* Posts by sisk

2138 posts • joined 17 Mar 2010

Bill Gates says he'd do CTRL-ALT-DEL with one key if given the chance to go back through time

sisk
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I actually do have a single key that sends a Ctrl-Alt-Delete (the advantages of a programmable keyboard are many), though these days it's more to get the login screen or lock my computer than as an interrupt. It's very convenient. I can see why Gates would want to turn back the clock on this one.

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Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow

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I can't help but think that Python's position as the go-to language for GPIO programming on Raspberry Pi and other SBCs is at least partially responsible for this.

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Dude who claimed he invented email is told by judge: It's safe to say you didn't invent email

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So he's claiming to have invented email based on a system he wrote in 1978......when email in a form recognizable as such by modern users has been around since 1973...and then slamming people for "false speech" for calling him out on it.

I believe the appropriate phrase from modern yoof culture would be "GTFO".

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Oracle 'systematically denies' its sales reps their commissions, forces them to work to pay off 'debts', court told

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Aren't retroactive pay cuts illegal? And the whole debt thing sounds an awful lot like the old company store scam that I know is illegal.

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VW engineer sent to the clink for three years for emissions-busting code

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Re: Did He Have An Option ???

This is exactly what I was thinking. The guy's options were to either do as he was told or file for unemployment and have his employment record show that he was fired for insubordination. And if he went whistle blower on it and VW's legal team did their job well then he'd be dragged through the mud and his career would be effectively over.

The punishment certainly does not fit the circumstances of the crime in this case. If the judge wanted to make an example of someone then that "someone" should not have been the most junior member of the team who probably felt they had no choice in the matter. It should have been the most senior executive, the one with the power to tell the others "Do it or GTFO".

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Minnesota Senator calls out US watchdogs: Why so cozy with Amazon?

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I'm confused, is the Senate's Antitrust Subcommittee a misnomer?

Not at all. They're working quite hard to ensure Americans never trust the Senate.

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I have two thoughts on this matter. First, the question really isn't "w/hy was this approved so fast". It's "Why the hell does this normally take several months?"

Second, I wanna know how big a "campaign contribution" Klobuchar just got from Wal-Mart.

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Kill animals and destroy property before hurting humans, Germany tells future self-driving cars

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Re: Traffic light failure

To be fair it'd be pretty damned hard to handle it worse than some people.

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Re: Who

I was pulled up by a policeman who considered this suspicious behaviour. Apparently "normal" people get back in their car and drive to the parking lot of the store on the other side of the road.

I run into this all the time. A preference for walking is highly unusual in the US.

On a related topic, you should have seen my parents faces when I told them I was excited about moving closer to town because it would put me within cycling distance of a lot of places I frequent. They thought I'd lost my mind when they realized I considered a store just under mile away to be within "cycling distance". And I thought they were going to have me committed when I told them that it was actually within walking distance if I wasn't in a hurry.

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El Reg gets schooled on why SSDs will NOT kill off the trusty hard drive

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I expect to see SSD replace HDD eventually, but it's not going to happen soon. Maybe (MAYBE) by 2030, but definitely not by 2020. There's just too much of a price difference between the two. It's going to take time for SSD technology to improve to the point that they can match the price of HDDs, and 3 years is not anywhere near enough time for that to happen.

Of course by 2050 we'll have kids who've never seen a computer with a HDD just like we've got kids today who've never seen a floppy disk.

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Are Asimov's laws enough to stop AI stomping humanity?

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It should be pointed out that in Asimov's stories the 3 laws failed in rather spectacular fashion.

And besides that, do you have any concept of the amount of programming that goes into making a computer capable of understanding a statement like "A robot shall not, through action or inaction, harm a human being or allow a human being to be harmed"? By the time we have an AI capable of even understanding that concept it's a little late to try to make it a motivational priority.

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Windows Subsystem for Linux is coming to Windows Server

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Embrace, Expand, Extinguish

Microsoft's long-term plan for dealing with competition hasn't changed in 30 years. I see no reason to celebrate their embracing of something I currently use.

Then again, their position isn't as strong as it once was. Linux completely owns the OS market. The year of the Linux desktop is probably never coming, true, but the year of the Linux everything else just keeps repeating itself and getting bigger every time. Everything else is a MUCH bigger market.

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70% of Windows 10 users are totally happy with our big telemetry slurp, beams Microsoft

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In this context "30% of users have turned it off" is more or less equivalent to "almost everyone who knows it's there and how to shut it off has done so".

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WannaCrypt victims paid out over $140k in Bitcoin to get files unscrambled

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Re: If it was the work of US/UK intelligence

Care to clue us into why, Mr. Tinfoil Hat? What do they have to gain? They don't do things - especially things that cause issues in the public sphere - unless they have a reason.

The US government has done worse to the public than WannaCry - Tuskagee for instance - and attempted even worse than that - Operation Northwoods for example. And that's just what they openly admit to. When you get into the top secret stuff, who knows what goes on in the minds of spooks.

Not that I actually believe for an instant that this was a US/UK intelligence mission. That's absurd. But don't kid yourself into think that the reason it's absurd is because they wouldn't. If some CIA analyst thought that the US might stand half a chance to gain something of even the most wispy significance from it they absolutely would, and their reasoning would not necessarily be readily apparent. It's absurd because the whole thing was orders of magnitude less sophisticated than it would be had it come from a group of 1st world state sponsored hackers.

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I read somewhere (not sure where) that security researchers had analyzed the data stream on an infection and figured out that the malware discarded the key rather than sending it to the C&C server, so decryption wasn't actually possible even if you paid the ransom.

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Linux kernel hardeners Grsecurity sue open source's Bruce Perens

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By my understanding of the GPLv2 Grsecurity is completely without a legal leg to stand on here. They're illegally tacking conditions onto existing code which MUST be licensed under the GPL (as all Linux kernel patches must be thanks to the copyleft nature of the GPL). In short, either GPLv2 is valid or Grsecurity will lose.

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Why do you cry when chopping onions? No, it's not crippling anxiety, it's this weird chemical

sisk
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Wasn't this already known? Or am I mistaken about that?

At any rate, I've never had much of a problem with onions. Only the most potent of potent onions seem to affect me, so 99% of the time I can cut them up with impunity. The other 1% of the time folks in the next room are tearing up from them.

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Thought your divorce was ugly? Bloke sues wife for wiretapping – 'cos she read his email

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I'll be watching this one

My ex accessed my email without permission during our divorce (about 90% sure it was her anyway, given that I traced it as far as the tiny town that she was living in at the time and, frankly, what are the odds that the only time anyone has gotten into my email it was anyone other than the person who had a reason to be digging up dirt and happened to know the password?). There was nothing in there I'd be unwilling to publish to World + Dog, so I changed the password and let it go and made sure she knew she'd been caught. It just wasn't worth the effort of pushing it any further than that. Hell, I even racked the whole thing up as my own dumb fault for not changing the password as soon as she moved out.

Still, I'll be interested in the outcome here.

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Authorities go hard on coffee maker for stiff Viagra-powered brew

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Given that it was marketed as a male enhancement product I suspect most of the men drinking it are aware of the extra ingredient. Let's just hope that their wives didn't grab a cup of coffee though.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

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Re: Hardly shocking

As an avid fan of the likes of Asimov and Clark who studies quantum physics for fun in my spare time, I resent that remark.

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Re: Wading in late

The educational focus of the show was more on history, not science.

It was actually about half and half. Go back and watch season 1 of the classic again and you'll see it, particularly in The Daleks (the second story), where they go into pretty good detail about the basics of electricity. Considering that they were working with a 20 minute episode format the amount of time spent on the subject can't be anything less than an intentional lesson for the viewers.

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Re: Was the Dr ever male or female?

The Doctor has always been decidedly of the male gender and mostly - with the exception of a couple incarnations - of asexual orientation. It least he's always seemed completely uninterested in romantic/sexual entanglements. Which, if you've ever read the book that deals with Time Lord reproduction (I'm not certain of the title right at the moment. Lungbarrow maybe?), makes perfect sense. 8 and 10 seemed heterosexual, 11 seemed omnisexual (in the sense that he was totally oblivious to gender beyond using it as a method to assign pronouns) but didn't have much of a libido. 12 has hinted a couple times at a mild, cautious attraction to Missy, but he's unwilling to explore it for, I think, obvious reasons.Though that may just be me reading into scenes something that wasn't there. And I think it quite obvious, especially in the last couple episodes, that Missy was very attracted to him.

I think we can safely say that Time Lords do indeed have male and female genders.

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Re: 13?

The War Doctor doesn't count. He even said "Doctor no more" immediately after. he regenerated. He was an incarnation of the Doctor, but he was not a Doctor. He's simply the War Doctor.

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As I've been saying for years, I've no problem with a female Doctor provided she got the role for the right reasons. If Whittaker happens to be the best one for the job in a fair decision process, great. In that case she'll be a great Doctor and we've much to look forward to. If they went into the process set on a female Doctor for the sake of PC and that's the only reason they picked her then I've a problem with it. "This role needs to be a woman because it's always been a man" is an absolutely stupid reason to cast a female actor for the role. "This actress will be great in this role that's always been a man" is a great reason for a gender swap.

I suspect that 3 or 4 episodes into the next season we'll all be able to tell which has happened.

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Crazy bug of the week: Gnome Files' .MSI parser runs evil VBScripts

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fully recognise inputs before processing them

Programming concepts and best practices don't get any more basic than that. Seriously, first a hard dependency on a questionable init system and now this? WTF Gnome team?

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Linus Torvalds may have damned systemd with faint praise

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If you consider that half the Reg readership moves to DEFCOM 2 at the first mention of systemd

There's a good reason for that. Systemd is a horrendous bit of code being foisted on us by a small group that refuses to take constructive criticism as a cue to improve their product. And, on top of that, some of their decisions are just stupid to begin with. For instance, what kind of fool thinks binary logs are a good idea? What are you supposed to do with those when you can't get into the system, the time you need the logs most? And that's just one of a dozen major design flaws with it. Forget the fact that the entire thing utterly fails the test of doing one thing well and instead is mediocre at a whole bunch of things. It's just got flawed premises at the foundations.

There's an axim that states that a complex system that's broken will be found to have either evolved from or replaced a simple system that worked just fine. This is absolutely the case with systemd. Fortunately, at least for the time being, most of us (sorry Gnome users) can switch to OpenRC instead.

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Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts

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Re: Devil's Advocate

PETA are simply insane, human-hating, SJW Marxists

I disagree. Even the reality challenged group that is SJWs look good next to PETA. The typical SJW actually believes that their views are valid and need to be heard, including the shouting down of dissenting voices (which, more often than not, are the voices of reason when SJWs are involved). PETA, on the other hand, are as a group so hypocritical that I have difficulty believing that anyone who remains associated with them for more than a few months could actually believe their rhetoric.

Not to mention such insanities as arguing that Mario's Tanooki suit somehow harms animals. Even the most mentally challenged and hardcore animal rights activist would have trouble actually believing that one.

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Re: Devil's Advocate

It also reveals how ethically challenged PETA is.

In order for that to be the case their ethical problems would have to have been hidden in the first place. Or do you seriously think that any rational person could mistake a group that thinks it's OK to throw red paint on someone for wearing fake fur even while euthanizing more animals annually than any other group in the world for an ethically sound group?

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Re: Just sayin'

Unfortunately the SCUSA some time ago confirmed corporate personhood. In other words, in the US corporations are legally people. No matter how absurd that is.

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An AI can replace what a world leader said in his video-taped speech. This will end well. Not

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It's an impressive achievement, but after about about 10 seconds of watching it falls into the uncanny valley.

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OMG, dad, you're so embarrassing! Are you P2P file sharing again?

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Re: ...alongside dancing badly in public.

Bah, I use public embarrassment as a deterrent. For instance, my daughter knows that her learning to twerk will result in me learning to twerk and then chaperoning all of her school dances. For some reason her interest in learning to twerk evaporated the instant she was made aware of that fact.

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

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Headmaster

often refuse to entertain chrome or firefox , let alone a Linux browser.

Most systems don't know the difference between Chrome or Firefox on Windows and Chrome or Firefox on Linux. This is doubly true since DRM has been implemented in the browsers themselves (hence why we now have Netflix on Linux). It's incredibly difficult for me to imagine what, in this day and age, you could do to a web based app that would make it run in Chrome or Firefox on Windows but not in Chrome or Firefox on Linux. And if your web based app only supports any one browser then, in my not-so-humble professional opinion, you've done it very wrong.

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Re: It will take 1-2 more WannaCries

There's no particular reason why Linux is more secure than Windows.

False. The architecture of Linux makes it inherently more secure (note: more secure != perfectly secure) than Windows. Unless Microsoft throws out all existing Windows code and starts from scratch that will never change. You just can't equal the security of Linux with the foundations that Windows is built upon (though, in all fairness, they have gotten closer than I would have believed possible in recent years).

If Linux becomes the dominant OS, that'll get attacked too.

Linux IS the dominant OS. It's got an install base three times that of all other OSes combined. Just because it doesn't have much presence in the tiny fraction of the market that is desktop PCs doesn't mean it's got a small attack surface. It also gets attacked all the time, and every time a Linux attack enjoys widespread success it makes headlines. Which, I think, says a lot for how rare such an event is.

And just at the moment it seems that Linux security is in a bit like a mess

Um....are we living in the same reality? Because, no, it's not. What is a mess is the security of Linux based IoT devices, but that's the fault of manufacturers who ship the things with absolutely absurd configurations like an unsecured adhoc wifi network with no easy way for the end user to shut it off. Just as you can lock down any OS pretty well these days you can also turn the security of any device into Swiss cheese with bad configuration, and that is exactly what's happening.

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Amazon squares up to Walmart over boycott calls: Talk sh!t, get hit

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Wal-Mart has a long history of anti-competitive tactics. Them trying to bully vendors into not using a competitor's services is par for the course. That said, I don't think they're used to having a competitor who can actually go toe to toe with them like Amazon.

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

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10 years? Normally I'm optimistic about Musk's projects, but I think the necessary radiation shielding for a viable, long term Mars colony is more than 10 years out. And then we need to figure out a way to grow enough food for a million people there. Sure, you've got free fertilizer a la Matt Damon once you get rolling, but that's going to take some time to build up the levels you're going to need.

Sadly the rocket to get people to Mars en masse is nowhere near the only technical challenge here.

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Raspberry Pi sours thanks to mining malware

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Re: non binary choice

How do you classify arms deals with Saudi?

Oh that? It's just a donation to some guy's retirement fund. He was so appreciative that he gave me a couple hundred AKs to thank me.

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To catch the malware you have to not only leave your pi on with SSH ports open to the internet, but you also have to leave your password on the default. The current version of Raspian will complain every time you log in if the SSH server is on and you haven't changed the password. What kind of fool uses default passwords?

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Has riddle of the 1977 'Wow!' signal finally been cracked? Maybe...

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Re: They need to look at the real evidence

But what if Ancient Astronaut Theorist are right?

Given the amount of evidence that ancient astronaut nutjobs have to ignore - right up there with flat earthers - to spout their theories that seem extraordinarily unlikely.

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It's never aliens......Dangit.

Professional astronomers are such killjoys. Wow signal? Comets, not aliens. Tabby's star? Probably comets or asteroids, not aliens. Streaks of light outside the ISS? Lens flares, not aliens. Anal probes? Drunk rednecks, not aliens (actually, I'm kinda glad that one's not aliens...I don't think I'd be interested in meeting an "advanced" species that obsessed over another species rectums to the point of kidnapping people just to stick something up their butts).

Ah well. Sooner or later something's gonna be aliens. Probably. I hope.

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Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

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One of the latest sentences included conviction for the possession of 'The Anachist Cookbook'.

Have you, ever, read it?

I have.

It was published in the early 1970s; the contents are approaching something like 'Dangerous Things for Boys

Not dangerous. Suicidal. It doesn't take much chemistry knowledge to realize that mixing plaster with explosives then chucking it into the oven to dry faster isn't going to end well. Or that nitroglycerin is liable to ruin your day if you don't do something about the waste heat from the chemical reaction that produces it. Or...actually, you know what? Just give the thing to terrorists. Air drop pallets of copies of it into ISIS training camps. That alone should make a big dent in the problem. Granted the ones that survive will be the ones with more than two brain cells to rub together and thus be harder to catch, but the total volume should be down to manageable levels.

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Re: balancing harms

False dichotomy.

The dichotomy is in no way false. You cannot have your cake and eat it too: either you're secure or you're not. There is no false dichotomy here, just the only two options that exist in reality: strong security or no security.

And, for the record, if your voicemail isn't encrypted then it should be. Unless, of course, you don't care if your nosy neighbor listens to it. It's not that Whatsapp should have more security than your voicemail, it's that your voicemail should be at least at the level that Whatsapp is if you care at all about your privacy. And your money already enjoys end-to-end encryption (unless you're so foolish as to log into your bank account without SSL that is). Were I explaining this to my nosy neighbor I absolutely would sidestep the question with a more relevant one: what makes him think he should be able to listen to my voicemail?

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There is no way to let the good guys snoop without letting the bad guys snoop. That option simply doesn't exist. So either we have strong security or we have no security. It's really quite a simple concept. It always blows me away just how many people don't seem to understand it.

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

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This is why election machines need to have no network connections. The data on them needs to be carried, via some sort of removable storage medium, to the counting center by a small group of people, preferably with opposing political views to prevent collaboration, who can ensure that each remains honest. And then the votes need to be done using machines that do not have network connections. If you really need to have the votes tallied quickly you can use unofficial, preliminary counts transferred by email or phone, but the final, official count needs to be from data that has never directly touched or been touched by the internet.

Keep the whole process offline and it becomes massively more difficult to hack, and given what's at stake that's an absolute must-do.

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The internet may well be the root cause of today's problems… but not in the way you think

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Not to defend Trump or May or to deride the main point of the article but damn that's a lot of bias.

Mind you I don't actually disagree with anything that was said here (Trump's a blight, I don't know enough about May to have an opinion - yes, that's embarrassing typical 'Merican of me, and I do indeed think that taking care of people is a much better solution to the current problems than clamping down on them), but more hard fact and less opinion in news - especially news involving politics - is usually a good thing.

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Going to Mars may give you cancer, warns doc

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This isn't exactly news to anyone with more than a passing interest in space. Actually the only part I found surprising at all is that a trip to Mars ONLY doubles the cancer risk. I'd have guessed it would triple or quadruple the risk.

The take away is that we need better radiation shielding before we can seriously consider a manned mission to Mars.

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Forget robot overlords, humankind will get finished off by IoT

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Re: What will really happen...

Don't worry too much about it. I'm convinced that sooner or later social media be viewed in much the same light as tobacco use: socially acceptable, but only just barely because we all know how bad it is for your (mental) health. When (not if) society hits the point where social media addiction enjoys the same exposure and stigma as gambling addiction people will leave Facebook in droves.

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It doesn't HAVE to be insecure

There's no reason that IoT has to use Swiss cheese as a firewall. I think you'd be hard pressed to break into any of the various IoT devices in my house. Mind you these aren't off-the-shelf IoT devices. They're bespoke devices with various SBCs and Arduinos at their cores put together by someone who knows a thing or ten about security and that, unlike most commercial IoT devices, get updated regularly. They're both less expensive - the latest device, controlling 8 light switches, cost about $10 to build and could have been less expensive if I'd used an Arduino instead of a SBC but I was being lazy - and far more secure - I'm fairly sure that they're all a good deal harder to break into than the my router - than the stuff I could buy to do the same jobs. But if a middle aged nerd can build IoT devices in his spare time that aren't chock full of security holes I don't see why a company building delivery bots that are going to be responsible for millions of dollars worth of product couldn't do it.

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What's got a vast attack surface and runs on Linux? Windows Defender, of course

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Re: I think the spell checker got fuzzed

Either would be appropriate when dealing with Windows Defender....

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Man sues date for cinema texting fiasco, demands $17.31

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I can see where he's coming from

I once had a date who spent more time looking at her phone than at me. She did not get a second date. From that experience I can really feel for this guy. But suing over $17? Come on man, it just isn't worth the headache.

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Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

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Personally I've got a pretty low opinion of Assange as a person and from his public behavior I believe it is entirely possible that he is exactly that kind of douchebag. That said, the accusation doesn't make it so.

All the same I believe his fears of extradition to the US and harsh treatment therein are completely justified. I also believe he missed his best window of potential freedom. Had he left the embassy six months ago Obama would have probably been inclined to leave him alone. I mean how would it look if the man commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence and then went after Assange? Now though? With a lunatic^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^hTrump at the helm? Yeah, he's got more reason to be afraid than ever.

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