* Posts by Charles 9

10410 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Tape lives! The tape archive bit bucket is becoming bottomless

Charles 9
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Transfer rates, data allowances, and ownership issues mean the solution MUST be local. And while I AM using a two-drive rotation for the stuff I value most, they're not designed for cold storage, so I'm always worried about a failsafe failure.

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Charles 9
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Probably not, so it would be nice if LTO quotes in future are raw and let the user assume responsibility for optimizing its use through compression, deduplication, etc.

Having said that, I miss the Travan days. At least back then, tape drives were within consumer reach and provided us with at least some means of offloading cold data in the days when 1GB of data was a premium. A tape system accessible and affordable to the consumer in tiers of 2, 4, maybe 8 to 12TB for packrats would at least provide an alternative to external drives which can have reliability issues. At this stage, the only one within reach (and at a stretch) is rust-based RDX. Longevity doesn't even have to be so strong. Five, maybe ten years on the outside would be enough to handle a move between generations if need be.

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While USA is distracted by its President's antics, China is busy breaking another fusion record

Charles 9
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Re: Worse..

According to the article, it's not solar power specifically but the California grid in general. It's way overbuilt, even accounting for surge capacity. This is more a matter of political nepotism at work here: a human factor that's notoriously hard to control. And there's no mention of selling off the excess electricity to neighboring states. Perhaps the infrastructure isn't there or regulations make this too problematic. Point is, the article isn't quite saying what you're saying.

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Charles 9
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Re: Flat Earth

The trouble is that true Flat Earthers are irrational by nature. And you know what they say about trying to win an argument with an irrational person.

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Charles 9
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Re: That reminds me

IOW, it's a lottery side bet. Like putting aside a buck now and then when the jackpot gets big. If it doesn't work, oh well, no lunch. But if it hits, it hits BIG. The reward way outweighs the risk in this case because the risk really isn't that great.

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Charles 9
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Re: Crazy ideas?

"Of course they did, they were living on it after all. :P"

Blame my phone's autocorrect, OK? And since I was on the mobile site, I couldn't edit.

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Charles 9
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Re: Worse..

Oh? Is EAST part of ITER? Or something separate so that China doesn't have to share?

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Charles 9
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Re: Crazy ideas?

"It wasn't that long ago that many learned people thought if you sailed across the ocean then you would fall off the edge. Flying and space travel was the ideas of crazy people and if you went faster that 30mph in a train then you would be ripped to pieces from the forces involved."

The Greeks knew the world was around 2,000 years ago AND could prove it with math and physics.

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Web inventor Sir Tim sizes up handcuffs for his creation – and world has 2 weeks to appeal

Charles 9
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Re: Sir Tim is 62

And the computers can be instructed not to make things easy. Or did you notice most of these will require the use of video cards that support HDCP? AND can detect the use of splitters and/or repeaters? Here's a hint: "A repeater is connected to your system. Some video applications do not support HDCP when a repeater is present."

That's why 4K BluRay content won't be allowed on PCs, only dedicated devices with protected hardware paths.

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Charles 9
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Re: Slowly and surely they drew their plans against us

"By keeping this fracture, we ensure that DRM companies will only ever employ second-rate programmers whose code will inevitably kneel to the steely-eyed abilities of their betters who will mercilessly rip apart their stupid schemes and allow us to continue to master our content in the manner of our choosing."

Or they'll just stick to what they know (namely closed systems like Windows) which leaves the non-Windows users SOL. Think of Unintended Consequences.

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BOFH: That's right. Turn it off. Turn it on

Charles 9
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Re: You could try this

And if it turns out he's on 7...or a non-Windows machine?

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Charles 9
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Re: “Because they're idiots, and the worst is yet to come.” Indeed it is, says I/US.

Not even that. Eventually the bottom runs out of higher life forms from which to draw their sustenance. Not even sunlight is a given if a cosmic winter hits.

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Charles 9
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Which brings us to the next problem. What happens when the rubes happen to be on the board?

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Charles 9
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Re: do not enter the hypen!

The reason for that is that credit card fields have EXACTLY 16 spaces in them. Not 15 nor 17. And there's no slack because SOMEONE will use all 17 spaces by mistake (double strike) AND swear up and down they only entered 16 numbers to the point they only count 16 when directly asked to do so.

Sometimes, you just can't fix stupid.

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Semiconductor-laced bunny eyedrops appear to nuke infections

Charles 9
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Re: copper, the miracle element...

Is copper still effective after it's developed a patina? Perhaps that's the reason they switched to things like stainless steel, which are usually passivated to prevent similar chemical reactions from dulling their usefulness.

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Charles 9
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Re: Resistance

Carbon seems to work below the normal biochemical level. Its action seems closer to that of a bleach than anything else (which kills by simply bulldozing cells chemically rather than by any bacterial action). You're astute to note potential risk to friendly cells, which is why I mention the specific term "A bleach," which in biochemistry means specifically an indiscriminate chemical agent (TOO powerful, IOW).

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Tech can do a lot, Prime Minister, but it can't save the NHS

Charles 9
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Sound like we're screwed then. Private enterprise sucks the patients and insurance companies dry while the public sector is mired in inefficiency and never safe from being turned into a governmental plaything. And since BOTH are natural human tendencies, no amount of safeguarding can ever keep them permanently away (eventually, one or the other will REMOVE the safeguards).

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Microsoft boasted it had rebuilt Skype 'from the ground up'. Instead, it should have buried it

Charles 9
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Re: Modern Day Professional

Not really. The powers have more voices, and you know the saying, "Tell a lie enough times and people start believing it." Remember, these are people who believe with true conviction that climate change is a massive global conspiracy that ALSO involves the rival Russians and Chinese and that immunizations are a secret indoctrination project to permanently hold the population hostage to lifelong treatment regimens only the State can provide. Sad to say, but the natural human state is IRrational.

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Charles 9
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Re: Ekiga

Classic problem. Cross-app compatibility BY WHAT STANDARD? All the app makers want to be the standard-bearer since that lets them dictate terms. And since there are high stakes involved, no one's willing to give up on the race at this point. IOW, for there to be standard, there must be a WINNER first, and the race isn't over yet.

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Charles 9
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Re: Modern Day Professional

NO JOKE! Frankly, we're gonna have to face the fact that there's something extremely wrong with the entirety of Western Civilization, if you ask me.

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Charles 9
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Re: "This new app is absolutely terrible"

"Since I'm on the subject, what exactly is the Register "make this comment better within ten minutes" offer?"

Are you on the mobile website? Edit's not available yet on the mobile website. Switch to the Desktop website and it should appear. If you're using ad-blockers, you'll probably also need to enable both theregister.co.uk and regmedia.co.uk.

I've also heard the Edit feature is not available to all users. Anyone know if you need a medal to be able to edit?

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Heaps of Windows 10 internal builds, private source code leak online

Charles 9
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Re: Long File Path support

"You spam me - I refuse to do any business with your organisation. Permanently.

Vic."

And then what if it turns out they're the ONLY supplier of something you REALLY need? And you lack the resources to roll your own? That's the problem with captive markets...

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America's net neutrality rage hits academia

Charles 9
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Re: Welcome to the new Trumpistan!

The way you talk, you figure we're past the Point of No Return: beyond the Idiocracy point where the stupid can always outvote the smart. Am I right that this means it would take another intellectual revolution (and luck to avoid the nukes) to correct this properly?

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Charles 9
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Re: Oh shit, where did my means of production go?

No, they're smart enough to know there will always be another. As they say, money talks, all else walks.

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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

Charles 9
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Re: Oh no you don't

"Yes, you definitely do notice the difference. Except if you have to do it in blind testing. Hydrogen audio performed quite a long time ago testing on different MP3/AAC bitrates, on properly functioning codec (=no blatant bugs, incorrect settings) very few people can tell 128kbit apart from FLAC. Throw in variable bitrate and/or higher constant bitrate and you're completely SOL. (*)"

Did they also do a FLAC-to-vinyl comparison to see if true audiophiles could tell them apart better than random guessing?

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Charles 9
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Re: Well said

"Even as an engineer, trying to explain Nyquist etc. to them there's really no point, it feels like trying to preach Christianity to a Bhudist."

Then make them put their money where their mouth is and subject them to a blind sound test between good vinyl and high-bandwidth MP3s and see if they can consistently tell them apart higher than random guessing.

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New work: Algorithms to give self-driving cars 'impulsive' human 'ethics'

Charles 9
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Re: A half century of driving

I guess you've never had one just suddenly jump out at you from a blind spot and too close to stop even at cautious speeds. There are also "crap happens" moments when you're simply screwed: such as driving on a bridge the day it suddenly collapses under you.

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Charles 9
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Plus there ARE some real-world occurrences of "crap happens": situations where the driver WILL lose no matter what: the I-35 bridge collapse, a small deaf child (too small to be seen behind a car, unable to hear the engine) running 3 feet in front of a car (no car can stop on a dime, even at neighborhood speeds). Another term that springs to mind is "Cold Equation," where the sheer math and physics say SOMEONE's gonna die no matter what.

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Constant work makes the kilo walk the Planck

Charles 9
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Re: Confused

"And while I'm here, someone in an earlier post said that a ton was 2000 lbs. When the hell did they change that?"

AFAIK, Americans have ONLY known the ton as 2,000 pounds since they never got accustomed to the stone and hundredweight, which was the basis for the long ton's 2240 (= 20 hundredweight @ 8 stone each @ 14 pounds each).

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Charles 9
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Re: Confused

"Utter nonsense. Are you seriously suggesting that we still use miles instead of kilometres to measure distance because a factor of 5/8 somehow makes the numbers incomprehensible on a human scale?"

Most of the measurements came from PRACTICAL consideration. Like the foot: the length of a person's foot, give or take, meaning a rough estimate of length could come from simply WALKING (also the pace, the length one makes in two steps, starting and ending on the same foot). As for the mile, blame the Romans for the name (the name comes from them defining it as a thousand paces) and farming for its current length, as it was last set based on the furlong, and that measurement didn't come from horse racing but rather how far an ox plow team could work in a day. Not to mention the mile relates well to a human's normal walking pace (about 2mph) and horizon distance (about 3 miles).

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Charles 9
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Re: Confused

"Why not do it like they did the ton?"

I'm surprised they haven't made a metric Pint 500mL already. A metric Fifth is already 750mL, and they call the 1500m race the "Metric Mile". Meanwhile, yards and meters (and quarts and liters) are close enough as makes little difference unless you need specifics. Making metric analogues to Imperial measurements is one way to ease metrication, and many of them already exist. Now, some of them will take some stretching (say make a metric Stone 6kg, a bit smaller than it should be but easier to calculate).

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Charles 9
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Re: Confused

If it were the standard unit, it would not be prefixed but have a unit of its own, as the meter, the liter, and so on. The true standard should be the base, unprefixed form (in this case, the gram). If this is inappropriate, then a new base unit should be declared that equals 1,000 grams (not unheard of; 1 Sv = 100 rem). So instead of calling it the kilogram, call it say the Higgs (Hg), after Peter Higgs after which many supported connections between mass and energy are named.

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Charles 9
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Re: Confused

"And we prefer saying "miles" to "Kilometres" because it's a bloody sight easier to say."

"Click" is even easier, and the military use that as shorthand for kilometers. We already use "kilo" for kilogram. As for fluids, where is the pint and gallon actually specifically important in real world usage?

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How to pwn phones with shady replacement parts

Charles 9
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Re: Come again?

"You can presumably sniff things like EMI, or otherwise detect hand movements. Lots of possibilities here, with interesting precedent in what's been done against PIN pads."

You'd still need context, though. Harder to get without access to the innards.

"Plus your phone has other secrets to protect than just its' contents. Like everything being said in the same room as the phone, even if it's off if it's bugged."

Still need a way to EXfiltrate those conversations, and if the radio chips are also protected, then you'll need a total package. Might as well use a specialized bug in that instance.

"Regarding PIN pads, the VISA EPP standard is not meant to withstand a day or so of unsupervised access, which is what handing your phone in for repair certainly does in a lot of cases."

ATMs have to sit by their lonesome for days at a time. Who within a location actually pays attention to the PIN pads during normal operation? As for techs, that usually points to inside jobs, meaning they have access to key chips. Rogue techs could use side channels like hidden cameras, but again that's close to insider status to get them clandestinely in the machines and outside this context.

"The scenario for DVD/BluRay/etc is to protect the actual digital data, to prevent an exact (high-definition high-quality) copy, not keep the contents per se seciret."

The reason being they have a perennial problem: the enemy only has to be lucky ONCE. Then sharing instantly nulls their economic advantage, and the human condition means people WILL cheat. That's why they've been working on this VERY hard for the last 20-30 years, coming up now with this chain of trust system for the 4K systems (as well as the consoles, which double as 4K players) based on what the phone makers have been doing (and some phone STILL haven't been rooted or custom-ROM'd at this point; ask xda). Similarly for pwning a device. ONE slip and it's Game Over. They have to hold that off for as long as they can.

"If you hand something in for service and don't trust the service techs, consider it pwnd. This is almost a basic law of computing."

But not COMPLETELY. Otherwise, we'd see a formal proof by now a la Turing's Halting Problem disproof, as there ARE real scenarios where DTA must be assumed, so there IS a practical angle.

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Charles 9
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Re: Come again?

"You simply need to add a small circuit board with a microphone (or other listening device - radio/EM fields/position/etc) on it. This is not stopped in any way whatsoever by any chain of trust."

Yes it is, as it still doesn't get you into the contents, which probably did not come in by speech. We're not talking bugging, we're talking pwning. And pwning is also a piracy path, which is why BluRay players and console makers are interested (as pwning the Wii allowed backups to be made using its own drive, which by design MUST be able to read them). And before you say "bug the touchscreen," the touchscreen itself would have an encrypted data path, just like ATM PIN pads.

"Regarding switching out the entire phone - sure, but it might be a tad suspicious if you hand in your old worn thing (probably dinged up from whatever broke the screen as well) and get back a brand new phone. Just sayin'."

So yo swap out the used phone for one in similar condition. Shouldn't be that hard as long as most of the hardware is intact. If the phone's damaged enough to be unique-looking, then OK you'll need another tactic; thus the repair shop front.

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Charles 9
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Re: Come again?

"You don't need to replace any hardware in a phone to pwn it. You might simply add a bug - this has been done since the early days of telephony."

But in a trusted hardware chain, that breaks the chain, resulting in a brick. And in the protected hardware path approach, even the wires are sending all-encrypted data. And the devices are designed to close up on a brick due to the encrypted links, meaning you can't take advantage of the brick to extract data. And I don't think the threat models are THAT different given that BOTH this and the movie/gaming companies are trying to prevent exfiltration of data that can in turn be used to exfiltrate other data.

"Or you could replace the entire contents of the phone with something that just shows you a fake login screen and then errors out after entering the password/PIN code, sending it to the guy in possession of the real phone, if that's what you're after."

If you're gonna go THAT far, it would be more trivial to switch out the entire phone with a replica.

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Charles 9
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Re: Come again?

"If you want to prevent that, you don't do it by putting some DRMish stuff in the screen to authenticate it (a la Apple and the fingerprint sensor). This is completely meaningless even if we assume there's no way to stick an evil screen in place considering that they have unrestricted access to literally everything."

What about 4K BluRay Players and modern gaming consoles that use protected hardware paths (to prevent pirating)? Doesn't that work by using black-boxed keys inside each component so that every link in the chain is encrypted and authenticated to prevent tampering (replace even one component and you break the chain since you change that part's key which, being black-boxed, can't be extracted or copied)? Don't some Android devices use the same technique to prevent rooting and the use of custom builds? And don't these chains INCLUDE the CPU in having encryption keys (cryptoprocessors spring to mind)?

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Charles 9
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Intel's an American company. Most of the SoC makers are based in China. BOTH are known to be interested in such a thing, and doing it at the manufacturer level would be a win-win for them: ubiquitous so hard to avoid, relatively inexpensive, plus plenty of room for plausible deniability.

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Charles 9
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"Some hardware needs to be trusted. To my knowledge, no-one has found a way of building a trusted plaform on top of an untrusted CPU. "

But that raises a scary prospect. Given (1) that ARM CPU designs can be tinkered at the licensor's discretion (which is how these SoCs come into being), and (2) that some State agencies are loony enough to want control at the hardware level, including hidden stuff in the CPU, doesn't this raise some serious DTA prospects?

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Charles 9
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WHY do you HAVE to consider the hardware trusted? What prevents you from considering it UNtrusted? What about things like Protected Hardware Paths that require hardware authentication?

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Charles 9
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BadUSB? SMM pwnage?

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WannaCrypt: Roots, reasons and why scramble patching won't save you now

Charles 9
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Re: Windows Embedded

You do realize it's now 2017, meaning support for XP Embedded expired last year?

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Charles 9
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Re: Perhps it is not the risk comittee at fault?

But that doesn't work in that kind of bureaucracy. The departments in question are still part of the hierarchy, and they don't give or receive funds directly. They STILL have to come from the accounting arm which covers the whole works. Even if "X-ray" sign off on the risks, if something DOES happen and the X-ray machine goes down, how does the hospital get its X-rays, then?

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Charles 9
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Re: Lack of any finger pointing at the right people. VM, WINE, ...

Like Modems? WiFI adapters? The list of incompatible devices for both classes is long and notorious (mostly because a lot of the built-in devices are included--don't count on anything from Broadcom to work natively).

And as for WINE, it can be hit or miss, especially for high-performance stuff like games (which also make them less than ideal for virtualization since 3D is one of the weaker things to be virtualized).

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Has Canadian justice gone too far? Cops punish drunk drivers with NICKELBACK

Charles 9
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Re: So you like Nickelback?

I think Fear Factor did a variant of this. Imagine some perenially-annoying song ("Tiny Bubbles" springs to mind) played over and over, only each time it's played a little different, such as at a different pitch (or worse, sliding back and forth). Since the brain is geared to pick up on differences, this helps to prevent a drown-out effect, plus playing it off-key means even the rare FAN of the song will be put out.

After all, there are people who actually LIKE "Rockstar" or "Photograph" (or even Kenny G's "Songbird"). But it would take a music masochist beyond measure to WANT to listen to it off-key.

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Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

Charles 9
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Re: History repeats itself

I'll see your Wannacry and match you with Heartbleed and Shellshock. Just because you don't hear of Linux malware doesn't mean it doesn't exist or is being exploited (even by State agencies) without your knowledge.

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Charles 9
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HELL YES!

Not to mention they have to be able to use more technical software (and sometimes even hardware--does your hairdresser have to interface with something like a patient monitor?).

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Charles 9
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Re: Smart? Cards

"What I believe brings a lot of big projects down is demanding more than needs to be done;"

The problem becomes that the things that are "added on" can really ONLY be done DURING such a transition, since for things like security you really have to bake it in while it's being made.

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America throws down gauntlet: Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights

Charles 9
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Re: Does anyone know what pressurization and temperatur cycling does to Li battery packs?

Cold's actually not a big issue for those kinds of batteries. They have degraded performance and are less conducive to charging, but in terms of safety, it's actually good for the battery as it dampens the odds of a thermal runaway. The trouble with them has always been running too hot.

That said, I said dampen, not eliminate, and since most checked stuff is inaccessible to the crew during the flight, should one of them actually do set light, you have a serious problem (an airliner fire always rates at least a Pan-Pan, but one the crew can't reach is a Mayday).

I speak from experience. I use an Android tablet as a mapper and music player in my car. In the winter, I find it stops charging and occasionally runs down, and I managed to once see the message that said it's too cold to charge the device (despite it being kept in a pouch that should insulate it).

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Photobucket says photo-f**k-it, starts off-site image shakedown

Charles 9
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Re: Why it's an issue

So as another poster said, what if Photobucket were to just disappear? Same effect, and now ABSOLUTELY no recourse.

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