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* Posts by Grikath

581 posts • joined 9 Feb 2012

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Your Bitcoins aren't money – but it is barter, so we'll tax it, ta ... says Australia's taxman

Grikath
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Re: great news for the exchanges that got knocked off

"A proper exchange will most likely know where its virtcoins are, and who they belong to."

Nope.... They will know exactly which coins are in which wallets. Who those wallets belong to not so much, especially in the cases where peeps set things up to work the Dark Side™...

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Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group

Grikath
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Yup, reads a bit like Twurp's Peerage... Nearly all the Who's who is there in that list.

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Grikath
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Holmes

Re: ...that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

"I bet we could find someone who denies the climate exists."

Not that hard, since the concept of "climate" as most people understand it is a Lie To Children, and as such does , indeed, not exist.

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Grikath
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Re: Explosives factory

It Has To Be Done!

Also. Doesn't this particular example of officious buffoonery have a superior who may be a little more inclined to recognise that it's not really good PR to snub a project of a rather well-known if not (in)famous online IT news outlet?

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Grikath
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Holland: 50% water, rest is either 'leccy tower, highway, dense urban jungle, all sided, fronted, and accompanied by trees. Plus it's rather densely populated in the skies, and the Officials *really* don't like anything to do with potential explosives. LOHAN's combined package would not get permission to lift off, and one test package has already met a probably watery end in one of North Hollands' semipermanently flooded meadows or the IJsselmeer.

Oh, and the weather over here is ..welll... good luck picking a launch window...

Germany: too. many. damned. trees. Often in places with a distinct lack of roads, or near-vertical geography. Or if you're unlucky, and the jetstream has a "good day", you'll be picking up the plane far into eastern Europe..

France: "Ze english, zey vant to do vat?!!!!!" Also trees, vinyards, and the not-so-slight chance of LOHAN ending up somewhere in the Pyrenees or the Alps (trees optional)

As much as I would have loved a Euro lanch, New Mexico is in a pure technical sense a better option.

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Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls

Grikath
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Facepalm

Re: 2 billion US dollars?

He needed a good excuse to bow out gracefully after borking just about everything under his rule...

He set the course for the cliffs, now he can watch from the sideline and play backseat driver as Nadella tries to veer away from disaster. Fun, innit?

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CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap

Grikath
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Re: Hardness of aluminium

Of course they are, given that pure aluminium is too soft and plyable to be used outright in anything structural.

Exactly *which* alloy they used is a lot harder to find though.

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Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

Grikath
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Re: Josef Schmid's personal opinion

well yes.. it's at least partly political..

Then again, the issues raised in the article are valid, and all too common when working with open source in a microsoft-dominated habitat. The biggest problem is the insular nature of the implementation, as pointed out in the article, which is neither efficient nor wise when you're part of a larger government structure. And even if other government bodies would have made the switch, the Public still has not, and will not switch to open source on a scale sufficient to alleviate the problems encountered.

They're running into the "problem" that for all practical purposes Microsoft simply still has a virtual monopoly in the OS/Office space, and that there are no useable "turnkey" solutions on the scale they need in the open source sector that compensates for the rather well-known issues between WinOffice and open source.

And forking/developing is simply too impractical, too expensive, and too risky for the situation we have here.

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Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?

Grikath
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Trollface

Re: I pay my council tax, so answer the damn question already!

Given the scarcity of british virgins nowadays.... not as often as it used to..

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Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA

Grikath
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Re: For one , I got to agree with Rupert

"However, the NSA is completely unavoidable unless you don't use a computer, Telephone, Fax machine, Mobile phone, or any device capable of remote communication."

By which time they would be very interested in you , since you must have something to hide if you....etc...

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Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?

Grikath
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Re: But this has four!! @ irongut

I think you'll find that for a work computer the art is in throttling the capabilities of the OS ( and the software allowed to run on it) to the minimum necessary to make User [x] perform his/her job.

So yes, a work computer is more or less like a single function tool, if you do it right. You do not want users to get...creative..

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Grikath
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Re: Clouds don't last forever

"Then we are basically back to the 1970's/80's environment that looks a lot like the good old mainframe with dumb terminals."

ssstt..... You're not supposed to remind people that the whole Cloud setup is a fancy version of the old server-side model.. It's New! It's Exciting!!!! It's for people with Smarts!!!

ummm [/sarc]

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Bath boffins put BUGS on chips – on purpose

Grikath
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Re: Neat.

I am aware of the possibilities, and worked with the first-gen versions of the technique some 20 years ago. It's very nice, but hardly "cheap".

There is, of course, the teensiest caveat regarding using heavily modified bacteria outside of a laboratory as well. the Hippies** et.al would probably have an objection or two...

** insert the usual El Reg Hippie disclaimer here.

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Grikath
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Re: Neat.

Neat, but the spectrum is the thing to look at.

Something that's bad for those bacteria may be completely harmless to us, and vice versa. It's also not telling you which pollutant is in the water, just that there's something there that may possibly be bad for you.

It's nice for quick 'n dirty work, but you've got reagent kits that are just as efficient, and tell you more about what's going on..

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Apple BANS 2 chemicals from iPhone, iPad final assembly line

Grikath
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question is...

What were the actual concentrations found?

From the article it seems to me that most of the stuff they found is trace leftover degreaser, possibly due to production pressure and insufficient airing times.

This would be measureable, but hardly noticeable, especially with n-hexane, which gets you stoned when you hit the (EU) legal limit of 25 ppm (prolongued-exposure toxicity (associated with the nervous disorders) for n-hexane is lowest-value 500 ppm, 20 times over that limit..) I can't imagine those facories working with peeps working in fumes thick enough to have a measureable physical effect. There'd be a recall or two each week if you let your cheap labour get stoned on the job, and such...

Benzene itself is not as nasty as people will have it, actually. The problem is mostly with its metabolites in the human body ( which also occur naturally) which are rather nasty. Flooding your system with that stuff through benzene inhalation is definitely a bad idea, although you really still need to inhale quite a bit of the stuff to have serious effects. The MAC value for benzene is very low (<1 ppm), but you hit that value with a bit of splash of gasoline, or for that matter a nice walk in a pinewood.

Both substances can be nasty long-term if misused/applied, but other than the bruhaha about "Dangerous Suffz" from environmentalists they rate pretty low on the scale of "Stuff you don't want to be around in/with". Especially as far as benzene is concerned there's even chance the air in the factory is cleaner than outside, given the rather notorious smog problem.

I'm not one to jump to the defense of megacorps/factories, but this one comes across as a kneejerk reaction, without properly investigating the cause.

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IBM boffins stuff 16 million-neuron chips into binary 'frog' brain

Grikath
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"16 million neurons is roughly the scale of a frog brain," Prof Furber quipped. "So, the IBM board may be able to catch a fly for its dinner."

If they manage to get it *that* coordinated they'd be in for a Nobel prize...

That being said..... I want to play with one...

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Now even Internet Explorer will throw lousy old Java into the abyss

Grikath
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Re: Microsoft FAIL

Eadon , is that you? :P

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Grikath
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Re: smug

and the track record of the other browsers is ....what again? There is no such thing as a secure, bug-free browser, and as soon as browser [x] becomes popular it becomes a target for exploitation.

Many, many of the security-minded crowd tend to forget that security through obscurity has worked wonders for them over the years. Small user fractions are simply not interesting targets.

Linux and the alternative browsers used to have such a tiny market percentage that the black hats simply did not bother at all with them, thus raising a false sense of security, and quite a bit of hobnobbery about it. With the rise of popularity of the linux platform and the "alternative" browsers those systems suddenly did become attractive for exploitation, and bugs and vulnerabilities did prove to exist in said software. Just like in Windows/IE.

Which is when much sniggering ensued about the gnashing of teeth of those who had to eat their own rantings over the past decades.

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

Grikath
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Facepalm

tech skills?

Pushing buttons maybe. But hand them a screwdriver, and see the panic enter their eyes.

Hell, being 45 years old I remember the time where a healthy lad of 6 with a screwdriver would have been a terror, because you'd never know what would have been disassembled this time around. Nowadays? pffffttt.

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CIA infosec guru: US govt must buy all zero-days and set them free

Grikath
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Re: US govt must buy all zero-days and set them free

I was wondering why this rather critical flaw in the logic wasn't commented on immediately....

You cannot trust any government with a scheme like this, let alone one that has proven to have a rather cavalier attitude when it comes to civilians' rights. Within a week the first accusations of [government body x] not releasing all acquired data, or retaining data for [nefarious purpose x] will fly. Nationally and internationally.

And no way to really prove the opposite even if the agency involved was squeeky clean and holier than st. Peter.

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SCORE: Rosetta probe hits orbit of duck-shaped comet

Grikath
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Pint

what can you say...

just impressive..

The peeps who got Rosetta this far deserve a couple of cold ones.

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Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?

Grikath
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Re: Little Englander syndrome

"The reality, we are actually a very large and rather well populated island, with a very large economy, a significant armed force, a rich and varied demographic, good educational standards, a highly trained workforce and a willingness to embrace change and new ideas."

the reality:

large and well populated... You mean greater london and it's satellites?

a very large economy ... which is why there's tons of british working in mainland europe, because there's f*ckall to be had at home.

a significant armed force .... funny you felt the need to include that...

a rich and varied demographic .... which is rampant with racism and discrimination, despite the blanket of political correctness.

good educational standards ... could have fooled me there.

a highly trained workforce.... of which the fraction that actually can and will do anything productive tends to look for work on mainland europe. What's left is B-Ark material..

a willingness to embrace change and new ideas... If there's one country famous for it's hidebound conservatism it's the bloody UK....

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Ethicists say Facebook's experiments not SO creepy

Grikath
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it's not an experiment...

If ith hathn'th got a lighthning rod sthrappeth tho ith!

That being said ethics** ( the biology Boffin variety) , and Ethics ( the trick-cyclists variety) are two different beasts, and the confusion of the two regularly gives rise to this kind of fun.

** The one where option "whack-you-over-the head-if-you displease-me" is a valid, and general purpose option. This is why biologists tend to just Grin at trick cyclists. They can defend the Ook! option, and usually are able to get away with it.

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Senate introduces USA FREEDOM Act to curb NSA spying excesses

Grikath
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So....

They're implementing the lightning rod.

And that would change things how? As pointed out above, within even non-black ops there's 50 shades of data sharing going on already, all "legal". This thing does not change until the curb and bit are applied internationally. Until then? Business as usual.

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Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins

Grikath
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Re: Genuine question

Well.. The KT border tells us there must have been something that is rich in stuff the earth has not in sufficient quantities to show up all over the globe that "arrived" at that time. Currently nothing else but "a bloody big rock hitting the earth at interplanetary speed" fits that bill. It also helps they've located the impact site nowadays.

Outside of the obvious effects at ground zero and its direct surroundings (total annihilation of just about everything), the shockwave that propagated through the globe would almost certainly have triggered every fault and subcritical volcano then extant, adding some local spice to the mix. Note that the volcano would have to have been suvcritical to begin with. The ones with empty magma chambers would at most have collapsed. New volcanoes... well shaking the globe up like that would have most likely opened up a crack or two.

The problem with the supervolcanoes is about the same as with "ordinary" volcanoes: would they have been subcritical at the time? The Siberia traps, being at the opposite end of the globe at the time, belong to a much earlier event, and would have been "dead" up until the impact. Would the converging schockwave have cracked open the surface there, forcing eruptions? Most likely. Would it have blown up supervolcano style? Not very likely.. The engine there was already running idle.

The Deccan traps are from that era, and its existence may well be tied to the impact itself. The problem with trap-like features is that in and of themselves they are not strong enough to force a global mass extinction. The changes they're forcing are too gradual, so that taxa (not species...) have time to adapt to the changing environment. They are very unlikely to cause a shift in the dominant taxa, certainly not in the relatively short period of the KT extinction. The Deccan would, however, have added insult to injury, certainly locally.

Yellowstone, if the plume that feeds it was already present, and in more or less the same absolute place, would have been well under water, between the two parts of what now is the north american continent. Currently that spot would be somewhere scrunched up in the Rockies... Good luck hunting for it... ;)

Besides... the dinosaurs *did* survive... look a healthy old-fashioned rooster in the eye.. imagine it to be man-sized... and remember that chickens are omnivorous... The old "reptilian megafauna" may have gone the way of the mammoth, that doesn't mean their cousins aren't still around..

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New Star Wars movie plot details leak, violate common sense and laws of physics

Grikath
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Re: Perhaps someone could buy the hand in a fleamarket

Now the clone-and-subvert angle would have the possibility of making an interesting storyline. Which is why it would never happen.

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Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT

Grikath
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Re: Confused on the motivation...

No. It is about being independent of NASA's facilities, and not having to wrangle around for launch slots. Besides that, he needs his own site, as NASA will most definitely throw a fit if he tries to land his rockets at their facilities...

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Grikath
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Happy

Re: I would not be so sure

Given Musk's known streak of geeky humor?...... Soon™... ;)

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Programming languages in economics: Cool research, bro, but what about, er, economics?

Grikath
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Devil

Re: Oh dear...

reality proof? economics? Bwahahahahahaaaa!..

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MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws

Grikath
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unsurprised, but ...really?

people simply bend over and take this in britain?

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Boffins urge European Commission to reboot electric brain project

Grikath
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Re: Where's the cheese?

Not that much later as you'd think.... There's very little difference between a mouse brain and a human brain. The differences are mostly a matter of size/capacity of specific areas.

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Islamic terror peril hits US giants' phone wallets

Grikath
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Holmes

Re: ISIS's name confuses me anyway

because the poor old lady is defenseless, and a couple of wiccans waving natural incense around doesn't purify enough to stop bullets and shells.

Never forget that Religion has always been best promoted with Ponty Bits.

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Wannabe Startup CEOs Hate This Guy: Potato Salad man and the $60k

Grikath
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Re: Will he really make a huge profit though?

ah.... but the point of the whole exercise is that it's an investment... No actual guarantees.

The art at the base of Kickstarter ( and like setups) is to find the few gold nuggets in the field. You simply don't have to have oodles of cash lying around to participate in the same amount of risk.

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It's alive! Space hackers fire up zombie Sun probe's engines

Grikath
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Pint

just... awsum :)

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LIFE on Titan: If there's one thing aliens HATE, it's a SALTY BALL

Grikath
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ummmm...

Could be me, but there's a slew of present-day procaryotes that would quite happily live and thrive under Titan's icy surface, under the conditions described.

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Physicist proposes 1,000-foot state-sized walls to stop tornadoes

Grikath
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Re: According to other boffins, won't work, other effects.

Well for one, you would get a rather serious change in local precipitation since , if effective, the walls will prevent the mixing of the air masses altogether with rather profound results. And very likely: very profound results that will disrupt and damage the local environment more than the tornadoes cruising through at the moment.

I'd love to see a precipitation model based on blockage like that. I bet a beer there will be some more dustbowls in sight soon.

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Google's Oculus-defying VR headset is made of CARDBOARD – no joke

Grikath
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It lacks..

Duct tape.

It simply isn't a proper hack if it doesn't use copious amounts of duct tape.

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You are ALL Americans now: Europeans offered same rights as US folks in data slurp leaks

Grikath
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uh-huh....

I would like to suggest to mr. Holder that he takes his proposition , folds it until it's all corners, and shoves it where the Sun don't Shine.

"Holder said the Obama administration would put forth legislation to offer EU citizens the same data protection rights and access to the courts under law as US citizens, …"

We've seen what those rights entail nowadays. Thankyouverymuch.

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Shine on you crazy diamond: Distant dwarf may hide space jewel

Grikath
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Re: Dense diamond

unless you have invented some new kind of physics, and found new ways to stack carbon atoms without collapsing the nucleus, you'll find that the diamond inside that star will have just about the same density as here on earth.

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TIME TRAVEL TEST finds black holes needed to make photons flit

Grikath
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Re: Overly complicated

They better be nice... Given that they are obviously able to survive being near the event horizon of a black hole, and all that entails...

I for one welcome...etc..

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EFF wants you to open your Wi-Fi to IMPROVE privacy

Grikath
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Re: Been doing it for years - only three baddies @ big_D

While your comment on german law and liability is technically true, a bit of digging shows it doesn't work that way. In fact up to the highest federal level the opinion seems to be that public WLANs, unless specifically set up to perform illegal acts, are nothing but a connectivity portal service, and that as such the operator cannot be held responsible for actions of a third party.

From what I read it's a matter of the law not having caught up with technical reality, and the issue being well known in the legal circuit. The good and the bad, since plastering cease-and-desist notices seems to be a bit of a lucrative hobby with some law firms.

But while a connectivity scheme like this would technically put some people at risk, practice is that the proposed setup ( essentially one box providing two services, one public, the other private) would not get you into trouble if used as intended.

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Engineering fault stops SpaceX launch of machine comms satellite network

Grikath
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Re: Sensors

Still... Would you take the risk?

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9 Dark Social Truths That Will Totally Blow Your Bowels!

Grikath
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Re: WTF? "Sun level" @ AC

Stop encouraging them....:p

oh wait... ;)

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Apple files patent for camera lens controlled by 'artificial muscle'

Grikath
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@ fluffy bunny

That's it, isn't it? Both the iris and the focussing have been done in the lab, and as far as my fuzzy memory serves, the methods for the polymers and at least the iris have been patented. The lens focussing is debatable since it's just about the first thing anyone with anatomical knowledge will think of when being able to play with artificial muscle. It's a squid eye, makes for a neat demonstration to backers. To my taste this falls within the Obvious category, the USPTO's....well...

Scaling up to mass production would be tricky and worthy of a patent, but I don't see any methods regarding that included. Just the usual "we'll get there when we figure it out" fluff.

Their track record may have made me suspicious, but to me this still looks like your average Apple patent trying to cover a beermat idea on Lawyerese and hot air.

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US Supremes UPHOLD troll-busting Alice v CLS Bank decision

Grikath
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Pirate

This could be fun...

"Simply appending conventional steps, specified at a high level of generality, to a method already 'well known in the art' is not 'enough' to supply the 'inventive concept' needed to make this transformation," the court said in its opinion.

"The introduction of a computer into the claims does not alter the analysis."

Exchange "computer" with "mobile device"..... When is someone going to have Fun with Apple's sheaf of patents?

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Luxembourg patent troll suing world+dog

Grikath
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Re: How the hell

"Did any of these things get patented?"

Simples... Apple has almost made a career out of it: $[text] + "on a mobile device". Rinse, repeat. The USPTO will stamp it. Lawyers will cackle with glee and plan their next expansion to their mansion.

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Grikath
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Re: Perfect Opportunity

You disappoint me Don Jefe.. You're proposing to bomb a poor old grandma whose only "crime" is to maintain a mail address and forward anything sent to that mailbox to a given address, thus adding to her pension and giving her some cash to buy her grandchildren some goodies. It's one of Luxembourg's main national industries, the country is too small to do much of anything else.

A person of your stature should at least be able to trace the maze of interconnected shell companies behind the official entity, and deploy the Wrath of God™ swiftly and decisively on the real spider in the web.

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Canada to Google: You can't have your borderless cake and eat it too

Grikath
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

yup.. The judge pointed out that Google ( and not just Google) is quite capable of not returning results on [X] when the originating request falls within the legal borders of [Y], leaving the rest of the world alone.

I have the suspicion this is exactly what Google must do on a regular basis to filter stuff where things like differing Legal Age and other such considerations come into play anyway to avoid ...Unpleasantness.

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Want a cheap iMac? TOO BAD. But you can have a slow one for $1,099

Grikath
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Facepalm

Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

"Not a model I'd recommend for Photoshop but fine for typical home use of email, browsing, writing letters etc."

You do realise you can do that ( and even "photoshop".... Since when do you need an i5 and übergraphics to touch up your pics?) on the low end Intel machines, using only the on-chip graphics provided? And then some...

If a "budget" Mac makes you drop enough cash to buy any one of the middle of the road gaming rigs outright, for no other purpose than "Average Joe Activities" , you have to wonder about the sanity of the buyer.

Oh wait....Fanbois...

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Today's get-rich-quick scheme: Build your own bank

Grikath
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charging customers..

And "normal" banks don't do so? Over here in the Lowlands, private accounts pay a small amount quarterly for the bank to Process Your Stuff and supply you with a bank card. Commercial accounts pay a handling fee on top of each transaction. Pretty minute individually, racking up quite a bit with a couple of million accounts...

Any profit from that income could easily be the base for the Other Types of Banking while still not touching/endangering your customers' money, at all..

Starting it all up is a biatch though.

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