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* Posts by Tom 13

5673 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Copyright thieves' cyberlockers slurp MILLIONS from honest creators, study finds

Tom 13
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Re: Blah! psuedo evidence for more site blocking

Right conclusion, but the logic is off a bit. Neither the company selling the ad nor the third party vendors necessarily HAS to vet the sites to which they sell. Particularly with resale sites I expect "You have the cash? Have some ads." arrangements which at this time are perfectly legal. But as you correctly observed, that means those companies are profiting from the piracy and therefore are liable under common understandings of the law.

From the way the article is written, I think they're basing it around actual accounts that were seized/compromised from the relevant site type. But again, that means you potentially have a serious selection bias. Assumes the population as a whole reflects sites that were seized as a result of having probable cause. Not acceptable in my opinion.

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Tom 13
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@ Larry F54

Thank-you for saving me much time composing my thoughts on his error.

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China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR

Tom 13
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Re: Peacetime intrusions into defense contractors networks?

It says the vendors' systems were hacked, not the defense networks. Still it is valuable intelligence information.

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Tom 13
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Facepalm

Hmm...

FBI and Department of Defence knew but did not tell the Pentagon of nine separate intrusions of TRANSCOM contractors.

So thirteen years after 9/11 we're back to the same fundamental problem that caused 9/11. Who'da thunk?

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Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills

Tom 13
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Re: "....with no physical connection to the internet..."

I'm sure there are better solutions, but the simplest solution is the one everybody used before Al Gore invented the internet: POTS line to every cash register to process the credit card via modem.

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Tom 13
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Re: There needs to be a fine of something

I have to agree with Elmer, not a fine. The heart of the problem here is that the current form of incorporation protects those who are intentionally making bad decisions from the responsibility of those decisions. If you fine the company, they just jack their prices which only hurts the consumers a second time. Instead, for cases like this were it is obvious that simple precautions could have limited or prevented the breach, each and every person involved in implementing those decisions should be liable for damages to the consumer. And yes, that means from the CEO all the way down to the IT coalface guys like me. Their resources to be exhausted first and only after that do the shareholders start picking up the tab. Even holding the employees accountable first, I think shareholders are still likely to pickup 80% or more of the tab. Also, at some management level responsibility needs to translate to jail time. Definitely for the CEO, CFO, and CIO. Maybe everybody from Program Manager up, maybe it picks up the rung below that.

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Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please

Tom 13
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For all that Murdoch's letter is self serving

there is a center of truth to it that ought to be the undoing of Google.

If they can scan user data, even users who aren't registered on GMail, so well they can precisely place ads targeting only that user's interests, it should be no burden at all for them to remove dodgy links from their search engine. And excessive burden was precisely the reason search engines and ISPs were given the "not an editor" exception on the copyright infringement.

Now you can argue that the law should be changed to make many of those links completely legal, but until such time as that changes, if they are legal, and there is no excessive burden Google should be required to comply with the law.

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Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables

Tom 13
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Re: NSA couldn't possibly have spliced the undersea cables ...

The point of the article is that NSA are really smart people instead of dumb arses like the Greenwald. Really smart people are also usually really lazy people, at least in the sense of they will do the least work required to get the same reward. There are far easier ways to tap the fiber than getting a sub, digging up the cable, and splicing it.

For starters, since it is highly technical work and the NSA has some of the best people doing that work, it would be far easier to put an NSA guy on the crew laying the cable an tap it as it is laid. No messy splicing required.

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Look out, SpaceX! Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin boffins tapped for US rocket launches

Tom 13
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Re: ULA will be the new SpaceX...

I'd like to think it would work that way.

But the truth is that I expect they'll re-write the rules so that ULA remains ULA and SpaceX will always have the deck stacked against them.

On the bright side, if SpaceX keeps winning even with the deck stacked against them, it means we're getting a really good rocket from SpaceX.

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Tom 13
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Re: This is great news

Sorry, I don't see how you get more competition out of "Blue Origin Joins Existing Rocket Cartel". Looks to me like the only competition now is Space X when it could have been Space X and Blue Origin vs the Rocket Cartel.

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What's this 'pay as you go' cloud crap? Dunno about you, but my apps don't work that way

Tom 13
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Re: Is this even controversial?

The IT systems are nothing without the personnel who manage them.

I've done both internal and external support. There is no way a part time external support team will ever know your business as well as a full time internal support team will. Even with a full time external support team, I seriously doubt it is more profitable for the company to pay someone else to run their support. You may find individual applications where you can't match an outside vendor's cost (GMail for instance), but I'd bet there are things it just doesn't do well (GMail for instance).

If you've got a morale problem in IT, it probably has something to do with the way you treat your IT team and not the other way around.

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4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

Tom 13
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Verizon keeps f'ing with my 1.5 Mps Netflix connection

and you think they're not gonna do that for Amazon's 4K video app?

Disclaimer: Only leaving out Comcast because I'm a FIOS customer.

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OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics

Tom 13
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Re: I'm more interested in the creative accounting.....

Interesting. A company doing exactly what the commies want, yet the commies call BS on them.

Amazon really does have a profit that low because they have an established corporate policy of investing anything that would otherwise be profit into expanding their business into new territories. Price of the stock goes up because they generate more revenue and have a larger market share. Not what I'd want as a share holder, but it seems to work for some people.

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Tom 13
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Re: hmm

What short term losses? Here are the numbers for the US under Reagan:

Numbers in US Billions

Year - Fed income/fed total revenue

1980 - 308.7/517.1

1981 - 347.1/599.3

1982 - 347.0/617.8

1983 - 326.0/600.6

1984 - 355.3/666.4

1985 - 359.9/734.0

1986 - 412.1/769.2

1987 - 476.5/854.3

1988 - 495.7/909.2

1989 - 549.0/991.1

source: http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/yearrev1985_0.html (change drop down for each year)

1980 is Carter's last year in office, so those are his revenue numbers. Reagan barely had the tax reform enacted by the end of 1981, yet the preferential treatment of taxes was enough that bringing in even a small portion of that tax sheltered money produced a significant increase in both federal income taxes and total revenues. Keep in mind those cuts that were enacted in 1981 were phased in over 3 years. Revenue continued to grow in spite of the recession caused by the fiscal policy required to reign in inflation.

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Tom 13
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Re: advocate a race to the bottom where

No, a race to sanity and away from Marxist idiots/ideologues.

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Tom 13
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Re: hmm

The more interesting hypocrisy/idiocy is that this proposal is no different than the US demanding MS turn over data from Irish servers about email accounts. Countries are essentially demanding information about things which are not occurring in their territory. In this case there's actually a physical location issue as well, unlike the internet of data where everything is next to everything else.

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Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians

Tom 13
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Re: A bit of history

As for anecdotes, I too have a friend who recently returned from Israel. He shared photos from a recent trip. Many were sort of landscape shots of houses on the terrain. Throughout Israel Arabs and Jews live next store to each other. In the pictures, it was always easy to tell the Jews from the Arabs though they flew no flags. Trailing down the slopes from the Arab houses are trails of garbage. There are no such trails from the Jewish houses. The same sanitation services are available to both because they are municipal services. One chooses to use them, the other does not.

I am firmly convinced that the Jews would choose peace if the Arabs would only let them But the Arabs are only willing to allow the Jews to choose suicide.

There is an Egyptian proverb relayed to me from a friend who visited there. There was a man in a village who wished to sit under a tree in the square, but there were many children playing under the tree who would disturb his respite. So he told some of the children that a nearby town was giving away free ice cream. Those children told their friends and they all left so the man settled under the tree. Half an hour later someone walked up to him and told him they were giving away free ice cream at the same nearby town he used when he lied to the children. Hearing this he said to himself "why am I resting hear under a tree when I could go to that town and get free ice cream."

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Tom 13
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Re: A bit of history

Not a bit of history there. One anecdote and a bunch of unsupported speculation.

I don't speak for the love-god promoting Christians. Theirs is as much a caricature of God as the atheist's sky-god. Anyone foolish enough to think they comprehend God has no idea who He is. At best we comprehend parts of Him and strive to live according to His will. Yes, the New Testament puts more emphasis on the love and forgiveness aspects of God while the Old Testament seems to emphasize the Vengence is Mine aspects of God. However both are manifestations of Him and ignoring either is to deny part of who He is.

The poster to whom I was responding made an absurd assertion based on a caricature. I responded with a fact. Numbers 13, which is clearly both a Christian and Jewish religious text states God ordered the use of spies. Since the question was couched in the assumption God exists, it seems exceedingly relevant to check what that God (at least according to the religious texts associated with that God).

You of course have the right to not believe in this God. But at least have the courtesy to know what believers in Him believe instead of making up lies about what they believe.

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Tom 13
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Re: I think the story here is

You might try Numbers 13. You know, the bit in the Bible where the Jews first kicked out the Palestinians because God promised them that land. They numbered 12, one from each tribe.

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Tom 13
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Re: he's a total arse, who poisoned any remaining hope

The total arse who poisoned the Oslo peace process was not a Jew. He was a Palestinian. His name was Yasser Arafat. He was handed the two state solution as he proposed it with one small exception: The PLO was required to change its charter to admit Israel had the right to exist. Yasser Arafat rejected that deal.

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Tom 13
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Re: The aim should be to end the rockets.

Rockets, like guns, have never killed anyone. It always the PERSON wielding the weapon who does the killing. But I'd never expect a progressive/liberal/commie like yourself to open yourself to new ideas.

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Tom 13
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Re: Nor did the IRA.

Much as I loathe them, the IRA was never an existential threat to the entire UK. Hamas is just such a threat to Israel.

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Massachusetts shoots down car dealers' Tesla-busting sueball

Tom 13
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Re: Sounds like a good decision.

Grinding an axe on a fully charged car battery?

That sounds dangerous.

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As bankruptcy looms for RadioShack, we ask its chief financial officer... oh. He's quit

Tom 13
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Happy

Re: So much for the life time warranty

If those vacuum tubes are still working, I doubt you'd ever have cause to collect on that lifetime warranty anyway.

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Tom 13
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Re: Those companies like Apple

Much as I dislike Apple, the truth of the matter is, all those trillions squirreled away offshore are peanuts compared to the federal debt. Fix the problem with government taxing and controlling too much, and the rest of the problems will subside.

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Tom 13
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Re: weren't maintained in any semblance of order.

I never grokked that end of electronics so I haven't experienced that. But even from my perspective, when I was a kid and you went to Radio Shack for something, the sales guy knew what you wanted, (even if you thought it was something else), knew where it was, and could give you advice on installing/using it if you needed help. Somewhere along the line the bean counters replaced those guys with minimum wage merch shifters who can't help you with anything. Not only does that annoy customers directly, it probably accounts for the mess in the bins.

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It's a pain in the ASCII, so what can be done to make patching easier?

Tom 13
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Re: occasion you get to test that startup scripts

Sorry, not buying that one either. We're talking Windows specifically here, not Linux and on a home PC.

And if it IS a work server instead of the home PC, you OUGHT to be double checking those start up scripts and testing them regularly so the company's cash flow isn't at risk if you get one as a result of some other issue. Because, we'll I've been the technician trying to rapidly answer the phones and calm the frantic users when some damn fool on the network side trusted the contractor who came in to configure the array had properly written out the final configuration to the BIOS and he hadn't. Nope, nobody had a hardcopy of the configuration either. Yep, they went to restore from backup. Unfortunately it was also the first day the regular backup guy was back from his two week vacation. And guess what? Yep, that's right, the backup for the regular backup guy missed some critically important error messages in the backup agents. Yeah, the ones that said the job hadn't finished. So 350 people at the company lost two weeks worth of work.

We repeated the exercise a few months later when two drives in the array failed at the same time because of excessive heat in the server room. Thankfully that time they had both updated the BIOS and kept a hard copy of the information, plus the backups were current. It still was not a pleasant experience coming so close to the prior failure.

I am SO glad I don't work for that outfit any more.

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Tom 13
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Re: Volunteers?

OK, so their employers volunteered them for the job. Whether you're talking about the start of Linux way back in the mesolithic age or right this instant, Linus isn't paying people to develop the OS so they are volunteers one way or another.

But the primary point still stands: the OS inherently provides an easy to use upgrade path. Oracle are CHOOSING not to enable the easy upgrade path on their commercial software. So the fault for Oracle software not being easy to update on Linux as compared to Windows is not the fault of Linux but Oracle.

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Tom 13
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Re: Windows.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5842

After that, yes you have to use Updates. But it isn't the nightmare it use to be in XP. Shouldn't be more than two passes before you're done with the consumer OS updates.

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Tom 13
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Re: I shutdown every evening... and don't use hibernate.

Me too. Odd thing is, if you ever saw the inside of my house, you'd swear I couldn't keep a clean desktop. But then my first real job was as a DTP specialist. Files all over the place and so many they didn't fit on the network without compressing the hell out of them. So I had to be organized on the computer just to work. The habits mostly stuck after that. Except for GMail, which encourages you not to file things away.

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Tom 13
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Re: Windows.

I've run Vista and Windows 7 for the last several years. If it is taking you more than an hour to patch, you have no clue what you are doing. Yes, if you built an XP image after they'd released SP3 and allowed all of the patches to download from update.windows it was going to take a bloody long time. But then, nobody competent ever updated from XP through to current patches from update.windows. You ALWAYS had an SP3 disk and ran that before connecting to the update server. Same thing for the Office SPs if you were dependent on them.

I bitch as much about Windows as the next guy. But I don't make stuff up about its problems, or blame my incompetence on Microsoft.

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Tom 13
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Re: Built for speed, not comfort

While my gut agrees completely with your sentiment, my head says it doesn't work that way. There will always be bugs in the software. The question is more how much needs to be allocated in resources for the benefit derived from finding the bug.

Back when I were a wee lad and HP was actually a decent engineering company I had the good fortune to be working at a company they had partnered with to develop some software. Being a good engineering firm they had a formula for predicting bug discoveries. If you really were working on patching/fixing your code as opposed to adding new features/bling, discovery asymptotically approaches zero. In the initial stages you find bugs easily and fix them quickly. the further along you get the longer they take to discover. I don't recall if they also got increasingly harder to fix. At some point you don't expect to find another bug even if you throw another 30 man months at testing. What they did was categorize how critical the bugs were, and when they didn't expect to find more bugs above a certain level within the next 30 days, they called the software good and shipped it.

The problem in the current environment is that companies aren't even doing that level of testing any more. They seem to be driven entirely by the marketing schedule, not the engineering reports. I do think your proposal is a good starting point to address that problem. Just don't expect it to eliminate all bugs.

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Re: I will put up with the occasional reboot

I have to agree with that. Not rebooting for more than 4 months on your home PC isn't lazy, it's obstinate. Granted my home PC is not fully protected, but that's not for failure to reboot. In fact, my home PC gets shutdown every time I log off.

Last time I looked it was reporting 6 vulnerabilities: 1 for a patch it was busily installing and 5 for EOL programs. At the moment, I doubt any of those EOL programs will be updated in the near future. I simply don't have the available cash flow to do so.

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Tom 13
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Re: Try, for example, patching Oracle

Not a Linux user, but it seems even to me that you're bitching at the wrong party. If the volunteers working on the kernel (you know, the DIFFICULT part of building the OS) can build a system that seamlessly updates the system, Oracle ought to be able to follow the model. Particularly as the DNA is already in the system.

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Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport

Tom 13
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Black Helicopters

Re: Why no tracking device?

No, no. You still don't get it. All the screw ups are run by the conspiracy rings. That way they fool people like you into thinking the government is so incompetent they could never run a successful conspiracy.

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Tom 13
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Re: Do you check all the pockets

If you're a 'Merkin you do. Because that's part of the questions they ask you at security when you pass through:

"Did you pack your bag? Has anyone else handled the bag since you packed it?"

The implication being that you and only you have put things into the bag.

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Tom 13
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Re: WTF???

Depends on how the explosives were put in and where she was headed. If she had a one day/night layover before another flight, yes it could happen.

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Tom 13
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Re: Only an apology?

The explosives aren't the only bit that need to be stable. Even old fashioned TNT is more stable than some of the plods who are responsible for stopping the bad guys who use the stuff. Granted, it is Australia, so odds for stable go up some, but not enough for my liking.

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US! govt! ordered! Yahoo! to! hand! over! user! data! or! pay! $250k! fine! PER! DAY!

Tom 13
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I think I found your problem

If the original order is found to be unconstitutional - which I think we're all largely agreed that it will be...

If you really feel that way, you haven't thought this through at all. If it was that simple, and that obvious SCOTUS wouldn't continuously denied standing to challenge the court. They grant standing and issue the order. That they continue to allow the FISA courts to work as they are without granting cert is the surest sign they'd probably rule the other way. Once the ruling was made, it would not be revocable. By continuing to funnel it through the FISA courts, if the legislatures ever do away with the FISA courts, the problem goes away.

I'm not saying that's the way it OUGHT to be, but if SCOTUS were ruling according to the way things OUGHT to be instead of according to the whims of one or two men on the court who are regularly referred to as the "swing votes" instead of the more accurate "roulette wheel" 0bamacare would have been ruled unconstitutional at all levels without even much of a trial and a nice old lady in New London, CT would still own her home instead of it being a field of grass.

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Tom 13
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@ratfox

Yes, it it weren't so depressing it would be amusing that people expect corporations to behave better than they would in the same circumstances.

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Sun's MASSIVE solar storm belch to light up Earth's skies

Tom 13
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Re: Dear Americans,

Thank-you for expressing your concern.

We'll start making sure all news intended for locals is written with a European slant right after El Reg starts using "color" instead of "colour" when a Brit is writing the article.

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Tom 13
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Re: differences in measurements

If you don't follow it closely, measurements in Astronomy can seem bizarrely disparate. If you know the right place to look it up, you can easily find an AU measured down to hundredths of a centimeter. There might even be some updated papers that have it out to 9 sigmas by now. On the other hand, when you measure the distance to another galaxy, being of by a couple billion light years is frequently no big deal. Inside the solar system I'd expect everything to be measured to better than 1 magnitude of difference.

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Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it

Tom 13
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Re: I don't geddit.

DCMAs would probably be treated the same way. Once the DCMA is submitted the site is obligated not to allow it to be reposted. The fact that the site can close sub-sites means they do have editorial control, so they'd be obliged to comply.

If they were getting as many FBI and DCMAs as they claim, plus the traffic issues, I expect most of the confusion is simply on the part of the admins trying to post the messages explaining the policy, probably as a result of sleep deprivation.

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Tom 13
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Re: Hopefully Ms Maroney has been arrested

Haven't gone looking for the pics, so I can't comment on them specifically. They word there is "sexualized" or more commonly prurient intent. So for example a nude photo in and of itself would not qualify. A nude photo with a foam finger might not qualify. But a nude photo with a foam finger simulating masturbation would. Even at that if it was a nude photo with a foam finger simulating masturbation it might not qualify if it was in the context of a film about child prostitution that wasn't extolling child prostitution.

I think I'll stop now before my head start really spinning.

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Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge

Tom 13
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Re: Sending the wrong message?

Difficult to say.

The first problem is that a lot of these people think they're smarter than the system and will never be caught. Unfortunately, too many of them are and therefore aren't.

Second problem, unless RICO is invoked, the accumulation of money makes the conviction less likely. If they are the hyper rational sort, that can negate the guarantee.

Third problem, we have at this time a breed of relativists in the system who seem to think a fair justice system is one in which a perp has at least a 50-50 chance of being found not guilty regardless of the facts surrounding the accusation.

The combination of all these things has been having a more and more adverse affect on what use to be called our justice system.

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SHIP OF FAIL: How do we right capsized institutions we thought would NEVER go under?

Tom 13
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Re: surprised that we still don't have any reliable model of the economy

If you don't understand why we will never have a reliable model of the economy you should be nowhere near any important influence on it.

Although it does appear that like a blind squirrel you have at least found one nut with your conclusion.

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Tom 13
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Re: a (semi)modest proposal

Not a chance in hell. Government controlled schools are the cause of the problem not its solution. Private schools are the ones that got us through industrialization and produced our greatest thinkers. At this point, government has so much money polluting the system even so called private universities are under its thrall.

If it weren't so insidious, I'd find you're willingness to impose your morality on others while claiming no one else should impose theirs on you amusing.

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Tom 13
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Re: The final conclusion

No it isn't. All of the catastrophes noted have a common element of governmental interference. Government by definition is not individuals doing what they think is best, but a committee of some small number of people (let's face it, even 537 people is small compared to the US [includes House, Senate, President, and non-voting congressional delegates.]) dictating how everyone else would behave. I hate to say it, but the reality is that somewhere in the NASA chain of command, somebody was saying "Do you think POTUS wants to hear we have to scrub the mission because it's too cold?" The answer of course should have been 'yes', but that is never the way it works out. Would Challenger have been delayed if Ronald Reagan wasn't planning to talk to Christie while she was in space? Probably. They delayed other missions for less. I know Reagan would have preferred a delay to what happened after the fact. I think he would have preferred it before the fact. But that's part of the problem: the people making the calls don't see all the possible outcomes.

When I sit on committees people don't like it because I'm not just the guy who thinks the glass is half empty, I'm the guy who asks if the glass contains strychnine. But there are times when that level of disaster planning is appropriate.

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Tom 13
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Re: Actually, no.

I agree with all of them except the last example. I'm not so sure the current situation isn't exactly like the Great Depression. There are two main differences. 1. We changed the way we measure things, so the numbers don't look as bad as they really are. 2. Admitting things are really as bad as they are would put the final kabosh on the continuing rush to the socialist "utopia" our political and chattering classes adore.

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Tom 13
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Re: It's the money, stupid!

That's merely the last instantiation of the problem. The root cause of the problem is the lack of a common moral framework for society. Until you address that issue you are only prescribing aspirin for brain cancer.

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