* Posts by Mephistro

2076 posts • joined 8 Oct 2007

What could be more embarrassing for a Russian spy: Their info splashed online – or that they drive a Lada?

Mephistro
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My younger brother, a car mechanic, owned a Lada for several years that he bought when he was 21 or so. He swore BY his Lada Niva (instead of AT it 8^), as it was trustworthy and easy to repair, and very good at going cross country. In the end, he ditched it due to the fuel it guzzled.

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Mephistro
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Devil

"...did the GRU agent patriotically have his ears pinned back for the operation?"

In case you haven't noticed, people with sticky-out ears have almost vanished since the popularization of Superglue.

8^)

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Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

Mephistro
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Happy

In my first week in my first paid job...

... I was told by one of the execs to familiarize myself with a PC running THEOS/OASIS that was to be installed the next day at a customer's. I proceeded to test the software by inputting some fake data, generating queries and reports and all that carp.

When I finished doing this, I decided to wipe all the data I created by using an "Initialize" option in the menu. To my indescribable horror, it wiped out all the data, the software and most of the OS.

After twenty minutes of panic, cold sweats and frantic reading of the manuals, I found there was an option to undo the last initialization.

Lesson learned: RTFM before playing with a system you aren't familiar with! 8^)

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Got any ecsta-sea? Boffins get octopuses high on MDMA – for science, duh

Mephistro
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Devil

"California two-spot octopus"

If these octopuses (octopii?) live near the coast of California, one would expect them to be mostly immune to MDMA!

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Redis does a Python, crushes 'offensive' master, slave code terms

Mephistro
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Every living human being has ancestors...

... that were slaves, and other ancestors that were slave masters.

And bad things in history won't be prevented from happening again just by censoring the words that describe them. It's probably the other way round!

And applying one of these words to elements of software or hardware is just a convenient way to describe the relationship between said elements. You can't offend an effing hard disk drive!

Politically correct language has morphed into a tool for some fuckwits to gain an illusion of popularity or power, at the cost of breaking language, one of the most important tools we humans have.

This is criminally stupid.

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Toshiba crams 14TB into another helium drive, this time with SAS boost

Mephistro
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I was thinking of RAID boxes with their own SATA controller for for its own disks and an external SATA link with the host system. For that specific use case it would make sense, I think. I've never worked with such systems, but I remember reading about them and they sounded nice and not as expensive as SAS.

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Mephistro
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"...not able to exceed SATA 1 data rates."

Not when working alone, but several of them in a RAID...

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Experimental 'insult bot' gets out of hand during unsupervised weekend

Mephistro
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Happy

When I was eighteen...

Other four guys and me were "hired" as IT "interns" in a medium sized company. The company's owner wanted to start an IT dept. and develop it's own software on the cheap. We were given access to a Pick multi-user system that used serial VT-100 compatible terminals, and left alone with it for a week, to 'learn the ropes' including both the OS and the programming language (Something called "DataBasic", which was, in short, a dialect of BASIC with some embedded SQL-like capacities).

The first thing that happened was that the intern sitting in the console nearest to the server thought it would be funny to disconnect the serial cables of other users at random intervals. It took the rest of us two frustrating hours or so to discover the trick, using a communications log file kept by the server.

That day, when leaving, I grabbed one of the system's manuals and took it home with me. Thanks to said manual I learned that the system allowed sending messages from one terminal to another, that said messages could use extended attributes (text colour, text width, any ASCII characters, etc.) and that such messages could be automated using the DataBasic language.

So the next day I made a very short and simple program that at intervals would send to the fucker practical joker's terminal one of the following:

- A backspace once per minute.

- A carriage return once every three minutes.

- A clear screen once every five minutes.

- A disconnect control sequence every 10 minutes.

The first three sequences weren't recorded in any log, but I added some randomness to the fourth, as not to make the trick too obvious. I also sent all the messages using black text on a black background, so the victim couldn't see the messages.

The poor sod spent all the day swearing aloud while trying to troubleshoot his "technical issues" and later staring suspiciously at us for growing periods of time. 8^)

Miraculously, the next day, the issue "vanished by itself", which left the joker even more baffled.

Needles to say, the guy never tried one of his jokes on us again!.

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Fire chief says Verizon throttled department's data in the middle of massive Cali wildfires

Mephistro
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Re: Even their "good" practice is bad.(@ Jake)

"Because 99.99%[0] of all firefighters aren't involved in fighting wildfires in California,..."

In the context of the Santa Clara County in the time frame of the discussed emergency, your statement is both patently false AND disingenuous.

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Texas ISP slams music biz for trying to turn it into a 'copyright cop'

Mephistro
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Sshhhhhhh...

... don't give them ideas!

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Google responds to location-stalking outcry by… tweaking words on its BS support page

Mephistro
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Re: Google's full of it

I was one of the down-voters, and I've already corrected that. In my defense I'll say that the last time I watched the film was ~15 years ago. Time for a rerun, I guess.

And regarding "The crowd 'round here just gets burning mad.":

Yeah, but I reckon that's quite a normal reaction to things like this. I'm afraid we don't yet know all the consequences of this, and none of said consequences will be good.

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Mephistro
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Stop

Honest question:

If G-Aphabet-etc. keeps doing this kind of shit, how long until European regulators start treating it as a criminal racket? It would make lots of sense. And, even if that's not the case, G 'absorbing' the fines will surely promote changes in the law to raise the fines -to stratospheric levels- for repeat offenders.

They may get away with it for a while, but in the end the future doesn't look too rosy for G.

Good... good...

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Google keeps tracking you even when you specifically tell it not to: Maps, Search won't take no for an answer

Mephistro
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I spy with my little eye...

Hint: the first letter is an 'F'.

The solution, below.

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All right, the answer is FOUR PERCENT OF GLOBAL TURNOVER!

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Space, the final Trump-tier: America to beam up $8bn for Space Force

Mephistro
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Facepalm

“artificial-intelligence-enabled global surveillance” for missile targeting and tracking

Someone should inform these muppets of that "minor incident"* where errors/design blunders in automated systems almost caused a nuclear war, where it not for the intervention of humans. AIs are just a kind of automated systems we can't fully understand or debug. What could possibly go wrong?

*note: Actually, one of many such incidents.

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Click this link and you can get The Register banned in China

Mephistro
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Big Brother

I strongly doubt that the Chinese Government needs any external help to stain its own reputation. It's one of those "marvellous places" where you can be imprisoned for publicly disagreeing with "the State"*, FFS!

*note: e.g. Ai Wei Wei, or many other people in this list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chinese_dissidents

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Mephistro
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Coat

Anything whose name contains "bing" can't be any good!!!

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Beam me up, UK.gov: 'Extra-terrestrial markup language' booted off G-Cloud

Mephistro
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Pint

Re: Unfair, I call it (@WolfFan)

"Perhaps being shirtless is a requirement for the service."

In the case of ETs, they don't mind shirts at all. They are more interested in people without pants, because, you know, the "probes".

OMG! The calendar is wrong again! It should be Friday! ;^)

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Mephistro
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Re: "who provide a wide range of non-verbal support"

I humbly apologize for my error and thank you for pointing it out.

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Mephistro
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Devil

"who provide a wide range of non-verbal support"

Hugs, winks and pats in the back? I'd expect much more from professionals charging 1200 USD per a day's work. At the very least, a happy ending should be guaranteed!

And for this price, they should have a good backup plan in place for "those days of the lunar month"!

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UK 'fake news' inquiry calls for end to tech middleman excuses, election law overhaul

Mephistro
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"...selling lookalike political audiences to advertisers during the regulated period [...] users should be given a way to opt out of being included in such groups."

In my opinion, it should be exclusively "opt in". Social media firms could still milk the -too high- percentage of their users who love to be mislead and misinformed! 8^(

As other fellow commentards have already pointed out, a better education with special emphasis in critical thinking and a healthy degree of distrust of media sources and social media would get rid of most of these issues. Sadly, it'll probably never happen, as governments want their subjects docile. 8^(

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Politicians fume after Amazon's face-recog AI fingers dozens of them as suspected crooks

Mephistro
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Unhappy

The fact that Amazon is actually trying to sell this crap in its current state...

... proves without a doubt that Amazon's management are just a bunch of dangerous sociopaths.

Regarding police high-ups willing to buy this, I'd say they're split 50%-50% between sociopaths and morons.

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On Android, US antitrust can go where nervous EU fears to tread

Mephistro
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Re: I Want Something That Just Works

"Well thank you to the four selfish types who wish to deny me an easy road to..."

Now it's FIVE selfish types, counting myself!

Reason: A monopolistic OS that is very insecure and very difficult/impossible to make secure by design!!!...

... hoisted upon us by Google with the invaluable support of people like you, who "Want Something That Just Works" at any cost. Even if that something often doesn't work!!!

Edit: SIX selfish types now! 8^)

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Crypto gripes, election security, and mandatory cybersec school: Uncle Sam's cyber task force emits todo list for govt

Mephistro
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Facepalm

Magical thinking galore!

"...the Justice Department is not a fan of the common man having access to encryption."

How the fuck do these morons expect to keep the "common man" safe in the Internets without allowing "him" to use encryption?

Blowing and sucking the straw simultaneously is logically and physically impossible!

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Crooks swipe plutonium, cesium from US govt nuke wranglers' car. And yes, it's still missing

Mephistro
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Happy

A few years ago...

... while I was having my breakfast -espresso coffee + pincho de tortilla - at a local bar, a guy dressed in a blue jumpsuit entered the place carrying an orange plastic case. He looked around and left the case in an empty corner of the bar. The barman, who knew him, asked what was in the orange case, and the guy explained it was a radioactive source used for inspecting pipes. He wasn't allowed to leave it alone in his van, so he had to carry it everywhere.

For a few seconds, the only sound in the place was that of chairs inching away from the aforementioned corner. 8^)

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GitHub to Pythonistas: Let us save you from vulnerable code

Mephistro
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Devil

What?

A company owned by MS wants to "save us from vulnerable code"?

LOL, just LOL!

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AR upstart Magic Leap reveals majorly late tech specs' tech specs

Mephistro
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Re: But none of this answers the question... (I ain't Spartacus)

Smart vacuum cleaner? That's good, but not good enough. Right now I'm developing an interface for automatic milking machines that will blow your... minds!.

It even includes a security mechanism that stops the process after five litres have been extracted!.

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Outage outrage: TSB app offers users a TITSUP* encore

Mephistro
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Facepalm

Today I learned that...

... downdetector is not GDPR compliant!

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An $18m supercomputer to simulate brains of mice in the land of Swiss cheese. How apt, HPE

Mephistro
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Re: Swiss scientists should expect to find a desire for cheese

"Venezuelan Beaver Cheese"

***shudders***

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Spidey sense is literally tingling! Arachnids detect Earth's electric field, use it to fly away

Mephistro
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Re: Dowsing? (@ steelpillow)

Yes, I remember reading about that in the Spanish version of the French science magazine La Recherche, three decades or so ago.

One of the experiments consisted in placing a human with a pendulum inside a weak DC circuit. Whenever the polarity was inverted, the pendulum inverted the direction of it's movement, i.e. from clockwise to counter-clockwise or vice versa. The phenomenon was attributed to ferromagnetic nodules in vertebrates' articulations, and the experiments suggested that they had enough sensibility to detect very small variations in intensity.

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Git365. Git for Teams. Quatermass and the Git Pit. GitHub simply won't do now Microsoft has it

Mephistro
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Angel

Re: Missed the obvious one

Or Slurpy McSlurpface.

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Facebook, Google, Microsoft scolded for tricking people into spilling their private info

Mephistro
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As all the sites listed are opt-out...

... none of them is GDPR compliant, and all those company statements are just dilatory tactics, to stretch the private data smorgasbord for a few years more. I hope the courts throw the book at them.

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EU summons a CYBER FORCE into existence

Mephistro
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Headmaster

Re: international cyber-force (@ AC)

"I would take that to be it eventually being all countries that want to sign up regardless of customs union or borders etc..."

NO.

International:

1 : of, relating to, or affecting two or more nations *international trade*

2 : of, relating to, or constituting a group or association having members in two or more nations *international movement*

3 : active, known, or reaching beyond national boundaries *an international reputation*

Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary

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GDPR forgive us, it's been one month since you were enforced…

Mephistro
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Re: Firefox reading view

Blocks can also be removed using the Tor network.

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Mephistro
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Meh

In (probably) related news...

... a few days ago, Youtube started adding lots and lots of ads at the beginning of their videos. This would happen ~once per ten videos or so, with a three seconds countdown to allow "skip ad". Yesterday they were appending TWO ads at the beginning of each video, providing variable size "skip this ad" countdowns, even with some ads forcing users to watch most/all of the ad. The ads they served where mostly for my locale, but I also had to watch-or-skip ads in French, German and other European languages. The whole thing looks like a punishment for users that don't accept the worst of G's crap.

I reckon that G is boiling the frog too fast, and that's, imho, a clear symptom of G's desperation.

Good, good, ...

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Schneier warns of 'perfect storm': Tech is becoming autonomous, and security is garbage

Mephistro
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Devil

One day, ...

... we'll have regulations for IT products regarding their security, safety and makers and sellers responsibilities. Said regulations wiil be sane, well informed, well enforced and with a potent bite, both in terms of fines and even prison terms.

Nah, I was jesting.

We'll have anti-gravity and FTL travel long before that!

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Boffins offer to make speculative execution great again with Spectre-Meltdown CPU fix

Mephistro
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Re: Hard as I try... (@ GrumpyOldBloke)

No need to criminalize anything. You make compilers that create only safe code -in the context of the discussed processor bugs-. and somehow force the OS to accept only executables created using these tools. the progamming standards just provides a list of things that safe executables can and can not do, and the compilers&such enforce said rules. The las step consists on the Hypothetical OS checking that the executables have been developed using these tools, probably by using some crypto-negotiation and similar dark magicks.

Does this make sense? Honest question.

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Mephistro
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Devil

I'd like to add that...

... another effect would be millions of PCs freed of Windows 10 OSmalware. What's there not to like?

Farewell, WIntel, it was nice while it lasted. Don't let the door hit your etc etc ...

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Mephistro
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Linux

Hard as I try...

I can't picture chipmakers fixing these vulns in hardware and comercialising the new chips in less than two years. The amount of work involved in updating the designs for most of their market niches has to be a humongous nightmare! 8^(

I'm curious about whether it'd be possible to create a Linux version that can't be affected by these exploits, if neccesary with the help of new programming tools and mandatory programming standards.

This situation has a good chance of turning hundreds of millions of old(ish) PCs into linux stations.

PD: We definitely need a Keep-On-Dreaming Icon! 8^)

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No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project

Mephistro
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Re: EU Are Being Vindictive (@ Shadmeister)

"Pure and simple vindictiveness."

No. Pure and simple logic. You'll likely agree that there's no guarantee that any country external to the EU will keep its political/military interests aligned with those of the EU in the future, and even if they did, giving them the set of "system's keys" would compromise Galileo's security in many unacceptable ways.

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Mephistro
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Facepalm

Re: Well (@Codejunky)

"The UK doesnt want a border, the EU does, its their problem not ours."

Guess what happens when those "commie-pinko bureaucrats" in Brussels notice that the costs of maintaining a humongous border with the UK are not covered by the profits made through Commerce with the UK.

A soft border+hard Brexit would turn most of the UK's economy into smuggling operations, moving any goods into Europe. I don't think the EU will allow it, but even if they do (damn highly improbable thing imo), perhaps you should carefully consider the implications of most of your country's economy consisting of smuggling operations.

Imagine that instead of the UK it was Spain that had voted to leave the EU. Your country would do exactly what the rest of the EU countries are doing now to the UK and most people that in the Real World voted Brexit would probably be applauding with hands and ears!

I pray to the FSM that this shit doesn't happen in my country.

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Mephistro
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Re: Well(@ Hans 1)

I'd also add to that list of murdered companies the IT ones, as their status as "GDPR compliant" will be abundantly discussed in the next years.

And a big implied facepalm for whoever helped to make this shit possible, including politicians, big media, social sites, ...

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Mephistro
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Holmes

Re: Well

"...German cars..."

Well, I see two possible scenarios:

- Soft Brexit: Things keep going as usual regarding tariffs and imports, with the -non trivial- difference that the UK has no saying in the EU laws and normatives. Germans continue selling cars to the UK.

- Hard Brexit: By itself, it guarantees that a good part of the UK economy vanishes or migrates to some EU country, together with most of the well off UK citizens and residents that can buy German cars.

So... you'll have to look for a different lever.

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The eyes have it: 'DeepFakes' bogus AI-meddled videos outed by unblinking gaze

Mephistro
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Re: Revenge of the AI

I'd gladly pay to watch that show!

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Mephistro
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Re: I for one...(@ daggerchild)

".. will be practising talking into a camera without blinking."

A small amount of BMP* could help in that department.

And if the politician is less chemically inclined, he can paint a pair of eyes in his/her/its eyelids, and say/do whatever pleases. The only drawback is that he shouldn't do it while needing to keep his eyes open, e.g. as for walking, driving, using heavy machinery, preventing that sexy goat from bitting his/her/its junk off or hanging out with people that would rob his/her/its** blind at the drop of a hat, like most other politicians.

* BMP = Bolivian Marching Powder.

** After using it this Inclusive Language thing for several minutes, I like Inclusive Language even less. ;-)

You're welcome.

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Intel chip flaw: Math unit may spill crypto secrets from apps to malware

Mephistro
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Re: Floating point crypto operations?

I'm not an expert, but elliptic-curve cryptography sounds like it needs some floating point arithmetics.

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Experts build AI joke machine that's about as funny as an Adam Sandler movie (that bad)

Mephistro
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GIGO indeed!

The post is required, and must contain letters! Yay!

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Max Schrems is back: Facebook, Google hit with GDPR complaint

Mephistro
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Re: Oath Hell too please (@ AC)

"Past 3 days, everytimeI open the browser (Firefox) it nags me to give my consent (or otherwise) before I can go to my homepage (Yahoo)"

I've suffered similar symptoms after Firefox upgrades. My workaround is to restart the computer. I guess the certificates store gets messed somehow in the update, perhaps with the help of Ghostery or a similar tool that, for some reason, I never remember to shut down before updating the browser. 8^)

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Mephistro
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Pint

Re: A Living Legend

GO, MAX! GO!

If we ever met in the real word, I owe this guy a few pints!

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US websites block netizens in Europe: Why are they ghosting EU? It's not you, it's GDPR

Mephistro
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Why should a US corp have to jump through hoops...?(@ Loyal Commenter)

ROFLMAO++

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