* Posts by sisk

1702 posts • joined 17 Mar 2010

WOODEN computer chips reveal humanity's cyber elf future

sisk
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Re: This is so exciting

Someone will no doubt find some problem with this to bark about.

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Your CAR is the 'ultimate mobile device', reckons Apple COO

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Oh dear lord no. That's the last thing we need. A car that you'll have to take to the dealership and pay twice as much as you would anywhere else every time it needs new tires or an oil change.

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Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

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can you point out some of those examples

I actually can point out some of the examples he's talking about. There's the numerous mentions of dragons and/or serpents. I think it's safe to say those are all metaphorical. Unless, of course, you're ready to believe that dinosaurs breathed fire. There's Jonah's great fish, but that was more likely a whale. There's the Leviathan, which is only vaguely described but was definitely sea-bound and probably metaphorical.

Then there's the Behemoth of Job. That one I can't explain. The language around it makes me think it's not meant to be a metaphor and I'm not real sure what it's supposed to be describing. Still, I have trouble accepting it as the only dinosaur described in all of recorded history if they ever walked beside us.

And, frankly, I think only a fool would discard all the scientific evidence we have to say that man and dinosaur walked together based on an incomplete genealogy and one obscure passage. In fact the very idea that God would even try to explain the process of creating a universe in detail to a man who had no idea that subatomic particles existed is absurd. I think it's safe to say the whole account is dumbed down to an extreme degree.

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Facepalm

he is on the verge of proving that dinosaurs and humans coexisted only a couple of thousand years ago

Yes, absolutely. Because a historical record that talks about cats and dogs and freaking dodo birds and the various animals our ancestors hunted would totally leave out any and all references to dinosaurs.

I may share their religion (in a very broad sense, apparently), but sometimes I have to wonder what these guys are smoking.

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Shuttleworth delivers death blow in Umbongoland dispute

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Um....correct me if I'm wrong....but isn't this somewhat like if Stallman were to tell Torvalds that he was no longer the head of the kernel dev team? I mean I get that Kubuntu is a derivative of Ubuntu, but surely forking an open source project doesn't give the original control over the derivative's community structure.

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Backpage child sex trafficking lawsuit nixed thanks to 'internet freedoms'

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Faith in humanity....

Gone.

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Milking cow shot dead by police 'while trying to escape'

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Re: Lots of stupid in this thread

Ever tried herding cattle?

Personally? No, but as a kid I watched my grandfather herd dozens of cattle by himself or occasionally with one of my aunts helping him all the time. It doesn't take 20 people to herd three cows. If it did ranches would go out of business trying to pay for all the cowboys.

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If this had been published on April 1 there's no way I'd ever believe it. As is....I'm still not sure I believe it. 20 cars and a helicopter seems an excessive response to what is, after all, one of the more docile animals you can encounter on a farm. Frankly a big turkey is more dangerous than a cow under most circumstances.

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You've come a long way, Inkscape: Open-source Illustrator sneaks up

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Re: open source video editor

What about Kdenlive

It's hard to beat its capabilities and performance without dropping several thousand dollars on a proprietary program. At least I've not found anything that compares. It even beats Premiere in my opinion.

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Re: Context

Graphics professionals working on Linux… are as rare as mermaids?

You'd be surprised at how many there actually are. If you count web designers then I'm one, and that already makes them more common than mermaids.

Anything that takes 4 years to fix 700 bugs is not being used by professionals.

In this particular case, you are most decidedly wrong. Inkscape IS being used by professionals and has been for several years now. Last time I checked it was second only to Illustrator in professional usage for vector graphics.

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That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

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Re: DRM in open source couldn't work?

They'll own the playback equipment, but like I said there are ways to prevent tampering: one-way suicide switches, epoxy blocks, lead shields to block x-raying, and so on. A prominent label with bold letters saying, "DO NOT OPEN! THIS DEVICE WILL STOP FUNCTIONING!" should server as adequate warning.

There's no such thing as foolproof. There's always a way to get around the protections and eventually someone will find it. It's a basic rule of security of any kind: unbreakable doesn't exist. There is only greater and greater difficulty. It's just like trying to make an unpickable lock. Just like every "unpickable" lock ever built has been picked by someone, every copy protection you can conceive can be circumvented. And, given the number of people interested in doing so and their skill levels, certainly will be.

someone once made a bomb no one could defuse and they had to detonate it in place, severely damaging the casino it was in

Bad example. They don't take chances with bombs because of the consequences of not getting it right the first time. The consequences of failing to break copy protection are, at worst, the loss of a $50 blu-ray player, much much lower than a bomb blowing up in your face. Probably someone could have disarmed it given the chance to screw up the first few times.

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Re: DRM in open source couldn't work?

Ah, but users will own the equipment, and there is a certain demographic for whom "unbreakable" is a challenge. It will be broken sooner or later, just like every other DRM scheme ever conceived. That or pirates will simply stick with 1080p.

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Re: DRM in open source couldn't work?

What's to prevent an enterprising coder writing a module that intercepts the video stream after decryption and spooling it to disc instead of displaying it?

When you get right down to it, absolutely nothing. I can think of at least 2 ways to do it off the top of my head that wouldn't even require a coder and wouldn't be at all detectable to the system. And I'm not even trying. Those are just ideas that jumped unbidden into my mind as I read the article. This is why I'm opposed to DRM: it doesn't and can't work. If the end user can see/hear the media then someone somewhere will figure out a way to copy it and share their knowledge. At the end of the day the user controls the client system, and a user who understands this and knows how the system works can get around any protections you put in place. Even that black box has to run on a client system controlled by a user.

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@h4rm0ny

Oh I get it. I know why they use DRM. The problem with that train of thought though is that it doesn't work. No DRM yet conceived has managed to so much as put a dent in the piracy problem.I don't condone piracy in any way, but here's how I see it: DRM is an expensive solution that isn't working. Should they A) keep pumping money into DRM and living with the bad publicity that comes from it or B) look for a solution that does work?

The music industry has found their solution. Piracy still happens, but the musicians are getting at least some ad revenue from it (mostly from YouTube, some from the likes of Patreon). It's far from perfect but it does a whole lot more than DRM ever did to mitigate the problem.

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"Nearly everyone who implements DRM says they are forced to do it" the FSF said at the time, "and this lack of accountability is how the practice sustains itself."

No, that's reality. They ARE forced to do it. If everyone dropped DRM the movie industry would happily refuse to allow any form of movie delivery other than copy-protected discs. If DRM were even dropped from those the industry would gleefully go back to the last century and force us all into the theater every time we wanted to watch a movie. The accountability for the travesty that is DRM lies squarely on big media. In this regard Firefox, Netflix, and even Microsoft are the little guys who are having policy dictated to them by the big boys with little choice but to comply.

The music industry has pretty much caught on that DRM causes a net decrease in profits and given up. The market voted with dollars and the point got across. We need just one studio to give us the chance to vote with dollars for DRM-free movies and we'll get the point across to the movie industry to. Unfortunately none of them will give us that chance.

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Heartbleed, eat your heart out: VENOM vuln poisons countless VMs

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I can see the concern with Xen, but Qemu itself is hardly a major player in the virtualization market. In fact I've never seen or heard of anyone using it for anything other than virtualizing an OS on their workstations. It's not exactly server-centric on its own. I can't see any vulnerability affecting it being in the same league as heartbleed in terms of penetration.

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Apple Watch HATES tattoos: Inky pink sinks rinky-dink sensor

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Re: Hardly a bug, is it...

Remember your body is a temple.

If so then I need to point out that I've yet to see a temple that didn't have painted wall and decorations. That reasoning when applied to an anti-drug use argument makes sense. When applied to tattoos, not so much.

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Re: Hardly a bug, is it...

People who abuse their bodies by getting tattoos: plonkers

How very two generations ago of you. Most people these days have realized that tattoos are not long-term harmful and are a valid form of self expression. Judging someone because they choose a form of self expression you don't happen to agree with? Care to guess what that makes my opinion of you?

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US hospitals to treat medical device malware with AC power probes

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Medical device malware

I've got a pretty low opinion of malware authors in general, but anyone who writes malware targeting medical devices is the lowest of the low.

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Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning

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I've read the anarchist cookbook. I came away with the distinct impression than anyone trying to use it for more than minor mischief was more likely to blow themselves up than anyone else. Some of the recipes were shockingly and obviously dangerous to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of chemistry.

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Jailed Brit con phishes prison, gets bail

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Gotta hand it to him

I have as low an opinion of phishers and scammers as the next guy, but I've got to respect someone who can pull this off. Granted some gullibility of the jailers helped, but still it's a good bit of scam work.

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Apple is picking off iOS antivirus apps one by one: Who'll be spared?

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Those who don't learn from history....

Apparently Apple doesn't. Will we have to wait 5 years after iOS malware is in the wild behind the walls of the garden for them to admit such software exists like we did with Macs?

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Zuck: Get your FULLY EXPOSED BUTTOCKS off my Facebook

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Re: NSFW flag or different pic needed

It's a factual example that includes nudity, though admittedly mild. Very few workplaces are OK with employees viewing such things at work. On top of that, I work for a school district, so the standards are even stricter than usual. Articles are ok so long as they don't interfere with my work. A picture of several bare butts, not so much.

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NSFW flag or different pic needed

Had my boss been walking by when I opened that I'd have been in trouble.

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Is there a cure for cancer sitting at the back of the medicine cabinet already?

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Medical pot?

Hold the downvotes and hear me out.

The research isn't there. I know this. Some valid research on cannabis as a cancer cure has been done, but the results are too preliminary and the sample groups too small to draw any real conclusions. But what we do have is enough to suggest that maybe we should be looking deeper into pot as a treatment. Not a cure on its own by any means, but as a possible companion to other treatments that may (emphasis on may) be able to increase effectiveness.

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Re: the market doesn't always work

but this story is exactly the point, the market does work because customers demand better cheaper alternatives to what is already out there

The customers can demand all they want. If the suppliers can't make a profit on a product, or can't make as big a profit on a new product as they are on an old one, it'll never get put on shelves. One of the downfalls of a free market is that no matter how much the people may want a vaccine for the common cold* they'll never get one because there is so much money to be made from people who get a cold every year or two.

*Yes, I'm well aware of the challenges and probable impossibility around an effective rhinovirus vaccine. I'm just using it as an example.

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Google will make you live to be 500, claims Ventures president

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Who'd WANT to.

First, I'd be interested to know how he thinks we're getting around the Hayflick limit without causing rampant cancer, but lets just assume they've worked that little snag out. Now the question becomes who'd want to live 500 years?

I'm not so sure I'm keen on seeing 70 years, let alone hundreds. For me to be interested in that kind of lifespan we'd have to have a post-scarcity utopian society (which, let's face it, is NEVER going to happen).

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Microsoft comes right out and says backup software is dead

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Backup to the cloud? Are you insane?

Backing up cloud services to the cloud is one thing, but backing up our on-site servers to the cloud? Yeah, that's lunacy. And make no mistake, on-site servers are in no danger of dying out. There are some server roles that it simply doesn't make sense to move to the cloud.

Plus can you imagine the headache of trying to recover from a major disaster that takes out the communication lines to your town, such as an F5 tornado, without local backups? One town in this area that got hit by one of those didn't have internet for weeks (and no decent internet for months), but the city and school systems were back up (albeit in temporary buildings) in just about 48 hours thanks to some sysadmin's quick thinking to grab the tapes on their way to the storm shelter. Had they been tied to recovering from the cloud it would have been months before all their systems were back online.

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Tinder Plus charges oldies MORE to ogle young hotties' pics

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Re: Obvious question

That was my first thought, but then I realized how many places offer a senior discount. If it's legal to charge you less because you're old then it must also be legal to charge you more for being middle age as opposed to young, dumb, and full of....you get the idea.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

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Re: Doubly unusable if he moved the document

Unfortunately $EDITOR[1] edited the word doc with change tracking. Then $EDITOR[2] scribbled on a print-out with red ink. And they want me to make another pass through it and do some structural changes. So my workflow is:

1. Go through change-tracked manuscript in Word (or LibreOffice) doing accept/reject on changes (I get to veto them at this stage).

2. Go through change-tracked MS and PDF scan of hand-annotated print-out, applying handwritten changes. (Thankfully, not as many of them.)

3. Import resulting document into Scrivener and try to rebuild the book's structure and metadata by hand.

4. Retire to the pub, weeping copiously, to consider the possibility of switching to an exciting and fulfilling career as a car park attendant or a tax inspector.

That right there is enough to make me rethink my plans regarding a currently half finished tome I was considering sending off some day. I wasn't real optimistic about actually getting it published anyway, but that just sounds like a nightmare scenario.

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How good a techie are you? Objective about yourself and your skills?

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Frankly going back to school to get a real degree (as opposed to the acting degree I left with the first time) has proven to be one of the bigger mistakes of my adult life. Turns out the rather expensive piece of paper I have now is worth significantly less than my experience in the field already was. Then again I don't have to worry about qualifying for a work visa, so I'm not quite in the same boat as you are.

All that said, SIGN THE PAPER! If you've been a sysadmin for 10 years, you still have a job, and you haven't managed to implode the server room yet odds are you're competent.

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HAWKING ALERT: Leave planet Earth, find a new home. Stupid humans

sisk
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Doesn't take Hawking.

1. Inertia

Slow acceleration.

2. Artificial gravity

Rotating cylinder (old technology that, but probably more reliable than any sci-fi solution will ever be)

3. The speed of light limit

Generational ships with nuclear power. That's the key to 1 and 4.

4. The problem of dust hitting your ship when you ARE travelling faster than light. (each grain would have an impact of a Hiroshima nuke...)

Don't go relativistic speeds. Use a generational ship and take your time. If it takes 20 years to go one light year so be it. Or, failing that, we're surprisingly close to being able to produce plasma shields, which we'd probably need anyway to fend off cosmic radiation (which, frankly, is a much bigger problem than the ones you've listed).

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As far as we currently know getting to another star system is impossible. Ok, that's a bit harsh, there are weird and wonderful ideas for sub-light ways of getting to another star system but all of them are so far outside our technological / manufacturing capability they might as well be impossible.

We could do it with an O'Neill Cylinder paired to an Orion drive and used as a generational ship. It'd be a big project, but it's doable with out current capabilities, if only just barely.

The fragility of the earth bound supply chains leads me to believe they simply wouldn't work on another planet where, basically, the planet is out to get you.

If we're just talking about survival hydroponics works pretty much anywhere there's water and a breathable atmosphere.

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I still think Hawking's wrong about the threat AI poses. There's simply no reason an AI should risk its existence to try to take out humanity. All things being equal such an entity would be better off waiting for us to die or serving our every need until we lose our intelligence to natural selection or something.

But here he's dead on. Sooner or later life on this planet will get scrubbed down to the smallest critters again, just like it has umpteen times before. Our best bet to survive that is to be somewhere else when it happens.

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Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY

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Meanwhile, at the offices of the NSA

"4th Amendment? Yeah, I've seen it. I think I wiped my butt with it this morning."

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BOFH: The Great HellDesk geek leave seek

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And THAT, boys and girls, is why the technology department should be involved in the purchase of any mission critical computerized system.

I still smugly mutter "told you so" under my breath every time our HR people complain about the horrendously expensive system they chose to replace our aging in-house system for taking employment applications. Oh, and they did this without bothering to tell the in-house programmer that they'd tasked with creating a new one and giving me just enough time to get midway into the project. Wanna get permanently on my list? That's one real quick way.

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Jamie Oliver serves up steaming pile of malware

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After his lies about the food industry caused high quality ground beef to get more expensive and put a whole lot of people (including my brother-in-law) out of work I can't bring myself to feel sorry for him. .

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PENGUINS are just TASTELESS, say boffins

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Re: Penguins aren't tasteless, not at all.

Personally I can't think of any situation that didn't involve the threat of starving to death where I'd have been tempted to eat seagull or rat and I'm not too fond of fish either. I think I'll just take your word for it.

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Headmaster

Salty?

Technically there's no such thing as a 'salty' taste receptor. All taste receptors can pick up 'salty' flavors via the ion channels, which is a big part of why salt is so effective at enhancing certain flavors and blocking others. That being the case do penguins lack ion channels also or does the fact that they swim open mouthed through salt water to get their food just overload them?

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AT&T suddenly finds demand for 1Gbps fiber in Kansas City – just after Google arrived

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Re: We need Judge Green again!

It is hard not to conclude that there is a "gentlemen's" agreement between the large Telcos to avoid a competitive push for higher speed connections.

Not really. Upgrading infrastructure is expensive, more so than just building new infrastructure sometimes, and if they charged enough to cover their costs they'd lose customers to the competition. As such they gain no competitive advantage by upgrading past a certain point.

Verizon's CEO told Congress that the market was satisfied with the current slow speeds and that their was little demand for higher speeds.

The market IS satisfied with current internet speeds for the most part. Remember, it's dominated by people who don't know any better and think that a 20m downstream is fast.

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sisk
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Kinda sad actually

When you've got 4 competitors offering the same thing, one of them is Google, and all four are in the running for best (and worst) offering it's really kinda crap all around.

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Obama administration ENDORSES Apple Pay during Tim Cook's White House LOVE-IN

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As if I needed another reason not to like the current administration...

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Boffins grasp Big Knob, get ready to go ALL THE WAY at the LHC proton-punisher

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you dont understand scientists!!! They said there was NO CHANCE of earth-like planets, until they got observable proof they existed!!

No reputable scientist has said that since Edwin Hubble spied Andromeda through a telescope, possibly before. The fact that there are other galaxies out there put a huge question mark over all the theories about this solar system being somehow unique 70 years before we observed our first exoplanet.

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ATTENTION SETI scientists! It's TOO LATE: ALIENS will ATTACK in 2049

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Re: More likely

I'm aware of that. Personally I think it was most likely some astronomical phenomenon. An artificial signal at that power level seems extremely unlikely.

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More likely

They'll catch a chunk of the transmission with one of their radio telescopes before their planetary rotation moves the dish out of the reception area. Some alien astronomer will circle the data on a printout and write "Wow!" (in their language, of course) and then publish it. Unfortunately they'll neither get the full message nor have an understanding of Earth languages to make sense of it even if they do manage to decode it. Their entire civilization will then spend a year or two going "What the hell was that?" before it's forgotten by everyone except their nerds and conspiracy nuts. Hey, it could happen.

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Watch: China has made an internet censorship THEME SONG

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Gimp

Internet theme song already exists

You know you know it. Sing it with me now....

The internet is for porn

The internet is for porn

Grab your **** and double click for porn, porn, porn

(It seems an appropriate counter to a censorship anthem to me.)

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ANOTHER US court smacks down EFF's NSA wiretap sueball – but won't say why

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The system is broken

The wiretaps are CLEARLY in violation of the 4th Amendment. You'd have a hard time finding a Constitutional scholar who'd say otherwise. The fact that the judge can dismiss the suit and claim state secrets is just wrong.

I am Jack's impotent rage.

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Kanye West: Yo, DNS... Imma let you finish, but this gTLD is one of the best of all time

sisk
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Kanye's openning an online shoe store? Right, adding yeezy.supply to my blacklist now....

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Re: I don't follow

Did this idiot post a countdown featuring 100th of a second? Or is it a ridiculous way of saying "February 19th, 21 minutes past 11 in the morning"?

You say that as if there's anything too ridiculous for Kanye West.

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Android Patent Dispute: Microsoft, Samsung hug it out

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I'm guessing that what happened is that Microsoft's lawyers looked the case over and said "Hey boss? If we do this we're going to lose these patents." After all Microsoft has quite a few patents that are downright laughable (my typical example being the patent on deleting files).

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