* Posts by Cuddles

356 posts • joined 3 Nov 2011

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Google off the hook for feeding kids bad cookies

Cuddles
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Re: Monetising kids?

"Their behaviour is sickening, and the failure of the law to recognise this is just as bad."

Why, because no-one else has ever made money from children before? There are entire industries dedicated solely to making money off children - toys, games, sweets, various food and drink, TV, films, and so on. And all of them rely very heavily on advertising in places that children will see in ways that will appeal to them. Not only are Google far from the worst offender in this respect, they're not even doing it deliberately - they just treat any visitor the same way and try to match adverts with what they've previously shown an interest in. If this is such sickening behaviour, there are a hell of a lot of other companies you should be demonising before Google even merits a mention.

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You can be my wingman any time! RaspBerry Pi AI waxes Air Force top gun's tail in dogfights

Cuddles
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Re: "forces to be deployed without human loss of life"

"While that is generally a good thing, if it makes politicians more trigger-happy it is probable not."

This is a sentiment I see a lot, but it doesn't really make a lot of sense given an awareness of history and human nature in general. Numerous weapons have been touted as bringing about an end to warfare because, the machinegun being a particularly well known example, but every time they've been immediately deployed as enthusiastically as ever. The only thing that comes close to being an exception is nuclear weapons, but even those were used a couple of times and there remains a very realistic possibility that they will be again in the future. Importantly, when it comes to politicians being trigger happy, even the existence of nuclear-armed superpowers able to wipe out all human civilisation at the push of a button wasn't enough to stop them repeatedly going to war both with each other and anyone else they could find lying around the place.

If knowing more people will die doesn't make politicians less likely to go to war, how likely is it that the reverse will happen if they think less people will die. Since the end of WW2, the USA has started a new war (or military intervention of some sort) an average of every 3 years. How much more eager to start wars could better planes make them?

On which note, it's important to bear in mind that this is only about fighter planes anyway. The vast majority of combat losses are not fighter pilots, or indeed aircraft crew of any sort. Many ground support roles are already done by drones, but even replacing all pilots with AI wouldn't make any difference to the losses that would occur once boots are on the ground. And given the degree of air superiority the US, and the West in general, currently enjoys in all the wars they get involved in, having slightly better planes wouldn't make any significant difference at all. The only opponents this would make any real difference against would be Russia and China, and fighter pilot losses are hardly the important factor that will tip politicians into wanting to start those ones.

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Magnetic, heat scanners to catch Tour de France electric motor cheats

Cuddles
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Re: I would watch The Tour Doped France

"Why not have a special event for all the cheaters?"

It's called the Tour de France.

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Cloudian clobbers car drivers with targeted ads

Cuddles
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Personalised to who?

Have these guys ever actually looked at the traffic around Tokyo? Which of the hundreds of cars passing at any given time are they going to personalise adverts for?

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Virgin Media goes TITSUP* in South London due to painful piles

Cuddles
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Re: You may want to aim a bit higher than the CEO, if you want it stopped.

"Sir R.C.N. Branson,"

Not much point in that, Virgin Media has nothing to do with Branson and Virgin Group. If you want to aim at the top, you want Michael Fries of Liberty Global.

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Just a quarter of Brits trust businesses with our personal data

Cuddles
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Actions vs. words

53%, 36% and 22% of people trust various different types of organisation with their personal details. 99.9% of people hand over those details anyway, in many cases without there actually being any need to do so.

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Astroboffins' discovery gives search for early life a left hand. Or right

Cuddles
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Re: I know, obvious is not scientific proof,

"Typically dominate? But by what amount? I have a problem with people saying its a mystery why all life is made of left handed amino acids. Its not - if the first replicating molecule was left handed then everything that follows will be left handed. Its 50-50 so not 'astronomical' at all."

No, it's not 50-50. That would only be the case if left and right chirality were equally common, which is exactly what "left-handed forms typically dominate" says isn't the case. And it's not simply down to what "the first" self-replicating molecule was like, because there's no reason to assume there was just one. All life (that we know of) descends from a common ancestor, but that simply means that only one primordial replicator was successful enough to have ancestors survive to today. There could have been numerous originating events, with most families dying out some time between then and now (although realistically they must have died out before the fossil record becomes reliable). Availability of resources is a major factor in how successful life is, so it's not just a simple probability of what the first self-replicator is like, but also how much of the "food" in the environment it's able to use. Even if a right-handed self-replicator happens to occur, if the majority of molecules around it are left-handed and therefore useless to it it has a much lower ability to survive and replicate.

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Crysis creeps: Our ransomware locks network drives and PCs. Bargain

Cuddles
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"seemingly innocent installers"

Exactly how innocent can a random installer in an unsolicited email look?

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Dyfed-Powys Police fined for publicising pervs' particulars

Cuddles
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"could identify"

"names and addresses of eight registered offenders, along with the phone numbers and email addresses"

I can't help feeling that goes a little beyond "could". Short of mailing out copies of their birth certificates it would be difficult to be much more explicit in identifying them.

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

Cuddles
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Renewable != solar+wind

Why is it almost all claims about what renewables can and can't do seem to consider wind turbines and photovoltaics as the only options? Sure, solar panels and onshore wind turbines in England are never going to meet our power needs. Offshore wind and onshore in parts of Wales and Scotland are pretty handy, however. Tidal has been mentioned already, and while it's less developed we're an island nation with some of the largest tides in the world so there's a hell of a lot of power there if we actually make an effort. Wave power, which is not at all the same as tidal despite the two often being mixed up, also has plenty of potential. Most of the obvious targets for hydroelectric have already been used, but some of the smaller schemes aren't completely stupid (unfortunately many of them are). Solar thermal, geothermal (ground source heat pumps rather than electric in this country), biomass, and various others also exist. And of course nuclear, which is not renewable but has such abundant fuel that it might as well be. No single power source is ever going to meet all our needs on its own, but any discussion that ignores almost all of them is a complete waste of time.

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Wi-Fi hack disables Mitsubishi Outlander's theft alarm – white hats

Cuddles
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The title is too long

"This means that drivers can only communicate with the car from within Wi-Fi range, a huge disadvantage."

The exact opposite actually. There's absolutely no reason you could ever need to fuck around with your car from the other side of the country, while having a short range connection means that no-one else can fuck around with it from there either. In addition, it doesn't matter what distance from your car you might be if you don't have a phone signal, while pretty much the only reason wi-fi could fail is if your batter dies, which would obviously affect GSM just as much.

"Once unlocked, there is potential for many more attacks against the car."

No shit. Having full physical access to a car allows you to do stuff to it. There don't need to be any computers or wi-fi shenanigans involved for that to be the case.

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US nuke arsenal runs on 1970s IBM 'puter waving 8-inch floppies

Cuddles
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Does it work?

If so, what exactly is the problem? People might be desperate to upgrade their phone or whatever every few months, but it's not generally necessary to replace perfectly functional equipment just because it's over some arbitrary age.

Of course, given that we're talking about firing nuclear weapons, some might argue we'd actually be better off if it doesn't work, especially if no-one else knows that it's broken so the deterrent effect is still there.

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Judge torpedoes 'Tor pedo' torpedo evidence

Cuddles
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What's the point in keeping it secret?

Presumably the logic is that if they reveal the exploits used, they won't be able to use it again in the future to find more criminals. But they already know from this case that any evidence gathered using the same method will be useless, so why would that matter? Either they have a known exploit that might be patched in the future, or an unknown exploit that they can never actually use. Are they just hoping that another court will rule differently in the future?

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Marketing by opt-in, opt-out, consent or legitimate interest?

Cuddles
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Complete nonsense

While I agree with the conclusion, the reasoning and "maths" (scare quotes definitely needed) used to get there are laughably wrong here. To start with, the use of "=" is completely wrong. You cannot equate a set with a variable, and you cannot equate an action with the result of that action. What the blog actually meant to use is "if, then" or "->". ie. "If a, then b", or "a -> b" often stated as "a implies b".

This is not just nitpicking terms, it's fundamental to the whole argument. By saying a=b, b=c and therefore b=c you are claiming that all three are the same thing. But b is trivially not the same thing at all, and there's absolutely nothing suggesting c must be the same as either a or b. The correct statements are:

a -> b

c -> b

Note that there is no connection between the two. The article argues that the former is true, but doesn't even attempt to say anything about the latter. It claims that c must be the same as a because it leads to the same outcome, but provides no argument or evidence to actually support that. If b is "I have a book on my desk", a is "I put it there" and c is "A carrier pigeon was released from a small town in Belgium and dropped the book on my desk" then both a -> b and c -> b are true, but clearly a and c are not at all the same.

Basically, the article treats a=b=c as the conclusion reached at the end of the line of reasoning, when in fact it is nothing more than their initial hypothesis. It's just a big mess of circular reasoning that starts by claiming a=b=c and justifies it by repeating the same statement several more times.

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HP Inc-eption: Our new 3D printers print themselves, says CEO

Cuddles
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Manufacturing device able to manufacture things!

In other news, you can use an axe to cut a handle for an axe, and a hammer to shape the head of a hammer. How the is "thing that prints plastic is able to print plastic" supposed to be news?

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Password reuse bot steals creds from weak sites, logs in to banks

Cuddles
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Re: If you use Online Banking you get what you deserve

"I'm just wondering what frigging bank needs only a username and password?!"

Santander and Co-op, to name the two that I know of. Santander actually needs two passwords (a 5 digit PIN and an actual password), but I really hope they don't think that's what two factor authentication means. Co-op needs password and the answer to one of 5 or so "secret" questions. They also both give you a username rather than allowing you to choose one (Santander is a string of numbers, Co-op users your account details). So it's not quite as bad as it sounds since although they both just have username/password combinations with no two factor security, neither should be vulnerable to credentials scraped from other sites.

Edit: Also worth noting that both do use two factor authentication for setting up new transactions, so even if someone manages to get in and see my accounts, the worst they'd be able to do would be give money to someone I've paid before, they wouldn't be able to steal it for themselves.

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Google slaps Siri with Assistant and Amazon with Home device

Cuddles
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Re: 20%

"If it is more than a short drive, pulling over to answer a text or an email must also be a drag."

Why would you need to pull over? If it's urgent, they wouldn't have sent a text or email. If you're doing a long drive you'll be stopping at least every couple of hours or so for a rest or toilet break anyway, so why is it such a big problem to just wait?

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Google asks the public to name the forthcoming Android N operating system

Cuddles
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Fracas?

OK, I've seen the Boaty McBoatface incident described variously as a fracas, row, and various other terms implying there was a big argument and fuss about it, but I'm just not seeing it. The whole conversation went basically:

NERC: We'd like people to think of names for our ship.

People: Boaty McBoatface is a funny name.

NERC: Yeah, we're not calling it that.

People: OK, how about Attenborough?

NERC: Done.

People: Hooray!

No-one ever thought it would actually be called boaty, and no-one complained when it wasn't. They were even sensible enough to make it clear from the start that the poll wasn't in any way binding so there couldn't be grounds for complaint. All that happened was a few people had a bit of fun voting for a silly name and everyone ended up happy with the result at the end (or just didn't care in the first place). It's only now that the media keeps trying to insist there was some big argument about the whole thing, when for once the internet was actually nice and restrained and allowed a little joke to run its course without making a big fuss over it.

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Now Suzuki admits cheating

Cuddles
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"The company joins Mitsubishi and Volkswagen in admitting it did not meet emissions targets"

According to the BBC reports, that's not actually true. Suzuki has admitted that it's tests didn't correctly follow the official guidelines, but has also said that retests which did follow those guidelines still met emissions targets. Not doing the tests properly the first time is obviously a problem, but it's not the same as saying their cars actually failed the proper tests.

It's also worth noting that where all the others have had issues with the cars changing behaviour during testing, Suzuki appears to be saying that it was the testing itself that was the issue, not anything to do with the cars.

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Art heist 'pranksters' sent down for six months

Cuddles
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"without knowing if they had previous criminal records or a history of public nuisance, it seems a little imbalanced to me to bang them up"

Fortunately we don't need to worry about not knowing these things, since the article clearly states that they do, in fact, have previous criminal records, and causing a public nuisance is the only reason for their group to exist.

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Symantec antivirus bug allows utter exploitation of memory

Cuddles
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"about as bad as it can possibly get"

Isn't that Symantec's company motto?

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Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery

Cuddles
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Re: Viewing habits

"I don't think it has changed much...

What you've listed has given people more control over what to watch, not when to watch it."

But the point is that when everyone's watching isn't important, it's when they stop watching and turn the kettle on. Streaming services might not change the time people have available to watch TV, but they do mean that people are free to pause and make a cuppa or go to the toilet at any time they like rather than having the entire country perfectly synchronised by advert breaks. It's the spike that is important here, not the total usage, and the more popular streaming gets the less of a spike there's likely to be.

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Banning computers makes students do better on exams – MIT

Cuddles
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Unsurprising

People with access to games, the internet, and so on will fuck about with distractions rather than paying attention to their work. The results would no doubt be different for a course which actually required computers, but "people provided with distractions can become distracted" is not some stunning new revelation.

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Imation's losses deepen 500%. CEO says things are 'successful'

Cuddles
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Not percentages

"A year ago the net loss was $14.4m, now it’s $91.1m, a 532.6 per cent worsening."

If their net loss had started at $0, it would be infinity percent worsening, and if they had actually made a profit (which they did at one point shown on that chart) it would go right through infinity and come out the other side. Using percentages in this situation really doesn't make a lot of sense; it's fine for revenue but profits can change sign and have discontinuities if you try using them as a ratio.

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Unicorn adopts rainbow as logo

Cuddles
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Re: Well to be honest, it was dealing with photographs

"I guess printing letter heads isn't the biggest issue for an digital company in 2016 either."

Just because your product is digital doesn't mean you don't still have a ton of paperwork going on behind the scenes, especially considering that most "paperless" offices end up using significant more paper than they did before.

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Dwarf planet intumesces before astronomers' gaze

Cuddles
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1920x990

So Haumea is the only one in widescreen?

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Laser-zapping scientists will save the Earth from meteorite destruction

Cuddles
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Re: Momentum

You don't need momentum transfer from an external source. Laser ablation propulsion works by vaporising a small amount of surface material, with the vaporised material going one way and the object going the other. This is one of the most realistic proposals for clearing junk out of orbit, and has been proposed as a way of propelling spacecraft without needing them to actually carry a power source - you just have a lump of metal facing Earth that you can fire a laser at. The important part when it comes to asteroids is knowing what actually happens when you fire a laser at it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_propulsion#Ablative_laser_propulsion

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Cuddles
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"What happened to the plan to spray paint them?"

The main problem with painting asteroids, and with similar schemes involving covering them in foil or similar, is that it requires actually carrying stuff to the asteroid. And by far the biggest problem with space travel in general is that stuff is heavy and expensive to carry anywhere. A ground-based laser, or ever an orbital one, would likely be much cheaper - you can build a pretty decent laser for the hundred million or so it would cost for just a single launch with maybe a few tons of paint. Plus, a laser is reusable, and could be used for things like de-orbiting debris when not shooting asteroids.

The biggest problem is, as usual, likely to be political. Giant space lasers are always going to have people suspicious of them, while a big bucket of paint probably won't.

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Facebook debuts WhatsApp desktop apps as Slack adds SSO

Cuddles
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Back to the '90s!

So now not only can we send messages using our phones, but we can send them from our PCs as well? I still don't understand why WhatsApp exists at all, given that it doesn't do anything that hasn't existed for 20-odd years. Or anything that Facebook didn't already do for that matter.

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'Apple ate my music!' Streaming jukebox wipes 122GB – including muso's original tracks

Cuddles
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Why I never use sync

This isn't a problem with iTunes, it's a problem with using "sync" functions at all. If I copy and paste files from one device to another, I know exactly what has been moved and where it's been moved to, as well as what might have happened to existing files with the same names and any other conflicts that might arise. If I use sync, all I know is that some things that were in one place might now be in another one. But I don't know what has actually been copied (all files, all new files, all files that don't already exist in the new location, etc.), where it actually is, or what might happen in various conflicts and edge cases. Worse, even if documentation is available, the software could be changed and start behaving differently at any time. A sync function could do exactly what you want for years, then suddenly delete all your local files one day because someone has decided that's how it should work instead.

The part I really don't understand is why anyone bothers in the first place. Syncing doesn't add any convenience. If I want to backup my phone, it's quicker and easier to just copy and paste all the files than it is to load up some badly written interface software, wait for it to actually find my phone and figure out what to do with it, and then carry out so unknown sync function that may or may not do what I expect but ultimately just boils down to copying and pasting anyway. If there was added convenience I would understand why it seems to be popular, but it seems people are happy to enjoy the added risk and uncertainty in exchange for also being less convenient. Weird.

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Skygazers: Brace yourselves for a kick in the Aquarids

Cuddles
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"stand outside in the cold looking up at the sky (causing myself massive neck pain in the process)"

The trick to sky gazing is having a decent airbed or deckchair.

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What's Zuck planning with his Facebook bots? Maximum $ilo revenue

Cuddles
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"22 per cent of the world’s population"

Or, more accurately and somewhat ironically given the topic, around 5-10% of the world's population plus a shitload of bots and spammers.

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Windows 10 handcuffs Cortana web search to Bing and Edge browser

Cuddles
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I skimmed it first

"The Cortana search box in the Windows 10 task bar will, from today, always use Bing and Microsoft's Edge browser to find stuff on the web.

"The result is a compromised experience that is less reliable and predictable.""

Sadly, it turns out they weren't being quite that honest and there were some bits in between I missed on the first reading.

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Revealed: The revolving door between Google and the US govt – in pictures

Cuddles
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former Google staff occupy key posts in areas essential to Google’s

People with expertise in an area continue to work in that area. Amazing.

There's absolutely nothing mind-boggling in any way here, since all the information completely lacks context. OK, 22 people who used to work for the White House now work for Google. How many government staff are there in total? How many now work for other companies? What time scale are we looking at anyway? Without some idea of both the scale and how this compares to other companies this is just a meaningless jumble of numbers.

Of course, some of those numbers are easily available. For example, Google has in the region of 50,000 employees. Over the last decade that means they must have had something like 70-100k in total, depending on churn. And we're supposed to worry that just 60 of them now work in government roles? The government being one of the largest employers in the country, with an obvious need for the same skills and knowledge that tech companies need. I wouldn't be in any way surprised or concerned if that number was an order of magnitude higher.

Or what about those 5 ex-Google employees who now work at the state department. That would be the state department with 69,000 employees? And only 5 used to work at Google? And we're supposed to be somehow shocked and worried about this? Oh, sorry, that's not actually 5 ex-Google staff anyway, but 5 people who might have had some association with Google at some point including maybe having worked for a law firm used by Google in some capacity.

And that "associated in some capacity" is even more relevant for the other direction. 171 staff haven't actually left the government to join Google. Since they're including lobbyists, that presumably includes the 81 out of 102 lobbyists hired by Google in 2014 who previously worked for the government. Assuming the trend holds for other years, that means that pretty much the whole category consists of lobbyists and not Google employees at all. And anyone surprised that people with knowledge of government workings are favoured as lobbyists is simply an idiot, since that's the whole bloody point.

This really is one of the most pathetic attempts at smearing I've ever had the misfortune to see. There are plenty of entirely sensible things Google can be criticised for, such as being one of the biggest spenders on lobbying in the US. But having less than 100 people out of tens of thousands of employees and even more "associates" who happen to get some kind of government job after leaving Google? And hiring lobbyists who actually know what they're doing? With no indication of how it compares to any other company? How can anyone possibly think this is any kind of meaningful "revelation"?

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Samsung's little black box will hot-wire your car to the internet. Eek!

Cuddles
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Joke

Re: New ne plus ultra standard?

"government-grade security

What does it need the backdoor for?"

To get in the back seat.

"Whatever you can imagine doing with a smartphone app, you can do with a smart car app,"

My car already makes erratic farting noises.

More seriously, almost all the things I can imagine doing with a smartphone app are things you should absolutely not be doing while driving, or with a car at all.

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Smartphone growth? Not in Q1, says IDC

Cuddles
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Re: Phones are good enough

Exactly. It seems some in the tech and investment sectors just don't understand the concept of a mature technology or market. For a while, there was a real different between last year's phone and this year's. Now, there's no meaningful difference at all. Just as most people don't replace their TV and car every year, there's no reason for them to replace their phone either. There's nothing at all surprising or worrying about any of this. The mobile market had huge growth because people who didn't have phones were buying them, and for a while people who had them were improving them. Now, everyone who wants one has one, and most people who have one don't need a new one. Everyone who isn't a complete idiot knew this would happen, and anyone who counted on market growth remaining at the same high levels for much longer is, in fact, a complete idiot.

I doubt there will be anything that really moves the market though. Things like batteries and wearables have potential to generate short-term spikes in sales when early adopters upgrade to be able to use the latest thing, but that won't really change anything. Most people will just wait until they were going to upgrade anyway - how many people rushed out to buy a 4K TV, for example? The next big thing isn't likely to move the mobile market at all, it will simply create a new market just as mobiles themselves did.

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China's Dalek-like robots fear only one terrifying nemesis: Stairs

Cuddles
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"Do you know how to go down staircases?"

To be fair, going down stairs is really not difficult at all. The trick is remaining upright at the bottom.

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What a difference a year makes: ICO tele-spam fines break £2m barrier

Cuddles
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"Unless my arithmetic fails me, less than 1p per call. Doesn't sound like much of a deterrent."

The value of the fine per call is irrelevant, what makes a fine effective is how big it is compared to how much money a company makes. Cold calling is not exactly a lucrative, high-margin business. Reports aren't entirely consistent about exactly how much Prodial made (hardly surprising since tax dodging was also an important part of their business model), but some of the numbers are given are around £70,000 per month for 4 months (so £280k total), or 40.2 million calls, with a 0.5% return rate and selling for between 50p-£1 each (so no more than £200k total).

As others have mentioned actually collecting the fine may be something of a problem, but the size doesn't seem to be an issue given that it's significantly more than the criminals likely made from the scheme in the first place.

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Hackers so far ahead of defenders it's not even a game

Cuddles
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PEBCAK

Unsurprisingly, the conclusion from all this is that worrying about technology, arms races, and so on is completely pointless because by far the biggest problem remains the fact that people are stupid. It's all very well saying that hackers are ahead of defenders, but as long as people are desperate to throw all their credentials and personal information at anyone and everyone who asks for them, there's not really a lot said defenders can do.

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Trouble at t'spinning rust mill: Disk drive production is about to head south

Cuddles
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Re: I'm puzzled

"How can they [stream] with such tight data allowances?"

Obviously most people's data allowances aren't all that tight. BT only have limited data allowances on their absolute cheapest packages - anything over £10/month is unlimited - while Virgin don't appear to offer anything other than unlimited. Phones tend to be tighter, but then streaming is likely to be done over wi-fi anyway. Apparently things are a lot worse in the US, but on this side of the pond data allowances just aren't generally a big problem.

"Furthermore, can they really trust the cloud to always be there?"

They can and do. Whether they should is an entirely different question, and one the vast majority of the general public will never even consider.

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Utah declares 'war on smut'

Cuddles
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Fight the New Drug

As if we needed any reminder just how out of touch with reality these people are, the oldest profession (porn is essentially just prostitution by proxy) is somehow being portrayed as something new and scary.

Or to put it in more factual terms, the earliest known piece of human figurine art is the Venus of Hohle Fels, described by its discover as "This [figure] is about sex, reproduction... [it is] an extremely powerful depiction of the essence of being female". This is not at all unusual for Paleolithic art. 50,000 years doesn't really seem to count as a new phenomenon worth getting in a panic about. We've been making pictures of boobs and dicks for pretty much as long as we've been making pictures, and that should say all that is needed about how successful attempts to ban them are likely to be.

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I bless the reins down on .africa ... Dot-word injunction hits ICANN

Cuddles
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"Unfortunately in this instance ICANN's decision DOES make sense."

The thing is, whether their conclusion might have been the correct one is a different question from whether they used the correct process to reach that conclusion. If DCA is not the best organisation to get the tld, ICANN shouldn't need to lie, cheat and break their own rules in order to decide that. The actual outcome of this specific bid is really only interesting to a tiny number of people, but such serious and blatant dishonesty at the heart of internet governance is a big concern for anyone who uses the internet.

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Hey, Atlantis Computing. What the heck is this in your EULA?

Cuddles
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Re: Isn't that basically already banned ?

"I thought that abusive contractual clauses were always struck down by a judge."

The trouble is that having something struck down by a judge requires actually taking it to a judge. Not many people, or businesses, want to waste their time and money being sued in order to do so. Given the cost of even such obvious open-and-shut cases, many wouldn't be able to do so even if they wanted to. Companies can get away with abusive EULAs like this because for the vast majority of people it's simply not worth the hassle of fighting.

Of course, that's probably what they're relying on in the first place. Even if they have no intention of ever suing anyone, as long as a few people are discouraged from giving negative reviews it was worth the ink to print it. Occasionally the Streisand effect might kick in and cause more harm overall, but how many potential customers will actually hear of this case, let alone the thousands of others that no doubt exist?

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Airbus boarded by 12 nation-state, crimeware 'breaches' every year

Cuddles
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Harmful UAVs

Isn't that the whole point?

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London to Dover 'smart' road could help make driverless cars mainstream – expert

Cuddles
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Re: better start

"Plus given the number of times this road has been converted into a parking lot for the port, you could question whether it really is a public road or a private car park masquerading as a road."

Which raises an interesting question - how smart does a road need to be before it can decide to go on strike?

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There's oil in that thar … Chinese space probe?

Cuddles
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Coat

Odd location choice

"That location makes the mission doubly important, as it is the spot China has chosen for its planned manned Lunar missions to land."

Shouldn't manned Moon missions land, you know, on the Moon?

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Mobe and Wi-Fi firms flog your location data to commercial firms, claim reports

Cuddles
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Re: Blood suckers

"They are all blood suckers......Facebook, Twitter, enter a random app name, etc.

Why the surprise about the mobile and wifi networks?"

Because "random app names" generally make their money from advertising, so it's hardly surprising that they would be interested in this sort of data. Mobile phone providers, on the other hand, are supposed to make their money from selling you a mobile phone service, and have absolutely no reason to be gathering and selling data not directly related to that. Surprise is probably not the right word, since you have to be rather naive not to expect this kind of shit these days, but it's understandable that people would be somewhat miffed to find out that a paid service provider is abusing their position to make a bit of cash on the side, while not being quite so miffed that a free service provided by an advertising company makes its money from advertising.

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Twitter spends $10m on rights to cover Thursday-night NFL games

Cuddles
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Re: Can I hope we've reached "Peak protocol"?

"I think the business model is: people like gossip, let's make gossiping easy and then start charging for it."

While I think you're probably right that this is what their business model, this is exactly the problem; Twitter is completely useless for gossiping. Twitter is fundamentally a one-to-many communication service. It works great for large organisations to make announcements to people who have signed up to see what they say, and similarly things like disaster warning services and the like, but it's an unstructured mess as soon as anyone tries to have an actual conversation with more than one person involved. For gossip and general chatter, people want to be able to have a group all talk together while probably restricting it to members of that group; but Twitter makes both aspects effectively impossible.

As for people moving over to messaging apps, they never left them in the first place. Usenet and mailing lists have been around pretty much since the internet existed, forums and the like for nearly as long, instant messengers like MSN and ICQ have been around since the '90s, and Facebook pretty much took over from there. Now things have moved towards phones, but nothing fundamental has changed, they're all just some kind of program to allow groups of people to talk together. Lots of people signed up to Twitter, but it never became the big thing everyone was using to talk because it never made it possible for them to do so. People haven't moved from Twitter to messaging apps, they've moved from one set of messaging apps to another set while largely ignoring Twitter because it didn't do what they wanted.

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Eat your greens, FCC tells ISPs with new broadband "nutrition label"

Cuddles
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"Hidden fees have no place to hide."

"Varies by location"

"Individual experience may vary"

"Click here for other pricing options including promotions..."

Don't worry, there are still plenty of hiding places.

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Bloaty banking app? There's a good chance it was written in Britain

Cuddles
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Re: A few notes ....

"Tried and tested for one. I'd rather go into space on a 50+ year old Soviet rocket, than the latest gee-whizz from anyone."

This is a common sentiment, but somewhat misguided. Said 50+ year old Soviet rockets actually have rather high failure rates - over 10% for both Proton and Soyuz types. More recent, non-Soviet rockets are almost all better; Ariane 5 around 5%, Delta-medium and Vega have never had any failures (Delta-heavy had one, putting the whole Delta IV family still only at 3%). Even Falcon 9 with a couple of high profile failures is still better than the Soviets at 9%. Tried and tested often simply means "tried and found to be just about good enough most of the time".

Software is no different. Old doesn't mean it must be bad, but it doesn't mean it's been well tested and established as more reliable than new either.

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