* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2617 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

A £30,000, 295bhp 4G MODEM?!? Must be the Audi S3 Quattro, then

Intractable Potsherd
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The new Fiesta is at least as bad. Now that even small cars are so wide, I cannot understand why steering-wheel offset is necessary (unless the manufacturers are just being arsy because they ave to produce RHD cars) ...

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: How about a voice alert to remind Audi drivers-

If people used their indicators reliably, I wouldn't need to come to halt at Give Ways so often. Up here in around Dundee it seems to be some sort of local tradition not to use any exterior indication of anything - not indicators, no lights in bad visibility, no appropriate road positioning - nothing. It is quite simply not safe to pull out if you can see a car until the driver has committed itself to the manoeuvre (and even then there is a 10% chance it will change its mind after beginning it).

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Permanent 4 wheel drive

Like other commenters, I'm a died in the wool 4WD driver. With the exception of a Sierra for 10 months and a Citroen Xantia for a year (surprisingly good!), the main car has powered all four wheels since 1990 or so (my current car, a 17 year-old Legacy, has been with me for about eight years now). As an impecunious rally fan, my first 4WD was a five-year-old 1986 Audi 90 quattro, and yes, it seemed boring at first. I nearly got rid after a few months because the Volvo 240 GLE I'd had before was more exciting! However, once I realised that it's forte was driving rapidly but predictably, I started to love it. Since then, Land Rover products and the aforementioned Subaru have made up the bulk of my day-to-day driving, but I tend to keep a 2WD around for competing and having fun - the Legacy is a poor autotesting choice, though funny for the spectators!

The Subaru is about on its last legs, and with fuel prices as they are it is expensive to run. Whatever replaces it will be a diesel, and I might forego 4WD for decent traction-control, though an Octavia diesel 4WD at the right price would probably make me quite happy.

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The LSD trick cyclist, the 1980s pop-star and video games to REPROGRAM YOUR BRAIN

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

It is my strong opinion that "growing up" is carried entirely on the X-chromosome. There is an extremely weakened tendency to anyone with only one X-chromosome, but pressure from two-X people can make one-X people act as if they have some characteristics of having grown up. That is why most techie people are men - they perpetually inhabit a world of not-grown-up, and so can see further.

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Scientists to IPCC: YES, solar quiet spells like the one now looming CAN mean ICE AGES

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Eddy Minimum here we goes.

For a fascinating imagining of the USA as the ice rolls down the country, have a read of "Fallen Angels" by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Muppets

"The level and extent of the bad, well that's something very hard to quantify."

What is classed as a poison is also very important. If the argument had been pitched in terms of real pollutants (lead, excess nitrates, particulates etc), and efficient use of resources* I would have been behind the IPCC all the way. Putting the focus on CO2 menas that I am totally against them - the whole thing just seems to be about developed countries to shore up less-developed (but without giving the less-developed a way to catch up, because of stupid restrictions on energy production).

*I'm just looking for a new house. One of the key criteria is that it will be able to have at least 4kW PV plus solar thermal, muti-fuel stove, and probably a ground-source heat-pump. It will also be insulated to the fullest (seriously looking at aerogel). I'm doing that because it is sensible and efficient, and it makes me less vulnerable to the lack of vision regarding power generation capacity. However, if anyone calls me a Green I'll get very upset.

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Curiosity keeps on trucking despite government shutdown

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Those Republicans...

If they don't, they certainly do a damn good impression of it.

Fancy bringing a country to its knees because of an opposition to better health care for all. The bastards should be hanged for crimes against the citizenry.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 region-locking saga CLEAR AS MUD

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Thanks El Reg

It is annoying indeed: I have a long memory, and don't forgive companies for shitty acts easily. This means that, when it comes to new kit, I won't have a Sony (the rootkit still sits very uneasily with me), nor an Apple (walled garden). Nokia sold out to Microsoft. Blackberry won't exist in a year's time at the rate they are going. Now Samsung is out unless they correct this *very* quickly. It looks as if Jolla are launching into a nice open market ...

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French data cops to Google: RIGHT, you had your chance. PUNISHMENT time

Intractable Potsherd
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Because France have more respect for the rule of law and human rights than the USA.

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BOOGIE BALLMER: Steve Dirty Dances at tearful Microsoft leaving do

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: wow

None of them do for the CEO ...

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: "We love you, Steve!"

How the hell did they get that number of employees to go? Were they paid?

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Google's boffins branded 'unacceptably ineffective' at tackling web piracy

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Oranges are not the only fruit

"... what if a bunch of people donated some CPU time to a crowdsourced search engine with a distributed database[?]"

I like this idea - when can we start?!

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'Bet Lynch' types BANNED from zoo for upsetting not-so-wildlife

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Colourblind

But Daktari drove a zebra-striped LandRover without confusing the animals!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daktari for those too young to know, or from other countries that might not have had the series.

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Boffins have constructed a new LIGHT SABRE. Their skills are complete

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: "wholly out of light"

"... the Star Wars pre-pre-pre-prequels ..."

Don't even joke about such things!!

I'll have nightmares for weeks now ...

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Intractable Potsherd
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Only a fool brings a lightsabre to a blaster fight ...

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MPs slam bumpkin fibre rollout, demand halt to further £250m cash spaff

Intractable Potsherd
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@uknome

I moved to Dundee, Scotland's fourth largest city. Guess how many fibre-enabled exchanges there are here?

For the answer, have a look at http://fttc.eclipse.net.uk/, zoom in on Dundee, and then make sure you tick all the little boxes at the top left of the page. Were you right?

Fuck BT and their rollout - the bastards should be fined for failing to deliver on the contract.

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Thorium and inefficient solar power? That's good enough for me

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Methane production? @ Phil

Assuming that carbon dioxide is the menace we are constantly harangued about, of course ...

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Slightly fruity comparison

If all that banana consumption took place in a half-acre block, radiation would be a minor problem compared to the bowel-gasses!

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Travel much? DON'T buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: This is a hoax, right? @ Mark .

just had a look at that site. It doesn't say what you think it says. In fact, the statements issued are so badly worded they are almost meaningless, but the gist is that they are region locked, though (I think) the region lock is disabled once a SIM from an EEA country is registered to the phone. It also seems to say that the region lock can be removed at a Samsung approved centre ...

The important bit is that the new phones *are* region locked by Samsung's own admission. Anyone want to buy a new phone that needs a custom ROM out of the box? I doubt I do ...

How long until the press release saying this was all a misunderstanding?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Note to self... @ Mr Monsters

... and my answer will be "Give me a copy of the manual *before* I buy, or no sale."

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Apple Maps directs drivers INTO path of ONCOMING PLANES

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: The only thing a mechanic can't fix

I know of a military airbase with operational supersonic fighters where you can drive onto the runway. It isn't in Britain, but it is in the EU. I'm not going to say where, but they fly Swedish-made jets ...

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Report says PRISM snooped on India's space, nuclear programs

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Another brick in the wall @ Dazed and Confused

"Everyone spies on their friends."

I don't, and if I found a "friend" spying on me, they would no longer be my friend.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Another brick in the wall. @ tom dial

"... the USNSA and its Five Eyes associates and others are agencies within their respective countries' defense establishment and are concerned with a much wider range of activities than terrorism."

And yet, they are dragging in millions, if not billions, of interactions between people of no interest every day. This is the basis of dissatisfaction that many of us have - this whole thing is sold as "it is keeping you safe from terrorism". Well, it isn't, and the risk is less than trivial anyway. Governments should not be allowed to get away with the argument that, because intelligence-gathering is *sometimes* necessary, it is therefore *always* necessary. There needs to be a reasoned debate about where the balance lies between appropriate and inappropriate intelligence gathering. Governments spying on each other, whilst dirty, is necessary. Governments spying on ordinary citizens is not necessary. Governments spying on private companies, or criminal organisations ... the balance is in that territory, somewhere.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Spying on India you say

This is where this whole issue becomes very important. There are some things that any sensible country will try to keep secret, and which any other sensible country will try to find out. India, at least because of its rather fractious neighbour, will try to keep a lot of its actions secret, whilst any other country will want to know what India is capable of doing with its nukes and space-capable tech.

This is sensible, and appropriate, use of intelligence gathering, and it would be remiss of (at least) the other nuclear-capable nations that might get dragged in to an escalating conflict not to do it. However, it throws the Belgacom spying issue into sharp relief, since any perceived risk is trivial. This is the importance of Snowden's leaks - that the intelligence agencies are overstepping the bounds of reasonableness.

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Can't fit slab AND mobe in your tight pockets? 10 tablets with built-in 3G/4G

Intractable Potsherd
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Physical buttons

What is the problem with hardware buttons on the Note? I am a great fan of proper switches, and don't understand the case for not having them.

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How I hacked SIM cards with a single text - and the networks DON'T CARE

Intractable Potsherd
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"... an industry that wants to ... silently roll out software updates to handsets ..."

And there is the key to the problem. There should never be "silent updates" to anything, unless the user is stupid enough to select it of their own free will. The default should be "notify and ask", not "do whatever you want".

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Latest Snowden reveal: It was GCHQ that hacked Belgian telco giant

Intractable Potsherd
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Unhappy

Re: With friends like this you don't need enemies @Potemkine

That is a worryingly accurate statement. I'm a big supporter of the EU, and had not considered the risk the UK presents to it. I might need to start persuading my wife it is time for us to move to her native (EU-member) land, and then support the loons that think the UK will be better off out of the EU ...

I wish I was being sarcastic, but I'm not.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: "trouble spots such as Yemen and Syria" @Fibbles

Salad cream on chips - oh, yes!! Mayonnaise is too bland - the vinegar is necessary.

Hmmmmmm - chip buttie with salad cream for lunch, methinks ....

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Why would Belgacom not play ball?

I actually agree with Matt's original post (yep, that's my upvote there!), since his questions "Why didn't Belgacom play ball, and what has the Belgian government done about that?" are actually valid.

Matt is a difficult poster sometimes, but credit where credit is due - he does make some good points. However, do have some trouble with the mods blocking Eadon's account when he was far less rude than Matt, and one or two others. I'm really not advocating that anyone's account should be blocked, just that there was a lack of even-handedness there.

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IT bloke denies trying to shag sheep outside football ground

Intractable Potsherd
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Two pages of comments ...

... and Matt Bryant hasn't made a "sheeple" comment!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Do you know which IT firm Lovell works for? Email me and spill the beans. ® @ Khaptain

Ewelet Pack-hard, shurely.

Since I don't know the area of Borisstan in question, can anyone tell me what the likelihood is of coming across finding sheep on the street? Maybe the brown suited, turquoise jumpered accused is the victim here ...

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Ex-CEO Elop's plunder to total $25m in voyage from Nokia to Microsoft

Intractable Potsherd
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There's much more to Nokia than phones. Haven't got time to look for links, but there have been several posts on these forums, and a quick search will find it on the wider internet.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: It's always

Off topic, but how *do* pirates make out? Does Roger the Cabin Boy feature?

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MPs: This paperless health service plan isn't worth the paper it isn't written on

Intractable Potsherd
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"Copies are available for the rare occasions where that's necessary (you get a CD or DVD which you take to the other hospital)."

This is an excellent idea that needs to be explored more. Allow the data subject to control their own data! The costs are small, compliance issues are minimised, and people actually control their own data and who has access and when!!

Of course, that is why it will never be considered ...

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One year to go: Can Scotland really declare gov IT independence?

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: John 110 Lot of interesting comments there @ Matt

"... unless Salmond tries the silliness of nationalisation ..."

Weeelllllllll, there you have hit on one of the things that puts Scottish independence into the "quite a good idea" category. Some things *should* be out of the market, or at least out of the hands of unaccountable bodies in foreign countries. Power generation is one of them, and having a government that isn't bound by ideology or treaty not to nationalise, or which will "bring the power home" some other way is extremely attractive to me.

Out of interest, why are some people who are not in Scotland, and who, by their own argument, stand to be better off because of all the "leeching" done by the Scots, get so upset by this?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: The assumption here @ Jonathan Richards 1

Good points, but how many DP Compliance wonks think twice about sending data to the USA?

Safe haven agreements are easy to draft and comply with, so I don't see the major problem.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: They don't want independance

"... it depends how you count the North Sea oil revenue."

This is a vital point. However, possibly worth more over time is whether, when, and under what restrictions Scotland can become a member of the EU. The subsidies to paid to small, largely agricultural country will be significant. However, it might be cheaper to stay out, not get embroiled with the Euro whilst avoiding extra level of EU-facing bureaucracy dealing with ever-changing EU standards. Become a member of the Council of Europe to ensure Human Rights protection, by all means, but think very hard about the EU.

In fact, that should probably be a second question on the referendum paper ...

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Paypal not sure if its bargepole is long enough for crowdfunding

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Very strange

I'm definitely with Franklin on this one. Crowdfunding is an excellent way to break the chain of the incumbent risk-averse, conservative funders. An example: one of the blog writers I follow recently did a Kickstarter project to record one professional quality (studio, producer etc) album of "instrumental rock", some of which. He is clearly a man with a life who does not want to be a professional musician, and his music would not appeal to [m]any of the record labels, big or small. He asked for about $9500 initially, and was extremely grateful when it got close to the target. To cut a long story short, he had to keep inventing new extras, because the appeal topped out at $140000 (www.kickstarter.com/projects/168734274/permanence-the-new-album-by-deathmle).

Just like share ownership - yes, there is a risk, but if you have put so much into it that you risk hurt then you are an idiot.

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Intractable Potsherd
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As I've always said with investments - if it will hurt if you lose it, you put too much in. Crowdsourcing to me is a nice idea whose time has come. The projects aren't big enough to attract the hugely risk-averse big-money vultures, and there is a real indicator for the producer of whatever the project is as to whether it has any chance at all of success.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Why Pay Pal... ? @piloti

"I still don't see how PP helps me, the /buyer/..."

My take on it is that it reduces the attack surface on my accounts. I am not passing on the details of my cards to every entity I buy/book online with. Many small businesses do not have a nice secure payment option. For instance, if I had a choice of two bed and breakfasts equal in all other ways, I'd go for the one with a Paypal option because I'm not giving my card details to them - often over the phone when I don't know who might be listening - or in a plain-text email ...

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First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: How witty @Hollerith

I think you may have missed the point of the joke. It refers not to the first picture in the article, but the second.

In addition, Ms Margolys has shown total acceptance of, and comfort with, her body in interviews I have seen in the last twelve months.

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Brazilian TV show accuses NSA of spying on oil firm based on leaked docs

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Employment opportunites ? @Don Jefe

Brilliant post! Thank you for making a serious point with great humour!

Just the other day (whilst avoiding actually being bored to death by "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" by retreating into my interior world), I decided that, if I ever had to make a choice, I'd be an assassin rather than a spy. Spying is far dirtier than killing people for money ...

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For PITY'S SAKE, DON'T BUY an iPHONE 5S, begs FSF

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: bad taste

Whilst accepting the point that Stallman didn't say he is glad Jobs is dead, I'm going to put a point the other way. If you really didn't like someone when they were alive, it is absolute hypocrisy to play the "... but s/he wasn't so bad really ..." game after s/he is dead. This whole "don't speak badly of the dead" is such a stupid superstition that I can't understand how it is perpetrated by intelligent people. I didn't know Jobs or his work enough to be either pleased or disappointed about his death, but there is a certain late female Prime Minister of the UK who I'm never going to stop telling the truth, as I see it, about merely because she is dead.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Blah blah blah

I'm in the middle on this one. JDX and Steve Todd are correct in saying that a proper fingerprint reader doesn't store an image of the actual fingerprint. It takes certain specific points and uses them as the basis for a hash (equivalent to a really complex password). The worry that people have about having to get new fingers if the reader is compromised is silly - delete the old file, re-enrol the finger(s), and all is back to good, just like setting a new password. In addition, it makes no more obvious sense that the iPhone sends its fingerprint data anywhere in "the cloud" than does my Lenovo X61, or anything with a password entered the old way.

However, given the recent confirmation of what bastards the security agencies and various companies, especially the USA-ican ones, are regarding personal data, the very specific comment about where things aren't sent raises flags. It is hard to trust anyone at the moment, especially those with past form for being secretive - which defines Apple to the core (pun intended).

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David Attenborough warns that humans have stopped evolving

Intractable Potsherd
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@AC 00:49

"This is what annoys me about all the people who object to genetic medicine based on such arguments as "we are messing with nature". We messed with nature when we introduced the medical breakthroughs which allowed people with genetic disorders to grow old enough to breed."

It goes back further than that - we "messed with nature" as soon as we learned how to use fire and cook food. It is what H. sapiens does very well, this "messing with nature. In fact, you could say it is our nature to mess with with nature.

I spend a lot of time with a different hat on asking people what they mean when they talk about nature/natural. Many of them on the eco-nutter side manage to show that they consider humans to be "unnatural" ...

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400 million Chinese people can't speak Chinese: Official

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: No wonder

All the Slavic languages (Czech, Polish, Russian, etc) have the same ability to change words based on who, how, when, and sometimes where relative to the speaker, listener, and subject of the sentence. It is designed to confuse - in fact, one of my Czech language books says that the Czech language is one of the greatest weapons the country has! It isn't so much a language as a framework to add endings to ...

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NSA slides reveal: iPhone users are all ZOMBIES

Intractable Potsherd
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Black Helicopters

Re: The bottom line *so* far.

.... and now I've genuinely got black(-ish) helicopters overhead! Apaches, to be precise. I apologise, Matt - maybe you do have information the rest of us don't!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: The bottom line *so* far.

"Trust me, the vast majority of you are of no interest to anyone."

You keep saying that, Matt, but how do *you* know what interests the NSA or other agencies? How do you know what will interest them tomorrow?

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Smartwatch news: Sleek-but-vaporous timepiece promised by... NISSAN?

Intractable Potsherd
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Synergy

A grotesquely ugly gadget to go with a grotesquely ugly car.

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Apple spanked by judge in price-fixing injunction – but not too hard

Intractable Potsherd
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Strange judgment

I hate to question the decision of any judge, but this judgment looks less than impartial. Time limits, requirements to report internally "without reprisal"? Very odd.

Time for someone to remember the old maxim - "Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done".

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