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* Posts by Old Handle

861 posts • joined 4 Mar 2011

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FTC: OK Facebook, swallow WhatsApp – but NO selling people's data without permission

Old Handle
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Re: /sigh

No, But at least that way people have a chance to stop using it if they don't want their data taken.

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T-Mobile US increases pressure on rivals with fondleslab freebie

Old Handle
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They still won't let you get just a data plan. I tried, but they won't sell that by itself. I have no idea why. I ended up going with one of those cut rate pay as you go companies instead.

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Google-funded boffins figure out age-busting facial prediction system

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It would be alot more convincing if they showed unfudged output images side-by-side with the real pictures. Photoshopping them into the real pictures ruins the credibility in my opinion.

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Google kills fake anti-virus app that hit No. 1 on Play charts

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It's funny that it didn't require any permissions. Given what it was supposed to do, that should have been a dead giveaway that it was fake. But I guess that just shows most people pay no attention to app permissions (which we already knew).

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In Australia, protesting against Brendan Eich will be a CRIME

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Re: Background

Institutions are not allowed, by law, to exclude those who don't conform to their organisational values when making employment decisions, even when those values are the reason the organisation exists.

P. Lee, could you expand on this legal theory? Because it seems to me this happens all the freaking time. Considering the obvious impossibility of firing someone for unspoken, unacted-on values, I can only assume you mean it's illegal to fire someone based on the presumed values inferred from their words and deeds. Is that really true? Can you back it up?

Or are you only saying it's illegal to ask someone their values and then fire them for the answer (as in your atheist example)? I can more easily believe that, but I don't see what it has to do with this case, since that isn't what happened.

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Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month

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Paris Hilton

At least they had the courtesy to give a little notice unlike... some companies. ... Actually I really don'y remember which companies those were, but I know it came up recently.

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Left swipe! That hot Tinder babe is a malware-flinging ROBOT

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Alien

Remember, when you meet someone new, you should get tested, it's the responsible thing to do.

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I QUIT: Mozilla's anti-gay-marriage Brendan Eich leaps out of door

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I can only hope so.

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El Reg's Deep Outback XP upgrade almost foiled by KILLER ARACHNIDS

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Re: it's probably better to install Java, because so many online services demand it

LibreOffice seems to require Java for the scripting system (i.e. its answer to VBA), but not much else.

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FCC doubles 5GHz spectrum in prep for one-gigabit Wi-Fi

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Headmaster

I'm not sure what to make of that analogy.

While peanut butter and jelly are, at least in America, regarded as a good combination, oil and vinegar are also known as a simple but tasty salad dressing. Adding to the confusion, oil and vinegar usually are mixed when applied to food, though they don't stay that way, while peanut butter and jelly are placed in contact with one another, but with no effort to mix them. All I can conclude from this simile with certainty, is that the spectrum is more viscus than previously thought.

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OkCupid falls out of love with 'anti-gay' Firefox, tells people to see other browsers

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I would dump Firefox anyway, if only there were another browser that looked remotely tempting. But Firefox is definitely past its prime.

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Dropbox nukes bloke's file share in DMCA brouhaha – then admits it made a 'HASH OF IT'

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Re: hash

Just for the sake of argument it's also possible that something would be copyright infringement when shared publicly, but another person would still have a lawful reason to share it privately.

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US to strengthen privacy rights for Euro bods' personal data transfers

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The only way I can see this being worth anything is if it includes a requirement for US companies to disclose any time EU data is turned over to a government agency and this supersedes any gag order or similar that might otherwise prevent them from doing so.

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Facebook, you fools! Forget Oculus, you could have bought TRON-type headsets

Old Handle
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It's clever, but 60 pounds for a piece of plastic and a couple lenses seems steep.

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Homeopathic remedies contaminated with REAL medicine get recalled

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Boffin

No, the greater the anti-allergic reaction.

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Judge throws out lawsuit lobbed at Facebook for using kids' pics in targeted ads

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Aside from the weighty legal details, I liked this phrase

"in exchange for whatever benefits they may realise from using the Facebook site"

Whatever indeed.

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Old Handle
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Re: So, lemme get this straight...

Yes. But as explained above it's only binding on the other party. That means the minor has the right to say "I didn't understand what I was agreeing to, let me out", but unless or until they do, it's still valid. If there's any practical difference between that and canceling your Facebook account as any user can do, that might be something they could have a lawsuit about.

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Re: CA Minors *can* sign contracts

And to expand on TJ1's point, since all Facebook users can terminate the contract by deleting their account, it does appear that Facebook is playing by the rules here. Regardless of how creepy I think Facebook is, I consider this a good result. I would hate to see more websites ban everyone under 18 from using them at all the way most already do for people under 13 as the result of another law.

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You TWITS! Facebook exec erects billboards shaming texting drivers

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How can the folks submitting these pictures be so sure the people they saw were actually texting? They could have been making an emergency call (say reporting a reckless driver on the road) or using the phone as a GPS, which according to a recent ruling is not illegal in California.

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Revealed: What the US taxman really thinks of crypto-cash Bitcoin

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For the most part, the Bitcoin community seems to regard this as good news, just because it's clarity, and it's not bad news. The main aspect that seems to come as a surprise to some is that mining is taxed immediately, rather than when you sell or trade away the Bitcoins you mined.

There's one oddity though. It sounds like if you buy Bitcoins and later use some fraction of them to buy a cup of coffee, you're theoretically supposed to keep track of the capital gain or loss resulting from price you paid for your BTC originally, vs. the "fair market value" of the coffee.... I can't imagine that will be enforced to stringently but it would have been nice if they provided some kind of aggregate reporting option so people who want to handle it in a 100% legit way can do so without a silly amount of paperwork.

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Passport PIN tech could have SAVED MH370 ID fraudsters

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Boffin

Re: biometric anyone?

All passports are biometric, they have a picture of your face in them.

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US-Russia Soyuz 'nauts STUCK IN SPACE after ISS dock fail

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Mushroom

Re: No surprise

Yes, good old American space craft never fail!

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BOYCOTT FIREFOX, rage gay devs as Mozilla appoints JavaScript daddy as CEO

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FAIL

His anti-gay stance is unfortunate

But his (presumable) pro-JavaScript stance is far more worrisome. Although given that Firefox already got rid of the user-friendly UI option to turn JS off I'm not sure how much worse it can really get. I suppose they could ban NoScript from their market and forbid side-loading like Chrome did. Wouldn't surprise me.

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Feds land first convictions over pirated mobile apps

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Which were they?

Pirated or counterfeit? They can't be both. Though I guess they could have has some of each on the site.

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The plot to kill Google cloud: We'll rename Windows Azure to MICROSOFT Azure

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Coat

Re: meh

So you do care some.

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JavaScript mastermind Brendan Eich leaps into the Mozilla CEO seat

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Devil

No good can come of this.

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Microsoft alters Hotmail policy amid blogger inbox probe outcry

Old Handle
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That good I guess, but how about actually getting a real court order instead of a pretend one? My understanding is they're given out like candy nowadays anyway.

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The Reg's guide to cursing in Mongolian

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Don't ask how

No really, you better not ask, that's one of the banned words (373).

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NSA 'hunted sysadmins' to find CAT PHOTOS, high-level passwords

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@boltar

As far as I'm aware, despite recent worsening of relations, Russia is not currently "the enemy". They're just a country that isn't in the US government's pocket, which is exactly what a fleeing whistleblower needs. Also, the KGB doesn't exist anymore. And if you seriously think Russia would give Snowden access to their current intelligence agency's network, you're nuts.

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Microsoft frisked blogger's Hotmail inbox, IM chat to hunt Windows 8 leaker, court told

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This is an important point. I appears that instead of getting a court order or anything (which presumably they could have done if this is now the subject of a criminal complaint) they simply took advantage of the fact that they owned the mail server and peeked away. That strikes me as very questionable, at least ethically, if not legally. I suppose there might be fine print in the ToS for this scenario.

If this post mysteriously vanishes, it's probably because I tried to send it from a Windows PC.

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Tech giants KNEW about PRISM, web snooping, claims top NSA lawyer

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PRISM, being the subject of one of the first leaks, caught on as a generic term for these surveillance programs. It may well be true that PRISM, as the term was originally used by the NSA was only a system to facilitate companies knowingly handing specific documents. It's also at least plausible that the companies involved didn't know it by the same name.

None of this changes the fact that other programs did involve indiscriminate bulk collection of private communications. Even the government doesn't deny this anymore. For instance when a recent leak revealed they had been recording every phone call in an entire country, the feds asked that the country not be named, essentially confirming it.

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

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Re: Better

I'm not sure which is cause and which is effect, but people just seem to hate carrying or using dollar coins. They have tried introducing them repeatedly but they never catch one.

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Old Handle
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Bank notes already have serial numbers. (Or don't they in the UK?)

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MPs urge UK.gov to use 1950s obscenity law to stifle online stiffies

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That would be the Child Online Protection Act, passed in 1998. It was ruled unconstitutional the following year. This was based on the court's belief that it imposed an unnecessary burden on protected speech compared to other methods of keeping kids away from porn.

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GitHub probes worker's claims of hostile, sexist office culture

Old Handle
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I suppose you're right. But it's not the type people usually imagine, where the harassment itself is sexual comments and such. I'm not saying one is less serious than the other, I just got the impression some people had the wrong idea what this was mainly about.

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Headmaster

I just wanted to point out, since some people seem confused on this point, that she is not alleging sexual harassment. Just the regular kind. In fact the most substantial allegation seems to involve grudge against her on the part of a company founders' wife.

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What kid uses wires? FCC supremo angry that US classrooms are filled with unused RJ45 ports

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So he's saying wired ethernet is slower than wireless? Not in my experience. The point about all those jack being kind of useless if everyone is using tablets is a fair on though.

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Daring danger-drone dives into VOLCANIC eruption – what happens next has to be seen

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Re: Good effort...

I donno, it looked to me like some of that flying lava passed within a foot or two.

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Earth's night-side gets different kinds of neutrinos from day-side

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Boffin

The article clearly states they saw more neutrinos at night, not less. This does not suppose your conclusion.

Eyewear for jam splatter protection. -->

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Bitcoin bust litigants fling sueballs at Japanese bank

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Aw geez

Now banks are going to be even less willing to touch anything Bitcoin related.

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Samsung puts ultrasonic echolocation cover on a smartphone for the blind

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I'm curious why echolocation was a good tool for this. I would have thought a second camera (so it could see in stereo) would be the way to go.

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Facebook's Zuckerberg buttonholes Obama, rages against NSA dragnet spying

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Trollface

So, you're saying...

Zuckerberg is calling Obama black?

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That NSA denial in full: As of right now, we're not pretending to be Facebook or Twitter

Old Handle
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Re: Denial or something more bizarre

Interesting thought, but how would that work? Since this stuff is all classified, there's no way for the average person, or even a serious investigative reporter to verify the leak isn't true. If there is any disinfo in there, I would think it's more likely designed to mislead their adversaries about NSA capabilities. For example if they can easily tap undersea cables but have trouble intercepting satellite transmissions, they might plant a document stating the opposite.

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Brawling neighbours challenge 'quiet' cul-de-sac myth

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Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

So obviously you need to get yourself a cat of your own to protect your yard.

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UK.gov to train up 11-year-old cyberwarriors

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11-year-old cyber warriors

It sounds silly when you say it like that, but this may actually be a very good idea. Of course the devil is in the details; there's no shortage of ways they can still screw this up.

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Boffins build bendy screen using LEDs just THREE atoms thick

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Standard Measuring Equipment

That would be an eyeball, right? No? So in other words these are LEDs too dim to see. Okay I know it's just a prototype, but that's a fairly important detail.

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CIA hacked Senate PCs to delete torture reports. And Senator Feinstein is outraged

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Paris Hilton

It almost makes it seem like she really believed the stuff she said before, that all this spying etc, is carefully regulated and totally for the good of the people. Otherwise, how can she be surprised that they would illegally spy on her too?

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MtGox gets its sorry assets frozen amid US class-action lawsuit

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So... how did they freeze the bitcoins? (assuming MT Gox still has any)

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What did you see, Elder Galaxies? What made you age so quickly?

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Paris Hilton

Run that by me again...

12 billion light years = 8 billion years?

Is that right? If so, why?

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Show more CANADIAN-MADE PORN, insists Canadian government

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Re: Too damn cold

Surely most porn is filmed indoors anyway. I wonder if Canada requires condoms in porn. If not, this might be a good opportunity for displaced L.A. porn stars.

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