* Posts by User McUser

430 posts • joined 6 May 2011

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The Schmidt's hit by the fan: Alphabet investor sues Google bigwigs over EU antitrust ruckus

User McUser

Re: That's silly

They made something like USD$4.2Billion in profit after taxes just this quarter (Q12016). So yeah, $7B isn't going to be a problem for them.

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Big Cable uses critics' own arguments to slam set-top box shake-up

User McUser

Standards

The new proposal, the NCTA argues, is the same: it has the FCC requiring cable companies to use a specific format and make it available to others to build cable boxes. In effect, setting that format in stone.

Defining and establishing technological standards is part of the FCC's raison d'etre. Why is the NCTA pretending that it doesn't know this? Standards create a level playing field so that everyone* has equal opportunity to succeed or fail.

And I am so tired of multi-billion dollar companies pretending that they can't have slightly lower profits without claiming that this will destroy everything that is right and good in the world and threatening to never invest anything into anything ever again like pouting children.

[*] - For varying definitions of "everyone" natch; obviously I'm not going to go out and start a cable company next week without having won several lotteries in the intervening time.

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Coders crack Oculus DRM in 24 hours, open door to mass piracy

User McUser

I just verified that I'm right - I just updated my Oculus software to the new version and Steam VR still works with it as does VorpX.

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User McUser

On Friday Oculus broke its word and instituted DRM (digital rights management) controls on its virtual reality headset, blocking non-approved games from its kit.

My understanding of this change was that they are blocking non-Oculus hardware from displaying Oculus exclusive titles. AFAIK they're still allowing 3rd party games and such to use the Rift.

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French authorities raid Google's Paris HQ over tax allegations

User McUser
Trollface

Re: SOP

Realistically isn't this what we all do?

You pretend that you're an Irish citizen in order to reduce your taxable income in other countries?

Corporations have a much easier time dodging taxes because they can use shell companies and other accounting shenanigans to shift numbers between different columns on the spreadsheet until they sum to zero or whatever numbers suit them at the time.

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Forget high-powered PCs, mobile is the future of VR, says Google

User McUser

Don't need a high-end PC...

Just a high-end smartphone... Which will probably cost just as much as a high-end PC.

Also, I'm not terribly keen on having a potentially explodable Lithium battery in such proximity to my face. Speaking of which, VR is a resource hog - heavy CPU and GPU usage will very quickly drain the battery of any smartphone light enough to be worn for any length of time.

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Manchester cops to strap on 3K bodycams

User McUser

Re: That's not too bad

So you'd be happy for a video of you going to the toilet being available for someone else to watch? Really? If you *are* happy with that, then we should treat your previous posts with the contempt they deserve.

Why is the police officer in the toilet with me?

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User McUser

Re: That's not too bad

"Surely a nurse or technician with special training would take such a sample and not the beat cop that responds at the scene of a crime."

No. "Beat cop" is called "response" because they respond to anything turns up.

Huh? Camera or not, the police officer that responds to a crime is NOT going to be collecting evidence - that's a crime-scene technician or detective's job. You don't want evidence tainted or damaged by someone who isn't properly skilled and allow a criminal to escape justice based on a technicality do you?

"And again, most likely the kid is going to be handled by an expert who knows how to explain things to little kids."

No. You really have no idea what you're talking about.

If you say so. I happen to personally know a CPS (that's Child Protective Services) agent and he does this sort of thing all the time. The police call CPS when they have a child in a situation like this because CPS agents have the knowledge and experience that the police officers don't.

"I don't see how it being recorded is somehow a problem"

Then you really need to see more people in emotionally stressful situations

Well then I'd need a video of it wouldn't I?

What's the scenario here that has you so worried? So cop tells family that their grandpa is dead and then the camera like blows a raspberry at them or something? Or does it just start immediately uploading to YouTube and leaving racist comments?

Seriously though, how does the presence of a camera recording these events ruin or complicate them?

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User McUser

Re: That's not too bad

You might be ok, but I bet you're in a minority.

Well I also have no issue with those things, so that's two to one so far...

How about when taking the intimate sample from the rape victim? Think she's going to want that on video?

Surely a nurse or technician with special training would take such a sample and not the beat cop that responds at the scene of a crime.

Or explaining to a four year old why mummy is in the ambulance and daddy is being taken away for a while.

It's a passive device on the officer's uniform - not a camcorder with bright lights being stuck in your face so I don't see why this would be a problem. And again, most likely the kid is going to be handled by an expert who knows how to explain things to little kids.

Or whilst asking the local "youth" to grass on the rival gang members

I guess maybe? But then again, what's the issue here? Do you think the gang members will get a copy of the tape in order to take their revenge?

Or passing granddad's death message.

Again, what's the issue here? Sure it's sad to tell someone their relative is dead but I don't see how it being recorded is somehow a problem. It isn't as if the footage will be broadcast.

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User McUser
Coat

Whatbout the cop who inadvertently looks through my living room window and gets a view of the inside of my house? This is creepy state surveillance by the backdoor

Welp, I guess it's curtains for you then.

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Help! We're being crushed, cry billionaire cable giants

User McUser
WTF?

3rd Party Cable Boxes already Exist

I haven't had a cable company issued box since at least 2000. My TiVo does everything including "Pay Per View" and "On Demand" video using the existing FCC mandated CableCard standard.

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America edges closer to get-a-proper-warrant-to-read-my-email law

User McUser
Devil

Looking out for #1

In a rare display of bipartisanship the US House of Representatives has passed the Email Privacy Act (EPA) in a 419-0 vote.

Bi-partisanship had nothing to do with it! They just realized that *their* email would also be easily obtainable via subpoena without this law. There are a lot of skeletons to be found in those closets I'd imagine.

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Dutch PGP-encrypted comms network ‘abused by crooks’ is busted

User McUser
Go

Why not go further?

How much further can we take this argument? AD INFINITUM ABSURDE!

-Post office? Yikes, someone might send a letter about drugs! Shut it down!

-Internet? Obviously that one's right out.

-Talking? *!gasp!* People might say all sorts of things to each other by transmitting vibrations through a gaseous medium! Guess we'll just have to puncture your eardrums and cut out your tongue and vocal chords, you know 'cause of the possible crime.

-Sign language? Oh my, better start chopping off hands... Actually, let's pop those eyeballs out too - you might see something else we don't like or use a complicated blinking code to exchange secret drug messages!

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Warrant-less email snatching by cops, Feds under threat by draft law

User McUser
Flame

Hang on a tick, what did that say?

Under the new EPA legislation, Microsoft and any other cloud provider would be entitled to ask for a warrant from law enforcement before handing over a subject's emails.

"Entitled" to ask? Not "law enforcement is required to get"?!

So if my email provider didn't care they could just go "meh" and hand over all of my email without any reason or cause just because some cop or G-Man asked for it?

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Uber hands over info on 12m passengers, drivers to US officials, cops

User McUser

Location, Location, Location...

[...] taxi companies were obliged to provide a paper log with rough pickup and dropoff locations; now they are told to provide GPS coordinates.

I'm all for privacy, but is there really *that* big of a difference between "Corner of East 75th Street and Park Ave" and "40.773006, -73.962301"?

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Oculus, why do you need to record our every move? Al Franken asks

User McUser

Re: Inserted Adverts

For a while Sony was playing ads during the "loading" screens on some titles. I saw it myself in the game "Wipeout HD". See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wipeout_HD#In-game_advertising

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FreeBSD crushes system-crashing bug

User McUser
Pint

Re: Friday afternoon, is it?

I just got back from the pub, is it just me, or does that sentence not actually make sense?

It's one of those "I shot an elephant in my pajamas" parsing issues that make English such a great language.

The vulnerability is of the "heap overflow in the kernel" type, rather than there being a "heap overflow" in the "kernel vulnerability."

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How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world's PC pest

User McUser
Windows

Block via NTFS permssions - Easiest Fix I've Found

I just changed the NTFS permissions on "C:\Windows\System32\GWX" and that's stopped it cold on my Win7 Pro boxen. It blocks the GWX executable from starting *and* prevents new updates from being applied.

Set yourself as the Owner, disable inheritance, delete all existing permissions, explicitly set Deny All for SYSTEM and "Trusted Installer", and Deny All *except for* "Change Permissions" to yourself and the built-in Admin account so you can undo this later (should you so desire) but can't accidentally install one of the offending updates.

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These Chicago teens can't graduate until they learn some compsci

User McUser
Megaphone

Re: One credit?

Computer work ain't for everybody. One wonders what would happen if they decided to make all the kids get one credit in metal-working, wood-working, auto repair, logging, fishing, gardening, cooking, swimming, animal care, bread making, institutional laundry, framing, HVAC, and paving

I don't know about you, but that's basically how my Jr High/High School experience worked.

We had to take two semesters of Home Economics (cooking, sewing, nutrition, and other basic domestic skills), 4 semesters of Industrial Tech (woodworking, basic construction and engineerring principles, internal combustion engines, and metal work skills including 3 types of welding), Physical Education every semester (baseball, football, American football, tennis, golf, bowling, swimming, track-and-field, and more) and that was just Jr. High (6th-8th grade.)

In High School we had a choice of additional curriculum including Farming related classes, various trade-related courses in Electronics, Carpentry, Plumbing, automotive tech, Computer programming, Radio/TV, and more.

So a few kids who aren't going to ever write a single line of code outside of that class are forced into taking it. So what? I took all sorts of math classes that I rarely use, chemistry, physics, biology, and history are likewise rarely used in my everyday life, if ever. Shall we eliminate those as well?

I strongly believe in exposing children to as many different and diverse courses as can be squeezed into their education. Principles in different disciplines can be applied to other areas - you may never write a single line of code but the Boolean logic you learned from your CS class can be applied to installing two wall switches to control a single lamp (an XOR circuit) in your future job as an electrician.

Finally, did it not occur to you that there might be kids out there who don't know that they want to be a programmer until they sit down and start programming and find that they're really good at it?

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Verizon only cares about fiber, lets copper nets lapse into ruin – gripes

User McUser
Joke

Verizon's Official Response

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHgUN_95UAw

"You see, this phone system consists of a multibillion-dollar matrix of space age technology that is so sophisticated -- even we can't handle it. But that's your problem, isn't it? So, the next time you complain about your phone service, why don't you try using two Dixie cups with a string? We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."

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Louisville says yes to Google Fiber. Funny story: AT&T, TWC didn't want that to happen

User McUser
Go

Oh FFS...

overzealous installers run the risk of damaging TWC's data lines when laying the new cables.

Really Time Warner? *That's* your fake reason?

I'll say this - when a regional FTTP company started installing fiber in my subdivision, I noticed that my existing Comcast service mysteriously started working better. I dumped them like a hot rock anyway (cause fuck 'em) but it is amazing what even the prospect of a little competition can do. Now I get twice the speed for basically the same price I had been paying.

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Sick and tired of modern Windows? Upgrade to Windows 3.1 today – in your web browser

User McUser
Meh

Re: Not that hard actually. @McUser

OS/2 2.0 shipped in April of 1992 and Win3.1 in March of the same year. So technically you're correct.

But given that Win3.1 was a glorified window manager running on top of DOS and OS/2 was a fully object-oriented GUI there's not really even a comparison between the two.

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User McUser

Not that hard actually.

It's hard to imagine the enormous leap that was Windows 3.1

Unless of course you were a Mac, Amiga, or OS/2 user at the time.

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Are Indians too stupid to be trusted with free Internet?

User McUser

Why not let the Indians figure out what they want?

Leave them be to sort this out for themselves and offer advice only when *asked* for it. The Indian people have to find the appropriate Indian solution to an Indian problem.

We can all argue about what's right or wrong for them but let's face it - virtually none of us are going to have to use whatever system ends up in place. So why should our dumb opinions even matter?

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You, FCC. Do something about these overpriced cable boxes, yells Bernie Sanders and pals

User McUser

Re: cable card

Cox cable charges me $3/month rent for each of my two cable cards.

That's funny - Comcast pays *ME* $2.50/month for having a TiVo. It shows on my bill as a "customer owned equipment" credit.

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It killed Safe Harbor. Will Europe's highest court now kill off hyperlinks?

User McUser
FAIL

Re: Take down all road signs...

Think of it this way. You install a safe in your home [...]

The analogy of a safe implies that you are trying to protect something when that was not the situation in this case (that is, the Britt Dekker case.) The better analogy is more like putting the photos in a cardboard box behind a bush on the public sidewalk in front of your house and hoping that nobody stops and looks inside it. This is security through obscurity and it doesn't work. A hyperlink in this context is a guy pointing at the bush and saying "Hey look, there's a box full of photos behind that bush."

If a file or resource is on a publicly accessible HTTP server then assume that anyone in the public can access it and plan accordingly. The modern hyperlink is at least 36 years old ("Mother of all Demos" not withstanding) so if you don't understand the fundamental rules that this entails then get off the Internet.

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The monitor didn't work but the problem was between the user's ears

User McUser

In college I had an IT job supporting the faculty in an advisory capacity rather than a support capacity (eg: how to use their software not fix it when it broke, though I also did that since the main IT group couldn't be bothered to do *anything* in a timely manner - but I digress.)

Anyway, my boss at the time told me this amusing anecdote from his days in the trenches:

Back in the time of big iron and dumb terminals, he got a lot of support calls reporting the users "computer" was broken. Since the "computer" was just a VT-something-or-other with a display and a serial line going to the mainframe, for most issues there was no real reason to physically visit the user's desk - just login to the server and fix whatever the problem was. But that's no fun. So sometimes he would tell the users to not touch their terminals and he would be there shortly to work on it. After fixing the real problem he would come into the room and while holding down the battery test button on his pager (which would make it beep) he would wave it back and forth over the "computer." After a suitable time he would stop and tell the user to "try it now." He said that the look on the user's faces when their problem was apparently solved by the magic beeping device was priceless.

I've always held that for the vast majority of users computers are just Arthur C. Clarke style magic.

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Apple’s retail chief: ‘Touching customers’ key to retail success

User McUser
Trollface

Re: How about touching a REAL UK Keyboard?

I have to spend at least 10 mins remapping all the keys!

It takes you 10 minutes to open the Keyboard System Preference, click the + button at the bottom of the "Input Sources" panel, and choose the "British" keyboard layout?

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In this Facebook and Google-owned world, it's time to rethink privacy

User McUser
Flame

PAY for privacy?!

If Facebook (et al.) want my personal information because it's worth money to them, then why don't they PAY ME for it. And just giving me access to the platform is NOT a form of payment - that's merely the harvesting mechanism.

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Flock of sheep ends NZ high-speed car chase

User McUser
Coat

Shear brilliance that. A great way to stop someone who's on the lamb.

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Virginia man charged in intriguing 'suspicious bacon' case

User McUser
Joke

Stop the Fighting: American -v- British Bacon

Regardless of your personal preferences, I think we can all agree that they are both better than whatever the hell CANADIAN bacon is supposed to be.

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Facebook Messenger: All your numbers are belong to us

User McUser
Holmes

Re: When is a phone not a phone...

so you like sticking pins in insects?

That's entomology, not etymology.

If you had studied the history of how words change over time, you wouldn't have made that mistake.

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Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

User McUser

Luxury...

It's not a server, but when I left my previous job about 1.5 years ago there was a user with who was still using a PDP-8/E. I assume it's still in use.

We also had a fully functional, but thankfully unused, Osborn 1 on the shelf complete with dual-floppies and a 1200baud modem. My boss at the time once joked that nothing gets thrown out as long as somebody remembers how much we paid for it.

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Juniper's VPN security hole is proof that govt backdoors are bonkers

User McUser
Devil

Re: humble pi

That's nothing - the Bible says that π is exactly 3:

"[King Solomon] made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it." 1 Kings 7:23

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FAA introduces unworkable drone registration rules in time for Christmas

User McUser

In other words, the FAA took a worst-case scenario [...]

Isn't that what they're *supposed* to do? I don't want my pilot to be prepared for the "reasonably unlikely scenario" I want her/him to be ready for the worst-case scenario.

I don't really see what the big deal is - just pay the $5, put the damn sticker on there, and then don't be a fucking asshole with your quad-copter. Problem solved.

I wonder if people bitched about having to register their cars and/or get driver's licenses when those first started.

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And the reasons for buying new IT gear are as follows ...

User McUser

Re: That photo

My experience is that ordinary consumer-grade kit can last an awful long time if it is left running continuously.

In my previous job at a University, I once had to nurse along an ancient as hell Gateway 2000 Pentium II based PC because it was the only machine in the shop that still had a 16-bit ISA slot. Said slot was populated with an extremely expensive to replace interface board for a scientific instrument.

We had to keep it running 24/7 because if you ever turned it off, it was far more likely to *stay* off than turn back on. But once you convinced it to boot, it ran just fine (Windows 2000 if you were wondering.) Eventually they got a grant to replace the whole thing and I flung the old system with great glee into the dumpster.

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Infosec bods rate app languages; find Java 'king', put PHP in bin

User McUser

Re: PHP et al

I'll admit I don't know much PHP but I don't see how your second example solves the problem. Can you elaborate?

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Apple pays two seconds of quarterly profit for wiping pensioner's pics

User McUser

Math?

A London pensioner has defeated Apple in court, bagging £1,200 [...] Central London County Court ruled in favor of the bloke, awarding him a fifth of his £5,000 claim and an additional £773 to cover legal costs.

5000 * .2 + 773 != 1200

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WordPress.com ditches PHP for Calypso's JavaScript admin UI

User McUser

Re: Arrrgh!

The whole Internet uses JavaScript these days, must be a pretty poor experience with it off. Do you guys really think remving [sic] JavaScript improves your protection somehow? Can't tell if you're joking :/

OK, first off some pedantry: The Web != The Internet. The Web is merely a protocol running on top of The Internet.

Second, most websites work remarkably well with Javascript disabled. The main difference is that I see fewer ads but all of the actual content I was looking for since most ads these days are served from 3rd party advertising services and are deployed using Javascript (to read my cookies or whatever so they can "personalize" my advertisement-viewing experience.) Sure some site don't work very well without Javascript, and some like Google Maps don't work at all but A) I can easily and quickly re-enable Javascript and then the site works just fine and B) there aren't as many of these as you might think.

Finally, because a lot of malware these days is being delivered by 3rd party advertising providers. If my browser doesn't execute the Javascript that would fetch those malware laden ads, I don't get them. Sure there are other attack vectors in the browser but without the ability to automatically execute they must rely on more obscure passive methods, like malformed JPEGs or something like that. It is far less likely that a specific website will be hacked to include such things versus using a 3rd party advertising service mainly as a matter of scale. If a group hacks a site like The Register, they can affect/infect its readers only; if they push malware out via ad networks, they can affect/infect *way* more people on many different sites without having to hack into anything. So yes, running w/o Javascript does lower my exposure to malware on the web even if it does not fully eliminate it.

As they say, don't knock it until you try it:

Firefox: QuickJS

Chrome: Quick Javascript Switcher

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User McUser
Go

Re: Arrrgh!

I use the Firefox plugin "QuickJS" to enable or disable JS with a shortcut key so I can turn it back on when a site requires it (like Google Maps or my webmail interface.)

When I turn Javascript OFF, my web browsing experience improves considerably; fewer ads (ZERO animated ads), WAY faster loading times, considerably lower exposure to malware, lower CPU usage (leading to lower battery drain), no crazy pop-up windows, no sudden hijacking of my pointer when I accidentally mouse-over something, no full-screen lightbox-stlye offers to subscribe to their newsletter or take a survey or whatever, nothing that stops me from right-clicking on the page, or using my keyboard to move the page around, no blocks on copy-paste...

Boy, now that I think about it what exactly is the downside to disabling Javascript?

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Tor Project: Anonymity ain't free, folks. Pony up

User McUser
Happy

And it's Tax Deductible too

From https://www.torproject.org/donate/donor-faq.html.en:

If you pay taxes in the United States, your donation to Tor is tax deductible to the full extent required by law. The tax ID number for the Tor Project is 20-8096820.

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EE plans to block annoying ads on mobile network

User McUser
Facepalm

Re: Eh?

Which is why personalisation/targeting is not the devil people make it out to be.

No, it's just worthless. Usually I see a ton of "targeted" ads for things I've already bought - like when I bought a cordless screwdriver I started seeing ads for cordless screwdrivers. However yesterday I had something altogether new happen.

I'm on Newegg.com buying an SSD and some RAM to upgrade my grandmother's laptop. The SSD and RAM are *in my cart* and I am *in the process of checking out.*

NewEgg's site is running a little slow so I open my email in another window while I wait. Along side my email is an ad - an ad for NewEgg to be precise. An ad featuring the *exact two items that are already in my cart.*

So thanks targeted advertising for trying to sell me something *while I was already in the process of buying it.* That was super useful.

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Belling that cat: Oz boffins pass entanglement test

User McUser

Re: "Two-cubit operations"

Good thing puns are too cheap to meter - I've been doing this furlong time.

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Mozilla releases iOS app version of Firefox browser for world+dog

User McUser

Re: Add-ons

Agreed.

Though right now there's no real point in getting it. No add-ons, no "about:config" (or equivalent) for tweaks, and same rendering and JS engines as Safari (AFAICT.) Well I guess if you use the Mozilla bookmark sync then that'd be nice to have.

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F-Secure makes SENSE of smart home IoT insecurities

User McUser
Trollface

“Patching light bulbs is not going to happen,” said F-Secure chief exec Christian Fredrikson. “With SENSE you don’t have to worry if you smart TV is secure or not.”

Better still, by using my own IoT protection scheme, which I call "COMMON SENSE", I don't connect my TV or lightbulbs to the Internet at all.

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OmniRAT malware scurrying into Android, PC, Mac, Linux systems

User McUser
Paris Hilton

In my youth, my brother and I had a pair of mice as pets, Luke and Marmalade. One morning we found that Luke had been (mostly) eaten by Marmalade. We re-christened the survivor "Marama-luke" and got on with it. Taught me a lot about life.

There's nothing objectively wrong with rodents as pets. Weeds are just plants growing where you don't want them and vermin/pests are just animals in a place where you don't want them. (Eye of the beholder, to each his own, if you could see her through my eyes, etc.)

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'Anonymous' says anonymous KKK dump wasn't from Anonymous

User McUser

And what if Twitter released details of the 388 'hearts', how would those people feel being outted?

It wouldn't bother me at all because I have no idea what you're talking about. I'd Google it but the words "hearts" is a rather broad term on which to search.

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Sennheiser announces €50,000 headphones (we checked, no typos)

User McUser
Headmaster

Re: shit music

@Jon Massey - In addition to being a year on the Gregorian calendar, the number "2001" is also the commonly used short-hand title of a film produced in 1968, the full title of which is "2001: A Space Odyssey." The first part of the composition "Also Sprach Zarathustra" features prominently in the film's first act.

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'Profoundly stupid' Dubliner's hoax call lost Intel 6,000 hours of production

User McUser

Phoning it in

Have any actual terrorists ever called in an actual bomb threat where there was indeed an actual explosive device ready to go off? Seems that all I ever hear about is chumps like these two idiots who are just having a laugh at everyone else's expense.

I'd think that a serious terrorist would announce the bomb by detonating it and claiming responsibility afterward. What would be the point in warning everyone?

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Bacon can kill: Official

User McUser
Unhappy

Getting cancer isn't even the worst part...

The *worst* part is going to be the waves of intolerable smugness emanating from vegetarians and vegans once they read this.

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