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* Posts by solidsoup

228 posts • joined 17 Jul 2009

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Facebook TEENS EXPOSED to entire WORLD

solidsoup
Coat

Sarcasm

I see Dr. Evil got 2 downvotes. I find the increasing tendency of fellow commentards to miss obvious sarcasm. ... simply awesome. I think everyone should do it more and completely ignore any intended irony or sarcasm, so that El Reg comments become like most other Internet forums. Wouldn't that be grand?

Carry on. Mine's with a giant sign in the pocket.

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The DARK HEART of the Twitter IPO: FAKE USERS

solidsoup

Re: You mean humans use twitter ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK62I-4cuSY

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Douglas Adams was RIGHT! TINY ALIENS are invading Earth, say boffins

solidsoup

I find your use of the word 'boffin' offensive

People behind this study simply do not deserve the title.

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NASA: Humanity has finally reached into INTERSTELLAR SPACE

solidsoup

@mr.K

Because it's 17 hours. See the common theme now?

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solidsoup

The subheading is also erroneous

Actually, NASA announced that voyager has entered interstellar space. This isn't the same as leaving solar system. So long as Sun's gravity exerts the dominant force on the craft, it will technically be part of the solar system. Voyager has left the heliosphere, which is a bubble of charged particles emanating from the sun. Solar system actually extends as far as outer reaches of the Oort cloud, which may be over a light year away. For a more scientifically accurate take, here is the NASA press release: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-277

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solidsoup

Amazing

Voyagers are a marvel of engineering. I doubt there are any space-related projects today that will not only be around in 36 years, but perform go above and beyond what they were designed to do. ISS, for instance, was just recently completed, has been glitchy all throughout and will be de-orbited in just 7 years.

If there's anything that the latest NSA saga shows, it is that US is still capable of grandiose and audacious projects. It just would've been nice to have that spirit applied towards something constructive that advances our civilization and unites people of the world in being proud of human achievement (rather than uniting them in disliking US).

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Microsoft to open Windows Stores inside 600 Best Buy locations

solidsoup
Joke

Store within a store

I just hope that no-one gets an idea to shop on Windows Store website from within Windows Store. One more level and they will be stuck in limbo with Microsoft products indefinitely. It's hard to imagine a more cruel fate.

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Meet your new martyr: Edward Snowden

solidsoup
Thumb Down

Completely disagree with the article. Snowden made a brilliant move by getting ahead of the administration on this. With stories this big, human element is an irresisitible aspect. He would be the story regardless of whether he would put himself in the center.

There is also an interesting depth to his views. Junior or not, his understanding of Prism is clearly nuanced. While NSA collects all this data, it only really uses it for active investigations and tracing leads. The current system and the way its being used isn't really the problem, as he himself implies. Constituational issue is pretty narrow and has to do with the fact that analysts are given guidance to follow 2 hops from an overseas target, meaning they can eavesdrop on an American who hasn't communicated with someone overseas. However, the actual issue is the capability itself. What happens to such a capability tomorrow? This is one of the places where slippery slope argument is very apropos. How long before this is used for copyright enforcement fishing expeditions or paedophile hunting trips?

Looking ahead, this probably won't turn out well and the reason is simple - people are sheep and they don't care. What will happen is the same program will now exist publicly with a few appropriate briefs from Holder and 5-4 acquiesence from SCOTUS. People who think that's better, delude themselves. It's like your wife cheating on you openly and publicly rather than secretly and discreetly.

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Al Gore: Stop using the atmosphere as 'AN OPEN SEWER'

solidsoup
Joke

MBP is here

Why won't any one listen to him? He's super serial.

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YES, Xbox One DOES need internet, DOES restrict game trading

solidsoup
Coat

Thank you, Microsoft, for making this an easy choice. Now I want to see what Sony offers. If PS4 can play used games offline, then that's my next console. If not, I'm done with console gaming.

* mine's with Eadon's watch in the pocket - even a broken watch is right twice a day

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Big Brother? Social networks are far worse, says Estonian president

solidsoup

You seem to overlook that whatever data is available to Facebook is also available to the government via Facebook.

As for what purposes data is used for, you're thinking small. You can always tack on the purposes later and once the data is out there, the ship has sailed. I say the day when services that offer analysis of your social profile will be used to evaluate how suitable you are for employment in a particular position. To an extent this has already happened, however it will become a lot more widespread and automated. Guess what not having a social network presence will mean for your employability?

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solidsoup

Spot On!

That is all.

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Finally – mind-controlled limbs without brain surgery

solidsoup
Thumb Up

Finally -- a DARPA story

Moar DARPA stories please!

How boring would the world be without those crazy boffins?!!

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Silent Circle adds private email to hush-hush communications

solidsoup
Black Helicopters

Odd

Why would a company like Silent Circle openly advertise government interest, especially going along with it? Here is what it sounds like to me: "Hello, governments of the world. Singapore government has already bought in. You should too, lest you be left out from our data stream. Imagine how hard be brute-forcing that encryption would be."

Paranoid? Moi?

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Oz regulator “welcomes” debate on limiting net neutrality

solidsoup
Thumb Up

I for one welcome...

I think the regulator should fully embrace Telstra's idea of "congestion-pricing" various services when "such practices are transparent". In fact, they should mandate that ACCC would be in charge of that transparency and would be doing 2 things for transparency's sake:

1. Designing the pricing and service description for each telecom provider that follows congestion-charging that telecoms are required to use on their websites and in any advertising campaign where they mention the price.

AND

2. Launching a website where customers can compare all the providers' pricing and associated caps.

What's that Telstra? You no longer want congestion-charging?

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Microsoft Xbox exec quits after ENRAGING the INTERWEBS

solidsoup
Devil

Re: Oh they would so love to do it ...

Microsoft has gotten cocky as to even entertain the notion of persistent online requirement is ludicrous. One of the reasons consoles overtook PC gaming is that they "just worked". Microsoft should really look no further than Sony to see what happened to them last time they got cocky.

I predict that it's next quarterly report that reflects sales of Windows 8, Surface, Server 2012 and nokia phones (what's a nokia?) will come with a prescription for humble pills attached. Hopefully, then we can see them care a bit more about what their customers want. That or they can crawl under a rock and die - ether's fine by me.

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NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip down to 30 days

solidsoup
Devil

Re: LENR emerging soon

Aha hhaa ha ha ha. Ha haa ha ha ha. Aha hhaa ha ha ha. Ha haa ha ha ha.

Please get me up off the floor. Haa ha ha ha. Ha!

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US Navy blasts drones with ship-mounted LASER CANNON

solidsoup

For every degree that the laser moves, a drone would have to move 17.454 meters if it's 1 km away and proportionally more with distance. If it does so in a predicable pattern, then its of no use, so you need enormous g-forces and fuel burn. It's true that currently the laser requires relative long on-target time, but with adaptive optics and motion tracking (think Hubble taking pictures of the same patch for minutes while hurtling around earth - and it's hundreds of times slower in tracking than military spy satellites are) that's not a problem. Frankly it doesn't matter even if it took 10 minutes to destroy a target, it simply cannot be evaded through rapid motion. Once this is scaled up, China may find their anti-carrier missiles to be somewhat less threatening.

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solidsoup
Stop

Nope. That only works if you imagine a perfectly spherical cow. In the real world, if you build an airframe that's capable of this, it would be useless for any other task. Moreover, the further it is from the laser, the less effective this would be, as for huge aircraft movements, the laser would only need to make tiny adjustments in positioning its mirror, orders of magnitude smaller than it makes to compensate for waves and ship movement.

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solidsoup
WTF?

Really?

I expect more from my fellow commentards. I would have you know that your average household mirror reflects only 40-60% of light. To achieve 99% you need special coatings and materials which tend to be fragile (think telescope mirrors) and short-lived (think anti-glare coating on glasses). They tend to be very narrowly tailored for the wavelength and so would be easily defeated by a multi-wavelength laser. Even with smoke defense, the energies involved are such that the laser would potentially clear its own path. In short, lasers are much cheaper to build than to defend against.

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News Corp prez threatens to pull Fox TV off the air

solidsoup
WTF?

I'm just surprised there are enough people willing to pay Aereo for the load of ads and crappy content that is US broadcast TV.

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Climate change set to bumpify transatlantic flights, say researchers

solidsoup

Re: Hitting Snooze

Turbulence, not temperature.

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solidsoup
FAIL

Hitting Snooze

Wake me up when the data is strong enough to not require playing with charts. In this instance rather than showing temperature, it merely shows how many predictors agree on the increase, yet that's not the association in most people's heads when they view it. I mean, LOOK AT THE ALARMING RED!

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Microsoft hosts bar mitzvah for mature Azure

solidsoup

I guess this would explain calendar issues. Also, has anyone noticed anything weird about its performance on Saturdays?

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Microsoft: 'Facebook Home just copies Windows Phone'

solidsoup
Devil

No, Mr GBL. I want them to die.

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solidsoup
Trollface

Re: Degrees of Clever

"Given the similarities to our own approach, I expect Facebook Home to fail quite miserably", he added.

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Experts agree: Your next car will be smarter than you

solidsoup
Thumb Down

Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

Agree. Fucking stupid idea. This is akin to ABS and lack of predicted safety improvement. It's called risk compensation. People will simply take proportionally more risks, relying on technology to keep them safe.

Moreover, any one who drives frequently and does so well, can infer other vehicles' intent and plot projected movement almost mechanistically from tiny wobbles and driving style. (As well as auto make - if there's BMW overtaking you, you somehow know he's likely to cut you off soon enough) However, this is based on meatbag behavior and if you throw electronics in the mix, this predictability becomes less effective.

We already have vehicles that are able to take you from place to place without your intervention. You can even text, read, or watch a movie while riding them. They're called cabs and buses. Some of them are even driven by "professional drivers".

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Ubuntu tapped by China for national operating system

solidsoup
Devil

Re: ubuntu obvious choice

The obligatory...

So on one end of the deal you have an entity controlled by a cadre of orthodox ideologues and lead by an autocratic leader who can't handle people disagreeing with him. It spies on its subjects and is willing to sell them out to multinational commercial interests. And on the the other there's Republic of China.

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solidsoup
Facepalm

Part of a Plan

In light of this, introducing feature that spies on peoples searches makes a lot more sense. They can just substitute PRC servers for their own now and keep the same code. Very convenient. Now if any company allied itself with China to build the operating system, there would be outcry aplenty. See this fly past the radar as Ubuntu is considered crucial by many in the free software movement in beating "evil" Apple and Microsoft.

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SimCity 4

solidsoup

Re: Broken

I think the word broken is a lot more appropriate for the new release.

Come on Register! Enough of the appetizers. When are you coming out with the review of the new game? (I assume the advertising campaign includes writing one, n'est pas?) I want to hear what the new game is like when played, seeing as how I can't physically play it for myself.

Actually, this whole debacle reminds me of South Park episode where Cartman advertised his theme park with "you can't come" motto.

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US lawmaker blames bicycle breath for global warming gas

solidsoup
Thumb Up

Re: Facepalm...

He may be an idiot. In fact, I'm fairly sure he is. However, the logic is sound. If we consider CO2 a pollutant, then it follows that anyone or anything that's releasing it into the environment in any significant is polluting said environment. All this shows is how retarded it is to classify CO2 as a pollutant.

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Microsoft exec: No 'Plan B' despite mobile stumbles

solidsoup

"Drop your product price. Not that big of a deal."

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Tesla's Elon Musk v The New York Times, Round 2

solidsoup
FAIL

They're both full of $#!T

Broder wanted to write a more exciting article and so did his best to get in trouble and added copious varnish. Mission accomplished. Musk, rather than address the inherent limitations of Model S (who cares if he charged for 47 or 58 minutes?), chooses to attack the reporter personally. I would be vewy wowwied about the future of Tesla if I was an investor.

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Microsoft to open 11 new retail stores by summer

solidsoup
Thumb Up

Smart

This should spread out all that unsold inventory. I may even stop by one once they start an HP-style fire sale. Say around $250.

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Engineers are cold and dead inside, research shows

solidsoup

Re: *facepalms*

Quite an emotional response. Are you a doctor or a computer tech?

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TSA to pull backscatter perv scanners from US airports

solidsoup

These scanner should never have been installed

If any of the security agencies in US and the West bothered to see how Israeli security services, who have decades of counter-terrorism experience, do it, - these scanner would've never been installed. Moreover, our security would look less like theater and more like an actual security. Of course that would also jeopardize kickbacks from multibillion dollar contracts.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/744199---israelification-high-security-little-bother

A few years back (but after 9/11) I flew with El Al and we got metal knifes and forks with our food! And no, that doesn't jeopardize security of the aircraft in any way if you think about it.

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Swartz prosecutor: We only pushed for 'six months' in the cooler

solidsoup

Re: @AC 16:49

@ First Dave

A common misunderstanding of what plea-bargaining involves here. Once the defendant and the prosecutor agree, prosecutor has to recommend the agreed-upon sentence to the judge. While in most cases, the judge will just use that sentence, it's completely up to them. Judges sometimes give a lower sentence if they consider the agreed upon one to be unfair or refuse to allow the plea-bargain entirely. They can also issue a greater sentence than the prosecution recommends. That's what happened in Polanski case - the judge was going to issue a much greater sentence than the prosecutor recommended.

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solidsoup

Re: @AC 16:49

The unfair aspect is the huge sentences involved for trivial crimes because of unecessarily broad law. Plea bargaining as such is not really the problem here. As to innocent people who plead guilty, I'm more concerned about innocent people who get convicted. A jury trial actually reduces conviction rates and increases the standard for prosecutors to reach. If someone wants to exercise their personal responsibility and plead guilty to a crime they didn't commit, that's on them. Most of such cases aren't black and white anyway.

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solidsoup

@AC 16:49

I beg to differ. Given how expensive jury trials are, it's inevitable that most cases need to be solved pre-trial. Plea-bargaining, despite its disadvantages, is the most fair way to do so and still allow for jury trials. Now what I think should be changed are the unreasonbly high sentences for crimes that don't involve violance. Particularly those that deal with computers and drugs.

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solidsoup
Stop

Prosecutor not to blame

It seems quite a few people here don't understand how this actually works. Over 90% of cases in US are decided through a plea bargain. This means that the prosecutor and the defendant/lawyer sit down and negotiate what the sentence would be if the defendant were to plead guilty. It's not clear from her statement, but it's likely that 6 months term was the carrot for pleading guilty, not the stick that she threatened with should the case go to court. I think she's being disingenious there. The stick may have 30 years maximum sentence, however, there's no evidence to suggest that she would likely have asked for that in the trial. What would happen is prosecutor would ask for sentence on a high end that still appears reasonable to the judge, counting on the judge reducing it somewhat. How much a prosecutor asks for officially wouldn't even enter the picture until sentencing hearing and is predicated upon how many counts the defendant is convicted on.

Now it may seem that this is an example of overzealous prosecution, but threatening a defendant with a high sentence is an inherent feature of a plea bargain system. There are advantages and disadvantages to it, however there is little blame that should be shouldered by the prosecutor in this case because the threat of high sentences is a systematic disadvantage of the system. Now as to the law in question, it certainly should be changed to be more specific as it is too wide a tool and a prosecutor can use it in any computer crime to force the defendant to take the plea bargain.

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Korean boffins crack art of bendy batteries

solidsoup
Devil

In terms of benefiting from bendiness, a phone isn't the battery operated device I immediately thought of.

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Soot forces temperatures more than thought: AGU

solidsoup

Yes there's a study coming out every week and most of them aren't in IPCCs favor. Either way, I wouldn't base policy on any of them, particularly when it comes to something as long-term as climate change. That said, soot and other particulates need to be eliminated as much as possible - climate effects or not, they're terrible for ones health. I just wish we dealt with actual problems (which we have plenty of) rather than running around screaming about the boogie monster du jour.

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Firefox for Android now runs on EVEN OLDER, slower kit

solidsoup
Happy

Re: 300 Windows 8 users at Thermopylae

- "...but I'm just Google messenger".

- "You bring a more limited functionality to my platform, you insult my user interface, and threaten my users with open standards. I've chosen my feature-set carefully Persian, but you should've done the same."

- "Spartan, This is madness!"

- "Madness? THIS IS WINDOWS!!!!!!! eight"

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solidsoup
Devil

Re: 15 million more androids

Yep, 300 sounds about right. Microsoft should start planning for the battle of Thermopylae.

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Twitter won't unmask racist Frenchie unless US judge says so

solidsoup
FAIL

Re: "We adhere to the laws of the countries in which we operate."

What's with all the mock outrage. It's funny how most commentards are for privacy and companies not divulging user information, but US bashing always takes priority. As was mentioned in the article, the user may not even live in France. Why should French courts have jurisdiction?

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Intel bets the farm on touch-enabled 'convertible and detachable' Ultrabooks

solidsoup

Winning the battle...

Intel is absolutely right about this. Convertibles are the future and if the more they can stick their silicon into, the better for them. There's just one problem with their whole plan. Long-term, the future of Intel on tablets is tied with Windows and x86 platform. Both are on the decline and its not likely that this trend will reverse. If it wasn't for legacy x86 applications, who in their right mind would choose Intel-based tablet over Tegra 4, with its superior graphics and power consumption?

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China to build ANOTHER 100 petaflops hybrid supercomputer by 2014?

solidsoup
Devil

Yes, yes, but can it run a pirated copy of Crysis?

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Google boss lands in North Korea for humanitarian mission

solidsoup

They're probably in buy-out negotiations. Apple bought C3 Maps, Facebook bought Instagram. Now Google wants to expand into new markets, namely Nuclear Enrichment and Ballistic Delivery Systems. I personally would've went with Iran because of its more convenient location, but they probably know something we don't. Of course, it could all be hot air and they are simply negotiating a new location for the Google Opt-Out Village (http://www.theonion.com/video/google-opt-out-feature-lets-users-protect-privacy,14358/)

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Google turns off Chinese censorship alert service

solidsoup
Stop

Wrong feature

Google should have turned off a similar feature where it replaces your keywords with ones it likes.

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Biomass bummer: carbon mitigation could increase ozone

solidsoup

Re: So too much ozone is bad....

Ozone in the troposphere is a pollutant. It is extremely harmful to one's respiratory health. In the stratosphere, on the other hand, ozone absorbs UV rays, therefore decreasing how much we get exposed to. The half-life of ozone molecules is 30 minutes, so even if they were magically floating up (not the case), it still wouldn't make a difference for the ozone layer as a whole.

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