* Posts by h4rm0ny

4610 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

Silicon Valley now 'illegal' in Europe: Why Schrems vs Facebook is such a biggie

h4rm0ny
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Re: Mainly a public sector issue

It's not necessarily goodbye to those tools. Google might have a bit more of a problem technically (educated guess, not fact), but MS could very easily spin up a distinct European Azure and I'm certain that Amazon wouldn't find it any harder. Indeed, both already have the infrastructure in place and putting the necessary data segregation in place would be fairly straight-forward (at least for the architects of such epic projects as AWS and Azure it would be).

And if the question is a legal one, well MS could certainly licence the Azure technologies to some European countries. They essentially already do this as MS Server and many of their own commercially available tools are the same as in Azure. In business terms, licencing "AWS" might be a little harder but again, hardly insurmountable. In both cases, find a large European company as a front, and away you go.

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Microsoft's HoloLens: Here by 2016, mere three THOUSAND dollar price

h4rm0ny
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Re: and then there is the Microsoft Surface book

>>"Looks are subjective; I think they're about as ugly as each other. The Surface Book presents a minor problem for me though: it grabs my leg hair if I use it on my lap when I'm wearing shorts... rather like those stretchy watch bands that grab my arm hair. You may not have that problem, h4rm0ny"

Well not to get too personal, but no, I don't have that problem. However, posting mainly to clear up that when I wrote "looks better than..." I was referring to specifications and design considerations, rather than aesthetics. I find both a little drab visually as I have never much liked brushed aluminium finishes.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Not going to happen

>>"Seriously, it's not all about the guy sat in his room developing on his own. In time it might not be, but to start with, leave it to the pros with the bankroll."

Hopefully $3,000 is cheap enough that small players and even independent developers can get involved if they want to, though. If you have the skills to develop independently for HoloLens then $3,000 probably equates to a working month for you at least. (If not, the job market is looking for you - get out there!). Your costs to develop something for HoloLens are going to be way more than $3k just because of the market value of your development time alone.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Price @DrXym

You seem wedded to your initial post despite all the flaws in it. In response to your points:

>>Even if we were to say the hololens is more complex, that still doesn't justify the honking disparity in the price of the kit or that its a barrier of entry

Firstly lets dispense with the weasel words. There's no "even if..." The HoloLens IS more complex than Oculus Rift. The Oculus is a display that you connect a GPU up to. The HoloLens is far more than a display. It has high end processor, GPU, a custom-designed chip for integrating the input from its camera with sound signals (which it has tiny speakers for rather than normal headphones as it's designed to augment ambient sounds) and movement, et al. It uses Kinect technology to handle gesture recognition and the software handles interaction of the AR objects with real-world physical objects. Just attempting to equate the two betrays a wilful bias. As to "barrier to entry", honestly $3000 is peanuts to all but the amateur developer. Even a small development house will eat that easily.

>>And if this disparity carries over into production then woe betide them. VR will be a hard enough sell (which IMO will fail). Something costing more again isn't going to do any better.

Again, this wilful ignorance in conflating VR with AR. Different technologies and different purposes. I don't think VR will fail, btw. For games it is amazing. But that's an aside. The point is that being able to casually share what you're seeing with an expert or colleague somewhere remote and also have them drawing arrows or highlighting things in your vision as one small example of how AR will be used, is not the same category as playing Elite Dangerous in VR for example. There is no basis to say "well if it costs £300 to play a game in VR, a doctor certainly wouldn't pay twice that to be able to conference with the hospital consultant when examining a patient". It's an utterly nonsensical argument that makes me question just how stupid you can be.

>>Oh you mean like a phone? It doesn't justify the cost. Furthermore, if it is more like a super-light computer it bodes ill for the retail price of this thing if/when it finally sells

Yes, like a phone. Many people buy subsidised phones on contract and don't look at the actual full price. An iPhone 6 unlocked costs around £550. Now imagine that instead of being a mature product in mass production by the million, it was a limited run thing not even pre-release and they'd only made 20,000 of the things. How much do you think it would cost then? Again, your analogies are dreadful and contrived only to try and damn the fact that the HoloLens development kit costs $3,000 which really isn't that much. It's even in the reach of home developers if they really want it, let alone actual companies. You have no idea how this sector works at all. Either that or you're hopelessly biased and think everyone else here is an idiot.

And it it wasn't when DK 1 and DK 2 were released. It's not a valid point.

Okay, you think you can make statements about final costs of HoloLens from an early beta and you're justifying that by comparisons to a different product in a different category which, despite what you say actually didn't start off at the same price as it happens. Oculus began with a $2.5m kickstarter to front-load it with cash. Those who contributed less than $300 subsidised those that paid more. But that's minor details which I shouldn't even bother correcting because it takes away from the point that your fundamental approach is wrong.

>>"Denigrating the Oculus doesn't remove the point that their dev kit is and has been 1/10th of this thing."

Okay, I am NOT denigrating the Oculus in any way or form. It's great. I think it will be a big success. I also think it will be a huge boost to the GPU industry (especially AMD who sorely need it). Do NOT put words into my mouth. Pointing out that they are very different products with different technologies and goals is NOT denigrating anything. Do NOT pretend that you are somehow defending Oculus against HoloLens. All you are doing is making silly comparisons that harm both.

>>Microsoft is trying to pitch this thing at games - witness various demos they've made of it for that purpose, e.g. minecraft video. In fact they're on record as justifying buying Minecraft for hololens. And their plans include XBox One front and centre and it's hard to imagine that the device would possibly succeed or achieve mass market sales otherwise.

Hard to imagine for you, maybe. I can think of dozens of non-game uses for HoloLens and MS have been demonstrating such uses. Yes, that includes games. It is not limited to games. And again, you're hopelessly muddled in your thinking and floundering around for ways to make Oculus and HoloLens sound like they're attempting the same thing. Games for HoloLens wont be the same as games for Oculus. AR is not VR and I don't see a lot of overlap in terms of how games will make use of them. Imagine doing a space simulator or first person shooter in AR. It's a nonsense idea - you'd be watching semi-transparent people running around overlaid on your walls and desk which would be swinging around you with no connection to the world you were playing in. But no, because MS want to have Minecraft playable on your carpet, or have several friends sitting around the dining room table playing a real time strategy game on it, your limited brain goes "but these and FPS and Simulators are all games - therefore Oculus and HoloLens are similar. MUST POST ON REGISTER!"!

There are few people on this forum as stupid as you.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Price

>>"Perhaps a better price comparison is with Google Glass. That was $1500, rather more than Occulus, half the price of Hololens."

That's a much more sensible comparison than Occulus as Google Glass is in the same category of HoloLens. HoloLens is a lot more sophisticated though. Google glass was essentially a small projector extension that provided a 2D overlay onto one of the eyepieces. HoloLens is a great deal more sophisticated both in terms of display and in terms of processing power and software. Have you seen that demo where HoloLens is projecting a Minecraft game ONTO a table. I don't mean as a flat image, I mean that you can turn or tilt your head and walk around the table and see the 3D blocks piled up on that table shift in perspective as if they were there? HoloLens is much more than putting 2D txt messages on a lens. But this isn't me arguing a point with you - you simply stated facts. I'm just adding why I think the two should not lightly be compared. In fact, I'd go further - with HoloLens being so much more than Google Glass, I think double the price for a developer kit works pretty well.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: and then there is the Microsoft Surface book

Actually, the Surface Book looks better than the MacBook Air, imo. Touch screen and an OS that takes advantage of that, almost certainly a much more powerful GPU, detachable screen (it's a hybrid). It looks seriously impressive.

(But sadly horribly expensive).

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Price

>>"True but the Oculus dev kit is $350."

* The Oculus is a couple of months from launch. This is an early beta.

* The Oculus is small screens in front of your eyes connected to a GPU in your computer. This is essentially a super-light computer that you wear.

* The Oculus is a VR device. This is an AR device. These things are not the same thing. They serve different purposes and work in different ways and have different demands.

* Approx. £2,500 is not that much for something focused on professional development houses which is what this is. The Oculus is being used for games right now and home hackers - it's essentially a pre-release product at this point.

But mainly and most of all, AR is not the same as VR. Different goals and different challenges.

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Safe Harbour ruled INVALID: Facebook 'n' pals' data slurp at risk

h4rm0ny
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Re: Am I the only one ...

Indeed. And I've just read that Twitter began segregating data in expectation of increasing problems like this. And Twitter aren't small. So, yes, I expect some changes resulting from this. And given how easy it is becoming to purchase a set-up from AWS or Azure and replicate your services in a different region, I can see this being a viable approach. A hassle, certainly, but hardly a show-stopper.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Am I the only one ...

No, but it's going to have repercussions. I was recently involved in a deal that the Safe Harbour provisions were an explicit condition of. That contract is already sealed and I don't expect it to come back across my desk because of this... However, I wouldn't bet money on it. We (well my client - I sell my services as a consultant) will still abide by the provisions and we treat customers' data protection extremely seriously. But we've just lost some assurance under law, I think. This WILL affect business deals. I know of a couple first-hand which have been lost not because of this specifically, but because of concerns about sharing data with US companies generally. And if I know of a couple first hand, there are more out there. It's definitely an issue. Though speaking as a European, I approve of this being taken seriously by our courts.

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Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?

h4rm0ny
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Re: well....

He can say 'fuck' all he likes for all I care. Depending on the incarnation. Nine it would fit fine. Ten or Five, it really wouldn't. The wording that bothered me this episode was when he said "Oh god!" seemed pretty out of character for him. I mean he's met a few and they'd hardly inspire devotion in him. Usually he kills them or banishes them to some outer dimension.

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Dangerous resurgent banking malware hits UK

h4rm0ny
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>>"However if a manufacturer does put something into a product that inherently weakens it's security for the sake of convenience then it must take some portion of culpability"

Well possibly, but VBA was introduced to Office in 1993, about twenty-two years ago. Email was something I accessed by Pine back then and if I wanted to surf the web I did it with Mosaic or maybe Netscape. The world in which it was introduced was a very different one from today.

And like the other poster said, you have to click through two message boxes that all but tell you "Go Back! This is Dangerous!". The ultimate secure system is one that does nothing and can't be accessed. At which point do you say the user is an idiot / technically illiterate? Or do we say that you can't build code that interacts with Office documents?

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h4rm0ny
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I'd guess they're being downvoted because Microsoft would be damned by the business world if they removed them and calling for a class action suit for something MS are themselves trying to get businesses to move away from. MS have provided a replacement for VBA and it's been in Office for a little while now. You can use Office Webapps to do most of what you'd legitimately want to do in Office and security controls are built into them from the ground-up. You create a manifest XML file which can lock down everything from whitelisting external servers it can connect to (if any), whether it can access contacts list, access controls, you name it. And by scanning the manifest file you can both know exactly what a webapp can and can't do and this is also enforced by the system, it's not just a label. If a webapp tries to do something it's declared that it can't, it's blocked from doing so. The tools are all actually there. Getting a large body of legacy users to ditch everything and move forwards - now that's the difficult part and MS would kill their customer base by trying to force the issue. You link yourself to guidance on not using Macros. The OP isn't being downvoted for advocating not using VBA, they're being downvoted for placing the blame on Microsoft / Office.

MS have actually done pretty much everything that could have reasonably done without removing VBA support from Office. By default, VBA macros wont run, you get pretty clear warnings if you try. And it actually tracks the source of VBA macros and treats them differently so it knows if one is, say, just from some document you downloaded from online / got from an email. Indeed, this latter is a step beyond what LibreOffice does where you could equally insert macros into documents.

Basically, place blame where it should be and use modern tools, not old legacy ones. Nobody should be churning out VB macros in an enterprise environment anymore and those who have them should be migrating away from them. But then how long did it take to get enterprise to move away from XP with its vastly inferior security model to Windows 7? Or to move from IE6/7/8 to the much more secure and standards compliant 9/10/11 ? In both cases, MS had to practically hold a knife to their customer's throats to actually get them to shift. Calling for a class action suit against MS because of this is just silly and the OP is rightly downvoted for doing so.

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Has somebody shared your 'anonymised' health data? Bad news

h4rm0ny
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Ask any IT professional in this field or related...

...Whether they think it's probable that this level of detailed data can be de-anonymised, and they will tell you "yes." Unless they work for one of the companies providing it.

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Boffins: We know what KILLED the DINOS – and it wasn't just an asteroid

h4rm0ny
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Carl Sagan.

I'm just going to quote him: "The reason the dinosaurs are no longer here, is that they didn't have a Space program".

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AMD to axe a few more staff as it struggles to get back to black

h4rm0ny
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Re: To the sick, while there is life there is hope

Well that and those occasions where Intel actually paid people to buy its chips over AMDs. I've never fully understood why AMD settled the way it did but I suppose they just couldn't afford the massive legal battle it would have taken to get more.

AMD are making some gains, though. HP are now putting their new chips in professional grade laptops. That's a real achievement because AMD have always suffered through their chips only being available in low-end products. There are plenty of people who have said they would buy an AMD laptop if it didn't also mean a crappy screen / case / keyboard. Both AMD and Intel processors have entered "good enough" territory some time ago. Now that you can actually get AMD chips in a decent device, we'll see how that plays out for them. Zen is also taped out and getting ready for production. Not saying the remaining stages are easy or risk-free, but it is nearly the final strait and barring disaster, Zen is now finalized and moving steadily towards us. Graphics cards were also hit by the failure to reduce node size - which was a foundry problem, not AMDs. It affected AMD and NVIDIA both, but the latter had more money to handle the loss. The current Radeons are not what was intended originally. Now that such issues are resolved, the next generation of cards, with HBM and an architecture that properly takes advantage of that, as well as HSA becoming relevant, mean AMD could really turn things around in a very impressive fashion.

IF they can hold on long-enough. I see it as a waiting game. If AMD can cling on, they're turning in the right direction. They just need to survive long enough for all their work to start bringing in the rewards. Don't know if they will but much of what I've seen indicates to me that if they can, they can rise again.

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Are Samsung TVs doing a Volkswagen in energy tests? Koreans hit back

h4rm0ny
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I don't think anyone is disputing that prosecutions follow the law as written, they're disputing the "Boo hoo!" part. It's little different to any other complex system such as my computer OS. If someone finds an exploit, well that needs patching, but I don't suddenly express contempt for the victim of a hack and exalt the hacker for finding a way to get access without valid credentials.

Samsung may have found a loophole way around the intent of the law, that is worthy of criticism.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Unsurprising. This *is* Samsung after all

I was coming here to post something similar about Samsung. This is the company that has literally tried to hand judges a briefcase full of cash, movie-style. This is kind of a re-post but last time I shared this story it was over a year ago, so here's an anecdote about Samsung.

In 2006 Samsung was sued by Pioneer for infringing their patents on Plasma TV technology. A memo from a Samsung engineer used as evidence showed that they knowingly infringed on the patents. Rather than agree a licencing fee however, Samsung counter-sued and buried Pioneer under suits and appeals. Pioneer was awarded $59million in damages, but got buried in punitive legal actions from Samsung and a few years later shut down the television division, in large part because of this. Ten-thousand people who worked in that division directly or indirectly, lost their jobs

They're a fun company.

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Met at 'huge risk' of botching its Sopra Steria outsourcing contract

h4rm0ny
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Well yes, but it's not about saving money. It's about two very important things. Funnelling money to mates in the private sector (I have no evidence of this but I don't see why it would be any different to the NHS - please correct me if they really are lilly-white in this instance as, unlike the Met, I'll actually backtrack if it turns out I've nicked the wrong suspect). Secondly, and this could be even more important, it will give all the people in charge a bit of paper that says when it all goes tits up, it's the fault of that terrible private sector company, not theirs anymore.

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MACAQUE ATTACK: Monkey plunders Florida resident's box, gobbles contents

h4rm0ny
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Paris Hilton

Monkey rights...?

So are PETA campaigning to have the monkey tried for theft? Enquiring minds want to know.

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'We can handle politicos, OUR ISSUE IS JUDGES', shout GCHQ docs

h4rm0ny
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Mushroom

Re: QUESTION: If you were in charge of the country,

You know the best way to generate a large EMP?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: @TwoWolves Safety vs Security

>>"I'm more than willing to give up preventing every attack if the government would get out of the business of mass data collection, especially considering that we've known every terrorist before the event yet the services seemingly have their attention somewhere else (like up their ass apparently)."

In a nutshell, the Intelligence Agencies' goal is to protect the state, not the people. For the time being, preventing terrorist attacks is part of that because terrorist attacks make people unsettled and demanding change, but it's not their only goal and it doesn't have to coincide. If the people become the threat to the government, then the people are the enemy. And to an extent, the people are always a threat to the government.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: @ TwoWolves Safety vs Security

>>"Has it occurred to you that the worst case scenario is what's happening in Syria right now? Can you live with that? Where would you flee?"

Has is it occurred to YOU that Bashar Assad's Syria was a place with an out of control state apparatus where intelligence agencies / secret police didn't have to obey due process and the populace had no means of controlling them other than violent revolution? What makes you think that Syria is at the opposite end of a surveillance state, rather than its conclusion?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Boggle

I'm sure there are some decent MPs. They may not end up leading their parties, mind you. But I'm sure they're there. The issue with not fully understanding what you've signed is, well, how could you? When there's only one source of information on something (your intelligence agencies) they can present things in all sorts of ways. Anyone here has probably seen enough comments on a divisive issue that would convince almost anyone if there wasn't an opposing viewpoint or someone to provide context. I've seen posts both pro- and anti- global warming either of which would equally convince someone who had just wandered in without any background and in many cases the content of those posts is factually true in both cases. How much easier is it to fuddle some minister who you're telling lives may depend on them signing some bit of paper and that you know all sorts of things they don't that make it valid.

Of course there is a need for someone (apparently judges) to come along and say "well... did you know that when they said this they meant that?"

Which of course is why this document describes judges as a threat. Same way someone who is trying to convince you that AGW is true / false regards anyone not allied with them as a threat. GCHQ strive to be the only source of information to MPs and when you're the only source of information, getting signatures is usually pretty easy.

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VW’s case of NOxious emissions: a tale of SMOKE and MIRRORS?

h4rm0ny
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Re: Who wrote the code?

There's a fourth option, which is that they genuinely didn't see what they were doing as wrong. They could, for example, have thought / said either of the following:

"These rules are written by people who clearly don't actually understand the science. If we push down the CO2 which doesn't do much harm, we're pushing up the NOx which certainly does. So lets pass this arbitrary test in a way that poisons our customers and those around them less."

"It's completely sensible that the car goes into a different mode when stationary. If their tests don't actually cover driving the thing around the track then of course they're not going to get a representative idea of its performance"

Not saying either is or isn't right, or even that the two are compatible. Only that it's entirely plausible that the engineers genuinely didn't see themselves as doing anything wrong. If I'm trying to make a good product and somebody who knows less than I do comes along and decides to tell me it should be done a certain way to comply with some arbitrary and not very scientifically-grounded requirement, I can certainly see the temptation to do what is necessary to tick their meaningless box and then get back to making it actually work efficiently. That mindset is not unrelatable to me.

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h4rm0ny
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Lone Wolf / Loan Shark

Am I witnessing two figures of speech breeding with each other and spawning progeny? Lone Wolf is the traditional term for a rogue actor, no? Loan shark is a disreputable money lender. Where did "lone shark" come from?

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PETA monkey selfie lawsuit threatens wildlife photography, warns snapper at heart of row

h4rm0ny
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Re: Joke suit

What are you blathering about? I've been vegetarian for many years and whilst not everyone will agree with my positions on El. Reg, I think even those that loathe me would accept that I have a fairly solid reasoning ability.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Edited for objectivity

>>"Originally, he was quoted as saying e.g. "One of them must have accidentally knocked the camera and set it off... He must have taken hundreds of pictures by the time I got my camera back, but not very many were in focus..." which strongly implies that these photos weren't intended"

I think you may be conflating two separate incidents here, either directly or because newspapers (whose goal is to sell, or get hits for the online versions) have previously conflated them. At one point, David Slater unwisely left his camera lying there and the monkeys absconded with it and his guide ran after them and got it back. In a separate incident, he set it up a tripod and stayed close to it.

Now one can argue a case that the copyright isn't his because he's lying about the circumstances (still very shaky though that it's now no longer his property), but given that there were only two people present in the jungle and we have a presumption of innocence, it's rather off to start taking this tack that he is lying - i.e. the copyright isn't his, therefore he lied about the circumstances. That's working from conclusion back towards the argument.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Aha!

>>"He should probably just make sure he hasn't got any assets in California, just in case the judge turns out to be as rabidly barking as the plaintiffs."

Doesn't work like that. PETA want to have copyright assigned to the monkey and themselves appointed managers of the income. So even if he has no assets in the USA whatsoever, he has effectively become irrelevant to the case because PETA will be going around to anyone in the USA using this photo and demanding money on the monkey's behalf, not Slater's.

That's actually blackly comic in that all those Wikimedia proponents who argued they didn't have to pay a licence fee because the monkey was the author of the photograph, would now find themselves sued by PETA for back-use of the photograph by their own arguments.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Speed Cameras?

>>"PETA walking on litigious eggshells I feel. Perhaps they should pay this blokes costs and huge compensation for loss of earnings ... then be fined for wasting the court's time."

He probably wouldn't want it (though recovering some of the £10,000 he's lost so far from all this would likely be welcome). He loves these monkeys and a big part of what motivated him to do this trip and finance it was to help raise awareness about them and the fact that they're becoming endangered as their environment is encroached upon and they are being eaten as the spread of Catholicism in Indonesia lessens the prohibitions against eating monkey meat. He's also previously gone out and photographed wild boar to help a campaign PETA had to protect these animals (a little bit more dangerous than monkeys!). He's a conservationist and animal lover who works to protect these animals.

PETA turning on this guy is like watching a roadrunner trying to eat its young.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: The day a monkey decides to bring it's own lawsuit

>>"Just to work out what your criteria are here, and as a thought experiment, what if we replace your notional "monkey" with the counterexample of an adult human with severe learning difficulties? Such a person might also not be able to bring their own lawsuit, or go on the witness stand in a way useful to their case. Do you consider that they would (should) have any photographic rights in this kind of `selfie' case?"

Even someone with pretty severe learning difficulties is almost certainly going to have a grasp of contexts and purpose that the monkey doesn't. You're going off on the wrong track however. The question isn't ability to understand what is happening but the level of creative input. If I set up a camera, the set design, the lighting, decided on angles and poses for the model whilst I walked around the set and my assistant was pressing the button would they have more creative input than me because they were the mechanical trigger for it? No. And to be absolutely clear, this is NOTHING to do with any legal agreement they have to do work for hire, it's strictly about "do they have the creative input" for it and "are they resourcing this". The answer to both is no. Just as with the monkey. Your sliding scale of intelligence is a red herring. The photographic assistant is perfectly capable of understanding what is going on but they're not the artist in this instance. Nor was the monkey. The monkey didn't set all the little details of the camera up to be appropriate for the lighting, they didn't do selective work on the photograph or travel all the way to Britain to use the camera. Both resource and creative input were Slater's. The monkey's ability to comprehend is not the primary issue, it is a secondary one that leads to the fact that it has not contributed creatively.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Thankyou for the facts

>>I wonder how the original story came about? It would take somebody very mean-spirited to suggest that it was made up to make it more likely that papers would buy the photo, on the basis that "monkey takes selfie" is more likely to sell than "monkey triggers camera-trap".

Humans prefer a lie that entertains them to the truth, in most cases. Once someone (anyone) says that the monkey stole the camera rather than walked up to a low-set tripod, that is the version that will travel around the world and be printed in the papers. Because it is more entertaining.

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h4rm0ny
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Mushroom

Utter Stupidity. Utterly Pissing Me Off.

As a vegetarian and someone who supports various animal welfare operations, I want to say without the slightest reservation that this is beyond stupid and the damage it does to the actual cause of preventing mistreatment of animals is immeasurable. I am furious. The same way you get when any idiot (or in this case group of idiots) attempts to support you in a way that makes you look like a cretin.

This winds me up to no end which is why you'll find posts like this from me on Ars Technica, here, anywhere that I can make a futile attempt to counter the harm PETA do to the cause of animal welfare.

Anyway, attempting to calm down and explain rationally what is wrong with PETA's action here, imo, It's essentially a question of authorship. That is what copyright comes down to - who is the author, who created the work. There's all sorts of work involved in producing this photo, and yes, much of it creative. I can tell just by looking at it that this is not the raw state of the photo - there's been all sorts of post-processing to get it to look like that, there's framing of the image as well - which for those who haven't gotten into photography, is actually something that depends a lot on artistic skill and creativity. There's the selection process as well which takes time and artistic talent. I can take a hundred photos and get two out of them that I'm happy with and it takes time and judgement to do that. We're not looking at a blurred photo of a monkey's foot with some leaves in the background. We're looking at the best photograph selected by a professional who knows their stuff. Then there's the purchase of thousands of dollars of equipment, the travelling half-way around the world to photograph them, days patiently becoming accepted by the monkeys, setting up cameras so that a monkey could do this in the first place. The photograph is the product of all of these things - a mix of genuine artistic creativity and resource, not random luck. I have often found that the harder I work the luckier I am. The artist did a huge amount to make this happen. And they did just as much afterwards to produce a final piece of artwork that this now is.

And PETA want to argue that the monkey contributed more creativity than all his work? If he'd set up a camera to take pictures of trees in the wind and had the trigger activated by the breeze would they credit the air with the copyright? There's as much deliberate intent written on the wind as the monkey has understanding of a camera. Are they equally for suing all these nature documentaries that show animals by night because they tripped some trigger the film crew had installed. Again, I'm not seeing this magic hard line that would separate the two.

Nature photographers actually do a lot to help with nature conservation and animal welfare by making people aware of the beauty and value of what is out there. This photographers work does more to make people care about monkeys half way around the world than anything I have seen PETA do. But the nature of the photography business is that you put in lots of effort and sometimes days or even weeks to take hundreds or thousands of photos and come out of it with the three or four that you can sell to cover your costs and make a modest living. And PETA want to take that away? And I do mean take - they are arguing that they should be custodians of the monkey's earnings in this suit.

This monkey suit.

So thank you PETA, for making me and every other person who wants animals to not be mistreated, look like a slack-jawed drooling lunatic. Thank you very much.

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You call THAT safe? Top EU legal bod says data sent to US is anything but

h4rm0ny
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Re: @Doctor Syntax

Well, yes, you laugh. But of the very few things in the USA that can overrule the NSA, one of them is money. I know of at least two large contracts that US companies have lost because the buyer did not trust the US government (not the company, the government) that their data would be secure. If I can name two such lost contracts personally, then that means there are quite a lot more out there. It's definitely become an issue.

Now if Safe Harbour provisions were no longer valid, that's going to hit at least three orders of magnitude more because it will no longer just be the companies that actually care about data security, it will also be the companies that want to appear to care about data security and that just want to tick some box so they don't have to think about it. And there's a lot more of those than the former.

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Cyber crims up the ante with Google Play brainteaser malware

h4rm0ny
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Re: Full points for irony though..

There is a quote from G.K.Chesterton who was a very intelligent person with accomplishments in a very wide range of fields who telegraphed his wife with the question: "Am in Birmingham. Where ought I to be?"

Intelligence and technological expertise certainly are not joined at the hip. Though those with the latter tend to presume that those without it also lack the former, unfortunately.

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Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows: The spirit of Clippy lives on

h4rm0ny
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Re: It looks like

>>"you've spent a lot of money for an application that's no better than free alternatives. Thanks, sucker!"

Why do people such as yourself always assume you know better than other people what they want? ESPECIALLY on an IT site where we're all going to be fairly aware of those alternatives. You don't know what other people's needs are - whether they might want collaborative tools or elegant document merging or a better equation editor or whatever. And you certainly don't know where something sits on the value-cost curve for each individual. One person might balk at paying £120 for a word processor. Another might think that if it saves them just two hours over the course of a year then they've already made their money back.

But of course you in your righteous omniscience know what we want, don't you? And how much value we set on it. And decide to pronounce us idiots for it. Good for you - the world needs more self-righteousness.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Excel Co Authoring or not?

Just like GNU/Linux was the best thing that ever happened to Windows, I suspect Google Docs is / will be the best thing that ever happened to MS Office.

When you scare them enough, MS can produce some wonderful software.

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Shattered Skype slowly staggers to its feet after 15-HOUR outage outrage

h4rm0ny
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Re: expensive international calls.

>>"Apart from there being a half dozen p-t-p alternatives to skype, there are also SIP providers for voice calls."

Yes, talking someone through setting up a PTP alternative to Skype in a foreign country at short notice via email is something very easy to do. Or is it your contention that I should proactively do this with everyone I might talk to abroad in advance and they should maintain this in case I need to call them by it?

>>"I really don't see this as a major event. Failure to plan for problems on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."

Where did I say it did? How on earth do you think that you are relevant to this situation? Ego much?

>>"MS will be feeling the pain (and skype still seems to be staggering today) but if you don't have alternates set up then you don't understand that "things fail""

What I understand that it is neither possible nor cost-effective to actively prepare for every conceivable thing that can go wrong in this world. You have a very patronizing attitude for someone who brings so little utility to the conversation. I get that you may want to prop up your self-esteem by criticising others on the Internet, but I feel obliged to deflate this particular attempt as you've decided to pick on me for your target, by pointing out what a sad individual needs to do this.

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h4rm0ny
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The Skype downage cost me £30+ in international calls, yesterday. Mobile to mobile across countries is expensive.

Also, what's with El Reg articles being lots of screengrabs of Twitter. Can't they afford journalists anymore?

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Microsoft starts to fix Start Menu in new Windows 10 preview

h4rm0ny
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It would be pretty easy to fix the Start Menu by simply going back to the Start Screen. You only need hierarchical menus when you have too many items to manage in a flat hierarchy. On my desktop monitor I can fit 60 tiles very comfortably. That is far more than regular users ever need for commonly accessible tasks. You can additionally scroll down for less commonly used tasks where it becomes unlimited. And if you don't want to do something like remember that all your office applications are in a column on the left and all your games are in a column on the right (far quicker than actually reading up and down menu items), then you can always do what I do on Windows 8, which is just hit the windows key and start typing. Don't even have to reach for the mouse. None of this blending of unwanted online search results when I just want to launch Excel.

MS, imo, tried to jump across a ravine, got to the other side and found lots of people saying they didn't like it over here, so decided to jump half-way back and compromise. I find the Windows 10 Start Menu a grotesque hybrid. Some people like tropical fish. Some people like kittens. Nobody wants to see a kitten with fish-eyes and a gumless, toothless mouth.

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AMD chief architect Jim Keller quits chipmaker – again

h4rm0ny
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Re: Well that blows..

With the timescales that CPUs work to, the architecture part will be finished now (will have been for a little while) and the next parts are to turn it into a real and usable piece of hardware - not a small task. Jim Keller may be leaving because he's too expensive to just keep around with AMD's limited funds now that his stage is done, he may be leaving because he wants to find a new challenge elsewhere or simply have some time off (I imagine heading up a new CPU architecture is a pretty exhausting job). In either case, he will have delivered them all the architecture for Zen by this point. I would have expected him to stay on and continue working on successor chips personally, but then Jim Keller has never really stuck around that long at one company - check his work history. Hopefully if Zen is a success he will go back to AMD to do more for them.

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Global warming stopped in 1998? No it didn't. If you say that, you're going to prison

h4rm0ny
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Re: Yawn.....

>>"Gosh, I can't predict whether I will down four pints of IPA or a bottle of red, but I can predict I will have a hangover. I also can predict with fair confidence that it will be colder in January than it this month, and I don't know who is going to win Stoke City vs Leicester City on Saturday, but I can predict that neither will win the title come end of season."

None of these are good analogies for what the person you're replying to said. A better response would be "I can't tell you what the next three coin tosses will come up as, but I can tell you that over the next 500 they'll be fairly evenly split between heads and tails".

I'm actually a skeptic on AGW but the OP's argument was poor logic. One does not need to predict immediate results in order to predict and overall trend.

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Microsoft has developed its own Linux. Repeat. Microsoft has developed its own Linux

h4rm0ny
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Re: I wonder

This isn't an OS for the end user, there wont be a GUI at all from what I surmise from the article. MS developed some software for managing GNU/Linux via Powershell so it'll probably be managed through that.

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Let's Encrypt certificate authority signs first cert

h4rm0ny
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Re: Yes! Get on with it ElReg.

And

3. Tim Worstall refuses to use free certs until they cost more.

4. Trevor Potts refuses to use any technology that is compatible with IPv6

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Ahmed's clock wasn't a bomb, but it blew up the 'net and Zuckerberg, Obama want to meet him

h4rm0ny
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Re: Why he weas arrested?

His real crime, whatever they euphemistically call it, was embarrassing authority. Authority must at all times appear superior in wisdom to those it holds power over, or else the smarter one appears as a potential rival. At each stage, the escalation was a result of Authority trying to squash the appearance of having been made a fool of. A teacher is outsmarted by a schoolchild? Bad! The child must be punished and made an example of so that everyone knows it was the child that was wrong. Sent to the principle's office? The principle must re-establish the chain of authority - make the child sign something so that everybody knows they have admitted they were wrong and Authority was right. The child refuses to sign? The child is embarrassing Authority even more now, Authority must up the stakes. Suspend the child. Authority needs what the child has done to be Serious to justify punishing the child. Get the police! The police will scare the child. Wave an arrest at him. If the police are involved we know that this is Serious and Authority is in control. The child's father gets a lawyer, the child gets the public on their side? This has gotten far out of hand. Higher authority must now intervene to show it is in control. Inaction makes people doubt. As Julius Ceasar remarked in HBO's Rome: "I cannot punish you so I must reward you." Obama calls, says that the child has pleased him, that the lesser than Obama Authorities are wrong and back down. Thus Authority is preserved, order restored. We know that there is still ultimate authority and it was lessers in the hierarchy who acted without approval and now they are to be punished. The child is in favour of Authority and that's okay, so long as Authority at the top is still the one handing out rewards and punishments.

Authority must preserve itself lest Anarchy and Merit rule.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: The name Mohamed has earned its Terrorist Rep

At the risk of wrestling with a pig, have you done a comparison with how many people named Mohammed or Ahmed haven't "blown themselves up" ? There are two billion muslims on the planet and most of the male ones have some variation of Mohammed somewhere in their name. So, given your obvious belief that names determine behaviour, what you're telling me is that the chance of someone called Mohammed building a bomb is something like 2,000,000 to 1? Great, sounds pretty safe to me.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Why he weas arrested?

And fifteen of the nineteen investigated were from Saudi Arabia and all were backed by Saudi funding. But America still managed to invade the wrong country over it (twice). So... your point? Are you some believer in Nominative Determinism?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: My friend did take a bomb to (primary) school.

People seem mostly raised to avoid all personal responsibility these days and abdicate everything to authority. Which is the goal of many in authority these days - cogs in a machine not co-operating independent actors. It's as much this as it is idiocy and lack of education. We haven't evolved a difference in our brains in fifty years. The smarts are still there in most cases, it's just people have been taught to turn them off.

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Bible apps are EVIL says John McAfee as he phishes legal sysadmins in real time

h4rm0ny
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Re: Paranoid?

Who the Hell said anything about cheques?

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h4rm0ny
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Black Helicopters

Paranoid?

Seems a little harsh. I mean he's right, after all. Another interesting one from his blog that didn't make it into the article above is a conversation he had with a US bank about their app for customers. He asked a spokesperson for the bank why such an app needed permissions to use the microphone and camera and the spokesperson replied quite openly that they get a lot of claims that a money transfer wasn't really done by the account holder when the account holder later regrets what they've done. The bank spokesperson said "if we have a picture of the person using their phone at the time of the transfer or a recording of them joking with friends about how much they're about to spend, then we've got them".

McAfee is an interesting guy. He'd make a better president than any other current candidate. I wonder how many of the disaffected it's not worth voting crowd could actually get up and vote for him if they wanted to upset things.

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Masses of Brit IT bods embroiled in leak riddle

h4rm0ny
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Don't think it's Kapersky.

It could be a partial list of course, but I've been a customer of Kapersky Labs for sometime and the relevant accounts are not on the list.

Seems a little harsh for Kapersky's name to be emblazoned in the headline just for being the first to get back to El Reg with confirmation they aren't the source.

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