* Posts by Dave 126

7189 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

We're getting kick-ass at seeing through walls using just Wi-Fi – MIT

Dave 126
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Re: Denim blockers?

>They've got flat arms and heads?

Yes, in relation to the frequencies of RF used. From the MIT paper:

The challenge in using RF to capture a human figure is that not all body parts reflect the signal back to the sensors. Specifically, at frequency ranges that traverse walls, human limb curves act as ideal reflectors; hence, they may deflect the signal away from the sensors rather than back to them. (This is because RF signals that traverse walls have a wavelength of multiple centimeters, which is larger than the surface roughness of human body parts, causing each part to act as a perfect reflector [Beckmann and Spizzichino 1987].)

So, it is the geometry of the body, not the presence of blood vessels etc that this system works on.

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Dave 126
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Re: If this system fired ping-pong balls at the subject

>They've got flat arms and heads?

There are flatter, harder parts of the head that are facing the sensor, yes.

The hands show up when they are held facing the camera.

>The image 'hot spots' around blood rich areas like the head and chest,

The head and chest are also thicker than the limbs. Shoes show up well.

>If this system fired ping-pong balls at the subject they'd bounce off the wall. That's the point of the research, it "sees" through walls.

Okay, you took the analogy too far. I was trying to convey the basis around which 'stealth' vehicles are designed... it's about the shape. If you drop a ball onto a flat floor, it will come back to your hand. If you drop a ball onto a curved surface, it will likely bounce away. Legs are Cylindrical, chests and heads present some flat area facing the sensor. Flat, thin hands show up better than thicker rounded arms.

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Dave 126
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At least then you can knock-together a receiver that tells you when a police car is outside your house!

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Dave 126
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Re: Denim blockers?

>None of the images seems capable of tracking their legs, and they all seem to be wearing jeans.

Legs are curved. The areas of the body this system 'sees' most clearly are flat and head-on to the sensor.

Did you notice that the people in the video all held their hands open, with fingers together and facing the camera? That clinched it for me.

If this system fired ping-pong balls at the subject and counted the ones that came directly back to it, the resulting heatmap wouldn't look too different to this team's images.

Good work!

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Finally, with W10, Microsoft’s device strategy makes sense

Dave 126
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Re: Ergonomics?

>"What the world really needs is a simple, consistent and reliable operating system onto which appropriate interfaces can be grafted to match our hands, eyes and ears to the various new devices that are supposed to enhance our lives."

>>What? Like the Symbian OS?

That sounds like Linux plus your GUI-of-choice paradigm... dunno why you assumed Symbian.

What is harder is getting developers of applications (for Windows, or indeed Linux) to play ball. For example, it's 2015 and Photoshop still doesn't support ultra high resolution displays on Windows (Adobe blame MS, I wish I could knock their metaphoric heads together til they reach a solution).

Apple's history is a bit different - they have always published guidelines for 3rd party application UIs. Indeed, MS Office for OSX still has, gasp, real menus!

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Dave 126
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Re: The iPad Pro?

>The iPad Pro, though, has an A9X processor - it runs, therefore, iOS, not OS X, so it can't run real Macintosh software, only tablet and smartphone apps.

It can't run OSX apps, but there is nothing stopping developers from creating 'Pro' applications for it. Indeed, Adobe have been working on some even before the iPad Pro's announcement.

It will find a place in some content creator's workflow.

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Dave 126
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Re: Ergonomics?

>Here's an idea: perhaps the basic premise is stupid and wrong?

Maybe. But maybe the truth lies in the middle?

Some of your productivity apps have a place on a tablet - especial things like Photoshop (stylus) for roving photographers, or a slider-heavy work space in Ableton (multi-touch). Indeed, maybe your workspace is spread across a PC monitor and a tablet, as Photoshop and DAW applications already support?

Interesting times.

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Dave 126
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Re: @Peter R.1 - This just in

@JustaKOS

This would appear to be what Peter was referring to:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/10/13/microsoft-windows-10-new-upgrade-rules/

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Dave 126
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Re: Obvious MS surface ad

The Reg has also reported on Macs, Chromebooks ( and has done so in this very article, FFS!) and today has reported on a possible Linux laptop from Xiaomi.

The nicest thing that this article said about the Surface Book was that "The Surface Book has a decent chance of becoming a successful device in its own right", which is not an unreasonable assessment.

If other laptop vendors follow MS's example - which is the gist of the article - we consumers will have a greater selection to choose from. As it is, most of them only offer 16:9 screens, whereas the Surface Book has 3:2.

You might prefer 16:19, you might prefer 3:2 or 16:10, whatever; choice is good.

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Microsoft's 'Arrow' Android launcher flies into Play store

Dave 126
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Re: Auto adjusting to what the user does often

The devil is in the details....

For example, on a desktop machine I like programs to stay in the same place on the Start Menu. However, it's handy when a program's File Menu presents a list of the most recently saved documents.

The point is, 'Recent Documents...' doesn't replace 'Open', but complements it.

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Flickering screens turn Microsoft Surface Books into Microsoft Surface paperweights

Dave 126
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Re: Maybe the flicker is...

>Microsoft's candle waning and getting close to extinguishing itself. We can only hope.

There is just too much software tied to Windows platforms for that to happen overnight. Those of us thus tied to the platform will continue to be constructively critical of MS decisions where deserved, but also give credit where it is due. Bashing MS for past sharp business practices or whatever isn't too helpful.

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Dave 126
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Re: Multipurpose

@g00se

could it be that you are thinking of the existing MS Surface (tablet with attachable keyboard)? I'd expect an Intel i5/i7-powered tablet to radiate more heat than any ARM-powered tablet.

This article is about the newly released Surface Book (laptop with detachable screen).

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Dave 126
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Re: Maybe the flicker is...

The Surface Book hardware actually appears to be very good. The full list of weird symptoms users have reported all seem to be software/driver related.

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Dave 126
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Re: Discrete GPU

The GPU is offered as an option.

For those of us who do CAD work, it's nice to see a GPU on a laptop of this form factor, especially if one's workflow can benefit from stylus input.

Also, this 3:2 laptop seems to be the only one available, other than Macbooks, that doesn't use a 16:9 screen. If I am wrong about that, please, please supply a link!

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Dave 126
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Re: I would have thought it was hardware

>What surprises me is that this is apparently software, I would have thought it is a screen ribbon or something.

For sure. However, other reported symptoms suggest that it is indeed software, for example some owners have videoed the colour temperature changes as they scroll down a website - on both the Book's own screen and a connected monitor. I can't think of a hardware cause for that!

I'm sure that this will be a very compelling product, so it just seems daft that these issues were not dealt with before launch.

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DEFCON 1 to DEFCON GONE: One of NORAD's spy blimps goes missing

Dave 126
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Re: Tracked by F16s?

Their contingency plan was to shoot it down, slower training planes unlikely to be armed. Besides that, the F16s probably have fancier systems for detecting and tracking aircraft.

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Oracle's Larry Ellison claims his Sparc M7 chip is hacker-proof – Errr...

Dave 126
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Re: Ze

Well that's just plain offensive to people with poor comedy French accents!

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Dave 126
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Re: Can we ditch the silly political correctness in reg articles

>99.9% of hackers are men. [no source cited]

>>"Most surveys put it at 85% at most." Cite.

Uh, okay. Basic fairness suggests that if you demand a source for a statistic, you do the same for the statistic you use. That's just good manners.

It is moot, though, because any statistic about the male/female make-up of a hidden group is shaky. As it is, how can we know anything about any hacker, sex, shoe-size, real name, whatever? For all we know, 50% of hackers are female, but 85% of the hackers that get caught and prosecuted are male. Unlikely, but, hey, not provable either.

However, we can say with confidence that *some* hackers are female.

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Dave 126
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Analogy:

Look at xkcd cartoons. Sometimes the focus of his cartoon is a relationship between a man and a woman - the stick-figure with longer hair is the female, or sometimes a stick-figure is given a beard to denote maleness. The sexes of his figures are central to these cartoons.

Most of the time though, his cartoons are just aboput two physicists, or a doctor and a patient, or whoever. Sometimes he might make a doctor (stick-figure with white coat and clipboard) female (plus long hair) even though it doesn't affect the joke.

So, I guess I'm comparing pro-nouns with cartoon pony tails....

To cite the man himself:

"The role of gender in society is the most complicated thing I’ve ever spent a lot of time learning about, and I’ve spent a lot of time learning about quantum mechanics."

- http://blog.xkcd.com/2010/05/06/sex-and-gender/

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Dave 126
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Re: Can we ditch the silly political correctness in reg articles

I used the pronoun 'she' in a Reg comment a few days ago, in reference to a hypothetical inventor in her shed. My logic was that some real inventors are women (no comment about percentages) so it would be no issue if some imaginary inventors were women. The vast majority of the time I use 'he' when writing about an imaginary individual in a context where their sex is irrelevant.

Since women are bright enough to recognise the context for 'he' meaning 'he/she', I then also credit men with the wit to read 'she' as 'he/she' if the context s appropriate.

I think visually, and maybe, after imagining a cluttered workbench in a shed, it wasn't really necessary to imagine the appearance of the shed's occupant. Doc Emmett Brown is great, but after all the coverage of Back to Future day last week I didn't need to give him a another mental cameo this week.

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We suck? No, James Dyson. It is you who suck – Bosch and Siemens

Dave 126
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>This is easy to check: buy one, plug it in, vacuum something, check power draw.

Not quite that simple: Bosch happily say that the power draw of their machine increases as its bag fills up. However, the Energy-Rating tests don't test that thoroughly, so are misleading. The issue is with the tests, not with Bosch.

Dyson has probably has the best facilities for testing vacuum cleaners - his competitors' products as well as his own prototypes - so I suspect he is correct about the Bosch product.

However, there is a difference to saying that energy-rating tests are flawed, and saying that your competitor is deceiving people.

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Ex-Microsoft craft ale buffs rattle tankard for desktop brewery

Dave 126
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Re: What's the point of this?

I guess that once you've got the hang of the kits, you can source your ingredients more cheaply from other sources.

The $500 price tag suggests that the machine is being sold above cost, so there won't be any 'printer ink cartridge / Kuerig cofffee capsule' extortion on the consumables.

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Dave 126
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Re: Kuerig for home-brew?

Apparently you can change the recipes yourself. Much like coding, you start by trying examples of other people's code, and then experiment by changing little bits to see what happens. Otherwise you'd just have too many variables to make sense of.

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Dave 126
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Re: Have to wonder

Same rule-of-thumb as pubs - if a busy pub is run by a rude miserable landlord, that is a good sign that the beer is well-kept. If the bar is staffed by an exquisitely pretty barmaid, that is a sign that the beer alone might not be good enough to bring the punters in.

Good beer sells itself. If I want to look at nudey pics, I don't need to look at a beer advert (or even buy ten packets of peanuts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_D_(peanuts)#Promotional_displays )

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Dave 126
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I had a mate who used a thermostat-controlled 'heat mat' under his fermentation vessel, of the sort sold for keeping pet lizards comfortable in their glass vivaria (empty fish tanks).

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Dave 126
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Re: If it's fully automatic ....

"Craft beer" is purely a marketing term. It has no meaning.

Real Ale, by contrast, does have a definition.

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Dave 126
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Temperature control during the process is important too, more so with 'pico' batches (surface area to volume ratios scaling as they do)... you might have an area of your house that maintains a roughly constant temperature, or manage temperature by other means.

You are right to highlight hygiene, though. Metal casks are often cleaned/sterilised with high pressure boiling water.

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Xiaomi preps Linux laptops for the post Christmas sales rush

Dave 126
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Xiaomi are now a shareholder in Segway, and it looks like a smaller and far cheaper Segway might be coming to Europe:

http://www.ninebot-france.com/boutique/gyropode/ninebot-mini/#

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Brit boffins build 'tractor beam' out of sound

Dave 126
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Re: Maybe a Rediscovery?

Sounds a bit Erich von Däniken or Robert Anton Wilson to me! : )

But yeah, potential medical treatments and new methods of chemical preparation are more positive than crowd control.

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Dave 126
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Re: Spain, Bristol AND Sussex

A.M. [Pamplona .ac] and B.W.D. [Bristol .ac] designed, developed and implemented the algorithms and simulations; A.M. and S.A.S. [Bristol .co] measured the acoustic slices; A.M [Pamplona .ac] and D.R.S. [Sussex .ac] measured the spring constants; A.M. [Pamplona .ac] conducted the rest of the experiments and wrote the paper; all the authors contributed to the discussion and edited the manuscript.

tl;dr Pamplona and Bristol created the algorithms, Sussex helped measure them.

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Dave 126
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Re: Of course, in my early work in this area...

Isn't that more rapid bouncing than actual levitation? : )

(For some reason this reminded me of the 1997 party political broadcasts in support of the Natural Law Party, featuring Yogic Flying)

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Qualcomm proposes brain implants for IP cameras

Dave 126
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Re: SCORPION STARE

You're right - drone guns coming soon. Maybe some use for shooting rabbits (not people) if you are a pest-controller.

Reminded me of this starfish-hunting robot being trailed on Australian coral reefs: http://news.discovery.com/tech/robotics/starfish-killing-robot-to-rescue-great-barrier-reef-150903.htm

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Dad who shot 'snooping vid drone' out of the sky is cleared of charges

Dave 126
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Terminator

Aw great, now hobbyists are just going to develop bullet-proof/tolerant drones.... what could possibly go wrong? (only half joking!)

A compound drone composed of many smaller rotors, batteries and lots of small cameras (liike an insect's 'eye') might toleratre a direct hit if it could detach damaged componts. Like a swarm of bees.

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Dave 126
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Re: Bullit County

>Especially if this earlier footage contained the marksman's daughters.

For sure. Curiously, the article didn't note if any evidence of deliberate spying was presented in court, only that "Merideth *thought* the quadcopter was spying on his daughters in their yard". (my emphasis)

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Work from home when the next big Windows 10 installation arrives

Dave 126
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Re: Even happier I chose a PS4

I didn't say it was okay, but since the cause was a race to market combined with legislation forcing the use of poorly understood lead-free solder, I don't attribute it to malevolence on MS's part.

The disc scratch issue was not good, and I was unimpressed by MS's response, especially since it came at a timethey were insisting users had no legitimate reason to back-up their media.

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Dave 126
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Re: Nothing to see here, move along

Guys, adnim was joking.

admin, make that clearer next time!

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Dave 126
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Re: Morons.

SteamOS on XBOX360? Hahaha!

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Dave 126
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Re: hahahahaha

>Then again I gave up on sony when the PS4 became a PC jammed in a console box.... these days its SteamOS all the way :-)

Fair does. Personally, I judge a console by the games that are available for it, and not by its internal architecture. In the words of Oddball "I only ride 'em, I don't know what makes 'em work."

For many genres of game, Steam is very good. However, the Playstations, like other consoles, have always had some exclusive titles. Not that my reflexes are good enough for WipEout any more....

Oddball: Hi, man.

Big Joe: What are you doing?

Oddball: I'm drinking wine and eating cheese, and catching some rays, you know.

Big Joe: What's happening?

Oddball: Well, the tank's broke and they're trying to fix it.

Big Joe: Well, then, why the hell aren't you up there helping them?

Oddball: [chuckles] I only ride 'em, I don't know what makes 'em work.

Big Joe: Christ!

Oddball: Definitely an antisocial type. Woof, woof, woof! That's my other dog imitation.

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Dave 126
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Re: 360?

In 2001, Sony, Toshiba and IBM committed themselves to spending $400 million over five years to design the Cell, not counting the millions of dollars it would take to build two production facilities for making the chip itself...

...But a funny thing happened along the way: A new "partner" entered the picture. In late 2002, Microsoft approached IBM about making the chip for Microsoft's rival game console, the (as yet unnamed) Xbox 360. In 2003, IBM's Adam Bennett showed Microsoft specs for the still-in-development Cell core. Microsoft was interested and contracted with IBM for their own chip, to be built around the core that IBM was still building with Sony.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB123069467545545011

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Dave 126
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Re: Even happier I chose a PS4

> [lack of JRPGs] is perhaps the biggest reason besides the RRoD, why I hate the XBOX brand as much as I do.

Uh, okay,I think 'hate' is a bit strong for something that merely doesn't offer your taste in games. If the RRoD issue could have been foreseen, it wouldn't have occurred. The XBOX360 disc-scratch issue was annoying, though.

I actually do prefer the game selection for the PS3 over the Xbox360 - there were more interesting games, such as 'Flower'.

>The world such as it is DOES NOT revolve 'round Halo 5, or Gears of War 17 Fragfest. Which I kinda fail to get since those players would rather be in the PC Mustardrace.

People like to play splitscreen with friends in the same room, which Halo and Gears of War allow. It's fun, and reminds us of playing splitscreen GoldenEye on the N64.

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Dave 126
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Re: 360?

I very much doubt it. The Xbox360 is based around a PowerPC architecture IBM Xenon CPU, a cousin of the Cell chips in the Playstation 3. Porting Windows would be a pain, with little reward.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenon_(processor)

However, both the XboxONE and the PS4 are more or less just x86 PCs, making software porting much, much easier.

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Dave 126
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Re: What console?

Similarly, my XBOX360 hasn't been plugged in for a few years... Star Wars Battlefront looks fun, but maybe I'll wait a couple more years for some sort of unholy space combat / FPS / RTS / GTA-in-space mashup game before happily wasting my days away.

These days, I only play video games with real people in the same room, it just seems more fun. My drinking follows a similar pattern.

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Dave 126
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Re: Please...

Perhaps a Reg article comparing the personal data polices of Google, Apple, Microsoft et al would be handy?

Certainly their motives are slightly different... Apple make money on marking-up hardware and content such as apps and music, Google make it from advertising.

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Dave 126
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Re: Even happier I chose a PS4

>And what do actually believe that that will change, instead of MS spying on you it will be Sony...

Ah yes, Sony with their advertising network.... wait, hold on!

Okay, both MS and Sony are in the hardware, software and services games, but I suspect MS have a greater motive to retain your data. Sony haven't been great at securing the data they do have. MS have seen their personal data policies as a way of differentiating themselves from [Google's versions of] Android, though it's not something I've looked into for a while.

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By 2019, vendors will have sucked out your ID along with your cash 5 billion times

Dave 126
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Re: No thanks...

>those who don't regularly travel with phones (court employees, perhaps; most courts ban electronics due to multiple security concerns) or, like I said, have terrible memories.

I doubt courts have an issue with RSA hardware tokens.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_SecurID

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US Army bug hunters in 'state of fear' that sees flaws go unreported

Dave 126
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Re: FULFILL MISSION OBJECTIVES! @ Dave 126

[after some fuzzy logic parsing of the above]

>Hmmm? However, does the fact that they seem to do the bidding of their political masters somewhat explode and flash crash smash that myth to smithereens,

Cause one to question said myth, certainly, but immediately explode it? No; there are some causative steps missing.

Basically, some US military commanders are given an extensive and perpetual education in history, geopolitics, philosophy, responsibility, humanities etc. whereas the politicians merely won a popularity contest.

The responses to this article are interesting:

http://contraryperspective.com/2014/12/17/americas-military-academies-are-seriously-flawed/

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Little bang for the Big C? Nitro in the anti-cancer arsenal

Dave 126
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Re: Nicely written

Likewise. Not immediately recognising his byline, I clicked to see his past stories.

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Dave 126
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Re: Good to see...

Another area that patents affect medications: Antibiotics.

If you developed a new antibiotic that was very effective against bacteria that have developed resistance to previous antibiotics, you probably won't sell much of it initially. Why? Because doctors will want to keep it in reserve, as a last resort in order to preserve its effectiveness. Since patents only last for a finite number of years, you might not see any return on your R&D investment.

Therefore, there is little incentive to research new classes of antibiotics.

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Dave 126
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Re: Yes, yes, cure cancer and so on, but, what of these 'poppers'...

This is the internet, I'm sure you can find any number of specialist-interest websites to advise you.... when perhaps you are not using a work computer!

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The battle of Cupertino: Jailbreakers do it for freedom, not cash

Dave 126
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Re: Huh?

I see what you mean, but the reality is closer to "Because we haven't found a way in yet doesn't mean nobody has found a way in yet". There may be security vulnerabilities that don't rely upon Jailbreaking.

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