* Posts by User McUser

335 posts • joined 6 May 2011

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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

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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

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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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Win! El Reg exceedingly fine mug collection

User McUser
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Angel

Re: Ummm

why on earth is my current employer a MANDATORY question?

Did it not occur to you to just lie?

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Boffins find Earth's earliest Homo in Ethiopian hilltop

User McUser
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Quis creat ipsos Creator?

So, you're saying that we were definitely not created by a God(ess) or some other deity?

I don't think our Great boffins know that much of the universe to say 'we definitely arrived by chance'.

Why does the universe need a creator but the creator doesn't?

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EPIC asks FTC to stick a probe up Samsung over 'snooping' smart TVs

User McUser
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Not exactly the same thing.

Siri et al. record and transmit your voice only when you're actively using that feature.

The Samsung TVs record and transmit your voice *continuously.* Ostensibly this to detect and respond to your commands but that also means it potentially records and transmits *everything* you say outloud while in range of the thing to a 3rd party whether you wanted it to or not.

They also do it unencrypted which means that anyone poking around your Internet connection now has a free microphone right there in your house.

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W3C recommends Pointer Events standard – but it's a touchy subject. Right, Apple?

User McUser
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Re: Meanwhile away from the Lilliput town of Webdev...

multi threading in javascript

Why does a scripting language need threading?

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HAWKING ALERT: Leave planet Earth, find a new home. Stupid humans

User McUser
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Joke

"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet"

Because if you look at your feet, you'll want to buy new shoes. And we all know how well that worked out for the people of Brontitall.

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Evolve: A shoot-em-up full of scary monsters and super creeps

User McUser
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Re: "Bursting with more monsters than a Godzilla convention"

Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, and Godzuki?

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ATTENTION SETI scientists! It's TOO LATE: ALIENS will ATTACK in 2049

User McUser
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Alien

Re: What about the 1974 Arecibo message?

The sad fact is that we will probably never find out.

But we already got a response to the Arecibo message!

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'Worse than I imagined': FCC commish slams chief's net neutrality bid

User McUser
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Meh

BTW, here are his 6 points

In case you were too busy to read it, here's my summary of Commissioner Pai's 6 objections to the proposed rules:

1. The plan includes possible rate regulation.

2. It prevents per-unit charges for service, transfer caps, and other ways to monetize the end user.

3. Lets the FCC make ISPs do things they might not want to do.

4. Lawyers still exist and these rules don't stop them from maybe taking the ISP's money[*].

5. ISPs will have to file more paperwork and can't do whatever they want to "just because."

6. Taxes still exist and new ones might be applied to ISPs.

[*] Because up until now lawyers have shown so much restraint.

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French plod can BAN access to any website – NO court order needed

User McUser
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Go

Plus ça cha-ching!

Here's how French ISPs can milk this program:

Step 1. Register a bunch of domain names all over the world.

Step 2. Put "terrorism material" on websites at those domains.

Step 3. Report the sites to the French Government and wait for the ban order.

Step 4. Cash the check for your "expenses."

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Elon Musk: Hover rocket? Check. Hover ship? Check. Let's DO THIS

User McUser
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A single dose of reality.

The satellite, originally called "Triana", was a project begun in 1998 to provide a stream of images of the Earth from L1 (Lagrangian Point #1), as proposed by then Vice President Al Gore. Before it it could be launched, Mr. Gore lost the 2000 election and the incoming Republican majority scoffed at the idea, referring to it mockingly as "GoreSat"; the project was mothballed.

Then in 2009 they pulled it back out, added some new instruments, and rechristened it "DSCOVR." Now it will produce both the images of Earth as well as monitoring space weather for CMEs. (see also: http://www.npr.org/2015/02/06/383618359/satellite-set-to-stream-daily-images-of-earth-from-space)

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Who's come to fix your broadband? It may be a Fed in disguise. Without a search warrant

User McUser
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Re: Can someone just clarify US Law....

To a greater extent than your standard apartment/house/flat long term rental the hotel retains significant rights including letting the police in.

Stoner v. California disagrees - the hotel cannot let the police in to search your room without a warrant or exigent circumstances/probable cause.

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User McUser
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Re: Can someone just clarify US Law....

Do you actually need a warrant in this case?

The 4th amendment protects your person, your home, and your "papers and effects" against unreasonable search and seizure. When you are renting (even transiently) the rental location becomes your "home" for such purposes.

It's hard to say if the FBI acted correctly here; I suspect that they did, though it's a bit shady. From what I gather, they basically put a guy in there as an "undercover" agent to see if they could witness anything illegal going on. But what exactly did the agent pretending to be the repair guy *do*? Did he access the alleged criminal's computers in any way, especially without express consent? Sending the agent in to witness any "plain sight" crime is one thing - to get him or her in the room so as to poke around on the computers to find evidence? Sorry, you can't do that without a warrant.

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Bluetooth-enabled miracle washing orbs? Are you kidding?

User McUser
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given how worthless the bluetooth functionality appears to be

Doubly so given that water is a relatively good absorber of 2.4Ghz frequencies and the metal skin of the washer probably makes a very lovely Faraday cage.

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FUMBLE! NFL app drops privacy ball just before Super Bowl Sunday

User McUser
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FAIL

Usual Public Relations Nonsense

A spokesman for the NFL told El Reg: "We’ve looked into this vulnerability and it’s been addressed. We continuously monitor and evaluate our systems for any security issues and remediate them as quickly as possible."

So did the definition of "continually" change from "without cessation" to "only when we're caught" and I missed it? Because if they were *continually* monitoring their systems for security issues then they should have stopped these first-year coding mistakes before the app went live. Or else they knew about the issues and didn't care. In either case, they look like idiots.

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YouTube: Nobody needs to get hurt Zoe, just sign the Ts&Cs

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Beam me up, Scotty, And VAPORIZE me in the process

User McUser
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Re: Really?

One could presume that they use some sort of replay attack prevention mechanism. They do claim to transmit it "securely" which surely would include such protections.

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Dongle bingle makes two MEELLION cars open to exploit

User McUser
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Re: Not a chance

To be clear, the monitoring program is optional.

In exchange for allowing your insurance company to openly spy on you, you get a discount on said insurance. That is, as long as you obey the rules in the monitoring agreement. I'm sure if you speed a lot or do something else they don't like they'll jack your rates right back up.

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Double-digit tablet growth spurt is OVER, say pundits

User McUser
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Headmaster

Short Pedantic Rant

The phrase "double-digit" when referring to percentages is so broad a range (10-99%) as to be utterly useless as a measure of anything. It's like using the phrase "somewhere in the atmosphere" as a measure of altitude.

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Snooker WPA secrets with this Wi-Fi tool

User McUser
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Alien

Re: "Bad guys and security testers "

If he had simply sold it to the feds \ NASA \ other corrupt power hungry organisations then he would be doing the community a disservice.

Unless we're trying to hack the aliens' WiFi, it seems highly unlikely that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would ever need something like this.

And I'm sure the National Security Agency *already* knows your WPA PSK.

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GCHQ: We can't track crims any more thanks to Snowden

User McUser
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Joke

Clef'd in twain

[...] the time need to crack communications had effectively trebled over recent months.

I think that's a bass-less statement.

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Net Neut: Verizon flips the bird to FCC on peering deal crackdown

User McUser
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What if ISPs responded to a Title II declaration by raising prices across the board and blame it on increased administrative costs?

What makes you think they won't raise their prices regardless? The price I pay for my cable modem connection has more than doubled in the last 10 years (~$20/mo -> ~$45) but the bandwidth I get only went up by ~60% (15Mbps -> 24Mbps.)

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Don't panic, US Navy has only deployed a ROBOT SHARK (but where are the lasers?)

User McUser
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For the outer design, the Navy plumped for a shark-like shape, for reasons known only to itself.

I'd imagine that sharks probably go fairly unmolested in the seas, what with the teeth and all. So I'll wager that they're trying to deter people and animals from messing with the thing during missions.

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Disk areal density: Not a constant, consistent platter

User McUser
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Boffin

Re: Duh...

The RPM has to be constant (obvious).

Well no, it doesn't *have* to be. Disks can either be CLV (Constant Linear Velocity) or CAV (Constant Angular Velocity.) In the former, the disk's rotation rate slows as the read/write head moves towards the outside of the platter. I doubt this would work very well in drives with more than one platter, which is probably why nobody does it anymore (AFAIK.) CAV is likely to be a lot cheaper too.

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Cool technology: Submerged blade servers escape the heat

User McUser
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Clogged Filters

Seems like there should be some way to have a centrifugal blower to separate out the heavier metal dust from the incoming air stream. Then you wouldn't have to worry about anything becoming clogged as you could simply redirect the unwanted particles outside the box.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

User McUser
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Meh

OPINIONS: I have some

1. Putting a banner ad *above* the masthead pushes everything down which combined with the large "featured story" graphic crowds the top of the page making it look like there is less content.

2. Having the three-column article list with the same background color as the main page body makes it look squeezed for some reason, like its narrower than it was before. Probably an optical illusion (or a lack of one.)

3. I liked Blue and Red for "alink" and "vlink" way better than Black and Grey.

Edit: 4. I agree with Michael Shelby's earlier comment about the nav bar on each article - you're blocking several lines of the article I'm trying to read with that thing!

Other than that, seems OK.

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Brit boffins debunk 'magnetic field and cancer' link

User McUser
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@DougS

The argument is not that we haven't landed things on the Moon, but that we haven't landed people on the Moon.

Ah, but if one accepts the idea that humans could get *something* up to the moon, then there's no reason that that something *can't* be a person and their laser reflector. (Note that we can assert this without having to allow for the person to return to earth since the conspiracy claim is only that people have not walked on the moon, saying nothing of their survival afterward.)

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User McUser
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Alien

Re: You can't use science to disprove theories not based on science

prove humans walked on the Moon in 1969

That one's easy - we can shoot high powered lasers at the reflectors they left there and detect the return beam.

Unless, of course, the lasers are in on the conspiracy!

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Net neutrality: Cisco, Intel, IBM warn FCC NOT to crack down on ISPs

User McUser
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"This is not idle speculation or fear mongering..."

No, it's ACTIVE speculation and fear mongering.

" [...] if you don’t know that you can recover on your investment, you won’t make it."

I'm pretty sure that taking a risk with your money is the definition of investing.

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Portland lobs fair-trade gluten-free artisan SUEBALL at Uber

User McUser
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I think Uber fails to "get" the laws in the locations where they operate so now they "get" to be sued.

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I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations

User McUser
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Re: Groundhog Day

If you realize that Bill Murray's character is the Buddha, it all makes perfect sense.

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Disturbance in the force lets phones detect gestures with Wi-Fi

User McUser
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as the human moves her arm, the wireless reflection[s] [...] interfere with the direct signal from the Wi-Fi transmitter. This results in peaks and troughs in the amplitude of the received signals

So basically they've reinvented the theremin?

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Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years

User McUser
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Re: Net Neutrality

Surely it should be upto the consumer how they prioritise their bandwidth?

Piffle! I'm pretty sure giant faceless multinational corporations know better than *you* what you want.

In all seriousness though, I have been making this argument for a while myself. It's no good to let Comcast and/or Google decide how fast I can stream from Netflix - it should be *my* decision. Give me XXMbps and let me carve it up however I please, with the default being equal priority for all sources.

The reason they don't do this already is that there's no way to make money from it. If you give control to the ISPs, they can charge both you (the end-user) and also stick it to Netflix (et al.) who currently get a "free ride" (from the ISP's point of view.) Though it's not like this was a surprise or something invented by OTT services; the Internet has always (RFC 791 not withstanding) treated traffic equally. You knew what you were getting into when you signed up all those thousands of customers with promises of fast connections and streaming video. It's a bit like joining a conservative political party and then complaining they're not liberal enough.

The electric company doesnt prioritise my TV over my kettle for me.

It does, however, meter your usage where-as ISPs generally do not. So you self prioritize or end up with a large electric bill. I suspect if we end up keeping Net Neutrality then we'll start to see metered Internet as a result.

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