* Posts by User McUser

367 posts • joined 6 May 2011

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Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

User McUser
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And other times it worked out pretty well.

Ballmer sought to chase down one of Microsoft's competitors when it reached into a market that Redmond hadn't already conquered.

In Ballmer's defense, that strategy had worked pretty well for Microsoft in the past. Off the top of my head, here are 6 instances where Microsoft wrested control away from the market leader(s) by introducing a functional equivalent.

Stacker -> DoubleSpace

1-2-3 -> Excel

WordPerfect/WordStar -> Word

OS/2* -> Windows NT

Lotus Notes -> Exchange

Netware -> Windows NT and later Active Directory

*Not sure if OS/2 really counts as a "market leader," but IBM was still a force with which to be reckoned so I'm including it anyway.

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Robo-taxis, what are they good for? Er, the environment and traffic

User McUser
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Re: Screw the jobs

@Bumpy Cat

Exactly, that's the problem. If only the wealthy can afford it then there will NOT be a lot of lamp carriers because there won't be enough demand for the service to create the jobs.

If there ARE a lot of lamp carriers then the competition between them will drive down the price allowing less affluent people to afford the service.

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User McUser
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Re: Screw the jobs

In the 1500s there were men with lamps who would light your way home from the pub. They made a meagre income from that. There were many of these people and only the richest could afford the service.

Hang on a tick - if there were lots of lamp carriers who were paid next to nothing then why is it that only the richest could afford it?

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Bootnote: The Land of the Free - Ha!

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Some additional points

The phrase "Land of the Free" dates to 1814 with the poem, and later song, "The Star Spangled Banner" so references to it in regards to the Revolution (as we call it) is a bit of an anachronism.

The Slave Trade Act of 1807 merely outlawed the buying and selling of slaves - it did not end slavery nor free any slaves on British soil. Furthermore, in 1785, Lord Mansfield (who presided over Somerset v. Stewart) ruled that "black slaves in Britain [were] not entitled to be paid for their labour." It wasn't until 1833's Slavery Abolition Act that slavery was eliminated entirely* from the British Empire.

Slavery in the United States probably would have ended at more or less the same time as it did in England had it not been for the Cotton Gin. By reducing the time it took to process cotton bolls from hours to minutes, the profits from the cotton industry soared; the labor effort needed for cotton production shifted entirely from processing to harvesting and as a result the number of slaves nearly doubled from 1790 to 1810 increasing nearly six-fold, some 3.95 Million or ~12% of the population, by 1860. This contributed immensely to the creation of the material wealth from which the US *still to this day* benefits. It's also what primarily fueled the resistance to abolition - there was simply too much money involved.

*Except for slaves owned by the East India Company plus a few other exceptions - though these were ended by 1843.

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UK politicos easily pwned on insecure Wi-Fi networks

User McUser
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Re: No SSL/TLS?

What they did was inject a "please log in" popup

From the way the article and the video are portraying it, it would appear that only MEP Honeyball got a pop-up phishing message. Lord Strausburger had an unencrypted VOIP session packet-sniffed/recorded and the password capture method for MP Davis was not specifically stated, although HE said: "Alarmingly, the password would have been broken no matter how strong it was. Public Wi-Fi is inherently insecure: usernames and passwords are shown in plain text in the back of a Wi-Fi access point, making them simple for a hacker to steal" which implies heavily that he was not using an encrypted protocol for at least one his logins. Password reuse did the rest.

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How a Cali court ruling could force a complete rethink of search results

User McUser
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Boffin

Re: Exactly how is this a problem?

sometimes that becomes genericized past the point of practicality.

For reference in case you travel - http://popvssoda.com/

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Trump carded: Wannabe prez's hotels 'ground zero' in banking breach

User McUser
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Mushroom

Re: Trump as President

Yeah, It's all a big joke until you remember that America A LOT of these ------>

:(

At that point, the words "President Trump" become the scariest thing you'll ever hear in your life.

"This will be the finest, classiest, most well respected Nuclear Holocaust the world has ever seen. Boom."

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Uber execs charged, will stand trial in France

User McUser
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FAIL

Re: As usual the french make up the law as they go along

you don't arrest individual members of staff of a company for the policies and activities of the company itself

Right, well as soon as you figure out a way to arrest and imprison corporations, you be sure and let us know.

Meanwhile we'll all just have to settle for the next best thing; arresting the people who *carried out* those company policies.

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Hi-res audio folk to introduce new rules and weed out impure noises

User McUser
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Re: Monty....

Processing data from the CD (at rate of over 4Mbits/s)

I thought Red Book audio was ~176 KBps (which is ~1.4Mbps.)

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Humongous headsets and virtual insanity

User McUser
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Proprioception

Try doing certain things to yourself when you've got a blindfold or hood on, and see how much easier it is when you can see what you're doing.

You know, blind people still manage to toss one off when the mood strikes. If you can't locate Nigel Jr. without being able to see it, then you should probably visit your doctor.

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Hey, Sand Hill Exchange. Shouting 'blockchain!' won't stop the Feds

User McUser
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WTF?

Wait, what?

But because they're private companies there's no way of being short them. Yes, you can clamour to be allowed to invest in them, pushing prices upwards. You can stay out of the market entirely, meaning you're not pushing up prices. But you can't speculate that they're over-priced and thus contribute to the correction of that possible over-valuation.

This sounds like utter nonsense to me... A private company's "valuation" is pure fiction - until there are actual shares you can buy and sell you might as well be talking about the price of Unicorn farts.

Say some economic speculator decides that Uber's pre-IPO value is twice that of the previous valuation. What real-world change does this trigger? And suppose another expert says it's actually only worth half of the original valuation; is the latter right and the former wrong? Or is the whole thing just speculation and meaningless guesswork until the stock goes on sale and we find out the real answer? And what if the company just stays private forever, what do you do then?

I've not often been flabbergasted by economic theory before but this one makes my brain hurt.

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THIS TIME we really are ALL DOOMED, famous doomsayer prof says

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Megaphone

He was right at the time...

probably best known for co-writing the 1968 book Population Bomb, which in early editions stated that basically everyone in India would inevitably starve to death due to overpopulation in the 1970s and the same fate would overtake the USA in the 1980s.

In Professor Ehrlich's defense, had it not been for the efforts of Norman Borlaug et al., he would have been absolutely right!

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Climate change alarmism is a religious belief – it's official

User McUser
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Alert

give up their cars, regular washing, central heating, healthcare, foreign travel etc.

Why would we have to give those things up when controlled nuclear fission exist? No greenhouse gasses and uranium is cheap and plentiful.

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Japanese female fish in sperm-producing strangeness

User McUser
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Go

So, gay couples can have thier own kids now?

So two homosexual individuals could, theoretically, now have their own children (that is, genetically related to both parents)? Just have to flip the fox13 switch to the opposite for one of them, (and in the case of two males, find a surrogate womb) do some in vitro fertilization, and they're good to go.

Probably won't be that easy in practice partly because the experiment was on fish and mammals are probably just different enough, but mostly because people don't like change. After all, look how insane everyone acts about gay *marriage*, and that's just a legal status. The religious wack-jobs are going to completely lose their shit when gay people want to start making their own children.

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Russia's to blame for pro-ISIS megahack on French TV network

User McUser
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Joke

jihadist propaganda contained in the message were full of grammatical mistakes

At the very least we can eliminates the famed "Grammar Nazis" as the source of the hack...

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Armchair cyber-army vandalizes Uncle Sam's Army.mil website

User McUser
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Re: Nice.....

Hmm, it sure puts the wind up the supposedly impregnable US military.

Obligatory XKCD link: http://xkcd.com/932/

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Everything old is new again: Man mugged in New York, only this time for his Bitcoins

User McUser
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Gimmie all yer BitCoins.

Huh, I figured a BitCoin robbery would go something like this:

https://thenib.com/give-me-all-your-bitcoins-1a1d9f5e630 (scroll down for comic)

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Spaniard sues eBay over right to sell the Sun

User McUser
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Coat

Re: Well, at least in the US...

Yeah, I see a lot of auctions where the shipping is astronomical.

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Aye-aye Eyeo, go safely on your way-o, says German judge

User McUser
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Flame

decades of experience tells them the ONLY way to get the attention of a jaded audience [...] is to do something that gets their attention.

Newspapers have had advertisements for CENTURIES* and none of them had dancing cowboys hawking low mortgage rates, or played loud inappropriate noises, or flashed distractingly at me while I'm trying to read.

Mostly it's the last one (animated ads) that irritate me. I have a low tolerance for motion in my peripheral vision and it is *really* fucking distracting to have animated ads jiggling and slide-scrolling over and over and over.

*Since 1704, apparently. Source: http://adage.com/article/special-report-the-advertising-century/ad-age-advertising-century-timeline/143661/

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SanDisk opens for business with point-of-sale terminal SSD

User McUser
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Re: "32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities"

On the server, one would presume.

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User McUser
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"32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities"

Knowing almost nothing about Point Of Sale terminals, could someone tell me why on Earth they need such large disks?

Even if they run Windows, that can't take much more than about 10GB, so what in the hell is the rest of the disk for?

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Grand Theft Auto maker lobs sueball at BBC over biopic

User McUser
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Joke

Bill Paxton?!

That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over! What the fuck are we supposed to now, huh, what are we gonna do?

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Backpage child sex trafficking lawsuit nixed thanks to 'internet freedoms'

User McUser
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Probably wouldn't have changed anything anyway.

Remember when Craigslist ended their "Escort" listings and then there weren't any prostitutes any longer?

Yeah, me neither.

If you want to end underage prostitution, or at least make it more difficult, then the better solution IMO is to legalize adult prostitution. Legalizing adult prostitution means prostitutes of any age can go to the police for help if they are being coerced or abused without fear of being arrested. It also opens brothels/pimps to government inspection of both their facilities and employees which would be far more effective in locating underage prostitutes than moderating or shutting down a website. (Not to mention numerous public health and tax benefits, but that's unrelated.)

Would legal prostitution end this kind of child abuse? No, of course not - underage prostitution has been around since prostitutes have, it hasn't always been illegal or even scorned, and there are plenty of awful people out there willing to facilitate it. But legal adult prostitution will make it more difficult for paedophile pimps to exist and easier for the authorities to find them for two reasons. First, if the Vice Squad isn't spending all their time finding and arresting adult prostitutes, they can work instead on locating and rescuing underage prostitutes. Second, without adult prostitution to mask their presence, paedophile pimps will have a harder time concealing their activities. After all, if you're looking for needles in haystacks it's much easier without all that hay getting in the way.

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Airplane HACK PANIC! Hold on, it's surely a STORM in a TEACUP

User McUser
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Re: Black box?

There's a much easier way - just look at the maintenance logs. Any pilot worth their salt who is flying a plane where one of the engines just throttles up all by itself enough to supposedly yaw the plane is going to log it and ask maintenance to inspect the thing. If they're paranoid enough they might even shut it down completely.

Also, IIRC, the "black box" records the position of the various controls directly so if this hack really did occur then it would not be logged in the flight data recorder.

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Google sells .car, walks away from generic domain names

User McUser
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Mushroom

Re: I don't get it.

I don't see who benefits from this TLD proliferation.

Well, ICANN!

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Starbucks denies mobile app hack, blames careless customers

User McUser
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Alert

Re: Surely time for different security....

DNA is the answer.

Oh good Lord no. No no no. Do you know how easy it is to get a DNA sample from someone? We *continually* shed our DNA all over the place; you'd hardly have to even try! Just need a few skin cells or a bit of saliva, and you can use cheap and easy PCR methods to amplify your sample into something more usable.

Though using the DNA in a strand of hair to gain full administrative access to a computer would give a whole new meaning to "getting root access."

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PHOTON SPACE SAIL successfully Kickstarted into orbit

User McUser
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Trollface

"the Sun doesn't run out"

Ha! Don't we all wish...

In 4 Billion years or so, you're going to look pretty gosh-darn silly when the sun goes out and your solar sail is suddenly useless!!

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That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

User McUser
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Holmes

Re: Firefox is a prime example of why complexity needs FOSS

[Pale Moon] let's you view self-signed HTTPS sites

Not sure what you're doing wrong, but I use Firefox and have no trouble at all viewing my self-signed web pages.

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Facebook 'fesses up to running an ideological echo chamber

User McUser
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When the authors considered the likely sharing of political positions among friends, they found “24% of the hard content shared by liberals’ friends are cross-cutting, compared to 35% for conservatives.”

So now the question becomes, *why* did they share it? Is it a case of mocking the opposition (eg: "Look at what [opponent] said about [contentious issue]!") or actual interest in an opposing viewpoint?

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EU geo-blocking: Ansip's crusade liable to disappear through 'unjustifiable' loophole

User McUser
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Hang on a sec...

the BBC would need to introduce an EU-wide authentication scheme to implement portability. This means that you’d need to login whenever iPlayer detected you were accessing the service from a non-UK network, which would then run your details against the TV Licensing database to check you’d pay the telly tax back at home.

Doesn't iPlayer do that already? Or can just anybody with an IP address in the UK watch all the BBC TV they like for free?

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Twitter boots out classic DOS games, world productivity surges

User McUser
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Re: Available != Usage

Archives and Libraries are exempted from many (but not all) copyright restrictions, so in theory they may be well within their rights.

If not, then I'm sure a hoard of lawyers will be dispatched to crush their bones and enslave their offspring and spouses (as required by the Berne Convention.)

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ZuckerBorg assimilates Microsoft boffins into potentially world-threatening FART

User McUser
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Terminator

Sounds ghastly

Somehow the robot apocalypse will be all that much worse if the robots are all *Facebook* robots.

"Your friend has posted another kitten picture - click the 'Like' button. You have 20 seconds to comply..."

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Facebook fiddles with News Feed algo. Brace yourself for CONTENTGEDDON

User McUser
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Re: Call me crazy...

[...] by reiterating that it they track how what their users are doing.

Come again?

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Throwing money at bug bounties won't beat zero-day dark markets

User McUser
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Pirate

Captialism asks, why not both?

If you have a valuable exploit then obviously you should sell it on the black market first before also turning it in for the bug bounty. That way the bad guys waste their money and you get double paid!

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Remember SeaMicro? Red-ink-soaked AMD dumps it overboard

User McUser
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I've always disliked Blackberry because they used to be RIM who, in the early 2000s, sued a lot of people over some ridiculous keyboard and email patents. And as a Handspring shareholder at the time, I was especially upset by their antics.

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MIT shows off machine-learning script to make CREEPY HEADS

User McUser
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Re: We all live in a yellow subroutine

That's what some people call "procedurally generated content" and there are games that do this now; Din's Curse, a Diablo clone, for example.

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The Walton kids are ABSURDLY wealthy – and you're benefitting

User McUser
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Slight error near the end

Another way to put this is that consumers benefit by 50 cents from every dollar they spend at Walmart. Without Walmart, prices would be twice what they are. And what's the benefit that the Walton family get from this? Well, on a 3 per cent profit margin and they own 50 per cent of the company then it looks to me like they get 1.5 cents out of every dollar. And consumers getting 50 cents on the dollar, the entrepreneurs getting 1.5 cents looks pretty close to our Schumpeterian result of the entrepreneurs getting 3 per cent or less of the total value created.

Surely the Waltons enjoy 51.5¢ of savings for every hypothetical-pre-walmart-dollar (HPWD) they spend? They too benefit from the downward pressure on prices, plus they still get their half of the 3% profit margin.

I'd like to see the supposed benefits of Walmart to the US economy graphed against a hypothetical one that existed without Walmart's influence. For example, without Walmart the resources it now uses would have beeen spread out over a wider group of companies and individuals rather than being concentrated in Walmart and the Walton family. Spreading those dollars out amongst more people's pockets (eg: that is, whatever businesses that would have sold the things and stuff had Walmart not existed) would have meant more people would have had more to spend. And by your own assertion they would have been spending twice the money which would generate 2x more tax revenue for the State and local communities leading to better public services (roads, schools, etc.) Higher prices can also support higher wages which could have created more jobs in the US manufacturing sector in a virtuous cycle, with wages linked more closely to productivity.

There's probably some bit of economics knowledge that refutes everything I just wrote; I am keen to hear it if so.

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Because the server room is certainly no place for pets

User McUser
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Actually, DON'T Virtualize it.

Virtualizing some ancient machine will only bring forward all the stupid software issues that exist in the old version of whatever OS it was running, meaning you'll still need the longest-toothed IT gal/guy to stay on and manage the damned thing.

Better instead to migrate the service to a new platform than to keep dragging along 20 years of legacy BS and unpatched vulnerabilities.

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Daniel Radcliffe to feature in GTA biopic flick. Well, it's work at least

User McUser
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Not A Lawyer

true-life account of Sam Houser, and his fight with a Miami lawyer who wanted to ban video game violence

Please stop insulting lawyers by including this person in their ranks; he was disbarred in 2008.

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Bloke faces 25 years in the cooler for upsetting Thai king on Facebook

User McUser
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Devil

Definitely not the most unreasonable...

Setting a record for what may be the most unreasonable jail sentence ever handed down over a Facebook post, a Thailand citizen has started a 25-year stretch behind bars for five pictures deemed insulting to the country's monarchy.

Didn't that one guy in Saudi Arabia get 10 years, fined a million Riyals, and 1000 public lashes for a FB post? I think having the flesh ripped from your buttocks a thousand times by a bamboo cane beats 25 years in prison in the "no me gusta" contest.

Also, he might be facing death by beheading which is arguably even worse.

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Tidal music launch: Pop plutocrats pour FLAC on rival Spotify

User McUser
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Re: Who cares?

And yet despite this notable handicap, they're all doing considerably well for themselves.

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EMC and Cloudera withdraw from Indiana big data event

User McUser
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Re: Eight Day Apatheist

I'd gladly write "God hates fags" on a cake if cake writing was my job; it's just a fucking CAKE, not a binding endorsement of someone's ideology.

I'd suggest that if you don't want to write things on cakes that you don't agree with to get out of the writing-on-cakes business or only offer a set selection of generic wishes.

PS: Please don't bring up UK law when arguing on this matter; those laws haven't applied here since July 4th, 1776.

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User McUser
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Headmaster

Re: Well that does it. I'm not going to Indiana either.

After all, [the United States' Constitution] didn't say: "all men are created equal, but some more equal than others" last time I looked

A lot of people confuse the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution but the line you referred to exists only in the former, not the latter. The Fourteenth Amendment does codify the "all men are created equal" sentiment with the guarantee that all people have "the equal protection of the laws."

Comment: As someone who lives and works in Indiana, for as long as I have lived here there has not been, nor is there now, any discrimination based on religion in this State - unless you count the overwhelming levels of casual prejudice against Muslims, which they (they being the legislators who wrote and passed this law) don't. This law was crafted for the singular purpose of letting bigoted Christians discriminate against whomever they pleased (you know, like Jesus did), especially homosexuals, without having to deal with the legal consequences. I'd say that its an embarrassment to our State, but at one time our Governor was the Grand Dragon of the KKK who basically raped a girl to death. (And we were a Union state in the Civil War!)

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Half of Android devices open to silent hijack

User McUser
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FAIL

Not Correct

The Palo Alto Networks senior engineer says legitimate Google Play apps can establish a kind of beachhead on devices that can be invaded by a second app installed from legitimate third party stores like Amazon.

The above quoted line from the article incorrectly asserts that this vulnerability affects the Google Play app store where as the actual report says:

[Android Installer Hijacking] only affects applications downloaded from third-party app stores.

and goes on to explain that this is because:

Google Play downloads Android packages (APKs) to a protected space of the file system. Third party app stores and mobile advertisement libraries usually download APK files to unprotected local storage (e.g. /sdcard/) and install the APK files directly.

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Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari EXPLOITED to OWN Mac, PCs at Pwn2Own 2015

User McUser
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Re: Dare I say it...

[...] bypassed the sandbox to perform remote code execution on an OS X Mac.

At what privilege level? I ask because the description of all the other exploits includes this info.

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Analyst dons Tim Cook mask, thinks: Glass went well for Google. Let's do that, too

User McUser
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Alert

Re: Google has withdrawn its ill-fated Google Glass headset from the market,

Pretending that it's something you would wear at the shops [...]

To be absolutely clear, wearing one's Google Glass in shops (well, everywhere really) was explicitly part of Google's own marketing material. Like they showed in the very first video for Glass (specifically around the 1min mark for wearing it in shops.)

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Canadian bloke refuses to hand over phone password, gets cuffed

User McUser
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Re: What's on a phone anyway?

I don't think the government should be able to casually satisfy their curiosity about my acquaintances just because I took a trip and came home. If I am a known or suspected threat, drug dealer, or whatever, then they can detain me and get a warrant to search the phone. Besides, they can get the same information by subpoenaing my phone records (or in my case as an American the NSA already has them) and they don't need your phone to do that, only your phone number.

A visitor to a country is different than a citizen returning (which was the case here) so different rules may apply, though I personally don't think their phones should be subject to warrantless searches either for pretty much the same reasons.

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User McUser
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What's on a phone anyway?

What could possibly be on a smart-phone that a border agent needs to see? What's the scenario for which the only protection is searching a person's phone?

This is a serious question; I'm drawing a complete blank as to why a border agent would ever, under any circumstances, need to look at my phone's contents.

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Office for Mac 2016 Preview: This letter will self-destruct in 60 days

User McUser
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the new Mac suite [provides] better integration with the OneDrive and SharePoint.

Well that's just super. Say, did anyone remember to fix any of the numerous cross-platform issues with Office for Windows? Are PowerPoint fonts and embedded media working yet? Change Tracking in Word?

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