* Posts by Suricou Raven

1219 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

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Utah sheriffs blow $10,000 on smut-sniffing Labrador

Suricou Raven
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Re: What law?

Title 76 - Criminal Code, Chaper 10 - Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, Welfare and Morals, Part 12.

The production or distribution of pornography in any form, even just nudity, is a criminal offense in Utah.

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Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

Suricou Raven
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Re: So why is Brexit the answer?

"The problem with fishing is nothing to do with the EU and everything to do with fishermen refusing to stop fishing until they have emptied the seas."

Yes, but their refusal is understandable. Fishing is more than a job, it's a way of life. Those stubborn fishermen learned the trade from their fathers, who learned it from their fathers, who learned it from their fathers. Whole towns have been supported by fishing and the associated support industries. It's not that they refuse to stop fishing: It's that they can't stop, not without giving up their local identity.

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

Suricou Raven
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It did mention porn.

"Now kiddies, you punch this one for what you want. I'm gonna take the old one away before it breaks down?"

And I glance at the screen. The kiddies have apparently said they wanna look at some real cannibals. So the screen is presenting a anthropological expedition scientific record film of the fertility dance of the HubaJouba tribe of West Africa. It is supposed to be restricted to anthropological professors and post-graduate medical students. But there ain't any censor blocks working any movie and it's on. The kids are much interested. Me, bein' a old married man, I blush.

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Jacob Appelbaum quits Tor Project amid 'sex misconduct' accusations

Suricou Raven
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Re: Takeover of TOR

One thing the various leaks have now shown is that sometimes those conspiracy theories can be right.

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On her microphone's secret service: How spies, anyone can grab crypto keys from the air

Suricou Raven
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Re: How can that possibly work?

Phones use DC-DC converters too. The battery voltage varies too much to drive anything directly, and a lot of the components run at very low voltage for power efficiency.

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BBC's micro:bit retail shipments near

Suricou Raven
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It's rubbish

Minimal libraries available as of yet. Just enough functionality to not be useful without accessories. They'd have done better just making arduinos with extra LEDs and buttons.

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Work begins on Russian rival to Android

Suricou Raven
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Re: I'm surprised there aren't more of these.

It's the nuclear weapon of electronic warfare: It only needs to work once.

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Suricou Raven
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I'm surprised there aren't more of these.

Operating systems should be of major strategic concern. If a real war broke out - I mean proper war, not these middle-easten proxy-wars - it would be easy for, say, the US government to order MS or Google to publish a 'wipe drive and zero the firmware' update and send it via the auto-update mechanism to all hosts in a specified country, thus instantly causing billions in economic damage and crippling infrastructure, communications and ability to coordinate militarily. Or just use the trusted updates as a vector for targeted spyware.

As the world of operating systems is dominated by three companies, all of them based in the US, every country that may conceivably face war with the US at any point in the next fifty years should be working on a way to neutralise that threat by developing their own operating system. Yes, it's a slim possibility - but so is nuclear war, and countries still invest heavily in missile defence.

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iPhone 'Error 53' plaintiffs say Apple not giving reimbursements

Suricou Raven
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Re: Suing?

It wasn't a bug. It was sabotage. Apple issued a patch which has the purpose of disabling a phone if repaired by anyone other than Apple. It was a deliberate decision to prevent third-party iPhone repairs.

Apple claims that disabling phones with compromised fingerprint sensors is a security measure - but then why not just disable the fingerprint detection functionality? The fingerprint sensor is part of the screen, the most often-replaced component due to drop damage.

There's a difference between the unavoidable bugs that come with any non-trivial programming project and a deliberate decision to issue a patch that disables a product for business reasons.

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Your next server will be a box full of connected stuff, not a server

Suricou Raven
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Re: Am I the only one

Might be an idea for cloudy hosts running huge datacenters. You could cram the racks closer together if you didn't need to fit humans in between them to replace faulty hardware. A 50% increase in servers/m2 might justify the cost of a robot capable of pulling a failed server out and carrying it up to the service bay. Then all you need is a human engineer to come in every week to turn the pile of broken servers into a pile of working servers and put them back in the 'spares' rack for the robot to pick up again.

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Is uBeam the new Theranos?

Suricou Raven
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Re: Air is elastic

If the wind stopped, the air would pile up at the turbine. You need to bring air out at the same rate it goes in mass-wise, but at lower speed, which means higher density. So part of the incoming kinetic energy has to go into compressing the air, which imposes a theoretical maximum efficiency. The Betz limit, or about 60%. Practical turbines tend to be around 50% at most, because achieving that last few percent is disproportionately expensive.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Worlds best tranducer, Worlds best microphone

"Inverse square law applies to all point sources, whether omni or directional, in a linear transmission medium."

My laser pointer disagrees. There is no such thing as a point source - it's just a mathematical idealisation. You can point a beam of ultrasound just like you can point a laser. That's the basis for their claim. Like all the best bad science, it has just a grain of truth in it.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Serbia Strong!

The story is of a mechanical oscillator clamped to the building, not sound transmitted through air, and unintentionally. It's not a reliable source - it comes from a journalist prone to exaggeration who claims he heard it from Tesla himself.

I imagine that the experiment may have happened, but the scale was exaggerated in the retelling - he probably just hit the resonant frequency of the building and made it shake hard enough to scare the residents. The story from Tesla claimed he was working on an oscillating steam-driven generator, which is certainly plausible - he did design something like that.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Worlds best tranducer, Worlds best microphone

The inverse square law only applies to omnidirectional sources. Their website talks about forming directed beams.

It's still a stupid idea though. At the frequencies they are talking about (60+KHz), sound decays very rapidly - bats run up to a bit over 100KHz for some species, but most call lower, exchanging precision of imagery for range. The beam-forming technology needed is doable but crazy-expensive, and the receivers would need to send a homing pulse so the transmitter could know where to point. And the losses would be highly impractical.

But inverse square law is one of the few things that doesn't kill the possibility.

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Photoplethysmography up

Suricou Raven
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Re: Why?

This sensor is also not going to do you a lot of good on carbon monoxide: It binds to the blood in just the same way as oxygen does. An optical sensor would have a very hard time telling them apart.

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Suricou Raven
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Why?

I already have an internal sensor for blood carbon dioxide level, and can get a pulse rate just by touching the side of my neck.

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Super-slow RAID rebuilds: Gone in a flash?

Suricou Raven
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They probably wanted to include a super-fast storage device to test the limitations of the software when not held back by storage bandwidth or access time.

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Suricou Raven
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What about post-RAID?

It's getting harder to manage RAID these days.

That's why next-generation filesystems like ZFS and btrfs were invented.

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Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?

Suricou Raven
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Re: ick, ethicists

"Deliberately with-holding medical care so that someone dies is murder."

In many US states, it's legal to withhold medical care from your children if you do so for religious reasons.

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China's new rules may break the internet warns US government

Suricou Raven
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Fight them with technology.

The only way to prevent censorship of the internet is to build it using technology that resists censorship efforts.

Even simple SSL is a powerful tool: MITM isn't practical on a country-wide scale, so it prevents governments from selectively blocking individual pages or inspecting content - all they can do is block an entire host, which creates much more upset from the population. It also makes monitoring communication to identify subversives much more difficult.

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Bots half all web traffic

Suricou Raven
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Re: Um, so? And?

Been there. I made a database with a web interface - I didn't bother to bot-proof it as only I had the address and never published it. All was well until I upgraded apache. Somewhere in the process my 'Options -Indexes' on the folder above was lost, exposing the database frontend address to the bots. I got hit by two of them, which between them managed to really mess up the data. I eventually had to get the logs and write a script to identify every URL accessed and undo the operation therein.

Then I put some http basic auth on it. Enough to keep the bots out.

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Suricou Raven
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Solved it.

1. (optional) Exclude /bait/ using robots.txt if you only want to block the dishonest ones.

2. Create a link on your index to /bait/banme.cgi, but give it the appropriate css to be entirely hidden from view. Now only bots can see it.

3. Create a /bait/banme.cgi that adds an iptables rule to drop anything from the originating IP.

Well, that was easy.

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Chip company FTDI accused of bricking counterfeits again

Suricou Raven
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Re: "That's not recommended for performance-intensive drivers"

It's actually just serial logic data. It's not RS232. It does have the right timing for RS232, but not the right voltage levels. If you want that you need another chip that does the level conversion.

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First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

Suricou Raven
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A bit more than required.

Converting to metric and allowing for the planet nearby, you're pulling about 1.5G in that. Enough to make any passengers feel rather uncomfortable, so more acceleration than the finished product needs. I expect they are accelerating a bit harder so they can use a shorter test track, and to test the structural limits of designs.

I still don't see how the expense of this project can be commercially justified. Yes, it can get you across the country super-fast. But high-speed rail is 'fast enough' for a fraction of the cost.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Snake Oil

"This can go a bit too far. In Japan, Nagoya and, to some extent, Kyoto and Osaka are becoming dormitory towns for Tokyo."

Half of the southeast UK is becoming a dormitory for London - the city provides a huge number of jobs, but very few people can actually afford to live there.

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Nvidia Pascal GTX launch

Suricou Raven
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Re: It has this screenshot thing

The stuff-not-rendered must still be in memory in case of a sudden change of viewpoint, to it's easy enough to render a single frame of omni-view. It'd take a lot longer than a normal frame, certainly, but it's only one frame - I don't think users will object if their video freezes for a fifth of a second when they take a screenshot.

I can pretty much promise it *won't* capture geometry, just a pre-rendered image, because the ability to easily extract 3D geometry would seriously annoy game developers... or rather, their legal departments.

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Ten years in the clink, file-sharing monsters! (If UK govt gets its way)

Suricou Raven
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Re: Actually, no

I am reminded of the NET act over in the US - it was written to target commercial infringement, but defined commercial as including supplying infringing material with an expectation of receiving more infringing material in return.

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Cinema boss gives up making kids turn off phones: 'That's not how they live their life'

Suricou Raven
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I have another theory on this one.

The 'boomers' grew up with a television in the corner. It was a somewhat fuzzy image on a small screen with one or two internal speakers. They went to the cinema for the full immersive experience - a screen as big as they can see, detail enough to see the pores in the actor's skin, sound that'll make your body resonate.

The 'millenials' grew up with a 1080p 42-inch surround-sound home cinema system. They see the cinema as just like watching a movie at home - except you have to travel, and it costs more, and there are noisy people everywhere, and the seats are less comfortable than sprawling on the sofa. The only reason they would even consider going to the cinema is that the latest film is super-hyped and not yet viewable by any other means.

Video killed the radio star, and big screen blu-ray... I wish I could say it was to the detriment of cinema. But look at the numbers - the box office takings are higher than ever. Despite the dire claims that piracy is destroying the industry, they are still managing to rake in record net income (though this being hollywood, they always lose money on paper).

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Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

Suricou Raven
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Re: Apologies in advance to all Christians......

" a man who can magically turn water into wine"

Everyone who could afford it drank wine. It was weak wine compared with the wine of today, and consumed in vast quantities. The diet coke of the ancient world.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Too slow -- again

There's a long history of organisations adopting religious dressing for legal purposes, and the CoS is a prime example. One of their two main symbols is a crucifix with a thin diagonal cross behind. They say that the points each represent a tenet of the organisation or something like that, but the real reason is not difficult to see: It makes them look superficially like not only a religion, but a Christian religion. They aren't - they have barely anything to say about Jesus, and what little they do say is rather unflattering - but they do know that looking Christianish is great PR because a lot of people automatically equate Christian with good.

Another example might be Medi-Share. It's a church to which members make a monthly donation, in return for which the organisation makes a non-binding promise to cover member's medical expenses in event of illness or accident. It is most definately not a health insurance provider though, because those have to pay taxes and are subject to all sort of regulations.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Excellent

Henry VIII was not behind protestantism. He simply saw a way he could exploit it to his own advantage, as it was a way to eliminate the basis for the Pope's power. Get rid of a rival.

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Bundling ZFS and Linux is impossible says Richard Stallman

Suricou Raven
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Simpler solution.

Just invest further in refining BTRFS. It still hasn't reached the maturity of ZFS, but it's stable enough for production use now, and storage management is a whole lot easier than ZFS - you can pull a drive from a volume with ease, unlike ZFS. It just needs a few more features, mostly relating to performance.

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FBI: Er, no, we won't reveal how we unmask and torpedo Tor pedos

Suricou Raven
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Yes, but the accused is a filthy pedo. Possibly the most hated of all criminals. They could charge him with sinking the Titanic and still have a decent chance a jury would convict.

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Suricou Raven
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I know that pattern.

Three to establish.

n messages, where n>=0

Four to tear down cleanly.

That's just TCP. They've used a very roundabout way to say their software establishes a quick TCP connection.

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Snowden 'more helpful than dangerous' says ex-Colin Powell aide

Suricou Raven
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Re: If the current Republican front-runner --

Cruz is also a hardcore anti-environmentalist. Climate change mitigation efforts, industrial pollution regulations, endangered species protection, the Clean Air Act - his position on all of them is that he'll get the laws repealed if he can, and if he can't then he'll block all funding for enforcing them, and specifically that he wishes to abolish the EPA entirely. He's gone on record on a several occasions stating that he believes there is no such thing as anthropogenic climate change, and that if there is then it'll be ultimately beneficial.

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What to call a £200m 15,000-tonne polar vessel – how about Boaty McBoatface?

Suricou Raven
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Re: This is why everyone thinks students are w*****s

It's a reference. It doesn't make sense unless you've prior exposure to a certain meme.

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Intravenous hangover clinics don't work, could land you in hospital

Suricou Raven
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Re: "amps up the immune system and detoxifies the liver”,

I didn't say the IV method was safe. I just said it would help with the hangover, while possibly exchanging it for a more dangerous condition.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: "amps up the immune system and detoxifies the liver”,

Not entirely woo. Part of the hangover experience is simple dehydration - putting saline into the blood will fix that, plus it reduces the concentration of toxins by simple dilution. It's one of the few hangover cures that will actually cure the hangover.

The vitamin stuff is woo though. Most vitamin supplements are, oral or IV - there are a some exceptions, but the vast majority of people get what they need in their food and adding more gives no benefit. It could at least be considered forgiveable woo as, unlike most woo, it does have a plausible mechanism of action.

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Reprogrammble routers axed by TP-Link as FCC bans custom firmware

Suricou Raven
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Re: Seems Obvious

Because the space adjacent to those channels is already claimed. In the US the bands immediately above and below the 2.4GHz unlicensed band have already been taken by cellphone service. The 5GHz band is sandwiched in between bands sold to commercial satellite operators. Spectrum is a valuable commodity, and every frequency that can be put to practical use has been allocated already. The military gets first pick, commercial services able to buy spectrum at auction get second, and whatever is left may be considered for unlicensed services.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: But it's my router, I've bought it

I've been wondering for a while if SDR would enable the use of a sort of 'extreme spread spectrum' approach for illicit radio - jumping around within a band spanning 2GHz or so. Illegal as hell, yes - but it would also be near-impossible to even detect, let alone trace, without the key that determines hopping sequence.

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Samsung is now shipping a 15TB whopper of an SSD. Farewell, spinning rust

Suricou Raven
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Re: The price is astronomical, but..

Right now though, spinnydrives offer substantially lower cost-GB, which means they can take over the role of tape as backup/archive media. They are a lot faster and more convenient to access than tape.

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Ad-blockers are a Mafia-style 'protection racket' – UK's Minister of Fun

Suricou Raven
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Re: @ Cynic_999

Don't be sure quick to dismiss the BBC. They have certainly dumbed down in some respects, but their documentary content is still among the best in the world - and no ancient aliens from them.

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Solution to tech bros' disgust of SF homeless people launched

Suricou Raven
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Re: Almost the right product

I always notice them. I have to feed their locations into the pathfinding area of my brain so it can calculate routes that avoid proximity.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Ah that's sweet

He's making the point that the response of many local governments to homeless people is to nudge them to go be homeless elsewhere.

There was an incident in 2013 that drew a lot of attention in North Carolina, when city police started harassing and eventually arresting a church that tried to distribute food to the homeless - because, much like rats, they congregate where the food is. Withdraw the food and they will scatter and become someone else's problem. It only hit the news because the organisation as a church so they could start the 'wah wah persecution' thing and get a lot of sympathy in certain media circles. There may be next to know public sympathy for the homeless, but much of the US does love a good story about Christians being persecuted somehow.

There's another one brewing in Florida right now, basically a repeat of the same situation - a church in Oakland tried to distribute food, the local government decided this is in violation of zoning regulations. It's not really about religion or about zoning, it's just that influential people don't want to live in proximity to the homeless.

Policing is another approach - many US cities have laws against 'sleeping in a public place' or similar to allow the homeless to be arrested. Quickly released again, but the intent is to harass them in to leaving the area and going to a suitably derelict side of town where the sight of them will not lower property values. Some places have rather less subtle methods, like sloping or very narrow benches, benches with armrests between seats to prevent laying upon them, or buildings designed to create no sheltered alcoves. An up-market apartment building in London neglected to do this in the design stage and was caught instead using anti-homeless metal studs embedded in concrete near the doorway to make sure no-one would shelter there.

Next time you see a public bench, take a moment to look at it - there's a good chance you'll see some feature that, innocent at first glance, on further consideration seems to serve no purpose other than making it impossible for a person to lay down comfortably.

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Alleged Anonymous hacker rescued off Cuba by Disney cruise ship

Suricou Raven
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Not even for a DDoS attack. The charge is for 'conspiracy.' He wasn't involved in the actual attack at all: He only urged other people to attack and specified a target. He isn't a hacker, he's a cheerleader. A coordinator at best.

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Back-to-the-future Nexsan resurrects its SATABeast

Suricou Raven
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Impressive capacity.

Does it come with a voucher for an extra-strength rack? I have visions of solid steel rails warping like toffee on a hot day under the immense force of that thing.

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UK to stop children looking at online porn. How?

Suricou Raven
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Re: Corporate web filtering

A flesh tone filter is likely to be inadvertently racist.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Whuh?

search: Free porn

"Please enter your credit card to continue."

search: Free porn site:.ru

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Here is the link to the consultation

I'm actually surprised the questions are worded in a way that makes disagreement possible. When they 'consulted' about the filtering, the questions were set in such a way that every possible option agreed with the government's desired conclusion.

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EMC energizes Star Trek-style matter-phasing warp field coils, emits VxRack Neutrinos

Suricou Raven
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Neutrino.

Do they pick product names with the aid of a dart board covered in sciency-words?

Is it really a good idea to name your product after something which is best-known for being near-impossible to observe?

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