* Posts by cirby

69 posts • joined 24 Jun 2008

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Did Donald Trump really just ask Russia to hack the US govt? Yes, he did

cirby

Re: Treason

Trump was going under the assumption that the Russians ALREADY HAVE the Clinton email, from a server that no longer exists.

If they do, then the Hillary defense ("no security compromise") is a lie.

And if that's a lie, then Hillary's the one who compromised national security and should go to jail.

Trump was calling for the Russians to supply evidence of Hillary's crimes.

You were saying?

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cirby

Hold on there...

Hillary, for the last two years: "There is nothing sensitive or classified on my personal email server, and no emails were missing."

Democrats, today: "Ohmigod, there's SO much classified material on that server and in the missing emails!"

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Microsoft adds useful feature to PowerPoint. Seriously

cirby

Presenter View

If you're using Presenter View, you can jump around in a presentation without a lot of fuss.

If you have particular "key" slides, you can also just type in the number of the slide you want to go to, so all you need to do is note the half-dozen or so that you'd need in any given show.

PPT has a lot of other odd and useful features that go completely unused already. Lots of hotkeys. Shift-F5 to take you from Slide Sorter to Slide Show on the slide you've been editing, for one.

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FBI won't jail future US president over private email server

cirby

Re: What a shocking and totally unexpected result...

Not true at all.

When Colin Powell was running State, he tested private email to see how well it worked. At the time, it wasn't against the rules to use a private account in conjunction with his official accounts. He was also very careful to not put classified information through that account, because he knew it wasn't secure enough. It was his experience that helped create the rules about the use of private email and records retention.

Condoleeza Rice didn't use a private email account.

On the other hand, Hillary's use of her private server came AFTER the rules were laid down. She didn't make any effort to secure her server, and did it to avoid record-keeping rules that applied to all government-related emails. Then she lied about it. She also sent a LOT of classified material (that was, yes, classified BEFORE she sent it). To top it off, she kept using it AFTER she knew it had been compromised. The Russians probably have a more complete list of her emails than we do.

The comparison is almost comical.

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cirby

Re: Interesting downplaying there

Apparently, you're the one who wasn't aware that at least some of it was classified BEFORE it was sent, with the classification marking taken off at her direct order. This is, of course, a crime.

You should also realize that certain materials are "born classified," and should be treated as such whether anyone typed the word on the document or not.

Of course, the fix was in, so they're glossing over that part. Along with insane amounts of other stuff.

The best part of this debacle is that the FBI is admitting, in print, that Hillary Clinton is completely inept and careless with high-level classified information.

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NRA guns down 38,000 Surge.sh sites in anti-parody spray-and-pray

cirby

Lesson learned

It's a shame that those immensely clever people who came up with that parody couldn't manage to make it in the old, time-honored tradition of calling the groups by names that weren't QUITE covered by trademarks, but that everyone knew anyway.

Parody is covered - direct use isn't always...

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Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware storms live TV weather forecast

cirby

Oh, yeah...

We set up a Twitter wall for a major convention, and due to the setup it was a pain to get to the computer. We set it to autorun, and it did fine.

...until the second morning of the show, where the Windows 10 ad popped up.

I've also had it come up during major presentations at conventions, too. A thousand people watching the presenter run back to the computer because of this stupid thing.

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What we all really need is an SD card for our cars. Thanks, SanDisk

cirby

Car interior temps

They're speccing these cards to work at -40C (found in some parts of the world during winter) and 85C (which is only about 15C higher than interior temps can reach in the southwest US in summer).

That's why.

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If you're reading this on your phone, pray you're in Singapore

cirby

A number of those "high speed LTE" countries also have fewer subscribers per tower. It's easier to get 40 megabits when less than ten percent of cell subscribers even have LTE phones.

The US, on the other hand, has gone from twenty percent of subscribers with LTE phones to eighty percent - in about two years.

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Disney World-area University admits massive data breach

cirby

Second-largest University...

...in the United States.

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Sorry, Toshiba, speak up ... What was that? A $6bn loss amid an accounting scandal?

cirby

Sad

I've had great luck with Toshiba laptops. I work in conventions, and see (literally) a thousand or more laptops a year. The ones with the best reliability seem to be the Toshibas.

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

This post has been deleted by a moderator

ISIS operates a crypto help desk – report

cirby

They tried a help desk for the other stuff, but...

"My bomb vest isn't working."

"Have you tried turning it off and then on again?"

"No. Just a sec-"

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Bacon as deadly as cigarettes and asbestos

cirby

Sorry - what?

" the WHO (based mainly in the USA)"

Ummm... nope.

It's a UN group, based out of Geneva, Switzerland.

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US Treasury: How did ISIS get your trucks? Toyota: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

cirby

Re: Stones and Glass Houses

"You've got to hand it to the US military industrial complex, they came upon a winning business model when they armed, bankrolled and trained the Taliban back in the 1980s."

I know that's a common "hate the US" meme, but it's not true.

The US did fund people in Afghanistan - but they funded a small number of folks who HATED the Taliban. Those guys ended up losing out in the power struggle after the Russians left (their main leader was killed by an Al Qaeda bomb the day before 9/11).

Taliban funding came from Pakistan and the rest of the Islamic countries, not the US. Sorry to burst your bubble. People like bin Laden said nice things for a couple of years (because we were funding some other small groups fighting the atheist Russians), but that was pretty much a side show in every sense, and stopped completely once the Soviets pulled out.

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11 MILLION VW cars used Dieselgate cheatware – what the clutch, Volkswagen?

cirby

Re: European testing

The reason they tested the American versions of the VW was that the same organization had been testing European cars and noticed the discrepancy. When the same issue popped up in the US, they started telling people.

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Well, what d'you know: Raising e-book prices doesn't raise sales

cirby

It's really simple

If you're selling a book priced at $5, I'm much, much more likely to buy it than the same book priced at $10.

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West's only rare earth mine closes. Yet Chinese monopoly fears are baseless

cirby

Re: Other issues

Heh. Didn't even look at your byline before I wrote my comment.

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cirby

Other issues

There are quite a few places in the US with significant deposits of rare earths - and some of those are in the "scoop up and start processing" range for accessibility. If someone is smart enough to stock a few months of rare earths to use while getting production online, a Chinese shutdown wouldn't do much more than raise prices.

There are also - in theory - some other options. You can recover a fair amount from the waste products left over from other mineral extraction processes. The "red mud" from bauxite processing, for example, can be used as a source of rare earths.

Just remember: "rare earth" elements aren't that rare - just hard to extract.

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Would YOU make 400 people homeless for an extra $16m? Decision time in Silicon Valley

cirby

Or...

Take the $55 million and give each resident $40,000 from the overage?

Might even be able to use it as a tax break...

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5

iPhone case uses phone's OWN SIGNAL to charge it (forever, presumably)

cirby

Physics

So... they're lowering output signal strength to make the battery last a little longer? So the phone will automatically use even more power most of the time to try and talk to the nearest tower?

Do tell.

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iPhone sales set to PLUMMET: Bleak times ahead for Apple

cirby

Oh, my...

You mean iPhone sales will follow the exact same pattern they ALWAYS do? Millions of people upgrade as fast as the things hit the shelves, then stop buying because they all have new phones?

Horrors!

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DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster

cirby

Or...

You could just buy them a nice bicycle and not need fuel.

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Déjà spew: US would accept higher bills for less CO2 by two-to-one

cirby

"Pay more"

Oh, really, how much more?

One percent?

Two?

Five?

Ten?

You can bet - for certain - that they didn't ask about fifty percent, or a hundred, to get that result.

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Gadget world's metals irreplaceable, say boffins

cirby

Re: Shortage scaremongering

No kidding - for example, world Yttrium production is 600 tons per year - with only about a 15,000 year reserve.

Yes, fifteen THOUSAND years before we run out of the stuff in reserves we know about.

They call these things "rare earth elements," but they're really not rare at all when you get right down to it.

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OHM MY GOD! Move over graphene, here comes '100% PERFECT' stanene

cirby

How about

Hypertin?

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Boffins find MEXICAN WAVE pattern in random climate wobbles

cirby

"The IPCC report looks at various solar mechanisms, not just TSI."

They may have "looked at" them - but they didn't seriously consider the issue. They have always had a tendency to look at TSI, and discard without explanation things like the variations in the makeup of that total. Ultraviolet light, for example, can vary greatly - and has a disproportionate effect on things like clouds. No, the IPCC did not even discuss that, past "we don't think it's important."

There's also the cosmic ray issue. Lower solar winds = higher cosmic rays = more clouds = cooler. Higher solar winds = lower cosmic rays = fewer clouds = warmer. Again, a solar-induced change that isn't reflected in TSI.

"For one thing since 1950 solar output has dropped."

Nope. TSI - the measurement you like so much - has not dropped in the last 60 years. However, once you take frequency output into consideration, things change. If TSI remains the same, but UV increases, there's a net warming - exactly like what happened in the 1970s-1990s. When you get a drop in UV incoming to the Earth, things get slightly cooler - just like we've seen over the last decade or so.

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James Bond inspires US bill to require smart guns for all

cirby

One option was suggested...

Make this law - but only after the police have successfully used it on 100% of their weapons for at least five years.

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'Liberator': Proof that you CAN'T make a working gun in a 3D printer

cirby

Re: Actually...

So - you assumed that someone who would use a 10mm steel tube would just - what? use a very thin-walled tube, without bothering to get one thick enough?

I'm glad you don't live next to me, either - I'd have to spend all of my time explaining basic engineering to you.

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cirby

Actually...

It's proof that 3D printers, using only plastic components, can't make a good firearm.

The obvious next step is to design a hybrid weapon - one with the majority of the frame and other components made from ABS plastic, but with certain bits made from standard metal components. For example, a 10mm pistol that uses a short 10mm inner diameter steel tube with an ABS frame around it. Use a solid block of steel as the rear of the chamber and drill a small hole for the firing pin - or fire it electrically.

Yes, it will still be smoothbore - but at very short range, that really doesn't matter too much.

For that matter, just make a shotgun. A 16 gauge shotgun round would work pretty well in a 17mm tube, and if you stick with a light load, the pressures and stresses should be manageable - at least for a short time.

You could even go out on a limb and revive the old Gyrojet round...

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Surprise! Republican bill adds politics to science funding

cirby

Adds?

No, it doesn't "add" politics to science funding.

It just changes the political process a bit, so the current people who manipulate the funding process would have to learn a different set of levers to pull. So they're upset.

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Weev gets 41 months in prison for exposing iPad strokers' privates

cirby

Except...

A real "good guy" hacker would find the exploit and demonstrate it - without grabbing all of that data and handing it over to someone else.

Likewise, someone who knew how to pick a lock wouldn't break into the house and rummage through the belongings of the people inside - he'd go to the manufacturer and show them how he did it, or wait and demonstrate the flaw at a conference.

That "companies won't respond" line is pretty much false - it's an excuse given by hackers when they get caught doing something stupid. Usually, it's a lazy but egotistical hacker-wannabe who wants to make the headlines, but doesn't want to bother with actually calling the persons who are responsible for said security flaws. "I contacted the company" usually boils down to "I called their PR department, and they told me it was the wrong number."

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This is out of hand now: Apple attempts to trademark the LEAF

cirby

On the other hand

Not nearly as bad as The Register trying to register "Register."

Oh, wait...

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World's largest miner spooked by climate change

cirby

Clever

Or, on the other hand, they realized they needed to build the jetty to protect against the normal level of hurricanes (since hurricane frequency and strength are _not_ increasing, according to all of the studies), and used the "climate change" excuse to keep the Greenies from protesting the "expansion" of a coal mining facility.

It's a great public relations trick that you'll be seeing more of: decide to build something, tell everyone it's to protect against climate change, and trump all of the upcoming complaints by the environmental fanatics.

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Apple is granted a patent on the rectangle. No, really

cirby

Re: Do... Fucking... WHAT!!!

You do realize that the same sort of process happens all of the time in Europe, too, right?

For that matter, the EU process is worse. Here's the "Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market" website dealing with such things:

http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/RCD/legalReferences/legalReferences.en.do

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cirby

It's called a DESIGN patent for a reason...

When you actually produce a product that has a specific look (that doesn't depend on function), you can get a design patent. That means that someone else can't whip up a quick copy of your product to try and steal sales from you.

Design patents are very specific, with defined measurements, curves, and angles. No, it's not just "rectangular with rounded corners." It's "rectangular with these proportions and corners with a certain radius." No, you can't create a "uPad" with measurements just 0.1 mm off - that's covered, too.

Design patents have been part of the process for a very long time now. They've been in use for over 170 years (the first US design patent was for a font).

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'Natural health' website apparently hacked by sinister forces

cirby

Heh.

If by "DDoS" they meant "too many people hit our hamster-powered webserver at once so it died," and by "hacked" they meant "we don't know how to restart it after it crashed."

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Apple weighs in on AntiSec's alleged FBI hack

cirby

Re: Another way to harvest UDIDs

Yep - that was my first thought. If I were the FBI and Secret Service, I'd set a few honey traps with data entered on that page.

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Hidden Grand Canyon-sized ICE-HOLE hastens Antarctic melt

cirby

Of course...

They sort of forget to mention that while the western Antarctic ice sheet is losing ice, the other 70%+ of the Antarctic is either staying the same or increasing - the net result is that the Antarctic is gaining ice mass.

I wonder why that wasn't mentioned?

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Renewables good for 80 per cent of US demand by 2050

cirby

So...

The people who get their paychecks for pushing renewable energy say that, given enough time and (lots of) money, renewable energy could actually start working.

Some time after the last of them retire.

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Hands on with Star Wars: The Old Republic

cirby

A lot of fun

I played SWTOR this past weekend, and enjoyed it quite a lot.

The combat flowed nicely, the quests were fairly predictable (as were most of the plotlines), but it all came together very well.

The feeling was that it was a coherent universe, with various factions that had actual causes and reactions, not just "oh, yeah, here's a random monster or thing to do." Some of the NPCs had real personalities, like the fairly-awful reporter you run into in one war zone (which was when I wanted the option to "smack her in the head").

A lot of the game won't really "work" until the servers have been up for a couple of weeks. The auction houses were mostly empty because people were too busy leveling and exploring to buy or sell, and most people weren't using the social aspects of the game - it really cries out for active guildmates to play with.

But - this is the important bit - it's Star Wars.

When I created my first character, and The Titles came up (with The Music), telling me about my role in the universe... it was May of 1977, sitting in that theater all over again.

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Facebook 'personal' news feed gets algorithm rejig

cirby

Dear Facebook

...just give us the option to default to reverse chronological order.

Really.

That works, it gives us what we need, and we don't have to second-guess it.

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'Missing heat': Is global warmth vanishing into space?

cirby

The heat's not missing

It was never there in the first place.

Part of the problem with AGW is that the original authors made one huge assumption - that CO2 warming would be multiplied by additional H20 warming (a factor of about three times as much warming). This assumed extra warming was not backed up in any real-world studies, and was only introduced because their model runs didn't come up with enough heat from the CO2-nudged "greenhouse effect."

What these observations really do is finally put the nail in the coffin of that unscientific assumption by the AGW computer modelers.

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Twitter cock-up confession deflates Weiner

cirby

Yeah...

The best part, of course, is watching all of the people who so rabidly defended this guy - they're having to, basically, admit that they were either really gullible or really dishonest.

His press conferences were so bad as to set the standard, and his excuses (along with the really stupid "hacked" claims) were so poor that it was almost embarrassing for the rest of us.

Not embarrassing enough to get people to stop making fun of him, but pretty far up the scale.

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Hundreds of Americans, bystanders injured playing video games

cirby

"tremendously damaging"???

So... 696 injuries. Over five years. In a country of over three hundred million.

Not so "tremendous," I'd say. Literally less than a one in a million chance...

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Wikileaks video shows US gunfire on Reuters staff

cirby

Authentic...

...but incomplete. It sure would be nice to see the bits leading up to the video.

The real lesson here is for Reuters. "Don't send our personnel out with armed insurgents, and if you see one of them carrying an RPG while a US helicopter is in the area, RUN AWAY, YOU FOOL!"

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Santa Fe man demands half a mill for being near iPhone

cirby

I think we need to start a new trend

Whenever someone files a lawsuit like this, the defending side should start out with paperwork to have them committed to a mental institution. At the very least, it would slow down some of the other folks of similar disposition, and at best it could cause some of these loonies to be put where they belong.

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Greenpeace: Apple ain't so brown anymore

cirby

Something to note

For years now, Greenpeace has been comparing Apple's real-world actions with the rest of the industry's "plan to do" press releases, they just finally got around to figuring out that most of the computer makers never got around to doing all of those things...

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Climate change hackers leave breadcrumb trail

cirby

Sites

Fraser:

Climate Audit posted the info right after the CRU folks mentioned it.

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Is this the world's dirtiest PC?

cirby

I've seen worse.

I saw an old IBM PC XT that was used at a livestock auction barn. The entire inside (not just the fan on the power supply) was completely caked with dried cow excrement powder.

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