* Posts by Charles 9

5061 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

US Congress promises death to patent trolls in bipartisan law scribbling

Charles 9
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Re: USPTO revamping

But to do that takes money. Guess who's responsible for the USPTO's budget...

In any event, I also note the absence on any kind of reform IRT patent lengths relative to the industry, which can solve the patent issue in fast-moving industries like software without having to necessarily outlaw them (IOW, you need to make patents short for fast-moving industries to reflect their more rapid turnover. That way you still encourage novel thinking while recognizing they only need so much).

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DARPA's made a SELF-STEERING 50-cal bullet – with video proof

Charles 9
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"Actually the trained scout will do SFA for extreme range or wind. His training helps him compensate for it with unguided bullets but with a guided bullet, software takes over the moment it's fired. For starters the rifles are now smooth bore because you don't need it to fly true when it can change course."

But you need to at least get it close enough for the steering to compensate. The more extreme the range, the narrower the window before it becomes too much for the steering to correct and it misses. A trained sniper can help keep this from happening by removing the need for some of that correction, giving the round a better chance to stay on target.

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Charles 9
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Re: "imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do"

Thing is, a trained sniper can correct at least some for wind and motion, allowing EXACTO more leeway and allowing for hitting targets outside the sniper's unassisted skills due to range or wind.

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Charles 9
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"The EXACTO round isn't intended for general use, but as a tool for long-range snipers that provide support for ground troops in the field. No details have been released on the cost of each unit – or the ammunition – but it's unlikely to be cheap."

True, but then again, if a novice can nail the target using this round, imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do with such a round even under extreme range or wind conditions. The US has historically held value in the savings of one well-placed shot. When one is all you need, they may consider the cost worth it if it saves time, other ammo, and especially lives.

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WHY can't Silicon Valley create breakable non-breakable encryption, cry US politicians

Charles 9
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Re: But what about...

"So your system can only possibly work in a mechanism whereby a symmetric session key is negotiated between the endpoints."

Look, it's basically how PGP-encrypted messages work. The message itself is encrypted using a one-time symmetric session key. This is done for reasons of speed (symmetric encryption is much quicker than asymmetric) and to allow for multiple recipient, which I'll elaborate. This session key is then encrypted using the PUBLIC keys of all the recipients: one copy per recipient. In such a scheme, all the plods need is to always be on the recipient list; a copy of the key is encrypted for them. Anyone who's a targeted recipient can then decrypt the message by using their private key to decrypt the session key from one of the key blocks.

Not saying it's infallible (who's going to have the plods' private keys is the key mistrust here), but it's a tried-and-tested system.

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Charles 9
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Re: What about current crypto?

"And even if they do find this Holey Grail (misspelling intentional), what are they going to do about all the current crypto systems that they can't crack? Make them illegal?"

No, most of them are susceptible to Shor's algorithm. And while we know about public progress with quantum computing, that says nothing about black projects (like perhaps one in Utah being covered up by the big data dump project) where they're already breaking early crypto. Meanwhile, most post-quantum crypto systems have problems of their own (very slow, easier to break, etc.).

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Welcome, stranger: Inside Microsoft's command line shell

Charles 9
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Re: piping

But that's what I'm saying. I've had cases of the pipe not working, probably because the second program tried to load after the first, couldn't, and DOS returned an error to that effect. Like trying to stuff a huge text file (~1MB I think) through more.

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Charles 9
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Re: piping

Are you SURE it went to a temp file and not RAM? I know at least once I overloaded a pipe which you wouldn't expect to happen with a temp file given enough free space.

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Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

Charles 9
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Re: Sound bites bite back

Well, a collision hard enough to trip airbags is probably one likely to at least seriously damage if not disable the car, prompting the presence of police at the least.

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Finally, Mozilla looks at moving away from 'insecure' HTTP. Maybe

Charles 9
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Re: Dumbest idea ever

"Forcing everything to use HTTPS is like setting up security checkpoints at public roads. They cost a lot, and not only do they not serve any purpose, but they're actually counterproductive, and only slow things down."

You've never been to a DUI checkpoint, then. They set them up at chokepoints so drunk drivers have no choice but to pass them OR stop driving. Either way, fewer drunk on the road meaning fewer drunk driving incidents meaning fewer innocent fatalities.

Plain HTTP has its place, and there are a lot of web sites and application, where using HTTPS serves no purpose, but only slows things down and increase the costs, with no real benefits.

Some agencies have been able to build profiles using HTTP sniffing. HTTPS reduces the available data to sniff.

"Also, just because a site is using HTTPS, it does not mean that it's secure, by any standards. It can still leak information and even expose user behavior in a myriad of ways, both on purpose and by accident or by negligence."

Put it this way. Would you rather visit a place WITH or WITHOUT a lock on the door?

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Charles 9
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"The vast majority of HTTP use is information retrieval for which the additional confidentiality, integrity, and authentication benefits of HTTPS - which are not particularly generous in the first place - provide users with no benefit."

But people can build profiles based on the sites your frequent and the pages you read. HTTPS at least obscures some of the trail, blunting some of these side channel attacks.

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ESPN sues Verizon: People picking their own TV channels? NOOoo!

Charles 9
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Re: I hate watching sport

You'd be noticeably in the minority.

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Charles 9
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Re: Buffets

"I don't agree with that, the other stuff sure, but a newspaper to me really isn't comparable for 1 reason, reuse."

Three letters: DVR (used to be VTR but you get the drift). This is what threw Nielsen into a hissyfit in the past because it means reuse with no way to measure it. Point is, if people like it enough, they'll record their shows and rewatch them at their leisure. Just as people save news articles they want to re-read. The secondhand viewing argument also applies to DVR or shared households.

"Either way, you did state that Monday Night Football is now on ESPN. I didn't know that, but it's all too fitting of the greedy to take interests away from the masses for corporate gain....it's just extra greedy. Of course, this is what kills sports viewing in the end. The less kids that can see sports on TV, the less they will have a grown interest in watching sports on TV, ultimately killing off sports viewing."

I say this because Disney took a calculated risk. ESPN used to carry their football on Sunday nights (so as not to interfere with ABC's Monday Night), but NBC outbid them for that right in the last round of negotiations (because they wanted back in the football business--smart move), so Disney was in a bit of a bind. They decided that, since ESPN is such a high-demand network that any cable company still standing would have it as part of their standard package and since households using only the over-the-air antenna would be exceedingly rare (due to the low amount of content), and since ABC as a whole at the time was on a bit of a skid, they can drop it from ABC, move it to ESPN, and not really suffer for it. It's been like this for a couple years now, and given there's been no plans to move it, you'd have to think Disney knew what they were thinking.

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Charles 9
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Re: Buffets

Perhaps not so much stupid as "over a barrel". If it's a prerequisite to advertise on ESPN that you also have to advertise on ESPN2 and so on, what choice does the advertiser have to get in on one of the most-watched cable networks in the country?

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Charles 9
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Re: Buffets

"The concept that the networks will lose viewers is pure bullshit, and the concept that they will lose revenue is ever-so-slightly processed bullshit. So back to your marketing department, ESPN; you'll just have to do better than that."

Except ESPN is a high-demand network. Otherwise, ABC would never have lost Monday Night Football. Say what you will about side sports when things get slow, but when the big sports come along, viewership is still high enough to draw ratings. Some channels you just cannot ignore if you're an advertiser.

As for the channel blocks, remember that this system is analogous to the typical newspaper or magazine: most people buy them just for a section or two, yet one has to buy the whole thing to read them (Otherwise, why aren't newspapers partitioned? It wouldn't be worth the money otherwise). The idea is that of the impulse attraction: you pass by it in your flipping, see something interesting, and stick around. Sure it doesn't work all the time, but like TV ads and crime, they only have to be lucky ONCE.

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SpaceX in MONEY RING shot, no spare juice for tail backdown this time

Charles 9
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Re: "Change in plan for vertical-landing Falcon 9 rocket stage"

The change being they won't attempt a controlled landing of this stage because the payload's going into geosynchronous orbit rather than low-earth orbit. The distance involved means the Falcon 9 won't have enough fuel to even try a controlled landing.

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Not so fast on FM switch-off: DAB not so hot say small broadcasters

Charles 9
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But why is DAB such a power hog and why can't anyone find a way to cut the power use on it?

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Charles 9
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Re: ironically....

Guess it depends on where you get the phone. Most of the Chinese phones IIRC have the FM tuner included in the SoC simply because it was easy enough to throw it in and expands the versatility and saleability of anything it goes in. A relatively inexpensive Samsung phone I have has the capability, but you probably won't expect it in top-end phones.

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Top Spanish minister shows citizens are thick as tortillas de ballenas

Charles 9
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Re: Pedanting...

"Next, it seems very likely that humans co-existed and continue to coexist with small flying feathery "dinosaurs" (well, their descendants at least)."

But avians are different enough to be distinct from reptiles, of which dinosaurs are members (just as humans are different enough to be considered distinct from apes). All avians are warm-blooded and have feathers and wings as a standard feature. The subset of dinosaurs that became avians and thus weren't predominantly cold-blooded, scaled, and groundbound, constituted a tiny minority of the whole.

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DTS announces DTS:X – sparks object-based audio war with Dolby

Charles 9
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Re: Or as old school gamers call it "A3D"

I think Aureal was a bit too far ahead of its time. Positional audio for headphones, let alone arbitrary speaker setups, was computationally intense back around 2000. The big turn off for gamers as a result was that games like Half-Life started to lag and stutter when they used positional audio. I know that was my experience when I used a Diamond A3D card with Half-Life: the frame rate dropped with it in use.

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America was founded on a dislike of taxes, so how did it get the IRS?

Charles 9
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Re: @Dana W

I think the correct term is half of DISCRETIONARY spending. One of the alarm bells is that TWO-THIRDS of the entire US budget is NON-DISCRETIONARY and MUST be paid no matter what. A tiny chunk of that is interest on standing debt, but the vast majority encompasses stuff like Social Security and Healthcare (yes, because they're guaranteed by law, they're considered NON-DISCRETIONARY). Half of mandatory spending is Social Security and the like, most of the rest is Medicare.

Put it this way. We are obligated to spend more on mandatory spending than the US takes in in income tax revenues ($2.5T in obligations vs. $2.2T in total income tax revenues).

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Charles 9
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Re: @Dana W

"That's where you can look at it fro a different angle. Affordable healthcare can be seen as investing in the workforce, just as you pay to have your car serviced and it keeps running longer and is less likely to break down when you need it most. I appreciate that this is not a perfect analogy because it's easy to scrap a problem car, whereas the law frowns on doing that to a person."

Trouble is, studies have shown that longevity HURTS the government. There's a certain age ideal for any country with such a system where the system breaks even: paying out as much per citizen in health benefits as they take in in taxes (and the loss accelerates as they get older because more money is required to keep people alive as they get older). Go beyond that point and healthcare becomes a money SINK. What the study showed is that the average country with strong state-run healthcare is past that point.

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Charles 9
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Re: Well, even cosmetic house improvements need to be checked

They're not just nominal reasons. Many of them came on the heels of lawsuits filed because someone got hurt or killed as a result of a home improvement getting blown off in the storm and hitting someone or someone struck by a car at a blind corner: blind because the buildings were too close to the street making it impossible to see what's coming to any acceptable degree.

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Charles 9
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But those same states typically charge you for obtaining an ID card. If it's a requirement to vote to possess such an ID, that amounts to a poll tax, and that runs afoul of the forbidden laws list of Article I, Section 9.

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Chrome version 42 will pour your Java coffee down the drain: Plugin blocked by default

Charles 9
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Re: Dalvik

But ART doesn't completely replace the Dalvik language: just the Dalvik runtime. ART simply compiles that bytecode into native code when the app is installed. The Dalvik source is still there, though.

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Charles 9
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Re: Uh oh

"Combine that with millions of people who have no clue how to fiddle their settings and you are suddenly looking at a LOT of very unhappy people who will do what they always do: take the path of least resistance and ditch the thing that changed everything."

But it makes you wonder what would happen when they suddenly find out that was the LAST thing that supported the status quo, basically leaving them up the creek without a boat and with the sharks in hot pursuit.

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Charles 9
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Have you considered taking your complaint all the way up to the Secretary of _____ on the grounds that the CIO's gross incompetence is placing national secrets in danger, something that could cause him/her to directly face a Congressional inquiry if (make that WHEN) it gets breached?

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Charles 9
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Re: Great.

"I don't think he's stupid. He's probably right: the only way to have a truly secure browser is to disable all client-side running code. If code can run in your client, it can be theoretically exploited."

Problem is, without client-side code, web pages can't be interactive, and a non-interactive web page now is likely to be your ticket to obsolescence. So it's like I said earlier: you can either sink or swim with the sharks...

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Dev gives HBO free math tips to nail Game of Thrones pirate leakers

Charles 9
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"Again, no. You are assuming that the copies do not have markers in common. That's not how this works. The pool of possible markers is huge (derived from the number of frames in the movie) and all copies will have markers in common with all but one other meaning only a complete compromise of all recipients allows one to complete obscure / remove all markers and all that tells the studio anyway is that all parties were compromised."

What about the matter that making all those encodes will take time since they're HD and each forensically unique meaning they can't be shortcutted? Plus the fact that a one-off is not worth making a ROM-Marked pressed copy?

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Charles 9
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Re: How about different watermarks?

Multiple watermarks means multiple encodes, increasing the production time for the screeners AND reducing the viability of pressing. Furthermore, pirates can obtain multiple copies to mix and match.

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Charles 9
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"This has been covered in detail. The above is possible. But what it achieves is to tell the distributors that TWO studios have leaked. And which ones they were. Basically, you think using n sources hides which one of n was the leak. It doesn't, it provides a list of thise n studios that have been compromised."

That depends on how they're forensically identified and how one goes about removing the traces. If they're all "add a frame here and there," the pirates can default to "trim anywhere an extra frame is detected," which would basically whittle down the forensic tagging to the point the studio won't be able to tell which studio got raided. If they're all "cut a frame here and there," you do the reverse and extend with the same results. As for "a mix of cut and trim," if you mix them up, then it's going to be much harder to tell which copy/copies got nicked because you also stand the chance of coming close to colliding with the signature of a THIRD copy, raising the possibility of a false identification. Oh, speaking of third copies, if the pirates obtain a third copy, they can probably defeat the signature reliably by using a "two-out-of-three" rule, keeping the clip length that appears in two of the three copies (and in the event of a three-way-tie between cut, extend, and nothing, keep the nothing).

And then, like I said, there's the time investment required to make each copy forensically unique, since even professional hardware takes time to encode a 1080p video.

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Charles 9
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Re: Transcode resistant?

Probably a semantic flub. They mean audio watermarking that's resistant to transcoding like Cinavia. Most audio watermarking works on the extrema of the audio clip to avoid it being audible. However, this renders it vulnerable to mangling as I call it through simple audio transformations. Cinavia's willing to place its data in the audible part of the frequency range, resulting in a slight but barely-noticeable noise in the track. Thing is, since it's in the audible range, it's much trickier to remove without distorting the actual audio too much.

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Charles 9
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If the pirates obtained TWO copies, they could run a picture delta analysis to determine off frames and work from there: keeping edits from BOTH copies to throw off the forensic identification.

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Comcast flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable

Charles 9
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Re: I'm just about ready for somebody to sue the right way and end all this.

"Agreed. If there was a chance of the plaintiff winning it would never get to court. There'd be an out of court "settlement" to make it go away."

That only works if they don't encounter an "untouchable" who's determined to set the precedent and won't settle for less than a full trial. And before you say they don't exist, one man once sued a company for $1 (and won it, too) just to put the company he sued over the coals.

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Charles 9
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Re: I'm just about ready for somebody to sue the right way and end all this.

"5. When the court finds in favor of the plaintiff, argue that no rebates or court oversight can correct the problem: the content division MUST be separated from the ISP or the natural conflict of interest will remain."

That hinges on the court finding in favor of the plaintiff. Suppose some under-the-table bribing makes the court rule in favor of the fiddler instead, setting a precedent?

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Apple Watch RIPPED APART, its GUTS EXPOSED to hungry Vultures

Charles 9
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Re: Could be useful

Perhaps not out of the box, but I don't see why it couldn't do two-way Morse code via haptic feedback and touch/button input. They make such stuff for Android devices and Samsung Gear already.

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Charles 9
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Re: Anyone remember the HP 01 Watch?

"Clearly the leading influence for the Apple Watch, from back when digital was a new buzzword.

http://www.led-forever.com/html/hp-01_led_calculator_watch.html"

Back when I was a kid I was given a Casio LCD calculator watch for Christmas. Having a calculator always (in a manner) at hand proved quite handy when a quick calculation was needed, especially when pen and paper weren't readily available. Lasted about ten years before it broke beyond repair.

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Your city's not smart if it's vulnerable, says hacker

Charles 9
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Re: Info = fewer suckers

Problem is, the average capacity for information's already there, meaning the average person just wants to get to tomorrow and doesn't really have the patience to think in longer terms.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's only taxpayers money, who cares?

Actually, I didn't. But what's one smart vote when up against ten stupid votes? And when the choices (if any) are down between Tweedledum and Tweedledummer?

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Charles 9
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Re: It's only taxpayers money, who cares?

And if "do nothing" and "go manual" aren't options for legal or "political" reasons?

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Got a big day planned in 15 BEELLLION years? You need this clock

Charles 9
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Re: Ironically, 'real' time is a bodge

Blame the Earth for that. If it weren't for the fact the Earth's rotation is oh-so-gently slowing down, atom-based UTC wouldn't need to keep adjusting to keep near the Earth-based GMT. Otherwise, UTC noon wouldn't match up to Grenwich noon.

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Charles 9
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Re: Obligatory Terry Pratchet reference

Maybe it's a case of "Too Soon". I only found out about Sir Pratchett's passing a week back, as I was out of touch for a while. As for the clock, I suppose it will be extremely difficult to know if it really can keep accurate time if it's THAT sensitive to movement, given that everything in the universe moves.

And just for the record, that precision limit is still about 25 orders of magnitude away from Planck time, so maybe it isn't right to compare this to the Glass Clock.

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Lawyer: Cops dropped robbery case rather than detail FBI's StingRay phone snoop gizmo

Charles 9
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But was the defendant faced with a mucho-seriouso charge such as attempted murder? That's going to be the acid test. A high-profile case like a rampant murderer will mean lots of attention being placed on the defendant, meaning the police will be under tremendous pressure to nail a conviction: especially if the victims' families have been vocal to the media (especially if it's a hate- or race-motivated crime). It would mean Charybdis has now joined the Scylla of the FBI and the DA may not be able to abide with the direction for fear of a riot (not to mention a possible suit against the state for gross miscarriage of justice).

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Charles 9
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Re: keeping secrets

The defendant is guaranteed the right under the Constitution to confront one's accuser, so an "anonymous tip-off" can only be used as secondary evidence. The StingRay evidence in this case was the linchpin of the whole case which meant the defense would be entitled to question the police who used it.

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Charles 9
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Re: @LucreLout - @Gordon

"But this case *isn't* about a phone being stolen, it's about the Police very probably using illegal methods to snoop on phones in the same way that GCHQ and NSA want to snoop on what everyone does online in the hope that, in the massive haystack of data they collect, there may be a needle."

But when the needle's made of explodium so it doesn't react to magnets or x-rays, making it indistinguishable from the haystack, how do you find it before it explodes, takes hundreds of people with it, and YOU get the blame for not finding it in time?

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Charles 9
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How far are they willing to go? Suppose the next target is a murderer? Will they be willing to risk innocent lives to keep Stingray secret? What if a dropped case results in new victims who then sue on the grounds of miscarriage of justice?

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Ubuntu 15.04 to bring 'Vivid' updates for cloud, devices this week

Charles 9
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Re: VNC

I think Google making under-the-bonnet changes to the Android graphics engine. Most 3rd party VNC servers broke with Kit Kat, and I don't think Lollipop improved matters.

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Charles 9
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Re: "Vivid Vervet"

I think "wacky" is a likely candidate. If they need something more obscure, perhaps "whistling".

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FCC hit with SEVENTH net neutrality lawsuit

Charles 9
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Re: "which Democrats will never allow"

If he was such a negative, how come he was elected TWICE? Getting the second terms means SOMETHING went right.

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Verizon FLICKS FINGER at Netflix with skinny à la carte-style TV package for fibre munchers

Charles 9
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Re: fug ESPN

"For how much longer?"

For as long as people watch sports, I think. Even with local blackouts, there are literally millions of sports fans out there willing to pay. Especially since it's still cheaper than tickets. That translates to a whole lot of money, and none of the other channels come close, not even the Fox Sports networks.

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