* Posts by sisk

1674 posts • joined 17 Mar 2010

Tinder Plus charges oldies MORE to ogle young hotties' pics

sisk
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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

sisk
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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?

sisk
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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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sisk
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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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sisk
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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

sisk
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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

sisk
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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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sisk
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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

sisk
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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

sisk
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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

sisk
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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

sisk
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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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sisk
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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

sisk
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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

sisk
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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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sisk
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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

sisk
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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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NERDS KICK PUPPY 'bot in brutal attack

sisk
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Terminator

I can see it now...

Some dude kicks the robotic dog and it goes all nerd-bot rage on him. I've been saying AI will have no reason to wipe out humanity, but you just gave them one: them 'humans are dicks' factor.

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Basic minimum income is a BRILLIANT idea. Small problem: it doesn't work as planned

sisk
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I'd be amazed if anyone can come up with an economic model that'll predict all that lot...

Realistically economic models in general suck at accurately predicting disruptive changes. It's those pesky, irrational humans always throwing things off.

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sisk
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Well it's an interesting alternative to the broken approach of raising minimum wage. I'm not sure if it'd work any better, but I do know that the end result of raising the minimum wage is that within 5-10 years you've got more people not making enough to get by. I will note, however, that at least in this area the people who don't work at all would not be much of a minority, if a minority at all.

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ACHTUNG! Scary Linux system backdoor turns boxes into DDoS droids

sisk
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Eh, no worries

So, basically, this is either a trojan that has to be run as root (in which case, who in their right mind runs strange software as root) or spreads via SSH attacks by brute forcing their way into root (in which case who in their right mind runs SSH on the default port and doesn't prevent root logins).

Nothing to see here. Move along.

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ALIENS are surely AMONG US: Average star has TWO potentially Earth-like worlds

sisk
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I don't think the fact that we haven't detected alien life is puzzling at all. The costs of interstellar travel are such that it's never going to be something done lightly, despite what sci-fi writers seem to think and the signals coming from those planets would be very hard to identify.

Consider this for a second: We've had the technology, or at least the theory for it and capability to build for those theories, needed to build successful a generational ship for interstellar travel for 50 years now (the key technologies being the Orion drive and the O'Neill cylinder) and no ones even considered doing it because it would be ludicrously expensive. When you start talking about ships that could make the trips in sane time frames the costs get even higher thanks to the absolutely absurd energy requirements (not to mention disastrous side effects like causing gamma ray bursts).

As for the signals, we actually do have one or two signals we've picked up that could potentially have come from alien radio telescopes, but identifying them as such with any certainty is basically impossible.

Basically I don't believe we'll ever visit other stars until Earth is in danger of being destroyed, and then I think we'll do it once and only once. The only way around it is if we somehow figure out how to make stable wormholes, but I've doubts about that to.

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Why Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi 2? Upton: 'I drank the Kool-Aid'

sisk
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Re: Security???

A quick search shows that you are wrong. Most of them were Linux OS compromises. See www.zone-h.org/news/id/4737

Perhaps you should read the article in its entirety. And I quote...

We were talk­ing about local ker­nel exploits, but the first prob­lem is in the web­site code.

From the results one out­come is clear – code devel­oper teams and web­server admins are still liv­ing in two dis­tinct worlds. And if some­thing is not work­ing prop­erly, their answer is that this is most likely the other side’s fault. While this “fight” con­tin­ues, the deface­ment count still grows up.

And also, as Androgynous Cupboard pointed out, that article is very out of date. It's a 4 year old article discussing a Linux kernel vulnerability from 7 years ago.

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sisk
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Re: Wow..... just look at all the hate.

Meh, run what you want. As I've often mentioned I've a habit of telling people who shouldn't be running Linux (gamers, students, and the terminally technophobic) to stick with Windows.

But when it comes to Windows on RasPi though I find myself scratching my head and wondering why anyone would do that. Low power machines like this are one of the biggest areas where Linux really shines as well as one of the worst areas where Windows historically falls down. It's not hate so much as confusion.

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sisk
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Re: Security???

Just look at website defacement stats and then divide by market share. You are far more likely to be compromised these days running a Linux server stack than a Windows one.

And here I thought that particular breed of ignorance was extinct in this day and age. Here's an education: OS and even web server software are pretty much non-issues for website defacement. Every major web server software, be it IIS, Apache, NGinix, or any of the various Java based servers (ie Tomcat) can be locked down so tight that the NSA would be jealous of their security.

When you actually dig into the statistics and look at how the attacks were accomplished it turns out that almost all of them came in either through a misconfiguration or through SQL injection. In other words bad administrators and web developers are to blame, not the OS or application.

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sisk
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Security???

Ok, admittedly MS has made huge strides on improving their security, but they're a long ways from security being a reason that you choose Windows. And the most secure for IoT? Yeah, not even close. That would be BSD, with Linux as a close second and Windows still closing the gap.

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Enough is ENOUGH: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

sisk
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Flash supporters?

It still has supporters? Actual supporters and not just clueless folks who install whatever their computer says it wants? Are you sure?

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Charles Townes, inventor of the laser and friend to both science and religion, dies

sisk
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Re: "As a Christian and Scientist"

A fan of Fisher I see, but you should realize the most recent assessments suggest Fisher was the one whose data suffered from cherry picking and bias, not Mendel's. Fisher's claims against Mendel have been shown to have been completely unfounded. Plus the fact that Mendel came to the correct conclusions 30 years before anyone else came close pretty much vindicates him. But don't take my word for it. See for yourself.

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sisk
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Re: Atheist philosophers but agnostic physicists

I would agree with that statement because physicists (or good scientists in general) tend to be rather agnostic. You can't predict, reproduce, or prove your god? Well in that case your religious theory remains unconfirmed. Next theory please.

I agree completely. I've gotten to the point that I simply roll my eyes and move on whenever someone starts talking about how science "proves God doesn't exist". I've given up trying to explain how it's not actually possible to do that and why good science ignores the question of God's existence entirely.

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sisk
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Re: "As a Christian and Scientist"

Now there's an oxymoron.

Not at all. Science and religion have no overlap, despite what a lot of Humanists seem to think. Just because you're familiar with the laws of physical reality as we know them and try to discover the ones we don't know yet doesn't mean you can't believe someone wrote them. In fact I've heard more than one prominent scientist talk about how it seems like someone's fiddling with the dials on some of the universal constants. Likewise there's no reason that just because you believe in a higher power you can't also be knowledgeable about science.

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sisk
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Re: Religion is...

Personally I feel that if your science mentions God or god - be it positively or negatively - then you're doing it wrong. Religion belongs in the realm of philosophy, not science.

Then again I also tend to keep my religion to myself most of the time and don't really feel any particular need to make the rest of the world agree with me. From my own observations that's a somewhat rare thing.

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Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

sisk
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If Google's ads are going to get through now then what's the point of Adblock? Might as well uninstall it.

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OH HAPPY DAY! Lawyers replaced by AI

sisk
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In a less-painful scenario, we end up with billions of humans out of work as drudgery is replaced by machines.

Such a scenario could well result in a post-scarcity economy wherein no one actually had to work anymore to survive. In which case the billion-range unemployment numbers wouldn't matter.

And yes, I'm well aware that that's a pie-in-the-sky dream of a best case scenario, but it's also far more likely in the real world than Terminator.

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Apple CEO: Fandroids are BINNING Android in favour of IPHONES

sisk
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Got any facts to back up that wild supposition?

Dunno if AC does, but I can back it up with anecdotal observations. My Galaxy S2 has outlasted every iPhone anyone I know bought around the same time, and that's with mine being second hand and theirs being new. A couple of them have had to replace their iPhones twice in the time I've had this thing, and I probably won't be replacing mine for at least a couple more years.

Besides, a little logical thought can prove it even without cases to site. The most likely part of any mobile device to fail is, by far, the battery. Sooner or later it's going to stop holding a charge, usually much sooner than the rest of the components stop working. Given that one fact a replaceable battery alone almost ensures than a Samsung (and almost any other Android device) will have a longer life expectancy than an iPhone.

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sisk
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you can't go just lying to investors

Clearly you haven't been paying attention.

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Tesla bumps up Model S P85D acceleration – with software update

sisk
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Very impressive

Improving acceleration at that level without touching the hardware? All I can say to that is "Wow".

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'Revenge porn' bully told not to post people's nude pics online. That's it. That's his punishment

sisk
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Re: If they ever do a live-action version of the Simpsons...

Worst. Pornster. Ever.

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sisk
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Should be jail time

If you walked up to a woman in a public space and ripped her clothes off you'd be going to prison. Revenge porn is only marginally less reprehensible than that would be.

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Windows 10 heralds the MINECRAFT-isation of Microsoft

sisk
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I can't help but imagine someone saying something like "All the good data is deep. The first step is to dig down to layer 12..."

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Microsoft Outlook comes to Android, iOS: MS email now a bit less painful on mobile

sisk
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Convenient timing

I just realized that the email app on my phone stopped getting mail from my work account (on Office365) a few days ago. This wouldn't be my first choice to fix it, but it is definitely going onto the bottom of my list of things to try. And, if past experience with this problem on other peoples' phones is any indication, I'll probably get to the bottom of the list. O365 and Android seem to have a touch and go relationship.

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BITE that APPLE if you want to escape the Android garden, Microsoft

sisk
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You took the words right out of my mouth.

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'Boozed up' US drone spook CRASHED UFO into US White House

sisk
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Re: For the Nth time

I understand your sentiment, but when you get right down to it the biggest difference between expensive quadcopter toys and cheap drones is how they're used. They have drones marketed to police that are, for all intents and purposes, the same thing you might let a 10 year old play with but with a camera strapped to it.

Now imagine that instead of a drunken staffer with a toy this had been a terrorist with one of the police models, only they strip out the camera and replace it with a vial of vx gas (or something else along those lines) and instead of crashing into the ground it crashed through a window. It's not hard to see the concern here.

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Google Translate MEAT GRINDER turns gay into 'faggot', 'poof', 'queen'

sisk
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"Bulldyke"

I've only ever known one person to actually use that term and she used it to refer to herself. She always introduced herself to new people with it. Clearly it's not offensive to everyone.

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BOO! Grave remote-code exec flaw in GNU C Library TERRIFIES Linux

sisk
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Re: Not Again

This one is going to be particularly hard to fix

Apparently not. It was fixed in Debian before you posted your comment. And, I might add, before I heard about it.

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Facebook: Oi, Lizard Squad – we can take down our own site, ta

sisk
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Trollface

Let's be fair here

If MySpace went down for a few hours would anyone actually notice?

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