* Posts by Charles 9

4302 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Boffin imagines Wi-Fi-defined no-shoot zones for wireless weapons

Charles 9
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FAIL

Show me a way to do geographic denial through compact pure mechanical means, THEN we'll talk.

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Why solid-state disks are winning the argument

Charles 9
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Re: Developers need what now?

"You should be exiting the building on a crappy ADSL service from a crappy ISP, and looping back in via the big bad internet."

It would be better still to set up a small intranet backed by a modem. Some people are LUCKY to have dialup access (it can happen: middle of nowhere with view of the south sky blocked somehow--no satellite), so they still need to be considered.

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Charles 9
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Re: Will SSDs warn in advance of failure?

"Oh wait, you meant will it warn you as the admin of the system in advance of a failure? Erm, ah, ... Yeah, they really should do that."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but is the most frequent point of failure in a SSD less the memory chips and more the controller that herds them all (which makes any redundant chips moot)?

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3D PRINTED GUNS: THIS time it's for REAL! Oh, wait – no, still crap

Charles 9
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Re: But against the backdrop of your British readership...

And Americans liked the idea as well. They adopted a simple design of their own that became the M-3 SMG. Their main justifications were price and mass productions. At 1/10 the price of a Tommy Gun and easily made at stamping plants, it gave the troops a simple but useful arm for urban and forest combat. Later on, IIRC, they took the idea even further with a bare-bones pistol design: the original Liberator. It wasn't pretty or pretty accurate, but they were dead simple to use to the point each one came with pictorial instructions and can be dropped by the bushel to your favorite insurgent group out to topple America's Enemy of the Week.

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EFF: VPNs will crumble Verizon's creepy supercookie stalkers

Charles 9
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Re: Even simpler

About the only reliable options left after Verizon and AT&T are T-Mobile and Sprint. T-Mobile's the most reasonable at this time: they use GSM-based phones, provide some nice perks albeit with less coverage area, and are pretty much forced to focus on customers (since they need to steal who they can from the big two).

Having said that, how long do you think before the big two find some way to track you in spite of VPNs?

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Charles 9
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Re: Even simpler

"Edit: How is this not already a class-action by some opportunistic lawyers? I don't live in the Land Of The Litigious for nothing, ya know!"

Because both Verizon and AT&T have lawyers of their own, and there's not specific law that states, "Thou shalt not track thy customers."

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Auditors find encrypted chat client TextSecure is secure

Charles 9
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Re: Simpsons?

Alice and Mallory are involved in a menage a trois with Gene behind Bob's back. In the process, Gene stole everyone's private keys behind their backs...

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UK superfast broadband? Not in my backyard – MP

Charles 9
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Re: He cited a computer programmer who had reported that it took three days to download a program

"To be fair, I'm actually quite impressed with BT's FTTC rollout overall. Of course I'd like universal FTTP, but FTTC's a good stepping stone (it puts a fibre node within a few hundred metres of everywhere with FTTC, giving much better service than ADSL without the cost and long wait of individual fibre pulls). "

I may be wrong, but I think the problem with FTTC is that a FTTP setup is a whole other kettle of fish, meaning when you transition to the latter, you basically have to tear nearly everything down again due to the very different equipment involved.

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'You have no right to see me NAKED!' Suddenly, everyone wakes up at the Google-EU face-off

Charles 9
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"'You have no right to see me NAKED!'

It wasn't that long ago that you had no right to protect your privacy. There once was a time when ordinary people pretty much had no expectation of privacy because there were eyes and ears enough to spy on everything in the community. Only with the congregation of cities has personal privacy become more feasible. However, the advent of abundant means of surveillance has now shrunk the possible radius of privacy back down nearly to the proverbial "zero space." And it's not just the government or big business driving it. It's the old bane of the village, the snoopy neighbor, putting the nail in the coffin. And since it's you vs. the world, you're going to end up losing.

It's time to face facts. Sooner or later, unless you're one of the uber-elite, you WILL have no expectation of privacy in future.

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UN: Fossil fuels should be TERMINATED 86 years from now

Charles 9
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Re: Homo sapien or Homo plumbeus?

"So all we need to do is come up with a technology that allows us to screw with gay abandon (or rather, with heterosexual abandon) without having lots of children as a result. That technology was developed in the 1960s, in the form of a pill - perhaps the most important invention in history, and so important it is simply called 'the' pill."

That's assuming (1) women are willing to take the pill, which may not be culturally acceptable and (2) evolution doesn't find a way to subvert the subversion. Some women have become pregnant even with the pill.

"Wherever the pill is available, and women are moderately well educated, to the point of being able to make rational choices rather than be browbeaten by the agents of superstitions exported from the bronze age, fertility rates are below replacement levels. This situation is so widespread that, even with demographic lag, we can expect population to stabilise in the next few decades at around the 10billion mark - well within the carrying capacity of the planet."

I wonder if that's less to do with the pill and more to do with women's lib which makes women voluntarily forgo sex for careers and such. Is there a way to separate the two? Furthermore, where's the evidence that 10 billion humans is still a sustainable population, especially as people seek higher technological levels which increase the per-human total costs of living?

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Charles 9
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Re: It's time to grow a pair

But the presence of such a camp means you can get funding by CHALLENGING such a camp. And if it's EASIER to do that (which if the claim is mostly specious), then why aren't people claiming funding for research that proves his rival wrong?

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Charles 9
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Re: It's time to grow a pair

"Btw you may not realise but Atheism is not believing in religion. It is not a belief but absence of. Like science"

I've said it before: a lack of belief is itself a belief: a belief in nothing. It's the stance that matters, much as a barrel is a barrel whether it is full or not. But the point stands. Unless you're willing to believe that most of the scientific world, regardless of boundaries, is in on a vast conspiracy, you'd have to consider ALL the scientists that research the climate and wonder how a very sizable chunk of them are coming to the same general conclusion, because logic dictates only two possible choices: either they're ALL in on it (and with a conspiracy, size goes against you) or they're all coming to the same conclusions independently, which bolster the cases of everyone else.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's time to grow a pair

" As an example I ask you to walk into any faith building and see what the consensus is and of course they will exclude the daft opinions of those who would be sceptic which is everyone else not of that exclusive version of belief."

I challenge you assumption on this premise: would you get the same consensus from a church, a mosque, a temple, and just about any other place of worship imaginable? I'm just wondering because the breadth of consensus appears to span across national, political, and even economic lines, aligning people who aren't necessarily motivated by money (because they're already state-funded, for example) religion (mainly-secular groups) or politics (the various privately-funded groups).

Lemme put it like this. When have a Catholic, Muslim, Jew, Bhuddist, AND Atheist ever agreed on the same thing at the same time?

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Charles 9
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Re: Homo sapien or Homo plumbeus?

No, it's simply survival instinct. It's true of just about any animal out there. Every single living creature will fight tooth and nail to stay on the planet as long as possible. Declarations of defeat are extremely rare and usually only come about beyond some Captain Obvious point.

So how do you convince a species hardwired to survive and breed to stop doing either in the name of survival?

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Verizon and AT&T sitting in a tree, V-o-L-T-E: Duo vow to hookup by 2015

Charles 9
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Re: get rid of legacy audio ?? ( it's free nowdays)...

"...but unfortunately customers are going to end up paying data rate for PTSN calls (technical term is hosed)."

And this is any different from a SkypeOut or SIP call HOW? In any event, many customers get data allotments in their plans, so this isn't as big a deal as it's being made out to be. Furthermore, this helps hasten the retirement of 2G and eventually 3G circuit-switched networks which frees up their spectrum to use with the more-efficient LTE.

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Japan tells operators: Put a SIM lock in a new mobe? You'd better UNLOCK it for FREE

Charles 9
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Re: Same here

Unless, of course, you just vanished and the identity you used was faked/stolen. Who would know where to track you down...?

PS. It may help in future to employ the "Joke Alert" icon or some kind of Sarcasm Mode indicator. Text just doesn't lend itself well to sarcasm clues.

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Charles 9
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Re: Same here

Be prepared to pay likely $700+ in Early Termination Fees if you try that move. Even if you try to weasel out with an early-out clause, all of them stipulate you turn in the phone as a condition of using that early-out clause. Even T-Mobile isn't stupid. If you cancel one of their un-plans, they bill you for the balance of the phone you were paying in installments.

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Disney wins Mickey Mouse patent for torrent-excluding search engine

Charles 9
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Re: New AdBlock rule?

That would be tough to do considering Disney ALSO owns ABC and ESPN not to mention the Touchstone Pictures label for their non-kiddy content. It's like trying to boycott Walmart. You can try, but odds are you'll be paying more money, wasting gas, or (if no alternative is available) just plain starving.

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Charles 9
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Re: Disney patents internet search censorship

Perhaps Disney is trying to make it mandatory THEN enforce it on everyone else, compelling them to pay exorbitant license fees.

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'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

Charles 9
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Ever thought that, technologically speaking, the average Windows user IS on par with a child? How else do you make an OS for the technologically-illiterate?

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Storage, probably like a college girl buying a belt. Be ready for the freshman 15

Charles 9
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Re: I thought that storage capacity was accelerating away from content generation

Storage capacity is growing too quickly. Now there's the issue of silent bit rot, whose odds increase with the amount of stuff stored. Now you need to start factoring in error correction.

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Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD TO DIE, and this is WHY

Charles 9
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Re: Nonsense

2.5"HDDs would make the device too big. All HDD-based iPods used the 1.7" HDDs which had a more limited lineup. And if what I hear is correct, the new ones Toshiba was pushing were too THICK (7mm doesn't sound like much until you realize the ones in the iPods were only 5mm). From what I've heard, Toshiba no longer makes 5mm 1.7" drives.

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Even a broken watch is right twice a day: Not an un-charged Apple Watch

Charles 9
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Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre

"Strange...but my 45 year old Omega SpeedMaster doesn't "drift significantly" at all...never has...and has kept perfect time since new. Never had to sync it. It just works! :-)"

I said, "all but the most expensive and elaborate timepieces..." A $3700 Omega Speedmaster chronograph qualifies as "expensive and elaborate".

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Charles 9
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Re: Bad old days.

I also recall that all but the most expensive and elaborate timepieces tended to drift significantly as the day passed. If anyone's ever seen "The Secret Life of Machines" Tim Hunkin did an episode on the quartz watch and covered timepiece history in some detail. Knock the cheap quartz watch all you want, but it's hard to beat it for consistency.

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Charles 9
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Re: Odd

"I've no use for one, but I can't see the problem of having a 2nd device to charge every night. With wireless charging, just leave phone and watch on charging pad."

Perhaps, but last I heard, the iWatch doesn't support Qi or the like. That said, there also needs to be consideration for people, say, on the go who may not have ready access to a charger at night or who go the zombie route and don't sleep one night to make some hectic deadline. It would be nice to have a timepiece capable of holding its own for a longer period, say at least two days unassisted. I'm curious about the concept myself, but at this point none of these have hit the the price/perk sweet spot, and I'm willing to wait. I'm probably more inclined to pick an e-ink-based device that can throw up a passive display. Or maybe something like the Qualcomm Toq, only with a more-refined interface.

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Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email

Charles 9
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Re: re: standardise the HTML and CSS allowed in an email

Except attachments are a bug-a-boo now, thanks to malware e-mails, some of which HAVE been able to disguise themselves as innocuous files. No, I want them up-front in a sanitized environment (which attachments can't provide), thank you.

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Apple, Google take on Main Street in BONKING-FOR-CASH struggle

Charles 9
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Re: QR codes? Really??

If the QR code is related to the payment system, it would likely be a token rather than an address, meaning trying to hijack the barcode would be worthless (the system would detect an invalid token and block the transaction). Anyway, if you've hacked the POS terminal, you can probably hijack the transaction itself instead. Anyway, my barcode scanner is rigged to display the results first and letting me decide how to proceed.

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Charles 9
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Re: QR codes...established technology...most people know how to handle.

QR Codes are still active in America, probably thanks to a greater Asian exposure (you want to see QRs everywhere, go to Asia). There's also the Data Matrix barcode. It was here and there for a while but is now settling into a more-technical role in industrial applications.

I'll give you the nod about Chip-and-PIN. Thanks to an upcoming mandate from credit card companies regarding liability, Chip-and-PIN will be pushed into America over the next year. And as long as MCX is against any system other than its own current beast, NFC for payment will remain small potatoes (if MCX wises up and makes their system slimmer and less intrusive, then something might come of it, but not as it is now).

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Charles 9
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Re: If Apple Pay fails..

"NFC in phones is dead. It's never really been alive but the squabbling over HCE and SWP kept it from ever having any traction and I predict that this Barcelona will be the year where we see new high end phones from manufacturers who in the the past have supported NFC, without the tech."

It's rare for a piece of tech to be put in a phone and then taken out again without a successor. As tech ages, it becomes cheaper to implement, especially now that a Secure Element is not a requirement anymore thanks to Host-based Card Emulation. Eventually, it becomes a matter of "Why not?" meaning unless its mere existence constitutes a serious liability, they'll throw it in just to avoid being left behind when someone finds a better use for the tech.

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Charles 9
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Re: This is really about liability

I think what you describe is more the reason they're rolling Chip-and-PIN in the US NOW, because without them the retailer can be left with the blame. Contactless payments are being fought according to the matters the article noted: mostly about control. Basically, if the retailers can't get more control over transaction metadata, then they're not interested in any kind of improvement. Contactless gives no concrete security improvements and the processors can't justify a forced switch to accept contactless (if they tried, the retailers could claim false advertising and take them to court). And given that Walmart and Kroger are the #1 and #2 retailers in the US, you're talking some serious muscle.

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Charles 9
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Re: The US is still in the stone age

And content to STAY that way, too. I hear many people don't like C&P because they'll lose the zero-liability protection with the signature cards (in the US, almost every credit card has zero liability if the theft is detected quickly). After all, if someone steals your card and knows the PIN, how can you say you didn't give the PIN to them? That makes you legally liable. And contactless has the stories of those skimmers, especially the story of the skimmer in Vegas who used a directional antenna to skim NFC details a block away. More people keep checks because it leaves a paper trail and out of order checks trip red flags.

Chip & PIN? Many would say, "You can KEEP it!"

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Charles 9
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At this point, the status quo favors the retailers, so they can stonewall. If NFC doesn't give them any advantage vs. now, they simply won't use it. I know plenty of retailers that tried NFC at first...then dropped it, which indicates they're willing to hold everything back because it doesn't affect them. In fact, I'm seeing new C&P terminals being installed that don't have NFC capability, leading me to believe they're willing to let NFC cards die on the vine. Walmart refuses, so does Target. Sears doesn't support which means neither does K-Mart. Lowe's is out. Best Buy's support is limited, and Kroger is one of those that dropped support. Probably the biggest retailer that still supports it is The Home Depot, and it's recently had a security breach. Looks to me like support's not there in the stores that matter. The size of the anti camp also makes boycotting difficult since at this point boycotting will likely mean paying more money when many people can't spare the change.

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Shellshock over SMTP attacks mean you can now ignore your email

Charles 9
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"Water flows downhill. You can rant at people not to do the wrong things until you're blue in the face, but you will only achieve reliable results when it is easier to it right than to do it wrong. At some level, this might be considered a bug in the design of the API."

But the problem is that the secure way is ALWAYS a HARD way. Like locking the door. Sure, you can make a door that auto-locks, but there are side effects (locking yourself out, for starters). Turnkey security is an elusive, if not outright impossible goal. Sometimes, you just can't fix stupid. And if stupid's your superior...

The problem becomes much harder when you ALSO have a deadline, meaning you can't just do it right but also have to do it right QUICKLY. Doing things rightfast is daunting.

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The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay

Charles 9
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Re: Note to El Reg

In which case, they'd rather have no NFC payments AT ALL. Walmart's steadfastly refused to add it, and many places have DROPPED support even before Apple Pay was added.

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Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T

Charles 9
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Re: Softly, softly..............

They may be able to boil the operators but what about the EU? Boil a rock all you want, it's still a rock.

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Charles 9
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Re: Softly, softly..............

They'd have to get EU law changed first. That mandates a hardware sim switchable by the user so a phone can't be permanently carrier-locked.

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Charles 9
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Re: Witness the power of phone operators

How does it earn operators money when many plans are allotment or flat regarding messages?

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Charles 9
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Re: Call me crazy but...

Except where will all their customers come from once the proliteriat is sucked dry?

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This Changes Everything? OH Naomi Klein, NO

Charles 9
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Re: About that self-professed rational liberalism

Maybe, but the question's still there. If workers are paid peanuts, how will they (who are also customers) be able to afford your goods?

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Charles 9
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Re: About that self-professed rational liberalism

"There is no economic gain to be derived by increasing the number of widgets produced. More widgets might not all sell. Their price might tank, and that will eat into profits. Maintaining the same production levels while cutting production costs to a minimum is guaranteed to increase profits."

Actually, there's a fatal flaw in this statement. It forgets to account for one key element: the consumers. In order to buy things, consumers need money, and that more often then now comes from employment. But if you shortchange workers, you end up with items out of their affordability range. IOW, you torpedo your own market. That's one reason henry Ford always paid generously: to make sure he had customers for his products.

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LG taps TSMC to bake its first-ever mobile chip

Charles 9
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Must be the frequencies.

If the G3 Screen is limited to Korean markets, it's likely the LTE in it is geared for the rather odd Korean frequencies.

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Ad-borne Cryptowall ransomware is set to claim FRESH VICTIMS

Charles 9
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Re: VM for fun and profit?

"Redpill" comes from the Matrix universe. In the Matrix, most humans are lulled into believing the world they're in is real, but it's not. People who were scouted and took a "red pill" eventually were disconnected from the Matrix and exposed to the real world. Someone a few years ago proposed a malware which would transparently wrap the existing OS into a virtual machine which was then controlled by a hypervisor in the malware. Thus the reverse was also conceived: a malware that could detect the presence of a VM and, knowing this, found a way to break out into the hypervisor. Such a malware that could do that can be termed a "redpill," similar to the Matrix scenario.

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Charles 9
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Re: VM for fun and profit?

Until the malware starts packing a redpill exploit...

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Charles 9
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Re: AdBlocker / NoScript

Careful with the VM. Some malware's smart enough to detect this and use an exploit to redpill its way out to the metal. As for known, trusted sites, the problem is that the malware targets ad networks USED by known, trusted sites. That's the key to a drive-by attack; they target sideloads used by otherwise-popular sites. Ideally, they want to use an ad system that's part and parcel with some key part of the site, making it practically unavoidable.

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Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know

Charles 9
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Re: Much as I appreciate using drones for recognizance...

"Where it will get really interesting is when the solider is removed entirely, and a decent AI is left to control the drones and select or recognise the targets. That will trully reduce the cost of asymmetric warfare, and could be the beginning of the end for the cowardly brand of terrorism currently afflicting the world."

Then what happens when the terrorists get their hands on them?

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Charles 9
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Re: Some interesting possibilities here...

"5) I'm not sure about this one, but probably millions of people, if the location of the Amazon distribution center nearest to me in Netherlands is any indication."

IINM, the testbed for the concept is going to be New York City. 10 million people alone plus whoever is within reach in the suburbs on Long Island and New Jersey. Not to mention a ground traffic problem that makes aerial courier a more-financially-tempting option.

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Charles 9
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The term was coined before the advent of electricity. The more proper term these days is "over-unity," which accounts for non-mechanical "perpetual" concepts.

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'George Orwell was an OPTIMIST. Show me a search history, I'll show you a perv or a crook'

Charles 9
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"If someone's search history contains <insert comically-named skin flick here> then it would nice if that wasn't considered embarrassing so much as private and even more so if it wasn't considered perverted so much as normal."

Remember that the very concept of personal privacy is a relatively new thing: probably no older than about a century and a half for the ordinary joe. Basically, the smaller the community or the larger the reach of its people, the less one's privacy can be guaranteed. Privacy increased with the rise of cities that created a screen of other people and such, but with the increase of electronic communications, particularly those of an audio-visual nature, that privacy has dropped drastically. We're rapidly becoming the Global Village, and I don't mean that in a good way.

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Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

Charles 9
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Even if they were past the prototype stages, VASMIR is not launch-capable, so you still need a way to get it up into orbit. Right now, the hope is to fit a VASMIR to the ISS, giving it an easier time with course corrections while putting the engine through some space trials.

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Charles 9
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Re: Ongoing project already underway to provide a lightweight shield

Nice thought, but cosmic radiation is a whole other kettle of fish. They're the top end of the EM scale for a reason. We already know they've been able to penetrate the Earth's magnetosphere (which is already bigger than anything we'd probably be able to generate), atmosphere, AND a mountain.

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