At what point are the British going to be honest with themselves and admit - 'Yes, we live in a police state, (but it's for our own good).'
632 posts • joined 6 Jul 2007
fun with bots
Many bots are easy to spot. They have names apparently created by smashing one's face against a keyboard, and - for example - single mindedly whack away at an ore node no matter what is going on around them.
In my MMORPG the correct equitette is to attack the nearest hostile, and then lead it to the bot. Stand back and let bot get gibbed (they are crap at fighting back) and then rez the bot. Since the bot loses a bit of armor every time it dies, it's not uncommon to see re-animated corpses standing around in their underwear regularly getting shredded.
Re: Fat chance
This is what you get when you buy shop clothes like lumpen proletarians. Just get a decent tailor instead of the work of some east asian factory slave. You will both feel and look better.
I'm sure your valet can recommend someone.
There's no way of keeping your private informaiton off the interent. That ship has sailed. Hell, you can probably dig up more about your great-grandfather than your father ever knew. Great-gramps certainly never posted that information - it's just that the net is great for agglomerating bits of random info into a coherent whole.
So it's not us, but the gatekeepers who have to change. Banks, social services, and govt departments cannot assume that someone is who he says he is simply because he can provide a lot of personal information. It's not security by obscurity if its not obscure any more.
The easiest way is to bring personal relationships back into the business. You can't impersonate someone at the bank if the teller knows the real person. I live in a (very) small town. We all know a frightening amout about eachother. But no-one would last a moment trying to impersonate me to a local shopkeeper.
The problem comes because systems rely on computers having data about people, rather than people knowing people, and today that data is easy to get.
Canada has 10% of the US population and shares many aspect of a common North American culture.
Canada has 31 guns per 100 residents, but mainly rifles. In Canada there are around 150-200 deaths from firearms per year - over 70% of which are suicides and 3% are accidents. All Canadian cops are armed Police shootings make up less than 2% of fatalities.
In the USA there are around 11,000 deaths from firearms, of which around 60% are suicides. Guns are used in 60% of US homicides and 10% of Canadian. Whites are killed by police officers more often than blacks, but white make up around 60% of the population, blacks make up 10%.
OTOH, apparently police officers are eight times more likely to be killed by a black gunman than a white one, which may partly account for their trigger-happiness
I remember a company director telling me that the scariest sound in the world is when the computer tech doing something vital to the system says 'oh' in a small, quiet voice.
What if you develop a 'personal' relationship with a client? E.g. you exchange gifts on birthdays and Xmas, play golf together etc. Presumably changing jobs does not mean you have to break off all your previous relationships (or there would be many fewer lobbyists from big business).
So can you argue that yes, you handed over all the contact details for Mr Megabux, CEO of Bigbiz Ltd. But you kept the details of Sam Megabux, your occasional bridge partner at the country club.
Dad of student slain in Paris terror massacre sues Google, Twitter, Facebook for their 'material support' of ISIS
Why is this guy not suing the arms manufacturers who produced the weapons in question?
Not that such a lawsuit would wn either, but attacking Google et al. is like suing the road builders - without roads these terrorists could never have reached their destination.
Re: Is it programming?
'... old automated cart in Greece.'
Alexandria is not in Greece. It's in Egypt. The guy who did it worked for the Library in Alexandria, and had the name of Hero. He also developed a steam engine (the aeliopile) and the world's first vending machine.
subside veggies = subsidize your grocer
They tried this hereabouts in BC- lowering the tax on fruit and veg to encourage healthy eating. The tax is lower, but the base price is higher as the supermarkets simply jack up the price again to what the market will bear.
If the average customer is prepared to pay $3 and no more for a cauliflower, then $3 it will cost, no matter what the price/tax split.
Don't give up on Indiana
The judges in the appeal ruling were pretty clear
'Before conducting any further proceedings, the trial court shall hold a hearing for purposes of determining whether this case should be dismissed pursuant to Trial Rule 41(E), based on Zavodnik’s repeated, flagrant, and continuing failure to comply with Indiana’s rules of procedure. '
That looks to me like the green light to counter-sue or at least get the case dismissed - with costs.
Re: unfortunate but real legacy of race oppression
Rhodesia did not have an apartheit system. That was unique to South Africa.
Rhodesia did have a government which deliberately slanted voting qualifications - through property and education and other values - to favour white minority rule but it never went the whole hog and legalized racial discrimination.
It might sound like a distinction without a difference, but remember that back then places like Texas were not doing it much differently.
From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today ...
For those who just want the skinny - its the story of a woman who gets to make cellphone calls in Canada at half the price Canadians pay. Because she lives in Paris, and her provider offers that much better a deal than the Canadian telcos.
Everyone knows the CRTC is a bad joke.
Wasn't the point of the Kessler syndrome that space damage is exponential? That is, debris hits a satellite in an explosion creating lots of junk, which increases the risk of another satellite getting hit, creating even more junk until there's a sort of orbiting band of destruction that nothing can get through.
(and communications go back to the 1950s)
Oddly enough, I was watching Person of Interest just before I read this article. That's fiction right? For now anyway ..
Not just web pages ...
Web pages may be getting heavier, but so are FPS games.
Thanks to a hard disk crash I've had to re-download the Guild Wars 2 image. 18GB so far, and counting. ....
Um ... why does the picture that goes with this article show a bunch of ancient Spartans and Athenians? (Spartans because that upside down V is a Lambda, for 'Lacedaemonia', and Athenians because the other shields have Athena's owl.)
As far as I know neither ancient civilization had any problems with their web servers.
Trojans? Nope, those aren't Trojans.
Re: Pastafarian literature
It is called 'The loose canon' I believe...
It starts with the book of ProvHerbs.
There's always one ...
A friend of mine used to live in Namibia. His work used to involve driving across a bit of the Kalahari desert that was so flat and empty that there was no road - you just took a compass bearing and set off.
In all those kilometers of emptiness there was one tree - a baobab. It was such a distinctive feature that it was marked on maps. Then one day someone drove a truck into it, irrecoverably damaging the thing.
If that tree got hit, then a rock in the middle of a highway stands no chance. Sooner or later some idiot will always come along.
('Stop' sign, obviously)
take care folks ...
But it's my understanding that if you access really illegal porn - i.e. CP on a computer you are repairing, the cops might decide to charge you as well if you report it.
The point is that it's illegal to view this stuff unless you are properly authorized. And repairing a mate's computer does not count as being authorized. So if you show any great familiarity with the contents of illegal porn folders, you might be in trouble.
I strongly urge you to look up 'Strict liability' as a legal term - as a non-legal expert, my reading of the law is that why you saw the porn, or your intentions (mens rea) don't count. You viewed it, so you're guilty. From a moral standpoint, you have to report this stuff if you find it, but it might be worth thinking hard about reporting how you knew what the material was.
I was thinking more of something like:
'Hello,this is Lockheed technical support. Press 1 if your radar is malfunctioning, 2. if your plane is dropping out of the sky and 3 if you are experiencing a serious software failure during combat.'
'I'm sorry all our operatives are busy with other calls right now. Please hold for the next available operator. Your aircraft is important to us. Please hold.'
Have you heard of the new, updated F-36 with new, innovative features? Contact your congressman about it today!
Thank you for your patience ...'
Obscure agricultural god
For some of the speculation here, I'd recommend the obscure Roman agricultural god Sterculinus. He's the god of manure-spreading. (Seriously)
to summarize the FBI position
(Which the writer of this article appears to be endorsing)
Unless you give up some of your rights, criminals will get away with it.
Of course, (replacing criminals with 'enemies of the state') totalitarian states have used this argument for decades. Conversely if you do give up your rights - for any reason whatsoever - you WILL get a totalitarian state. Police and governments can't help themselves.
IT and presentations
A whiles back, I was giving a talk at a fairly prestigious London institution. The IT guy asked to look at my talk so he could throw the slides onscreen at the appropriate moment. Then he took my only copy and vanished.
Since I knew the topic intimately (which is why I was asked to give the talk) it was not hard to adlib my way through the hour, every now and then looking up at the projectionist's box and asking for 'next slide please'.
Afterwards, the IT guy came and asked rather heatedly why I had not stuck to my script. Apparently this should have been showing on the flat screen built into the lectern. However, no-one had told me this, or turned the thing on.
Re: Let's just hope AI's will be smarter than these researchers
'Can an arbitrary entity possibly create an intelligence greater than itself?'
Let's ask Einstein's mother.
wait for it ...
The Republican party contains some real wingnuts who believe the Donald is 'right on' with his overblown rhetoric. There's a lot of others who are - in their words - 'mad as hell' about how the current system does not benefit ordinary Americans, and they are using Trump as a sort of rabid attack dog to scare the mainstream political establishment into actually considering their needs. (This appears to be working, for now).
These two groups are all that Trump needs to sew up the republican nomination, so why should he not speak to them? Then once he becomes the Republican candidate, wait for the pivot, and we get the moderate, toned-down Trump who talks to the average undecided voter. Problem is, I'm not sure the real Trump is either the attack dog he is now or the moderate he will become. It's going to be an interesting year.
Trump on Amazon: "If I become president, oh do they have problems. They're going to have such problems"
Re: This is despicable.
Another quote for the list -
'Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem' - Ronald Reagan.
He also said
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help. "
ah yes .... support?
A while back I got a server with faulty RAM. Called the support line of the company (I won't say which one, but it rhymes with 'hell').
'Ah', says tech chappie 'I am seeing from your order number that you are in education, so I am to be transferring you to that department.' (cue ten minutes of classical music)
'Faulty RAM?' says education chappie. 'I am to be transferring you to hardware.' (cue ten minutes of classical music)
Says hardware, 'This is an education order so I'm transferring you to them ...' (cue ten minutes of classical music)
Needless to say I've never purchased another box from them, and advised my colleagues against doing so. Multiply by X dissatisfied customers, and how much has their 'low-cost' support service cost the company?
Well, we now have a better idea of where Simon lives - anyone who has played booze roulette on the underground and ended up trying to take a cab home will know that 'Sorry guv,' but cabbies 'can't take you sarf of the rivah.'
Uber is Karma.
Re: No H or He?
Thanks for taking the time to explain. It did indeed help.
Have one on me.
Re: No H or He?
'Space didn't "travel" faster than the speed of light, it just expanded faster.'
Ah. thanks for clearing that up. Now when space was expanding faster than the speed of light, at what speed was the border between space and non-space moving?
Conversation got hit by a troll. And you fell for it.
The internet needs to kill off Flash. It's like a family pet suffering a painful terminal illness, except that this illness is dangerous for everyone around.
Just put it out of our misery already.
Have you noticed ...
How much Dianne Feinstein looks like Dolores Umbridge of Harry Potter fame? Seems that they have more than their appearance in common.
No, it's not a dress. You darn well know that, but I'll give you chapter and verse anyway.
It's a cassock, and probably a surplice on top of that. It's based on the vestis talaris which civilized, (and rather macho Romans) were wearing while trouser-clad barbarian types were still figuring out how to get the lice out of their beards. How is it that no-one suggests that Caesar was wearing a dress while his be-skirted legionaries were knocking the crap out of the Britons?
You might just as well refer to a navy seal in battledress as wearing panties and a chemise instead of boxer shorts and camo jacket - the descriptions are equally inaccurate.
then there's EULA ...
I was halfway through downloading my weekly magazine onto the iPad when up pops Apple's 'Your terms and conditions have changed. Please read this frigging 52-page document of legalese in fine print and then click 'I agree' before you can get on with your magazine and morning tea and toast. (Please note there is no 'I disagree' button.)'
Like 99.99% of the population I agreed to something I had not read. I might have agreed to sell my first born to Satan, accept unpatched versions of Adobe, or agreed to install and never delete iTunes.
The whole system is broken
Re: "Er no... It was a free app therefore zero profit to both Apple and Google."
'This is the 100millionth time they've let things slip by....' Now, take a deep breath. According to Apple, there are just under 3/4 of a million apps in the app store
Therefore your post suggests that each app is faulty despite being screened more than 100 times. I've nothing against a bit of hyperbole, but this seems a touch OTT. Have a drink while you calm down.
'in the modern world the insurance sector ... is larger than the agriculture sector by some way. We therefore appear to value insurance more than food at this level of wealth. '
The size of a business sector does not relate to the value of its products. Let's rewrite this sentence with one minor change.
'in the modern world the potato sector ... is larger than the caviar sector by some way. We therefore appear to value potatoes more than caviar at this level of wealth. '
would like to add to the chorus of lamentation at the Worstall departure. It's one of the columns that makes the Reg worth visiting
Eco-geddon v. paint
This is why I love Reg commantards. We have an announcement about a climate-change variable of considerable significance, and this results in an animated discussion about paint.
Reminds me of Ridcully trying to keep a discussion by wizards on track.
Actually they've got you already
If the authorities wanted to arrest you, you're already cooked. Hours after your arrest, the media will be informed - correctly - that you were discovered to have had child pornography on your computer and bomb-making equipment in your home. Consider this:
Child Pornography; Level 1 on the COPINE scale:
'Non-erotic and non-sexualised pictures showing children in their underwear or swimming costumes from either commercial sources or family albums.'
Bomb-making equipment - for obvious reasons I'm not going into detail here, but if you have bleach, one of several types of domestic cleaning products, and gasoline in the car in your garage you are well on the way. Add nitrogen-based fertilizer in the garden shed and you certainly can produce a handy bang.
You might as well plead guilty now.
one of the rules of the internet
(I forget which one) Men are men, women are men, children are FBI agents.
Trusting that someone on Darknet is who he claims to be is the height of naivety.
The good Dr Richardson seems confused about the distinction between a feminist and a misandrist.
Re: Could that really have gone off?
'As someone who has always been told to keep such gear meticulously clean ..'
re we talking firearms or gynecology here?
pure mountain smog
Except the air around Banff for most of August has been slightly worse than the air in downtown Beijing. There are huge fires burning in northern Washington State, and the prevailing winds have been carrying the smoke north-east into the Rockies.
Thanks to some welcome rain hereabouts, the smoke has cleared a lot this week, but take a look at http://firesmoke.ca/forecasts/BSC00WC04/current/# to get the general idea.
If you think a Jeep should be about crossing the Rockies, forget it.
Take the transCanada on Highway One past Banff, and you could do it in a Trabant ...
Phones - phooey
If you have something to say to me, send an email. There's very little so urgent that it requires a voice conversation immediately.
A while back I got so peeved with spam calls that I ditched my landline (saving a good few bucks in the process) got a mobile- and turned it off.
Whenever someone interrupts a face to face conversation with 'I've got to take this call', I simply walk away. Apart from 999 calls, no phone has an automatic right to be answered.
Right, right, and right.
For example the Abu Omar case, where a Muslim cleric was abducted from the streets of Milan by CIA operatives.
The US Counterintelligence Analysis Report published under the auspices of the Department of Defense Intelligence Analysis Program (DIAP) which claims Assange is a terrorist supporter who has engaged in cyber-spying. Also, the US justice department's refusal to deny that it has closed the book on any prosecution for these 'offences' by Assange.
Research all these, and then decide if assange is making this all up to boost his ego.
Be grateful that W. Yorks have professionals answering their emergency calls. Compare that with the scumbag 911 operator in the States who hung up on a caller trying to save a dying man - because he didn't like her attitude.