* Posts by Suricou Raven

1333 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

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Smart guns are a neat idea on paper. They'll never survive reality

Suricou Raven
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Re: over engineered

Gun safes are fine for sporting or hunting guns, but have an obvious disadvantage to those who purchase a fun for self defence. If someone is breaking into your house, you need your gun right at that moment - you don't have time to fiddle around in a cupboard, enter a combination, get the gun out, get the bullets out and load the gun.

It's an inherent conflict between having the gun ready for self-defence and having the gun safe from accidents involving children/drunken-idiots. You can't have both.

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Anti-smut law dubs PCs, phones 'pornographic vendor machines', demands internet filters

Suricou Raven
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Re: Define Pornography

There's worse in the bible. The Song of Solomon is in part erotic poetry.

"Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that graze among the lilies."

"How beautiful are your feet in sandals,

O noble daughter!

Your rounded thighs are like jewels,

the work of a master hand.

Your navel is a rounded bowl

that never lacks mixed wine.

Your belly is a heap of wheat,

encircled with lilies."

"How beautiful and pleasant you are,

O loved one, with all your delights![a]

Your stature is like a palm tree,

and your breasts are like its clusters.

I say I will climb the palm tree

and lay hold of its fruit."

It's pretty racy.

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Suricou Raven
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In US politics, 'conservative' and 'Republican' have become inseparable. Whatever one does, instantly redefines the other.

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The top doc, the FBI, the Geek Squad informant – and the child porn pic that technically wasn't

Suricou Raven
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Re: OC Weekly...

It's worse than that:It's the FBI specifically paying someone to conduct searches because they are constitutionally prohibited from doing so themselves.

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Top cop: Strap Wi-Fi jammers to teen web crims as punishment

Suricou Raven
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Re: Every so often...

The old firewire RDMA trick, much enjoyed by people doing really low-level debugging.

You can still do it over thunderbolt, though. That supports RDMA.

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FBI let alleged pedo walk free rather than explain how they snared him

Suricou Raven
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Re: Scumbag Olympics...

Law enforcement knows they have a free pass here: It doesn't matter how much they ignore due process and violate the rights of child molesters, no politician is ever doing to dare to hold them accountable.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: depends on which side of the Atlantic

I prefer 'child sex abuse images' because I don't want to taint the image of good adult pornography by association.

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US cops seek Amazon Echo data for murder inquiry

Suricou Raven
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That depends upon the warrant. It sounds like Amazon is challenging the validity of the warrant, which might mean it was hastily-applied-for, or just a blatant fishing expedition on a suspect. Not at all an uncommon thing to happen. If that is the case, chances are it'll be resolved in a couple of days once the police submit a new warrant with more precise wording.

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Non-existent sex robots already burning holes in men’s pockets

Suricou Raven
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Re: Coolidge Effect

You could make extra money on the rework service. Return your sexbot annually for servicing - and for an extra fee, we'll let you switch the appearance to any of our library of stock faces, builds and skin colors. More extreme mods available, but in the 'if you have to ask' price range.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: A more achievable solution ...

Muscle wire, perhaps. There's no way you could fit the power supply in there too with anything approaching current technology, so you'd have to have an umbilical plugged into the back carrying compressed air, power and data lines. It could be done, yes, but the cost would be greater than is commercially viable.

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Stupid law of the week: South Carolina wants anti-porno chips in PCs that cost $20 to disable

Suricou Raven
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Has no-one noticed the secondary function?

If you want to turn the filter off (without hacking), you have to apply for it. And prove your age.

Which means the state will have to actually create a database of people who have opted to remove their filters!

I'm sure that could be abused in some way.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: I have a solution

Most such devices are purchased online anyway. It's basically unenforcable.

I think it's just a ploy. First propose a law that goes ridiculously far, then tone it down during negotiations, and end up getting what you wanted in the first place. Which will probably be something comparatively mild, like more funding for the task force, or a requirement all devices sold include parential control software turned on by default.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Correction

My guess is that it'll be fed back to pressure groups - the human trafficking task force works with 'non-profits.' So it'll end up funding an organisation campaigning for even more restrictions.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Oh, that'll work

Computer, easily. Any half-skilled dabbler could do that. But the bill applies to anything that can access the internet, and specifically says the software must be designed so it cannot be disabled without paying. That mean phones and tablets too, from which it could not be removed without rooting the device. Not so easy.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: TLD solution

About ten years ago, yes. The porn industry opposed it because they feared they would be pushed into a .xxx ghetto and banned from .com, the anti-porn lobby opposed it because they feared it would grant pornography legitimacy and get in the way of their efforts to ban it entirely. The only support for it came from the registrar who paid a of money to try to get it approved.

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Don't panic, friends, but the Chinese navy just nicked one of America's underwater drones

Suricou Raven
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Re: Fallout shelters are useless

A fallout shelter might at least get you through the first weeks, so it's not entirely useless. They you can either take part in the rebuilding of society, or watch its glorious implosion into waring fiefdoms.

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Suricou Raven
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South China Sea

Trump or no, this might just be their latest reminder that they claim the entire sea, and will use force to defend it.

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For God's sake, stop trying to make Microsoft Bob a thing. It's over

Suricou Raven
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Re: @Chris G. - "Exciting new experiences"

It's not the sort of thing I download, but there's a lot of first-person immersive pornography on certain torrent sites I visit, designed to be watched using VR headsets. It's not true VR, of course, just prerecorded hemispheric stereo video.

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China and Russia aren't ready to go it alone on tech, but their threats are worryingly plausible

Suricou Raven
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Would you expect anything else?

Technology manufacture and support is a national security resource. I would expect China and Russia to seek a domestic supply for the same reason that the US is trying to expand domestic oil production to reduce dependence upon Russia and OPEC: If you are dependent upon imports from countries that are potentially hostile in future, it severely limits your military options. It's also a security nightmare in espionage - they can't trust anything out of Windows Update in case the US government has asked Microsoft to sneak in a backdoor that is only deployed to a certain IP address.

But this is a good thing. More countries competing to produce better hardware means ever-faster innovation, which accelerates us towards my future immortality as a brain in a tank in an Amazon datacenter.

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The UK's Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court

Suricou Raven
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Remember that just about everyone is a criminal now, they just haven't been caught. If the police can use secret sources to uncover even real crimes, that power can be easily abused for a fishing expedition.

Are you making trouble for your local politician? Protesting a building project that might bring in a lot of tax money? Uncovering some embarrassing incompetence on the council? Then just bring in the secret intelligence services. Somewhere you will have done something illegal - an incorrectly completed tax form, illegally seeded a movie torrent, sneakily driven off after grazing a parked car. Perhaps some indiscretion years ago with drugs or some petty shoplifting. It's all good enough to get the message across: Stop drawing our attention.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Intel is not evidence

If they can show CP on the defendants computer, the prosecution could be for sinking the Titanic and the jury would still convict. Remember just how intense is the general public sense of loathing for that particular class of criminal.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: jury nullification

Jury nullification has a very dubious history, which is why many judges and state authorities go to some lengths to make sure the juries do not believe they have that option.

Yes, it has been used to allow some people to escape malicious prosecution or unfair trials.

But a lot of white men also got away with crimes against blacks because the jury of their peers refused to convict.

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Suricou Raven
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Just use the classic trick:

1. Find some perverted child-molester.

2. Convict him, but make sure you violate his human rights a lot.

3. Watch as the conviction is swiftly overturned and he walks free.

4. Enjoy the overwhelming support both among MPs and the general public for overturning whatever part of the act he benefited from.

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Lib Dems to oppose porn checks in Blighty's Digital Economy Bill

Suricou Raven
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Re: Dark Web no longer optional?

I think a great joke here will be that the porn filtering might actually make police work harder.

Right now, if someone is on the darknet, they are probably up to No Good. You don't go there unless you have something to hide. Anything from petty piracy to drugs trading or child abuse imagery. It's a lot of hassle to navigate, so you don't go there without reason. I used to play around on Freenet, and it's really limited to three groups: Criminals, activists, and paranoid nutters planning for the day that Obama starts rounding up his opponents for the concentration camps. Most of the criminals are just pirates.

Now start trying to filter porn, and what happens? Ten million new users rush to the darknet. Now it's flooded: You have a much larger pool of suspects to sort, and most of them are just looking for smut. Smut which is itsself now unpolicable, because what very little regulation we have right now would become entirely impossible to enforce once the industry is driven into the shady world of tor and bitcoin.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: The more publicity this gets . . .

Deleting the browser history is only a minor inconvenience to a proper forensic examination. If you want to browse without trace, your only option is to use a liveCD that never writes to the hard drive, or a VM image that snapshots before use and reverts after - and in that case, you still need to zero out free space on the host OS to be sure.

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Suricou Raven
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Just claim that VPNs are used by pedophiles. The public will be instantly outraged, and no-one will dare to publically question your demand for strict regulation for fear of being seen as supporting the most hated criminals in modern society.

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What you need to know from re:Invent – FPGAs-as-a-service and more

Suricou Raven
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Right now, a lot of bitcoin miners are trying to calculate if there is some way to use these in a profitable way.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: configure & spin up Linux servers for internal use with strict security & access permissions.

When doing anything on the 'cloud' or transmitting across the internet without using encryption between trusted endpoints, it's probably safe to assume you have at least a couple of intelligence agencies taking records.

The good news is that, unless you are either 1. A troublesome activist 2. An actual terrorist or 3. Involved in the most serious forms of organised crime, they aren't going to waste their time on you. Not because they have any sort of ethical restraint, just because they don't have the resources to investigate every petty pirate and pot-smoker they find.

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Three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the speed of light – wait no, maybe not that last one

Suricou Raven
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Re: Faster computers?

It's a lot worse than that for physics. If you can send information faster than light, you can send it in such a way that it arrives before it leaves. The first message you get back from your FTL transmitter might be the lottery numbers.

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New state of matter discovered by superconductivity gurus

Suricou Raven
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It has copper, it has oxygen, and the rest can be put down an effort to express something a layperson can understand without feeling too uneducated.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: "Energy"

Practical applications for a room-temperature superconductor?

Really efficient motors. Really efficient power converters. Really efficient long-distance power transmission. Mostly the same stuff we do now, but smaller and with less wasted energy.

You can also use them to make things hover a short distance, which is good for bearings and silly toys.

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Fleeing Aussie burglar shot in arse with bow and arrow

Suricou Raven
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Re: Bloke was lucky

The aim of the advice is to make sure the robbery remains a robbery, and doesn't escalate into a murder. Police prioritise life over property, so from that perspective it's better to let the thief get away with it and hope to catch him later than to encourage the property owner to defend his home and risk one or the other ending up dead.

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UK prison reform report wants hard-coded no-fly zones in drones to keep them out of jail

Suricou Raven
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Re: punt gun

Prisons are often in populated areas. Not so much because they are built there, but because the populated area grew to encompass the prison.

I still favor the other low-tech solution: Put up a net over the yard. And if phones remain a problem, several companies make conductive paint that can be used for radio screening.

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NASA wants to sell International Space Station to private enterprise

Suricou Raven
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Re: Trying to avoid de-orbit costs?

How hard can it be to hit a target the size of the Pacific?

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Computer forensics defuses FBI's Clinton email 'bombshell'

Suricou Raven
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I sense political meddling.

Someone has been promised a budget increase if Trump wins.

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Swiss, geez: Robo-hooker coffee shop to be erected in Geneva

Suricou Raven
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Engineering challenge

Has anyone a robot to actually do this? A simple reciprocating and sucking action is easily done, but I don't know if that will be enough to result in properly satisfied customers. A really decent blowbot is going to need actively actuated soft body components, including a tongue mechanism, with enough degrees of freedom to avoid repetitions - all under the control of a program able to analyse the input from an array of sensors and dynamically adjust the movements to maintain comfort while maximising pleasure.

This is a really tall order. A Venus 2000 isn't going to cut it.

Not that it matters, though. The critics are right on one point: There is no way the government will allow this. Even if it is legal now, the law would be swiftly changed to correct that.

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Facebook ads in race claim

Suricou Raven
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Re: standard advertising practices

Translation: Pulling a Chick.

People respond better to advertising when the characters they see match their own race. So now you can make one ad with a smiling white couple enjoying your product, one with a smiling black couple enjoying your product, and one with a smiling hispanic couple enjoying your product. Then apply the magic of Facebook's super-specific targetting (That's where they make their money) and everyone sees the version of the ad they are most likely to respond to.

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Alleged ISIS member 'wore USB cufflink and trained terrorists in encryption'

Suricou Raven
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The old scattergun approach?

File enough charges, something has to stick.

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Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works

Suricou Raven
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Check China's population growth rate. It was almost 3% in 1970. It's 0.5% now. That's less than the US, and about even with the UK. It's on a downwards trend too, and may even go negative.

The government of china may be oppressive, but they are also practical.

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Suricou Raven
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2. Is pointless. Both the labor pool and consumer demand scale with population. If you halve the population then you halve the number of jobs required to meet demand, and overall unemployment doesn't actually shift that much.

You don't need to incentivise, anyway. There's a consistent pattern that happens in all countries as they develop: First there is a long, long period of steady population, in which short live expectancy and high infant mortality balance a high birth rate. That's the bit where every family has six children. Then there's an explosive population growth when industrial agriculture, sanitation and medicine come along: You still have the big families, but now people aren't dying any more and population shots up, more than doubling in a generation easily. Then a remarkable thing happens: The birth rate falls. Higher educational standards and sex equality serve to discourage people from wanting children until much later in life, and contraception gives them the option. Population can actually start to fall. This creates its own problems, like an overburdened health system.

Some countries have had to resort to coercive population control during the explosive growth period, but even China is phasing out their population control efforts now - they recognise that their need has passed.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: I'm not paid a lot

The non-necessities. It's called a 'basic' income for a reason: It's supposed to give you enough money to live on, and that's about it. If you are happy in your little low-rent flat, watching TV and roaming the internet, that's fine. Good for you. But if you have expensive hobbies to pursue or desire a more luxurious standard of living, you can go join the queue for employment. It may take a long time before you strike lucky and get a job, but with the basic income to support you there is no hurry.

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Suricou Raven
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There's one huge flaw in the whole thing.

It assumes demand for goods in general is really elastic.

The people of old who predicted automation would bring about a three-day work week were wrong because they assumed demand would be inelastic: That the people would want only so much 'stuff' and so with increasing per-person productivity there would come a point where that demand would be satisfied with only a small number of people in employment. This didn't happen, because with falling cost of production consumption increased accordingly: Even the low-income today live a lifestyle that would have been the envy of a preindustrial king. Clothing so cheap that people will throw away a piece rather than spend time stitching a hole? Items imported from half-way around the world just to decorate our homes? Holidays to exotic locations?

If we all lived like an 1800's peasant, we really would need only a fraction of the population in work.

An important question is how far this can be taken. If further automation leads to even greater per-person efficiency gains, what happens? Do we reach the point where clothes are so cheap people will throw them away each day rather than wash them and just buy anew? There has to be a limit to how much useless tat people want in their lives - and there are only so many hours in the day to watch television. Even if consumption continues to increase, there are other costs to this solution: Massive resource usage and environmental impact.

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New measurement alert. The Pogba: 1,200Pg = NHS annual budget

Suricou Raven
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Re: Monty Python reference

I understand Welsh sheep are the fastest. Something about regular exercise.

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Google: We look forward to running non-Intel processors in our cloud

Suricou Raven
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48V.

48V is an old telco standard. It was chosen as 48-ish-more-or-less volts because that's what you get if you connect four 12V lead-acid batteries in series, and back in the dark ages telephone exchanges used that as their UPS. 48V is what gives you a dial tone, and it's at the sweet spot in another way too: High enough to send power very long distances (ie, your phone) but low enough that it's not going to kill anyone*. It also, by fortunate coincidence, is just the right voltage for DC distribution in a data center. All that needed changing was to set a formal standard for acceptable deviation from 48V nominal.

48V is also the supply for PoE, and for phantom microphone power. For much the same reason: It's low enough to be safe and practical without requiring too much insulation, but high enough that current and drop are manageable.

Take a look on eBay: There are tons of 48V supplies.

*It hurts, though.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Blast from the past

1) Because it's the means by which you install the OS, or at least configure it for network boot in order to make it install an OS as needed. And diagnose problems or view error messages that prevent network connectivity. And do firmware configuration.

2) Because it's cheap, and because VGA KVMs are really, really cheap, including the sixteen-port-per-unit, stackable sort of KVM you want in a datacenter.

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Russia tests sat jamming

Suricou Raven
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Counter-researching time.

Time to launch some really directional antennas.

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Russia mulls pirate penalties

Suricou Raven
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Sounds like a token.

Why should Russia spend money on copyright enforcement? The victims are overwhelmingly non-Russian, and it keeps a lot of money from leaving the country. Russia serves Russia - they have no obligation to the rest of the world.

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UK will build new nuclear bomb subs, says Defence Secretary

Suricou Raven
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Re: Elephant in the room

No matter how the economy runs or how much public services cost, there is *always* money for more military spending. Somehow.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Shouldn't the new names all start with a "W"?

They should just hire the guy who names Ubuntu releases.

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Suricou Raven
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There's an obvious counter to intecepters: Send more missiles. That's why countries that have nukes tend to have a lot of them. You only need one per city to get through.

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