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* Posts by Jason Bloomberg

955 posts • joined 8 Mar 2008

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Microsoft buys Minecraft for $2.5bn. Notch: I'm getting the block outta here

Jason Bloomberg
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Alert

Year Of Code

I am sure there is some link between school kids being so enamoured with Minecraft and it being Year of Code. After all, we all know that programming is simply 'moving the blocks around until the program does what it's meant to' :-)

It could be quite the gravy train if schools were forced to have it via the curriculum. Especially at a time when schools are moving away from the traditional desktop PC to iThings and tablets. A little bit of lock-in goes a long way.

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Chinese city creates footpath for smartphone addicts

Jason Bloomberg
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Go

Oxford Street

Many busy pavements (sidewalks) could benefit from having lane segregation; a "dawdle" and a "fast" lane in both directions, even 'hard shoulders' for people browsing in shop windows or stopped to cross the road.

Most people tend to 'lane' naturally and, like ants, it seems it's mainly follow the leader. It generally works okay until the stream runs into an individual coming the other way, or someone creates a rival stream in the hope of overtaking and getting there faster which invariably causes everyone to jam up as streams start criss-crossing each other.

I don't think we actually need lane markings; just tell people that's the best way to do it as it seems some people simply haven't figured it out yet.

Of course there is no way to enforce lanes without impinging on someone's right to do whatever they damn well please, even if that spoils things for the rest of us. Unless we introduce draconian punishments for not walking in correct file. That did work for 'school crocodiles' so perhaps we need some form of detention; fenced-off areas where people have to stand it out for some time for not doing it right. Whining down the pub later won't get them any sympathy if the majority buy into the idea.

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Starship Troopers beat Aliens, Robots AND Chuck Norris to WIN in a FIGHT

Jason Bloomberg
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Mushroom

In other news

Superior forces of the American military will whup the asses of third-world, first century savages armed only with rocks and sticks in a matter of weeks at minimal cost.

It doesn't always go the way the analysis might predict.

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Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: industry subpar knock-offs

You need a 64-bit CPU to access more than 3 gigabytes of RAM, though (same as with a PC)

You seem to be confusing address bus width with data bus width, though the definition of "N-bit CPU" does seem to have changed over the years. You can connect a humble 8-bitter to any amount of memory you want if your fancy takes you, though it's often sensible to have register and data bus width the same size as address bus width for efficiency.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Not for fitness nuts

If they can do away with the heart strap, I might be tempted... I am no sure how reliable the "pulse" measurement is compared to the electrical pulse measured by my polar...

That should be pretty easy using reflected IR and should be just as accurate.

I was actually thinking about this problem just a couple of days ago, wondering why I needed a heart strap when a finger tip push against an IR sensor works just as well. One only needs a few consecutive pulses to determine BPM and missing pulses can be easily compensated for through software filtering. It should be easy enough to built a wrist mounted pulse reader and I doubt Apple would have gone with that if it didn't work reasonably well.

Of course, I was wondering how I could build such a device for a few quid; wasn't dreaming of paying Apple prices. Maybe I could use a Raspberry Pi? Lugging a car battery around to power it should also do wonders for my cardio workouts :-)

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Data entry REAR-END SNAFU: Weighty ballsup leads to plane take-off flap

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Does it really matter who shot it down?

Whoever fired it and was able to hit a target flying six miles up at nearly 500 miles an hour miles up knew exactly what they were doing with complex anti-aircraft weaponry...

Or perhaps saw the "target acquired" light come on and simply hit the launch button, whooped with delight until they realised what they had brought about.

The transcript which puts the blame on the rebels even has them talking of shooting down an enemy plane and I can well believe that's exactly what they thought they'd done and intended to do. A simple repeat of bringing down a Ukrainian transporter as they'd already done earlier.

There was nothing to be gained by rebels deliberately shooting down a civilian airliner and everything to lose so I cannot believe it was intended if the rebels did bring it down.

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Jason Bloomberg
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All systems go for take-off

Pilots and crews are busy enough in the final few minutes before takeoff. You are talking about adding another technical check at that busy time.

I would rather they do that check before they trundle down the runway and find themselves up shit creek during take-off. It shouldn't be an overly onerous or time consuming check; probably just checking whether the "out of kilter" light is red or green. It's not like we are asking pilots to do something pointless. And lives are at stake, including the pilots' own.

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BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV

Jason Bloomberg
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The fundamental premis is flawed

I have a hard time believing coding is (or will be) an absolutely essential skill that people will need to have and find it hard to believe kids believe that either and suspect those who say otherwise are simply repeating what they have been told to believe.

It's snake oil for the 21st century.

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Siri: Helpful personal assistant or SERIAL APP KILLER?

Jason Bloomberg
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Siri....

"... please explain voice connected thin client networking to me".

Having a central mainframe and a termina^W voice connection to it is all well and good until you don't have a connection, bandwidth or contention becomes a problem.

I expect, just as we are about to burn our apps and rely entirely on Siri, someone will remind us of the advantages of running local apps on our own devices and we can run round the circle again.

If only using Siri for voice activation and controlling local apps, that's an argument for putting Siri on the phone. And that adds another app :-)

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Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Good, but Banana Pi is the better beasty.

The ODROID-W might be of particular interest to Pi owners, especially those wanting to use LiPo or other battery power. That uses the same SoC as the Pi does and runs the exact same software as the PI -

http://hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php

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Cracking copyright law: How a simian selfie stunt could make a monkey out of Wikipedia

Jason Bloomberg
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Cry me a river

Slater says he made a mere £2,000 in licensing the image - which, we're told, only just covered his travel expenses to Indonesia to obtain the photo.

I am sick of hearing this. He never knew he would get this shot and, if he hadn't got lucky, he would not have had any photograph at all which commanded anywhere near the royalties he has received.

I don't mind him arguing he owns copyright and is entitled to licensing fees - I believe he does and is - but that his outlay was only just covered is an irrelevancy, was a risk he took when he set off. Unless he can prove that he went with the deliberate intent of taking 'that photograph' as the means to break even, and from what else he has said about it, it would appear not.

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Vampires and Ninjas versus the Alien Jedi Robot Pirates: It's ON

Jason Bloomberg
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Brian Blessed

Will be last man standing I reckon now Oliver Reed has gone. Shame no one else will be around for the triumphant "VICTORY IS MINE!" shout echoing around the world and across the universe.

And don't give me any Chuck Norris nonsense - he's a lightweight! Bring it on :-)

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Jason Bloomberg
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Mushroom

Explosives factory

So; are you going to open one, or at least apply to open one?

That's got to be worth a few giggles along the way.

Seems apt -->

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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Sorry...

We no longer care, oh, hold on - we never really cared to begin with.

Speak for yourself. True, I don't particularly care about Assange per se, but I do care about the predicament in which he finds himself.

Given what passes for American justice, due process and punishment, I believe he has every reason to fear for his future. That he chose to break the law in jumping bail and effectively imprisoned himself rather than risk being extradited shows what a terrible state of affairs we have.

There, but for the grace of god...

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Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech

Jason Bloomberg
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Stop

Re: Why?

The basic idea of a HUD is good, just cut out all the other crap.

Absolutely. I don't care how much it improves their networking interactions and access to social media but I do care how much it impacts on my safety.

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The internet just BROKE under its own weight – we explain how

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: IPv6 like OSI is far more complex than necessary

The real problem is that IPv6 goes far beyond fixing the limitation of 32-bit IP addresses.

If tasked with solving the problem I would have simply added more bytes on the left to extend global addresses and on the right to allow more local (but globally accessible) addresses.

Of course that was far too simple but, more importantly, doesn't provide a gravy train to ride.

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Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner: Capital is top target for computer thieves, say police

Jason Bloomberg
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Coat

An alternative viewpoint is...

That Londoners don't have much else worth stealing. Perhaps because they've blown all their money on fancy must-have gadgets, sky-high mortgages and over-priced beer.

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Snowden is FREE to ESCAPE FROM RUSSIA, say officials

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: He can STAY there for all I care

he fled to Russia.

Or, more accurately, he fled from America.

And I can't say I blame him.

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UK WhatsApp duo convicted of possessing extreme porn

Jason Bloomberg
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Headmaster

"That's why this judgement is, well, lunacy, really."

No; the judgement couldn't really have been any different in the light of the guilty pleadings.

The same also applies to "the law is an ass" and similar comments elsewhere; they had an option to plead not guilty but chose not to do so.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: The guilty plea

And the police aren't adverse to using "admit guilt and we'll go easy on you" persuasion. In fact that's build into our British justice system.

People will often believe they have committed offences even when they haven't so plead guilty rather than risk it all. Having 'other matters' dropped can also work wonders in helping sway the decision. If it seems the best deal available most people will take it. Everyone has some skeleton in their closet which can be twisted to appear far worse than it is.

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BAD VIBES: High-speed video camera records your voice from trash

Jason Bloomberg
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Boffin

Boom Boom BOOM BOOM

Isn't this why anyone having a secret conversation whacks the Hi-Fi up to 11?

Ironically apt icon -->

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Facebook goes down, people dial 911

Jason Bloomberg
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Paris Hilton

Re: What can I say?

Current Status: Fucking an idiot.

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NASA boffin: RIDDLE of odd BULGE FOUND on MOON is SOLVED

Jason Bloomberg
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Alien

Re: Of course, had we not abandoned the Apollo project...

If we had a colony up there it would probably spend most of its time fighting other colonies or finding excuses to fight other colonies.

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Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5

Jason Bloomberg
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Headmaster

Re: WTF...?

IF you have something that can only run iOS 4 or 5 it should have been binned a long time ago - it will be a sack o crap compared to a new device.

But they currently work just fine as Sonos remotes.

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Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE

Jason Bloomberg
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Big Brother

Re: Dear Vlad

Thank you for this valuable intelligence snippet, in which you reveal your current inability to identify Tor users.

Or is that simply what Russia wants Tor users to think?

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Will GCHQ furtle this El Reg readers' poll? Team Snowden suggests: Yes

Jason Bloomberg
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Big Brother

Let's see...

Question: Would you ever partake in an uprising, insurrection, insurgency or terrorist activity?

Downvote: No, not under any circumstances.

Upvote: Yes, if I believed it was necessary to do so.

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Read the proposed US ASTEROIDS Act to green-light mining IN SPAAAACE

Jason Bloomberg
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Black Helicopters

Re: As pointed out above

like it or not, the writ of the US does not and cannot extend beyond this planet.

Are you sure you're not some sort of stinkin-commie-subversive-hippie-fag?

I am quite sure many Americans believe their laws and rule should extend, not just across the whole earth, but across the whole universe and that, one day, God will provide. Hallelujah! USA! USA! USA!

In the meantime it provides America with a legal pretext for military conflict with anyone who disagrees with America's dictating of how things will be should that be needed.

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Today's Facebook fury: Coppertone-like baby pic ban baffles US mom

Jason Bloomberg
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I say bullshit

Thus Facebook taking the image down is damn all to do with US law, decency or even moderate good sense. It's to do with protecting us from our own laws.

I don't believe that for one minute. If America's supreme court ruled FB had no right to remove the image in question and doing so infringed the poster's constitutional rights; do you think they would allow it to be reinstated or would they continue to protect us from our own laws?

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'Ribbed' for your pleasure: Jony Ive unveils NAKED IPHONE

Jason Bloomberg
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Mushroom

Re: TSA Proof?

it would be nigh impossible to hide a bomb inside

I am sure the bad guys would love the TSA and everyone else to believe that.

I suspect getting through security check-in is more likely to become harder rather than easier once the bad guys have shown a viable bomb can be disguised as a battery and every glass phone reveals a potentially suspicious battery. Security checks are not so much about checking items are safe but checking items are not on their list of not allowed.

Fear of battery bombs seem to be what is behind the latest security clamp down and the safety check there is to make sure the device powers on.

Because we all know there's never going to be a battery which provides power and is also a viable explosive device, right?

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Journal that published Facebook emoto-furtle study: Proper boffins get CONSENT

Jason Bloomberg
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Sheesh

The exaggerated, hyper-indignant, internet outrage bandwagon rolls on.

The ironic thing is that it is FB and other social media which have brought us this mob rule, 'grab the pitchforks and light the torches', collective complaining and whining "me too" group-think culture on such a scale.

It used to be a British national sport but now seems to be an international one.

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New research: Flash is DEAD. Yet resistance isn't futile - it's key

Jason Bloomberg
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Thumb Up

Re: Nobody wants storage

With perfect clouding etc, there would be no need for storage at all, beyond a few kbytes needed to boot a device.

I gave you an up-vote because if we had such a utopia you would be correct.

In the real world however; neither BT or VM could even find my cloud in recent days.

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New MH370 search zone picked using just seven satellite 'handshakes'

Jason Bloomberg
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Headmaster

Re: What about those black-box locator pings?

it is quite easy for a 37.5kHz pinger to drift down to 33kHz once the batteries are nearly dead.

And the evidence for this claim is?

If the frequency dropped from 37.5kHz to 33kHz during the minimum 30 day battery life then it would seem the ULB was not performing to specification.

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REVEALED: GCHQ's BEYOND TOP SECRET Middle Eastern INTERNET SPY BASE

Jason Bloomberg
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Big Brother

Re: Britain's got secrets

They know perfectly well that the public will be incandescent when they fully realise what has been going on. They fear that.

I don't think they do. They won't welcome it but they certainly won't fear it. The worst which will happen in Britain is they get pushed out of office but the system will endure and they will find their way back in after a few years or decades. Meaningful outrage, revolution and fundamental change is for other countries.

In fact it's a fundamental part of the elected dictatorships the west calls democracy and is what makes those a success. Governments can fall on their swords to appease the citizens but the system and establishment remains untouched.

Big Brother isn't running the show from parliament nor Downing Street. You are simply looking at puppets there.

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'Inaccurate' media misleads public on European Court's Google ruling

Jason Bloomberg
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Understatement of the century?

But bear in mind, when Google says the sky is falling, it doesn’t mean it necessarily is. And like any powerful corporation, it may have an agenda of self-interest.

"May have an agenda of self interest"?

I believe it is self-evident that Google does and, wanting to whatever Google wants to do, explains opposition to anything which gets in the way of that.

"Do no evil" becomes a whole lot easier when it is held that there is no evil which can be done.

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It's Google's NO-WHEEL car. OMG... there aren't any BRAKES

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Swindon's Magic Roundabout

It would probably do a better job than many human drivers placed in in the same predicament.

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Carry On YouView Regardless, BBC Trust tells the BBC

Jason Bloomberg
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AIUI...

... a YouView box can be used with any ISP, just that you won't get the so-called 'added value services' BT and TalkTalk provide, you have fork out a ridiculous amount of money to buy the hardware yourself or find someone selling a second hand box.

A traditional STB suits many people even though there are other ways to get the content but its unsubsidised cost is prohibitive unless with BT or TalkTalk.

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Chap rebuilds BBC Micro in JavaScript

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: why not use one of the very good emulators already out there

I guess it falls into the traditional human endeavour of simply 'because he wants to'. Instead of wondering if something could be done he may have decided to try it and see - and that's what's driven personal and humanity's progress over the years.

Perhaps he saw it as an enjoyable challenge or learning experience or maybe even to dispel notions that it could not be done, that javascript could not be used or would be too slow.

There are plenty of worse and more pointless ways to spend one's time.

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Russia to suspend US GPS stations in tit-for-tat spat

Jason Bloomberg
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Paris Hilton

American GPS stations

<confused>

The NYT says, "The United States has stations around the world, but none in Russia".

</confused>

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Windows XP market share decline stalls, Mac OS X surges

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Are old XP machines being upgraded/replaced, or simply retired?

Most are probably being allowed to run the course of their natural lives. Some consumers might have panicked into upgrading when support ended but most will likely keep using the same old until an app they want won't run or some frustration or cheap deal prompts them to consider something newer and they'll take whatever it comes with.

Most equate a Windows OS upgrade with needing a new PC or facing a drop in performance so there will be a natural tendency to avoid upgrading if they don't wish to buy new hardware. Living a generation or two behind bleeding edge has its advantage when it comes to cost. The XP user base is the hardcore who refuse to be drawn into upgrades they don't perceive as necessary or advantageous.

I also suspect a fair few XP systems are bootleg versions, installed with a CD Key from the web and with Automatic Updates turned off. Those people haven't had MS support or patches for years so won't even miss support officially ending.

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Report: Google's NSA dealings not as bad as you thought – THEY WERE WORSE

Jason Bloomberg
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Cover-up and plausible denial

Google and other technology giants were working far more closely with the NSA government than originally thought

Far more closely than some people chose to believe - many others suspected involvement went far deeper than those corporations were prepared to admit.

I do not think it is any surprise corporations had relationships with the NSA or other agencies; in fact it would be a surprise if they did not. That is not what the real issue is; it is 'how' they cooperated with the NSA and agencies.

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HALF of London has outdated Wi-Fi security, says roving World of War, er, BIKER

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Why a large battery?

Why go to all the expense and aggravation of adding a means for charging the battery when it doesn't enhance the intended project ?

The usage drain is likely more than can be put back in so the battery is probably going to have to be charged overnight anyway.

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Study: Users don't much care about Heartbleed hacking dangers

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: very overblown

People aren't worried because there is little demonstrated risk. To become a victim of this flaw a criminal would have to capture login or other private details and that is mostly a game of chance; hitting the right 'server' at just the right time.

The perceived reality for most is, "if it does happen, it will probably happen to someone else", and that's how we all manage to sleep soundly at night in the face of a world which is full of everyday risks.

Heartbleed was a big story in the IT community for reasons beyond the risk posed to users.

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UK.gov data sell-off row: HMRC denies claims it'll flog YOUR private info

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Its my data, not yours... @TopOnePercent

Data is data. It may be information about you, but you probably cannot claim to own it.

'Ownership' in my experience is usually meant as a euphemism for 'having control over its disclosure and distribution' and that usually indicates a belief one should have such control but very likely one doesn't in reality.

We need to escape this "ownership" term as it is often false as it is traditionally understood. We need some other word or phrase to describe what rights we have./ should have to control how others can disclose or distribute information or data which relates to ourselves.

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Up to 500 GP practices to test plans to share patient data

Jason Bloomberg
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Big Brother

Sweepstakes time

Will it be the NSA, GCHQ or a script kiddie who fakes being a GP's surgery, logs in and downloads all the data first?

It will probably end up that the government simply gives it away to everyone; through some web portal where you only have to alter the NHS Number in the URL to access anyone's data.

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Everything you always wanted to know about VDI but were afraid to ask (no, it's not an STD)

Jason Bloomberg
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Coat

Not so long ago...

I remember when we were all looking forward to having our own PCs with their own resources and local storage to free us from the mainframe. No more bottlenecks or costly efforts to overcome them. No more struggling to add another user without breaking the camel's back as each new user could simply be given their own PC.

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Google's self-driving car breakthrough: Stop sign no longer a problem

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: @JDX

Now try checking out some of the video clips of driving in Russia or, even better, what about this traffic in India. How do you think it will cope with that?!

How would most non-native drivers cope with that? I've seen many British drivers who can't cope well with London traffic.

I suspect the biggest problem for driverless cars will be in being too cautious, which perhaps requires being more reckless, which in turn raises the risk of accidents, and perhaps voids the 'more safe' advantage. Programming 'calculated risk' should be an interesting challenge.

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Privateers race to capture forgotten NASA space probe using crowdsourced cash

Jason Bloomberg
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$125K

That sounds like loose change in the grand scheme of things. Don't agencies have special project or contingency funds which could be put to good use here?

It seems it would be a great shame to miss something spectacular for sake of short notice because no one had thought to set aside some cash for that possibility. Perhaps some foreign government may be able to step up to the plate if America is short of cash.

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It woz the Reg wot won it: UK mobe network EE fixes voicemail hack flaw

Jason Bloomberg
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The $64K question...

Who is - or should be - responsible for identifying potential flaws, checking if they exist, and ensuring they get fixed if they do?

Too often it seems discovery of serious flaws and vulnerabilities is down to individuals who risk breaking the law when it comes to checking their theories, and only fear of an outraged torch and pitchfork wielding mob which gets things fixed.

That's always available as the path of last resort but there must be something better we could have so we aren't dependent upon that. Not sure what that would be though.

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Teen girl arrested with 70-year-old man's four inch weapon inside her

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: She looks like...

When she last popped into the hairdresser's did they have a slinky sitting on the shelf?

Or was it 8" rollers being as "everything's bigger in America" - including 'revolver holsters' it seems!

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Dell charges £5 to switch on power-saving for new PCs (it takes 5 clicks)

Jason Bloomberg
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WTF?

Re: So...

I buy an electronic product and the sales staff offer to sell me a set of batteries for £5 and for £10 will even fit them.

I can say yes or I can say no.

I don't really see the problem.

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