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* Posts by Steven Roper

1388 posts • joined 10 May 2011

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Australian spookhaus busted for warrantless tap of own phones

Steven Roper
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Re: Idiots, morons and dickheads!

Apparently not. Fairfax reports this:

Yes, but Fairfax is a big corporation that the laws of the land don't apply to. The ten-years-in-prison clause is only for the little guys like you and me. If one of us had published this bungle on our little Wordpress blogs, WE'D be looking at 10 years' chokey, but Fairfax and Murdoch's minions have effective carte blanche.

Always remember the Prime Directive of 21st century lawmaking: one law for us, and another for them.

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'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts

Steven Roper
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Big Brother

Re: The determination!!

Hell, why not just go the whole hog and bring back the guillotine, the gallows and the garrotte. We even could bring back public burnings of the worst ones, just to set the example for others who dare to speak out of line! Or hanging, drawing and quartering for extra spectacle!

That reminds me, while our governments are busy using Orwell's political diatribes as instruction manuals, there's a scene in the Radford movie our parliamentary do-gooders might like. When Winston and Julia meet in Victory Square to arrange their first excursion, truckloads of prisoners are being brought in and tied up to stakes around the square. One guard goes along machine-gunning them in the legs and letting them hang there in agony for a few minutes until the next guard comes along popping caps in their skulls. I'm sure our modern Moral Guardians and Easily Offended Purveyors Of Political Correctness would revel in this kind of rally, cheering on the public executions of the outspoken and other doubleplusungood crimethinking ownlifers.

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Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars

Steven Roper
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So, is this comet now going to swing around the Sun and give us a sky-spanning lightshow later on, or is it going to pass too far out to form a large tail?

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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

Steven Roper
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Re: Barking @Yet Another Anonymous Coward

The biggest problem with Australia's voting system is not just that it's mandatory, it also uses what are called "preferences". Now, remember you HAVE to vote, and if you don't want to vote for Labor or Liberal, you could vote for a minority party like the Greens, the Sex Party, the Pirate Party, Hemp Party, One Nation and so on. But all of those parties are forced to stipulate "preferences" to other parties.

What this means is that if the candidate (and their party) you voted for doesn't get voted in, that party's votes are forwarded to the "preferred" party of their choice. So, say you vote for the Greens, and they preference Labor, but they don't get in. Then your vote for the Greens gets counted as a vote for Labor, whether you wanted Labor in power or not. You can't choose for your vote not to count at all if your desired party doesn't get in. Ultimately, because Labor and Liberal between then have an absolute oligarchy in this country, everyone is forced, through this system of preferences, to vote for one or the other, regardless of what you actually want.

Even an informal vote (e.g. a blank ballot paper, or one with a penis drawn all over it, or simply turning up and signing your name off and not putting a ballot in at all) is counted as a vote for the incumbent party, so you can't escape voting that way either.

The upshot is, if you live in Australia, you either vote Liberal or Labor, regardless of how much you hate either - or both.

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Bird of HEY.... that's MY DRONE! Hawk attacks geek's quadcopter in nature v machine clash

Steven Roper
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Re: ROTM @Voland's right hand

The ghastly things wake me up every morning at 5:30 am with their discussion of "news of the day" on their way out to farmer fields.

Be grateful you don't live in Australia. Rooks have voices like Maria Callas compared to the Australian Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, a large and exceedingly early-rising flock of which have taken up residence in the roadside trees right outside my house. If you haven't heard the raucous, ear-shredding shrieks of these avian abominations you have never experienced true aural agony. Trust me, these damnable creatures constitute the world's most sadistic alarm clock.

If you're feeling particularly masochistic and want to experience for yourself a sample of what I get hauled out of my sweet dreams by every morning, then give this YouTube video a listen. If you can keep that video open for more than 30 seconds, you're either deaf or an ornithological saint!

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Women in tech: Not asking for raises is your 'superpower' – Nadella. *chirp*...*chirp*

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10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register

Steven Roper
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The record (that we're aware of) is over half an hour!

That's an achievement to be proud of, even more so given that you kept them holding that long with nothing but hold music.

I have a specially crafted MP3 file that I've carefully honed over the years to try and match, as closely as possible, the scripts these droids use when pitching something. I came up with it because I found that simply saying I'd get the person and leaving the phone on hold never kept them on the line for more than a minute or so, and I wanted some method for maximising their time wastage while minimising my own. So the MP3 I created goes something like this:

"Good day, [My company name], Steve speaking...[5 second pause]...Okay...[8 second pause]...Uh huh...[6 second pause]...Probably not, but if you could explain it to me I might be able to refer you to someone... etc, etc.

The MP3 file is about 30-odd minutes long. The longest I've been able to hold a telemarketer on the line with it before they realise they're talking to an answering machine and hang up, is 17 minutes 36 seconds. The average is around 8-10 minutes.

So respect to you being able to tie them up for half an hour with nothing but hold music. Well done!

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Woman says narco-cops used her PICS to snare drug lords on Facebook

Steven Roper
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Luckily she doesn't live in Australia

since our fucking government has just passed laws making it perfectly legal for ASIO to do to innocent Australian citizens what the DEA has done to this woman.

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Hey, non-US websites – FBI don't have to show you any stinkin' warrant

Steven Roper
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Fine

If my systems are fair game for you to attack because I'm not in the USA then you're fair game for my systems to whack you with a trojan when you break into them.

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Australia mandates* cloud use by government agencies

Steven Roper
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Well considering that cloud storage by its very nature is all three of those; namely insecure, expensive and can't do the job, I'd say our government agencies shouldn't be adopting this toxic technological trend any time soon.

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Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please

Steven Roper
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I would be quite happy

if Google simply stopped linking to his sites altogether. I'm sick of Googling some current event and finding half the first page links to articles hidden behind Murdoch's paywalls. Especially considering that if I set my user-agent string to simulate the googlebot I can often access the articles without restriction. This means he's showing one thing to the googlebot and another to regular browsers - which I was under the impression was a huge no-no in Google's books, guaranteed to get you ranked off their index. Not to mention the sheer ironic hypocrisy in his doing this, and then complaining about Google scanning his articles and reprinting them in their news searches!

So it'd be great if Google could just wake up to this and give his shit-sites the go-by and link me to actual news sites, instead of that evil bastard's pay-per-view propaganda rags.

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Apple's ONE LESS THING: the iPod Classic disappears

Steven Roper
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"Whenever he's browsing his playlists for stuff for us to listen to there are gaps where music that he used to be able to stream is no longer available."

And here we have another reason why I abominate this emphasis on "cloud." This is the Ministry of Truth in all its ugly glory. When all movies and songs and books are stored in the cloud and "hoarding" (I see the pejoratives for those who prefer to keep their own data are already being circulated) is a thing of the past, how easy is it to simply delete undesirable parts of history, or to edit songs and movies to suit modern PC sensibilities? All you have to do is alter or remove one file from the cloud server, and it instantly affects everybody. Looks like Winston Smith and his ilk will soon be out of a job.

I give it 10 years before our government starts making it illegal to keep your own copies of media files and mandates exclusive use of the cloud for exactly this reason. Once that happens, our journey to Orwell's nightmare will be complete. What will the penalty for keeping a diary be then? 30 years in a joycamp?

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Privacy law reboot needed says Oz Law Reform Commission

Steven Roper
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Re: Accessible?

I believe the solution to that would be for ALL persons appearing in court to have their legal counsel appointed by the court - no matter who, or how rich, you are. If your income is below a certain threshold, then you should be eligible for a subsidy from the government to cover the cost of legal counsel and court fees, which would be reclaimable from you in the event you are convicted in a criminal case. This would put a dead stop to rich people and corporations using highly-paid mouthpiece lawyers to sway and manipulate the judicial process. If all lawyers were appointed based on equivalent competence for both sides, a much fairer trial and more accessible justice would be assured.

But since the rich and powerful and their mouthpieces are the ones that own the government and run the legal system, the chances of seeing such a remedy are about on par with those of the Curiosity rover discovering Martian crested three-winged pigs.

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Hot Celebrity? Stash of SELFIES where you're wearing sweet FA? Get 2FA. Now

Steven Roper
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I'm just... gobsmacked... that system designers aren't limiting login attempts by default without even thinking about it.

Way back in the early 80s, when banks first started introducing ATMs, it was made very clear that if you got your PIN wrong 3 times the machine keeps your card. And in high school in 1983 on the old BBC Micro network (remember the old *I AM NAME and *PASSLOOK anyone?) 3 failed login attempts locked your account and you had to go and see the teacher to reset it.

Ever since then, I've always designed systems to lock an account after 3 failed login attempts, believing this to be industry standard practice. That it clearly now is not is utterly unbelievable, not to mention stupendously irresponsible. I say that any systems engineer designing a system without a failed-login lockout condition should be charged with criminal negligence.

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iCloud fiasco: 100 FAMOUS WOMEN exposed NUDE online

Steven Roper
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Yes.

This is exactly the kind of scandal that is needed to wake people up to the hazards and dangers of relying on cloud storage. It is NOT secure and never will be, no matter how much buzzword fluff the marketing droids and three-letter-spooks throw around. As to all those who brush off their reliance on cloud with "I have nothing to hide, so nothing to fear" - you fucking well have plenty to fear now!

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Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media

Steven Roper
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Re: Televising courts

Another major problem in televising court cases is cherry-picking by the media. We all know the mainstream media have their own political agendas and biased reporting and selective coverage to present one side of the story is normal these days. So of course the MSM would leave out certain statements and replay others a dozen times, in the usual Trial By Media fashion.

If we allow this, then we have to add a stipulation that if a TV station wishes to broadcast a court case it must broadcast the ENTIRE hearing UNABRIDGED and UNEDITED. Otherwise we'll simply turn our justice system into a media-biased kangaroo court.

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Beware WarKitteh, the connected cat that sniffs your Wi-Fi privates

Steven Roper
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Re: Stats?

"I think that the wildly different content sought by searches for "Cat" and "Pussy" may be skewing the stats."

That may be true, but search engine analytics would be able to differentiate between searches for "pussy" by detecting whether the search is run with the family-friendly filter on or off...

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Users should PAY for their piracy says Turnbull

Steven Roper
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Good

"Australia's government is applying its customary confusion to the copyright debate"

There are times when I love our government for shit like this. As long as they are all running around like chooks with their heads cut off, none of this shit is going anywhere. It's only when they're all in agreement on things that we should start worrying!

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AVG stung as search revenue from freebie scanners dries up

Steven Roper
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I run Avast on my home PC and there is a simple way to stop the popup spam: set it to Silent/Gaming mode and leave it there. I've never seen a single advert or popup except for the once-a-year "you need to re-register" thing, at which point you just confirm your email address on the form and forget about it for another year.

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Turnbull to Big Content: Let your movies RUN FREE ... for a fair price

Steven Roper
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"Of course, that contrasts with other ‘normal’ products; you can, for instance take a car you already own and use it in a movie without having to pay any more money."

Actually, you can't. Product placement in movies, TV shows and video games is subject to agreement with the brand or trademark owner. Car designs represent an intellectual-property factor as well. This is why you see notices in movie credits like "Vehicles provided by Ford" or similar, and why every single car you see in a movie (even ones incidentally parked or driving in the background) are all from the same manufacturer. It's why, when you see a movie character drinking a can of Coke, you can bet that Coca-Cola has had some say in its inclusion.

Any display, or even mention, of any recognisable product or brand name in a movie, TV show or video game, constitutes commercial use of that trademark, and if done without the trademark owner's permission, can render you liable for infringement action. This is why, for example, Quentin Tarantino uses his own made-up brands in his movies, like Big Kahuna Burger or Red Apple cigarettes.

Because of this, it would be almost impossible to make a live-action movie set in any inhabited area without inadvertently including a trademarked product or brand and thus having to contact the relevant trademark owners. CGI or animation is about the only way you could guarantee to avoid this exposure.

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Indian techies-in-training face down MAN-EATING LEOPARD - and WIN

Steven Roper
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Re: Fauna.

"I once found a slug in the office."

Does it talk?

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Forrester says Australia, not China, is next boom market for cloud

Steven Roper
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Re: "...a well-educated populace..."

Upvoted by an Australian who agrees with you.

The fact of the people of this country willingly embracing the cloud wholesale, without any forethought or consideration of privacy, control of one's data, and the associated dangers, costs and consequences, show a distinct lack of education and a decidedly sheep-like follow-the-hype mentality indicative of your analysis.

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Facebook: Want to stay in touch? Then it's Messenger or NOTHING

Steven Roper
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Re: can I has all your data?

" If they remove the messaging feature from m.facebook.com then I think they'll lose a few customers, but they won't be bothered by it as the numbers will just be a drop in the ocean."

They probably won't lose any customers, since the advertising agencies that comprise Facebook's customer base aren't adversely affected by this feature change. However, Facebook may lose a fair few of the products they're selling to their customers...

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Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO

Steven Roper
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Re: True, but

"What I don't understand is whether or not SQA is intended to replace the older radio telescopes."

There's also the question of instrument availability. There's already a queue a mile long of astronomers and related scientists waiting for time on the big telescopes, and this would be bottlenecked by pushing them all onto one instrument. Also, the SQA may be overkill for some projects, for which the Parkes telescope could be ideal, and shorten the queue by moving those scientists whose projects don't need the massive power of the SQA onto the Parkes dish.

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Pinterest diversity stats: Also pale and male (but not as much as Twitter)

Steven Roper
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@ NoneSuch

"Would someone please post the "proper" heterogeneous mix"

Oh, that's easy: The "proper" mix in the "perfect" (read: politically correct) company is one whose board is entirely devoid of white males, regardless of what the race and gender mix actually is. As long as there are no white males.

After all, I'd love to see the gender and race makeup of the boards of, say, Huawei or Samsung or Aramco. I'd wager they consist mostly of Chinese, Korean, or Saudi Arabian males respectively. But notice how we're not seeing demands for more "diversity" on these companies' boards? Notice how it's only companies whose boards do consist mainly of white males who are being targeted? Nobody's harassing Samsung or Huawei or Mitsubishi or Foxconn or Aramco about the diversity of their boards. That's because they don't have any white males on them, so they're already politically correct.

Of course, I'll probably be accused of being a racist sexist bigot for pointing this out, but those who do so won't actually offer any reasoned argument as to why they think my perception of this is wrong.

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MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets

Steven Roper
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Re: I'd also add...

"..a working magnetic core but I guess a little factor like that got overlooked in all the excitement."

And I'd wager a large moon is probably essential to the formation of said magnetic core. Note that of the terrestrials only Earth is equipped with a large moon to roil its interior with tidal forces and thus set up the conditions for the formation of a magnetic field. These tidal forces also create the conditions necessary for vulcanism and plate tectonics, both of which in turn maintain the carbon cycle and are also essential for life.

Without any large moons, Venus and Mercury lack these forces, and thus also lack the vlucanism and tectonics, and the magnetic fields necessary to protect life from solar radiation and prevent ablation of liquid water via solar wind.

If this is the case, then it's likely life-bearing planets are much less common than we might think, since besides being in the Goldilocks zone a planet would additionally need to have formed a large moon in a stable orbit to create the conditions required for life. And I would hazard that the number of terrestrials with large moons is significantly less than terrestrials in stars' Goldilocks zones, with the probability of both occurring being minute indeed.

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Data retention: ASIO says Web browsing habits would need a warrant

Steven Roper
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...I cannot understand why it is correct for all your privacy to be invaded for a commercial purpose, but not by me to save your life.

Because, Mr. Irvine, despite your deceptive insistence to the contrary, your interest is not to save my life, your interest is solely to ensure my complete and unquestioning obedience to the letter of the law, regardless of how unjust, unreasonable or unfair that law may be. A society in which resistance to the established order is impossible is a society that has no need of freedom or civil liberties.

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Ex-despot Noriega sues: How dare Call of Duty make me look like, like...

Steven Roper
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I thought this bullshit was covered

In movie and game credits towards the end there's a work-of-fiction disclaimer, usually something along the lines of:

"This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events depicted in this motion picture are purely imaginary and no resemblance to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, is intended or should be inferred."

or similar such wording. I have one on my own gallery to ensure people don't equate my pictures with anything in the real world. Do these disclaimers not carry any weight now? Do artists now have to make certain that their characters, places and events bear no resemblance whatsoever to anything or anyone in the real world? Because if this is passed, any form of creative expression other than the surreal or abstract is now dead, since it is not possible for any artist to vet their works against all 7+ billion people and the trillions of possible events in history to make sure there's no resemblance.

This shit needs to be stopped right now, otherwise we can forget any right of artistic expression.

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Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?

Steven Roper
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Thumb Up

Re: Yup.. rubbish permissions handling in Android

"MS specifically state that the location given is anonimised, but I am not sure how that makes sense if the app knows who you are."

It makes perfect sense, when you consider that MS is simply saying "It's anonymised" as placatory buzzword blurb intended only to allay your privacy concerns and get you to buy the product - or BE the product, as the case may be.

"Anonymised" doesn't actually mean anything to these people, to them it's just another meaningless buzzword that they've figured out that consumers like to hear, along with expressions like "scientifically proven" and "as seen on TV."

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When the robot rebellion comes, this Jibo droid will BORE you to death

Steven Roper
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"arrange that hot date you've been dreaming of... Resembling the lovechild of a Dyson desk fan and a feminine massager... But at the price of about $500, your bank manager won't be too annoyed when you throw it out of the window."

And there I was thinking that someone had finally come up with a affordable and realistic latex-skinned robotic beauty that could BE the hot date I'd been dreaming of!

Oh well, guess I'll have to keep dreaming...

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UN to Five Eyes nations: Your mass surveillance is breaking the law

Steven Roper
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Re: Big deal

So by your reasoning, we should simply ignore every issue and problem in the world until the single worst one (as defined by you) has been solved, and thus resolve them one at a time in order of importance?

You are aware that there are enough people on this planet, that we can examine and solve multiple problems simultaneously, right?

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MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws

Steven Roper
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Re: No surprise

"The legislation is appropriate. It's just the vocal minority that oppose it."

Ah, I seem to have found our phantom downvoter. I was wondering why the majority of comments in this thread all had a single downvote. Looks like that was you.

Funny how the self-righteous rationalise their bigotry by claiming their opponents are a minority. Some minority, when you felt it necessary to downvote nearly every comment in the thread. And that you also felt it necessary to hide your identity when expressing your opinion.

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Steven Roper
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Re: Slowly slowly, little by little...

Anomalous Cowshed, I absolutely share your sentiments. So I fought back against this horrific future the only way I know how.

I refused to have any children.

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Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!

Steven Roper
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It's funny

that it's two women in a sexual harassment case. Who knows who's going to win this one?

If one of them was male - either the accuser or accused - it would be much more cut-and-dried: guilty by possession of a penis. But in this case the uncertainty is high enough that we could take bets on the outcome. Zhang or Shi? Boss or underling?

I'd probably put my money on Shi since allowing a defamation countersuit as a response to a sexual harassment claim would likely set an undesirable precedent in the eyes of the pro-feminist power base within the legal system.

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VMware hiring exec to launch Australian hybrid cloud

Steven Roper
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In other words

VMWare have become aware of many Australian businesses' desire to avoid trusting their data to US hosted cloud servers, and seeks a way to sneak around this avoidance by "partnering" with Australian providers to create the impression that the data is hosted in Australia when there'll be a good chance it isn't.

Thanks but no thanks. I'll continue to run my own servers where I know exactly who has access to my data and where it's kept, thank you.

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The final score: Gramophones 1 – Glassholes 0

Steven Roper
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Re: Twelve o'clock flashers...

"...people too old to be able to work out how to program their VCR..."

Or, if they lived in Adelaide, people who got sick of resetting the clock all the time after the near-daily power cuts and dropouts that form a part of the backdrop of life in this benighted city.

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Europe's highest court: Apple CAN trademark its retail store layout

Steven Roper
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Re: Crack

"Judges be smoking crack"

Or collecting little brown envelopes quietly slipped through their mailboxes by Apple executives...?

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Lindsay Lohan sues Grand Theft Auto V makers for 'using her image'

Steven Roper
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Her last film?

"Also check out her autobiography "My Head Whistles In a Crosswind"."

Fuck ya - you just made me snort coffee through my nose all over my keyboard.

Have a thumbs up for making me laugh so hard. I'm going to steal that line next time I need to insult someone's stupidity: "Heeelllloooo! Is your head whistling in a crosswind or something?!?"

Brilliant.

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In space no one can hear you scream, but Voyager 1 can hear A ROAR

Steven Roper
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@ Irony Deficient

Ah, I see you're a fellow xkcd reader as well!

Still not a patch on the 250-light-year trek those Ethiopian stone tools have made though...

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Steven Roper
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"Then ask yourself if you own anything that old that's still working, never mind contactable after travelling more than 17 light hours through the radiation-wracked nastiness of space."

I still have my old Casio FX series pocket calculator from school from that era, sitting on my desk near the mouse. Still works too, after more than 3 decades. They certainly don't build them like they used to.

And while it hasn't endured the harsh conditions of radiation and space travel that Voyager has, it has endured the harsh conditions of my rotting-uneaten-lunch-and-leaky-cordial-bottle-toting schoolbag back then, and the coffee-and-Coke-spilled peril of my desk ever since - outlasting a few dozen keyboards in the process!

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Brit celebs' homes VANISH from Google's Street View

Steven Roper
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Re: Right to be forgotten. Absolutely.

What if you have a common name, like mine? There are over 240 people called "Steven Roper" in Australia alone (I was part of a survey some years back), any and all of whom could come up in a Google search of the name. I was surprised to learn a while ago that there's even a well-known American comic-book character with my name (Intrepid reporter Steve Roper and his sidekick Chief Wahoo) which will quickly dominate any search for it.

Which I'm actually quite glad about, since it makes it very hard for anyone to positively identify any search result with me personally, and gives me a nice level of plausible deniability should anyone decide to go digging up some dirt!

But in regard to this business of de-indexing my name, how would I tell Google which results relate to me, which to the well known doctor in America with my name, and which to the even better-known comic strip character? Do I have to supply every URL that contains the information I want removed? And if so, wouldn't I then be giving Google a list of everything I specifically want to hide?

Seems to me to be better if you just keep your mouth shut and ignore any detrimental references to your name on the internet. It seems better to keep the plausible deniability than to demand some dirt's removal and inextricably link yourself to it in some watchlist somewhere...

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Would it be BAD if the Amazon rainforest was all FARMS? Well it WAS, once

Steven Roper
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Re: Sahara etc

"Not sure about Australia."

Before European colonisation, much of Australia, except for the Nullarbor and inland deserts in the main body of the continent, was covered in eucalyptus forest, while the Murray-Darling Basin was mostly mallee. Mallee is a large bush or small tree, famed for its toughness and resilience, that in the wild forms an interlocked and impenetrable tangle of head-high scrub. Most of this was cleared for farmland during colonisation, although large swaths of it remain in places like the Sunset Country and Big Desert national parks.

Considering that mallee wood is as hard as steel and blunts axes and chainsaws with infuriating rapidity, clearing thousands of square miles of that shit was no mean feat!

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Steven Roper
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Re: duck...!

We had two Muscovy ducks as pets when I was a kid back in the 70s. They were lovely as ducklings and we kids loved them. Then they grew up and covered the entire backyard in a 6-inch deep layer of duck shit, which Dad loved for the garden, until Mum slipped in it and hurt herself.

Whereupon the ducks were politely escorted off the premises and dumped in the Torrens to fend for themselves, since we kids refused outright to allow Dad to kill and cook them. A few months later, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife gassed all the feral ducks on the Torrens to allow the native species to return. So in the end they died anyway and we missed out on some roast duck for our sympathy!

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Silicon Valley royalty royally slammed for 'persistent, troubling deficit' of diversity

Steven Roper
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I'd really like to rip these do-gooders a new one, but I'm currently suffering from rant fatigue and can't be arsed. Most of the regulars here know what my responses to this shit are anyway, and you've heard all the arguments before, so I'll just register my strong disapproval here and leave it at that.

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Insecure AVG search tool shoved down users' throats, says US CERT

Steven Roper
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Re: The most popular "bundled" software..

Absolutely

I classify Chrome as malware for exactly this reason. The only reason nobody rags on Google for this practice is because they're so big. Hopefully if CERT US have the authority or backing to take action on this underhanded and deceptive practice, that Google will also be targeted alongside the likes of Ask and Zango. They might even manage to get the practice made illegal. Hey, I can dream, can't I?

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Alabama quadchopper hits THREE THOUSAND FEET next to AIRPORT

Steven Roper
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Re: Shocked FAA haven't been all over this or at leat updated their laws.

"Some law somewhere will be stuck to them with a nail gun."

Here in Australia, that would be the charge of "interfering with the operation of an aircraft", the same offence they slap the idiots who shine laser pointers at planes with. It's a terrorism-related offence, so getting slapped with that means you are in some very, very deep doo-doo.

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ANGRY ALIENS hit by BEBO SPAMGASM probably don't exist

Steven Roper
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Re: TheOtherHobbes

"Frank Herbert's logorrhoeic idiot son"

Having read his extensions to the Dune saga recently, I have to agree with that assessment - in part. The three Butlerian Jihad books were pretty good, with just a few minor niggles (like the supernatural powers of the Sorceresses of Rossak.) Nor were the two post-Chapterhouse continuations too bad, although the final ending was a bit twee in a "happily ever after" kind of way. But the three House prequels set just before the events of Dune and the interquels were an atrocity. As far as I'm concerned, like the mythical Highlander II, they don't actually exist!

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PANDA chomps through Spotify's DRM

Steven Roper
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Re: If you can read it, you can copy it. End of.

This is exactly why DRM is snake oil, and those who sell it are the real thieves, not so much to us, the end-consumers, but to all the music and media companies they keep on selling the same lie to over and over.

In cryptographic terms, DRM is flawed because in any DRM scenario, Bob and Mallory are the same person. That is, in the usual cryptographic cast of characters where Alice, the sender, sends a message to Bob, the intended recipient and Mallory, the attacker, trying to intercept the message, DRM is treating the intended recipient as the attacker. But since Bob has to have the decryption key in order to read the message, it follows that DRM, by definition, is giving the key to Mallory to decrypt the message, since the recipient is ipso facto the attacker.

This principle is why DRM is a scam, no matter how the snake-oil merchants try to dress it up. Were I in power, I would have every staff member and shareholder of every DRM company arrested and charged with fraud for this reason.

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Girl gamers sexism row: Top e-sports federation finds reverse gear

Steven Roper
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"Occupy? Obama?"

Awwww, did I imply something bad about your idol and offend your delicate little PC sensitivities? Awwww, sowwy. Bless.

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Amazon snubs FTC: We'll see you in court over kids' in-app cash blowouts

Steven Roper
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@Destroy All Monsters

Capitalist much?

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