* Posts by Terry Cloth

207 posts • joined 7 Feb 2011

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'Virtual nose' makes VR less dizzying, say boffins

Terry Cloth
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Cockpit frame prevents nausea?

Well then, have the virtual participant wear some armor. Say, a hockey mask? Those bars should be just as good as a cockpit, much better than a nose. (Please let me know whether this pans out. I'll limit my share to 1% of the gross.)

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When cash is King, mobile money means economic freedom

Terry Cloth
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Oh, great! So now the gov't will know every penny I spend

I treasure cash. It's nobody's business (except maybe my spouse's) what I rent down at the local black-window video purveyor. (Said as I get the folding money to pay for my auto's bodywork bill....)

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Caught on camera: ICANN CEO slams the internet's kingmakers

Terry Cloth
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[T]he risk it could be "captured" by the industry itself[.]

It hasn't already happened?

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Ancient SUPERNOVA EXPLOSION contains enough dust for 7,000 EARTHS, say boffins

Terry Cloth
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Boffin

What, precisely, is the news here?

The discovery allowed the boffins to float the idea that huge quantities of dust spotted in distant young galaxies may have been produced by supernova explosions of early massive stars.
The idea that roughly everything in the universe (other than hydrogen and some of the helium) was created by supernovae is a given in some geology books from the 1970s I'm reading, and is probably older than that (but I'm too lazy to look it up).

Is the real takeaway that we now know that the stuff doesn't rebound when it hits the outside world? Or that we didn't know how much dust was produced? Or that we didn't know it was already happening in young galaxies? Or something else?

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Boffins FOAMING over a Nickel's worth of hydrogen

Terry Cloth
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Re: Hydrogen is not a fuel, dammit!

Any chemical which burns in oxygen in an exothermic reaction is a fuel[.]
True, in the narrow chemical sense. But, in the overall picture, it's no more than a mechanism to transport energy (input elsewhere) to a vehicle (for use there), just like electricity. So far as the contemporary energetics go, it's a net loss, as opposed to petroleum distillates.

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Terry Cloth
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Mushroom

Hydrogen is not a fuel, dammit!

Until we find underground hydrogen, or snag a hydrogen-slush comet, hydrogen is a power-delivery system,1 same as electricity. Gasoline takes some input to get raw materials and to refine, but the end result is more power than went into producing it.2 For the forseeable future, we will have to put as much energy into producing the H2 as we get out of burning it.

So don't compare hydrogen to gasoline, compare it to electricity.

1 As discussed here. Fusing hydrogen is a whole different story.

2 We're ignoring events of a few million years ago, of course.

(Icon represents possible future of Kawasaki's H2 tanker. :-)

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Web geeks grant immortality to Sir Terry Pratchett – using smuggled web code

Terry Cloth
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Coat

I Suspect Jon Postel would approve

So can we call it ``going Postel''?

Mine's the one with snail mail in the pocket.

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Debian on track to prove binaries' origins

Terry Cloth
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Linux

Re: What a complete joke

@ A Known Coward

So this work 'proves' that the source they built with was the source code they include in their source packages, but it doesn't prove the code in their own source packages matches up with the original source code released by the application developers.
Well, actually, it does. Back in the early days they patched the source to their specs, and distributed the patched source. Somebody noticed the very point you bring up, and now Debian source packages include
  • precisely the upstream source (in files named <package_upstream-version>.orig.tar.gz,
  • Debian's patches (named <package_upstream_version-revision>.diff.gz), and
  • other control information needed to generate the binary.
So yes, you can prove their build is based on the upstream source. And their changes are available right there for your review.

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Fight back against illegal GCHQ spying with PAPERWORK!

Terry Cloth
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Is this limited to UK bods only?

Or can I, an Amerian, sign up with PI to find out whether any of my stuff (gathered illegally by the NSA) was sent (illegally) to GCHQ?

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Vint Cerf: Everything we do will be ERASED! You can't even find last 2 times I said this

Terry Cloth
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Boffin

Webpioneer my left eyetooth

Mr Cerf is an Internet pioneer. Robert E. Kahn and he were inventing the Internet when Mr Berners-Lee had just decided on a college.

Now get off my bandwith!

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'Giving geo-engineering to this US govt is like giving a CHILD a LOADED GUN'

Terry Cloth
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Paris Hilton

Interesting graph you've got there

Where'd the last couple of hundred years go?

On my screen, 500 y = 4.4 cm. After 1500 we only get 2.2 cm of chart, meaning it's missing from 1750 to present, 265 years. I'd love to know how it comes out.

(Icon for the question mark, not the bimbo.)

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ACHTUNG! Scary Linux system backdoor turns boxes into DDoS droids

Terry Cloth
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So, El Reg wants to redefine `backdoor'?

This is the second article in a few weeks with `backdoor' in lights, when it's nothing of the sort---just another piece of malware wanting to get in.

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BEHOLD the magnificent lunar backside in our MOON VIDEO

Terry Cloth
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WTF?

Ireland is pretty damn' big!

Roughly 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi) in diameter and 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) deep, roughly the size of Northern and Southern Ireland combined.

Since the U.S. is, to a first approximation, 3 000 miles wide by 1 000 miles deep, all I can say is ``Wow!''

Who knew?

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CES 2015: The good, the mad and the POINTLESS

Terry Cloth
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Re: The elephant in the room...

Precisely.

I poked around Freeview's website, DDG'd ``freeview {revenue,profit,income} uk'', and read the Wikipedia article on them, and nothing said how they make their money. On the website, the Ts&Cs and privacy statement relate to the site only, not to the service they want to persuade us to use.

If they get their money from advertisers interrupting at cliffhanger moments (i.e., what broadcast has been doing forever), no sweat. But since they know exactly what we're viewing and when, I suspect they're selling us out by marketing that info to the usual suspects, and modifying the datastream accordingly. For that, they'll just have to keep waiting.

If they offered the service for a reasonable fee, and ironclad guarantees that none of my information would be passed on, or kept longer than needed to send me the show, I suspect I'd pay.

Does anyone know roughly how much revenue they expect per person? Or for any other privacy-denying ``service'', say Google?

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NASA to launch microwave SPACE LASSO to probe Earth's wet spots

Terry Cloth
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I want to watch...

I was disappointed that the fine Youtube animation skipped right past deployment of the big reflector. Does anyone know where such a thing is to be had, showing some of the fine points of what's going on?

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Verizon wants to sell 'antiquated' copper assets, stick to wireless for voice

Terry Cloth
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Flame

“[F]rankly better” services than “antiquated copper”?

Where do they get this malarkey? ``Better'' if you want text messaging, talking in your car, tons of buttons and icons....

If, on the other hand, if you want crystal-clear communications, connections that last untll one of you hangs up, and simple operation (what concepts!), you can only use a landline. We have a cell-phone-only friend whom it typically takes two or three connections to complete a conversation, and another who, when she calls on her cell, we usually end up calling her landline.

You'll get my copper away from me when you &c.

[Edit: To say nothing of the fact that so long as the wires are up, we have service, courtesy of huge banks of batteries in the CO, and probably backup generators. Up here, where blackouts are more than annual events, that counts for a lot.]

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World, face Palm: PDA brand to RISE FROM THE GRAVE

Terry Cloth
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Happy

Really sad

I'm still using a Handspring Visor. It was the last PDA made with replaceable, over-the-counter (AAA) batteries. I carry a couple spares when I'm travelling, and the hell with finding an electric outlet I can hang around for a few hours. (And I can buy new ones in any place with pretensions to civilization.)

(And I have two or three more in my junk room, for spare screens or replacement.)

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HP breaks for Xmas week - aka 'staff hols' - source

Terry Cloth
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Coat

Audit time?

Some outfits (notably banks and other money-handlers) force employees to take a week or two annually so they can catch people tweaking the books (since they won't be around to make the sums come out right).

Maybe HP is doing a company-wide computer security audit?

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The Shock of the New: The Register redesign update 4

Terry Cloth
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Unhappy

Can I have my vertical space back, please?

That immovable thing at the top that says

``[vulture] DATA CENTER SOFTWARE [...] WEEKEND EDITION''.
The width is limited by the sidebars, and now I can't have the full height of the screen, either. I can find my way to the top of the page in numerous ways, none of them requiring a fixed area waiting to attack should I push my cursor out of the way, and end up there by accident. (Admittedly, the delay is a help if you're just passing through, but I'd like to see the whole thing go away.)

Maybe it's time to learn to do site-specific CSS. :-(

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Judge bars dead Steve Jobs from appearing on TV news FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

Terry Cloth
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A jury decides standing???

In every case I've read about in several decades of paying attention, the question of standing is one of law, to be decided by a judge, and appealed if someone doesn't like the answer.

Jurors are deciders of fact, not of how the law applies.*

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* With the notable exception that if a jury decides the law is draconian, or misapplied, they can refuse to convict and there's an end on't.

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Pitch Black: New BlackBerry Classic is aimed at the old-school

Terry Cloth
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Do they encrypt transmissions

Voice (presumably BB to BB until a standard develops)?

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NY premiere of The Interview cancelled after hackers' terrorist threats

Terry Cloth
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Stop

I am fairly confident there will be no more hijackings

Now that the public knows what's in store for any hijacked airplane, the passengers will tear any wannabe hijackers to shreds before they get to the front of the plane. (Ref. Flight 93.)

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Pirate Bay admins 'couldn't care less' about police raid

Terry Cloth
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Boffin

Or to most of the world, Mr. 1312

And to the computergentsia, Mr. 0x520.

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The internet is less free than last year. Thanks a bunch, Snowden

Terry Cloth
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Devil

Now _that's_ a conspiracy theory!

It must be something terrifying for the 0.000000000000000000001% of the global population to go to all this trouble for.

0.000000000000000000001% = [counts on fingers] 1e-21 people

x ~7e9 humans alive now = 1e-12 people

x ~1e12 cells/person = 7 cells.

I guess they've really gotta be the right 7 cells. Are they all in the same body?

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US govt tells ICANN: No accountability, no keys to the internet

Terry Cloth
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Joke

Re: […] that the internet community would have free reign to decide […]

Oh, I dunno. Up until ICANN was spawned, the Internet community did indeed reign over DNS, IANA, &c. Didn't seem to do such a bad job, either.

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Sony Pictures struggles as staff details, salaries and films leaked

Terry Cloth
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Devil

Is this Sony ``rootkit'' Corporation?

Yes, I know this could be a disaster for many people working there (and their families), but somehow I can't help but think ``What goes around comes around''.

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Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Terry Cloth
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Thumb Up

Re: freeware?

I consider ``Free Software'' or ``open source'' to be a requirement to distinguish black boxes of unknown (and too easily malevolent) content from transparent boxes within which I can have a fighting chance of getting a known quantity. This distinction is not a ``GNU/Linux'' thing, but a real, non-philosophical, distinction necessary to protect my system.

It's not being ``ultra-specific'' to want to know whether you're being handed a box or dynamite or of nitroglycerine. One's a useful tool; the other's too likely to blow up in your face.

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EE's not-spot-busting small cell trial delights Cumbrian villagers

Terry Cloth
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What security are they building in?

Unless they've really made an advance in identification, verification, and authorization, I fear this is just an invitation to GCHQ to build a nifty box to play in the mesh. ``Oh, look! A new node! G'day, mate.''

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Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Terry Cloth
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Re: Pi ... its full value has never been expressed...

I suspect it has something to do with this, even though it lacks even the decency to cover itself with puff pastry.

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Device fingerprinting tech: It's not a cookie, but 'cookie' rules apply

Terry Cloth
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Terminator

Lie to them

Is there a browser plug-in that allows you to specify the info supplied? I remember Mozilla used to have an about:config string that let you set the User Agent string, but my current Firefox doesn't seem to have anything of that sort.

It would be nice if we could get a plug-in that returned a ``standard'' set of identity strings, so all of a sudden every browser would look like IE 12 on MS Windows 10, say. Or even have a number of such standards, and rotate them pseudo-randomly. What fun!

Icon: mask, because we'd all be hiding behind one.

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Part 3: Docker vs hypervisor in tech tussle SMACKDOWN

Terry Cloth
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And now for something slightly different

CoreOS has just announced a shift in emphasis on containerization called Rocket. According to the blurb, they're not happy with Docker's generalization, and they want to keep something simpler. Interestingly, they point out that Docker has removed its standard container definition.

Please compare and contrast.

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ESA finds FOURTH comet touchdown for Philae lander

Terry Cloth
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Alien

Was Philae able to stabilize itself in any way?

The 13-second to 24-second rotation change by sideswipe suggests not. In that case, how the hell did it happen to land shiny side up? Pure luck? Alien intervention?

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Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?

Terry Cloth
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Devil

Lose/lose proposition?

From what I’ve seen of one-framework-to-rule-them-all efforts, this’ll be a 20 M£ waste of money. And if, by some miracle, they get something in place, that means “all law enforcement agencies” will be vulnerable to a single attack (and you know there’ll be multiple holes in anything this large).

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Look out: That data protection watchdog can bite

Terry Cloth
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Stop

Pure invitation to over-enforcement

All enforcement fees should go into the general fund; the agencies should get their money through appropriations.

For any regulatory body (police, patent office, ICO, what have you) to get the money from its actions guarantees that in short order they'll be reading the law for profit, rather than justice.

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El Reg reanimates Cash'n'Carrion merchandising tentacle

Terry Cloth
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Go

Add the Reg version of the classic

A nice, hefty mug with El Reg's logo on one side, and ``Keep Calm and Carrion'' on the other. I'd pay £10 for one.

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

Terry Cloth
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It leaves you wanting more.

Or if not here, then how did it start there? Panspermia is ultimately unsatisfying.

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Net neutrality, Verizon, open internet ... How can we solve this mess?

Terry Cloth
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And remember how you paid?

Not so long ago (at least for old geezers like me), you paid for long-distance by the minute. Which is identical to pay-by-byte, with increments at (3 kbps1 * 60 sec / 8 bits per byte =) 25 kB.

And then it got too cheap to meter.

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1 Remember, this was before Hz had been invented.

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Terry Cloth
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Pay for the steak, not the sizzle

Boo-hoo, Netflix uses more so they should pay more.

Absolutely. But they should pay the same per byte as every other user of the pipes.

The distortion that net neutrality must remove is the selling of alleged bandwith (``You get up to 3Mbps for this low, low price.'') rather than actual data.

As it is, the carriers don't have to build more capacity so long as they can sell ever-shrinking slices of pie at the same price. Pay-by-byte would mean the customer got fair value, and the carrier could only get more by making more product available.

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Remember that internet sales tax? Wasn't that a great idea? It's dead

Terry Cloth
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Sales taxes are too complicated. Damn' straight.

In another life I was an IT consultant running my own company, and had to register with the state for sales-tax collection. I made it simple by only charging for my services, and any equipment needed I effectively had the client buy and pay tax for—thus no liability for me, and all kosher.

The real eye-opener was when they’d send me a monthly missive on changes to the tax. Tires taxed this year, but not next. Redefinitions of what was considered taxable clothing. “Clarifications” of changes they’d made earlier. This was a whole sheet of (pre-electronic) 8½"x11" paper each month. If you think any service could keep that straight for 45 states, plus counties and cities continuously, correctly, I have a pony for you.

I really pity anyone who’s a wholesaler, and has to keep track ot that morass. I suspect this is one of those situations where, if the state wanted do, it could audit anyone and nail them with a fine and penalties.

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Virgin 'spaceship' pilot 'UNLOCKED tailbooms' going through SOUND BARRIER

Terry Cloth
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Unhappy

Why is no one mentioning the software?

As soon as I heard about the feathering extension, my first thought was software failure. The pilot unlocked feathering, but didn't activate it. Maybe the activation was triggered by Mach 0.95 forces the extension mechanism couldn't withstand, but that's a mechanical design with decades (centuries?) of mechanical-engineering experience behind it, and far less likely to fail than software.

As a software engineer I'm all too cognizant of the non-linear failures it's capable of. On my first job, designing embedded software to drive a new piece of hardware, I was all too aware that I needed to look closely at my code before I suggested the HW engineer might step in. In my decades of experience since, that never changed.

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Disney wins Mickey Mouse patent for torrent-excluding search engine

Terry Cloth
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FAIL

Google accuracy/desirability metric

Show of hands: How many of you have used ``I'm feeling lucky'' in the last month? In the last year?

It's been multiple years in my case, up until I simply quit using Google.

When they first came out, I was blown away by how good they were, and easily 1/4--1/2 the time, the Lucky button took me to what I wanted. If, as I suspect, its use has been dropping steadily (or even precipitately), that drop is directly related to the quality of their results. Too bad their usage hasn't dropped accordingly.

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UN takeover of internet postponed indefinitely

Terry Cloth
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Could someone forward this to Jacques Derrida's ghost...

...and ask him to deconstruct it?

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'It's NOT a fishing expedition', say police over random spot checks on gun owners

Terry Cloth
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Can you satisfy without letting them in?

Suppose I asked the nice policeman to wait a minute, then brought my firearm (in its locked case) to the door for inspection, would that be OK?

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Tor exit node mashes malware into downloads

Terry Cloth
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Doesn't this mean every TOR user should run her own exit node?

Seems to me, if you run an exit node that talks solely to your internal network, you're safe from this particular problem. Of course, for anonymity you also need to run an ordinary (transit?) node so your traffic gets mixed in with the general flow.

And, of course, it doesn't protect you from an evil entry node, if vulnerable to the analogous problem. Hmmm, also problematic if you can't choose your exit node, or if that choice makes you identifiable. Could someone better informed on TOR internals comment?

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Cashing it in: Personal finance apps – the best and the rest

Terry Cloth
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How about a cash replacement?

It's always seemed odd, in this capitalist, dog-eat-dog arena of business competition, that all the prepaid cards insist on ridiculous fees. Why doesn't someone see the opportunity to simply live on the float from the time the company gets the cash to the time the cardowner spends it? All I want is to buy my morning coffee without everyone from my card company to my government (and probably everyone else's, too) knowing about it.

I wonder how long it'll be before retail stores quit accepting cash, and everyone knows about every pence you spend?

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Routine WHAT NOW? Bank of England’s CHAPS payment system goes TITSUP

Terry Cloth
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Paris Hilton

Any update?

I haven't seen any stories about the collapse of the UK housing market, so I presume they got it fixed, but I don't see the promised Reg followup. If I'm just blind, I'd appreciate somebody pointing it out to me. Thanks.

(Paris for the big question mark.)

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US government fines Intel's Wind River over crypto exports

Terry Cloth
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Unhappy

``[W]ho ... do you think you are to legislate ... the right to read my private ... emails?''

Her Majesty's government?

(I'd use a Joke Alert icon, but it's for real.)

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Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes

Terry Cloth
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Who profits?

Those who think Digital Restrictions Management is a win.

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Look ma, no hands! The machines are speaking our language

Terry Cloth
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Go

Killer app

Some years ago I tried Dragon Speak for conversational speech recognition for my increasingly-deaf father. It couldn't hack it (or I didn't know what I was doing).

In a continually-aging society, a small handheld capable of displaying speech of one person while ignoring that of another would be a Godsend to many otherwise-isolated people.

Extra credit for handling conversations of more than two speakers; the Nobel for handling background noise in a loud restaurant.

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Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes

Terry Cloth
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Headmaster

Alternate grammar

True fact: when I read this comment, I thought a comma and a letter had been dropped:

[I]f you were drowning Messrs Gates and Ellison, I would throw you an anvil!

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