* Posts by Charles 9

8637 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Apple sued by parents of girl killed by driver 'distracted by FaceTime'

Charles 9
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Why is everyone in such a tizzy about this? Or is there evidence to show the family sued Apple to the exception of the driver instead of (much more logically, especially if demanded by insurance) in addition to the driver?

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Charles 9
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Re: Kind of see the point..

"Apple have publicly declared that they can stop this happening, and pretty much by doing so stopped anyone else trying to do it either...

But then haven't done it."

Because too many people pointed out that GPS and cameras have no way to tell the difference between an actual driver and a driver's-side passenger in the back seat. If a passenger was unable to do something and a death resulted (unable to report an accident or crime in progress, for example), Apple could get sued there, too. Dilemma: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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Charles 9
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Re: suing God

Ray Stevens already has a song not specifically about this but about crazy lawsuits. Look up "No Lawyers in Heaven."

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Charles 9
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Re: It probably *is* possible to detect a driver...

"You could presumably also detect whether the driver was on the left of right of the vehicle by the angle of the phone w.r.t travel direction or by recognising."

What if the user is the passenger situated behind the driver in the back seat? Since the car is moving, both you and driver can occupy the same spot of land, making this too risky for false positives.

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Charles 9
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Re: Never an individuals fault

No, slaughter implies nonhumans; thus a slaughterhouse.

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Charles 9
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Which is interesting because the THIRD DWI in Texas is a felony (as is any DWI where a person is hurt or killed or one with a child on board), which has severe consequences even after serving (I know most places won't hire convicted felons---trust issues).

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Charles 9
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"But unfortunately I can't sympathize with this family when it comes to their lawsuit because I consider that it to be plain out ridiculous. What's next? Sue a beer brand when a person has been drinking too much? If they would have targeted their anger at the moron behind the wheel, the one who killed their daughter then they would definitely have my sympathy, but not with this. This doesn't sound like a call for justice to me."

They probably have in this case, but many times suing the driver of such an accident is impossible...because they're DEAD.

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Charles 9
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Re: Didn't they see..

Those rules go out the window in a gridlock because everyone will be cramming for every inch of space. Leave that much space and someone will move into it. And you can't trust the shoulder since it could be soft or have an embankment or ditch, creating an "out of the frying pan, into the fire" situation.

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Charles 9
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Re: Didn't they see..

Given they were in a gridlock at the time due to an accident, they were basically cornered. If they released the brakes, they'd just crash into the vehicle ahead of them, creating a sandwich situation which could likely be even worse than just getting rear-ended (an impact from two points at once is more likely to compromise the passenger cabin, and the rear impact alone was enough here).

In any event, the main reason disablers aren't automatic is because there's no way to tell if the user is the driver or a passenger (even with more accurate geolocation, the passenger can be behind the driver in the back seat--no way to tell the difference). The passenger is under no obligation to pay attention to the road so does not need any kind of reminder. Plus, the passenger may wish to call police on accidents as they pass, aiding those who do get into a crash.

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Blue sky basic income thinking is b****cks

Charles 9
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Because the wealthy know how to conceal their wealth. So there's always less wealth apparent and available than there really is.

So soon you end up in a situation of twelve starving men on an island with only three coconuts (or rather twelve able workers in a world with only three jobs). In Sci-Fi the term for this situation is "The Cold Equation," and it entrails that, no matter how you try to split it, things won't end well.

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Charles 9
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Re: Er..

"How about an actual 'Free Market'.. just saying.."

You can't have a free market with labor because labor has illogical factors aggravating it: the destitute are desperate for their daily bread (creating a captive market) and everyone is looking out for their own skin (which aggravates surpluses because no one will be willing to just up and DIE).

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Charles 9
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Re: @TheTick

"Because free market capitalism is only voluntary in any way if you are wealthy. Otherwise it's "participate, under the rules set by the wealthy, or starve to death in the streets."

In other words, unavoidable externalities make a completely free market impossible. The cost of living, for example, tends to be inelastic. And because of this, the destitute comprise a captive market. And capitalism naturally distorts in a captive market.

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Charles 9
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Re: Cheap == Good is a fallacy

"You are right about one thing, cheap does not always mean good. But if you sell the *same quality* product at a lower price because you have structured your business in a superior way to your competitors, and in such a way that the government doesn't punish you for it then that is *a good thing*."

Not if you cut your labor costs more than the price of your goods. Remember that your employees are also potentially your customers, and if you price your own customers out of the market, that's like cutting your nose to spite your face. Because employees can also be customers, labor costs can have both knock-on and cyclic effects that can be very tricky to predict on your own business because the effects are so indirect.

The TL;DR version: what good is keeping your prices down if the only way to do it is to cut your wages to the point they can't afford to buy your goods since everyone else will be doing the same thing, too?

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Charles 9
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Re: Bottom line

It may well be. Just like the current trend in innovation is causing a mass net subtraction of jobs rather than being a net addition or more or less even. Where will the displaced go when there's no more need for them and no real opportunities in sight (since the new jobs are arlready being replaced with robots or are "elite"-class jobs only open to long-time specialists with openings few and far between)?

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Those online ads driving you bonkers are virtually 'worthless for brands'

Charles 9
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Re: Advertising in general is useless...

The problem is that the best products advertise themselves and the worst products poison everything around them with there mere presence. That leaves no work for ad men who know nothing else, and they've been at this for well over a century. So they simply find work with everything in between: not good enough to advertise themselves yet not irksome enough to become self-averting.

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Charles 9
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Re: All the bad ads

"Someone above noted that he needs "half a dozen plugins" to get rid of all the ads. That's not true: You only need one - a whitelist JavaScript blocker such as NoScript (firefox) or ScriptSafe (chrome) is all I use - no ABP. The nice thing about this is that HTML-only adverts, which are almost always non-intrusive, display just fine"

Two things. One, HTML5 supports video without JavaScript. Two, many of the ads are keyed to the site or sit on the site itself, so blocking the ad blocks the site, too. And for some of us, the sites have no alternatives (like driver sites, third parties are a security risk).

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Lenovo shows off 'Microsoft-friendly' VR cosplay at CES

Charles 9
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Re: Major Problem

Most VR in fiction seem to separate the virtual sensations in your brain from the physical sensations coming from your body, allowing you the freedom to move, react, and feel without physically moving. That's raised the bar and VR tech may need to go that far before it'll gain mass adoption.

Has there been any medical advancements in virtual sensation? Especially of the type where the body doesn't move in response?

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Firefox to give all extensions their own process in January

Charles 9
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Re: I dream..

The thing is, how does the junior dev survive to become the bad senior dev unless he knows someone high up (like someone on the board) who can protect him from the pruning process?

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Amazon files patent for 'Death Star' flying warehouse

Charles 9
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"Yeah... No! If anything they should use this BEELLIONS to further Mechanize thier outfit, and sack the last useless Meatsack standing. Like MickyD's have been doing with those Touchscreen Order Pads that some Stores have now."

Now, behind-the-scenes stuff there's little one can do to stop automation since none of the customers really see what goes on there, but in point-of-sale people really prefer to talk to a face, if anything because most people's orders aren't all that simple ("And hey, can I have the cone first? I want to be able to eat it while I wait for everything else."). Given the choice between a touchscreen and a person, prices being equal, customers will focus on the person. So what will happen when they see their business at the touchscreen locations drop versus person locations? Will they be forced to start closing locations altogether?

I haven't seen the touchscreens at my place yet, but this may be because they're trying something different: order by app, which offsets the lack of a person two ways: you're not there yet (so you're not expected to talk to a face), and you're ordering ahead (so you save time, especially if you're re-ordering a favorite menu).

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Charles 9
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Re: a "defensive" patent

That's already in patent law. They must actually produce the product or a competitor can challenge it on inactivity grounds.

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Raspberry Pi Foundation releases operating system for PCs, Macs

Charles 9
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Re: Obligatory Dumbass Question

Thumbing me down doesn't make it less true. Unless these systems can run the programs we REALLY need on an everyday basis, and most of that software is custom jobs locked onto one platform that doesn't happen to be Linux, the landscape of computers in general isn't going to change all that much. Sure, ARM-based portables are all the rage, but they still haven't taken over all the PC's useful functions, especially in the realms of performance demands and content creation. You can't NLE a movie very well on a tablet, for example.

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Charles 9
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Re: Obligatory Dumbass Question

Heck, is there a PC Linux platform out there that can consistently handle ANY Crysis title without a lot of jiggery-pokery? That's not allowed if you intend to recruit Joe Ordinary to your cause since they expect out-of-the-box performance.

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Charles 9
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Re: what users want

Jessie Lite doesn't include X. So you either get Lite and add it on or get the full-fat Jessie and remove the cruft. Chore either way.

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Charles 9
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Since they have to maintain the faculty computers no matter what, which BTW can't jump to Linux because the software needed to do the grades and so on are locked to Windows (this is investment-class software, very expensive and rolled out en masse, so no tinkering allowed; it must be all or nothing), wouldn't sprucing up the student computers be little more than nicks off the roll in the greater scheme of things versus two completely different sets of computer complete with service regimens and so on?

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Charles 9
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Re: And it appears to be 3D skeuomorphic!

Your statements merely confirm my original assumption. You think your Zaphod Beeblebrox believing you're the center of your little universe while the rest of reality flies by, and you don't care. That's why serious Linux users and the mainstream won't meet: they're universes apart.

And before you point to Android and the like, I should point out that it's more than Android that's running Android. Most of it depends on Google's infrastructure, plus all the popular games on it are casual, not-so-serious games.

And before you say, "So what?" you basically told Blizzard to kiss your kiester. Blizzard, who happens to be one of the most successful gaming companies on the market, with NET (meaning AFTER costs) revenues of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars last year, with 10 million players willingly (repeat, WILLINGLY) plunking down $13-15 A MONTH just for one game, not to mention all the side business on top of that. And that's not even counting Overwatch, on which Blizzard is making YET ANOTHER killing. If they don't like complaining Linux users, that's because they're in such a minority that it's not even worth their time. Frankly, given the choice between them and you, I'll take the company that seems to know what it's doing (after all, they're the ones making all the money).

"If and when developers want to release their games for Linux, I and many others like me are very welcoming and we support them by purchasing their titles, we report bugs and help out wherever we can. We love them for it. And we play the hell out of their games."

But if you want MORE and more mainstream games, you can't just hope for them to come. You have to offer the bridge, ease the transition, or else it's a bridge too far. This was one reason the Saturn and Nintendo 64 lost the fifth generation. Sony made things easy, and won defections by the truckload as a result. If you want people to REALLY game on Linux, you need to put forth the effort. But that's not what you want, is it? You just want you little universe as it is. You could care less if all the big boys pass you by.

"It is a great time for Linux gaming, and like most significant times in history, it is happening whether you want it to or not."

If what I see now is the most significant moment in Linux gaming, where Valve (who actually has a financial motive to push gaming away from Windows and Microsoft's walled garden) can't even convince devleopers to jump and where their Steam Machines languish, then you really must BE Zaphod Beeblebrox to thing this is what's considered the greatest thing to happen to gaming since the joystick.

Given that, I'll gove you the TL;DR version: we'll just have to agree to disagree. Our perspective are just too different to find common ground.

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Meet the Internet of big, lethal Things

Charles 9
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Re: bug free software

That's the specialty of injury lawyers. They're masters of finding ways to make everyone pay: even manufacturers for allowing the bad modification to happen, regardless of hold faultless clauses. They have to know the tricks since most work on contingency: they don't win, they don't get paid.

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Charles 9
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Re: @Andrew Orlowski

Looks like this one is actually true: ECLI:EU:C:2014:2146, Damijan Vnuk v. Zavarovalnica Triglav d.d.,

http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2014-09/cp140117en.pdf

"Compulsory insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of vehicles has to cover any accident caused in the course of the use of a vehicle that is consistent with the normal function of that vehicle."

A tractor is legally a vehicle (the judgment clarified this), and is intended to be used in a field such as the location of the incident, which isn't public property. Ergo, ANY vehicle must be insured to cover accidents occurring during their normal activities, be they on public or private property, unless there is a SPECIFIC exemption to those vehicles in the law of that member state. No such exemption was in Slovenian law at the time.

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Charles 9
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"Yes, but if they do I bet the new ones to replace these which John Deere put on "planned obsolescence" will be a different brand. It is a marvelous way of removing oneself from the market."

Unless, of course, they act in cartel and ALL do the Deere, meaning a Hobson's Choice instead. To them, playing nice means business for all instead of a cutthroat fight where most of them won't last.

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Charles 9
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Until they realize they can't afford them. Keeping them for decades is pretty much the only way to make them worthwhile. Otherwise, a lot of farmers are going to go under.

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Charles 9
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Then how come Tesla's bus is encrypted if it's illegal to do so?

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Charles 9
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Re: Do you own it, or not?

The point about the theater is that rights are never absolute...because they CLASH. The 1st Amendment says Congress can make no law abridging freedom of speech, yet because other people's rights are involved, SCOTUS ruled in the Schencker decision that speech can be abridged if they interfere with other people's rights.

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Charles 9
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Re: Better suggestion

Couldn't they still do that without automation by engineering a plague, or more prosaically, finding a way to cut off America's diesel supplies?

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Charles 9
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Re: Milking It

You would think with the money involved someone would've reverse engineered it by now to undercut them. Or are there patents or other unavoidable red tape involved?

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2016: The Rise of the Intelligent (cloud) Machines

Charles 9
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But if we don't know if something like this is truly feasible or, what does that say about a whole slew of other problems, including the fabled NP-Complete problems?

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Charles 9
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"There will never be any laws like that, in the same vein as there will never be any algorithms resolving EXPTIME problems in polynomial time."

Thing is, we still don't conclusively know whether or not things like prime factorization are in P, so there's still wiggle room.

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Netgear: Nothing to see here, please disperse. Just another really bad router security hole

Charles 9
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Re: Firmware from Netgear? :‑J

Odd. I just got one for my R7000 this Tuesday (an R7000 which I've noted hasn't really changed its price in the two years since it was introduced, meaning it's still in high demand). If this is the same company, then it's suffering a split personality here.

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Charles 9
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Re: Too F***ing Late...!

"2) It's easy to replace the crap Netgear firmware with much more capable Tomato firmware. Which I did as soon as I got mine, and no problems since with regular updates."

I've considered it, but it seems every time I look at it, the firmware is not feature-complete, not supporting all the features in the device (which I do use). I've personally kept my firmware up to date (just did an update a few days ago), and I've yet to have any real issues with it. I've had more issues with the cable modem than with this (and most of the time, the problem was with the cable company, not the modem).

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Tesla set to up prices by 5% in new year because of 'currency fluctuations'

Charles 9
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Re: wait until corporate welfare is shut off...

"gasoline = liquid energy, stored in a form that's size/weight efficient and relatively easy to make use of. It's why we've been using it for over a century, and will continue to use it, for decades to come."

The catch, of course, being it's currently in finite supply. Might put a crunch on things when it gets more difficult to obtain. Unless, of course, the Navy pulls off its research on synthetic fuel.

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Charles 9
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Re: This is an opputinity not a problem

Because a payment system for such a system MUST be TWO-WAY because the smart car needs to know if it went through or not. Think about what happens at a gated ETC lane and the red light blinks due to insufficient funds.

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2016 just got a tiny bit longer. Gee, thanks, time lords

Charles 9
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Re: Laughable

"Yeah, so... those who think they know computer systems... just realize why some people go to school for 4+ years to earn a compE and others pick up an MCSE class for 6 months.

You might be a master of one operating system, but in the larger world of computer systems, you've only graduated the 2nd grade."

For systems that require BOTH accurate AND precise time measurements (a better example would be HFT where competing offers can be microseconds apart but only one can close the trade), those will usually have their own internal systems if they're THAT dependent on time. They'll also be usually positioned physically close to the exchanges because at those speeds the speed of light/electricity starts becoming a factor.

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Charles 9
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Mushroom

Same reason we can't make the Earth adhere to the bloody year: it bloody well does its own things and damn if it cares about us. We could be long gone and it'll STILL do its own thing. Since we can't make the Earth do what we want, will us, nil us, we'll just have to work around her.

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Charles 9
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Joke

We used to have the joke that when the leap second hit, we'd actually jump up in the air and call out "LEAP!" before 0.

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Charles 9
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Re: I don't see what the fuss is about

"Finally this is exactly the same for any OS, it is just that historically UNIX has handled time in a sane and correct manner (e.g. system clock on UTC, NTP adjustment slewing time normally to avoids steps and to minimise the error w.r.t several time servers, NTP signalling leap seconds before they occur, etc) even if code monkeys sometimes get it wrong. However windows has had pretty poor ways of doing things (e.g. CMOS clock keeping local daylight-adjusted time, time steps once per week by default based on just the MS time server to keep the lock within minutes of correct time, etc)."

That comes from the MS-DOS days when computers were completely standalone so had nothing but internal reckoning to work with, so they used local time due to the KISS principle. IIRC, NT-based OS's internally use UTC now. It just doesn't set the RTC to UTC because it doesn't really have to; timezone setting is done during setup and it can keep track from there.

But still, there are applications that require BOTH calendar and ephemeral time to be both accurate and precise, putting them in a bit of a bind.

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90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

Charles 9
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Unless, of course, the software meant to run on them has no Linux equivalent which is usually the problem. Many computers get stuck on XP because either the required software or the hardware have no support beyond XP, creating a stranding situation.

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World-leading heart hospital 'very, very lucky' to dodge ransomware hit

Charles 9
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Re: Punishment?

But no law in the books is going to do much good if the perpetrator's found to be outside sovereign reach, especially if they're found to be in a HOSTILE nation (like China).

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Charles 9
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Re: "incremental backups are now done every hour."

"Or people can carry on using cheap approaches which are worth every penny, and carry on relying on faith (rather than testing) for assurance that everything will be OK. And quite often it mostly will be OK. But not always. Then what?"

That may be all you have to work with if you have a high-activity server you MUST back up but only a shoestring budget with which to do it. It's like being told to set up a communications network with nothing but a few dented tin cans and a wet noodle.

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NIST requests ideas for crypto that can survive quantum computers

Charles 9
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One question. How do you convince the plods of your plausible deniability so that they let you go instead of them thinking you're just hiding something under the something and keep grilling you?

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Sneaky chat app Signal deploys decoy domains to deny despots

Charles 9
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Re: Might be secure but it sure as hell isn't anonymous

"Use a fake number.

Use a VOIP number.

Use your imagination."

They can call back the number to verify it (so no fakes, that's how Craigslist checks telephone numbers) and can probably tell if a given number is VoIP and check the circumstances to be sure it isn't a throwaway.

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Amateur radio fans drop the ham-mer on HRD's license key 'blacklist'

Charles 9
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Re: Missing clause

"The contract can spell those exceptional circumstances out, but if the court decides the limitations are unreasonable you're in for a fun ride as they can and will assign fines and damages on top of making you refund the product and pay for the legal costs of the aggrieved party."

UNLESS the contract crosses borders, in which case sovereignty gets in the way because the complainant's contract law and the seller's contract law may not match up, and due to sovereignty, barring a treaty, there's no way for one court to force terms on the other.

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White House report cautiously optimistic about job-killing AI

Charles 9
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Re: How to get richer

"Looking at history, specifically the Middle Ages when that was kind of how things were, I'd expect the 1% to start robbing each other, or invade another country. I suppose that could provide entertainment for the 90% out of work (the other 9% being servants of the rich). Of course, the 1% will usually find a way to get the 99% involved in their wars."

That's what's going to happen. The 1% will just close themselves off and hash it out amongst themselves, and if the 99% make too much noise, they'll just start dropping the WMDs piloted by robots.

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