* Posts by JaitcH

3382 posts • joined 12 Oct 2009

Hasbro fails to win Asus Transformer Prime ban

JaitcH
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FAIL

Hasbro Insulting Their Customers

Hasbro is, in effective, saying their customers are too dumb to differentiate between their ingenious transforming toys and a computer.

The Hasbro lawyers are obviously just out of high school, not law school. They must have felt a bit sheepish trying to explain to a judge that the two sets of products are even similar.

Hopefully this stupidity will end because whether they like or not there are only so many words in the dictionary.

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Chinese to burn iPads in upcoming celebrations

JaitcH
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They've Been Offering iThingies for Years

The trade in fake travelling money, imitation worldly goods is amazing. The more expensive items are extremely well crafted, one might even say they appear realistic.

Lat year when I visited HongKong I thought the knock-off iPad was a little cheap even for the Chinese but when I picked one up I realised it was too light in weight to be real.

If you think this celebration is expensive, you should take in a Chinese funeral. I have seen hundreds of dollars worth of the finest food put into the grave, along with other expensive items. They also pour many bottles of expensive wine or cognac on the grave to ensure the late departed will have enough for their journey.

People shouldn't knock it, it's tradition. Even people in the West have been buried with worldly goodies including cars.

The Asian cultures respect their forebears far more than do Western cultures, so perhaps they are on to a worthwhile tradition. When did other readers visit their parents or grandparents graves last?

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High school student expelled for dropping F-bomb in tweet

JaitcH
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Obviously this principal has never ...

stood by a crowd of teenaged school children and listened to their exchanges. Enough to make a docker blush.

It also highlights how far things have changed for it wasn't that long ago that the BBC excised the word 'bloody' from Flanders and Swann's rendition of their "It's Bloody January again" sung in their 'The Drop of a Hat' album.

The BBC even banned the song "Foggy Dew" from the airwaves as it contained the phrase: "Oh, I am a bachelor and I live with my son, and we work at the weaver's trade" which disclosed that the son was a bastard! (See: < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foggy_Dew >) The late Burl Ives was once imprisoned in Mona, Utah, for singing it in public, when authorities deemed it a bawdy song!

How times have changed!

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ZTE winds down Iran biz after espionage claims

JaitcH
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Perhaps the spy accessories are slowing the network

The US National Security Agency has, allegedly, monitoring software on many cell systems worlld-wide. They were caught with their pants down in Greece a few years ago when one system, favoured by government ministers including those of the Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, were found to have non-standard software. It "conference called" phone calls to 14 prepaid mobile phones where the calls were recorded. See: < http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/security/the-athens-affair > for all the untrigue.

There was also the matter of uusual antennae observed from a passing helicopters in their embassy grounds which is in midtown near the Hilton Hotel and the famous glass statue of The Runner in the middle of a traffic circle.

So perhaps the NSA was protecting it's turf when the heat was turned up on ZTE for getting in to it's line of business. What with all the drones flying around and Israeli agents terminating nuclear researchers it's getting sort of crowded in Tehran.

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Apple Oz offers refunds for confused 4G iPad owners

JaitcH
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Apple’s layer rejected the sticker plan as “cumbersome.

What a load of tosh. More likely it's a matter of aesthetics (a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste) of sticking anything on an Apple box. The Ghost of Jobs wouldn't approve.

Perhaps the court should have stipulated the paper colour (fuorescent red) along with the font size (something in the 20's). That would certainly challenge Apple aesthetics.

One Cambodian mobile network is promoting 5G for it's new mobile/portable TV offering - many areas lack water, mains electricity, etc, But they have their portable TV's and solar chargers!

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Goldman Sachs in email muppet hunt

JaitcH
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WTF?

An E-mail (and SMS) is Forever!

In beats me that in this day and age that people don't know the liabilities attached to the use of e-mails, SMS, IM, etc.

Our e-mail system has a multi-lingual dictionary covering all the languages our employees use but it also has a dictionary filter which blocks the use of certain words and combinations.

For example, a word such as 'bugger' would be blocked,but 'debugger' would be allowed. working around the restrictions is difficult 'bug' 'ger' would get trapped whereas 'bug' 'screen' would be permitted. The whole package cost under $200.

In our company case it is made easier since we all use Nuance Dragon Dictating so it makes it seem like you are talking to the other party.

I have always found that talking to/treating others as you would wish them to speak or treat you is always the best maxim although I can see when working in an atmosphere that obviously permeates Goldman Sachs makes it difficult. It seems that the notorious Blankfein has forgotten that HE is the corporate standard.

P.S. 'muppet' should be Muppet™ as it trademark of the late, talented, Jim Henson.

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Force Google to black out searches in new privacy law - MPs

JaitcH
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Stop

Just who do these MPs think they are? Americans?

Google is an American corporation and has to comply with their laws, primarily.

If the UK wants to introduce new Nanny legislation, they are free to do so but they have to remember their jurisdiction goes only as far as 200 miles beyond the coast.

Of course, the conflict of interest they have doesn't concern these MPs what with Yeo's Pink Computer (on MP expenses) and all the other fraud these characters got up to. I also understand that the Tories have a lot of strange habits to conceal. For instance, Stephen Milligan, a former MP for Eastleigh in Hampshire, and at the time a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Arms Minister offed himself wearing female underwear. The list includes Profumo (at least he was straight), Hanningfield, Chaylor,etc.

Mosley doesn't really deserve the 'support' he gets, therefore it follows these 'Honourable' gentlemen are looking out for someone else.

At least he doesn't have a cavern named in his notoriety such as the Hell-Fire Caves just outside High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Wycombe_Caves).

The taxpayers are entitled to know where their money goes and they are equally entitled to know what the people who they elect do. If they value their privacy, MPs should get their snouts out of the public trough and work for a living.

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Google asked to bin autocomplete results for Japanese man's name

JaitcH
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How about Formula 1 and Sex?

An almost unbelievable number of combinations brings Max's name: Formula 1 sex; nazi max sex; sex, car racing; sex, F1 racing; etc.

Mosley has only himself to blame.

One search combo might bring BA out with Max: [ 33 BA stewardesses ]

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Americans resort to padlocking their dumb meters

JaitcH
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FAIL

UK User Pay; North America Suppliers Pay

The proposal was, at one point - who knows now - that USERS in the UK were to PAY for the METER.

In the States there is an element of choice whereas, in Ontario, Canada, there isn't. Still there are many ways to shield the meter so that it effectively is neutered.

Ontario has gone remote metering crazy.

The latest trend is to meter hot water, so they stick all these meters in condominiums (rental units are barred by law) and they are read remotely.

ONLY there is one BIG PROBLEM. The meter can;t differentiate between HOT, WARM or COLD water so in effect they are little more than a scam. One remote reading company is owned by shareholders whose forbears were involved in protection rackets - now they atr taking in the dollars and don't have to break a bone doing it!

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Foxconn is world's 10th biggest employer: 1.2 MILLION on payroll

JaitcH
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Foxconn maybe the world's 10th biggest employer by (live) body count ...

and by the number of suicides, BUT I bet they are way, way down if their salary bill was used as the unit of comparison.

They are simply a glorified sweat shop.

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WTF... should I pay to download BBC shows?

JaitcH
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More like a Conundrum

The BBC is a government agency and it could be conferred that much of it's archives are the property, indirectly, of the British tax and licence payers. Almost everything it has stashed away is history - except, of course for the last Benny Hill series they recorded that was maliciously destroyed on the orders of some management pratt.

Whilst I have no objection to paying 'reasonable costs' of conversion, the tendency will for the BBC to see it as an answer to it's fiscal constraints.

Perhaps the answer is a two-tier pricing scheme. A regular fee and another offered to licence holders with a 15-20$ discount.

There is no need for them to 'gift wrap' CDs or DVDs - they can simply slap a plain white label on the product as an effort to cut costs.

External production contracts can easily incorporate provisions for retail sale.

Little of BBC TV fare interests me and my radio interests are presently satisfied by a remote programmable receiver I have installed at a family members house with the recordings transferred over the InterNet.

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ARM's ultra-low-power fridge-puter chips: Just what the CIA ordered

JaitcH
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WTF?

Don't count on using Smartmeters ...

aince California, and several other states, make the installation of Smartmeters optional. It's likely people of interest to the CIA will demand old meters be retained.

Another another small point, the CIA is prohibited fro operating in the USA.

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'This American Life' disowns Apple-bashing blockbuster

JaitcH
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WTF?

Whatever the truth, Apple subcontractor's employee abuse under the spotlight

Apple has made a fortune on the backs of sweat labour in China.

It isn't common for an aluminium case finishing plant to explode and kill people; and Foxconn erecting netting to catch would be suicide artists isn't solving the root of the problem which is working conditions.

Likewise with child labour.

It can only be hoped that whatever publicity achieves what everyone wants - fair working conditions.

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Lawyers of Mordor retreat from The Hobbit

JaitcH
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Happy

Re: Remind us how much SZC paid Tolkein / his estate for the rights?

Great, informative post.

Thank you,

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JaitcH
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Meh

What's in a name?

A British pub would have a hard time passing off as a movie or other theatrical performance. It's similar to, in use, I'll see you down by the butchers.

You don''t drink there (at the pub) because of the pub's name but for the convivial company of the customers and the barkeep, as well as the choice of brews.

The greedy American should remember that any mention of his movie, or characters, is free promotion for him.

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JaitcH
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WTF?

Saul Zaentz Company just like the IOC

Everywhere the IOC conns it's way in to having another country host it's money raising programs their lawyers seek out and try to bully anyone using the name Olympic in their trade name to change it,

They met their match in Toronto, during the Montreal Olympics, when one 'offender' went to court and said his name was Olympic and that he had run his eatery on Eglinton Avenue West for years. The court ruled that because of all the facts he could continue to use his trade name.

They tried it on with Olympic Airlines and lost and by the time the successor airline was formed the IOC had reconsidered it's ways.

They also chase people with five rings or five balls in logos.

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Films-on-USB kiosks come to airports

JaitcH
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Stop

I wonder if, like so E-books, if ...

world regional controls are imposed on registration and preventing validation if you try it outside the country of purchase.

And how do they handle compensation if the copy is defective?

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Apple slide-to-unlock spat with Samsung hits the buffers

JaitcH
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Stop

All this legal baloney is boring ...

and Apple seems to forget it is the Defendant is over 800 claims whereas it is Plaintiff in only a few tens of actions.

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Tourists follow GPS, drive into sea

JaitcH
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WTF?

Suds like Garmin GPS software

I did a coach tour from SaiGon/Ho Chi Minh City to Ha Noi and used my Garmin GPS to record the journey.

When I uploaded it to my laptop, I discovered, according to Garmin, most of the trip was done between 10 and 15 kilometres OUT TO SEA.

Same thing on another Garmin on the way back.

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Eddie Murphy heading for worst movie ever glory

JaitcH
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Unhappy

Murphy's pathetic, artificial-sounding laugh ...

makes me feel sick.

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Smartphone owners demand bigger screens

JaitcH
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Baby Boomers are Getting Old and Need ...

things like false teeth and glasses and walking sticks.

Larger screens permit-the use of a handset without the need of eyeglasses. The ability to change font and background colours enable many more to select colour combinations to enhance viability.

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PhD pimp's mobe lock screen outwits Feds - Google told to help

JaitcH
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Every time I hear about the hassles smartphones can get you into ...

my 7year-old Mitsubishi handset endears itself a little more.

No SMS, no GPS and no hassles.

It only receives and makes calls to one number, our office electronic communications switch - special low rates apply - and no mouse trails to follow. Pagers work well, too, and the cops hate them.

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iPhone/PS3 hacker Hotz arrested in pot bust

JaitcH
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WTF?

Texas 'Justice' - Not the Best Place to be Caught

American law is tough in Texas and since they are country 'folks' who don't understand city folks, it is NOT the place to be stopped.

Perhaps the conveners of the SXSW festival should lean on the Texas convention agency to remind them that brain dead cops could cost them a lot of lost income.

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'Seas will rise, flood millions of homes' warns Eric Schmidt ecologist

JaitcH
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Unhappy

Think of the High Tech Infrastructure at Risk

Many of the major cities in the world are built near tidal water and salty sea water is definitely the most damaging to things electronic.

Visitors to the St, John's River Valley, including as far inland as Fredericton, New Brunswick (Canada) often ask why telephone junction boxes for underground cables are mounted on posts 2 metres high. It is because the floods that occur annually. Now.

Here in Ho Chi Minh City/SaiGon, 30% of the city is vulnerable TODAY from monthly floods that occur when the leap tides happen around. The city is riddled with streams and canals that look innocent enough but when the SaiGon River rises (about a metre) all those benign water courses become THE enemy as water backs up through the sewers and in to homes.

It gives a whole new perspective on flooding.

Added to this is the fact that illegal water extraction by industry is equal to the official water extraction is causing the land mass to slink, as is occurring in Venice.

It's alright laughing at these predictors of gloom but when you can't leave your hotel without risk of literally drowning, t brings the whole discussion real up close.

I live at 4,500 feet ASL in the Central Highlands, so I am OK for a few more years but millions of people would be displaced in VietNam alone even if the water rose 50 centimetres.

Think of London, those flood gates are good only until 2050l and then the water will simply flow around them and flood much of London. New York is particularly vulnerable. The Mississippi already floods annually, damaging millions of acres of land, another metre and you have a serious problem not even the Army Corps of Engineers could conquer.

During the Cold War years communications networks were routed around major population centres, presumed to be nuclear bomb targets, now we better start planning around flood plains.

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Hubble snaps exploding star's near-fatal weight-loss bid

JaitcH
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Happy

Hubble has to have been the biggest NASA space coup other than the moon

If you look over the history of Hubble it started out with a bad mirror that crippled performance. Since it was repaired it has been a roaring success with all those magnificent pictures that have enthralled and educated so many generations of children around the world.

No more a select group of scientists cerebrating their success alone, they now share things with world with pictures that are so bright they almost burn yor eyes.

How many government projects returned so such value for money spent?

Sadly, the next time there is a technical failure there will be no shuttle to effect repairs and the whole world will be that much poorer for it.

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Asus peddles three-in-one smartphone, tablet, netbook

JaitcH
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ASUS - rugged as a Rubber Ball

ASUS had a real sweet deal on Eee PC Netbooks and in my experience I have never seen computers take so much abuse,and come out smiling.

I have one on my motorcycle, actually under the seat, company vehicles have hem in glove compartments. etc.

The one I gave my wife lives in the kitchen, in the main, and that one has been dropped on the floor at least 19 times now and the only damage sustained was that the clips holding the bottom cover on popped - simply a matter of squeezing together.

If for nothing else, I shall be looking at one of these combo units for my daughter - ASUS builds things tough.

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Child abuse suspect won't be forced to decrypt hard drive

JaitcH
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TrueCrypt - guaranteed unbreakable by the U.S. government

This has got to be the best endorsement any product could receive.

Wonder why the U.S. Government doesn't use it: Or commercial intelligence companies?

Is PGP still unbroken?

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Facebook denies poaching your text messages on Android

JaitcH
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WTF?

"a piece of dormant code used to run a limited internal test of a new feature,"

Sees this is parrotted by every company starting with Apples tracking software,

Since so many companies have proved they cannot be trusted, it is time the politicians stepped in and put an end to it.

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Private Manning keeps mum at Wikileaks plea hearing

JaitcH
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"Judge, isn't a soldier required to report a war crime?"

Obama must be one of the most venal characters ever to be elected president.

He swore to uphold the law but instead he kills American citizens without due process, he tramples on peoples rights - he is at least as bad as Bush Junior but he had a excuse, he was dumb.

The American Bar Association should strip Obama of his appointment for he is unfit to be even a lawyer. Especially as many people think there is no lower life form than a lawyer.

Te Marines are just as dumb subjecting Manning to months of torture in a prison near Washington.

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Councils spunk £515m in 4 years on CCTV

JaitcH
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WTF?

Practically useless at night

Apart from the fact they are ignored by potential offenders, remember the Plod in Wiltshire who was allegedly (ha, ha) caught assaulting a female prisoner, they are easily defeated by hoodies or long-peaked baseball caps.

The infra-red versions are eve more easily eliminated - simply place a few high-output LEDs in the aforementioned long-peaked cap and the cameras are swamped. Have IR's monitoring out parking lot at work, dogs are far better.

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Court claim slapped on bloke via Facebook in landmark case

JaitcH
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Let the case proceed and ...

then deny service of documents.

Any judgement will be set aside and then the whole game can start again, and the Plantiff will have shown his hand.

Finigin (As in There was an old man called ...)

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GPS jamming rife, could PARALYSE Blighty, say usual suspects

JaitcH
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Meh

Most of the Jammers around can't go far, even with the wind blowing the right way

Most of the cheaper jammers are only good for a few yards, if conditions are optimum.

I have a GPS/cell jammer on my motorcycle - the traffic cops use cells as 2-way radios hereabouts - a model with separate antennae for each frequency band, and on perfectly clear, flat terrain it's good for 200 metres tops, enough to envelope the vehicle in an impenetrable cloud and to stop nearby idiots who SMS/Text whilst driving to be put out of service.

In countries that allow licenced low-power transmitters, there are many schematics on the InterNet.

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Crap PINs give wallet thieves 1-in-11 jackpot shot

JaitcH
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I write a 4-Digit Number on my Card

No, not my pin, but any lazy thief might assume it IS my PIN and stick it, or a permutation, in thereby hastening the lock-up of my card.

Whenever a web page offers to store my password, I always accept AFTER putting the wrong password in, so if anyone tries to access it, it simply doesn't work..

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Fujitsu tempts Europe to splash cash on waterproof mobes

JaitcH
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Unhappy

Water-resistant devices have great potential

In many areas of the world, where extreme weather conditions occur, water-resistant devices are needed even by the average Joe.

Siemens has made a reasonable income from selling such cell phones.

Tropical countries experience downpours that have a lot in common with a shower turned full on. Most cell phone holders offer little protection. Several friends have discovered another weakness with the iPhone - the main board is very susceptible to rain damage - not immersion - and replacing a main board involves a great deal of cash.

I personally use sandwich bags to protect my personal electronics, but care is required to make sure the nags are folded carefully when putting the cell in to their holster or container.

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Pakistani military building PAC-PAD fondleslab

JaitcH
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Even if they could sell a billion units, I can't see the point.

It is common practice in developing countries for agencies such as the military or the police to have commercial arms.

It generates "off budget" income that can be used for pet projects that official budgets can't be used for.

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Goldman Sachs developer cleared of code theft

JaitcH
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Unhappy

Arrest records in the US

All 'interaction' with law enforcement is recorded.

I worked for a US company and it had certain US government customers/ Only US citizens were permitted in these premises.

One company employee, who had a senior design function with the system in the US Government building,in other words he knew it inside out, was called in to help resolve a problem.

When he attended, the Secret Service guards ran his name through their computer and he was denied entry. THE REASON? He had a childhood misdemeanour involving a broken window. And childhood convictions are supposed to be suppressed.

Some Land of the Free!

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JaitcH
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FAIL

Goldman Sachs + US Government Fail

This former Defendant was smart - he did't take a deal and he didn't accept faulty law adjudicated by a gullible judge.

The US Federal Government habitually 'over charge' people and then, like second-hand car salesmen offer a deal 'that you can;t refuse;. Charged person pleads guilty, usually an irreversible decision, and the judge drops his gavel and another sausage goes through the machine.

Happened with the Barclay bankers and is likely the fate that awaits others awaiting deportation from Britain to the 'land of the free' (sic).

Strange how they trumpet the accused with a 'perp' walk and yet when the prosecutor and government fail you could here a pin drop. Congratulation to The Reg for publicising this matter. Not that it will make much difference for in the US he will still have a record of his arrest that will follow him around for the rest of his life. That is why American cops ask: "Have you ever been arrested" rather than "Do you have a criminal record".

I've designed electronic hardware which included public domain circuitry, and have been accused of 'stealing' it by using it in other companies I worked for. It's kind of hard to think of a smart way to achieve a function without falling back on a tried and trusted design.

Likewise with software. No doubt Blankfein is having all sorts of unhappy thoughts about this successful appeal. Just proves that even with all Goldman's lawyers back stopping the government they still couldn't prevail with this false charge.

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FTC urged to probe Google's Safari-tracking gaffe

JaitcH
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WTF?

The problem with InterNet connections where down capacity is higher than up capacity is ...

that given the amount of back chat between software and other surreptitious communications on the up channel there is hardly enough spare capacity for user related transmissions.

Put a Network Analyser on an InterNet connection, with all connected computers idling, the amount of 'app chat' is amazing.

Time to reclaim our privacy!

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Brit student locked up for Facebook source code hack

JaitcH
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Security and No Deportation

Given the amount of data FB has given away or leaked it is hard to imagine they even employ security, other than on toilet cubicles.

What I find interesting is "reported to the FBI, which passed the case over to the British police" which is what they should have done with all cases involving crime committed on British soil even if targeting any other country.

France does it best - Our Citizens, Our Courts.

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Apple's new TV allegedly spotted... in Canadian office

JaitcH
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WTF?

And telcos will need to pump some serious data to maintain a high-def image.

Good luck!

Rogers uses cable TV WAN technology and Bell is the major wholesaler, The more people that use Rogers concurrently, the faster the signal degrades.

Bell is better for speed stability, but as for high speed, forget it, only in the larger communities. What about the more rural areas, what are they going to see?

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Heathrow facial recognition tech stalled by borders fiasco

JaitcH
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FAIL

Wrong sort of snow and now wrong type of face

As someone who oiles on the miles and visits too many airports I can attest that Heathrow is managed by the biggest collection of incompetents gathered together in a single location.

Last year they had the wrong snow and the airport was closed; the they went out ad blew THIRTY FOUR MILLION POUNDS on new toys to clear the snow.

Notwithstanding a forecast that the Met said was timed to the minute, a smattering of 2.5 inches of snow, something that Canadians think is contemptible to call a snow storm,, and BAA falls flat on it's collective face, again.

Whose wildest imagination ever figured a BAA airport was a suitable place to try out new technology? Nothing ever works properly and to combine them with a government entity is guaranteed to fail.

Undoubtedly as much as the Olympics will not cost the British tax payer a single Penny.

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Coke-snorting cop bots to replace sniffer dogs

JaitcH
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Happy

Bet they can't really do what dogs do ...

The drug sniffing, animal meat and fruit dogs (3 types, not combo) in the US airports are cute, only you don't want them 'cute' to you.

If they detect their favourite scent on a passenger, they simply sit down, looking at the suspect and wagging their tale. Their large hairy human handler then takes over and 'requests' the passenger follow him.

Bet these machines won't do that.

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Five ways Microsoft can rescue Windows Phone

JaitcH
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Alert

"may never be a third smartphone ecosystem" in a given market

RIM is being kicked around in North America but is has a very solid following in Africa.

In VietNam cell/hand phones are often referred to as 'Nokias', even though they aren't market leaders here.

I bought a $10 hand set for my daughter, all sorts of built-in options (programmed numbers for my wife and myself, calling denial, alarm clock, multi-language choice, etc). I don't know what OS it has, all I know it is ideal for children and is old by the millions, along side HTC, Samsung and iThingies.

So it is the market that determines how many phones can co-exist and that OS plays a minor role.

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Google 'chooses' not to censor Mosley content, MP says

JaitcH
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FAIL

Google is pretty even-handed about things ...

for instance, there are serials, cracks and keygens all over for Google's top rated Sketch Up software yet they choose not to censor it.

Max is a fool, he more than anyone is keeping his sexual antics in the public eye. public figures choose to be in the public eye and should tailor their activities to match.

It's bad enough Google complying with legally unsubstantiated take-downs by governments but it still doesn't stop you finding Bin Laden's web sites or other web sites that don't meet with government approval. Google is a sign post, whether people choose the route is not Google's responsibility.

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Obama refuses to respond to MPAA bribery claim petition

JaitcH
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Two words: Joe Byden

That numb-nuts Joe Byden, V-P, etc. has long been bought and sold by the MPAA.

His profile is fairly low overseas but this robo-mouth is constantly shooting off for the MPAA.

US politics is corrupt from the prescient to the dog-catchers and sheriffs.

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Court defies Apple demand to ban Samsung tablet

JaitcH
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FAIL

It's the Patent system that is broeken

Many of the legalistic urinating contests could be avoided if there was an international agreement on Patents.

And electronic patents should have a drop-dead period of 5 years,since technology advances age them so quickly.

Arguments about the shapes edges of cases are so facile. Imagine what would have happened if patents had been around hen the humble brick first hit the market! HIS brick has the same feel as MY brick; his brick is the same colour as my brick; his brick is the same shape and size of my brick, and so on.

Now that Jobs is pushing daisies, perhaps it is time to move on.

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TripAdvisor: OK, not all our reviews are trustworthy or real

JaitcH
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WTF?

Tripadvisor is at least trying ...

For some years now, TA has been marking dubious high ratings so readers can ramp up their scepticism levels.

Every so often when I want a break, and fancy living on expenses, I volunteer to join my employer's travel checking service where we go around to hotels and check them: moving furniture to check for bugs and dust , spraying toilets and bedding with test chemicals that change colour if the objects are unclean (duvets and pillows are the worst), etc.

Sitting in Boston, TA moderators have no knowledge of the destinations they moderate but they do 'get a feel' for trends.

Verified guest comments are useless because any hotel can claim their ;plant' stayed there if the hotel wants a boost.

One TA listing had a lousy hotel in Ha Noi listed 7 times! Unless you know the area, how can you tell a corner property is using addresses of both streets, adding 'A' to the street number, etc?

TA is owned by Expedia, that on-line seat filler that sells 'dog' seats (the odd shaped one against a toilet) or routes you on multiple carriers and segments that are not the best routing. TA is a great advertising tool for Expedia, and they are the ones that need investigating.

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OFFICIAL: Smart meters won't be compulsory

JaitcH
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Meh

"we do not expect suppliers to seek an entry warrant ..."

This highlights just how little privacy, and rights, the British have.left.

If a utility wants to chop service, let them go climb a pole or dig a hole.

What, I suspect, is that Blair's gift to the power industry will now be funded by the beneficiaries of this technology, the power people, as it has been the case in other countries.

Still to resolved are privacy issues: Plod can deduce a lot about occupants of premises by having minute by minute read outs, if they want to execute a warrant, simply wait until the power usage is way down. Already the FBI is developing strategies, as they call them, in the US.

And the RF usage of this mesh network is considerable, up to 10,000 bursts of data per day.

There are some benefits, switching suppliers is simply a phone call away, the ability of 'smart' appliances to chat to the grid for load balancing, etc.

In the meantime, do your bit for employment, keep your old meter so all those thousands of people stay employed.

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Flag-waving Lego Canuck soars to 80,000ft

JaitcH
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FAIL

Granted, but the US didn't have it's 100% security blanket

These days the US claims it's got all bases covered ... mind you they thought that when Pearl Harbour happened by.

The big difference is that Canada is adjacent to the States and the fleet of drones keeping an eye on those marijuana smoking, beer swilling Canadians only fly around 60,000 feet (if my memory serves me correctly).

Canadians also have the jet stream going for them, if you want to fly a balloon over the States, already the Land of the Mounties supplies 50% of what's needed for tornadoes and US weather forecasters always blame 'the cold air from Canada' whenever it gets cold in Florida.

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JaitcH
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WTF?

Next the Terrorist crazy USA will be demanding their extradition ...

Newmarket, Ontario, is about 20 kilometres north of Toronto so it would be in the realm of possibility that the USA will be demanding Canada hand over these would be terrorists if their device drifted across te border.

Perhaps these guys have inadvertently discovered a chink in the American security fence that protects it from real or imagined terrorists. What a hoot, that should make the Pentagon start a whole new multi-billion dollar program to detect and eliminate meteorological balloons.

Who knows, they might have to get new drones that can reach 90,000 feet so thay can shoot down balloon bombs from Canada.

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