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* Posts by JLV

187 posts • joined 4 Mar 2013

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Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment

JLV
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Re: What does she actually bring to the table?

>worse than the whole Eich fiasco.

Upvoted you, but those fails are very different in nature, even if both companies will suffer from it.

First Eich had the credentials to have a major role in Mozilla and could have brought a lot to the table. I do not agree with his views on gay marriage in the least bit. But I respect his right to his _private_ opinions and political stance, as a private citizen. Not to mention that public perception has changed a lot wrt to gay marriage in the last 5 years so he might even be more tolerant nowadays.

The whole sorry Eich/Mozilla affair has more than a little whiff of witch hunt to it.

Second, his views were not well-known when they hired him. Trawling campaign contributions will now become a more popular activity is my guess :( but Mozilla was probably blindsided.

Condi's controversial background was very much on the public record. The only real credentials she does have are ones Dropbox desperately does not need to be associated with.

Where I agree, and what is so funny with the Eich parallel is how, less than a month later, Dropbox hasn't seen it coming.

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JLV
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Re: Dropbox drops the ball.

>Not any more repugnant than any other state

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gulag_Archipelago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katyn_massacre

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_famine_of_1932%E2%80%9333

I beg to differ. Much as I dislike Condi, Bush and the gang, the USSR was an entirely different beast.

I read Archipelago and it is long, boring, and catalogs in grim details atrocities and an utterly repulsive regime with not a shred of morality. In the early 90s it was not uncommon news to hear of mass graves being found in Russia*. The overall death count attributable to the Soviet regime (minus WW2 combat) is probably quite comparable to Nazi Germany's.

Gorbatchev is one of my personal heroes for having restored Russia to being a normal, honorable, country.

* Nowadays, with Putain (sic) in charge, these inconvenient facts don't make the news anymore. After all, those were the good old day, neh?

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JLV
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Dropbox drops the ball.

>she may actually KNOW something about security

Hopefully she'll know more about this than about her initial specialization, the USSR.

While @ CIA, she was specialized in Soviet affairs. This is the same CIA which was totally blindsided when the Iron Curtain collapsed in the late 80s due to economic and morale collapse. That was a big ball to drop.

The Soviets were a huge threat and morally repugnant, don't get me wrong. But CIA's assessment of their long term viability past 1985 or so left a lot to be desired. This is, again, the same CIA that gauged East Germany GDP near West Germany's.

Let's not say anything about her Iraq/Afghanistan expertise, shall we?

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NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

JLV
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wonder if that's true and what the fallout will be if it is

To start with, I don't usually pay much attention to the NSA this and NSA that chatter that goes on these forums. Yes, I agree with Snowden and yes, the intelligence agencies abuse their remit, likely to not that much benefit compared to the loss of liberty. Western democracies should revert back to peacetime investigative behavior and follow judicial procedures.

But the actual end result for myself? Not that relevant day to day. I don't like it, but I am not going to spend all day being outraged about it. I suspect this is what a large part of the public feels as well. Whether or not that's an attitude that is ethical is up for debate.

Why, if this turns out be true, could this change everything?

Suppose it turns out that the NSA did know about this (or any major system-wide bug with a huge potential for mischief to the general public, corporations and indeed the US govt at large). Suppose it then just sat on the knowledge, happily ignoring the risk to all these _US_ individuals and organizations.

Given the potential for misuse of Heartbleed and the time it has been active, how exactly could it claim to be protecting the interests of the average US citizen then? Will those same citizens, if they, or someone they know, have been affected by identity theft or fraud, blame the NSA's laissez-faire? What about criminal groups funding terrorism precisely through this flaw? What about espionage by foreign countries? What will Joe Average think about having to change his passwords, while knowing that the cops did nothing?

IF they knew, this would a practical demonstration of blatant day to day disregard for the well-being of all its own citizens. Hopefully, but not holding my breath, they should be held accountable by Congress* if it turns out to be true and people should lose their jobs.

Canada's Revenue Agency shut down some/all SSL parts of its site yesterday, right during tax season. They may yet turn out to be over-reacting (don't think so myself), but the point is that, at this level of risk, government agencies do have responsibilities beyond their immediate remit.

* If they knew as well, the same questions would apply to all our pet counter-terrorism "protectors", be they GHCQ, Canada's CSIS or the French DGRS or whatever it's called. Sadly, for all the criticism the NSA warrants, at least they get some flak, other countries' agencies tend to get an even free-er pass.

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Google kills fake anti-virus app that hit No. 1 on Play charts

JLV
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anybody remember the $999 Ruby app on the iPhone?

after you bought it, it displayed a (very nice) ruby. Similar scam, different price point ;-)

Apple did pull it fairly quickly.

At the end of the day, buyer beware is a bit true. Especially with antiviruses - a functional (or malicious) antivirus needs to access pretty much anything on your machine and there have been incidents before with fake scanners (MacDefender on Macs, I bet tons on MS). In fact, I'd welcome an enhanced vetting process specifically for those types of apps.

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

JLV
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>This planet is going to hell in a hand cart. If you think that the best way to solve

I am really tired of being talked down by organic-luvvies for not buying into their views. Not particularly healthy? "Oh, that's OK, I don't buy it for that. I buy it for taste." What, taste comes from picking practice and minimizing time to market? "Then I buy it to save the planet or to fight capitalism".

Hey, buy what you want, but stop claiming moral superiority.

Ask yourself this question: if organic yields are less per acre (and there seems to 25% less yield overall, esp on cereals) then we need more space to grow the organic stuff. That at a time where, quite possibly, global warming will start to impact yields and, horror, might need mitigation by genetic tweaking. How would increased land use help the planet again? How would poor people benefit from premium food costs?

In North America, the market cap of Whole Foods* (organic supermarket chain) is 6-10x that of standard chains per store. Anybody think their $6 4oz can of cat food tuna is especially planet-saving? Certainly not doing much for tuna, a fish I avoid because many of its species are over-fished. Whole Foods avocado "deal": 2 for $5! Standard avocados are about $1 elsewhere. My local food co-op has them organic ones at 25% premium, typically around $1.25. Guess where Whole Foods' 10x market cap bonus is coming from?

Someone quipped at some point that organic had finally managed to separate rich and poor folks' food again thus allowing self-chosen premiums (and industry profits) back. My local food coop? No longer very cheap, having moved to 70% organics.

I do buy more organic meat, in the naive expectation that, just maybe, the animals will get treated better (they sometimes taste better too). And it seems more planet-saving to just eat less meat, organic or not. I buy some organics, cause I figure it might dump less phosphates into the ground water. But I'd buy a Monsanto-sourced GMO tomato just as quickly if it was proven to minimize runoffs.

I do care about the planet but good intentions do not solve problems by themselves. Appropriate solutions do. If organic wants to claim to solve problems, not merely address consumer's wants, then it needs to demonstrate its effectiveness, just like everything else. Good article.

* https://www.google.ca/finance?cid=656159

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In three hours, Microsoft gave the Windows-verse everything it needed

JLV
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Re: Too little too late? don't be preposterous!

>Serious IT decision makers in Government and the Corporate world trust them - and for very good reasons.

I think you are correct in that statement. The world of IT would be a poorer place without MS.

Monopoly? They wish. They had one 20 years ago, when Linux was Unix and much the worse for it. They had it on IE. They had it on Office and they still do, if you want Office. They had on PCs before the oh-so-fashionable Macs, back in the dark pre-Darwin days.

Oh, they would love to have it, back too but they've lost a lot of trust and goodwill along the years.

Still, Microsoft for better or worse is a third alternative, between Linux and Mac. For big companies who don't need to be web-facing by nature, it is the alternative to Linux. Macs suck at entreprise stuff and that is part of their appeal and limitations. For Joe Average consumer, not my intellectually erudite and IT-savvy peers on this forum, the choice is Mac vs Windows because Linux is unknown and, horror, un-Branded territory. Yeah, I'd set up my grandmother with a Linux box to email & browse, if I had a grandmother, but no average grandma is gonna walk into a store and buy Linux.

A Linux vs Mac world would quickly degenerate into 2 distinct markets, each with one supplier. A Linux-only world? I know I don't want it personally but I am also pretty sure the ecosystem of ideas around Linux would be poorer for not having competitors to learn from.

Think of how much GUI experience has been gained with Windows 8 and the Metro UI. Primarily things not to do. The world of marketing and product design as well - it has learned that users hate change and if you change things than you better make things a lot better. And if the majority of your user base is bitching then it's time for plan B and not stick your fingers in your ears.

Think of how much smoother the Unity/Gnome 3/KDE 4 rollouts would have been if the Metro trainwreck had shown the perils of pell-mell radical, our-way-or-the-highway, paradigm rethinks to the GUI reformistas in advance.

The world thrives on competition. It need not and should not be unethical, but competition is a necessity and choice is a boon to customers and users.

Hopefully Microsoft will emerge a less arrogant and more capable company. Security and API stability is one way to regain trust from us techs. And Nadella should respect chairs and avoid throwing the poor things around.

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Mt Gox staff tried to warn CEO of Bitcoin loss risks – reports

JLV
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Re: $1500 a day?

$300K in a year is 150k per person. Taking out the overheads (say 50%) you are talking 100k/yr not unreasonable in finance.

OK that might be 7 days/wk, not Mon - Fri but the ballpark figure remark that it would be a stretch for 2 FTEs seems quite valid given pricey digs.

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JLV
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not even a Ponzi...

>customer money was not being used to fund the business

Ponzi : new investors cover returns to previous investors.

This sounds like $s didn't even make it that far and stopped at flash cars for the CEO :)

Shipping souped-up Hondas from the UK to Japan - aren't they Japanese to begin with???

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It's 2014 and you can pwn a PC by opening a .RTF in Word, Outlook

JLV
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Windows

Buggy software can happen, but...

I know we are all making fun of MS here for having a bug in RTF rendering since Office 2003.

It is a cautionary reminder that user-entered data needs to be assessed very carefully before processing. The MS team that let this slip didn't exactly cover themselves with glory, but 700 monkeys poking 700 sticks at 700 apps will occasionally hit paydirt.

The Office vulnerability is NOT what is scary and in addition, the important bits are NOT being reported here and they are not reported in the CVE either.

What operating systems are at risk? From the lack of forthcoming information from MS I would guess even Windows 7 and 8 would be.

Why is it that a regrettable, but not entirely unexpected condition in a bit of non-system software, in this case rendering an RTF, manages to get a user to own a modern operating system?

I am betting that, if Open Office had a similar bug, it could not infect Windows itself because the system would not be tightly coupled to it and would have a suitably hands off relationship. Why does MS insist on allowing tight integration between its user apps and the OS? For performance reasons on multi-core systems?

Why isn't UAC more robust? Linux and even Mac users can apparently deal with the boundless complexities of sudo and admin user approval (and password) prompts, so why doesn't MS get off its fat rear end and implement appropriate isolation between userland and system integrity?

No, all this would not prevent clueless users from happily providing their credentials when offered riches from Nigerian princes or offered a free AV scan. But it would protect the other 95% of us.

And, yes, I include myself because I have to use Windows for work but know better for personal use.

p.s. Windows 8 security in 2014? password limited to 16 chars. Good job, MS! Horse Battery Staples not included.

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Tornado-chasing stealth Batmobile set to invade killer vortices

JLV
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Happy

Re: I always wonder at thing like this..

Pretty sure tank tracks and pavement do not mix well & your local police may not take kindly on the attempt or your license's applicability in any case ;-)

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Star Wars movie to start shooting in UK this summer

JLV
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Unhappy

>suitors angle with Leia

Anyone recall Marvel running with that* and having Luke & Leia's romance develop? It was in a comics series set in a Waterworld-like universe.

In hindsight... creepy .

* bet they weren't impressed by Lucas's plot roadmap. Come to think of it ... neither am I.

This series is flogging a rancidly dead horse, endlessly. A _remake_ of Star Wars & Empire Strikes Back would be a relief at this point.

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Malaysia Airlines mystery: Click here for the TRUTH

JLV
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Re: It's obvious!

Cthulhu vs. Xenu @ 5:45

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njcB7xN0Pec

Re. the jet, I wonder if it's better to have it missing, presumed hijacked, rather than just lost. I figure that still gives the families hope, as opposed to say the Brazil-Paris flight from a years back. But it must be horrible to be so uncertain.

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Mozilla takes Windows 8-friendly Firefox out back ... two shots heard

JLV
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Ouch!

Just came out of reading the article re decreasing Windows market share.

That Firefox, due to lack of interest, is pulling out of supporting the latest and greatest intended Windows app "format" is a damning indictment on how widely Redmond has missed the mark. And how just far the Win8 decision makers have had their heads in the sand. Not to mention that browsers are very nearly the best use case for touch on desk/laptops.

Beyond kicking out the hapless Ballmer, if I were a MS activist shareholder I would insist on some serious housecleaning and re-organization of product design, engineering and marketing decision-making in the coming year.

This is a company that is losing its touch (sorry for the pun) with consumers and squandering huge dollops of the goodwill it had with non-hardcore IT users. And which is suffering serious brand erosion on its flagship offering.

Not sure Nadella is the guy to fix things, but best of wishes anyway. A better Windows 9 will mean more pressure to innovate for Linux and OSX as well.

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Windows hits the skids, Mac OS X on the rise

JLV
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>one's original copy of OS X comes bundled with a computer

I think that point bears repeating.

Regardless of the relative costs & merits of Windows and OSX I find it most annoying that as a consumer or SOHO you can buy a pricey laptop with Windows on it and it most likely will NOT come with a full-install Windows disk. So, if you want to reformat your system, you are left at the mercy of the vendor's recovery partition or recovery disk mechanisms.

Ignore serial number activation issues and the like, MS wants to make sure you paid for the OS and that is their approach, like it or not. The problem is that you do not have a universal install media for something you paid for.

Clearly, Linux users do not have to contend with that. And neither do OSX users.

p.s. not to mention the annoying OEM/Upgrade/Full + Home/Pro/Enterprise Windows license permutation games.

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JLV
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>Works great for low IQ users. Unfortunately, sucks for everyone else.

Yeah, hum, I take you expect us to think you are a high IQ everyman.

I work on both Windows and OSX and a bit of Linux as well. Menu placement doesn't matter that much either way, it's a low-level aspect of the GUI and I don't sweat it much. A modicum of IQ allows flexibility, no?

There are tons of other things I care more about in a GUI, such as pinning, task switching and adding shortcuts to start menus (Win 7 beats OSX in that regard and XP was even better. KDE 3.x was nifty there as well).

I admit the mouse to menu distance in OSX can be annoying and you have to change app focus to get the menu you want. On the other hand, there being only one menu active means a lot of saved screen real estate which is something I am always very sensitive to.

Besides, the first thing I usually do with a program is to figure out its keyboard shortcuts.

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Elon Musk slams New Jersey governor over Tesla direct sales ban

JLV
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Car dealerships (and Christie) suck.

Between this and his bridges Gov Christie would have just lost my vote if I lived in the "Garden State" (hah).

For the life of me, I cannot understand why an individual is not entitled to buy the car he wants from who he wants as long as the seller is both qualified and the legal owner of the car before selling it on. Well, aside from back room lobbying and generous campaign donations that is.

Franchises are best thought of as an unnecessary evil. I hate the whole "list price vs actual price if you haggle" part of them.

With new cars, despite sucking at haggling, my trick is to first decide the exact model I want. Then walk in into 6-7 dealerships with the following speech.

"I intend to buy a new car of model X within 6-8 weeks. Not today. No trade in. Purely on price, and we know list price is not the real price. Quote me your best price you feel comfortable with now. If I like you and it's a good price, but not even necessarily the very lowest, I will come back to buy from you.

If you make it difficult, give me a song & dance about not being able to quote, fixed prices, having to commit now, or anything else ... well there are 10 other dealerships in this area selling this exact model."

The key is to make it very clear to each dealer that you don't have to buy from them. Very minimal hassle in general and I've gotten >$500 discounts despite Hondas not being a big discount brand hereabouts. I've also been amused at high pressure sales tactics - truly, truly bloodsuckers.

p.s. Oh, and don't service at the dealerships if you can avoid it. They cost more, don't do a great job in general & use entry level mechanics as labor. Find a well-reviewed independent mechanic who makes a living only from doing car maintenance & get your oil changes done @ Mr Lube for the rest.

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iOS 8 screencaps leak: Text editor, dictaphone and 'tips' on the way

JLV
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editors: Textedit on the Mac is just as "fun" as Notepad

I am gonna shill* a bit for Textastic, which is a really, really, awesome programming editor on the iPad.

I use it to review code and do some light editing. It also has a pretty clever widget to allow special character entry.

Looking at full-page, full screen, code renditions on a hi-def tablet comes close to looking at a printout.

After connecting to its built-in WebDav server, a bit of git magic on the command line allows me to take periodic snapshots of my whole app's codebase and deposit it on the iPad for review. No iTunes shenanigans required. Other people have hacked a hook up to a live git repo as well.

* Full disclosure: no relationship whatsoever to the vendor besides being a happy customer.

p.s. better sharing between apps? That would be great. How about Textastic => Pythonista, for example?

p.p.s. If I were to get an Android tablet, what would be an equivalent editor offering?

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Scam emails tell people they have cancer to trick them into installing a money-stealing Trojan

JLV
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Facepalm

Inquiring minds want to know

"""

The name of the file is CBC_Result_[random alphanumeric string].zip. Inside the archive is a file with a double extension made to look like a PDF file but in actuality is an executable with a PDF icon

"""

This wouldn't happen to be on Windows, by any chance? With the thoughtfully-provided hide file extension default setting?

Oi, Redmond, didn't another malware pull the exact same trick, like 3 months ago?

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It's not just incredibly hard, it's really quite pretty: Dark Souls II

JLV
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Happy

wait is over.

Thanks for this review, but mostly txs to The Reg for turning me on to the original DS two years ago.

The first 2 Souls are really some of the most immersive games I've played.

Not just graphics or audio which are gorgeous. Immersive as in obsessing for days on one boss encounter. Researching wikidot or YouTube to see how to kill that boss, thinking "what if sprint left instead of right when he first comes at me?". Should I tank up for him? Strip down to loinclothes cuz it's a one hit kill & beat him on speed? Arrows? Magic?

The online advice will give you hints on what tactics have potential, but it's your guy doing the dying and your reflexes and playing style that have to prevail.

Souls levels are very deterministic, have the same enemies and same setup each time so you can obsess about what one little variable change will result in.

Despite what it sounds like these are not games for masochists but they appeal to and reward certain personalities.

Almost like coding :)

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Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update

JLV
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Re: Linux desktop

>your scanner is likely to stop working

Good points, but, to be fair, it seems to me that many scanners really, really, hanker for Windows, at some deep down level so they are kind of a special case. Or at least they were in the past.

I've had 4 so far, since 2003 or so, and the first 2 flat out refused to work on Linux or OSX. Canon, looking at you. On the other hand, my Fujitsu Scansnap and the preceding Epson V300 were quite happy on Linux, Windows and OSX - I had done my research in advance by then.

While it would be nice to have 'Nix systems that automagically deal with every scanner, I find it more practical to give my business to scanner manufacturers that use technologies that allow proper low-level compatibility with OSX and Linux, however that gets achieved. And skip the others.

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Candy Crush King plans IPO valuing it at $7.6 BEEELLION

JLV
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FAIL

Re: You're having a giraffe...

>the firm made $567.6m last year on revenue of $1.88bn

>Are Sony and MS close to extracting all the money from their customers on consoles?

Wrong model here.

Candy Crush is a hit, sure. Will their NEXT game be a hit? That is the question.

Regular games companies, like our "beloved" EA have oodles of games to milk. Many are flops, but the occasional hits are intended to make that up. In addition, with complex games you can always revisit NHL 2014, Call of Duty VIII and other not-very-inventive re-warmed stalwarts that will sell.

Can you do resell the V2 of a simple game? In an apps context where users expect to have free updates? You can, but my guess it'd better be a massive improvement.

The model that wannabee _stockholders_* should look at are established game companies or movie studios** that have an arms length, mostly financial, relationship with the companies creating the actual product.

Not buying potentially one-two-hit wonders like Zynga or King. Or at least not at those valuations.

8B$ indeed.

* Wannabee emitters of IPOs on the other hand will see nothing wrong whatsoever with your assessment.

**It's taken the EAs, Sonys and Lions Gate of this world decades to fine-tune that type of risk management and they still mess it up on occasion.

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Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?

JLV
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Happy

Amen

Software-wise, still pining for a worthy successor to HyperCard :-|

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How AGILE DIPLOMACY will spike PUTIN'S GUNS

JLV
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Paris Hilton

@ Hypocrisy

Don't be an ass. Are you suggesting we send troops against Russia?

It's not a question of how we feel about it, but how little can be done.

UN? veto...

Sanctions? Gazprom

Boycott Sochi? Err...

I deeply dislike Putain so I'd be all for screwing him if at all possible, but not holding my breath. Not least that Putain is gonna benefit at home from being pilloried abroad.

@ Bong: geeeeenius!

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Women! You too can be 'cool' and 'fun' if you work in tech!

JLV
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>not connected to anything

"What are you doing?"

"Plugging in your computer"

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Anti-snoop Blackphone hits shelves in June: NOW we'll see how much you value privacy

JLV
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Black Helicopters

Re: The long necked chicken

(Love that expression!)

Depends who's after you. NSA? agree with you. Muhammad al Jihad in a sleeper cell may want to stick with lower profile gear while casing the godless unbelievers.

Random Hackerimu@ru.com after you? Man-in-middle @ starbucks wifi? Your wife? (amazing how often OKCupid's "would you read your partner's emails" quiz gets a yes). May help.

I think a big deciding factor in the mainstream will be app compatibility. God forbid FB or Spastic Volatiles don't work. Maybe not so much on this phone but surely on a mass-market enhanced-sec phone.

Icon? Just because.

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Thanks a lot, Facebook: Microsoft turns Office 365 into social network

JLV
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Paris Hilton

Re: Productivity... or not

>French ... don't have a word for entrepreneur

Hmmm, isn't that a French word in the first place?

This thing looks about as draft as it gets. Why confuse work with social-butterflying again?

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MtGox to customers: Your call is important to us … NOT!

JLV
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Re: >Libertarians hate regulation... until they need it

>Did regulation stop you from getting food poisoning last time you had a take away?

Dude,txs. You're wanting to do away with food safety regulations proves my point about big-L Libertarians.

Not that I mind more reasonable ones - regulations are only necessary where they protect people from serious harm & should not pursued willy-nilly. I would also like sunset clauses where possible.

Bet insurance companies would be thrilled covering your unregulated risks.

;-)

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JLV
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Black Helicopters

>Libertarians hate regulation... until they need it

On usenet I remember one particularly dumb big-L Libertarian troll on r.a.s.f.w. who ended up arguing that driving on the right side of the road (or the left, for you Brits) should not be regulated or enforced by the government.

Ditto, from the same loser: no need for building codes. If there is an earthquake and your building collapses, sue your builder. That will get them to pay attention to solid construction.

A large subset of big-L Libertarians often seems to posit that any issues arising from the initial lack of rules can easily, and somehow cost-effectively, be solved by subsequently suing the aggrieving party.

Interesting story that MtGox. One could almost imagine that nation-states worried about losing monetary control to cyber-currencies might not be totally sad at this state of affairs (hence the icon).

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Microsoft dangles carrot at SMEs, eases Windows 8 Enterprise licensing

JLV
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Re: Enterprise Edition features is a capability called side-loading.

Far as I understand, side-loading is putting Windows 8 new style apps onto your companies' PC, not from the MS App Store, but from your company IT dept.

That doesn't mean that you can't install "legacy" pc software on Win8. But in the "dawn of time", Windows-wise, there were no Windows 8 app-store-style-apps. There were standard Windows programs and there still are.

Whether or not you like this approach is another question entirely. I don't find much to like about Win8 myself, which seems a low point, even for MS. Just got a laptop with it, for work, so gonna get acquainted :(

http://www.zdnet.com/the-enterprise-sideloading-story-on-windows-8-its-complicated-7000006742/

OK, I realize my own previous comment might have been a wee snarky, but neither was the article totally devoid of clarity so the OP was somewhat aggressive, IMHO.

And, yes, MS is greedy. All these different flavors of Windows, Home, Pro, Enterprise, compounded with OEM/upgrade/full flavors are annoying. As a SOHO I'd rather pay $X and get a CD that I can install one one computer at a time, but keep when I get a new machine.

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JLV
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Boffin

Re: Enterprise Edition features is a capability called side-loading.

"This lets you directly install apps on the Windows 8 device when it’s joined to a managed domain."

It goes on a bit more in the next paragraph. Perfectly plain English, albeit using some technical terms, because... it's a technical subject matter.

Did you read on before jumping on your keyboard and commenting away? Yes, he could have defined what a 'managed domain' was, but the general idea is probably fairly obvious in the context and overkill for 90% of the readers of the article. Google/Bing/name your spyware is your friend otherwise.

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John Lewis unzips mega Oracle ERP package

JLV
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2018?

IMHO if you get an ERP system, a big success factor is implementing straight out of the box, with limited customizations. Be cautious and frugal - configure, don't develop.

(After doing due diligence that it will support your business volumes - large retailers and volume businesses have struggled with general purpose ERP systems that do not take kindly to a firehose of transactions)

An excess of time, $ and development consultants is not always a good thing.

Customizing ERPs is almost always a problem - possibly straightaway, because your corporate IT and consultants aren't really up to re-designing best practices on top of a complex software solution. Or later, because you can't track patches and updates coming in from your vendor. Especially problematic if the software is buggy to start with - many patches to be expected. But, hey, it looks attractive when you have access to the development tools, does it not?

Good requirements management, proper C-level sponsorship, user training and change management are better places to spend effort on and cost way less. Do pony up for data integration feeds.

If you are planning for a 4 year rollout, it could mean one of two things.

a) you are doing a cautious bit-by-bit rollout, but each module is put online in a relatively quick fashion. What should be easy wins (but the devil is in the implementation), spread out over time.

b) you're budgeting a lot of time and $ to customize, rather than configure, your ERP to your requirements. Big bucks, big bang. Much risk.

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Woman claims she was assaulted in Google Glass 'HATE CRIME'

JLV
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Dive bar early AM + high tech 1-percenter gadget, what could possibly go wrong?

Google Glasses are an interesting new way to wear a computer. Privacy issues? For sure, but I still think they are moving the envelope. Too bad in a way they come from Google. I suspect wearable recording-capable tech will end up a bit like the early days of cellphone cameras - big concerns, then grudging acceptance. I would certainly be more accepting if there was a visible RECORDING indicator on the frames. Blinking red light, perhaps? Like the camera shutter sound on cell phones?

But... regardless of the merits or not of those things - who is clueless enough to wear a $1500 gadget with a very controversial Big Brother reputation in a dive bar? In a city that is getting polarized against the rich by the day? Alcohol and good behavior often part ways, do they not? Does she have a clue? Methink not.

And, when she gets into an altercation, it's not just any regular bar fight or disturbance. No, sirree - it's a HATE CRIME. You know, the legal designation that was brought to punish killing or wounding someone who is gay, the wrong color or the wrong religion.

Hey, I live right near a rather ghetto area. If I walk around there with a $1500 DSLR camera at night and I get robbed, would anybody call that a hate crime? Really? I'd expect the police to get off their butt if I got injured, but otherwise, I'd expect them superficial support but a good chuckle at my expense behind my back.

a) she was clueless

b) despite a) she should not have been attacked so she is a victim

c) the hate crime designation is ludicrous

d) since nothing much seems to have happened, storm in a teacup, police $ better spent elsewhere unless the perpetrators are easily identified in which case they should get the same treatment they would for any other similar assault

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Samsung brandishes quad-core Galaxy S5, hopes nobody wants high specs

JLV
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>not be found again until summer

I lost a Nokia 3310 snowboarding and got it back 3 or 4 months later, once the snow had melted.

It worked.

Contrast that with me flaunting my iPhone 3 a few years later on the top of the lift, getting a few delicate snowflakes to melt on the cover and ending up with a voided-warranty brick. Apple had had the foresight to install water sensitive litmus paper in strategic spots. Rather than having the foresight to make it water-resistant.

Of course, my next Nokia' s UI (3670? - not cheap in any case) was so unpleasant to use that I jumped at the chance to trade in $200 and my busted iPhone for a refurbished one at the Apple store. Kudos to the Reg reader that clued me in on that program.

Phone robustness is a big deal to me. Despite using cases, I bust screens regularly on my iPhone 4 - replacements are about $90. When I last got it fixed the shop was quoting >$200 for the Samsung S3-4 series screens and other shops were quoting the same. Something about Apple being more standardized so easier to stock.

Getting a Nexus 5 any day now in the mail. $399 for 32GB @ Google Store was convincing. Still... quite worried about my screen. That Gorilla glass better work and I would have loved water-resistance as well.

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Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning the devout from Mars One 'suicide' mission

JLV
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Re: Spirts in the sky nut jobs and such

Every so often I read bit and parts of the Scientology backstory and it is hilarious. Planet Earth was settled as a prison planet trillions of years ago and the ghost of murdered prisoners haunt us yet... They've so far successfully managed to sue whoever puts up links to it, on the basis of non-disclosure and trade secrets.

Think about it - none of the other religions feel any shyness about promoting whatever wonderful and informative stories their holy books carry. Scientology feels it has no choice but to keep it secret.

I also read Battlefield Earth and it is a whopper. In years and years of reading SF, a fair bit of it not very good, I have never read something as gloriously, unbashedly, awful. It sucks. Having Jonny Goodboy be the name of the main protagonist? A high point in its literary achievements.

Whoever disses the movie with Travolta always seems to miss how bad the book was.

There is some rumor that, once upon a time, a trio of poor SF writers, Hubbard, Phillip K Dick and another, were debating how to make lots of $. Hubbard's supposed idea? Found a religion.

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Imprisoned Norwegian mass murderer says PlayStation 2 is 'KILLING HIM'

JLV
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WTF?

Why does this moron have access to any gaming system in the first place?

I definitely respect Norway's negative stance on the death penalty, esp when the public response after Breivik was to NOT change it. Takes cojones for a society not to overreact to an atrocity like this. But this guy doesn't deserve anything besides being kept alive and well so he sits out a loooong life in prison.

Torture? No, but don't grant him anything that makes his life nice. I would perhaps draw the line at solitary confinement as well, but this guy is pathetically worthless scum, not a normal criminal, and should be treated as such. Punishment, in a dignified and legal fashion, not rehabilitation, should be the order of the day.

As for the Win8 dig at the start. Juvenile, yes! But so very funny!

HolyFreakingGhost - get a chill pill and a sense of humor. Remember, this is an IT forum and the angle here was PS2 vs PS3. So it is only normal that people comment on computer stuff. The thing about digging at MS is how so many of us saw Win8 heading for a trainwreck and how that exceeded all our expectations. Regardless of the merits (or lack thereof) of MS, it takes a special attitude to tell the great majority of your customers that you couldn't care less what they think because you know so much better.

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Jean Michel Jarre: Je voudrais un MUSIC TAX sur VOTRE MOBE

JLV
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>.and this is the version he did in 1986.

ah, rather like Grateful Dead fans, then. aka Deadheads.

The Dead were ahead of their time wrt to music rights management. In most of their outdoor concerts, you'd find a cordoned-off section reserved for people recording the show. Not some VIP folks, just a section meant to be a bit less rowdy so the recording would be better for the dedicated fans.

They were millionaires several times over and allowed Jerry Garcia to have more disposable cash than common sense, resulting in his going on to an early grave. The way the Dead made their money was from concerts and fan merchandising, not from obsessing over records sold.

It may not work for everyone and I don't expect a 65 year old JMJ to globe-trot to make a living. There is admittedly a lot wrong in how artists get paid for their work nowadays. We'll still be struggling with this 10 years from now, I am sure. I have a hard time buying physical CDs or legally acquiring mp3s in Canada and I miss our old record stores, though not their prices.

But I am pretty sure a blanket tax, giving the more successful artists first snout in the trough, as long as they pay the right lawyers to fill the paperwork to allow them to nuzzle at a bloated collection society's teats is NOT the way to go. It certainly does nothing to help an artist first struggling for recognition and revenue.

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A real life Romulan-Klingon alliance: Google, Samsung sign global patent pact

JLV
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Re: Hardly a surprise...

Oh, toss off, willya?

I welcome this development. Apple needs to compete on tech, price and... marketing too, necessary evil.

Not on patents. In general, patents have become progressively disconnected from their initial intent to reward original thinking. And nowhere more so than in the world of "rounded corners".

I have bought Apple products in the past and will continue to do so as long as they suit _me_, technically and price-wise. When there is an alternative _I_ perceive to be advantageous, I'll take it. Starting with my next phone. Apple is certainly not attracting my goodwill with its litigious behavior.

Sticking it to Apple on the patent front is 110% OK by me. Ditto forcing their prices down and forcing them back to the innovation drawing board.

The world is thankfully not entirely full of black&white blinkered fools as yourself. Be they for or against Apple.

Kudos to Samsung & Google on this :-)

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Reading this headline? You and 9.47 million others

JLV
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Pint

Eureka!

Those viewer counts explain why you folks are getting those LightInTheBox lingerie ads we've been seeing those last couple of weeks.

Well done, sirs, well done!

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UK.gov recruiting 400 crack CompSci experts to go into teaching

JLV
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generalize much?

Speak for yoursel.

I remember watching two guys on the subway (who'd make the IT Crowd look like suave men of the world) loudly crack obscure jokes about compilers and giggling madly at their own wit. Beards, bellies, glasses, awful clothes, pasty complexions. The works. Wish I coulda filmed them.

That was once, 12 years ago. Surely you realize that the stereotype is a bit dated? Too many jobs, too much money, in IT now to fill them only with social rejects and the nature of the job is different from when hand-coded assembler was the norm.

Granted, teaching well requires a particular talent, and not everyone has it, doesn't make the other half of your assertion correct.

My colleagues are mostly difficult to distinguish from "normal" folk, thank you very much. I expect that to be true of many of us.

Got any good accountant stereotypes you'd want to share as well? Mind you, we could learn from them - hereabouts, 60% of post-university accountant students are women.

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Facebook will LOSE 80% of its users by 2017 – epidemiological study

JLV
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Applying models...

So, you have a well-known mathematical model that works very well on one domain and has been used on others.

Then you claim that it fits yet another domain. And you use a variable, the Google search, that looks somewhat credible. No worries, the math looks very good. And your research paper is sure to trend!

Reminds me of the bankers during the 2008 meltdown that were flabbergasted that their CDO risk assessment spreadsheets were showing that real-world conditions were 25 standard deviations off from their mathematically-correct predictions.

My guess: Facebook is a network-effect case, where value goes up with the number of users. Unless they screw up big time or something radically different comes along, they'll probably be safe for a while. That's why they need to keep their eyes on mobile. Unlike Myspace vs. Facebook, the ground has largely been staked already so there is no massive amount of people without social network affiliation to boost your numbers. Twitter? Complementary.

I'll grant that we could see a drop of FB visits per user, but I rather doubt it will mean large scale abandonment. Just less use and I even doubt that.

10 years from now? Who knows. 2017? I'll take their bet.

For those, like me, who don't like/use FB much, a lot of what we object to would end up being exactly the same with their replacement. Ads? Check. "Privacy"? Check. Compulsive posting of life's pedestrian moments? Check. Friend count fixation? Check. Plus ca change plus c'est la meme chose.

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German frau reports for liver transplant clutching bottle of vodka

JLV
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Re: With that habit, the hospital could have arranged for her a special

Wrong, at least by NHS guidelines:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1200692/Please-help-Mum-I-dont-want-die-Last-words-alcoholic-22-died-refused-liver-transplant.html

If there is only 1 liver available and 2 people need it badly, would you rather give it to the person who's going to use her second chance wisely? Or to someone who's likely to run it into the ground again?

Obviously not a easy ethical dilemma, but being blind to the receiver's lifestyle isn't good ethics, IMHO. The medical profession gauges treatment outcomes in terms of expected extra years of life, as it should.

It's not about punishing the unrepentant lush, it's about helping the next person in line. IF no one else is waiting, then your argument holds.

Therapeutic cloning: all for it, along with _embryonic_ stem cell research (as long as the embryos weren't created for research purposes). But that ain't gonna make these problems go away in the short term.

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4K-ing hell! Will your shiny new Ultra HD TV actually display HD telly?

JLV
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>sit too far from their screens to benefit from HD

Yeah, you know, that is not so totally true as you may think.

I had a 1080p 32" that I was watching from 8-9' or so for years. Most of the time, if you are engrossed in a movie, you won't tell a 720p DVD from a Blu-Ray. You can, maybe, if you stop to think about it, but I probably won't.

However... freeze frame on a scene involving a letter or a page of a book, held at arms length. Most of the time, you can't read the text from a DVD but you can do that just fine from a BluRay. Or watch Apocalypto, for example, one of the best early movies for HD.

i.e. I may _not_ care most of the time, and I am most assuredly not a "connoisseur", in TVs or sound systems. But believing straight off the bat that regular HD doesn't make any difference because you can't physically see the difference with DVD is a bit of reverse-snobism, IMHO.

Try it for yourself instead of just believing the theory. On 4K you are probably spot on.

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JLV
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Meh

>Films, TV drama shows and live sport all offer great content

Perhaps, but mostly when they have been recorded in that format.

Sports will be, as soon as it is available. But for the rest, you'll to wait for a while till the content catches up with the medium and you can kiss your old faves goodbye. Unless you are a true believer in upscaling, which I ain't. Or the director/producer were forward-looking enough to record in UHD and had the right equipment.

4K? Definitely. _After_ the standards have settled, the prices have come down from small-car-level and when the things I like to watch are cheap and plentiful. 1080p in the meantime - 55+"s are dirt cheap by now.

Great article!

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DOOMSDAY still just MINUTES AWAY: As it has been since 1947

JLV
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Re: Only 5 minutes before the hour?

>pakistan and india pointing nukes at each-other

While not at all something I would wish to happen, a nuclear exchange by those 2 would greatly re-focus everyone on the dangers of war. And by no means do they have enough weapons to doom everyone else, quite unlike the Cold War. Ditto Iran & Israel.

Terrorist nukes? Scary, but very small scale stuff at worst.

I frankly fail to understand why the doomsday clock is anywhere near the level it was at during the Cold War. The US and Russian may not like each other much, but they have pretty close to zero incentive to have a go at each other.

China may or may not take on the mantle of world superpower peacefully, that is true. But right now, it also nowhere near strong enough to duke it out with the US, nor do they have a compelling reason to do so. While the doomsday clock may warrant upticks in the coming decades, fear-mongering on their account right now seems highly premature.

At this moment, nothing quite compares to the level of paranoia, distrust and overwhelming danger present during the high points of the Soviet-US confrontation, a period I grew up during.

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Furtive ebook readers push Hitler's Mein Kampf up the charts

JLV
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Joke

Re: The inside story

Reading Crime and Punishment, I wish it HAD lost something in translation.

Like 100-200 pages getting trimmed out "by mistake". That was one tedious and repetitious book, sorry.

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JLV
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Re: @Khaptain

Hitler, AFAIK, laid out his worldview and plans in Mein Kampf.

I'd read MK to see how Hitler managed to finagle the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact given that Slavs were barely above Jews in his esteem. And how he fooled Chamberlain & co as well.

Somebody else mentioned that MK, as a "vanity press" book, was easy to dismiss. That was certainly true before Hitler gained power, but hardly afterwards. Was MK that clear about his intentions?

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JLV
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Mushroom

>Anything that irritates them has to be fairly high on the Christmas reading list...

There is admittedly plenty to dislike in the current Israeli approach to the Palestinian issue.

I happen to believe that Israel should negotiate in good faith to reach a settlement. Preferably a two state solution based on 1967 borders and the corresponding UN resolution, with land swaps. Even the PLO has more or less accepted Israel's right to existence (probably because they don't have much choice).

Israel should settle while they are in a position of regional military superiority and while the US is still dominant ahead of China. On the PR side of things, Israel has seen a massive slide in global sentiment since the 70s, which is all the more reason to settle now.

Since Israel's coalition democracy makes it so difficult for their government to take hard decisions, I would see no problem whatsoever in forcing their hand externally, be it by sanctions or the withholding of aid. This is in everyone's best interest, Israel's foremost.

But any sympathy whatsoever towards Hitler, the Holocaust and anti-Semitism makes it way easier for Jewish refuseniks to point to past atrocities to justify their current oppression of the Palestinians and fantasies of Biblical Greater Israel. "Never Again" is a powerful statement, both internally and to demand Western support, given the horrible massacres of 1933-1945.

In short, my dear, you are an ass.

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Scientists discover supervolcano trigger that could herald humanity's doom

JLV
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>I wish probabilities actually worked that way

Ummm, yes and no.

First, I upvoted you, because you make a generally very valid point. But an individual volcano's activity is not like a dice's, where each event is independent of the next.

My area has magnitude 9 earthquakes about every 500 years, with a wide variation around that average. Last was in 1700. Since subduction earthquakes are about stress relief, pops will happen when enough stress has built up over time. It probably won't happen just 50 years after a quake. Nor will it likely wait for 5000.

Throwing 20 supervolcanoes with gradual magma buildup cycles in the mix does validate your argument quite a bit as their activity is not linked and their eruption cycles have different periods. So the result is likely to be a lot more random than if we looked at just one volcano.

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Get lost, fanbois: Nokia pulls HERE Maps from Apple's App Store

JLV
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Re: OOh lets dangle the maps

>CryptoLocker spreading is not a failure of the Windows operating system

I call BS. First, the .exe extension is hidden due to Windows's stupid policy re extension hiding. Fail #1.

Second, the lack of permissions means anything can do anything once launched.

Third, if you spend anytime on a Windows desktop you are bombarded with warnings about ... everything. In an email, I can't open an Excel spreadsheet that I wrote without a warning. If I want to _view_ the system odbc data sources dialog .... warning.

Anybody clever about security will tell you repeat alarms without just cause will result in folks disregarding real ones.

Fourth, if iStuff is so badly put together, how come the malware is almost always on Windows?

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