* Posts by Charles 9

11108 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Profit with just one infection! Crook sells ransomware for $175

Charles 9
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They're talking physical honeypots: bait computers set up to catch malware in order to analyze it. Karmen's obviously designed to be honeypot-resistant, probably by performing something a honeypot MUST catch or there's a risk of the honeypot itself being subverted. If it's trapped, the malware knows there's a honeypot. VMs are another way to do honeypots which is why VM detectors are now standard fare (and unfortunately, extremely difficult to fool thanks to physical limitations that can be detected by things like external timing attacks).

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Charles 9
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But many types can't keep archives that long and eventually have to cycle. That's when it gets you.

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'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules

Charles 9
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Re: Privacy in wire communications??

But then the ad people will know you're cutting them out of the loop. Next thing you know you end up with ad gates.

The problem with chaff plugins is that not everyone has the bandwidth to product sufficient chaff to cover their tracks, plus the servers can probably run machine learning to winnow out the chaff, be it computer- or human-generated.

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Charles 9
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"No you simply report all corporations that report price sensitive news on twitter/website to the SEC and insist that the senator's ruling means that they have to announce all information to non-internet users simultaneously"

They respond, "We already do. That's what television is for. And if breaking news goes out over the big broadcasters, it should get nationwide coverage lickety split."

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Charles 9
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"Time to cut the cord and move to the wilderness."

Then the spy satellites will get you. And they can operate outside the visual spectrum, too.

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Charles 9
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Re: Gilmore vs. Gonzales

"Often Americans deserve the treatment they get from their companies... keep on believing any regulation is bad.... and remember it when you're being thrown off an airplane or the like..."

To which they respond, "Well, if regulation is so good, explain the TSA."

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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Charles 9
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Re: Gilmore vs. Gonzales

"You can always go by boat..."

As another commenter noted, that will take a week at least, which makes it IMpractical.

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Charles 9
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Re: Term Limits - Appealing - Curbing Lobbyists - More so

Term limits will just be handled with proteges. As for lobbyists, how do you deal with it when the lobbyist is your spouse?

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Charles 9
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Re: WTF

Proteges, proteges, and proteges. For every solution you can propose, they will already have a counter.

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Charles 9
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Re: Gilmore vs. Gonzales

But did they consider international travel, especially transoceanic travel for which there is ONLY ONE practical option? Heck, what if you're just doing a San Francisco-to-Honolulu flight? That's transoceanic but domestic.

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Charles 9
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Re: Putting The 'T' In ReTardlican

Please note the weasel word "reasonable". What's reasonable against a permanent existential threat?

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Charles 9
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Re: Editor strikes

What I'm asking is how many of those communities couldn't pick an ISP even if they wanted to because they had NO coverage AT ALL?

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Charles 9
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What if he really doesn't use any of that stuff? It'd be nothing more than noise to him. I know I don't use Twitter or Facebook.

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Charles 9
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The ISPs would then have a field day. Consider the OVERAGE charges...

PS. Learned this when I played around with YaCy. The big problem with decentralized ANYTHING is that this causes EVERYONE to use up their bandwidth, which to many is precious, little, and charged heavily.

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Charles 9
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Re: Editor strikes

So how many have ONE and how many have ZERO ISP choices?

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Charles 9
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Re: @AC - origin of gerrymandering

"Parties in control of their states would never agree to giving up control in 2020 since those in power now know they're likely to still be in power in three short years, so mandate it for 2030. Better late than never."

No, because whoever's in power in 2020 will simply make it so there's no way to change it in ten years' time, repeat ad nauseum. And since Congress can make the laws and so on, it's a vicious cycle. Plus NO ONE will ever agree to whatever algorithm is used by a computer to make the districts; they'll ALWAYS find fatal flaws. The only way around it would be a perfect algorithm, and that doesn't exist and can probably be disproven by reductio ad absurdum.

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Charles 9
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Re: "Nobody's got to use the internet."

Ever heard of "an offer you can't refuse"?

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Charles 9
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But you'll NEVER get rid of lobbyists. Every time you try to outlaw them, they'll just find ways around them. For example, how do you deal with lobbyists when they hire a congressperson's spouse, sibling, or child? Now you've created a dilemma, as families are expected to communicate with each other in order to stay functional, and the lobbyists are exploiting this to make it impossible to get away from them completely. They can also employ "sister-of-a-friend-of-a-friend" methods to conceal bribes and their sources. It's basically like a siege: the attacker tends to have the advantage over time, and they can eventually reach "an offer you can't refuse" levels.

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Charles 9
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Re: Benefit of the doubt? "Notas Badoff" might not be American?

I thought it was more a case of him asking, "What did we do BEFORE the Internet?" After all, what did Depression-era people do to get by without even electricity or running water at times? Without access to any form of healthcare and so on? These are the kind of people who make Archie Bunker look tame...and consider it a GOOD point.

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Deeming Facebook a 'publisher' of users' posts won't tackle paedo or terrorist content

Charles 9
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Re: Maybe it's because Facebook's moderators simply refuse to look.

And let's not even get into stego'd pics or pics that are used as very secret signals. As in the picture of the Grand Canyon is one thing while the one of Mount Rushmore is another. Most of these would require a First Contact to work, but I'd have to think that with at least some small thing in common, there could be a way to pass contextual messages around using nothing but innocuous pictures and no prior meeting.

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Charles 9
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Re: Logic Failure on your part.

"So, because Murdoch owns the Times, and you don't like Murdoch, that makes their article about Facebook getting a free pass to continue to do nothing about users posting child porn totally unacceptable?"

Not totally unacceptable, just hopelessly biased due to the skin at stake for Murdoch. Facebook's essentially a rival firm. ANYTHING coming from a rival needs to taken with significant salt due to the inherent bias of being a rival.

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Charles 9
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Re: bad dog, no cookie for you

"Until the governments of the world decide to stop having their little turf war over who gets to own the internet, there's only one of three viable answers: Don't get involved. Get involved, but only with the government where your server(s) are located... and convince the many-headed fuckbeast of world government to write a goddamn treaty already about this and setup a proper way of streamlining and handling these requests and what people's rights and responsibilities are when running a website, server, service, etc."

The governments will NEVER stop getting involved because too much is at stake to them (to some, their very sovereignty may be at stake, an existential threat). And many times, not getting involved is not an option; just ask Blackberry. Which leaves option three: essentially trying to beat a fireproof hydra whose heads keep snapping at each other.

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Charles 9
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Re: Maybe it's because Facebook's moderators simply refuse to look.

You forget about Asymmetry of Knowledge and smear campaigns. People who REALLY hate you can go to rather great lengths to get other people to hate you and can just start using false identities and other techniques to pile on bad votes on you, effectively silencing you with no recourse. You post anything at all, they complain and then flood the vote to get your post removed.

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Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

Charles 9
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Re: The fix is obvious

Turtles all the way down is what you'd get. What checks the AI that checks all the other AIs?

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Charles 9
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Re: Feedback

Which presents a bigger problem. What if you're never told what are the data you're supposed to move nor the criteria? How can you play when you're never even told the rules?

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Charles 9
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Re: Remember

But what about garbage input that didn't look like garbage input at the time (as in it seemed to make sense)? Like say someone who only ever had one name.

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Charles 9
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Re: Also...

And there are some who WANT that. Slow down the rat race, control the population and the exploitation of the Earth, and all that.

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Charles 9
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Re: Could this idea be more backwards?

Except every single method you propose has fatal flaws.

1-2) People will CHEAT and then hide the fact they're cheating. Humans will be bastards if it'll give them a leg up on their neighbors. It's damned near instinct.

3-4) NOTHING scales well for 7 billion (and direct democracy pretty much doesn't scale past tribal size), and unless you have a system that can encompass EVERY human, one side or the other's going to feel slighted and want revenge.

5) Eventually, two such blocs will end up at odds. Usually over resources like arable land or women. If it can happen to two people, it can certainly happen to two blocs of people. Geography WILL matter at some point because the Earth is finite. EVERYTHING is finite at some scale.

6) Except when there are too many people. You eventually end up with a "Baker's Dozen in an Egg Carton" situation: too many people for whatever geography can accommodate. At that point, war isn't just desirable, it's inevitable. Either SOME die or ALL die from sheer exhaustion of resources.

7) And many humans hold grudges. If you screw someone, you risk an act of revenge, and some people see Mutual Assured Destruction as an acceptable scenario in that context.

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Charles 9
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"Minimum sentences rules were introduced because tabloid-fearing politicians didn't want judges exercising any intelligent discretion based on the evidence presented."

I thought it was out of fear a charismatic criminal would get off light.

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Charles 9
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Re: Could this idea be more backwards?

But then comes the armor-piercing question.

"Can you think of any better without changing the human race as a whole?"

In other words, what you describe sounds like the absolute pits...until we start looking at the alternatives.

Otherwise, we may be better off just waiting for the Taelons or whatever to come and become "beneficent guardians" for our own protection.

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Charles 9
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Re: But more importantly...

"As Ken has hinted at already, algorithms can also run on neurons instead of silicon."

I think the problem here is there's no assurance it'll run consistently and precisely on neurons.

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Charles 9
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Re: No, no they don't.

"[1] The "Code of Ur-Nammu" dates to ~2100-2050 BCE and specifies punishment for (among other crimes) murder, robbery, adultery and rape. Spoiler alert - the penalty for all of them is death."

I suspect given the conditions of that society (no such things as jails, for example, and no practical destination for an exile, etc.), death was basically the only option that would stick.

PS. In the end, laws are just ink on a page. What matters law to a charismatic sociopath able to raise a army big enough to overrun you?

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Charles 9
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Re: Sounds like the makings of a witch hunt to me.

And if many of them CAN answer the question accurately? Wouldn't that be even scarier?

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Charles 9
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"We should not be using algorithms to determine sentences for criminals, the judiciary is there for that to determine the facts of the case and the intent of the criminal. I understand it is still an opinion but its better than something that does not know or see what is in front of it and is basing it's opinion based on information fed in to it."

But if you depend on humans, what happens with a charismatic suspect?

"Mortgages are based on ability to pay so I have no problem with them, money in - money out = amount you can afford with an adjustment to factor in interest rate changes."

But since mortgages tend to be long-term things, they also have to take vulnerability into account. How likely is the borrower to suffer a significant event that severely alters his/her ability to fulfil his/her end of the deal (say, the industry he/she is in is prone to collapse leaving him/her not just unemployed but unemployABLE).

"Googles algorithms should be open to scrutiny by a legally backed watchdog because they can make or break a company/product/person/opinion."

But Google is multinational. They can probably play foreign sovereignty against you. What will you do then? Block Google and get complaints up the wazoo?

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Charles 9
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"The key principle is that everything two entities - companies, people, Governemnts, whathaveyou - do together must be voluntary (they must both agree to it) and well-informed (they must know what they're agreeing to). So you can't coerce, and you can't deceive. The sole exception of self-defence and then all bets are off."

Which is usually never the case. Each side is usually trying to hide things from the other: either to outplay the other or as a defense against the other trying to backstab them. Confidence is something that usually only comes with trust, and trust is the exception, not the rule. Unless there's a crisis, one man usually doesn't trust the other and will tend to act in competition. That's why theoretical things like pure capitalism don't work in reality (asymmetry of knowledge) and why you have thought experiments like the Prisoner's Dilemma.

"In such situations then you are in fact being coerced, at one remove; all bets are off. You are free to act in whatever ways are necessary to ensure you are not coerced or deceived. Hack the meter."

Nope, because the electricity companies tend to have government mandate on their side. IOW, if all bets are off, what do you do when it's the OTHER side that has all the guns? Oh, and a willingness to use scorched earth tactics?

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FCC kills plan to allow phone calls on planes – good idea or terrible?

Charles 9
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Re: Ajit Pai: "Even a broken watch..."

As for the title header, did anyone tell Pai a broken watch could only have a minute hand, making it impractical as a timepiece, full stop?

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Charles 9
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Re: Carrot and Stick

Yeah, and then we get the situation where the caller is a boxer/bouncer/martial artist. He/she gives you "the look" and you wonder if it's worth it...

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Charles 9
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Re: Bah!

Point is, if you want to go transoceanic in any practical sense, you basically have to bend over. Same if you want to take a long trip, like across the United States from New York to San Francisco. It may be cramped and limited, but you can cross the country in a plane in ~5-6 hours. Any other way and you're looking two days at least, and for many time is more important than money due to hectic lives.

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UK boffins steal smartmobe PINs with motion sensors

Charles 9
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Re: Apple already addresses that last year

Because they may not have access to the touchscreen inputs? Thus they need the accelerometer in order to capture the PIN?

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Burger King's 'OK Google' sad ad saga somehow gets worse

Charles 9
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People who have never heard the brands before, for example, because they've just come in from the sticks or foreign parts. Plus people forget. You need to remind them.

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Charles 9
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Re: How much brand awareness does the Whopper need?

"Unless you've been living in a cave all your life."

Or in the sticks. There are still parts of the country with no ready access to television, especially in the all-digital age.

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Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

Charles 9
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Re: Same Here

"I really think MS execs would be truly shocked at the level of hatred Microsoft engenders in ordinary users let alone those of us who have had to work with (or around) their products and watched their shameless, offensive, marketing shenanigans."

Compared to the millions of sheep out there who just go about their lives, we're probably just noise. Otherwise, they would've listened to us by now. But we don't represent enough money to them.

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Charles 9
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Re: If Microsoft was an airline...

"I would rather walk"

Sorry, but I'd rather the world didn't come to an end just yet since I don't recall anyone else able to walk on water.

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Charles 9
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Re: Windows 10 Creators Update CU (NT) system.

Belgium's also about the size of Rhode Island. Now imagine if a country like China (nearly two billion people, heavily male, and with nukes) had to run without a functioning government for a few years. I don't know if the world would survive the experiment.

And given the attitude of the average human being, I believe YES you DO need a beneficent sociopath to lead them or things get ugly.

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Charles 9
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Re: Two words - Linux Mint

"Yes yes as you keep saying ad infinitum... Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over... Pushing an agenda much?"

Yes, if a company as motivated as Valve (they knew this was coming) can't convince the likes of ZeniMax (parent of Bethesda), that tells me the market simply isn't there. And millions of people are still paying in the neighborhood of $10 per month to keep playing a game that's still pretty much supported on only one platform. Like I said before, trying WINE is risky as you risk a ban last I heard. Like you said, not everyone's a gamer, but plenty are, and some are even professional gamers. They do it for a living. And that pretty much means Windows machines. Yet pro gaming leagues don't seem too concerned about Windows. Put it this way; I'll be convinced Windows is fading when the firms that do this for real life money (IOW, people with actual skin in the game, so to speak) defect. And I haven't seen that yet.

"And with MS making it harder and harder for games writers to get customers"

Oh? DirectX 12 ring a bell? Haven't heard much of a counter from the Kronos group yet with Vulkan.

"And before you waffle on about "too entrenched" have a good look at history. Lots of "too entrenched" technologies have quickly gone from being the be-all and end-all to a mere memory."

Like what specifically? I seriously doubt anything can upend a market that quickly. Especially a very mature market? I mean, many places still run coal power plants, for crying out loud. If Windows is a cart with square wheels, the ground's probably sandy and the dog's actually a mastiff cross (think ancient Egypt; they knew about wheels but didn't use them as much).

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Charles 9
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Re: Stupid

"The more Microsoft does these kinds of shenanigans, the more people will defect even if it means forgoing some windows-only software."

The problem with your theory is that, for many, that Windows-only software isn't just some nice little thing; it's the linchpin to their whole operation. This is especially true of expensive custom jobs that will be expensive again to replace (probably TOO expensive to afford).

Like I said, captive market.

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'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

Charles 9
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Re: RE Should someone point out to the EFF that the US constitution for free speech ...

"so they'd should at least be able to express an opinion. No more than that, but having a view is not interfering."

It is if you're shouting down everyone else in the process so they can't get a word in edgewise. See "bullhorning". That's why FREE speech should not be confused with FAIR speech.

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Charles 9
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Re: So this patent dates from 1999 and is therefor 18 years old.

Besides, they can get around the physical limitation by simply implementing it in an IC. The issue isn't that it's an idea. Ideas can be novel, unique, and very useful. It's the fact that the electronics industry moves very, VERY fast, such that derivatives and successors can come along pretty quickly. If you have a great idea and want to take advantage of it, I don't see why it can't be protected for a LIMITED length of time. Like I said, if push came to shove, I could implement it physically (like in a chip) just to dot the I's. But let's focus on the LIMITED part. If the industry you're in moves very quickly, limit the term of an algorithm patent accordingly. I'd much rather let them have, say, three years of fame and then it becomes public domain than they keep the idea in their heads and then take it to the grave.

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Charles 9
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Re: So this patent dates from 1999 and is therefor 18 years old.

Patenting algorithms isn't necessarily bad, but it's terms should reflect a fast-moving industry. If they were no longer than three years, they'd be much more acceptable.

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Alert: Using a web ad blocker may identify you – to advertisers

Charles 9
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Re: Corner shop

It isn't just the newsagents and small shops. EVERY retailer has to pay to process card transactions (that's how the processors make their living), and it's usually the larger of a certain percentage of the sale (say %2-3 if your sales are slow) or a flat minimum fee. Because of that, most firms pay too much for small transactions which is why the minimum transaction. Larger retailers have the benefit of a lower percentage because of higher overall sales (economies of scale, basically) and the balancing effect of that high activity making small transactions bearable (somewhere there'll be a big transaction to offset small ones). Plus many retailers if they can do it will prefer bank debit to credit transactions (the percentage is lower).

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