* Posts by DougS

6049 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

BAM! Astroboffins now have a second way of picking up black holes' collision super kicks

DougS
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Re: "remnants of the black holes..."

How can there be "remnants" of black holes unless they are broken up somehow? If they are, doesn't that violate the whole "what goes in never comes out" (except as Hawking radiation) dicta of black holes?

Is there an actual astroboffin in the house who can explain this? I imagine the article has been translated from science-speak to journalist-speak a few times along the way and lost some of its meaning, rather than black holes actually having remnants flung about.

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Man killed in gruesome Tesla autopilot crash was saved by his car's software weeks earlier

DougS
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One near miss and a not miss within a couple months?

Seems to me the problem was the driver relying on the car too much. In the "near miss" video the truck coming from the left was visible long before it tried to turn into the car. If I was driving I would have sped up a bit to keep that truck behind me. I never trust someone changing lanes exactly parallel to me, and neither should any decent autopilot software.

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DougS
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Visible light cameras only?

There is a lot more spectrum than the portion humans see, the car should be looking in those as well as using some form of radar or sonar (or better yet both) so "white car, white sky" should NEVER be a problem.

If it is, then Tesla's autopilot isn't fit for purpose and shouldn't be used because it is obvious that people will become complacent and not pay attention when it is in use regardless of Tesla's instructions on the matter.

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Cracking Android's full-disk encryption is easy on millions of phones – with a little patience

DougS
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Re: Others

Those cheaper SoCs may not even support a secure CPU separate from the main one.

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DougS
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You do realize

That 256 bit encryption is not 3x stronger than 88 bit, but rather 374,144,419,156,711,147,060,143,317,175,368,453,031,918,731,001,856 times stronger, right? Assuming no weakness in AES is found that seriously compromises its strength, and no true quantum computers appear, AES-256 will likely be secure for our lifetime. Certainly for the lifetime of the phone you are carrying today.

Besides, worrying about compromise of AES-256 letting someone decrypt your phone's filesystem, when there are a metric shitload of exploits against it that can do all that and more, is rather pointless.

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Can Ireland's grid green satisfy Facebook and Apple?

DougS
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Re: Fantasy

If Iceland was in the EU I'll bet Apple, Facebook et al would be flocking there to build datacenters since their geothermal power is effectively unlimited and arguably even greener than wind/solar. Ireland is probably the best of the various EU options in terms of the labor force they need, renewable energy they desire, and a climate that minimize the cooling demand for a datacenter.

The tax issue for Ireland is irrelevant since the datacenter is an expense, not directly income generating. They'd rather have it in a HIGH tax rate location, all else being equal, to reduce their tax bill there.

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DougS
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Is Ireland's grid connected to any other countries?

If so, it really isn't a problem. In the US the state of Iowa being roughly 60% larger than Ireland currently has over 6300 MW of current wind capacity and is on target to generate over 40% of the state's electrical demand by 2020. Measured in kilowatts per square mile it is the densest wind power state in the US by a long shot. No grid stability issues at all, since it is interconnected with much of the central US.

One issue I could see for wind power in Ireland are the roads. How the heck can you move those huge turbine blades along those narrow winding roads? There are probably a lot of good turbine sites that go wanting because the logistics of erecting one there are too daunting.

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Brexit-bored Brits back to bashing the bishop after ballot box blues

DougS
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Re: Says everything that there is to be said

Damn, that is a good deal for one day's work! Is there any requirement that the PM be a UK citizen? If not, I'd like to throw my name in the hat for consideration.

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DougS
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Re: Says everything that there is to be said

My impression as a yank with no real investment in the outcome is that a lot of those campaigning for Leave did so under the assumption it would fail. They wanted to burnish their credentials as someone who wants change from the status quo, but many probably didn't actually want to Leave. Since Leave actually won, a lot of them are running and hiding from their previous statements, because they don't want to be associated with the mess that follows.

Regardless of the long term success or failure of leaving the EU, there will obviously be some suffering in the short run which the Leave campaigners have now realized they will be on the hook for. So once it becomes apparent how the UK leaves the EU, they'll make sure to position themselves in a way that says "no, that was wrong, if you had done it how I said everything would be roses". The problem is they can't yet say how they want it to be done because they have to know how it will be done so they can be sure they say something different!

I am very intrigued by the possibility that the UK won't leave at all. You still have to provide Section 50 notice to the EU, and who exactly is going to do that? Will you put in a new PM who will do it on his own, or will it require assent from Parliament? If the latter, well that's a problem since 2/3 of them don't want to leave - perhaps more now that some of the Leavers who only staked it out as a political position but didn't want to actually leave have been served a dose of reality. What you will need is a PM for a day who can serve Section 50 notice and then resign the next day, and conveniently take the blame for the fallout from his successor. But no one wants to be the fall guy for that. You lot really have inherited yourselves a mess... It is rather like the US involvement in Iraq where we planned right up to taking out Saddam but not for what would happen after.

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Fear and Brexit in Tech City: Digital 'elite' are having a nervous breakdown

DougS
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Re: Looking the wrong way

As more and more jobs go away people WILL go "Ludditing away" because that will be the only way they can insure their survival. Otherwise everyone with an IQ below a certain level (that rises over time) will be obsolete in the workforce at some point, while those that own the robots claim the income they would have formerly been making.

There are three choices in such a future:

1) those people vote themselves a better deal (for some value of "better deal"...could be socialism/communism, could be outlawing robot/AI workers, lots of options)

2) revolution

3) the owners of the robots turn their robot army on the now-useless masses and exterminate them

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DougS
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Re: Really its up to Boris to take the lead now

Boris doesn't want the next PM job, he wants the next next PM job. They need to find a victim who will take the job, serve section 50 notice and then resign, clearing the way for Boris (or whoever) to place ALL the blame for the big mess that ensues on the sucker.

That assumes a PM can unilaterally serve notice without getting Parliament to agree. Any UK residents know whether that's possible? Even if that's not really allowed, could he do it anyway and claim his resignation was over the potential illegality of what he did?

The question is, who is going to be dumb enough to take the job now? It will have to be someone either very old who just doesn't give a damn because he won't live to face the consequences or someone who would otherwise never have a chance in hell of being PM who just wants to see his name in the history books as having been PM, even if only for a couple days.

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DougS
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Re: Looking the wrong way

Exactly. The US isn't in the EU or anything like it and yet millions of jobs from manufacturing to coding to accounting / legal work to radiology have been outsourced to lower cost countries like Mexico, India and China.

The main difference is that the people of the US have (in theory) the ability to vote out the people who make treaties or laws that allow / encourage such things to change them. The success of Trump's campaign shows that this isn't so easy....I guess you can argue that his success IS people trying to affect such change but even if he's elected as President he doesn't have the power to unilaterally abrogate existing treaties like NAFTA, or change the law to make outsourcing more difficult. The republicans in congress will still be firmly on the side of free trade, and many democrats as well (at best half of democrats would side with him, based on Bernie Sanders' results, but they might take a page from the republican playbook with Obama and decide to unify and be obstructionist against Trump and hope it makes him a one term president)

In contrast, the UK has traded their sovereignty in some matters to the EU so the only way to make such changes is to leave the EU entirely. Instead of free movement into the UK (for coders, effectively as if the US had unlimited H1-B visas) so the work is done and taxes are paid within the UK, now those jobs will be outsourced. Those city companies won't hire junior coders for more money to work in the UK, they'll have their junior coders working in India and only have the senior level people based in the UK. Future startups might happen in Berlin or Barcelona and leave the UK out entirely. Instead of UK resident junior coders having their jobs priced down, they'll be eliminated completely - and the tax revenue the UK was collecting will go away.

As stated, this is a problem with globalization, especially with regard to high speed worldwide communication making it almost as easy to work with someone in India as with someone the next floor up.

The big problem with the EU is the alliance between rich and poor countries, with everyone trying to maintain their own budgets and standards of living. The poor countries only joined to become richer, and much of that happens due to the free trade and free movement. The US is a bit like that with the states, where the richest like California and New York are net contributors to the federal government and others like Mississippi are getting more money back than they put in, but these things move in cycles. When the confederate states tried to leave they were the richest ones and they supported the north. Maybe in 150 years Mississippi will again be among the richest states, who can tell?

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Amazon slashes mobe prices to get more eyes on lockscreen ads

DougS
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Re: Who's going to bother with that?

And if they put audio ads in between the songs, like radio?

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DougS
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Does Google allow this for Android?

I know Amazon can do it since they have de-Googlified their Android, but could say Samsung offer a discounted S7 that had lock screen ads or do Google's TOS prevent it?

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DougS
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Re: Who's going to bother with that?

The same people who sign up for Pandora for free and take the ads rather than pay for it and avoid all the ads.

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Honey, why are porno apps on your Android?! Er, um, malware did it!

DougS
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iOS updates for older versions

There is precedent for them creating updates for older versions of iOS, they did so a couple years ago when they introduced a security update for iOS 6 six months after iOS 7 came out. If there was some serious malware they'd very likely do something similar - though perhaps not all the way back to iOS 6.x as the number of 3gs devices still in use has to be a rounding error at this point.

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DougS
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Re: Within the next 18 months there will be a massive Android infection

I should add the key to its long term survival would be making it so it doesn't really hurt the phone owner that bad. Nothing that makes it super slow, runs up your data bill, texts premium numbers or stuff like that. Just have it "click" on ads silently, and rely on sheer numbers to make money for you. You don't even have to care if all the ads are yours - in fact you don't want that so it isn't immediately obvious who is behind it.

From my perspective this would even be a good thing, as anything that makes mobile advertising less valuable is a good thing in my book!

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DougS
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Re: Within the next 18 months there will be a massive Android infection

Why buy a new phone, when firmware flashing is enough?

For Reg readers, sure, a firmware flash is an option. Not so for the typical smartphone customer, if you think it is you vastly overestimate their technical competence. These are people who bought new PCs by the tens of millions each year because malware infected their old one and made it "slow", even though reinstalling Windows would have licked that problem.

As for the factory reset, the article says the factory reset may not be enough. If you hide code needed to reestablish the infection in the firmware, re-flashing is your only way out. And that's simply not something the typical Android user is going to be able to do.

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DougS
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Within the next 18 months there will be a massive Android infection

Malware is getting better, and starting to become more profitable. All you need is something like this that lies dormant for a few months before 'waking up', that manages to get included in some Android apps in the Play Store - probably via a library multiple apps will include like something for advertising.

Hit the wakeup day and suddenly 50 million phones are infected with something that is effectively impossible to remove, where you have to live with it unless you want to buy a new phone.

Not saying this is impossible to happen to iOS, of course, as that would be the more lucrative target, but the restrictions Apple places on what apps can do would make this trick harder to achieve - and Apple could deliver an iOS update to kill something like this off within a few days.

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Apple, Amazon and Google are screwing us, warns Elizabeth Warren

DougS
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Surely she could have come up with a better example for Apple

I'm not aware of any restrictions Apple is placing on competing music streaming services. Heck, Apple has only had its own music streaming service for a year now, it has a single digit share of the overall streaming market, and is only available on iPhones which themselves are a minority of the US market. There's nothing stopping me from using Pandora, Spotify, Google or Amazon's music streaming on my iPhone, or making it more difficult than it was 18 months ago when Apple wasn't in that market.

Perhaps she could have used a better example like Apple only allowing apps to be downloaded from their own App Store and not permitting alternate app stores unless you jailbreak?

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Google Spain raided by Agencia Tributaria in latest European crackdown

DougS
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Re: why tax corporations at all?

If country A doesn't tax corporate income at all, how does that translate into an incentive for corporations to spend more money in country A? They would instead prefer to move that spending OUT of country A into country B that does tax corporate income, in an attempt to reduce their corporate income (and therefore taxes) in country B.

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Lightning strikes: Britain's first F-35B supersonic fighter lands

DougS
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Re: Obsolete already?

Lining the pockets of defense contractors of course. Once the F35 program is mostly complete, then you'll see the Pentagon and MoD being touting the need to get the autonomous drones that replace manned aircraft in these roles. But they'll manage to make them cost $100 million each because they've now learned that making one plane that's jack of all trades but master of none makes them ridiculously expensive.

Somehow they'll argue that expensive planes are needed even without a human onboard, at least until conflict with the cheap drone squads that China will create in the meantime and sell to its allies eats us alive in a future Middle East war and we are told we need yet ANOTHER expensive program to close the gap!

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DougS
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4 refuelings versus 15

I imagine the big reason for going overboard with safety margins is that given the bad press the F35 has received both here and in the UK, having your maiden delivery lost at the bottom of the Atlantic due to a refueling issue would not make that press more positive!

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Win 10 has Update date

DougS
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Re: Don't foget this trick

I never said it would go to zero, I was just disputing the idea that Windows 7 going out of support in 2020 isn't a problem because PCs will have been replaced by then. Look at how hard it was to get rid of Windows XP, despite 1) a much longer life 2) a much shittier OS and 3) far more performance/technology advances during that time.

Windows 7 looks to be Microsoft's new XP, though it will be much harder for them to get rid of - which may be why they have been so aggressive in trying to force upgrades. In the end I suspect they'll have to bring back free upgrades to Windows 10 (assuming they actually do shut them off) and hope the worries about lack of security fixes is enough to push people off.

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DougS
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Re: Don't foget this trick

Are you really suggesting an upgrade is needed to replace an SSD or a battery?

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DougS
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Re: Don't foget this trick

Why would you assume someone will be buying a new machine by 2020? Unless your current one breaks, what is the motivation? Intel is giving us 3-4% performance boosts each year, so it isn't like the performance of a 2020 PC is going to blow the doors off a 2015 or even 2010 model.

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Cali bloke accused of illegally trousering $68k using mom's Apple AuthenTec gobble tip-off

DougS
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Re: $68000

The big guys are smarter about it. If you get a group of people who all have insider info and effectively each throw our information into a hat and draw one someone else's info and trade on it - in dollar amounts that would be similar to dollar amounts you normally trade in.

It is easy to prove if your brother works for the company being bought and you stretch your finances to the limit to buy as much as possible when you normally don't trade stocks at all. It is almost impossible to prove if they can't even prove I know an insider, and my inside trade looks indistinguishable to other trades I make that are not always successful. Then the SEC can't prove anything beyond that I got "lucky" buying Authentec.

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Facebook crushes Belgian attempt to ban tracking of non-users

DougS
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Facebook doing business in Belgium is key

Or should be. If I set up a random website that has a forum section here in the US, and someone in the UK, someone in Belgium, and someone in China decide to access it, I shouldn't be held to their country's laws. After all, I just put up a website, and I'm not doing anything to restrict who can access it. Not like Belgium could do anything to me either, other than I suppose block me from visiting their country if they were upset enough about the situation.

Now if Facebook has some sort of operation to sell ads targeted at people in Belgium then I don't think they should be able to escape Belgian law just because the servers and data are elsewhere. Otherwise a company could avoid being covered by anyone's laws by insuring the servers for a particular country's users were always in a different country! If on the other hand there is no way to purchase ads targeted at those in Belgium, just like there is probably not a way to purchase ads targeted at Antarctica (to sell bikinis and suntan lotion to those accessing it from McMurdo) then I don't think Belgium has much ground to stand on here.

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Bacon is not my vodka friend

DougS
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Infusion is illegal in a lot of US states

But if you want bacon vodka, never fear, that's available on the market already made:

http://www.bakonvodka.com/

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This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!

DougS
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Re: Pound vs Dollar vs Euro

The Euro took a hit of only 3%, that's a bit more than typical daily volatility but nothing like 10%. The main reason the euro took a hit is because those selling pounds bought dollars, and all that dollar buying made it go up against the euro. The euro didn't "fall" so much as the dollar rose - the dollar rose against every currency.

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You can be my wingman any time! RaspBerry Pi AI waxes Air Force top gun's tail in dogfights

DougS
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Re: @DougS -- Hopefully this will mean cheaper planes

Well, tanks are a different matter because of the armor and relatively slower speeds at which they travel. Having a million unarmored unmanned tanks does you no good, as they would be easy to destroy so the only hope they'd have of stopping a good tank would be having so many burning carcasses in the way the good tanks couldn't get past :)

Since planes aren't armored (at least not to any degree that matters in terms of the ability of other planes to destroy them with large caliber bullets, let alone missiles) and travel much faster, a horde of cheap planes could do a lot of damage. If they relied on kinetic kills they wouldn't need to be all that big, and could probably be made for a few hundred thousand dollars each. A simple jet engine good for 400-500 mph could get it in the ballpark of its target, and a solid rocket booster on the back could give it some extra pep in its step during the last couple seconds to maximize the damage and make it harder to avoid.

Yeah yeah, you can clear the sky of them with a nuke, but I'm kind of assuming a war wouldn't go in that direction. If you're using nukes, every other piece of equipment in a war like planes and tanks becomes irrelevant anyway. It will be ICBMs and sub launched nukes with mutual assured destruction, and the world is fucked.

As for it being a bad idea to make a war cheaper, I'm not delving into the morals, I'm thinking in terms of what a military should do to best prepare itself for the conflicts they'll face in a decade. If the US decides "well we don't want to make war cheap, that's a bad idea, so let's keep throwing money away on manned boondoggles like the F35" while China and Russia are making the drone horde I outline a reality - and selling it on the open market, the US is going to be screwed in a conflict. Wouldn't matter if his plane had perfect radar invisible stealth, a human pilot facing a horde of a few dozen of those things will end up dead if he doesn't run away.

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DougS
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Hopefully this will mean cheaper planes

Without the need to protect a human life inside, it seems like the correct strategy would be to make them cheap and numerous, rather than loading them up with all the bells and whistles like stealth and supersonic capability. Heck, maybe they don't even need missiles, if they're cheap enough they can just ram their targets.

I doubt the US will go the "cheap" route because that would mean less profit for the aerospace industry, but you can bet the Chinese will. If it ever came down to an air war between the US and China, where the US has a few thousand $100 million AI drones and the Chinese have a few tens of thousands of $2 million AI drones, I know which side I'd place my bet on.

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Hillary Clinton: My promises to America's tech industry

DougS
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I doubt Hillary, or any President, would be micromanaging spectrum allocations. That's the FCC's job, just like a President wouldn't be deciding on how big of a gun a next generation tank would have or what OS the IRS should run when they try to modernize their operations.

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Meet the grin reaper: Password manager now snaps login SELFIES

DougS
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Re: Stupid

Store the one time pad in the secure enclave, and problem solved. That's why you need it added as a built in 'official' app, rather than letting various third parties cook up their own (since they have no access to the secure enclave)

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DougS
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Stupid

What's wrong with an app on the phone that produces one time codes? You can have it protected by a password, a PIN, a fingerprint, facial recognition or whatever your phone supports, or nothing at all if you wish to assume your phone won't be lost or stolen.

I currently use this system for logging in to a corporate VPN, but I have to use an external device that uses a smart card. I wish I could just use an app since I have my phone with me all the time anyway. I wonder if Apple built something like that into iOS and supported loading certificates if corporate IT security types would be interested in supporting it? Then you wouldn't need an app for LogMeIn, an app for Cisco, etc. but even that is a better idea than this ridiculous selfie scheme.

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Down and out in the Middle Kingdom: Beijing is sinking

DougS
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California's central valley

Is also sinking - reported last year to be sinking at the rate of 2 inches a month due to water extraction from aquifers to irrigate crops in the face of the several year long drought there. Some areas are reportedly 6 to 10 feet lower than they were in the 1930s.

There's not much construction there, certainly no skyscrapers, so it is all related to water extraction. Personally I doubt the weight of even a city like Beijing has much influence - otherwise you'd see this is in other rapidly built cities like Dubai.

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Gartner: Brexit to wipe $4.6bn off tech spending in Blighty

DougS
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Converting pounds to dollars

A friend of mine who works in the City transferred almost his entire savings account to a US bank, converting to dollars along the way, a couple weeks ago when everyone decided there was no chance of Brexit. His reasoning was that if Brexit failed then not much would happen because the markets were already assuming that. But if it somehow passed, he'd make some quick cash from the panic in the aftermath.

He predicted the pound would fall 20% if Brexit hit, but I guess he overestimated the panic. Still, he's not unhappy with the result, just trying to figure out if he should bring it back now or wait a few more weeks to see if there are further shocks.

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Mobile phone app replaces Congressional TV as Democrats stage sit-in

DougS
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Re: "the right to bear arms was specifically written into the Constitution"

And that was changed via an amendment. If you want to clarify the meaning of the second amendment to allow only members of the armed forces and police to have guns, start petitioning and try to get 3/4 of the states on board and get past congress. Good luck with that!

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DougS
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The difference between guns and cars

While both are deadly if misused or used with the intent to kill, the right to bear arms was specifically written into the Constitution, right after the right to free speech. While one can argue about the intent of the wording (for each) and obviously some limits can and have been placed on each, there is no right to drive in there. Until such an amendment is added, it will be FAR easier to put legislative limitations on driving than gun ownership. You may not like this, but that's how US law was structured by the founding fathers.

Remember, the Constitution itself is a list of powers the government has, and what isn't in there isn't in its purview (or at least isn't supposed to be, 227 years of legislative creep notwithstanding) The Bill of Rights was added to explicitly clarify what the government cannot do. Listing free speech and bearing arms among those leaves it a pretty high bar to restrict gun ownership. If you had to "pass a test" how is that really any different than having to have the government approve your "free" speech before it could be published, to insure you aren't inciting riot or other types of speech that the courts have determined can be limited? You can disagree with conflating the two, but they are listed in consecutive paragraphs, ahead of other very reasonable limitations on government power like requiring due process. Read into that what you will.

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DougS
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Re: Unsafe Space

No one is trying to disarm you, just prevent those on watch lists from being able to buy guns. While I respect the due process arguments since I'm sure there are people on terrorist watch lists or no fly lists who don't belong there, so let's do a compromise between the republican and democrat versions that prevents the purchase but puts in place a simple appeal process where the government has to justify the inclusion in a watch list within a reasonable period of time (let's say a week) and a judge has to agree, or the sale is allowed.

Currently there is no appeal process to get off the terrorist watch list or no fly list - or even to find out if you are on these lists unless you e.g. try to fly so this is a much needed reform even aside from the gun sale issue.

But yeah, I know neither side is going to consider compromise because they care more about scoring political points than doing their jobs of running the country. No one should wonder why Congress has a single digit approval rating with the circus both sides have put on this week.

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US committee green-lights CRISPR-Cas9 human cancer cell trials

DougS
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Trollface

Modifying T cells

What could possibly go wrong?

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Put storage inside the individual hosts of a virtual cluster? You're CRAZY... Like a fox

DougS
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Storage in individual hosts is a software problem

Even if you have infinitely fast links, you still have this extra complication. And you have to replicate everything at least once, to account for host failures, and maintenance would be more complicated as you'd have to insure you didn't take down all copies of active data, etc.

If you are already going to have complex software that every host depends on, and need at least 2x the actual storage (probably 3x to be safe) in addition to requiring higher performance from individual host connections, exactly where are the savings over centralized storage?

Even Google, who initially used all that unused space in the hard drives for all their servers have modified that scenario and have dedicated storage nodes now. That should tell us something...

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US Senate strikes down open-access FBI hacking warrant by just one honest vote

DougS
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Re: They're now using Orlando as an excuse? Really?

Using Orlando as an excuse is particular galling because all evidence points to this guy acting alone, with perhaps his wife as being aware of his plans and not stopping it, but not really aiding him either. Critically, there wasn't any communication between him and ISIS or other home grown radicals so even if the FBI had perfect surveillance of all electronic communication it wouldn't have helped them stop this one.

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Microsoft hops onboard bonk-to-pay bandwagon

DougS
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Re: Credit card number

Yes, Microsoft adopting mobile payments now seems like they are trying to do what Google is doing. Get access to all that juicy purchase data, which they can correlate to Bing searches etc.

The big problem is, they seem to be doing everything they can to kill Windows Phone.

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Stuxnet was the opening shot of decades of non-stop cyber warfare

DougS
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Re: Stuxnet did more damage than good

In order to "kill the market" for Siemens SCADA there has to be an alternative product that would be used instead that is secure. Care to tell us what that is? My understanding is that SCADA is the only option for certain critical industrial tasks, and if it does have any competition in that field there's no evidence its security is any better. It would be like having a major hack on Android and saying "oh well we'll use iOS instead" without considering that iOS may have its own vulnerabilities that could be leveraged in the future.

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Why you should Vote Remain: Bananas, bathwater and babies

DougS
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The Euro currency can NEVER succeed

You can't have a common currency without a common fiscal policy. It is inevitable you will have problems like Greece otherwise. You hold up the US as an example, but there is a single fiscal policy for the country, the states cannot set their own. If they did, states like Mississippi and Illinois would be the Greece of the US, in similarly dire circumstances.

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Musk's Tesla to buy Musk's SolarCity for US$2.8 billion

DougS
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@Ledswinger - cost savings

Yes, the material savings by dumping shingles and underlayment are small, but installing those and installing solar panels on top of them is wasteful in terms of both materials AND labor. If you can trim a dollar or two per watt from the total cost of buying/installing solar panels by eliminating unnecessary materials/labor that makes them workable in more areas than they are today, and more attractive in the areas where they already make financial sense.

And yes, I know there are "solar shingles" now, but those things are a joke. Hopefully Musk and his team of PhDs could figure out a more workable solution that maintains the same efficiency and installation cost of traditional panels, so the savings in not having the roofing underneath can be fully realized. The current solar shingles are WORSE than putting standard panels on a standard roof, making them nothing more than a gimmick that has no place in the market.

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DougS
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They could make the panels structural

If instead of having a roof deck with underlayment on top of it, shingles/tiles on top of the underlayment and solar panels top of the shingles, we had a roof deck with solar panels top of it, skipping the underlayment and shingles by filling their role of keeping water off the roof deck, overall installation cost would be significantly reduced, especially in new construction.

Not sure that really helps all that much with the aesthetics, you either think tinted glass looks good on a roof or you don't, but it solves a more important problem since installation cost is a bigger and bigger factor as solar panels get less and less expensive. And hey, maybe solar panels look better if they are lapped like shingles - you could even have the option of using ones of different tint to get that mixed shading popular in shingles.

You already have to replace shingles every 20-30 years, which by a nice coincidence is about the life expectancy for solar panels (barring hail, which would trigger the replacement of either shingles or solar panels) Sure, tiles and slate last far longer, but they are also more expensive and there's little point to having a more expensive roof if you are going to cover it up with solar panels anyway.

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Maine town plans to become 'Gigabit Island'

DougS
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Re: Economics

Well they are on an island, which complicates things a bit. And there are only 360 households (and probably precious few businesses in a place that small) upon which ot spread that cost around. A larger landed city would have much lower costs.

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Rejoice, fatties: Giving chocolate electric shocks makes it healthier

DougS
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Re: Bad timing

If it also increases the richness, they can market on that as well. People who want to reduce fat/calories and people who want better taste would both have a reason to want this.

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