* Posts by Shannon Jacobs

778 posts • joined 9 Apr 2007

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Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Bye-bye reg.

Actually, I like the skeptical slant of the reg. Or rather I used to like the skeptical slant until I was censored for attempting to note in public that one of your staff members has ZERO credibility on a particular issue and that his tedious and repeated rants on that issue are a waste of time.

You see, the problem is that once you have established you are a bunch of censorious bastards, then there is no reason to believe anything you say on such silly topics as free speech or the open exchange of ideas. Not even sure how many of my prior comments may have been disappeared, since I trusted the reg and wasn't looking over my shoulder to see if you were looking over my shoulder.

Having broken that trust, I'd be a damn fool to spend more time on the website. It might make me want to say something, eh?

Anyway, your financial model is already driving you into the ground, and I expect to hear about your collapse at some point, but at least I will get some schadenfreude out of it.

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Q. How much did Google just spend applying political pressure in the US? A. $4.6 million

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Ball-less liar

Can't even put your own name on your insane crap? Go back to FAUX 'news', eh?

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Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

All your attention are belong to the google!

The motto of today's google is "All your attention are belong to us!" They are no longer just being carried along for the ride--they are bribing the pols who are driving the train wreck just like the rest of the scummiest companies in America, and don't give me any of those "fight fire with fire" excuses, cause I've seen the results of today's google.

Hard for me to believe that I ever bought the "Don't be evil" thing, though for a while I imagined it could be fixed. Maybe "Don't be evil or support criminals" could have helped? (Like fixing the corporate goal of making the world's information available so that it would consider protecting private information?)

Don't much matter, however. Google is just supporting the American "government of the corporations, by the lawyers, for the richest 0.1%" as Abe Lincoln said at Gettysburg. Whatever, eh?

For you whippersnappers:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_your_base_are_belong_to_us

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Four phone hijack bugs revealed in Internet Explorer after Microsoft misses patch deadline

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

I agree with you that 120 days is enough time if the companies cared, but since there is NO meaningful liability for any degree of negligence or incompetence (check your EULA), why should they care? EVER. My own belief is that if Microsoft were held to account merely for the direct damages from their failures, they would probably be bankrupt, and if they were accountable for punitive damages for gross failures, then they would surely be gone.

Having said that, I'm not sure a rigid 120 days is the best time limit. I think the time limit should reflect the complexity of the bug in relation to the likelihood of someone else discovering it. What they are doing now is almost like giving out hints, and the main meaning of the 120-day limit is that it indicates the bug is hard to fix. Or possibly that the owner of the bug has evaluated it and decided that it isn't a real threat or that the exploits would be too difficult to implement?

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Toshiba CEO and execs quit over $1.2bn six-year accounting scandal

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Re: Don't they have accountants in Japan?

Writing as a long-time shareholder in Toshiba, I am certainly not impressed. However, I don't really blame Toshiba or the accountants as much as the irrational or even insane uber-profit pressures that drove them to do it.

It seems to me that the fundamental problem is that Toshiba is basically a commodity company, and commodities don't get any stock-market respect these days. Small profits are NOT acceptable, especially combined with the risk of a major loss in a bad year. There is a kind of fundamental mismatch between being a "glamorous" high-tech company and earning small profits because you are mostly producing commodity goods. Always lots of competitors trying to produce and sell any commodity, but if your profits are too small because of that reality, the falling stock price and lower market cap make the company too vulnerable to financial shenanigans.

Time for a tortured metaphor? What really worries me is that Toshiba is NOT the brightest star in this barrel of starfish. Not a trailblazing company these days (if indeed they ever were), and so it is quite likely that some other Japanese high-tech companies have been playing similar games. Things seem too quiet out there?

Fishing (mentally) for an example candidate... On the surface, I can't see the similarities between Toshiba's problems and Sony's, but Sony has been more of a trailblazer, so the framing would naturally be different. Maybe the underlying problems can be seen as similar from some perspective?

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Microsoft: Hey, you. Done patching Windows this month? WRONG

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

That's NOT why

It's the financial models that limit the kind of "professional" apps that Linux can support as well as the overall success of the OS. Microsoft and Adobe may produce mediocre code, but their financial models are outstanding.

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Feel like you're being herded onto Windows 10? Well, you should

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Re: I started to hate Windows 10...

My newest machine is my first Mac, and several of my older machines have been converted to Ubuntu now. (Yeah, I play with too many computers.) However, it was the (start of the) end of support for Windows 7 that pushed me over the edge, and I sincerely hope I never buy another Windows PC or Microsoft anything. Probably pick up a Chromebook when I need a fresh toy.

Having said that, I finally decided to attempt to upgrade one of my Windows 7 machines to Windows 10. It's performance had been upgraded down to terrible, so I'm willing to see if Windows 10 helps. However, I'd bet against it.

Why did it take so long to decide on the "free" upgrade? Because I don't believe "free" and "Microsoft" go well together, and I STILL want to know what is wrong with this picture. I'm sure it is NOT out of the goodness of their heart, even if they are trying to be less evil these days. "It's the money, Lebowski." But where is the money? I spent a while trying to figure it out, and I still can't.

First, we have to remember it has NEVER been the users. The big money came from the makers (and the savings in liability costs came from evading all liability in the EULA). MS wasn't going to sell many upgrades in any case, but now every delayed or deferred sale due to an upgrade is at least a slowdown in the revenue stream. This is especially problematic for the makers. Unlike MS, they are in a tough and competitive business, and I think that a couple of the big ones may fall down (and possibly even go boom) if their sales slump even a few percent for a few months...

Another scenario was OS unification for the future. I was willing to consider that theory until MS cut the phone side with the latest layoffs. Any unification approach has to be LCD, which meant increasing phone support, not reducing it. Or maybe I was just dreaming of a decent small kernel OS without all the unneeded cruft (and associated security vulnerabilities). The performance of the OSes passed my needs a LONG time ago, around the time I could juggle 4 or 5 programs at a time. Even for me, beyond that it's either overkill or showing off...

In conclusion, I still don't trust Microsoft.

Joed really hit the nail with that comment about "freedom of choice". (The "d" isn't for Dell, is it? If so, it's a smallish world.)

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Sky still blue, above the ocean: Google still raking it in

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

For exceedingly small values of "good".

Do you have anything more valuable than your time? If you're confused about the question, imagine you only have two minutes to live, and how much of that time do you want to waste in your confused state.

Now consider how much of your time the google would like to fill with ads. The answer may surprise you: ALL of it. Of course that isn't possible, but we have to let the google dream, don't we?

There was a time some years ago when I believed the motto "Don't be evil." Later on I thought the motto could be fixed with a bit of tinkering, something along the lines of fixing their other motto to be something like "Making all of the world's information available while helping you protect your privacy." These days, I think the google has a new motto:

"All your attention are belong to the google!"

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_your_base_are_belong_to_us)

At first I didn't blame the google so much as the rules of the American business game. Then I learned that the google had become the largest tech lobbyist bribing the pols. Very few companies that I actually want to deal with these days. Just picking the least bad option--like the pols (on those rare occasions when the pols didn't pick their voters first).

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Adobe: We REALLY are taking Flash security seriously – honest

Shannon Jacobs
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Depends on the financial model

Actually, I think the critical wrinkle for Adobe was pioneered by Microsoft. Take a quick look at your legal remedies if some MS software causes you some damage. The answer may surprise you.

Just kidding. Of course you know that Microsoft is completely free from any liability for any mistakes, incompetence, or downright negligence, and Adobe just followed along that well worn trail.

Personally, I think we would have rather better software if the companies were also liable for their mistakes. If you added in some punitive damages, Microsoft would have gone bankrupt long ago.

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US yoinks six Nigerians to Mississippi on '419 scam' charges

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

How to make the punishment fit the crime?

Most of the appropriate punishment options seem to hurt too many trees. Basically something involving manual correction of EACH of their spelling errors as replicated over the millions and probably billions of spam messages. Plus correcting the addresses for all the misrouted ones (but without delivery, of course). You know, something to keep their hands from being too idle--for 7,000 years or so.

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Google makes new hires ONE pay offer. 'Negotiation'? What's that?

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Money is not the ONLY dimension that matters

I actually count that in the google's favor if it represents an underlying philosophy that money should not be the most important decision factor. Having said that, I think there is too much evidence that "Don't be evil" was an amusing fantasy, largely because of money-related internal pressures. My favorite candidate for the new google slogan is

"All your attentions is belonging to the google."

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Microsoft giving up on phones? Naaahh ... Windows 10 Mobile lumbers toward release

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

What's up in MSland?

Anyway, I'm baffled. One of the theoretical justifications, apparently sanctioned by MS, for giving away Windows 10 upgrades was that of OS unification, but that only makes sense if they go with an LCD route, and the smartphone has to be the foundation. Except not?

They are certainly killing their paying customers, who desperately need those new PC sales that will be delayed and even avoided by the OS upgrade... Microsoft has deep pockets, but the makers are in a highly competitive business and some of them are not even going to survive against any significant cut in sales.

In the past, Microsoft has done well with mediocre software and clever business models, but I sure can't understand where they think they are going now. What I can say for sure is that I once bought a so-called smartphone using a Microsoft OS, and I really can't imagine that I would EVER buy another. Yes, it was some years ago (as measured by 3 Android smartphones and one feature phone), but my experiences were so horrific that I can't imagine giving MS another chance with my phone.

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Microsoft starts switching on paid Wi-Fi service with latest Windows 10 preview

Shannon Jacobs
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Feaping Creaturitus

Excellent example of a feature that has NO business being part of the kernel operating system. Useful if you want it, but NOT something that needs to be there by default for EVERY user.

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Five lightweight Linux desktop worlds for extreme open-sourcers

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Financial models matter

Gosh, I should get persistence points at some point. Let's try a slightly mathematical form:

(Mediocre Software = MS) + (clever financial models) = Success!

(Good software) + (lousy financial models) = Failure!

What if the programmer actually got PAID for the work he agreed to do? Imagine there was a reasonable project description of the work to be done, the resources required, and how the project would be assessed, and potential donors could buy 'charity shares' until the project is funded or abandoned.

Support is a pain in the butt. What if there were a support project to PAY someone for doing it. Basically the same basis for the charity shares, but more like a support contract to be shared with other people up to the limit of the amount of support everyone agreed to.

The same basic approach can be applied to some of the ongoing costs like running servers required for specified features.

Anyway, the current models are basically unchanged, as is the continuing failures and abandonment. Sorry, I do NOT want to put a lot of my time into programming it myself, but I'd be willing to chip in some money if there was a balanced system.

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US govt now says 21.5 million people exposed by OPM hack – here's what you need to know

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Richard Clarke already announced this news

Look for the book Cyber War. The less things change, the more they stay the same--but I'm not actually blaming the Reg for reporting this non-new news. The devil is in the details, so I only hope my own details were too old to be included... I can think of at least three paths by which I could have been included somewhere...

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Decision time: Uninstall Adobe Flash or install yet another critical patch

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Won't somebody think of the market opportunity?

Why hasn't anyone produced a competing Flash player of MINIMAL, STABLE, and SECURE functionality?

I still have no idea what market model Adobe thinks they are using, but whatever it is, it's broken to death.

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Sony phone chief vows to keep losing money forever and ever

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Good thing I'm not a greedy shareholder

...but this year's annual meeting (June 23rd) was more like a funeral than a party. Something of an improvement over the last two, which were more like incipient riots, but the mood was definitely downbeat. I reached my limit and left early, even though they'd seated me in the second row. I suppose they wanted the 'international' face.

Obviously I'm not holding the shares in expectations of glorious profits, and though I had an option to get a Sony smartphone last year, I went with the Samsung... Just this week I bought some new headphones, but this time I didn't even give Sony any serious consideration.

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Adam Smith was right about that invisible hand, you know

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Re: Algorithmic trading

The current stock market is more like a frictionless engine with constant acceleration. HFT is just increasing the speeds at which it spins, but at some point it's still going to tear itself to pieces. We've already had a couple of interesting scares from what were only minor wobbles...

Strongly recommend Flash Boys by Michael Lewis. There's a new invisible hand in the house, and it's about to slap us silly.

To close with the obligatory constructive suggestion: There needs to be some minimum transaction charge (dare I say "tax") to create metaphorical friction. Not certain, but I believe the transaction charge would also redefine the delay times that Michael Lewis is focusing on.

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Will rising CO2 damage the world's oceans? NOT SO MUCH – new boffinry

Shannon Jacobs
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FAIL

Byline checked. Do NOT read.

What are the actual assets of a media outlet, even a webzine like the Reg? Integrity and credibility. Do they face the truth and do we trust what they say.

By extension, these assets are also needed by the authors or so-called journalists. This byline has ZERO value.

Time for a new pen name, and best of luck in hiding your corrupt deceitfulness for as long as possible. Maybe the new name will have some beginner's value for as much as two articles.

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Hold my vodka, comrade – I got this: Ruskies blast supplies to the ISS

Shannon Jacobs
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Re: It just boggles the mind!

Two disastrous failures in 135 missions is not highly reliable. Big dumb boosters are much more cost effective for routine payloads.

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Windows 7 and 8.1 market share surge, XP falls behind OS X

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Now students, please use "free" and "Microsoft" in the same sentence.

Just hard for me to trust Microsoft after so many years of non-niceness. Let me break it into two categories:

(1) The money. The paying customers are the makers. Every upgrade of a Windows 7/8/8.1 machine is NOT the purchase of a newly manufactured machine. Microsoft has lots of cash in the bank and might not care, but the makers are in a viciously competitive low-margin business, and a substantial drop in their sales is liable to push some of them under. One of the possibilities is that Microsoft expects to have a better grip on the balls of the surviving makers--but I can think of others that are worse.

(2) Technical. I do not know of a SINGLE carrot in Windows 10. Not one new feature that I desperately need or even want. Actually, the Windows OSes passed my normal needs a LONG time ago, and all the cruft since then is just increasing my feeling of vulnerability for a bit of shiny. It's really hard for me to think of a single crucial feature since Windows 95, though of course I'd like the option to add some capabilities AS actually NEEDED and at the application level, NOT the OS level. Yes, some features of the OS have gotten faster, but not enough to notice since I'm already the slowest horse in the cavalry, as the old joke goes.

If I had the choice, I'd probably be running a completely debugged version of Windows 95, and I'm sure such a think OS would run the pants off Windows 10, to boot, while also being more secure and understandable. Oh wait. I forgot. Microsoft decides those things, not us.

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Teaching people to speak English? You just need Chatroulette without the dick pics

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Re: why english?

Good question. I was actually thinking about submitting a suggestion for a kind of vocabulary-based reading game with some derivative ideas from a Japanese game known as shiritori. The design of this game is actually quite flexible, allowing it to be used for any language learners, from children learning their first language to L2 adults to wannabe language teachers, and for any language... Well, any language that has some news-related websites and some level-sorted vocabulary lists.

Turned out it that it's a lottery. You have to pay $500 for a ticket.

Neo-GOP "charity" in action. We can't notice you unless you have $500. Poor peasants need not apply.

I'd say something rude, but I'm not rich enough to throw $500 just to get Dubya's attention.

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Google presses 'send' on 'undo send' – AT LAST

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Six years to come up with a better idea? FAIL.

Not a terrible idea, but a terribly slow implementation and it could be so much better, too. If it isn't the EVIL that's rotting their brains, there's something else going wrong at the google.

Rather than a specialized Unto feature, imagine a general future-mail feature. For the undo function, you provide a setting to make the default delivery time later than the send time. In my own case, I'd actually prefer to have a 5-minute delay, but 30 seconds is not long enough to be especially helpful. If you think faster or slower, your mileage (and setting time) may differ. In that version, you just put it as a delay in the Outbox, and opening the Outbox will freeze the sending (with a warning, of course) and allow you to view any undelivered email. Again, it should be controlled by a user setting, but I'd recommend the default be something like an "Undo-able" button or "Unsend" option when there is pending email, and the click just takes you to the Outbox.

Now for the generalization: I want a "considerate delivery" option. That would consider whether or not the email is likely to be rude or inconsiderate, based on rules that I can control for my recipients. If I know that someone receives email on their smartphone, then I would prefer that non-urgent email not be delivered at 3 in the morning in their time zone because it might wake them up. Is it routine work-related email? Then I'd prefer it not be delivered until working hours. I don't want to contribute to work/life imbalance.

Another generalization would be for tickler use to support the Calendar, sending yourself (or someone) a future reminder to make sure some task has been handled. Various others, but the real point is that general tools are better.

Of course, if the google wasn't EVIL, then they would have offered the generalized tool to break the spammers' business models. Same as it ever was, the main problem with email remains the spam. Obviously, I lost my warm and fuzzy feeling about the google.

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SGI to flick switch on new Japanese super

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Why the minor press release?

Is there something significant or interesting about this machine? Might be in the top 20 for supercomputers, but nowhere near the top, so that doesn't seem to merit a feature article. Power efficiency? If so, the article should have played it up more.

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Microsoft U-turns on 'free' Windows 10 upgrade promise for ALL previewers

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Hard to trust Microsoft on Windows 10...

The words "free" and "Microsoft" do not mix well, so when Microsoft says this is a "free" upgrade to Windows 10, it is basically impossible for me to believe that there is no catch. Here's the best I can do:

I need to see a credible explanation of WHY Microsoft would do this. To be credible, there are at least two requirements:

(1) It needs to explain the money side of it.

(2) The venue of the explanation has to be independent of Microsoft's control.

Let me try to make those conditions as clear as I can:

Condition (1) is not an expectation of opening their books. However, it has to make it clear at least roughly how much this "free" will really cost Microsoft and why MS would feel that it's worth that much money. The most plausible public explanation that I've seen is that MS believes that this is the best way for them to retain unified control over the Windows OS community. If that is true, then the threats need to be made clear. Mac? Chromebooks? Linux? In any case, the public explanation doesn't make much sense to me, and I'd like to see credible explanations of the nonpublic possibilities.

Condition (2) is actually split. One side is that it can't be published by Microsoft or on any Microsoft-controlled website. The other side is begging for journalism of credibility and integrity, which may be too much to hope for these days. The Reg's skepticism might be part of it...

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Sun like it hot: Philae comet probe wakes up, phones home again

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Pretty certain those numbers don't make sense

However, my competing wild guess would be that the transmitter is weak, so getting closer will greatly improve the data transfer rate. Data storage does not seem to be a problem on the lander end, though what I've read has only been indirect evidence on that topic.

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Ubuntu daddy Mark Shuttleworth loses fight to cancel $20m bank fee

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Already knew his judgment was less than perfect

Been trying to use Ubuntu for years, in spite of the frequently flawed decisions of the big donor financial model...

Hey, here's a silly idea. Listen to the small donors, too. Let us help pay for the features we want, even including support of features we don't want broken.

*sigh* I'm not in the mood to waste more keystrokes again, but details available upon polite and sincere request from someone who can actually use them... I'm increasingly convinced the only way to do things is to do them myself, which (1) would require quitting my current job, and (2) require more years of life than I probably have left. (Bad sign when too many of your old friends have passed on already...)

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Hey Google, what’s trending? Oh, just the death of journalism

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Limits of negativity?

Actually, part of the reason I like the Reg is the skepticism. However, this is a case where you could actually DO something. My oft-repeated always-ignored suggestion is that you start selling SOLUTIONS to the problems you are so delighted to tell us about. Wasting keystrokes, but here's a slightly different version:

You hold the subscription money in a "charity share account" that we can donate towards projects that solve the problems. Perhaps 90% is for internal projects, which basically means you take the money from one pocket to another. For example, an internal project to pay for an article you'd already published might not raise the funding, but that would give you valuable feedback about your bad choices. In contrast, a topic we're actually interested in would fund the project for the original article, a project for more research, and maybe one or more specific follow-on article projects.

The external projects would be special gravy, especially for the authors who sincerely want to solve the problems. In addition, one would hope that their research into and resulting clarity in describing the problem earns them some say in the projects that might help solve the problem.

*sigh* More details available upon request, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for requests. It seems like the only way to make it happen is quit my current fairly satisfactory job and do this one myself.

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It's OK – this was an entirely NEW type of cockup, says RBS

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Have you read Flash Boys?

Should be obligatory background for this topic. Hint: You ain't seen nothing yet--but someone profits.

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Climate change alarmism is a religious belief – it's official

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Skepticism falling over into stupidity

I actually like the skepticism of the Register, but on this topic it has simply tipped over the bottle of pure stupidity. At least seeing the byline saves me having to read farther--and by extension to ANY topic that byline gets associated with.

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'Snowden risked lives' fearfest story prompts sceptical sneers

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Au contraire, they certainly want the cluefull to be afraid

To the contrary, they are targeting both sides. They want the people who understand the truth to know that the truth will be discredited just as easily as lies can be propagated.

Then again, I think the truth here is that Snowden is also a patsy of the sincere sort. I'm sure their anti-spook spooks detected him as a possible security risk and almost as sure that he was fed the information they wanted to be leaked. Ask Michael Hastings if you don't believe me. Oh wait, his car was hacked and used to kill him. Oh wait, it was just another amazing accident.

Oh wait.

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Spy: Acres of comedy talent make this smart spook spoof an instant classic

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

General Theory of Relatively Funny things

My latest theory (with a tip of the hat to Dave Gutteridge) is that humor is linked to learning. Part of the instinctive reinforcement mechanism that drives children to play games and laugh while they are developing survival skills. it even applies to slapstick: It's funny because we are learning how to avoid the pains of getting hit and falling down. Also explains the dearth of rightwing humor: They don't WANT to learn anything that might upset their prejudices and ignorance.

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HP is 80 per cent closer to breaking up. Now, about the IT estate...

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

I can barely recall when HP was one of the best companies in the world...

The decline especially bothers me since so much of it is linked to two women executives, and I would like to see women succeed. HP is NOT succeeding and, speaking as an HP shareholder, I am quite confident this will NOT make the situation better.

Most of the problem is just the anti-freedom corruption of the American economic system. The secret is that real freedom is about meaningful choice without coercion. Freedom and large monopolistic profits don't go together. Instead of dividing highly successful companies to specialize more and reduce choices, they should force the top companies to split into competing companies and give us more freedom and choices.

As a shareholder of HP, in the example to hand, I would wind up with equal value in shares the new competitors. As they competed and diverged, I might sell one in favor of the other, but if the competition leads to more innovation and growth, I'm still going to win by sitting on both of them...

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Latest Snowden leak: NSA can snoop internet to catch 'hackers' – no warrants needed

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Re: Just how did Snowden get all this info?

My own theory is that he's a patsy. Snowden is sincere, and a true patriot, to boot, but the internal anti-spook spooks spotted him long ago. They recognized he could be used and thus picked him to be fed exactly the information that they wanted released (while pretending not to). If they didn't recognize the psychological profile, then they are too stupid to believe. (Supporting evidence in the amazing technological incompetence of the so-called major journalist who was dragged into it. Greenwald is also sincere, but he was and almost certainly remains a sitting duck for any hacker.)

The real goal of the Snowden "leaks" is to intimidate people, especially hackish computer experts with any trace of paranoia. If you lean that way, you certainly feel justified in being afraid of the government. In conclusion, Michael Hastings was killed by hacking his car. At least I'm thinking so. Maybe it's time for me to have one of those accidents? And you, too, for having read too far?

As regards this article, my own interpretation is that running a Tor browser is probably enough to earn the hacker tag. Or maybe just visiting any webpage where Tor is discussed. Heck, let's go all the way down the slippery slope. Searching for "tor" or any phrase that includes the three-letter sequence "tor" is probably enough to quality as a "hacker" in the NSA's all-seeing eyes.

Have a nice day. Don't get too paranoid.

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Fanbois designing Windows 10 – where's it going to end?

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Is it evil? Is it stupid? Yes, it's Microsoft!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Superman. NOT Microsoft.

Actually, it's possible that MS isn't as evil as they used to be. It is possible they have enough money. ROFLMAO.

Another logical paradox. Anyone who gets that kind of giant money WANTS the money and will NEVER have enough of it.

Different paradox here. MS marketing people have noticed that people like choice. It's that whole stupid freedom thing of meaningful options without coercion. The problem is that MS lives by coercion and fake choice. This is why they are so confused. The only choices they (barely) want to offer are fake and meaningless choices, like the desktop wallpaper.

Monolithic thinking. Perhaps the natural outcome of a philosophy that is driven by the single metric of money? Companies are NOT people, my friend in a flying pig's eye.

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Finally! It's the year of Linux on the desktop TITSUP

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

What's the best financial model for a dead horse?

If your horse is dead and losing all the races, why don't you flog it harder?

Seriously, the problem is the financial models, NOT the quality of the software. Companies like Microsoft, Oracle, and Apple have good financial models uber alles.

Wasting the keystrokes, but I recommend funding by selling shares to future users, with the projects broken down based on such categories as new software, new features, ongoing costs, or support.

Quick (keystroke-minimizing) example, let's say you want to continue using an old version of Ubuntu but you run into a problem and discover it is no longer supported. Then you might have options to help fund some support or to help create a replacement version. If enough people agree with you, then your option wins and the money gets allocated (from the charity-share brokerage), but if not, you can pick again until you find a solution.

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White House forced to wade into Oracle vs Google Java bickerfest

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Re: Huh. I would have thought the money spent by Google and associates

Yeah, but all of the recent figures I've seen indicate that the google is spending much more money on lobbying than Oracle is. Ellison is only JV evil now?

On the other hand, the google's lobbying may be more spread out than Oracle's? At this point it seems the google has something of a diffuse focus...

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Windows and OS X are malware, claims Richard Stallman

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Re: A fool without money will soon be ignored

Must be a Windows Vista user.

The kernel of Apple's OS was BSD... Not sure how far beyond that they've gone, so maybe they deserve more credit.

(On "major" OSes I'm running Yosemite and Windows 7, myself. I'm still using some Ubuntu, but it has mostly been sliding the wrong way for my applications...)

I should clarify as regards Apple that it is the PRINCIPLE of closing the box that I regard as anti-freedom. Microsoft has adopted the same principle, but it wasn't their idea. (Perhaps I should have included that as a count against Microsoft, but never inventing a wheel is not actually a crime, just as reinventing a wheel is also okay.)

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Shannon Jacobs
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A fool without money will soon be ignored

Actually, rms has mostly gotten ignored for many years. Simple to explain. Bad software with a good economic model works. Stallman has NO viable economic model and no interest in better economic models.

My summary is that Microsoft has gawdawful software but two clever innovations in their economic model. (1) No liability, no matter what their software does to you, and (2) Sell upstream to the manufacturers, and just force the users to take, again, no matter how bad the software is.

In contrast, Apple has devised a clever anti-freedom model of black-box fashions. You do have to give them some credit for better software than Microsoft, but the profit comes from making their technologies into fashion statements.

Linux OUGHT to be competitive, but the financial models all reek like the big dog's m0e. How about #MDFC models to fund better software with charity shares?

(Actually an email exchange with rms helped lead to the key idea of a charity share brokerage, but he wasn't interested, even though he asks exceedingly good questions. The problem in the years since then is that I'm a lousy salesman and worse evangelist. I don't really care about money, either.)

P.S. Appears to be a new feature to make the new post editable in place? Or an old feature and I have a new status? Whatever it is, I like the convenience.

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World loses John Nash, the 'Beautiful Mind'

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Paranoia will destroy'ya?

Yeah, I know he got better, but I have to say that it sure seems like a peculiar and unlikely way to die.

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Rand Paul stages Senate filibuster against Patriot Act

Shannon Jacobs
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My theory on supporters...

This is such a gawdawful law that I only have one theory to explain why anyone would support it. They have already been contacted by the NSA and told about their personal dirt. No, I can't prove that they are being blackmailed, but I can say that NO one is perfect, and the NSA is certainly hoovering up plenty of data that has to contain some dirt.

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Google, Twitter search deal: Did micro-blabbing site gag racy tweets to satisfy ad giant?

Shannon Jacobs
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In gawd's name why would anyone want this?

Just so. I have lots of experience with Twitter, but I certainly can't defend it. Can I claim it was moderately amusing? However, now I would get more amusement from searching a sewage treatment plant.

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We caught Chinese technology spies RED-HANDED, claims US government

Shannon Jacobs
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So naive. Must be American

No, they do NOT work and study in America "solely to pilfer" AMERICAN information, though there is plenty of it going on--in every direction, and not just limited to America and China.

Many of them are quite sincere and just want the best technical education they can get, and in most fields that still requires studying in America. The most important question is how long that will be true. Both China and India are producing far more engineers than the US these days, and even in the cases where some of those engineers got some of their advanced training in the States, the Americans are quite eager to kick them out ASAP, even in those cases where they want to stay and contribute to the American economy. America's technological head start is eroding away and quite rapidly.

(I wanted to include some citations, but it seemed difficult to find all of the data I wanted in one place... Surprisingly scattered?)

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Feds: Bloke 'HACKED PLANE controls' – from his PASSENGER seat

Shannon Jacobs
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Not even the first messenger

Actually Richard Clarke specifically mentioned the linked networks in an airplane (not sure if it was that model) in a book "Cyber War", which was published several years ago. However, I think his #1 concern was for the links between the Internet and the power grid controls.

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Penn State University network sacked by China malware blitz

Shannon Jacobs
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Re: The US will be the biggest loser in a Cyber War?

Just a mindless troll? Or you have a substantive point?

Perhaps I should be more precise.

American politicians can be legally and cheaply bribed and the practice is effectively universal. In light of so-called Citizens United and the quid pro quo interpretations of the SCOTUS, it's almost impossible to get in trouble that way. As Clarke's book put it on page 143 (writing before the google eclipsed Microsoft in lobbying): "Microsoft can buy a lot of spokesmen and lobbyists for a fraction of the cost of creating more secure systems." This was near the conclusion of a subsection called "Money Talks". (However, the book is not so old that the google is irrelevant... The authors don't see any connection to security? At least not in the first 2/3...)

In contrast, political bribery in China is expensive and risky. I don't have much data about the frequency or prevalence, but I do know that if the political winds start blowing the wrong way, your past bribery is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get shot.

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Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

The US will be the biggest loser in a Cyber War?

Interesting coincidence that I'm currently reading Cyber War by Richard Clarke and Robert Knake. The main point is that the US probably has powerful offensive capabilities but almost NO defensive capabilities, which is amplified by our extreme reliance and even dependency on our computer networks.

In contrast, China is playing BOTH offense and defense. The Great Firewall of China is actually part of the defensive perimeter, not merely censorship. Private companies don't get to tell the government that network security might reduce their profits. Even more importantly, it's much harder for them to bribe politicians to look away from the problems.

This article should be regarded as another shot across the bow.

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Jeb Bush: Repeal Obamacare and replace it with APPLE WATCHES

Shannon Jacobs
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Re: Aye

Because the friend doesn't exist. Just another lying troll. Easy to tell when they "forget" the specifics. For a while they kept trying to dig up ObamaCare horror stories, and they ALL fell flat as soon as the honest reporters started nosing around.

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Enjoying the Spring? Microsoft has 13 ways to fix that

Shannon Jacobs
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Another month, another billion bytes of new code?

Kind of hard to believe. Second month in a row with over a billion bytes (1,168.4 MB) of "routinely urgent" security patches. If I couldn't see the profits and the cash reserves, I'd have to wonder if there was something wrong with that economic model. Heaven forbid there's anything actually wrong with the software!

What's really bothering me about this never-ending flood (or at least minor torrent) of patches is that there must be more bugs where those came from. Just got Richard Clarke's "Cyber War", but the war is against us, and we already done lost. I'm quite sure the NSA has a much bigger list of Windows bugs than Microsoft knows about. (I'd be inclined to think that other national espionage agencies do, too, but perhaps not. At least I hope that none of them shares the NSA's biggest advantage of a copy of the source code...)

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FTC slaps orders on alleged diet pill spamvertising scam scum

Shannon Jacobs
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Same as it ever was: SPAM

Tiny wrinkles of improvement in email? Take the new Gmail Inbox, for example. (Please!)

Lipstick on a pig. Ugly chartreuse lipstick on a ugly wrinkled pig.

The main problem with email remains unchanged: It's the SPAM, stupid.

Why don't any of the major email systems provide us with effective anti-spammer tools? Hey, you don't have to help, but I REALLY want to destroy the spammers' business models. Cut them away from the money and the spam problem will be reduced. No, the spammers will not be magically transformed into actual human beings, but they will crawl under less visible rocks.

Today's case in point: Are you smart enough to recognize a diet-pill scam? Then you could help shut it down. Imagine an iterative webform where you would identify the exact countermeasures to hurt the spammers as badly as possible. Arbitrary example (of MANY), but imagine the spammer is using a link shortener. The best countermeasure is NOT to nuke it. The best countermeasure is to repoint it to the spammer's worst nightmare, but that needs some human help. When I recognize the diet-pill scam, then I can suggest the relinking of the spammer's shortened link to point at a website warning about fake diet pills. Voila, the scammer's own spam becomes advertising AGAINST himself.

We could do MUCH better, but the google and Microsoft are too evil to bother, and Yahoo is too near death. Sad that the spam problem will probably outlive all of them. We could do better, and most people are nice enough to want to.

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ROBOT telescope discovers ENORMOUS planetary neighbours

Shannon Jacobs
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Holmes

Color me skeptical?

Well, I agree that it's pure science, but there is something about this discovery that makes me wonder if there isn't some other explanation for the evidence they've gathered. Detecting planets has become something of a scientific fetish these days. Or maybe I just lack the imagination or mathematical sophistication to understand how such a configuration could be stable...

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