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* Posts by sisk

1563 posts • joined 17 Mar 2010

LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

sisk
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Re: Panspermia

Since you obviously value intelligence and truth and given your obvious hostility towards religion I'd encourage you to look up just who came up with the original premise for the Big Bang Theory back in 1931. Here's a hint: Google Lemaitre. The answer just might make you reconsider your opinion on people of faith.

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Re: Panspermia

The evidence is pretty damn conclusive, however, that the answer is not "god".

I never mentioned 'god' Trevor. Nor was that where my thoughts were headed. It as more along the lines of 'turtles all the way down'.

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Re: Because then we're probably not alone

Because if it didn't start here, but "out there, somewhere" then there's a high probability life, as we know it, exists on any planet with a similar climate.

I prefer to think that there has to be life out there somewhere. I find it impossible to accept that in all of the hundreds of trillions of planets out there that only this one insignificant rock managed to spawn life. Even if Earth is very special in that the exact right 1 in a billion circumstances happened that still means there should be hundreds of planets out there with the same circumstance.

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Panspermia

Even if it turns out to be viable space microbes (which is exceedingly unlikely at this point) and panspermia claims the day the real question still remains unanswered. Rather than "we don't know" the answer to where life came from simply becomes "not Earth". Which is really not a terribly helpful answer as far as figuring out how life came to be in the first place.

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Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data

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Remember, if you can simulate the universe then the odds that we're not living in a simulated universe are near nil. Ditto for the boffins running our simulation and the ones running theirs and so on. There could be thousands of layers of simulations above us before you get to the ones in the real world.

The simulation argument is fun, though I'm not sure why.

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After USA FREEDOM Act's failure, what's next for mass surveillance?

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Re: Sir

There ARE no obstacles to setting it up that way, and in fact it's pretty much the norm in the US Congress. Any bill that actually gets passed comes with riders tacked on by the other side. Sadly that's the only way to get anything done in Congress these days. Our political system really is that broken.

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Anonymous ‪hacks the Ku Klux Klan after Ferguson‬ threats

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Re: They were (so I've been told) basically a civil rights group.

They were every bit as antagonistic as the KKK

That would be the New Black Panthers. If Bill Cosby's rants on the subject are to be believed the originals have no respect for the group that usurped their name.

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Re: KKK= arseholes

I've never met an original Black Panther as far as I know. By the time I was old enough to care the originals had pretty much quit advertising, and from what I understand they weren't at all bad. They were (so I've been told) basically a civil rights group.

I have, however, had the misfortune of meeting both New Black Panthers* and Klansmen. I'd not willingly spend any time in the company of either. I have no tolerance for the rather potent strain of stupidity that is racism.

*The original Black Panthers and the New Black Panthers, for those who don't know, are completely unrelated organizations. The NBP just usurped the name.

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Every once in a while Anonymous picks a fight that I just can't help cheering them through. This is one of them.

KKK has been a disgrace to rational human beings of lighter complexions for 150 years.

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Is your kid ADDICTED to web porn? Twitter? Hint: Don't blame the internet

sisk
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Re: Hmm

prohibiting children from crossing the road by themselves would make more sense than banning them from accessing the Internet alone

Most parents DO prohibit children from crossing the road by themselves, at least until they're old enough to understand the danger. Unfortunately the age that most kids understand the danger of the internet is much higher than the age that they understand the danger of crossing the road.

A child who feels able to discuss most details of their online activities with an interested parent is likely to be far more safe.

Very true. And to be fair I don't plan of banning my kids outright from anything online except the obvious stuff like illegal sites and porn. In fact my daughter already has a FB account (in violation of FB's age policy - my wife's doing, but I didn't protest or ban her from it when I found out after the fact). I will insist on knowing who they're talking to when they get old enough for it to be an issue. Part of that will come from the computer being in the living room, and for fairness my computer is in the living room also.

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Re: Hmm

My kids are significantly younger than that, but I've got to say I agree with the no-laptops-upstairs rule. Banning social media is too much, but I think monitoring what your kids are doing online is just a simple, sane precaution.

I've seen way too many kids lured off into predators' hands because their parents didn't know what they were up to. It doesn't take too many times of having to talk to a classroom full of kids about why their classmate was killed by a pedo freak to get to that point. I've had or been very near to that unpleasant experience three times, plus another time that the daughter of a close friend got lucky and was rescued before the perv she'd hopped a train to see was finished with her.

Needless to say when I see someone saying the world "isn't any scarier than when we were kids" it makes me either laugh or reach for a clue-by-four, depending on my mood.

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Mozilla re-negotiates Google multi-million dollar sugar-daddy deal

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Re: What happened to all those millions from firefox os?

Looks like that whole html5/javascript stack is just not as appealing for mobile development has some would like to believe.

I find it VERY appealing and use it all the time, but the problem with the HTML5/JavaScript stack as a base for a mobile OS is that if you do it right your app doesn't care what OS it's running on. Why would I, as a developer using that stack, do the extra work tie myself down to a particular OS when I could do less work and have my apps work on all platforms, mobile or otherwise? Sure having it show up as a native app is nice, but it's ludicrously easy to make a web app look native for iOS or Android and not much harder for Windows 8.

Simply put, from a developers perspective FirefoxOS adds nothing. From a typical users perspective the question is "What's FirefoxOS?"

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Re: I wonder if Google would consider dropping the Mozilla deal?

Mozilla would probably get almost as much money from Microsoft for Bing to be the default search engine

Not likely. Anyone savvy enough to not use their system's default browser (Firefox is the default on very few systems - almost all of them some flavor of Linux, so those users are savvy too) is savvy enough to switch the default search engine. Most such people, at least the ones I know, don't use Bing.

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Yes! It's DRONE PORN. And we don't mean shiny pics of UAVs

sisk
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Rule 34

That is all.

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Hide your Macs, iPhones and iPads: WireLurker nasty 'heralds new era'

sisk
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Re: OK so let me get this straight.

NO intelligent user of ANY OS supposes it to be "magically" completely secure (the ones who do don't count).

Don't be ridiculous. Of course they count. And some of them (at least one whom I personally know) are quite intelligent.

Unix systems are not magically "secure" but they are demonstrably "more secure".

True enough.

Their use across the web does not constitute a "small target".

As far as user-targeting malware is concerned, yes it does. Servers are another matter, but servers are much harder to infect than desktops to begin with. For starters, they almost never hang out in sleazy websites like users do.

Let's say it yet, yet, yet again: There are currently no viruses proper - at all - for OSX (there will be, sometime, but this isn't one of them).

You do realize that even Apple stopped trying to push that particular line of bull 5 years ago, right? Yes, OSX viruses do exist and are in the wild and have been around since at least 2006. For a few examples, see

OSX_IWORM.A OSX_SLORDU.A OSX_MACKONTROL.A and OSX_MUSMINIM.A all of which are viruses that can be picked up via drive-by-downloads. And those are just a few examples. Yes, there is much less malware of all types around for OSX, but don't be one of those fools going around believing it doesn't exist.

OSX (and anything else *nix based) is harder to infect that Windows, but by no means is it so difficult as to not be worth it were there a greater number of potential targets. The diminutive market share of non-Windows PCs is very much one of the reasons we don't see more non-Windows malware.

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Not a bug, a feature

Normally that's meant as a joke, but in this case it really is a feature. Not only is it A feature, but it's THE feature as far as enterprises are concerned. Take this away and force them to install the apps they need on their corporate iWhatsits one at a time through the app store and you wouldn't be able to give the things to corporate users.

Sadly, as with many features designed for convenience, it's also an attack vector. Such problems shall always exist as long as non-geeks want to use technology.

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Pay-by-bonk 'glitch' means cards can go kaching-for-crims

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Re: And yet...

They actually claimed that it's 'perfectly secure'? This despite the known flaws in the system and the well known IT concept that perfect security doesn't exist?

This is what happens when you let marketing types talk about technology.

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Re: And yet...

Unfortunately they don't provide any other.

Time to look for another bank I'd say.

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Yet more proof pay-by-bonk is a bad idea. The first time I saw it I got on the nope train. I've seen no reason to regret that decision and plenty of evidence it was a prudent one since.

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Pop starlet Taylor Swift DUMPS Spotify: It’s not me, it’s you

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Re: People will definitely pay for music.

I think it's been pretty well proven that a lot of people WILL pay for music over pirating it provided they feel like they're being treated fairly. Personally I'm not a fan of Spotify specifically because the person doing all the work (the artist) isn't getting paid. That's the same reason I make sure all my royalties get paid when I DJ.

Here's the thing people: if musicians don't get paid they don't make music. I'm not saying we should go back to paying $20 to get one or two good songs plus a bunch of garbage we don't want, but the $1 per song model seems pretty fair to everyone. The consumer gets what they want for a good value and the artist gets paid. There's still the problem of middle-men and record execs sucking up most of the profits, but I think we're well on our way to that problem being solved. There are quite a few successful* indie artists out there now who've done away with the record execs and are only paying a (debatably fair) percentage to the music stores now.

*In this context, "successful" means that they've been able to quit their day jobs, not that they have private jets.

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Re: Erm....

I believe she is a popular, beat combo m'lud. Or to put it another way, she sings both kinds of music. Country, and Western.

She started out in country but has sort of migrated more towards pop over the course of her career. Neither are among my favorite kinds of music. Honestly I'd never heard of her until Kanye West's stunt at the Grammy Awards a few years back, but apparently she'd already become quite popular. I'm still not sure I've ever actually heard any of her music.

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Hold onto your hats and follow the BYOD generation

sisk
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Well duh

BYOD equally a lower salary is a no brainer for me. Why? Because I know exactly what it costs to implement BYOD. I'm not one of the guys who makes the decision, but one of the hats I wear mean that I would be one of the guys involved in the process of making it happen.

Anyway what it boils down to is that our relatively small organization (about 1500 employees total, plus 7000ish students, though realistically only about half of them are old enough to be expected to bring devices) would need something on the order of a $2,000,000 investment in infrastructure to make BYOD possible. That's mostly expanding our wireless capability to account for everyone having a device on top of all the wireless devices we already support.

And then after that initial investment (which is a hefty chunk of our annual IT budget already) there is the ongoing additional security concern. Now suddenly instead of one centralized antivirus solution paired with a well managed firewall we have thousands of unknown devices on our network which may or may not have proper security precautions in place. For all we know a previous employer might have installed a remote control app on that BYOD iPad and now has access to all of our student records. (And yes, such things exist. We have one that we install on our iPads.)

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Russians hear Tim Cook is gay, pull dead Steve Jobs' enormous erection

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Stupidity

Ok, this has been bugging me for a week now. Could someone please explain to me what Tim Cooks sexuality has to do with Steve Jobs? So the guy who took over for Jobs when he died is gay. Even if he was hand picked what leap of (dis)logic makes people associate Jobs with homosexuality from that?

Seriously, I can't see the connection the homophobes are making here.

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Desktop Linux users beware: the boss thinks you need to be managed

sisk
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Currently I'm the only one in these parts allowed to have a Linux machine, and it's a technically end of life machine. To get it I had to promise to hand it over to be disposed of if it ever develops hardware issues rather than repair it. Given that I'm the IT guy that would be in charge of any Linux desktops we ever deployed (because no one else around here has the skill set for it) I think I can safely say that VDI Linux is not going to make a difference here. This place is a Windows shop. Even our server room is Windows only.

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Seth Rogen bags Woz role in Sorkin's Steve Jobs biopic

sisk
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I'm about as far from a fan of Jobs as you can get without completely discounting his accomplishments, but you're taking it a bit too far. True enough that he didn't invent anything, but he did provide the inspiration that led to improvements in an number of products. Tablets are a perfect example. Tablet PCs were a failed technology that had fallen into a niche market that conventional wisdom said no one with an ounce of common sense would touch with a ten foot pole. Jobs saw potential and guided the engineers to develop the iPad. Because of that one move we now have mobile computing as we know it. He may not have invented the digital music player, but the iTunes store was a huge step towards the acceptance of digital music by the music industry. We'd have gotten there eventually, but I honestly feel that iTunes helped get us there faster.

The man wasn't an engineer, true. His talents lay in other directions. He had a knack for seeing how to improve upon things in such a way that people would buy them. It's unfortunate that he was also very greedy and a bit of a wanker, but that doesn't diminish his genius in any way.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: My well-known gayness is 'a gift from GOD'

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Tim Cook is gay!!!

And so are a few of my closest friends. Their orientation is just as newsworthy as his. Or rather his orientation is no more newsworthy than theirs.

I mean seriously, how slow a news day is it when you're writing about the sexual orientation of a man who's not even in the closet?

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You! AT&T! The only thing 'unlimited' about you is your CHEEK, growl feds

sisk
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Re: Death to "unlimited"

The FCC should ban claims of "unlimited" unless the connection is guaranteed to run at advertised speed all the time. To my knowledge, zero of the major telcos offer that.

I've only ever seen one consumer American ISP that advertised the speed they could maintain, mobile or landline. The cable/DSL/fiber providers all advertise their maximum speed (the one you could reasonably expect to get only if all their other subscribers were dead and their network completely empty). The one exception advertised their minimum. I was with them briefly and never got less than double their advertised speed, which was, sadly, still a paltry 3mb downstream bandwidth. Now I'm paying for a "20mb" connection that never actually gets above 12. That's pretty much the norm here unless you upgrade to a business account.

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Re: The problem I saw...

"We offer unlimited speed up to 10GB of data"

So then I should be able to download 10GB of data in the blink of an eye then, right?

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Re: What I still don't understand

A limit on speed is also unavoidable with current technology. But these 'unlimited' data plans don't even amount to unlimited data transferred. If you can transfer 3gb of data but then your connection slows down enough to make you miss the 14.4k modem you were rocking back when the non-tech-savy world discovered the internet then it's functionally no different from a limited 3gb plan except that instead of paying $10 for another gb you just can't use your data at all till the end of the cycle.

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"In some cases, customers had their feeds throttled by speeds of up to 90 per cent or more, making features like web browsing and content streaming virtually inoperable."

I found content streaming virtually inoperable on AT&T's network without them throttling me. Hence why I'm no longer on AT&T's network.

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MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer

sisk
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In my (admittedly anecdotal and unscientific) observation women seem to respond more to traits not connected to appearance or physical fitness. In short, women respond far less overall to physical appearance than men do. Confidence, money, or the word of another woman that he's dynamite in bed all seem to be just as good or better for impressing them than looks.

In case you're wondering, no, it's not personal experience. My number is less than the fingers on one hand and unlikely to ever rise again. If it does my wife will no doubt ensure that it only does so once.

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Re: Straight vs Gay

No idea. However, last year hitting the magic 40 (age, not bedpost notches) I had a works medical, and the experience that is my first prostate exam. Oh. My. God. It was quite the surprise, and I'll not be having them for leisure purposes, I can tell you. Young people : be afraid.....

There is research that regular prostate exams may actually increase the likelihood of prostate cancer far more than they prevent it by finding precancerous polyps.

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Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD TO DIE, and this is WHY

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I find it more likely that with everyone with the kind of disposable income to buy an iPod already having a smartphone that doubles as a MP3 player anyway that the things were doomed to die out anyway.

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Shellshock over SMTP attacks mean you can now ignore your email

sisk
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Attacks that fail don't make the news. The ones in this article should be failing because there shouldn't be more than a handful of machines still running an unpatched Bash out there by now. That was my point.

Also, to answer the question posed, yes I was aware of Apache's pulling in of Bash (knowledge which, given that I'm a web developer, should surprise no one), but I was unaware that Mutt did it. I sort of doubt it's going to change though. There are just too many tasks easily done with a half dozen lines of Bash that take a thousand lines of C++. More code means more bugs. More bugs means more security holes. Plus programmers are lazy sorts when it comes to reinventing the wheel (hence the popularity of OOP and reusable libraries).

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For crying out loud people, patch your bash already. The shellshock fix was rolled into every major distro's security updates weeks ago. Why are there still vulnerable systems out there? I'm one who usually doesn't update without a good reason, but this is not your typical priviledge-escalation-if-the-attacker-is-at-the-keyboard bug that most Linux vulnerabilities are. This one is big and remotely exploitable. GO RUN YOUR UPDATES FFS!

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UNCHAINING DEMONS which might DESTROY HUMANITY: Musk on AI

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Meh

Personally I feel the AI gods of the Orions Arm stories (or something along those lines anyway....I have trouble swallowing the whole 'star converted to a computer' thing) are a much more likely end-result of AI than Terminator.

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Adobe spies on readers: EVERY DRM page turn leaked to base over SSL

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Re: How does Adobe stay in business?

Texted based website building? This ain't the 1990s anymore, Old School Steve.

You're obviously not a professional in the field if that's what you think. Yes, some website designers use Dreamweaver. But only about half of them, if that. The rest use a text editor.

Kompozer? Don't make me laugh. It's just Navigator Composer all over again.

Can't comment. I've never used it. The websites that put food on my table are written with Sublime Text. I only mentioned it as an alternative to Dreamweaver.

I merely pointed out that Flash was once the defacto video compression tool of choice and no longer is and that STRAIGHT Java itself was and is taking the place of the interactive menus that were once created in Flash as well.

No it's not. That would be CSS3, and sometimes JavaScript. Only an utter fool would use Java for something as simple as interactive controls in this day and age. Java is only used for complete web apps, and then only rarely. You can't count on the client device being able to run it anymore. These days HTML5+CSS3+JavaScript is the way to go. That's why I assumed you meant JavaScript.

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Re: How does Adobe stay in business?

It is rather less painful

Here I have to disagree with you. My server side scripting language of choice, when I'm given a choice, is PHP (for a number of reasons I'll not go into at the moment), but CFML is ludicrously easy to work with. Adobe's implementation of it is in some ways ahead of (Java POI integration) and in some ways behind (CFScript syntax, optimization) Railo, but both are relatively painless ways to get the job done.

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Re: How does Adobe stay in business?

How? Because nobody has come up with any real alternative to their products.

Yes, they have.

Sure, there are PS and Illustrator clones out there, so why aren't people using them?

PS and Illustrator are the industry standards. THere's very little PS can do that Gimp can't, but anyone with a design degree in the last 20 years or so has had classes on PS. Ditto for Illustrator and Inkscape.

Also, as far as I know, there NO alternative to Dreamweaver

Kompozer

or Coldfusion

Railo, or BlueDragon.

or Flash

HTML5 + CSS3 or, failing that, it's still possible to use Java applets to do what it does (you know. the things we used before Flash?)

although Flash is fading away now that enough people have the bandwidth for real video and sophisticated interactive can now be done with Java.

You just triggered my pet peeve. Java != JavaScript. They're two totally unrelated languages which just happen to have a similar name. Java was made by Sun about the same time Netscape made the first version of JavaScript.

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Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T

sisk
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I could be crazy here, but it seems to me that the case could be made that AT&T is damaging the SIM cards and are therefore liable for property damage to the owners. You'd need a hotshot lawyer to make it fly, and they'd better be damn big hotshots to go up against the team of hotshot lawyers AT&T will throw at them, but I think that you could at least make the case.

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In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web

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Bigger than Christmas

It's not in most of the nation, but it is a very close second. Then again that's partially because so many Americans celebrate Hanukwanzmastis* instead.

*Yes, I'm making up words.

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DOUBLE BONK: Fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets

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Not Apple's faust

Much as I dislike Apple all suspicion of it being their problem vanished the instant I saw the words "Bank of America". A more corrupt and/or less competent financial organization would be difficult to find.

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Guns don't scare people, hackers do: Americans fear identity theft more than shooting sprees

sisk
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Re: The media strikes again!

Perhaps a rewording is in order: school shootings were very rare before the mid-90s. There's been more in the last decade than in all of US history before 1990 though.

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Re: The media strikes again!

OF COURSE we fear identity theft more than getting shot by a stranger. Identity theft happens all the time. Getting shot by a stranger is incredibly rare, despite that the extreme left wing and mainstream media would have you believe. Look up the statistics and there's a couple orders of magnitude of difference.

As for the perceived increase, well school shootings have increased. They just plain didn't happen before the mid 90s. Other crimes may have decreased (though you wouldn't know it from watching the news), but school shootings are far more common now than when I was in high school.

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Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers

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Personally I'm of the opinion that revenge porn should be considered a serious offense. It is no better than someone posting hidden cameras in a locker room.

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Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots

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Re: The end ?!

I'm still wishing that the attempted backdoor pilot with McGann had worked honestly. He's a great Doctor, but there's a huge chunk of Whovian culture that barely knows he exists because he's only been on screen twice.

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Re: The end ?!

I saw precious little of Colin Baker, but McCoy was a pretty strong Doctor in my opinion. He was no Tom Baker, but he wasn't bad.

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Coat

News Flash: The premise of the show is a 2000ish year old alien tooling around time and space in a craft that violates the laws of physics as we know them in half a dozen ways. It is not and never has been a hard sci-fi. That's not what the fans watch it for.

If you can't learn to suspend your disbelief and let go of the science long enough to enjoy a show which never made a claim to be scientifically accurate long enough to just enjoy it you really should stick to hard sci-fi and leave Doctor Who and the like to people capable of enjoying it. The reviews I've read here lately are about as credible as someone criticizing an action movie for the star getting out of situations he shouldn't have been able to survive.

Now if you want to slam the stories, go right ahead. I happen to disagree (this week was a SUPERB story in my opinion), but at least you'll be credible doing it.

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Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'

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Re: Eric Raymond's (in)famous quote

You do know the if not the majority, a very large portion of the FOSS written today is written by paid developers (at work, explicitly tasked by the employer) many of which work for large corporations right?

I'm pretty sure it's the vast majority of them when it comes to the kernel. How many people do you know who's put up with Linus' management style for free? I know exactly one, a guy who'd love the prestige of being able to call himself a Linux kernel dev enough to put up with it if he had the skills to match his ego. I sure as heck wouldn't put up with it unless I was being paid.

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