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* Posts by Adrian 4

190 posts • joined 18 Jul 2009

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Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws

Adrian 4
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Re: Just don't do it

Which bank is that ?

I opened a bank account with cahoot specifically because of the virtual card facility .. which they then dropped (after first making it windows-only .. lol)

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Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

Adrian 4
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Re: Personally ...

Because a wanter wants to write, not page-set ? As someone else said, the content is very different from the layout. Concentrate on text and let the typesetter make it look pretty - you'll be more productive and he'll do a better job.

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Adrian 4
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Re: @ Khaptain (was: Personally ...)

Nano is awful.

With so many common control-key shortcut standards available, why did they have to produce another one ?

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Bright lights, affordable motor: Ford puts LED headlights onto Mondeo

Adrian 4
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Re: Great, maybe...

In this country, using fog lamps when there is no fog is illegal. Rightly so, because ancillary lights are not checked for alignment and so can cause dazzle.

Sadly, this doesn't seem to stop 50% of drivers from using them unneccessarily, nor, surprisingly, have the police latched onto this flagrant breach of the law and the potential for income from fines.

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Adrian 4
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Re: Daytime running lights

No, a shortsighted invention which reduces road safety.

It draws attention to the subset of vehicles that have them, hence the improved safety for the early adopters. Like any road safety improvments, that attention doesn't come from nowhere - it's diverted from vehicles with less light. This makes it a one time journey, as Sweden has found : the only way to keep the improvements is to keep increasing the light levels. While pedestrians, cyclists, animals etc fade into the background.

The reason those DRLs lights exist is not to do with safety. The clueless politicicians and daily mail safety writers have been tapped to support them, but the real reason is bling - car designers trying to make this year's model stand out.

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Indie ISP to Netflix: Give it a rest about 'net neutrality' – and get your checkbook out

Adrian 4
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Re: We should outlaw DRM

I have no love for DRM or for Hollywood. And I don't even care about watching content. As far I can see it's all crap anyway. But it's not true that DRM stops caching.

It's perfectly possible to cache data without breaking DRM. You merely need to make each block identifiable so the cache can tell when it's needed again. This doesn't mean you're caching the film in plaintext.

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In the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave ... you can legally carrier unlock your own phone

Adrian 4
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Re: Work around the system?

Are they worth $600 ? Are there any other credit agreements where you can back out without cost ?

I don't have any love for the networks, especially if they try to gouge way more than the cost of the phone from their customers. But I don't think it's entirely unrealistic to expect the consumer to pay back their loan, one way or another.

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ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION

Adrian 4
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Re: Losses

If those funds have passed their decision making over to automatic systems, they need to accept the consequences when their programmed decision making is wrong.

Overall, there was no significant change to the share price, so if there was a crime, it was victimless. Anybody who lost out was matched by an equal number of gains, and since they're in short term trading that should be pretty much their expectation. In fact, they want short-term fluctuations since that's where there profits come from. Their only objection is that they didn't expect (ie cause) the fluctuation so weren't able to profit from it.

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For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets

Adrian 4
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Re: Learning curves and walled gardens

It sucks when the distro you know and like gets less popular. But at least there's a good choice of alternatives : you don't have to make the winxp/win8 or win/mac switch.

I suggest :

Move all your user data to its own partition, i.e. make /home a dedicated partition or even drive.

Install a new distro, whatever flavour of the month is (probably Mint, unless you have specific preferences).

Be careful not to lose /home, it's not difficult but does need you to think about your install answers. For additional safety, use a separate drive and disconnect it while installing the OS.

Install appropriate applications

Profit.

This is probably much like you'd do on Windows, except that it's a lot easier to keep data in the right place when it's in a home directory rather than where the application chooses, especially as Windows isn't helpful in maintaining a separate drive / partition as a user space.

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Adrian 4
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Holmes

Summary

So .. Lenovo has sold out of one line, is planning to restock with an upgrade. They've stopped selling some things that didn't sell well and diverted them to somewhere they do sell. And they're still selling some things that sell well.

In other news, some paint dried in Salford.

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Adrian 4
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Re: Why would anyone want Windows (especially 8) on a tablet?

That might be why they'd BUY them. But then reality struck and they realised that all the things they imagine make their workers productive are in fact completely unusable on a tablet (it's good at other things, but not deskbound jobs). So orders fell off.

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ISPs haul GCHQ into COURT over dragnet interwebs snooping

Adrian 4
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Re: Epic Fail

Given the number of MPs caught fiddling their expenses a few years ago, is it the case that MPs are more likely to be acting criminally than the average MOTP ?

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Maplin Electronics sold for £85m to Rutland Partners

Adrian 4
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Re: Vouchers

Hobbies are changing back. I've seen more stuff built by enthusiasts in the last 2 years than in the previous 20, and the online stores like Adafruit have fantastic ranges. Hackspaces are everywhere and commercial equivalents (with prices and service to match) are starting up. Maplin is picking up a bit of this : they've embraced the Arduino and Pi genres and have other useful stuff too (as well as the old dreck).

I do think they still have a use : I might hate to pay 40p for a resistor (by the way, there's a little known discount code that makes buying 10 far more reasonable .. if they actually have 10 in stock) but when it's a choice between buying it locally at the weekend or waiting until tuesday for farnell or Rapid, I'll pay it and smile. Whether they're useful enough to kepp paying the staff is another question.

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You're inventing the wrong sort of tech for bad people who want to buy it. Stop it at once

Adrian 4
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Re: I'll take your quote and raise you...

Aren't the exchanges the parasitic middlemen ? The hint's in the name : they don't want the commodities, they just want trade & skim them.

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David Cameron wants mobe network roaming INSIDE the UK

Adrian 4
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Re: Nightmare

Is it also the reason those supermarkets all have their own road networks to deliver to their stores ?

What's that ? They don't ?

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It's a Doddle: Amazon inks train station parcel deal with Network Rail

Adrian 4
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You realise this agreement is not for random things you buy from Amazon, but 'retailers...signed up to the service'. Maybe it would include shipments from Amazon's own warehouses, but not all the many 3rd-party sellers.

What a pity : all they're doing is arranging for these companies' delivery trucks to call at railway stations, thus reducing their delivery costs. Just like eBay's similar trial. It's not an alternative postal service.

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DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

Adrian 4
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Re: Pharrt

Underappreciated article at the guardian :

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jun/07/mind-your-manners-guide-social-media

Though it's way too nice about LinkedIn

" LinkedIn is a group of dead-eyed, sharp-elbowed junior executives in the bar of an airport Novotel at 2am after a conference, slapping themselves on the back while scanning their peers for signs of weakness."

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Congress passes crackdown on NSA surveillance

Adrian 4
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Re: Oh goodie.. now we're all safe

Trouble ? Indeed they didn't. At least, only Snowden. None of the actual perps of the offence have been touched.

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9 Dark Social Truths That Will Totally Blow Your Bowels!

Adrian 4
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Re: WTF?

El reg is a red-top. You have to expect some of the style.

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Intel reveals its FrankenChip ARM killer: one FPGA and one Xeon IN ONE SOCKET

Adrian 4
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Or they could put neither on, and use all that backward-compatibility silicon for something modern.

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Yet another reason to skip commercials: Microsoft ad TURNS ON your Xbox One

Adrian 4
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Re: Tinfoil hat time

The Xbox was already on. How do you think it noticed the words 'xbox on' ? What else was it doing with the other words it heard ? 'Xbox on' just means 'turn on the lights and grab the TV'.

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Adrian 4
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Re: Android is just as bad

This isn't going to end well.

We have web pages that you have to snake around to avoid the popups jumping up over the text you need to read. We have Windows 8 that constantly jumps off the desktop screen (and application you're using) because of some hotspot inadvertantly touched.

Soon we'll have to avoid a growing list of key words that might be misconstrued by lurking devices if they're heard together. Laughably, this will REDUCE the number of times we use the words Google, Xbox, and other hard-won brand names.

These ideas sound great taken on their own. When everyone plays, they're awful. For another demonstration, look at the destruction wreaked on the useful Oyster cards in London by having bank cards that trigger the same readers.

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The Strippers, Unicorn Computers and Martian Watches of Computex

Adrian 4
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Depressing marketing non-science

Please ditch the use of dumb terminology such as '3000mAh'. Or worse, the totally incorrect MaH.

Ah means amp-hour. The amp (ampere) is named for André-Marie Ampère and so gets capitalized. H for hour doesn't. It's the amount of electrical capacity needed to supply 1 amp for 1 hour, and is largely meaningless unless you also know the voltage it's delivered at.

mAh means milli-amp-hour. That's not a single word, it's amp-hour with a milli- prefix indicating the units are 1000 times smaller. You can read it as 'thousandths of an amp-hour'.

So 3000 mAh is read as 'three thousand thousandths of an amp-hour'. Which is absurd. It's simply 3Ah, 3 amp-hours.

MaH is much, much worse.

M is a prefix meaning mega - a million. aH isn't a unit (it might mean atto-Henries, which would describe the inductance of a uselessly short piece of wire), but if we assume you meant Ah then a 3000 MAh powerbank is somewhat impractical as a portable charger. A lithium 3.7V 3000MAh battery would be something like the size of an olympic swimming pool, or more than 4 million bulgarian airbags.

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Snowden shoots back: 'So you DO have my emails, after all'

Adrian 4
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Re: king of fools Article correction

And an anti-grump upvote from me.

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Microsoft's 'evil open source' man on life as HP's top cloud-wrangler

Adrian 4
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Re: And from Microsoft's attitude...

Embrace, extend, extinguish.

It's the Microsoft Way.

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Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update

Adrian 4
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My (gingerbread) android does that. It's a real nuisance. Whenever it sees an open wifi (ie everything with a signup page) it connects to it and sets a default route there. Of course, it doesn't work because it doesn't do the signup stuff - but it does stop the 3G IP route from working.

Result : if I don't want to sign up to some wretched 'free' wifi, I have to turn the wifi off before I can use 3G.

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Samsung files patent for ear-mounted Google Glass competitor

Adrian 4
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Re: I'm sure that will be very comfortable to wear

Be glad you can see that they _might_ be taking your picture, allowing you to dodge it.

It's actually more convenient to take a picture with a concealed camera than it is with google glass. Unless you can think of a way to stop that, moaning about Glass is pointless.

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ACLU launches user-friendly database of every Snowden doc

Adrian 4
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Re: Better host it somewhere safe

You haven't heard of Technology Transfer then ?

US government agencies are REQUIRED to allow their work (already paid for by the US taxpayer) to be made available for public use. No DMCA possible.

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Hey, Michael Lewis: Stop DEMONISING Wall Street’s SUPERHUMAN high-speed trading

Adrian 4
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Facepalm

But why ?

But what's the point of it ?

It makes someone some money, sure. Presumably it costs someone else that money. There's no value added, is there ?

And ultimately that means the users (not the traders, the people who rely on the stock exchange for financing their businesses etc.) have to pay for those pointless communications systems and valueless traders. Just for passing-the-parcel with ownership of the shares.

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'Dads from the Midwest' pull down their email-spaffing LinkedIn plugin

Adrian 4
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Re: LinkedIn are dangerous amateurs

Better solution : delete your profile, spam-block their email.

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Facebook, you fools! Forget Oculus, you could have bought TRON-type headsets

Adrian 4
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Re: Mass market?

How is that a different problem from any other game ?

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Microsoft issues less-than-helpful tips to XP holdouts

Adrian 4
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Re: How much of a challenge is re-installing XP?

Why would you install XP on PCs to be shipped to Africa ?

Isn't that a bit like Nestle giving out free baby milk as a sales tactic ?

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NSA 'hunted sysadmins' to find CAT PHOTOS, high-level passwords

Adrian 4
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Snowden has repeatedly said he's not controlling the news releases, the journalists are. And they know how to play the system : if everything had been released on day 1, it would all be forgotten by now. Adding new details avery few weeks keeps the story alive and has a decent chance of getting proper attention to the abuse of law.

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Adrian 4
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Re: @John Smith

But haven't more americans been killed by americans then by muslims ? From the unabomber to the gun lobby ?

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Adrian 4
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Re: Simple, logical and exactly what any computer criminal would do.

We already knew that about russia, china etc.

Snowden is attacking the hypocrisy of the NSA in painting america as being different. They're not - they just pretend to be.

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AT&T and Netflix get into very public spat over net neutrality

Adrian 4
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Re: No, No, not Nationalisation !

Do you support the privatisation of roads, too ?

We don't have many toll roads. I hope we don't get a lot more.

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Adrian 4
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Re: Pass the cost on?

Are you suggesting Netflix don't pay for their multigigabyte connection to the net ? I don't think you'll find that's the case. But the ISPs sold bandwidth to their customers : they did expect them to use that to connect somewhere, right ?

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Adrian 4
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Re: Cable/Fixed line telcos are all trying it on

It was bad.

But is the current situation truly better ?

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Airbnb might get $10bn price tag ... despite its legal woes

Adrian 4
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Re: Where did all the money come from?

The money's come from the hotel trade, which has far higher margins, because of staff costs and investment in unoccupied rooms. It's a drop in the ocean of that market. AirBnB can make a profit and still leave both landlords and tenants better off.

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Microsoft exec: I don't know HOW our market share sunk

Adrian 4
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Re: MS was a Cult...

But 'normal' people don't use the OS. They use the applications. Many don't even realise there's anything except their favourite applications, and use Word to copy files etc.

It really doesn't matter to most people what's underneath. If they have a familiar interface they feel comfortable. Put anyone used to Firefox or Chrome on Windows in front of the Linux version and they won't even blink. Even the browser can be changed, because there's not a great deal of communication with the browser : it's mostly with the web pages. Only when you start to get into bookmarks or other settings does the browser UI start to be noticeable to joe public.

Microsoft know this. That's why they protect their office apps : sell those to the end users who are locked in by familiarity, and you can force the OS on manufacturers. But change something as commonly encountered as launching the application and it seems even those users will moan.

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Adrian 4
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Re: Let me explain...

I puzzled for years over why customers bought windows a second or third time. Didn't they ever learn that every update created as many problems as it solved ? I decided it was like the adage about re-marrying : "a triumph of hope over experience".

Apparently Microsoft never realised the resentment they were building. Now, whatever was keeping their customers (lock-in, perhaps) is weakening. And, as you'd expect, they're going.

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Adrian 4
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Re: Integent ... Running Windows

You need insights into how people think because the reasonable human approach isn't 'search the whole space', it's a number of learned shortcuts. So determining how your opponent is shortcutting and using a strategy they won't detect can win.

That doesn't work if your opponent has the ability to search _all_ strategies, even he's rubbish at evaluating yours.

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Barclays' DOUBLE DIGIT contractor rate cut? Not for us, say PPI bods

Adrian 4
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"only for contractors deemed critical to delivery of some key projects"

So, they're paying contractor rates for jobs that aren't critical, and projects that aren't key. Wouldn't it be cheaper to use in-house staff for that ?

More short-term thinking from the banking 'industry' ? Quelle surprise.

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5 Eyes in the Sky: The TRUTH about Flight MH370 and SPOOKSATS

Adrian 4
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Re: CSI

Sure. We just need some of that hollywood photo enhancement tech.

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This changes everything: Microsoft slips WinXP holdouts $100 to buy new Windows 8 PCs

Adrian 4
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Mushroom

I wonder how far Wine is from implementing a complete XP API. You know FreeDOS? The same thing could happen with XP. Wine has it's limitations but I suspect they're more to do with producing a windows-like environment than with the quality of the code. Removing the need to run on top of another OS might make it a fully working replacement.

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Adrian 4
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Windows

Re: this sounds like a deal

You're wrong about the $ to £ conversion.

I'm pretty sure the $699 will translate to £699, but the $100 discount won't translate to £100.

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NSA spies recorded an entire COUNTRY'S phone calls for a MONTH: Report

Adrian 4
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Facepalm

Kept sectret from the public, or from the target government ?

It's not clear from that article whether the calls were tapped with or without the target country's support.

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GitHub probes worker's claims of hostile, sexist office culture

Adrian 4
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Re: You will pay to get your code back...

You don't know how Git works, do you ?

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That NSA denial in full: As of right now, we're not pretending to be Facebook or Twitter

Adrian 4
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Re: Quelle surprise! - Why is Echalon upgrade such big news now?

We''re not surprised so much, more glorying in the ability to put the spooks on the defensive instead of being able to keep their heads down.

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Apple to grieving sons: NO, you cannot have access to your dead mum's iPad

Adrian 4
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Re: Well done

Maybe the physical device is part of the estate, but what if it contains things that the owner didnt wish to be passed on to the heirs ? Why should Apple assume that it's OK to do that ?

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