* Posts by Schultz

1300 posts • joined 22 Oct 2007

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Astroboffins discover that half of the Milky Way's matter comes from other galaxies

Schultz
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Boffin

Astroboffins ̶d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶ speculate ...

Let me recap the scientific method for you:

(1) Scientists dream up a model that might explain our world ("hypothesis").

(2) Scientists compare their model with observations and validate or reject their model ("validation").

If you make a new observation that requires a new scientific model, then you made a discovery. If you create a model that is not validated by observations, as did the authors of the study described here, then you just speculate and all you have is a hypothesis. This project clearly is in stage number (1); there is no discovery.

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AlphaBay and Hansa: About those dark web marketplaces takedowns

Schultz
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Boffin

Criminals are stupid. But what about the police, the politicians, the society?

The war on drugs began many decades ago and is probably older than the average reader of this site. (see: the-war-on-drugs, brief-history-drug-war)

Look at the abundance of drugs today, and give me your honest opinion:

( ) The police won the war.

( ) The drugs won the war.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me my whole lifetime, ...?

Let's face it, if those new fentanyl opiates are powerful enough that you can send a years' supply in an envelope, then you might just as well give up the police work. Upside: those powerful synthetic opiates may put the Afghan (Columbian, ...) drug lords out of business. That might end some wars.

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Alphabet takes Euro antitrust fine in stride, spooks investors with rising Google ad costs

Schultz
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Go

Fines instead of taxes ... (for Apple, Google, banks, ...)

I guess it's a way to collect public dues while the governments try to figure out how to work the taxation of international companies. Its a bit arbitrary though.

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Boffin supercharges FPGAs with timing signal tweak

Schultz
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"Someone else, however, noticed his work, and lifted the paper almost in its entirety ..."

That someone else seemed to include on of the co-authors of the (later, unplagiarized) Carl Ingemarsson paper. So was it a colleague trying to get two-for-one papers out of it? How did he get to stay on the joint paper if he participated in that plagiarization?

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Judge uses 1st Amendment on Pokemon Go park ban. It's super effective!

Schultz
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Alert

Using a public park for recreation...

shows you how crazy those kids are nowadays.

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Boffins with frickin' laser beams chase universe's mysterious trihydrogen

Schultz
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what could possibly go wrong?

Not very much, 10**13 W/cm**2 is fairly standard in trafast laser physics and can be created with table-tennis lasers in thousands of labs worldwide. The interesting physics start somewhere in the 10**20 W/cm**2 regime, but that takes a seriously large laser.

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Tesla death smash probe: Neither driver nor autopilot saw the truck

Schultz
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Boffin

Right, $50 of bars will stop a 4000lb car going 74mph.

Not quite, the estimated cost seems to be closer to $400 when installed during production and $1000 when retrofitted. And yes, those bars would stop a car. Those things are standard in other countries, e.g., Germany, and are proven to reduce deadly traffic accidents.

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Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

Schultz
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Boffin

Not optimal ...

Sending big rockets into big gravity wells and bringing them out again is quite expensive. Better to make fuel on the moon, keep the big rockets to power the earth-mars transit in space, and drop the bigger survival equipment as one-way delivery package onto the mars surface. Return vehicles only need to bring humans back up from Mars, which should be possible with much smaller rockets.

There is water on the moon and therefore the possibility to make hydrogen and oxygen. To build that infrastructure won't be possible within 10 years though. Anyways, we should fly to Europa and start talking to the local space aliens instead of moving into the desert on Mars.

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Uncle Sam █████████ cloud so much, AWS █████████ it another kinda-secret data center

Schultz
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Actually a good development

When you create such infrastructure within a government department, you get a lot of bureaucracy with it. I wouldn't claim that the Amazon solution is necessarily cheaper, but if you want to get rid of it again, you have less bureaucratic inertia.

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Five Eyes nations stare menacingly at tech biz and its encryption

Schultz
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Go

"The privacy of a terrorist can never be more important than public safety – never."

Indeed, and the privacy of an innocent person should never be violated - never.

Those two statements just mean that you must identify the terrorists first before you violate their privacy. I suggest old-fashioned police work for that bit.

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Swedish school pumps up volume to ease toilet trauma

Schultz
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Stop

Wrong solution

Soft music will not properly cover up the more voluminous eruptions. The solution should clearly involve playing fart sounds over the intercom. That would make everyone comfortable.

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Senator blows a fuse as US spies continue lying over spying program

Schultz
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"self-developed definitions and legal positions that don't stand up to even basic scrutiny"

Make that:

"self-developed definitions and legal positions that don't stand up to even a basic dictionary"

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Cuffed: Govt contractor 'used work PC to leak' evidence of Russia's US election hacking

Schultz
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WTF?

So she got the top-secret clearance ...

but failed to take the course on anonymizing secret documents? They should really improve the training of those people to avoid ridicule! Compare that sloppy handling to the rather competent job those patriotic Russian amateurs handed in.

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LIGO physicists eyeball a new gravitational wave

Schultz
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Unhappy

Nice story ... pity about the lousy pictures

The guardian seems to have got hold of a decipherable version for the 'Ligo's gravitationa-wave detection' image.

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Venezuela increases internet censorship and surveillance in crisis

Schultz
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'end stage Socialism'

To equate the Venezuelan government with socialism is a bit simplistic. Maybe you want to look at Sweden or other well run social-democratic countries for counter-examples. I would rather call it greed from a corrupt government. This particular government used the label 'socialism' as their fig leaf.

Don't get fooled by the labels, they are a propaganda tools to replace your critical thinking with prejudice. Worry about whether the government is competent, honest, and open.

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Japan (lightly) regulates high-frequency algorithmic trading

Schultz
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Re: Tax'um

It's enough to tax them a penny a trade to shut down the economically useless parts (with minimal effects for the traditional purpose of the exchanges). The high frequency operations are scams living off your pension fund. But you didn't count on that anyways, did you?

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Netgear 'fixes' router by adding phone-home features that record your IP and MAC address

Schultz
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Re: Similar technical data

The data are integers, strings, floats, and other technical stuff that you really don't have to worry about. Now stop asking those pestering questions.

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Just so we're all clear on this: Russia hacked the French elections, US Republicans and Dems

Schultz
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WTF?

Re: Landslide? ... 42% of the electorate voted Macron

42% of all eligible voters is quite a mandate. Let's compare:

Trump is president with some 26% of eligible voters voting for him.

Brexit won with some 28% of eligible voters voting for it.

... could continue the list, but you get the picture. Macron did quite well I'd say.

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Linux homes for Ubuntu Unity orphans: Minty Cinnamon, GNOME or Ubuntu, mate?

Schultz
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Re: MX-16 > Debian XFCE

I fully endorse your recommendation. Running MX-16 on several Thinkpads and things just work. Closest to zero-lag that I have ever experienced.

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Hackers emit 9GB of stolen Macron 'emails' two days before French presidential election

Schultz
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Facepalm

"... We will never see 1 piece of proof that it was Russia ..."

There is ample proof for Russian trickery online and offline. Take the Crimea invasion and all the FUD Russia spread while it was ongoing. Yet we now have ample evidence of what they did, when they did it and how they did it. Take the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines MH17 over Ukraine. Thorough international investigations established a lot of details that pinpoint the origin of the rocket, yet Russian sources spread ever more intricate stories of FUD (most of which got disproven quite quickly).

It's hard to give 'absolute proof' for anything, but when it comes to online malfeasance, Russia has a well established history of mucking about. Someone obviously created and financed an infrastructure in Russia to lead propaganda warfare against western Governments and I would be thoroughly astonished if that source of misinformation would suddenly vanish. It's people being payed to do that stuff and they will continue doing it while the money flows. So the only question is: what are they going to focus on after the French election? We can expect the same for the German election and for every major news story that puts Russia and the West in conflict.

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Schultz
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Stop

"I doubt French voters will blame her any more than American voters blamed Trump"

I would assume that there is a good number of French patriots who would fundamentally oppose electing a leader that is beholden to foreign interests. Only US party politics are so messed up that such a thing could count as 'business as usual'.

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Red alert! Intel patches remote execution hole that's been hidden in chips since 2010

Schultz
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Mushroom

Does this mean ...

the we discovered the skynet command and control hardware in time?

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We're spying on you for your own protection, says NSA, FBI

Schultz
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It's not data!

"...legal because they're just querying data by this point, not gathering it"

It's even better, they never collected the data, because their understanding of collecting means someone has to look at it.

Anyways, it's not really 'data', because data is an old roman word and they didn't even have computers back then. So cut them some slack!

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Feel guilty for scoffing Easter chocolate? Good news: Scientists have made NEGATIVE mass

Schultz
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Boffin

Re: Negative mass?

Negative mass for some definition of mass.

'What definition of mass', you ask? Not any definition that will ever affect the physical reality you are concerned about.

Just like 'Quantum Teleportation' never teleported a physical object in any sense the layman would consider relevant, this 'negative mass' will never help you build the anti-gravity drive.

Laws of physics ... you may not like them but we haven't found better ones yet.

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Lenovo's 2017 X1 Carbon is a mixed bag

Schultz
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Boffin

There's also a TrackPoint micro-joystick ...

It's not a joystick, you should get used to it, and then you'll live happily ever after.

Touchpads are a nuisance.

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Aviation regulator flies in face of UK.gov ban, says electronics should be stowed in cabin. Duh

Schultz
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Unhappy

Please discharge battery before entering the aircraft.

Another good reason to make air travelers come 2 hours early and wait.

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Honor phone for paupers goes upmarket, assails flagships

Schultz
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So that's "Onour"?

More like "Oner".

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US border cops must get warrants to search citizens' gadgets – draft bipartisan law emerges

Schultz
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Alert

Re: Another political 'feel-good' move

The problem of intrusive border guards won't go away with a few tweaks of the law. The agency budget was greatly inflated in the past decades and all those agents have to show some kind of effort. What are they going to do if the rules are changed? Carry the suitcase for tired travelers?

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'No deal better than bad deal' approach to Brexit 'unsubstantiated'

Schultz
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Go

... which would stop us creating our own standards ...

The Register never seemed to have a problem creating its own standards.

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Schultz
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Stop

walk into a negotiation ...

Well, you try to maintain goodwill before you walk into the negotiations or you can make a lot of angry noises. Just be aware that the politicians on the other side also have to win elections and that their local Boulevard papers will match all belligerent statements word for word.

Great Britain has to renegotiate the bigger part of its foreign relations while any other EU country only worries about a small part of their future. It won't be pretty.

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Canadian court refuses to let Feds snoop on Megaupload servers

Schultz
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Seriously?

"1,000 servers based in the US were seized [...] 32 based in Canada may be crucial to proving the case against Megaupload."

That sounds like a gigantic fishing operation. Maybe some people at the FBI will be happy about this outcome: it's not that they have a weak case, it's just that all the crucial evidence is hidden on those darn Canadian servers ...

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Robots are killing jobs after all, apparently: One droid equals 5.6 workers

Schultz
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Boffin

Let's be serious about this ...

the problem started way earlier, when those easily sharpened bronze utensils took work away from honest god-fearing stone chippers. And don't forget those selfish farmers with their devilish high-yield crops who destroyed the full-time employment of honest hunter / gatherers.

I say let the robots take over and have the displaced humans work on phone sanitation and space rockets. Based on their progress, we can send a first wave of administrators and sanitation specialists over to Alpha Centauri to prepare the ground for future civilizations.

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Dishwasher has directory traversal bug

Schultz
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Mushroom

The only reason for the dishwasher to be connected to the internet...

is to talk to the toaster and the microwave when planning home defense protocols.

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Decapitating Rockall: How a 1970s Navy expedition blasted the top off the Atlantic islet

Schultz
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Interesting how much UK loses if Scotland leaves ...

That would really depend on your viewpoint and lifestyle. If you are a city dweller using public transport to commute, you won't loose much. If you are a mermaid / merman drilling for homeland gas to power your sports-amphibian vehicles, then you might have a lot to loose.

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King Battistelli's swish penthouse office the Euro Patent Office doesn't want you to see

Schultz
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Flame

"pretty normal by Munich corporate standards"

Except that it's not corporate money paying for this. The patent office is ultimately a body created by the national governments and it might be reasonable to expect it to follow the rough expectations we have for government spending. After all, it's not like you could just spend you patent money elsewhere if you want to avoid paying the EPO.

But then, they seem to have an "annual budget of around EUR 2bn [...] financed entirely from procedural and renewal fees for European patents. So what is a few millions here and there.

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Android O my god! It's finally here (for devs)

Schultz
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Angel

What do all these things do?

Think of those background services as a thousand little elves polishing your phone screen from the inside, carrying goodies to the central processing unit (and bringing our the trash), looking under the virtual sofa cushions for that lost SMS, ... All the little stuff you don't want to be bothered with.

So now stop thinking and go back to youtube.

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What should password managers not do? Leak your passwords? What a great idea, LastPass

Schultz
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Local storage for passwords

Indeed, use keepass and combine it with your favorite method of keeping data synchronized (e.g., Dropbox, OneDrive, OneDrive, USB sticks, ...) across your computers and phones. It adds a copy/paste step when you use it with your browser, but you are in control and you offer a much smaller attack surface.

Also, is there anything wrong about the browser (Chrome) autofill method for low priority passwords (e.g. for the comment section of ElReg)?

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New Zealand puts the bite on Apple over taxes

Schultz
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Stop

Did I read that right?

"Even though American companies are taxed locally, current US law insists they also pay US taxes on foreign earnings."

Shouldn't that be: "Even though Apple is not taxed locally, current US law i̶n̶s̶i̶s̶t̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶a̶l̶s̶o̶ allows them to delay paying US taxes on foreign earnings."

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Do the numbers, Einstein: AI is more than maths as some know it

Schultz
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Thumb Up

Re: Conceptually, it's all about graphs.

One up for mentioning Prolog. But I have mixed memories, the mind bends dangerously when confronted with too much logic.

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Dark matter drought hits older galaxies: Boffins are, rightly, baffled

Schultz
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HTF are you going to "grind up" a neutron star

Smash two of them together? Fly it past the edges of a black hole? Us the Big Peppercorn Grinder the Flying Spaghetti Monster uses to spice up its noodly appendages?

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Schultz
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Boffin

Neutron dust

Here is my suggestion: Dark matter is neutron dust.

Think about it as ground-up neutron stars. Maybe it's formed in galaxy collisions, or maybe it's a leftover from the Big Bang. Why this neutron dust doesn't aggregate into neutron clumps, you ask? Dark energy of course! The mystery force obviously repels those neutron particles and all the other matter in the observed universe.

Next question please ....

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Oxford Uni boffins say internet filters probably won't protect teens

Schultz
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Shades of grey

Usually it's a bad idea to cast the world in black and white, but when it comes to 'acceptable' content in media, it might be helpful to stick to the question whether something is criminal or not. If it's criminal, then the police should go after the criminals. If it is merely unpleasant for the cultural sensitivities of some audiences (young / old, conservative / liberal, diverse ethnic groups, or the nudist neighbor upstairs), then those audiences should try to avoid this content -- and I don't think they'll need help from the government to do it.

I remember with great pleasure the look on the face of the US grad students when they first encountered topless sunbathers at the Blatterwiese. I am sure you can find the same embarrassed look on the face of many Arab refugees when they encounter the first short skirts. I assume most get beyond the shock and move on to a productive life.

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'Password rules are bullsh*t!' Stackoverflow Jeff's rage overflows

Schultz
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Human versus machine input

Let's face it, most current systems are very friendly to hackers and very unfriendly for the users. If the computer can brute-force test a dictionary against human passwords at it's own ever-growing speed, then the computer will win. If not this year, then the next ....

Humans will only enter passwords at a very slow rate and (mostly) with a high rate of typos. To give the hackers a similar handicap, you need a system that is artificially slow to bring computerized cracking attempts down to the human level. Maybe this could be done with very bad hashing methods that take time even if the password file is public.Trying to get humans to memorize high-entropy passwords will fail even if we all try to memorize Shakespeare backwards and in base 2.

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State surveillance boom sparked by fear-mongering political populists, says UN

Schultz
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WTF?

...a clear route for states to access private data

The first thing those 'states' need to realize is that they can ask for private data stored at said companies, but they should not expect the data to contain every key-press of the user. The whole debate on police accessing your private data should shift from the police drooling about all the potential data that could be generated if only every bit crossing the intertubes would be archived -- to the pragmatic discussion of data that actually exists.

There is a difference between old-fashioned police work, catching criminals based on whatever evidence is left at a crime scene and the inherent assumption of guilt for the whole populace. Only the latter requires the storage of every bit of potential evidence for the police. Did the world get so dangerous that we need to move toward a police state for survival? I don't think so. So accept that there should be limited tools to deal with the limited problem of crime.

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Success in the bedroom breeds success in the boardroom – research

Schultz
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Boffin

Causation or correlation?

Just asking.

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That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

Schultz
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"never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country"

You hit the sweet spot of sarcasm there ... go collect your upvote from all sides!

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Microsoft slaps Apple Gatekeeper-like controls on Windows 10: Install only apps from store

Schultz
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Go

A computer is a computer is ... what?

Many computers are used as media / internet consumption gateways and companies want to follow Apple and make money with those. The gatekeeper controls might just reflect a benign motivation to keep the fully-fledged OS running in parallel with the pared-down consumer OS. I would see that as a positive: it'll allow us to use the consumer devices for real work by turning off the dumb-it-down-for-me switch.

Did I just insinuate that Microsoft might have benign motivations? What happened to this world?

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HPE CEO Whitman says everything's 'on the right track' as sales are literally decimated

Schultz
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Managed decline

It's sad to see HP dwindle, but it's hard to see how this company could become great again. I wouldn't even blame their management, not every company can hit the jackpot all the time. It's just hard to see why they need an expensive management to do what they are doing.

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Apple to Europe: It's our job to design Ireland's tax system, not yours

Schultz
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Stop

codejunky: "Ha. Not while tied to the Euro."

I don't know, Ireland seems to do pretty well in the growth department:Ireland to be EU’s fastest-growing economy in 2016. I don't think you can blame the pound for that.

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Automated, insight cannot be: Jedi master of statistics was good – but beware the daft side

Schultz
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Alert

Pie charts ...?

The serious presenter long ago moved to sphere charts -- why else did we pay for those 3D TVs?

No, seriously, google it!

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