* Posts by Charles 9

6613 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Ad-blocker blocking websites face legal peril at hands of privacy bods

Charles 9
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Re: Hrrrmm.. this feels like a stretch....

You could always do what I used to do in the 90's and code your website for the lowest common multiple. Simply assume everyone that goes to your site is visiting it on a dialup connection (14.4kbps), on a 256-color display at 512x384 (don't laugh--early color Macs and the Color Classic were this resolution) and only 4MB of total memory (forget about graphics memory).

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Charles 9
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Re: Serverside

No, the reason for the "laziness" is because this way the ad people are the ones that rotate the ads rather than the site owner. They can just ping each other to see if an ad got served or not. You don't like it? Like with television, just turn it off. But if the site has exclusive content, you're left with a take-it-or-leave-it scenario.

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Charles 9
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"If they believe that ads are the only way they're going to make money... then perhaps they should start charging a subscription fee."

Ever thought the ad revenues will be greater than ANY subscription fee will ever bring in?

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Charles 9
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Re: @FF22

"Another question on your logic, if the anti-adblock program doesn't infiltrate the clients memory space how can it possibly know what information was displayed on a client browser?"

The server would know on its own end just what parts of the web page got requested (it's basically how the protocol works). If the server is designed to make every page served unique, it can distinguish just which users are blocking ads just by noting which ads are being called up (if the ads are a third party, it and the third party can check with each other without involving the user).

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Charles 9
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Re: @FF22

"Kudos to webmasters who use, or used, static ads, vetted and safe ads, non-intrusive ads. Perhaps the large ad companies will follow suit. Or become irrelevant and die. Either one is a win."

No, the ones using unobtrusive ads will just wither on the vine because no one pays attention to them. The reason ads are more obnoxious is because, as you note, it's the only way to get their attention. It's been that way for decades. Even E. E. Smith noted this, way back in the onset of World War II. People get numb to ads, so the ads have to be more attention-getting. Eventually, there will reach a breaking point. Either customers succumb to the ads or the medium itself is abandoned. Thing is, the advertisers are wise to new media and will be waiting for you wherever you go. Think mobile ads, which are frequently of the take-it-or-don't-use-the-app kind now (and with root detection increasing, escapes are shrinking).

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What the world needs now is... not disk drives

Charles 9
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The prices are ONLY falling fast in the small capacities. The larger ones (especially at the multi-TB levels you mention) carry a price premium ratio of around 5:1 or more, and there's no analogue to them at the consumer end.

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Charles 9
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Re: Nah!...

By what do you mean by "fixed"? And what codecs? H.264 is a well-documented and mature codec with plenty of reliable implementations out there. H.265 is on its way as well but is still a bit young for most specs.

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Charles 9
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And at the same time you have people who swap in SSDs only to come back a short time later due to catastrophic controller failures, so at best the situation is rather inconsistent.

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Charles 9
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Re: Look for Rising Prices

Thatt'll depend. If the inventory shrink only occurs at lower capacities, which makes sense, then while prices may go up, so will capacity (that's the one place rust still dominates--bulk storage fields where capacity trumps performance). Meanwhile, demand for nonmechanical storage is rising and pressuring price drops. Have you seen how cheap flash sticks are these days (yes, I know, relatively bad example here, but it shows the trend).

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Will Comcast's set-box killer murder your data caps? The truth revealed

Charles 9
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Re: Is it just me

Actually, ATSC IS compressed, and depending on the channel, pretty badly, too.

Remember, ATSC only uses MPEG-2, pretty old technology when we have H.265 now. Because of this and a 19Mbit/sec allotment limit, it's limited to 1080i60/30 or maybe 1080p24 if a film's on. Plus, only the local stations are in reach. Some are lucky to be able to pick up one or two. I can't get any due to range. Plus the channels can be multiplexed, further crimping the available bandwidth.

At least with the box I can connect it to my HD PVR and do pretty much the same thing as you, only with the complete cable lineup, including most of the on-demand stuff.

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Charles 9
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Re: One word.

"It is not that Comcast do this. It's a good thing to do in certain situations. It is that it has a monopoly."

What about Verizon and FiOS and AT&T with uVerse? Don't they compete with Comcast in various areas?

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The web is DOOM'd: Average page now as big as id's DOS classic

Charles 9
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Re: Since we're comparing websites with antique game code size...

But then again, DOOM wasn't really a 3D engine, just a 2D engine that happened to tack on Z coordinates to everything. For example, I don't think it was until Rise of the Triad that things could actually exist OVER other things. And then there were the graphics limitations. How big was a DOOM texture again? 64x64? And the enemies were sprites, not models (no real improvement on that until Quake IIRC). So while DOOM and other games using the engine like Heretic and Hexen were great for their time, we also gotta realize that technology marches on.

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Charles 9
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Re: : Amazon

"Yet it wouldn't be that hard to make the normal site into an Accessible one, they would just have to start LABELING their screen elements & lose the auto-trigger-on-first-reached-entry drop down menus"

That's EXACTLY why they DON'T label them, so no one can act as a go-between and create a slim interrface. It's either use Amazon or Walk on the Sun.

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Charles 9
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Re: Lazy Devs

"It usually stops when I propose to put the Marketing drone on point for emergencies,"

What would've happened, though, if one on the marketing team suddenly went, "I'll do it! Sign me up! Now can we get our stuff on your site NOW?!"

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Charles 9
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Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

Technically, W should be double V (and in some languages like Spanish they DO say that--as in "doble ve") As for why not double n, probably because M comes BEFORE N in the alphabet AND a capital M looks nothing like two capital N's side by side unlike with W which DOES look like 2 V's.

PS. Why DOES English say double U instead of double V? Is it because of cursive script where it IS a double U?

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Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

Charles 9
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Re: OK, I'm inclined to think it's just stupid, not evil

Petrol, not diesel. Diesel actually doesn't set light with a torch. It combusts under different conditions (mostly pressure-related) which is why you don't need a spark to ignite it.

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Charles 9
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They'll just innovate hidden letter-impression readers in the rollers and breed falcons and hawks, and breed Nineteen Eighty-Four levels of paranoia in your neighbor.

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Charles 9
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Re: Beyond consumer devices.

Simple. They've hogged ALL the oxygen, leaving you with a sadistic choice. Either you let them live so you can leech off the oxygen they possess...or you asphyxiate...

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Charles 9
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Re: Awesome article

"which is known to cause problems with neural development..."

Really? Can you cite reputable peer-reviewed medical journals from multiple countries to support your claim?

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Charles 9
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"So maybe the Feds eventually approach the company with a court order and say they need one of its customers' messages in an intelligible form. If the Feds want the plaintext some time before the heat death of the Universe, the company rents a truly huge amount of compute power and sets it to brute-force cracking. How long would it take before the government budget for such recompense is drained?"

Probably not much at all if they're keeping a Black Project working quantum computer under the datacenter in Utah.

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Charles 9
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Re: No entity or individual is above the law

No, they have sovereign immunity because they ARE the law. Without them, the law wouldn't exist. It's part of the deal with sovereignty: being self-determining, they establish and enforce the rules.

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Charles 9
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Re: In the Land of the Free..

"You are aware that the guns are incapable of firing themselves?"

So why does the term "spontaneous discharge" exist, then?

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Irish researchers sweep smartphones clear of super bugs

Charles 9
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Re: A la les chickens

Rapid evolution tends to encourage frequent mutation. As a reault, bacteria can evolve resistances to all sorts of things once thought impossible. For example, some bacteria cluster together and develop biofilms that allow them to survive exposure to chlorine bleach. I would think physical spikes can be resisted with a similar technique, only physically hardened rather than chemically hardened. Even that recent breakthrough, quorum-sensing disruption (quorum sensing is part of the biofilm technique) can be evolved against (apparently by using different signal molecules between groups of bacteria).

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Charles 9
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A glass is its own kind of substance, primarily a solid but with no crystalline structure (most solids have a structure). As a result, it doesn't behave like your average solid (ceramics are structured solids) and therefore has unique properties that can be exploited depending on its composition.

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Big Cable threatens to sue FCC: You can't stop us ripping off customers

Charles 9
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Re: Why do we need cable boxes at all??

Indeed, no TV on the American market today, AFAIK, can handle any of the channels as they stand now. First, all the channels are digital (analog channels are being turned off), so the analog tuner is useless. Second, ALL the channels are encrypted (including the local stations due to the fact the satellite companies have to do it because of their transmission limitations). And since DCAS was left dead on the vine years ago, the TV and cable company can't talk to each other. Thus, you have to either get a box (not necessarily a cable box, an Android box will work if there's an app for it), attach a computer to the TV to use the web app, or in some cases use a smart TV app.

This is why what I want to see from the FCC is a push to standardize digital television no matter the source (cable, fiber, satellite, whatever) AND include two-way communication in the standard (needed for video on demand).

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Charles 9
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Re: Barking up the wrong tree

They'd have to get past the threat of a veto, too, and Congressional Republicans lack the votes.

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Comcast stabs set-top boxes in the back, pipes directly into smart TVs

Charles 9
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What about the move to switch off the analog channels, which came several months BEFORE the FCC brouhaha?

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Ubuntu 16.04 LTS arrives today complete with forbidden ZFS

Charles 9
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Re: Please drop your license. You have 20 lawsuits to comply.

But what about the non-free graphics drivers from AMD and nVidia? They're supplied as blobs, so why is this any different?

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Lock-hackers crack restricted keys used to secure data centres

Charles 9
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Re: Physically picking locks is nothing new.

That cartoon doesn't take sissies or masochists into consideration.

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Charles 9
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Re: Physically picking locks is nothing new.

"Seriously. I learned to pick physical locks in the mid 1960s.

Nothing has changed."

Actually, it has to an extent. Modern high-security locks are pick-resistant by using techniques that either require the tumbler pins to rotate as well as rise as well as means to prevent holding the pins in place while you're trying to dial them in.

Anyway, the obvious wasn't mentioned in the article. It seems a lot easier to find a way to steal the key, no matter how sophisticated, and make a mold of it.

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Read America's insane draft crypto-borking law that no one's willing to admit they wrote

Charles 9
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Re: Intelligible non-decryption

X-ray machines at every transit point and community limit. That'll take it all the way down to a face-to-face encounter in the same community. Add in 1984-like laws to encourage snitching (or you get nailed as an accomplice), and every odd face-to-face is going to be subject to scrutiny.

As for writing code, how will you do that when every machine sold has to be approved by me, to the point that it's going to be extremely difficult to roll your own from scratch, covertly, and still remain compatible.

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US congresscritter's iPhone hacked (with, er, the cell networks' help)

Charles 9
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Re: Backdoors

Good luck getting any bars out in the boonies...

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Charles 9
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So what's someone to do. This is full-on DTA mode, but communications REQUIRES a level of trust to go farther than shouting distance. So how do you contact someone far away, in a short time frame (meaning you can't meet face to face) when the only methods available cannot be trusted? Sounds a lot like the intractable First Contact Problem.

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Surprise! Tech giants dominate global tax-dodging list of shame

Charles 9
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Re: Is the register socialist?

"Why - you sell subscriptions of course!"

I mentioned that already. They became protection rackets ("Shame what could happen to your house, hmm hmm?") which was why the government had to step in and take them over.

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Charles 9
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Re: How many Oxfam emloyees use iPhones ?

Shareholders can invest offshore, too, and the R&D, building, etc. can occur practically anywhere in the world now thanks to the global economy. As long as you can keep the transportation costs down (which you can usually mitigate through economies of scale), you can keep more of the cake then you would if you built at home. As for dividends, there are other ways to pay off investors that avoid taxes such as by using stock options and investment vehicles that aren't assessed for taxes until their sold, and "Tax Planning 101" says inherited investment is re-based, wiping out the capital gain and any taxes associated with it.

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Charles 9
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Re: Is the register socialist?

If taxes are evil, then they're a necessary evil. Otherwise, how does the country operate? How do you pay soldiers, police, firemen, road workers, and so on? Many of the above once were private enterprise but then saw their leverage and became protection rackets. As for the roads, would you want tollgates at every junction?

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Charles 9
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

"I think the USA should do away altogether with corporate taxes and instead bring back tarriffs."

They can't..Free trade treaties mean they CAN'T levy import tariffs with penalties. And this is before the problem that tariffs are a two-way street.

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Idiot millennials are saving credit card PINs on their mobile phones

Charles 9
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Re: Offline device

You'd be surprised just how many people today have poor recall. A lot of it is due to information overload. How is a person expected to be able to quickly recall hundreds of bits of random information, at random, every day. No amount of mnemonics can help in this kind of situation as the human brain wasn't built for stuff like that. Eventually, even the best among us mixes up "correcthorsebatterystaple" with "paperclipdonkeyreactorwrong".

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Charles 9
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Re: Offline device

Wouldn't you need online access to sync things between devices? Otherwise, what happens when you add or change an entry, forget about it then change another entry on another device, creating a mess of out-of-sync copies? Then you find you need the updated code from device A but all you have is device C and it's five minutes to close before a three-day weekend and the bills are due (and yes, I have actually, personally seen someone that damn desperate)?

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US-CERT advice says kill Quicktime for Windows, quickly

Charles 9
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And for those of us with software that REQUIRES Windows and/or Flash to run and has no alternatives (oh, and is WINE-unfriendly)?

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Big telco proxies go full crazy over cable box plan

Charles 9
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Plus there's a sense of urgency.

The last bastion of boxless non-broadcast television is going away. Satellite has been all-digital for a while now, and TV-over-fiber has been all-digital from the start, but now cable companies are turning off their analog channels as well, meaning your "cable-ready" TV won't be anymore, as there's no uniform standard to tune into digital cable, especially not encrypted channels, so a standard IS needed, and pretty soon or the cable companies will have a stranglehold on their customers with no alternative in sight (broadcast usually only shows an extremely limited lineup, and as mentioned before satellite and fiber are no refuge). In fact, now would be a good time to get the satellite and fiber providers on the table as well and hammer out a universal television standard between all three of them so that one can use the same box no matter where the signal comes from.

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South Korea to upgrade national stereo defence system for US$16m

Charles 9
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Re: missing a trick

South Korea is a pretty small country (about the size of Illinois) yet they have a very strong emphasis on nuclear power generation. Given this is a military operation, I don't think energy use is at the top of the priority list. As for signal cancellation, they can mitigate this with speaker placement to make the sound difficult to counter-phase as well as applying some constantly-shifting effect on the raw recording to keep it coming out slightly different. Not only will this reduce the ability to record and rephase the sound, but subtle tonal variations have been known to play havoc with people's heads.

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Charles 9
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Re: What is the point of this?

Perhaps, unless they decide to defect en masse, but if they're just driven plumb loco, we'll never hear the story as the loony will be quietly shipped off and replaced with another helpless pawn. And as they probably primarily communicate by radio, it would be impractical to send deaf men over there. So it's still a way to keep Pyongyang irritated and busy.

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Charles 9
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Re: What is the point of this?

That's the exact idea. The guards are the target, the idea being to either drive them crazy or convince them to defect. Either way, that means fewer guards along the border forcing Pyongyang to spend resources restaffing the border.

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Charles 9
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Hey, it worked on Manuel Noriega (look up Operation Nifty).

I wonder if the Sorks are going to be interested in more focused audio projection tech as well (you know, those devices that can produce focused sound some distance away without necessarily drowning out everything else in the neighborhood).

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US anti-encryption law is so 'braindead' it will outlaw file compression

Charles 9
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Re: If passed

"Your commander-in-chief can therefore veto the bill regardless of what majority it gets."

Nope. If both parties cooperate, they can pass it by a veto-proof two-thirds majority, meaning even if Obama vetoed it, they can override the veto and get it enacted anyway. And under the Ten Day rule, the bill becomes law anyway if Obama doesn't sign or veto it within ten days unless Congress adjourns before the ten days are up.

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Charles 9
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Re: An analogy perchance??

They point out you CAN reconstruct a crumpled car. It's just that doing so will cost more than replacing it which is why insurance companies use the term "total loss". So no, that won't work. You can't use the "throw away/melt the only key" analogy either, because they'll answer, "lockpicks" and "safecrackers." You'd have to point to a truly one-way process like combustion. At which point they'll see it more like using thermite and say it's illegal anyway.

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Charles 9
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Don't give them any bright ideas. They may just decide to cooperate in an Enemy Mine situation, make the majority veto-proof, and get it enacted regardless of God, the Devil, or President Obama's Veto. AND get it done before they adjourn for elections.

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Charles 9
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Simple. Paint it glaringly bright frog green. No red or blue in sight (Thus not even a hint of purple; I'd call that frustrating purple, wouldn't you?).

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Spinning rust fans reckon we'll have 18TB disk drives in two years

Charles 9
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Re: How much space do consumers need these days?

I disagree. Not everyone has an always-on connection or generous data allowances (What's one common complaint among commentards here? Overage fees.) And iTunes still lets you download and keep a local collection.

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