* Posts by Charles 9

5059 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Google: Our self-driving cars would be tip-top if you meatheads didn’t crash into them

Charles 9
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But then you read the part at the bottom about the bicycle swerving in front of the G-car, a textbook example of unexpected behavior, yet the G-car reacted correctly and AVOIDED it.

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New US bill aims to zap patent trolls with transparency demands

Charles 9
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No, because what if the patent is the most valuable asset of a company under bankruptcy? Selling it could be the only way to emerge as a going concern rather than be liquidated (and it is in the interest of government to keep going concerns when possible--it's more stable that way). I think my idea's better. That way the patent can be sold if need be, but it's simply not enforceable unless it's actually implemented either directly or through a designee: much like that other thing the office regulates: the trademark.

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Charles 9
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Re: Or...

"The problem is that the USPTO is funded by patent application fees. It's in their best interest to consider and award as many patents as possible."

Aren't the application fees nonrefundable, so they get the fees pass or fail? Meaning that's not really an incentive?

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Charles 9
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Has anyone noticed that it's another of those cheeky acronyms: the PATENT Act?

Anyway, in general I can see this as a few good steps, but perhaps more are needed.

One should be that patent terms vary by industry to account for fast-moving industries like electronics where product cycles rarely surpass a decade. Another should be that the plaintiff should only be allowed to sue if the patent they possess is in active use by them or by a contracted designee (like a licensee). IOW, you can't just sit on a patent. To sue on it, you have to be using it yourself.

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We stand on the brink of global cyber war, warns encryption guru

Charles 9
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Re: us military why?

So riddle me this, Batman. How do you fight an enemy for whom Mutual Assured Destruction is an acceptable if not WINNING scenario? There are people and organizations for whom, "If I can't win, I'm taking all of you with me" is literal.

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Charles 9
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Re: us military why?

The US military, in spite of the stereotypes, aren't idiots. They face enemies who have never heard of things like the Geneva convention. These enemies are committed to the idea of "Might makes right," "history is written by the winners," and "the end justifies the means." IOW, the US faces enemies who believe in total war with no taboos: no rules. How does one fight an enemy who's not afraid to use ANYTHING in their arsenal (including CHEATING) to get you?

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Second-hand IT alliance forms to combat 'bully' vendors

Charles 9
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Re: Short-sighted

"There will always be at least one outlier though"

That soon receives "an offer it can't refuse."

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Forget black helicopters, FBI flying surveillance Cessnas over US cities. Warrant? What's that?

Charles 9
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Re: hmm

Washington was right. Unfortunately, he was also outvoted. Even HE got labeled a Federalist, in contrast to the Democratic-Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson. The Founding Fathers ended up taking sides because people naturally congregate if it's to their mutual benefit. Washington underestimated this basic human trait.

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Charles 9
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Re: Telemarketers

"With all of the snooping technology available to the FBI, who are supposed to investigate cases of RICO as part of their actual remit, they can't find the owners/operators of scam telemarketers and shut them down (with a few notable exceptions of course)."

Aren't most of them based OUTSIDE the country?

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Charles 9
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Re: Better yet

Multiple lenses, easy to do and recommended anyway: one IR-capable (and probably ONLY IR-seeing for night vision and laser resistance), one IR-filtering. Plus drones don't have to see to steer. They can use GPS and accelerometers to fly as well. IOW, they can fly on instruments, meaning they can effectively fly blind.

As for detecting the false signals, you can't do that without at least three antennas. Most cell phones only know the strength of a tower signal; location tends to come from other sources and a fake tower can fake that info. Put it this way, anything private enterprise can do, the government can outdo because, unlike the former, they can legally go outside the limits. They can do things the private folks can't and do it in such a way as to make them indistinguishable from real stuff.

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New Firefox, Chrome SRI script whip to foil man-in-the-middle diddle

Charles 9
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Re: The fact that...

And if the masquerade occurs at a major chokepoint, like the ISP, then the malware (which may be the ISP or a government entity) has a lot of traffic to exploit.

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Charles 9
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Re: Where are the hashes

No I'm talking a malware SSL proxy relay that's masquerading as the target site. With a fake certificate, they can pass off as the target, your browser gets the green light because it's secure, but the proxy can decrypt and alter the traffic to and from the actual target and you basically have no way to tell the difference. The corporate SSL relay is basically a legit version of the malware SSL proxy.

In any event, this malware proxy can masquerade as either the site host, the script host, or both, allowing the altering of script and signature no matter where it comes from. It's back to the classic "Who do you trust?" issue.

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Charles 9
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Re: Bah!

Except it's MUCH more useful than you give it credit. You'll have to explicitly show what anyone using JavaScript can use in its place or no one will switch. Period.

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Charles 9
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Re: Where are the hashes

Not if the MITM is ALSO a secure proxy using a masquerading certificate, which HAS occurred and IS the norm in enterprise settings.

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Science teacher jammed his school kids' phones, gets week suspension

Charles 9
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Re: Why not fix the root cause of the problem?

"What is a good answer is to educate people to use their phones considerately."

And in today's society, education is a pipe dream. Most people DON'T WANT to learn.

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Charles 9
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Re: Missing the important bit of information here...

If the article's accurate, it was that the jammer was too powerful and situated too close to a cell tower. IOW, he ended up interfering with an entire cell, resulting in dropped calls, failed connections, and so on. When an entire cell is affected, customers may start going over Verizon to the FCC. Few things get a company's attention like a possible visit from the regulators.

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Charles 9
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Re: Oh, however did we survive?

It was the helicopter parents that broke existing bans (due to pagers and cell phones being tied to the drug trade) after incidents like Columbine. Parents now are too anxious to trust their kids to outsiders yet have no time to school them at home.

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Charles 9
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Re: What?

In an emergency those LAND LINES could be OVERLOADED...or worse, CUT.

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Charles 9
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Re: Just give them an 'F'

What do you do with the rejects, then? You want this place to be like Japan with its terrible suicide rates?

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WikiLeaks offers $100k for copies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – big biz's secret govt pact

Charles 9
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Re: Betrayal

"Why are our politicians doing nothing?"

Ever thought they're just plain IN ON IT?

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Charles 9
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Re: Why would anyone take the money?

And once they find out the Donator is not real, has no assets to freeze, and is outside the country?

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Bethesda all out for 'Fallout 4', fallout for global productivity foretold in countdown

Charles 9
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Or how about "Why fix what isn't broken?"

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Charles 9
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Re: and 15 minutes after release

I think it takes a GECK to do those mods. I've made stuff of the like for 3 and NV. GECK may be a bit.

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Charles 9
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Re: And......

Well, that's what you first see when you load Fallout 3 IIRC. Anyway, given there's an ESRB logo on it (albeit Rating Pending), they must have something they're about to submit since, under the rules, once you slap an ESRB rating on your ads, ALL ads going forward MUST sport it, and you MUST have the final rating before you go live.

OK, saw the trailer. Vault 111 will be the initial setting. And it looks like my second guess was right. If the Paul Revere statue (and retrofitted USS Constitution) is any indication, we're talking Boston here. Which means we're definitely talking the Commonwealth. Also the Brotherhood of Steel, IINM by one of the powered armor shots.

That now leaves the question on the identity of the Player. For the record, here's the list of past IDs:

1 - Vault Dweller

2 - Chosen One

3 - Lone Wanderer (NV didn't have a vault dweller, so was instead just called "Courier")

I'm still banking on "Sole Survivor".

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Charles 9
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Most companies are savvy enough not to switch engines unless there's a big reason to (ex. GTA4 switched engines due to Renderware being bought by a rival). Since Gamebryo fully supports HD (as it's used in the PC version) and is cross-platform (if you can code for the PS3, the PS4's pretty easy, especially if you already have the PC and Xbox One as another target), there should be little reason to switch. Plus, even if you switch engines, most of the assets (basic textures, models, etc.) can usually be converted with a lot less effort then it would've taken to make them from scratch (which had to be done for 3).

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Charles 9
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Fallout: New Vegas didn't take nearly so long from first news to final release, last I recall. I suspect most of the time delay for 3 was because it was the first 3D Fallout and a lot of things had to be built from scratch or changed vs. the isometric world of 1 and 2. Plus there was the need to get used to the Gamebryo engine.

Plus note, the article notes a countdown. They wouldn't put one up without something to show at zero time, wouldn't they?

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Charles 9
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Re: "Australia refused to give it an age-rating certificate."

It's also worth noting (and this didn't get fixed) that one early Fallout 3 quest couldn't be completed negatively in Japan (the quest's name, "Power of the Atom," should give a clue why).

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Charles 9
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Re: "Setting"

Don't know about Philly since 3's The Pitt was set in nearby Pittsburgh.

Boston I'll give you since it would provide a canon tie to the Commonwealth, mentioned in 3, especially since we need a new adversarial power if we assume the Enclave is not a significant force in this area after its collapse in Washington.

PS. As for New Orleans, perhaps not as a mainline setting but a prime candidate for an expansion.

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Charles 9
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Re: Fallout 4 setting confirmed

Consider the developers and the setting. All the settings so far have been in America. 1 and 2 were on the west coast, 3 in Washington (with DLCs set in Pittsburgh and Maryland), and New Vegas in the Mojave desert around Las Vegas and surrounding. A non-canon spinoff IIRC was set in Texas.

Anyway, consider this will be a prime candidate for an expanded game world compared to 3 and New Vegas. That's why I figured New York would be a prime candidate. Other major cities like Chicago could also work. Boston's another candidate. New York and Boston would make sense canon-wise because of 3's mention of the Commonwealth, which canon notes is centered in New England (meaning around Boston, and New York's close enough to be under its influence).

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Charles 9
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Anyone know the setting? I'm betting on New York: the Rotten Apple, as I think of it in that kind of setting. As for the player character, perhaps a Sole Survivor (from a Vault, that is) this time.

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IT-savvy US congressmen to Feds: End your crypto-backdoor crusade

Charles 9
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Re: There's a simple way to explain it to them...

"The only way to be secure is to give no one the keys and have no backdoors."

And even that isn't proof against strategically-placed explosives...

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Charles 9
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Re: There's a simple way to explain it to them...

"The only thing that will is "If you try to push this through, I won't vote for you again"."

That won't work, either. They'll counter, "One smart vote against ten stupid votes. YOU LOSE."

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Secure web? That'll cost you, thanks to Mozilla's HTTPS plan

Charles 9
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"I have (amongst other) a simple site, mostly static content, no logins or confidential stuff. Have it hosted on the cheap, yet those cheap hosts get very expensive when the word 'SSL' drops."

And without SSL, your content can be MITM'd. If for no other reason than because it's being transmitted in the clear so can be altered mid-flight.

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Charles 9
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Re: If selling certificates becomes like selling domains...

Well then, we're screwed, because Trent can ALWAYS be subverted by Mallory or Gene. And without Trent, we can't trust anyone, which means we can't talk to anyone in a paranoid world. We're either going to have to take a leap of faith or shut ourselves off, including physically since one can demonstrate that first contact is the most vulnerable phase of communication and the one that's impossible to fully secure due to lack of prior information (I suspect a paradox can be applied to this but I can't recall any specifics—trying to use a Trent brings up the "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" problem).

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Charles 9
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I'm talking about the the DHCP connection your router makes to the ISP. If it's hijacked, it can be poisoned with bad DNS settings and so on.

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Charles 9
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Re: StartSSL is only "free"…

You may wish to consider abandoning the Internet entirely. Chrome seems to be approaching this as well but from a different angle. Plus it's Google we're talking about. And IE means submitting to Microsoft, so you're screwed everywhere you turn.

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Charles 9
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And without an encrypted connection, how do you stop your connection (even the DHCP exchange) from being poisoned by a man in the middle? That's the kind of world we're living in today. That's why things like SSH are in place instead of telnet and rlogin.

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Charles 9
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Devil

Why not? Sometimes you gotta drag people kicking and screaming. Like with vaccines.

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Charles 9
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Re: Another issue with https

You can fix the caching with hashing. Request the hash first then compare with the hash of your cached copy. Easy to implement for static content (dynamic content you can't cache anyway). And as for ISP caching, screw them as they can alter those copies and produce false pages AND hashes. You want something, go to the source; it's the only way to be sure.

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Charles 9
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Re: But ...

That won't work in a corporate setting since they typically use an HTTPS proxy, meaning they can read even your HTTPS traffic.

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Charles 9
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Re: Time for HTTP-ES

"The benefits of HTTP-ES would be: no broken bookmarks, lower overhead when all you need is cookie or header obfuscation, increased protection against MitM attacks and some compatibility with external cache servers."

The big drawback, as some ISPs have shown, is that even this initial handshake can be exploited to man-in-the-middle the connection BEFORE the secure phase can take place. About the only way you can prevent this is to start the connection with the key exchange and don't continue without it being complete; otherwise, that crack in the door is enough to get the proverbial foot in. IOW, don't do ANYTHING in the clear, not even a request to go secure; you MUST go secure from the get-go.

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Charles 9
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Re: But ...

It means the stuff can't be altered in transit by an ISP or a malicious party. Think Verizon's client ID or the Chinese Cannon. Encrypted EVERYTHING is the most practical way to deal with these kinds of man-in-the-middle alterations, and a TLS-based protocol is the best option we have that's in wide use. Also, HTTPS has the big benefit that it's already in use, unlike Berners-Lee's proposal which is over 15 years old (RFC2817) and requires browser rewrites to support a protocol that doesn't exist yet (which may not be an option for old-but-still-in-use programs).

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Charles 9
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But Mozilla has a point. How do you get some stubborn sites to switch if they're not willing to take the carrot?

It may interest you to know they've been trying Berners-Lee's approach since 2000 (RFC2817), but no one's been listening.

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Windows 10 upgrade ADWARE forces its way on to Windows 7 and 8.1

Charles 9
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Re: WMC removal?

"It would have been great for my kids to have the Wii play DVDs, rather than attach ANOTHER device to their TV. :("

But as the PS2 showed, using a gaming console to play movies tends to wear the drive out faster, and once it breaks, you can't play games OR movies.

PS. News to me on the Japanese Wiis. I'm pretty sure this was the exception, though, as Nintendo made the lack of movie playback very clear otherwise.

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Charles 9
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Re: Still confused about other matters .

"Free or paid for, it's still the same version of Win 10. The only difference being you'd have a disk with the retail version, so would presumably be easier to do fresh installs."

And if what I've read is correct, even that can be dealt with if you have a burner and a blank disc (like with Win8.1, an ISO is supposed to be obtainable).

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Charles 9
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"Vulkan (glNext) is going to offer the same performance improvements as DirectX 12. It's also likely to be the more tempting development target, given that it will be freely available on every OS, including Windows 7, Linux and the Mac, fully open-source, with no Microsoft licensing or lock-in."

Perhaps, but it's not ready yet. Plus Microsoft still has the institutional momentum and is willing to directly back winners since it also sells consoles. I think if Valve and the like want to get their foot in the door, they're going to have to get MUCH more aggressive with Vulkan support in order to convince developers to code multiplat (which to this date they haven't had as much success as they would like). Even stuff you would think would be easy to port like stuff on UE4 don't get ported as much in reality.

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Charles 9
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Re: @Charles 9 - Why are Microsoft giving this away?

"Well ... they use free in reference to FREEDOM."

But when you're in an environment where a word can get confused (in this case, one where a free lunch can easily be confused with free speech), then one or the other words should be changed in order to distinguish between them. Now, as it happens, there aren't too many easy contextual synonyms for free lunch (complimentary, cost-free perhaps) vs. free speech (unrestricted, unfettered), and the latter are in more common usage. So, rather than mince words, say what you mean, mean what you say, and say it so others know which way you mean it.

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Charles 9
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Re: Universal applications

Trouble was "suitable" was a moving target. And given the broad spectrum of hardware it was meant to run in, trying to set a hard-and-fast specification for "suitable" was a pipe dream.

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Charles 9
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Re: WMC removal?

Your CDs are fine. It's DVD playback that's broken due to the MPEG-2 license issue. It's like how Wiis don't play DVDs nor did the orignal Xbox without a dongle (the dongle had the license price attached). They're physically capable but legally incapable because they don't have their licenses paid for. And since many people don't use their PCs as DVD players (why wear then out when you can use dedicated players hooked up to the TV is the noted justification--many times PC DVD drives are used for ripping, not playing), it means like a decent amount of bucks a copy Microsoft has to pay for something that doesn't get used.

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Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht to spend LIFE in PRISON without parole

Charles 9
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Ever thought some people CAN'T think BUT still have loving relatives? These relatives have a hard enough time trying to make him/her come around, especially if things like an intervention fizzle or even backfire. And note that if you tell them anything that portrays them in anything but a sympathetic light, you'll make YOURSELF into their enemy.

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