also the thin edge of the wedge forcing its way into the private privilege of exclusive 100-year monopoly franchise agreements, and the prohibition against communities providing their own broadband access: the wedge being the concept of "social good". You know ... the socialist notion that led to universal postal service, and later the REA (rural electrification administration) ... obligations that said all the nation's communities were entitled to access; the notion that if a Corporation wishes to serve a lucrative populous area, they must also extend service to the rural outliers.

Odd notion that, the thought that if all benefited, the nation as a whole would benefit.

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Listen up, AT&T, this could be YOU NEXT: $40m sting for throttling 'unlimited' mobile data

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Facepalm

Re: good job

Yeah, Good Job indeed. The Corp makes $40 Billion with predatory business tactics, and our dedicated Gov't agency rakes in a $40 Million take for the general tax coffers.

Just how does this help the consumer, eh?

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Microsoft brings SUNSHINE – but it's a CLOUDY DAY

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Devil

Re: Isn't it a good thing...

+1 upvote! Every government entity in the U.S. runs on Microsoft OS/software. MS could raise their license fees ten-fold, and the government would squeal and scream, but in the end would simply pass the increase along to the taxpayers. Would they switch to an alternate OS? Probably not. The message would be the same as today: "We can't afford the switch; we don't have the skilled people; it would take too long; there's too much risk." Which is just another way of saying, it's not our problem. It's a funding problem, and that's on the back of the taxpayer. The safe thing is to pay the MS hikes, and consider it business as usual.

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Microsoft patch batch pre-alerts now for paying customers ONLY

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Windows

That's only Phase One ...

Phase Two will be the Premier Advantage of receiving the patches on Patch Tuesday. The non-Premier peasants can wait until the following month to receive their patches.

Justification? Non-Premier subscribers are spared the "clutter" of patch notifications; soon they'll be spared the uncertainty of being among the bleeding-edge patch installers. Think of it as yet another leap forward by MS in their on-going effort to enhance customer experience and promote a warm & fuzzy feeling of assurance.

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Top senator blasts US Homeland Security for leaving cyber-drawbridge down

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Facepalm

About as effective as the intelligence community ...

you know, those folks who gave us timely warning about 9-11, the Boston Bomber, Benghazi, Syria, ISIS, etc, etc. It's always comforting to know that if we need better results, we only need toss more $$$ and resources at it.

(DHS awhile back asked my neighbor to keep watch from his veranda overlooking the channel on the backside of our Pacific NW island, to be alert for swarthy, bearded men wearing turbans and carrying AK-47s in speedboats ... looking suspicious.)

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Cap’n Ericsson and his great SEABORNE CLOUD wheeze

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Windows

Yawn ...

Sounds pretty similar to what the long-haul trucking industry (at least in the U.S.) has been doing for at least the past 30 years, via QualComm services through GPS/Satellite onboard tracking systems. Truck fleet tracking includes engine and odometer data, route and schedule following, and two-way messaging between driver and dispatcher. To infer that this is "something new" for yet another terrestrial transportation service is puzzling.

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Healthcare: Look anywhere you like for answers, just not the US

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Re: Let me explain ...

As for the saving grace that US Big Pharma brings us a cornucopia of miracles through research ... it has been proven repeatedly that Big Pharma spends far more on product advertising and physician promotions than it does on research.

And just this past month when Pres. Obama forgave Cuba for not submitting to US demands to overthrow their government and submit, suddenly a Cuban-developed treatment that reduces diabetic-related amputions by 70% became available to the U.S. Apparently US Big Pharma was not interested ... too little $$ return for the effort.

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Microsoft has made excellent software, you pack of fibbers

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Windows

Re: Microsoft's good software

Word 5.1 for Macintosh OS-9 is regarded as the best ever.

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