* Posts by Charles 9

8250 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

Charles 9
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Re: Can you hold down the power button

"All of this does rather make you wonder though how she turns the thing on every morning,"

Given that more often than not the computer isn't off but asleep, moving the mouse or pressing a key usually wakes it up again.

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Charles 9
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Re: Can you hold down the power button

"I'd maintain that 'power button' is absolutely NOT 'jargon'. If someone is employed to use a computer at work all day, I'd hope that their standard of education is such that they can understand basic concepts such as that. He'd already 'asked her to turn it off and turn it on again', and she later said 'Oh you mean the button I use to switch it off with?' Neither 'turn it off' or 'switch it off' are 'jargon'."

Unless it's a device that doesn't normally get turned off. Like the air conditioning, or managed lights, or in this case a modern computer, which normally gets put to sleep, not turned off.

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Charles 9
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"You know there are some idiots still in the shower. Because it doesn't say, 'Dry your hair. Try it again tomorrow," man."

- Bill Engvall, "Here's Your Sign".

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PoisonTap fools your PC into thinking the whole internet lives in an rPi

Charles 9
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Re: Other Issues

Are you sure? What about highly-public places like airports where distractions are easy as is disappearing into the crowd?

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Charles 9
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Re: To lock a Linux system down

But you're inserting it in a BOOT script. If that command gets triggered before the USB root hub is awakened, you probably can't modprobe the hub driver, which means the keyboard and mouse don't awaken, either.

And that's why many people hate SysV. There's no real dependency system in it: just timings which can go wrong.

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Charles 9
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Re: This is exactly how things are designed to work

"Yeah, well maybe they should stop working that way, mon."

Except that if you don't do thing THAT way, things BREAK, and most users will simply respond, "The Internet is broke now! Put it back!"

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British banks chuck smartphone apps out of Windows

Charles 9
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Re: Well even though my bank has an app

The problem is when the card(s) come(s) back DECLINED? NOW what do you do? If you leave, you have to get back in line and there's a good chance, thanks to Murphy, that the item you want will be out of stock. If you can do an on-the-spot check and transfer, you can save the transaction. I speak from experience.

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Charles 9
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Re: Well even though my bank has an app

An on the spot check or transfer in case your card doesn't go through? Website may not be mobile-optimized or you don't trust the browser. And I don't feel like going home to check the balance then go back, get in line again, and probably finch out the stuff I wanted earlier is now out of stock with no restock anytime soon.

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The solution to security breaches? Kill the human middleware

Charles 9
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Re: The solution to security breaches?

No good. They'll just target the endpoints, one of the few places where the data MUST be decrypted because the Eyeball v1.0 doesn't grok encrypted data. The only way around that would be cybernetic eyes connected directly to the brain a la Ghost in the Shell.

As for downloading scripts, what if the copy you download has a hole in it? At least the one kept at the writer's site would be kept up to date, meaning the hole gets patched ASAP. You can't win. Either you let a hole fester or you download one. And humans are fallible and formal proofs have a very narrow scope.

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Charles 9
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Re: Oh sod off

"Security as a domain of human activity needs to secure my and everyone else's normal behaviour, not make me contort my behaviour into some twisted version of itself. You don't build a building with doors and then act surprised when people try to use them. If a door should not be used it is either not in the building design in the first place or it is locked. Then idiots like me don't have to be given a list of doors that are there but that we must not use. This is not a perfect analogy, but then that's the nature of analogies."

But ANY door can be a way in for a bad guy. Trouble is, many doors MUST be open to the public because it's the way in or out for them. Meaning if you interact with the public, you're vulnerable, period. And if you're vulnerable, you can be hit for EVERYTHING since the heist may know where to find the good stuff. Which poses a problem. Because an assumption one WILL be hit ALSO means the assumption that WHEN one gets hit, he/she will be hit for EVERYTHING: an existential threat. So a surrender mentality is incompatible because it also implies a suicide mentality.

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The encryption conundrum: Should tech compromise or double down?

Charles 9
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Re: Is it me?

And the difference between uranium used in a reactor and uranium used in a bomb is nil. Physics here, and it's true: it's the same element involved, only some processing is the difference. That's why Iran is such a touchy issue: they have their own mine; this combined with knowledgeable scientists means they have the entire processing chain in-house. Short of World War III, there's no physical way to stop Iran from making nuclear weapons. It's a no-win situation, but still unacceptable because it also presents an existential threat. It's like staring up the mountain as the avalanche begins.

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Google's neural network learns to translate languages it hasn't been trained on

Charles 9
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I meant to say Thai. Curse the mobile site's inability to edit.

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Charles 9
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And English is actually easier to go with German than with Spanish because English has Germanic roots unlike Spanish which has Latin roots. That's why I like to try it with Japanese, since Far Eastern languages have much less in common with each other. That's another good challenge ceca use of its odd semantics.

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Charles 9
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Part of the way neural networks work is by finding things in common. Going from one family to an unrelated one would be a bridge too far even for us without a starting point.

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Charles 9
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Re: ummm

The thing is, are we any different? We don't come up with stuff from scratch, either. We take our experiences and what's been told us by others and apply them to new stuff. See where this is going? As I recall, no one told the thing to realize Portuguese has similarities to Spanish and so on, it figured that out as it went (as would most people who studies both languages often; they're both Romance languages and the two countries are adjacent geographically).

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Charles 9
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To Japanese...

"研究者は1つのモデルに最大12の言語ペアしか使用していませんでしたが、Google翻訳で現在使用されているNMTと同じアーキテクチャで動作するため、使いやすく簡単に追加できます。"

...then back to English:

"Researchers used only a maximum of 12 language pairs per model, but they work with the same architecture as the NMT currently used in Google Translate, so they can be added easily and easily."

Probably needs some more work.

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Antivirus tools are a useless box-ticking exercise says Google security chap

Charles 9
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Re: This has been said many times before...

They expect and demand 100% because nothing less will work. It's all or nothing because just ONE slip and it's Game Over.

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Charles 9
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Re: Everything can be a program, if the OS is a PoS

And then when Peter Packet stuffs his drives full of stuff such that there's no room for a shadow copy and a larger drive would jack the sale price past affordability?

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Charles 9
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Re: Probably the best "antivirus" you can have…

Thing is, virii have gotten sophisticated enough to reach Captain Trips levels where no two infections are alike enough for an AV to catch.

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Charles 9
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But that's out on government-controlled roads. Computers are used in the privacy of one's home: whole different kettle of regulations. Put it this way. The only way you can control the Internet enough to stop this would be to take a Big Brother approach. Anything less and the jungle creeps back in.

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Charles 9
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Re: Google chap hasn't used his grey matter before opening his mouth.

"It's easy to stand on the outside and say it's all rubbish, throw it away, but no one is offering any acceptable solutions to the problems."

Because none exists. You can connect this problem to the First Contact Problem: an intractable problem in security which basically goes, "Without a known point of trust, there's no way to verify a new contact is legitimate. But to reach a known point of trust, you need to verify someone." Catch-22 for any situation where you have nothing in common, like downloading a new app from someone you've never met before.

IOW, the only way to know is to open the door, by which point it's way too late if it's someone out to get you.

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Charles 9
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Re: If Only Google Could Get A Handle On Their Own Security Problems

"I'd like Android to give me a bit more info on whats going on. What network connecctions its opening to what IP addresses (and where those IPs are registered and to who)? What Apps are accessing what data actively at any time?"

But most users would see this info as Information Overload, and they're also the most likely to be victimized. So what do you do? The most likely victims are also the least likely to know how to avoid being victims.

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Charles 9
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"I'll be holding on to my AV for a while longer. Did Google say who should be in charge of whitelisting? Was it them, by any chance?"

Whitelisting is only practical in a business setting where there's a boss to dictate terms. In this case, it's the boss who manages the whitelist.

In a home setting, no whitelist can be considered safe except one curated by the user him/herself, only most users lack the aptitude to correctly curate a whitelist. And placing it in someone else's hands essentially places your trust in a Trent who could really be Mallory.

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The sharks of AI will attack expensive and scarce workers faster than they eat drivers

Charles 9
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Re: The 1% better have a backup plan

Problem with that is how you control a military that large to keep them from making YOU redundant. Plenty of juntas and military coups in history to back up that concern.

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Charles 9
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Re: Here's the crux of the argument

"What does a robot do when it is a case of "not here mate"?"

What does a HUMAN do when it's a case of "not here mate"? Take that solution and work from there. It's not like it takes instinct to solve a problem like this.

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Charles 9
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Re: Watson?

"Charging less for accepted applications and more for rejected ones makes sense. Think about it. Charging more for acceptance only encourages it and I think we have enough shitty applications. Charging more for rejected applications "encourages" better thought out applications, but this depends crucially on the extra cost. In essence the desired outcome is reflected in the pricing. To change it would encourage a worse result."

There's also the matter of the labor costs. Remember, someone has to research these patents, and the USPTO is one of the most underpaid bureaus in the country. So they're pressed to investigate as many patents as possible on a shoestring budget, and they can't deny by default because then filers would complain and eventually Congress would get on their cases.

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Charles 9
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Re: Learning to live

"Machines also have the benefits in surgical processes of being able to use narrower "limbs" and joints able to spin on their axis unlike human ones. They also don't suffer from shakes (even minute ones - think about the eye surgery example above) or errors in judgement of geospatial location."

But what if the patient moves? Can the robo-surgeon correct for Murphy moments as easily as the human can (and the human may even do it instinctively, something the machine lacks and can't be taught it since we don't know how our own instincts came to be--they come untaught)?

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Charles 9
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Re: Learning to live

"in the same way talking to a customer agent robot online has become more routine."

And too many people (including young people, BTW), still respond to this by pressing 0 and demanding to speak to a live person. And Uncanny Valley is an instinctive (meaning untaught) aversion to pseudo-humans because something about them isn't perfectly right. So young people will still get creeped out by Unacnny Valley. That's why we still have the Turing Test, which gets tougher the more elements you have to incorporate. Turing Test with text is within reach, but then you have the voice and finally the look.

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Charles 9
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Re: Millennials need to get a clue

"Believe me, this kind of world where only the wealthiest have any free time is exactly the world neocons like Trump envision. No time to think equates to no time to rebel against the transgressions of the 1% against the 99%."

Or it could just mean they call Sod This and devote ALL their time to rebel, figuring they'll survive by plundering the 1%. The 1% better have a backup plan.

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Charles 9
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Re: You've only just realised this?

"Well, bollocks to that, IMO. And the answer isn't neo-Luddism, but the development of a new economic system. Capitalism replaced barter due to the needs of its time, and I feel sure that in due course we will arrive at some system to replace capitalism that embraces the existence of both humans and pervasive automation and AI. Trying to either prevent the future (Luddism) or hold onto the past (clinging to capitalism when it;s clearly not fit for societies purpose under current circumstances) are both doomed to failure. So the sooner people start thinking about what a post-capitalist economic system might look like and how it might operate the better The longer we leave it, the messier the change from the system we have now to whatever will replace it is likely to be. IMHO, of course."

But there IS no better system. Capitalism at least draws on natural human instincts to make it work. Any other system would have to compete with that, and the problem with AI is that it butts directly up against a human instinct: that of getting the leg up on your neighbor so that it's your genes comprising the next generation, not his.

IOW, the natural result of an AI takeover will inevitably be a lot fewer humans: not because the AIs kill them but because a lot of us will be rendered expendable, and the law of the jungle still applies in civilization; in fact, it applies more when civilization is strained.

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Experts to Congress: You must act on IoT security. Congress: Encourage industry to develop best practices, you say?

Charles 9
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Re: How do you deal with China?

Volkswagen has an American presence. They have specialized dealers and a branch they can target.

Most of the Chinese tat is sold direct form China, usually through the gray markets. I doubt customs even knows when they pass through.

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Charles 9
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But then, as Washington pointed out, how do you deal with China, who's both sovereign and militarily powerful enough to be a legitimate threat if pushed?

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Charles 9
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Re: Well, if these fine legislators have their way --

Oh? People have been hacked since before the word "hacked" ever existed. Ever heard of the Confidence Game? That's Social Engineering at its most direct.

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Security bods find Android phoning home. Home being China

Charles 9
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Re: Nice surveillance racket you got there China

But not quickly enough. China is overpopulated; they'd probably be willing to let a few million die to play the long game since it would kill two birds with one stone. No one's stupid enough to try a mass uprising, not after Tienanmen Square.

Here, take a look at this. China will take short-term hurt for long-term gain since they could stand shedding some load. A trade war would benefit China long-term, and we know they already have plenty of untapped resources. All they need is a reason to tap into them again.

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Charles 9
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Re: Nice surveillance racket you got there China

"China has to import food because they don't currently produce enough to feed their population.

That is a turn-around from their situation 10 -15 years ago, and it could change. But most likely that will be that food imports continue to rise."

They've got tons of arable land, and they WERE net-positive not that long ago, meaning they have the means to turn this around, probably by reducing their population in various ways.

"China also has to import about 7 million barrels of oil a day to keep the wheels turning and the factories running - I don't see them becoming self-sufficient there any time soon."

Haven't you heard their rush to build windmills and nuclear reactors? Sounds like they're already working on the problem.

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Charles 9
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Re: How do we stop it?

Precisely. The Indian government is trying to rein in undeclared ("black") money so as to raise necessary tax revenues and hold the rich more accountable. And many are considering the move extremely audacious, particularly in light of Indian society being very "gossipy": being able to hide this move until past the point of no return in such a "gossipy" society is considered quite the coup.

Thing is, currency is only as good as the government that backs it. If the government disappears (like in Confederate money) or in this case withdraws its legality (the Indian case), or if hyperinflation whittles your cash value to less than the paper on which it was printed (German currency just before the rise of Hitler)...

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Charles 9
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Re: Nail in coffin for Android???

"It's everything to do with Android. You can't trust Android firmware, and it likely won't ever be properly patched / updated."

If you can't trust Android firmware, then you can't trust ANY firmware, for that matter, since where's the money in a one-and-done?

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Charles 9
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Re: Luddite

Then you're still very, VERY vulnerable since in this day and age any attacker can probably seek out hundreds if not thousands of victims at once, and even if it takes time, some are out there for the challenge so will see your hardened defenses as a bullseye.

IOW, you're gonna have to go FULL Luddite or you might as well not go at all for what difference it'll make. Unless you have an actual brick & mortar bank you can reach at any time (because otherwise you could be in trouble if you need to make a spot transfer to finish your purchase), unless you do ALL your shopping physically (which means you're out of luck with a lot of stuff that's ONLY available online, such as lots of repair parts and replacement components), then odds are you're vulnerable, if not by your phone, then by your PC which could very well be pwned without your knowledge.

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Charles 9
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Re: Therefore it is vital to be able to root your phone

No, they are root-aware because they can't trust the operating environment if root exists, as root can blind practically every other sense available to them unless you're like Google and can employ an extra set of "eyes" to double-check (like they do with Android Pay).

And no, not all malwares are built-in or come with an app. If Stagefright is any indication, they can be done from without as well using a drive-by exploit or other basic attack.

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Charles 9
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Re: Nice surveillance racket you got there China

"China really needs to export to sustain its economy, the internal market won't be enough. And it needs foreign money to buy all the resources Yuan wouldn't buy. China is far from being even close to be self-sufficient. Just think how much unemployment and related issues a collapse of export may lead to..."

China also knows export economies can't last forever. They DO need to turn inward, and if they need something they don't have right now, recall they have a massive surplus of MEN around. At this juncture, war with the neighbors could be a win-win for them. After all, who's going to stop them when America's too far away and they have nukes and a willingness to go MAD if all else fails?

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Charles 9
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Re: Therefore it is vital to be able to root your phone

But rooting means male are can take over the root, not only undoing your work but also preventing you from fixing it by using a signature check. Why do you think apps are increasingly root-aware?

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Charles 9
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Re: Nice surveillance racket you got there China

Ever thought China would WELCOME a trade war? There's very little China needs that they can't provide for themselves. They're pretty much the closest in the world to self-sufficient.

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Stolen passwords integrated into the ultimate dictionary attack

Charles 9
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Now do that again for the hundred or so sites you pass through every week, without repeating. This is why every time someone mentions your scheme or xkcd, I reply with, "Now was it 'correcthorsebatterystaple' or 'donkeyenginepaperclipwrong'?"

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Charles 9
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Re: Using a password manager

"Until said password manager becomes mainstream and the blackhats reverse engineer the "random" generator algo."

Even if they reverse-engineer it (and the one in KeePass is open-source), if the algo was seeded properly with truly random data (or even just truly ephemeral data, like the time of creation to the microsecond--try figuring out THAT one), they'll still be at a loss to reconstruct the password. It's like trying to predict the lottery.

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Encrypted email sign-ups instantly double in wake of Trump victory

Charles 9
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Re: re:First Contact Problem

"The FCP is a problem, yes. But if - and ONLY if - the two actors are under surveillance at that point."

You forget Mallory. How will they know they didn't run into a mole?

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Shhh! Shazam is always listening – even when it's been switched 'off'

Charles 9
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Re: Meh

"a) look on the 'what is playing' section of the station's web page [a lot of them do this]"

Not that handy to do when you're on the go, especially if you don't know WHAT station is playing, or even if it is a radio (it could be a dedicated stream personalized for the shop, so no playlist), and then by the time you open up the website and look it up, it could already be on the next song and they keep no history.

b) if it's internet streaming radio, you'll see the ID text displayed [probably]

Unless it's a PRIVATE stream. See (a).

c) who really cares, since RIAA only excretes CRAP these days, with rare exceptions"

What about stations playing older music, say from the 50's through the 80's? If you're going to say this music is crap, either you have a tin ear or you just don't like music, period.

PS. Shazam and the like are actually QUITE good with older music since it tends to be pretty popular. Foreign music may be another matter unless the music provider keeps an international database.

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Charles 9
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Re: Overreaction?

"Maybe you can't please everyone, but giving the user the option to choose whether to leave the mic on would go a long way.as would being transparent about it."

But there are people out there who don't like choice, or even the appearance of choice: Information Overload. Like I said, there's just no pleasing some people.

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Telstra launches Australian homes onto the Internet of S**t

Charles 9
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Re: One more thing:

That's nothing. What if it decides to store deviant pornography instead, especially the type not allowed by law?

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Forget razors and blades, APIs are the new gotcha

Charles 9
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Re: Pardon my American, but …

Or unless the law is ignored like the ink on a page it is in reality.

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Charles 9
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Law's going the other way, using the environment as a scapegoat. Assets are being locked down, there are too many people, and there's no business like repeat business.

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