* Posts by Gray

283 posts • joined 15 Jan 2008

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Staples comes clean: 1+ million bank cards at risk after hack

Gray
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Facepalm

It's all about the money, ya stupid git!

We don't have Chip & Pin in the U.S. because it would chip a tiny flake out of the US banks' profit structure.

We don't have trustworthy point of sale or server security in US retail companies because ... co$t$.

We don't have transparent & immediate notification of customer data theft because ... co$t$.

Customer protection will occur ONLY when customers begin to rebel, and make cash-only purchases from US retail outlets and refuse to use the magnetic strip credit cards anywhere until US banks and retail stores are willing to spend the $$ for security.

Using a mag strip credit card at any retail outlet in the US today makes about as much sense as browsing Russian porn sites with a bare-naked install of Windows XP. Ya hopes for the best, Sparky, but yer ass is gonna get pwned!

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Microsoft says to expect AWESOME things of Windows 10 in January

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Windows

There comes a time ...

when one stops listening to their words, and starts looking for the results. Time will tell how "AWESOME" truly relates.

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Microsoft, rivals together fight US govt's cloud data snatch

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Trollface

Deferred to a higher authority

When this case reaches the US Supreme Court, the likely decision will be to require that all such requests be referred to a look-alike FISA court* for execution.The referral will be secret, accompanied by a security gag order. The court decision will be secret and the warrant will be secret. No silly fussing about, and no upset feelings.

* (If one doesn't currently exist, the 2015 Right Thinking US Congress will work seamlessly with the Supremes to create one.)

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Microsoft opens smiley-kids jangly guitar doc-maker to all

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Trollface

Well, let's see ...

Take a bucket of bytes drenched in silly putty, a fistful of finger paint, a handful of glitter, three fingers of self-delusion, a jigger of derangement, and a burning desire to prance about in public screaming "lookie here!, lookie here!" and you've got the juvie version of PPT ... for a junior intern in training. On a fondleslab. What could possibly fail with that?

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Net neutrality: Cisco, Intel, IBM warn FCC NOT to crack down on ISPs

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Devil

Easily demystified

Competition reduces profits; monopoly increases profits. Regulation reduces profits; unrestricted operations increase profits. Infrastructure confined to population centers increases profits; rural service mandates decrease profits. User data mining increases profits; privacy and security safeguards reduces profits. Threatened loss of profits equates national threat, safeguards profit structure; government mandates reduce stock value, equity value, and impacts CEO reward packages. Evil FUD*. Mobilize lobbyist brigade. What is good for Comcast is good for America!

*FUD: fear, uncertainty, doubt.

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GERONTIC 'Ghost ship' prowled the undersea cables of the 1940s

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Windows

Seems fitting enough ...

After years of faithful service, to get a torpedo up the arse for one's reward.

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Mom and daughter SUE Comcast for 'smuggling' public Wi-Fi hotspot into their home

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FAIL

It's a matter of trust

Our household is a Comcast customer. We have no choice. They are the only cable franchise allowed in the city; their municipal contract assures a monopoly position. So going to another provider is not an option. This is America, not the land of free choice.

We were informed a few months ago that Comcast would provide a new cable modem/wifi router combination device. The email contained a link for further information. After I clicked that link to investigate the offer, I was startled to see that merely by clicking that link, we had "authorized" the Comcast equipment. I was able to find no other information on their website, except a promise of "greater customer satisfaction" and "increased speed potential," etc. etc.

I chased down a private contractor who installs Comcast cable service; he offered that an upgraded cable modem was necessary due to new protocol requirements, but he knew little about the built-in wifi router side of it.

Being untrusting, I bought a new Motorola cable modem and installed it, while retaining our existing TP-Link wifi router. The Comcast package arrived, was opened and inspected, and set aside. If Comcast wants it back, they can send someone to pick it up.

The issue of the Comcast wi-fi hotspot provided through their "free" equipment was never mentioned; no authorization obtained; and nothing was said in the literature accompanying the equipment package. We knew nothing of this issue until this Register article popped up this evening.

As I told my wife as we shopped for a new cable modem at WalMart: "It's a $70+ purchase, but we'll own it, they can't lease it back to us, and more importantly ... I simply cannot trust them!" For once, I can grin at my wife and say, "See? I told you ... we can't trust those bastards!"

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Portland lobs fair-trade gluten-free artisan SUEBALL at Uber

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Trollface

A simple misappreciation

America is based on the free enterprise system: if you pay sufficient license and operating fees to the municipal authorities, you're free to engage in enterprise. Anarchist scofflaws fail to appreciate the finer points of our American system of freedoms.

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Sacre block! French publishers to sue Adblock maker – report

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Facepalm

Golden rule: gold rules

It's the familiar tale of the golden rule. In this case, gold = key.

(At least most all of those pesky ads get blocked. Or many of them ... well, at least some of them ... ?)

Perhaps a golden idea for the Adblock maker would be a "Gold Edition" of AdBlock Plus ... which is a subscription version that does block all those pesky ads, regardless.

Bidding war, anyone? They'll counter the Gold Edition subscription fee base, and pay a premium so their ad content punches through ... oh, drat! AdBlock PLATINUM appears in the offing!

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The internet is less free than last year. Thanks a bunch, Snowden

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Trollface

Re: passing laws...

How many laws do you have in the UK?

About a quarter of the laws we have here in the U.S. Fortunately, we only enforce about half of them ... unless state convenience dictates otherwise.

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Crack open more champagne, Satya, XP's snowballing to HELL

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Windows

It's a silly assumption

for them to think that XP dropping off the chart is a switch to another MS product. I can account for two desktop and several more laptop XP installs that are still working just fine, but not allowed to touch the net. Even with old hardware, it's a no-brainer to dual-boot a Linux install to run browser and email apps. And all the other familiar XP apps keep on keepin' on, being productive. That's just one example; there must be many more.

Too bad for MS: if they had extended support and allowed new installs of W7 at a reasonable price, they'd have preserved a much happier home market. But all they've accomplished is to hasten the stampede to fondle slabs and pocket pods. And Linux. And Apple. Anything but Windows.

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Boffins unearth the ultimate antique art - 500,000 years old

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Windows

The Silly Sods ...

The photo is upside down!

It is actually "VV II" which anyone knows is "12" ... the age of Ogg's daughter when he made the shell necklace and presented it to her for her coming-of-age ceremony.

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Microsoft shareholders approve of CEO Satya Nadella's MASSIVE PACKAGE

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Trollface

Re: Future with Nadella

Question : Nadella will receive $90 million per year, what exactly is required of a man for whom the shareholders are prepared to pay almost $2 million per week ?

Obviously the shareholders expect Nadella to "stay the course" which means MS will continue to be the most successful corporation not only in American, but in global history, with a level of product innovation and brilliance that is unmatched by any measure. He is expected to continue record-breaking profitability, shareholder value, and ever-advancing market gains. And in addition to all that, he is demonstrably less toxic than Ballmer. What more could a shareholder ask?

The rumours that he walks to work across the surface of Lake Washington are somewhat exaggerated.

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NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online

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Devil

A naked couple

A middle-aged couple walked into the Seattle FBI downtown offices recently, wearing raincoats. They asked to see the Special Agent in Charge. When the agent came to the reception area, the couple stripped off their raincoats and stood before him, naked.

"We're sick of the government spying on everything we do," the man yelled at the agent. "You might as well see everything else we've got!"

"Put your coats on and get out of here before I have you arrested," the agent ordered. "We've seen it all already!"

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Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...

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Boffin

Re: Okay, honest question...

Motivation, m'boy, motivation.

For anything other than a nation state, it would be financial gain. Regin is an improbable means.

For nation states, paranoia + aggression + espionage = power. Eureka!

(Fortunately, the protections of the Constitution of the United States precludes any such ... ? ... )

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NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators

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Flame

Re: Do I care enough to comment???

I'll tell you what, Sparky ... whilst us Americans try to deal with the political upheaval and constitutional upsets here at home, why don't we just leave all that pesky Middle East / Ukraine / ISIS terrorist business to you Brits & Europeans to handle, hmmm ? Care to step up to the plate and take a swing at it?

I'd think we could better use our resources and wealth here at home solving some serious domestic problems, and let you folks take on the role of defending yourselves from the bad actors. Why don't you start with Putin and his westward creep into your neighborhood? Or maybe you can put a few hundred thousand of your own into Syria and Iraq to stem the tide of black-flagged decapitators? I'm getting just a little sad at the price we're payin', and more than a little pissed at you slingin' yer bullshit at us. Alright?

But actually, I'd bet that if we pulled all of our US people out, and closed all the US bases, and pulled ourselves out of NATO and left it to you to man up and pay for, you'd shit a gold brick faster than your pols could scream, "Please, think of the impact on our economy!"

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Gray
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Trollface

Damned if ye do; damned if ye don't

It's with decidedly mixed feelings that an American considers this bill and its defeat. About the closest analogy one can make is to compare it to a bill regulating wife beating. Everyone abhores wife beating, but it's come to be accepted as inevitable in certain social strata, so hence the need for rules for permissable beatings, and rules to punish those actions that cross the line.

Of course, that ignores the original posit that wife beating was never legal, a restraint that over time has been weakened by the reality that only rarely is wife beating lethal to the victim and constant calls to the police have been an expensive inconvenience to the government. Thus a certain compromise of principle has resulted.

If this analogy is a bit too obtuse, consider that the US Patriot Act authorized general warrants, which are patently unconstitutional (as wife-beating is clearly unlawful) but over time since 9-11 we have come to accept as inevitable that certain less egregious constitutional violations have proven convenient for government purposes. Now, however, it's feared by some that unchecked violations are proving lethal to democratic governance (as unrestricted wife-beating is lethal to the wife) and we're being asked to regulate the situation.

Problem is, once we decide to regulate it, we would also legitimize and authorize it ... both the hypothetical wife-beating, and the all-too-real unconstitutional post 9-11 surveillance practices.

It's a pity these issues require complex analysis. Politicians and despots love simplifying such questions for the benefit of the masses.

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Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins

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Facepalm

Re: ALL YOUR XP BELONG US?

You are a sheep running XP Windows OS and the shepherd is walking towards you wearing gum boots ... are you nervous yet?

Fixed that ... not only XP has the slippery zipper and a lusty glint in its eye! Flee, ya woollies, flee!

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Big shadowy orgs should stop scooping up everyone's personal info – say Google, Facebook

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Holmes

Verisimilitude

Pot <==> Kettle = Black

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FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools

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Facepalm

Only the #@#$%!! FCC

Yeh, right! My grandson is in his third year of High School in one of the larger cities here on the US left coast. The school has the internet/wifi totally locked down, lest the little miscreants do something unauthorized. He carries his laptop to school for notes & homework, but can't get onto the 'net ... student access is not allowed.

As for grandiose FCC plans for hi-speed net to schools and libraries, that means all the rural areas in the US will continue to be screwed, as the cable & telco monopolies have no desire or requirement to spend $$ in low customer-density areas.

It's patently obvious. Rather than placing internet service under public utility rules, thus requiring the monopolies to extend universal coverage, the FCC opts to increase the tax on the users. This reinforces wealth redistribution in America, flowing from bottom to top.

FCC: the brilliant folks who took one of the most reactive and unstable globe-hopping short wave frequency bands (11 meters/27 Mhz) in the communications spectrum to create Citizens Band (CB) radio service. Anyone familiar with shortwave radio knows how well that worked out (not). I expect this new internet extension plan will achieve equally sterling results.

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UK digi exclusion: Poor families without internet access could 'miss out' on child tax credit

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Windows

Re: no friends with any computer literacy ?

There are usually any number of good people willing to help with computer problems for elderly neighbors and friends ... but that's just the barest surface of the problem. First thing comes to mind, how about internet access? Here in the US, that is a major expense, easily costing $90/month for broadband. And in a great many rural areas broadband access is not available except as a poor compromise with satellite beaming ... more expensive, slower, and problematic.

Unless ... is your Gov there in Blighty dishing out free broadband for the elderly/poor citizens?

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Gray
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Trollface

Deliberate bottleneck

Not much of a mystery, really. Here in the US the situation is pretty much the same: overcrowded library computer access; restrictive software, limited hours; travel distance; etc. Plus there's a rather shameless tactic: the closing of smaller rural offices and facilities in favor of consolidation into large urban centers. With an almost total lack of public transportation between rural towns and large cities, the "clients" must either drive or be driven, and have money for gas/meals/lodging.

It's all very convenient in the name of "efficiency" for the state & federal government, but in truth it's a thinly disguised means of restricting access to qualify for benefits. That, plus the multi-page application form issued with instructions to return it "another day," and of course, there are errors found, again with instruction to return "another day," and so on. The miracle of the internet is simply that this game of delay and evasion now happens at light speed.

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You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes

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Trollface

They just do a two-fer

Yeh, they're all 32-bit, but that don't stop 'em. One of them 32-bit virii just waits around for two 16-bit machines, splits, and nails 'em both. With Windows, anything is possible!

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Kindle, meet my partner. Darling, play nice with Kindle, please

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Windows

Xerox, anyone?

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but since this was the point:

To paraphrase: You wouldn't stop someone from giving away a book they no longer want. So what makes them think that's acceptable just because its an ebook?

It's not so easy to run off one or a hundred or a thousand copies of a printed book. That's not the case with an eBook file. Not to excuse the paranoia of the publisher, but it is a bit nerve-wracking to consider that the value of an $8.95 eBook can be diluted with a flood of free copies made from one sale.

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DEATH fails to end mobile contract: Widow forced to take HUBBY's ASHES into shop

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Facepalm

Crocodile sincerity

The T-Mobile shop were pretty lenient in this case ... they didn't demand proof that the ashes weren't somebody else ... ! (Presumably they thought the death certificate to be a forgery.)

As for corporate apologies ... that's right in line with a politician's saying "so sorry" after being caught out. Both are equivalent to a crocodile's tears.

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Meet Windows 10's new UI for OneDrive – also known as File Explorer

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Re: Kiss your files goodbye

Perhaps many users do not subscribe to the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" school of thought, and sensibly prefer to know when their personal information device is 'phoning home' to Mother.

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TPP takes another tiny step forward

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Trollface

Re: TPP is Customer Abuse On A Global Scale

As a point of reference (only one of many) the Blessed 1% reaped 95% of the gains during the last three years' economic recovery in the US. Captive politicians quietly endorse the Trans-Pac Partnership on behalf of their overlords. It's not unreasonable to think that any move to withdraw from the TPP would quickly be crushed. Disregard the golden rule* at your peril.

The peasants object? How droll ...

*gold rules

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British drones target ISIS for the first time

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Trollface

Re: You know, I'm not against using an F-18 to kill an ISIS messenger on a moped....

I had earlier written: And it is further reported that a flight of US carrier-based F18's destroyed an ISIS courier on a moped, and heavily damaged an abandoned van at a desert crossing checkpoint.

I suppose there should be an icon for irony/tongue-in-cheek. Yeh, using a $50M warplane (an outrageously cheap model compared to the F-35) and a $50K munition to obliterate a courier on a moped ... doesn't it seem the cost/benefit ratio here is a bit askew?

Three points to make (which was in mind at the time): 1) the US is allocating $Billions for anti-ISIS air strikes; 2) authoritative military pundits say this tactic is about as affective in stopping ISIS as is clearing the swamp of mosquitoes with a fly-swatter; 3) America's industrial-military complex is forecasting ever-soaring profits for the next decade; which profits might be even higher if only they could devise a means to out-source weapons production to China.

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Gray
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Windows

Too soon too old, too many old memories ...

And it is further reported that a flight of US carrier-based F18's destroyed an ISIS courier on a moped, and heavily damaged an abandoned van at a desert crossing checkpoint.

<sigh> I do so miss the days of daily North Vietnamese body counts. We were so refreshingly naive and gullible back then. Meanwhile, sending another 1,500 US troops to Iraq as "advisors and trainers" ... is there a vague hint of deja vu in the air ... ?

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Doctor Who trashing the TARDIS, Clara alone, useless UNIT – Death in Heaven

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Windows

Further confirmation

of the simple Hollywood proof that despite mind-blowing special effects and explosive action, mindless scripts and senseless plots can defeat any screen production.

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Wind farms make you sick claims blown away again

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Holmes

Strung out

There was one report of a hobbyist kite flyer getting wound up ...

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Microsoft warns of super-sized Patch Tuesday next week

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Windows

Like an alcoholic ...

... more bad booze, another hangover. Oh, wait ... we've got XP. We'll pass this round, bartender.

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Rich techbro CEOs told to SLEEP ROUGH before slamming the poor

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Devil

America's reaffirmed Republican paradigm

God has blessed our noble overlords with endless wealth. Screw the undeserving poor.

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New GCHQ spymaster: US tech giants are 'command and control networks for TERROR'

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Facepalm

Put a cold nose up HIS arse!

the GCHQ boss told FT that internet users would welcome a little surveillance

Right. A little surveillance. Bucko, that's about as welcome as his cold nose peering up my arse while I'm bonking the missus. What the hell are you Brits feedin' yer ruling class bureaucrats to make 'em so ridiculously paranoid and fearful? Their nannies was floggin' their little gizmos with every diaper change?

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Windows 8 or nowt: Consumer Win 7 fans are OUT OF LUCK

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Angel

Re: So my upgrade path is gonna be...

AmigaOS 3.9 > Windows XP > Windows 7 > Windows 14? Linux

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Forget eyeballs and radar! Brits tackle GPS JAMMERS with WWII technology

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Backup? We don't need no steenkin' backup!

Detective Emil said: “The US Coast Guard is busy decommissioning the existing eLoran infrastructure.

Wrong. The USCG spent millions refurbishing key parts of the old LORAN system, and tested the proposed replacement eLORAN system. Congress, in its infinite "eat the seed corn" wisdom, ordered the LORAN system decommissioned, thereby wasting the LORAN millions already spent. The US never implemented an eLORAN network. Europe has decided for reasons of marine safety at sea to implement the eLORAN technology. The US did not.

Why, you say? Well ... a $15 piece of jamming kit can bring down the GPS coverage in a wide area; being mobile, the jammers can easily evade tracking. One should recall that GPS satellite signals are extremely hi-frequency/low power and ridiculously easy to jam.

The new eLORAN system is extremely low frequency/high power, and near-impossible to jam. Accuracy of the system for marine navigation is quite good, approaching GPS standards.

The US has bet that we are impregnable from attack by nasty system jammers; Europe is not quite so confident and is investing in redundancy. 'Nuff said.

Coastwise navigation is infinitely safer with electronic positioning systems; those who think the sextant is sufficient should try getting a position during a storm on a small craft. The best backup for an electrical system or GPS equipment failure is a handheld GPS with fresh batteries. Problem solved. Redundancy is easy. Arguments to the contrary are the realm of armchair admirals.

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Samsung turns off lights on LEDs worldwide – except in South Korea

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Re: Bring back Tungsten filaments...

Ayup ... and they doubled so nicely for what you Brits call an electric fire ... right? T'is hard to warm one's hands over an LED lamp on a cold, blustery night.

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Gray
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Re: Patience.

Ayup ... an upvote for if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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'It's NOT a fishing expedition', say police over random spot checks on gun owners

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Angel

Re: And sharp, pointy implements, too!

they are easily available.

Ayup ... my point exactly. And too easily concealed. Unless it's a full-size machete, of course, which requires a long coat or baggy trousers to conceal, which makes sitting down on public transport a bit dicey. And now we've got the advent of the hatchet as a terrorist weapon of choice, as evidenced by the attack on four New York City policemen by a nutter who ran them down on a sidewalk in plain daylight.

It may be a bit premature to call for locked home kitchen and workshop drawers, but what would you like to bet that there'll soon be a call for metal detectors at all public corners and spaces, soon to be followed by body scanners similar to airport machines, when it occurs to some bureaucrat that ceramic knives are widely available on the open market.

Humo[u]r, yes, but there is no such thing as humor in the opportunistic security services industry and the political arena.

Speaking of hysteria, the State of New York has embarrassed the US by forcibly detaining and quarantining a nurse returned from caring for ebola victims; two days later the US president prevailed on the state's Governor to lighten up and get rational. Meanwhile, Gov. Fatboy Christie of New Jersey is pandering to the electorate by insisting that he'll not yield to science or medical opinion: in the interest of public hysteria, every suspect health worker will be detained under arrest orders if they refuse the mandatory interception and quarantine at any New Jersey airport.

Hysteria rules. Hide yer knives and hatchets, and don't volunteer for medical service in a plague country. (And never, ever, unlock your gun case.)

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Gray
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Boffin

And sharp, pointy implements, too!

Firearms are only one small cog in the terrorist threat machine. As IS/ISIS/ISIL (pick one) has demonstrated, it is far more terrorizing to hack off a head than to put a bullet through it. Therefore, responsible authority must prevent terrorist access to sharp and pointy weapons.

Home inspection officers will therefore enforce compliance by issuing hasps and padlocks to secure kitchen and workshop drawers containing knives, scissors, and other cutting-edge implements. Subsequent random inspections will ensure compliance; unsecured items will result in cautions and citations.

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Silicon Valley scrooges paid staff $1.21 an hour in a 122-hour week

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Devil

Truly inspiring ...

"These kinds of egregious wage and law violations go on every day."

Ayup ... it is precisely that spirit of entrepreneurship, free-wheeling capitalism, and diligent enforcement of labor practices, that make America the world's greatest economic powerhouse. Nothing spells success like success!

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Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data

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Boffin

Europe: firewall your data

"We want to be able to tell our customers with certainty that proper legal procedures will be followed in the event of any authority wanting access to their data."

Not likely to happen. The War on Terror US national security paranoia is exponentially inflamed by ISIS global recruiting and their recent call for random attacks everywhere. The Canadian Parliament attack will further justify ramped-up US covert digital surveillance actions, with new support from the Republican right-wing wingnuts when they gain total control of Congress in this November's elections.

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Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan

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Trollface

No big surprise here ...

If there is any group in America that does not want anyone peeking into their email or cellphone messages, it is our esteemed Members of Congress and their contributors!

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French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks

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Boffin

Follow the leader ...

... said in its official opinion that, in practice, this suspicion would be based on secret notes from intelligence services that people would not be able to challenge.

Yeh, old news. The US established this "practice" right after 9/11/01. It's just taken the French a few years to catch up.

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Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function

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Angel

Apple gave us Hypercard ...

and all these years later Microsoft, in a revolutionary reinvention of personal expression gives us ...

Sway?

What a revealing comparison.

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NSA Sentry Eagle placed spies in private companies

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Trollface

Re: I don't think I want to play with the Americans any more.

It's been that way ever since the rag-tag Colonials hid in the trees and sniped at the marching ranks of Redcoats. "Not a gentlemanly way to conduct a war" their officers complained.

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US astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson: US is losing science race

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Facepalm

Re: Salary

it has been reported that in 2009 the US gave $486 Million worth of cargo aircraft ( a total of 16 C-27 cargo haulers) to the Afghanistan government. These planes were purchased from Italy and refurbished at US expense by a military contractor.

This year the Afghanistan government demolished all 16 aircraft, shredded them, and sold them for scrap metal priced at $0.06 per pound. Total recovery? $32,000. That is a conversion of $486,000,000 ==> $32,000. That works out to a loss of 99.993%. The problem? At the time of the "gift" to Afghanistan, they had no spare parts, no maintenance capabilities, and no pilots trained to fly the C-27s. The planes spent the entire time parked in the runway weeds until they were finally scrapped. None was ever flown in service by the Afghans.

How many four-year university scholarships could be awarded to US students seeking science degrees, if $486 million were made available for the program?

Hell, I'd even take the $32,000 the Afghan government got for the scrap metal. That would put one student through a full year, and pay board & room besides. Maybe the kid would go on to help cure cancer.

Sad. Don't look to the US for any form of leadership anytime soon. We're done for.

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Headmaster

Re: Salary

It would make far more sense if the political and educational leaders in the USofA would pull their heads out of their collective asses ... and take a look around at the huge financial roadblock to higher education here.

Thanks to the sweetheart "good ol' boy" arrangements between the banks and Congress, student loan debt in America now exceeds $1 Trillion dollars and is increasing at a rapid rate. It is so huge, it is now acknowledged as contributing to a lame economic recovery that is largely based on hopes of a consumer upsurge. Graduates are carrying too much crushing, high-interest student loan debt, and are pushed to take the highest-paying job they can find. That probably won't be in a science or research field.

Increasingly, bright young people are being shut out of higher education, as right-wing "conservative" politics slash scholarship and student aid budgets. And middle-class families, who have seen their earning erode for the last three decades, can hardly afford student tuition increases that have soared well above acknowledged inflation rates. IE, a year's tuition and fees at my state's premiere public university, the University of Washington, is now at $28,000 per year. (A typical textbook is now $300 or $400 for a science book.)

My 16-year-old grandson is a 3.8 GPA high school student, taking Advanced Placement classes in his junior year (3rd year), and he is extremely active in computer and ROTC activities. He's completely locked out of any possibility of becoming a biological scientist, which is his wish, given his family income and soaring university costs, and the current lack of sufficient student aid. The best hope is a US Military scholarship which the US Defense Department funds for a total of about $1 Billion per year. BUT ... of the 25,000 students who apply every year, only 4,000 will be chosen ... and the criteria is not based on need. If successful, the scholarship requires a commitment of 8 years military service.

In short, IMHO, America has decided to outsource its access to brain power. Let other nations invest in science education. We'll reserve our aid dollars for young military officers, and let all the others be indentured servants to the American banking system during their productive lifetimes.

America has been engaged in slashing and burning its infrastructure and social budgets for the last few decades. I call it "eating our seed corn" as a foolish system of government cutbacks.

(/rant)

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Internet Explorer stars in monster October Patch Tuesday

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Facepalm

Re: Instead of COMPLAINING about Microsoft......

The browser wars were over while AOL was still disc bombing your mailbox. IE won, get over it.

I await your downvotes

So MS decides to support IE by dropping all patches for it in Windows XP, which is still in use worldwide on older hardware that cannot support the MS upgrade Juggernaut ... and before fanbois scream that MS is not obligated to support an older OS, how about their obligation to support the IE portion that was current as of a year ago?

Here's a downvote, and a small tube of Vaseline to ease the way ...

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Facepalm

Re: Apples and Oranges

I'll be sure to tell my 72-year old wife who is running Linux (SolydXK) on her desktop and laptop pc, that each time an update icon on her screen signals that an update is available, that she must "be a bit savvy" to deal with the "call to arms" patch alert. Because up to this point, she's simply clicked the icon, entered her system password, and let the patches proceed (with no reboot required, ever!)

I s'pose I'm in the same sad situation. I'm running SolydXK linux dual-boot with Windows 7, and I'm the one who set it all up for her. I'm 76, so that's probably why I forgot to advise her about the "savvy" and "call to arms" requirement. But it's been over a year and she's still keepin' on with keepin' on.

And I'm a bit pissed that once again, with Windows 7 and IE, I'll be on the MS Patch Tuesday treadmill yet again with no end in sight. Realizing that there is no way to know how many remaining "undiscovered" holes and flaws exist in the MS system, we (wife & I) restrict our internet activity to our respective Linux installs.

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