* Posts by Voland's right hand

1593 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

Cash-strapped Chicago slaps CLOUD TAX on Netflix, Spotify etc users

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Legal challenges aside

Well, I did not know that Chicago is in Greece, I know now.

There are two sides to a tax and formulating it is only half of the equation. The other half is collecting it and enforcing compliance. This looks like something which will have a distinctly Greek level of tax collection and compliance.

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Congratulations! You survived the leap secondocalypse

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Android does that only if you do not have sync on

If you have time from network it works fine - I did not notice anything (the household has a mix of 4.x and the sole remaining 2.3).

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Script-blocker NoScript lets in ANYTHING from googleapis.com

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It does not over here

The one packaged by debian does not. It is not in the whitelist.

That particular list entry can be a pain in the a*** as that is the download domain of the ajax libraries - most places pull it from source instead of having a local copy. As a result a large percentage of websites breaks pretty badly. As there is no 2nd level whitelisting (allow if pulled by this site), you end up whitelisting (very grudgingly) anyway.

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Giant FLYING SPACE ROCKS could KILL US ALL, warns Brian May

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Re: So what's the chance...

Sang by the asteroid chorus during entry into the Earth atmosphere:

We will we will rock you

We will we will rock you

Anyway. Who wants to live forever...

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Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target

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I do not see why it should succeed

It will yield the expected democratic result which is a NO. Just expressed in money.

I love the idea by Greek politicos to put the conditions of the bailout in Greece to a referendum.

We should do the same (all countries involved in bailing them out) so that democracy is matched by democracy and the Greeks see exactly how much goodwill is there to bail them out. Based on opinion polls it is <20% in all European union countries.

I would definitely be voting no on this one and I would not be the only one.

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Supreme Court ignores Google's whinging in Java copyright suit

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@Mark65

That's just stupid. Who's got the copyright on Math.Sin...

Why such complex, expressive and original API as an example (sarcasm intended)? Let's keep things simple shall we? ==, + and -. These _ARE_ APIs too.

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Re: Amusing.

They are interoperable - at source level. The same level which is fine enough for most languages.

The whole "build once, run nowhere" delusion is what it says on the tin - a delusion. The moment you start doing something vaguely more interesting in Java you run into that.

Timers, name lookups and even basic things like sockets will have subtle differences running on different OSes. More than enough to flip the cart. The fact that the clueless *** who wrote the runtime have deliberately if-def-ed the source so that it does not use "universal" functions such as getnameinfo(), getaddressinfo(), etc and goes for obsolete, unmaintained and os specific equivalents such as gethostbyaddr_r() is not helping either. And do not even get me started on the subject of using obsolete code from old Solaris for thread scheduling and the mandatory waits in the java equivalent of posix thread notifications. Just read the source of the runtime. And weep.

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They should have gone with python from the start

For crying out loud we live in a world where Apple has managed to make Objective C palatable to developers. If that is possible, anything is possible. Google should have gone with python from the start. By the way - it is used internally in the latest BlackBerry OS so quite clearly it is fit for purpose to run on mobile even without significant runtime investment.

By the way - I agree with you - more than 60% of the java development footprint today is Android related. Oracle _IS_ p*ssing in their own cornflakes here.

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Australian government demands signoff on telco network designs

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Re: "Notify security agencies of any changes…"

That's hundreds and on a bad day thousands of change orders for a network the size of Telstra a day because any corporate VPN or large wholesale deal means a recompute of the LSP paths and a change to some or all of them to make sure they are where you want them to be to comply with contract terms.

Someone in the attorney general's office is smoking something very cool. The really criminal bit is he is not sharing.

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Subaru Outback Lineartronic: The thinking person’s 4x4

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NIce opening rant

Nice opening rant, wrong conclusion.

It used to be the right one - in the days of the great Forester of old before Toyota made something fit for a supermaket parking out of it. Definitely not Outback though - it cannot get to my summer house (which is a mere dirt track, not even proper offroading) without scraping.

Today the conclusion is actually Isuzu Denver. Starting with the older model 2007 "mid-life" uplift revision and till now (current model) it is the right conclusion of that rant. It drives at 90mph on the autobahn with no fuss. The suspension is on par with a luxury sedan (and much better than the Outback) and it goes anywhere. Including through walls if you ask it.

I test drove the entire Subaru stock from the Toyota acquisition boundary, an L200, a Nissan ballroom truck and an Isuzu when I switched cars last time. Only the Isuzu passed both the offroad test and the suspension quality test. It was entertaining when the car salesman understood that I am not joking when I was pointing at the 3 year old daughter and said "If she likes it". He thought I was joking. That thought lasted until I started lining half of the rear seat area with plastic for the road test. Then he got the message - that I will be using a "live" suspension quality indicator. You should have seen his face at that point :)

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Space station cabbage: To boldly grow where no veg has grown before

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Re: "Just Read the Instructions"

Did someone read the ship list?

At this rate of losses in a couple of years the GCV "Kiss My Ass" will proudly sail out of port to meet the next landing attempt.

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Samsung vows to stop knackering Windows Update on your laptops

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Get them by the contract and their minds and souls will follow

It also has contractual commitment not to interfere with key OS functionality under their OEM agreement.

I suspect that a call from Redmond along the lines of "Mr Chrisoprase is very upset" was involved in getting this one right as promptly as they did.

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Who wants a classic ThinkPad with whizzy new hardware? Lenovo would just love to know

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Re: ME! Oh ME! MeohmeohmeohMEEEE!

Based on your reaction this one will be reassuringly expensive.

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Abort, abort! Metal-on-metal VIOLENCE as Google's robo-car nearly CRASHES

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Re: FURY ROAD!!!

Not sure what is more applicable... Zelazny's "Auto-da-Fe" or the other one... about cars gaining self awareness, killing their "occupants" (not drivers any more) and roaming free the California and Nevada wilderness. I am having trouble remembering the author of the latter one off the top of my head. It is one of the Sci Fi greats of old, but not Zelazny. Either Shekley or Larry Niven.

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

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Re: Self confessed audiophile

Replying to myself (I know - bad sport).

A lot of the damage done during bad remastering today is deliberate because marketing insists on making the sound mp3/modern friendly. There are a couple of pretty good studies on this. The summary is that:

1. Quiet transitions are gone - think of Pink Floyd. It would never get past marketing in this day and age. Everything should go off the median volume just a bit and be LOUD. VERY LOUD. EXTREMELY LOUD. As LOUD as the encoding in iTunes will allow.

2. Bass. Beats is not alone here - making the bass go BOOM is a must.

You can see that most remasters surrender to marketing and make it sound "modern" by comparing the tracks (remastered and original) on an analyzer - it is bloody obvious. _THIS_ has nothing to do with audiophilia. It has to do with idiocy and lack of artistic control over the remastering.

For example - I bought a remastered Scorpions album this week and I could not recognize it. It was vandalized to the point where it was barely recognizable.

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Re: Self confessed audiophile

You are mistaking damage from lousy remastering by a moron who was given some fancy studio gear to play with during his intern year for difference from "audiophile sound".

Grab something that was remastered properly under paranoiac original (or at least some of them) artist control like the reissue of the Moody Blues albums and compare.

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Re: Monty....

30p headphones are fine. I will take 30p headphones over 100£ ones with "Bass enhancement" DSP and its associated crappy ADC + DAC pair any day. Beats(tm) me why someone would Beats(tm) his head with ears nonsense (and wear a Beats(tm) advert on his head).

Pun intended.

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Beyond the Grave: US Navy pays peanuts for Windows XP support

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Joke

Re: Since it is the taxpayer's money paying for it...

Shame the NHS didn't have the negotiators from the US Navy

Ever heard of gunboat diplomacy? Last time I checked Redmond is not that far from the coast. Granted, Iowa is now retired, but even in its absence the Navy can still pack some very good "negotiating punch".

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Flushed with success: No bog standard Canadian goldfish these

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Re: Diversify!

I did not know that CMOT moved to Alberta.

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Re: I thought they have Herons in Alberta

Come on, carp is tasty if you _KNOW_ how to cook it.

Getting carp, tench or juvenile European catfish right so it does not have the foul stench of a London canal is culinary art - on par with Michelin 2 star +

While at it, looking at the way the ducklings have steadily decreased on the London waterways I am pretty sure that there is catfish in the canals now. Probably time to set out the rat trap to get some bait for fishing it the Eastern European way (steel rope, tripple (no way out) hook and a rat for bait).

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Voland's right hand
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I thought they have Herons in Alberta

Dunno about Alberta. There are no goldfish around these parts. The friendly neighbourhood heron takes care of that. It does a regular survey of all garden ponds and water features. Anything up to small koi carps survives for about a week, tops. Usually less. My neighbour tried to have goldfish in his garden feature 3 times and then gave up.

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CIA-funded spy data safe Palantir doubles in value in 18 months

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I doubt that

Don't forget gathering all that yummy data and passing onto those willing to pay for it.

In this specific case there is more money in not passing as well as even more money in access control to analysis results. Otherwise you are not getting the roster of clients these guys have at present.

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Do svidaniya to public record as Russia passes NEED to be forgotten bill

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The person in the picture is definitely not forgotten

That's Ezhov - the only person in the 1930-es CK with this height.

He definitely will not be forgotten. No law and no "index removal tools" can remove a name written into history using the blood of half a million people.

The law as it stands today is a "beefed up" version of the Eu directive without some of the checks. It will definitely be (ab)used to remove information about small crooks. Information about something on the scale of the example given here with this picture - I doubt it. That cannot be removed without removing people too. Lots of people. On the scale used by the character who gave Ezhov the orders (in the picture too).

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Killer ChAraCter HOSES almost all versions of Reader, Windows

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Welcome to the last 20 years of software development

I have yet to see a _SINGLE_ large corporation where "reliability and security" of the developer's code is fed back into his rating.

It is actually trivial - the source code control system can trace a particular commit to a particular person - that should go automated on his current perf review regardless of how old is the code in question. In reality - it never does.

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Ecobee3: If you're crazy enough to want a smart thermostat – but not too crazy – this is for you

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Re: Does it really save that much?

Depends where.

USA - maybe.

UK (or another place with water radiator central heating) - definitive no. Fitting Danfoss Living Eco or one of its equivalents to key radiators will get you to the same place for a fraction of the money ~ 31£ per room + the price of 2AA batteries per year. I have had them in all rooms which are not used 24x7 (sitting, dining, home office, etc). They are programmed to allow the temperature to drop to 15C at night as well as during well known "unoccupied" periods and power up back to 20C at 6am. The overall cost saving is quite noticeable too.

The only case where you need something more complex is when you have a really weird and irregular usage pattern and only if you can hook up the central heating control to the occupancy sensors.

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USA-isian only

24 V standard HVAC control. That is a USA specialty.

Most of Eu have 12V. For example my home office aircon/heat pump has a 12V dry terminal block board because it was built to Eu market reqs. IIRC rest of the world with the exemption of the UK is also predominantly 12V control.

UK is an odd one out with a very large install base of 220V direct action thermostats where the thermostat directly on/off the heating pump without an interim relay. Some systems even have 220V servos. I showed the spec on one of them (funnily enough built by Honeywell) to one of my USA friends and he choked on his coffee: "Are you nuts? 220V for a servo?"

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Failing to zap bogus reviews about your biz is illegal, snarls regulator

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Pointless until someone gets fined

Investigations are all good, can we actually see fines (and punitive ones too). Just pull some search results on trip advisor or yelp on restaurants and start nuking from orbit.

Fining the top 10 will probably be not far off. Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

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Why is it that women are consistently paid less than men?

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Fantastic piece and very spot on until a point

And that point was: "But don't worry, because society already offers child tax credits and child benefit, the two amounting to about what that motherhood pay gap was."

Err WTF is a tax credit and WTF is a child benefit in a country where the moment you look at the head of DWP your first thought is "which dig did this social fossil come out from".

The idea of tax credit and child benefit was and should have been to cover the parenthood gap. Here are the news at 10 for your Tim - it bloody does not. It penalizes those for whom it is actually a gap and still provides subsistence means for those who would not really enter the the workforce in the first place. And for some it is actually means of income.

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Sun like it hot: Philae comet probe wakes up, phones home again

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Re: Good news

Not just that - it will actually be able to perform stuff it was never intended to. In its original position it would have been fried by now. Where it is now it may even manage the close shave with the sun. Fingers crossed for the Rosetta portion to survive to relay the data.

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It's OK – this was an entirely NEW type of cockup, says RBS

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Re: du -sh @ orig ac

FROM 1 THIRD PARTY

Which is HMG. Most of the screams were about tax credits and such. I did not notice a twitterati scream about salary (or other form of money earned by hard work).

When HMG is involved it can always be presumed to be the guilty party. So my guess is - incorrectly formatted transaction file coming in.

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Airbnb beats actual posh hotel chain with stupidly large valuation

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Mushroom

Re: Storage?

Classification should be DOT.BOMB

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

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Read the whole thing

This article is almost as bad as Jeb Bush's rants.

Just read the whole thing. Makes me respect the pope even more after his take on Cuba, Austerity, igniting the Middle East and a few other topics of the day.

Disclaimer - as a staunch atheist there is stuff in there I would never agree with. However respect where respect is due and credit where credit is due. Both to him and to (now retired) Rowan Williams for having what is sorely lacking in todays' politicians - compassion and some level of integrity.

It is not surprising that he has joined Che as a pin-up on student dorm's walls. Probably the first pope in history too.

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Samsung spins up its latest rusty rotators for release

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Not necessarily

These drives will be great for storage capacity-strapped notebook users.

Quite a few of the most recent car TVs read NTFS, so you can add a monster like this to a 50£ August 9 inch and achieve the relevant level of pacification in the rear seats for the duration of most journeys. Mine currently has a 500GB hanging off it which is ~ 300h of DVD quality video. 4TB is 2400h without bothering to re-encode it.

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Chrome, Debian Linux, and the secret binary blob download riddle

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Re: Demotion time?

It's half broken in jessie anyway. Hangouts extension does not work - crashes immediately. Other stuff is also broken.

If it was any other package I would have bothered sending bugs (and patches). With Google spyware, no thanks, downloading a fresh up-to-date Firefox is a better option.

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AdBlock aims to send filthy malverts on one-way LSD trip

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Re: Proxy server

It does not work very well for most advertising networks because they heavily rely on javascript snippets. If you cut the download at the proxy it will make the web page look hideously fugly at best. The proxy does not necessarily have the correct information to produce a blank gif, jpeg, flash, etc of the correct size (there are idiots that leave some level of resizing to the browser).

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YOU ARE THE DRONE in Amazon's rumoured new parcel delivery plan

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Re: Never underestimate the human ability to be conned...

they still have to get CAA (UK) and FAA (USA) regulations for non-line-of-sight operation of drones changed (currently it's not allowed).

No, they do not. Just hoist the NOC in a baloon to 3-5km height. That more than covers with direct line of sight a typical "delivery cell". Do you see the drone? Of course you do. The fact that it is 15 km away and is visible only with optically stabilized equipment assistance is not particularly relevant - you comply with the regs and can use it.

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Intel inside: Six of the best affordable PC laptops

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Re: Affordable?

the specs are usually awful for the price

You have failed to read the spec correctly.

OEMs with HP being the biggest offender deliberately announce bogus max RAM and other upgradeability figures for AMD so it looks worse than Intel. AMD APUs are limited in their memory capacity _ONLY_ by slot numbers and maximum DIMM size. This is different from Intel where the memory limit is hard and you cannot just throw bigger DIMMs in as they become available. So you should ignore the market positioning drivel and pay attention solely to slot numbers and slot physical dimensions (for disks).

Example in hand - my current fleet (in reverse chronological order):

HP TouchSmart, purchase price 229, spec - 2/4G RAM, real (not HP spec) upgradeability - up to 8G RAM.

HP 255, purchase price 260 (because of one lid scratch, usually 290) - spec 6G, real (not HP spec) upgredeability - up to 16G

Vaio VPCYB3V1E, purchase price 230, spec 4G RAM, real (not Sony spec) upgrdeability - 16G RAM.

If the next density DDR-3 SODIMMs become available, all of these should be able to take 'em, eat them and smile (to 16G or 32G respectively). Throw in a decent flash or hybrid drive and you have a machine that will run circles around anything Intel based under 800.

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Re: Affordable?

+1

I just choked on my coffee. My main development laptop cost 250£ when new, so did the kids machines. They ended up ~ 350-400£ _AFTER_ receiving 8 (or 16 in my case) G RAM and a top of the line hybrid drive. All of that with very decent graphics which can push out passable FPS in most games.

Ooops... Sorry... Forgot. IDIOT OUTSIDE, AKA Intel inside. Missed the message there - all of mine are AMD with APUs (E series on the oldest one, A4s on the newer ones).

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Vauxhall VXR8: You know when you've been tangoed

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@phil

Because as a result of this some of the better "power" cars which they have done in the last 10 years have negative depreciation. In fact they appreciate, not depreciate (supply/demand or to be more exact an expectation of).

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But you DID get a speeding ticket :)

Something you did not quite manage with the Jag and the Tesla.

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Dossiers on US spies, military snatched in 'SECOND govt data leak'

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Re: I'm still not believing this...

how would you get millions of people into an air gapped network to fill it out

Err... You are mistaking two things. The process of filling it out and the process of keeping the record.

While the data is filled out, checked, verified and clearance granted or denied the record cannot be air gapped. However that is at most thousands at any given time.

Once the clearance is granted the record should go into deep freeze storage and not be accessed unless you need it for investigative purposes. You can at most instigate a one-way incoming data feed strictly in specific format for audit purposes (literally cut off the return wires/fiber). Even if queries are allowed they should be viciously rate limited.

This was the procedure in the days when this was on paper. You could not just ask "Can I have the whole archive, thank you". This should have been the design today, when it is electronic. However someone fond of big data and total information awareness made the data searchable and accessible in realtime.

It's the same story as with Snowden and Microsoft Sharepoint. Someone committed a court-martial offence by authorizing the storage of classified data in a form which is not fit for purpose. However instead of having the stupid moron court-martialed, named, shamed, his government pension removed and thrown into chokey we are now blaming the Chinese.

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Re: I wonder if they'll let us know how far back?

Total information awareness == total information clusterf*ck.

This is data held in the name of "national security" so I suspect it has no back date cutoff. In fact, I suspect they went ahead and digitized data from the earlier times and added it to the archive.

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Confusion reigns as Bundestag malware clean-up staggers on

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I'm sick and tired of hearing this excuse!

So am I sick and tired of listening to people shouting know it all rubbish.

An attack in this class (non-script-k1dd10t) can be:

1. Undetected for years. The biggest problem is that the entrance date and attack vector are unknown

2. Designed to aggressively seek back up systems and compromise them.

Your first point of call is figuring out a clean cut off line. However without knowing and understanding the APT in full you do not know where to draw that cut-off line. Drawing it at f.e. 5 years back is not really an option. Drawing it at a year back may actually get you back to square one with the infection rampant in the network.

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Most parliaments do not

I am not aware of a parliament (+ its archive, library and several other key digital assets) having a proper recovery plan after a state actor cyber attack. Care to enlighten us about a country which has it?

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INTERNET of BOOBS: Scorching French lass reveals networked bikini

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Re: The bikini isn't French

Err no - 1946 France, Paris (if wikipedia is to be believed).

What really brought it to the mainstream was Brigitte Bardot 1953 Cannes film festival photoshoot,

Rachel Welch is more than a decade later.

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Re: Pockets?

This, for a 5" phone will no longer be a bikini. Unless it is sized to fit a Kardashian "Imperial Drednought" displacement a**e of course.

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Wrong picture

The picture on the article has nothing French in it

This one is a better match: https://flavorwire.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/brigitte_bardot7.jpg?w=360&h=480

Yeah, I know, "And God Created Woman". The Merylin picture on the article is at least several years later on.

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OpenSSL releases seven patches for seven vulns

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Spec says so

That's what the spec says.

IMHO, it is more of a case of Hanlon's razor than three letter agency involvement (just look at how much errata and "updates" are on the TLS RFCs).

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Google wants you to buy Nest CCTV, turn your home into a Brillo pad

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Re: A glorified webcam...

In order for Google to monetize your morning crawl from the bedroom to the bathroom +/- bathrobe.

The specific trajectory and the direction where your eyeballs are pointing provide countless opportunities to improve targeted advertising ya know...

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