* Posts by Goldmember

496 posts • joined 21 Feb 2011

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Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

Goldmember

Re: After the last childish outburst...

"the fact that somebody has died needlessly due (IMHO) to the ongoing over-promise and under-delivery of autonomous vehicles"

This is not the case. Teslas are NOT autonomous vehicles. They don't claim to be such, either. The problem here is that it seems people treat them as though they are. Like the bell end in the UK a few weeks ago who was filmed climbing into the passenger seat of his car with the autopilot engaged. Or the other guy to be killed a couple of years ago, who was too busy taking selfies and watching DVDs whilst driving in Autopilot mode to notice a bloody great truck ahead of him.

Tesla has to change its attitude with regard to the "Autopilot" software; it should be renamed, and the point stressed that it's purely for aiding driving. They really should market this differently, as you can't eradicate the inherent stupidity of humans.

But for fuck's sake... if you're driving a car, YOU have a responsibility to give your full, undivided attention to the task at hand. It's a huge responsibility. A simple mistake made in a split second can permanently alter or even end lives. Ultimate culpability has to lie with the driver, unless the car is fully autonomous. Which these ones are not.

Yes, the tech drove the car into a part of the road it should not have driven in. The driving aid failed in its task. But based on the information provided so far, it seems that the driver had transferred too much of his responsibility to the tech. Had he been paying attention he could have seen the trouble ahead and applied the brake, and things would have worked out very differently.

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HTC U12+: Like a Pixel without the pratfalls, or eye-watering price tag

Goldmember

Re: No Headphone Jack, No Sale

I thought I would hate not having a headphone jack on my phone. But it's something you just get used to. It is also the final defence in making the phone fully waterproof; a major plus for holidays or just peace of mind against accidental damage.

My U11 came with an adapter for 3.5mm headphones and some excellent noise-cancelling USB-C headphones in the box.

But having to choose between charging or headphone use is an annoyance on plane journeys.

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Hitler 'is dead' declares French prof who gazed at dictator's nashers

Goldmember

So...

... What about the tests done around 10 years ago on Hitler's remains (by an American team), which revealed the skull held by the Russians is actually a female skull?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/sep/27/adolf-hitler-suicide-skull-fragment

It would appear this line in the article is inaccurate:

"Last year Russia's secret service, the FSB, and its state archives authorised a team of foreign researchers to examine Hitler's mortal remains for the first time since 1946."

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Nervous Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg passes Turing Test in Congress

Goldmember

While I'm no fan of Zuk or Facebook...

... this seems an odd comment:

"... and three being Facebook Messenger."

How can Messenger be classified as a separate social network than Facebook? Fair enough, these days you have to install a separate mobile app to use Messenger. But classifying it as a totally separate social network seems a bit odd to me; it's integrated into the network.

Where did this assertion come from? Unless it's a typo and it's actually Whatsapp that's being referred to as network no. 3 here (and I'm not being facetious, I'd genuinely like to know the answer).

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IT peeps, be warned: You'll soon be a museum exhibit

Goldmember

Re: Fax of life

You'd be surprised at how prevalent fax machines are in certain Western industries as well. Most independent hotels, for example, still use faxes to send and receive credit card info and invoices for business travel.

Things do indeed move quickly, but there will always be dinosaur companies, and even whole industries, who are a decade or more behind the curve.

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uTorrent file-swappers urged to upgrade after PC hijack flaws fixed

Goldmember

Re: Just say no

Rookie mistake...

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Crunch time: Maplin in talks to sell the business

Goldmember

Re: Sadly true

"by allowing through millions of clearly tax dodging packets and parcels every year."

And how exactly do you propose to police that? Open every single parcel which comes into the UK from outside of the EU? The resources are simply not available. And if they were, workarounds would be found in no time (import into Poland first, for example).

Maplin's advantage used to be knowledgeable staff and the convenience of having everything on offer, instantly, in one place. Now most of the knowledgeable staff have gone, and people are used to ordering online so aren't as likely to pay through the nose for convenience, when it comes to electronics purchases.

They're running out of options pretty rapidly.

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Japan's Robo-Bartenders point to a golden future

Goldmember

Those do exist. I was served a cocktail in a Las Vegas bar which was mixed by a robot. Here it is in action:

Robot Bartender

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Yorkshire cops have begun using on-the-spot fingerprint scanners

Goldmember

Re: "App on their smartphones"

"What's the problem? Are you similarly concerned that they take their uniforms, notebooks and batons home?"

It's more abuse of the system, I think. Imagine being in the pub and getting your mates to give the print scanner a go after a few pints. All fun and games, until it produces a match...

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Accused Brit hacker Lauri Love will NOT be extradited to America

Goldmember

"He will need to suspect anyone coming within a foot of him in the street of having a rag with chloroform and a car parked around the corner to take him to a "private" Cessna parked at a nearby airport. Everywhere worldwide. UK included."

I very much doubt that. The US has too much to lose by doing something so brash as to kidnap a UK citizen, on UK soil, for the sake of a failed extradition request. And just look at another prominent extradition request they lost in recent times; the Gary McKinnon case. That was a far more embarrassing hack for the US than this one, and he's still very much alive and kicking (he's now an SEO consultant, apparently).

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Fancy coughing up for a £2,000 'nanodegree' in flying car design?

Goldmember

This sounds to me...

Like they're trying to make a game, or are gathering data of some sort. But instead of hiring a dev and test team the traditional way, they're roping in developers and getting them to do various amounts of work and to generate test data, in exchange for an "accreditation" which will be recognise precisely nowhere afterwards.

Oh, and they're getting said devs to pay for the privilege.

Smart.

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Elon Musk offered no salary, $55bn bonus to run Tesla for a decade

Goldmember

Indeed... adding the words "each time" would have made this considerably easier to read.

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Airbus warns it could quit A380 production

Goldmember

"... MH370 (and a bunch of earlier critical safety incidents) happened _because_ of it, not the other way around."

Huh?

So you've figured out the answer to the biggest aviation mystery in decades? Please do share it with the rest of us.

Because no-one else alive has a clue what happened to it, aside from finding a few broken pieces and having a very rough idea of which section of the Indian Ocean it's possibly lying in.

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Wannabe W1 DOW-er faked car crash to track down reg plate's owner

Goldmember

Re: And what about the DVLA?

"I think the DVLA should be reported to the ICO for failing to have stringent checks in place. It looks like they give out info without any kind of due dilligence."

Big upvote for that. They've passed my details on to various cowboy private parking "companies" without any checks, and even allowed one of my previous cars - which was stolen and had been reported as such - to be registered to someone else and taxed.

It seems that not only do they not have 'stringent' checks in place, they seemingly have no checks at all.

Fuckers.

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Facebook confesses: Facebook is bad for you

Goldmember

I may be a cynical bastard....

...ok, I definitely AM a cynical bastard, but I took the statements to mean something like;

"You're much more use to us and our big data-gathering bots when you write, Like and click than you are when you're simply looking at shit. Please start playing ball"

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High Court judge finds Morrisons supermarket liable for 2014 data leak

Goldmember

He got 8 years....

I'm in no way condoning his actions and I'm sure the distress caused was genuine. But 8 years... You generally get half of that for manslaughter, or for killing someone with your car. It seems a tad disproportionate.

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Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate

Goldmember

Re: Threatogram received from Crapita today

"Bunch of cheapskates."

Not really. It all depends on what you want to watch.

18 months ago I cancelled all services and switched exclusively to non-iPlayer streaming - some paid for, some free - and I've never looked back. But back in the days of me having broadcast TV at home, I only really ever watched the F1, a few Sky Atlantic and HBO dramas (Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones etc) and car-related shows (Wheeler Dealers, Fast 'n' Loud). None of which were available on the BBC. And yet, I still had to pay the ridiculous licence fee to watch all of this stuff, on top of the extortionate Sky subscription.

So no, it's nothing to do with being "cheap", it's all to do with being FORCED to pay for a particular media network's entertainment output, even if you have no intention of using it and only want to watch commercial output (note the word Entertainment here, before anyone pipes up with the stupid "how often do you go to hospital? You're happy to pay for that and not use it" argument).

It's great that you're happy to pay for the BBC. If the government ever see sense (a paradox, I know) and decides to switch it to a subscription-only service, you can enjoy paying for it. But I shouldn't have to.

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8

Your next laptop will feature 'CMF' technology

Goldmember

Re: 'HP Inc is not alone in this thinking.'

They're losing touch with the sort of consumers who frequent sites like this one. We're (generally) going to buy a device which most fits its intended purpose in terms of performance, over how it looks (Apple fanbois not included, naturally).

But your average punter really will care more about aesthetics than performance/ usability. As long as it switches on, displays the latest Facebook drivel and comes in a pretty colour which matches the curtains, they really couldn't give less of a shit about anything else.

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Mm, sacrilicious: Greggs advent calendar features sausage roll in a manger

Goldmember

"infamous Festive Bake"

Crikey, even their own spokespeople admit their food products are sketchy.

Doesn't stop me really wanting a Festive Bake right now, though...

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Didn't install a safety-critical driverless car patch? Bye, insurance!

Goldmember

Re: Safety-critical updates?

"Patch released at (for argument's sake) 12 noon. Accident at 2pm. Is that negligent? Or is it a reasonable delay?"

It would make sense to remove the user from the software update process entirely, especially if the updates are potentially safety critical. Have over the air updates automatically download and install. Then the insurers would have to pay out to the user and to any third parties in the event of an accident. By all means inform the user when an update is ready/ has been applied, but removing the responsibility and putting this on the manufacturer should solve that particular problem for the most part.

This would then mean insurers can only reasonably wiggle out of paying if the user has purposely modified the ROM to stop updates, or has installed custom updates.

However if an update fails, although I would hope the car would let the user know about it, it could create a pretty big legal headache and would possibly shift some of the liability back onto the manufacturer/ software publisher.

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BBC Telly Tax petition given new Parliament debate date

Goldmember

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

"rush to the bottom with 3 minutes of programming per 30 minutes of adverts."

This is incorrect, actually. The ratio of ads to programming is regulated. It was increased for Sky when it launched to give it a chance of survival. A few years ago, the other providers complained and were given the same increased level (Sky's should have been decreased to match in my view, not the other way around). It's not done hourly but over a day, which is why you see more during peak evening times and fewer late at night. But the disappearance of the licence alone will not cause an increase in ad frequency.

And oddly, as others have mentioned, the BBC almost matches commercial radio and TV in terms of ads promoting itself anyway. Radio 2 is unbearable for more than a couple of hours for me, for this very reason.

It's definitely time for a serious discussion on the future of TVL.

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BOFH: Come on, PFY, let's pick a Boss

Goldmember
Pint

"it seems you can get PTSD from a violent pneumatic ram insertion"

Ha! Excellent.

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Tech billionaire Khosla loses battle over public beach again – and still grants no access

Goldmember

Re: Over my dead body!

Since the Surfrider Foundation clearly has considerable funds at its disposal (they've already shelled out nearly half a million fighting him), if I were them I would set up a daily boat service from further down the coast, to Martin's Beach.

A service with one of those "party boats" which plays loud, banging music and is full of rowdy drunk people. With bars, drinks promotions and all-night parties on the beach itself.

May as well piss him off if he's insisting on tangling the matter in red tape for as long as possible.

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O2 admits to throttling network bandwidth for EU data roamers

Goldmember

Last year, I used paid-for O2 roaming in Greece, Netherlands, Czechia and Italy, all with no problems. I didn't always have 4G, but there was no noticeable throttling of speed.

Funny, eh?

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Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Goldmember

The Alexa app shortcut appeared on my U11's home screen yesterday

And it was instantly uninstalled.

But instead of displaying the usual "uninstalled" message, it told me it would be "reset to factory", so there's still something baked in to the ROM somewhere.

It'll be interesting to see if it keeps coming back, of its own accord.

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MH370 researchers refine their prediction of the place nobody looked

Goldmember

The point is...

"navigational and gps transponder equipment"

... the transponders were switched off. Whether manually (by the pilots) or through another means (fire, electrical short) we don't know. Which is why we could really do with finding that plane.

But the only other means of tracking it - the 15-minute interval satellite "handshakes" with Inmarsat - were not designed to be used for tracking, which is why the potential final flight path was (and still is) so varied.

It was basically an accident that we even knew it had gone into the Indian Ocean.

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Tesla death smash probe: Neither driver nor autopilot saw the truck

Goldmember

Re: Being human

I do as well. Although the truck driver apparently pulled a pretty stupid manoeuvre, the driver of the Tesla should have been paying attention, should have seen the truck and should have taken evasive action. Quote from the article;

"Brown's final trip lasted 37 minutes, from buckling in until the crash. During that time he had his hands on the wheel for 25 seconds"

Twenty. Five. Seconds. In a 37 minute journey. Completely entrusting his life to beta software.

I remember seeing one of the driver's previous dash cam videos where he'd been paying no attention to the road (he was too busy taking "no hands" selfies) and had relied on the Tesla to stop him from crashing into another truck which he should have seen but didn't. On that occasion the Tesla saved him.

Advanced driving aids are nowhere near ready to take full control of our vehicles, no matter how good they appear to be. It was only a matter of time before this happened to him, sadly. And quite frankly, it scares me to think I have to share the roads with such reckless people.

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Capita call centre chap wins landmark sex discrimination lawsuit

Goldmember

Crapita

It couldn't have happened to a nicer company.

Let's hope the appeal falls flat on its arse, as they blatantly ignored the law in this case.

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First-day-on-the-job dev: I accidentally nuked production database, was instantly fired

Goldmember

Yep. To give production credentials to a junior, on their first day of employment, is asking for trouble. They should never have been written into this document. Not even a rough draft.

And as far as "legal" getting involved? Well, surely any type of investigation would highlight serious security flaws internally. So the CTO and subordinate managers would be far more screwed than the (ex) new guy.

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Man sues date for cinema texting fiasco, demands $17.31

Goldmember

Re: I don't see the problem

"The purpose of a date is for each party to learn something about the other."

Indeed. The idea of going to the cinema on a first date has always seemed an odd one to me. So you're meeting for the first time, then you're going to sit in the dark, in silence, for 2+ hours?

Maybe it's a case of starting as you mean to go on for some.

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

Goldmember

Re: So, are the Swedes going to pay

"Now that they have just dropped the case, we are left with the bill. Shouldn't the Swedes pay the cost of this?"

The case hasn't been dropped, it's just been suspended as they can't physically get to him while he's here. Quote from the article:

“If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately,”

But you're right in that a ridiculous amount of resource has been spaffed on guarding him. He has cunning, and a team of loyal backers/ supporters who can make a lot of noise in the media. It was clear he wasn't going to back down and give himeself up.

Years ago, they should have instructed officers to quietly turn their backs and quickly have a taxi take him to Heathrow with a one-way ticket to Ecuador. It would have saved millions.

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Train station's giant screens showed web smut at peak hour

Goldmember

Recently they've started to announce that "the next station stop will be... " on trains in the grim North West.

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Goldmember

Re: Does it have to be a train station?

Yep... Even the stuff behind the 18+ curtain in Japanese DVD shops is censored. Er, so a friend told me.

I'm pretty sure they can just do a Google video search nowadays, so the obscenity laws are mostly pointless.

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HTC's 2017 flagship U11 woos audiophiles and bundles Alexa

Goldmember

Can Alexa...

... be removed without flashing the ROM and going to stock Droid?

My last 3 phones have been HTC as I really like them. But I really, REALLY don't want the Amazon creepware...

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Greater Manchester cops fined after victim interview vids lost in post

Goldmember

£300k in fines over 3 years...

Jesus... It'd be cheaper to keep someone on staff just to drive around the country and personally deliver sensitive material.

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Jeez, we'll do something about Facebook murder vids, moans Zuckerberg

Goldmember

Re: Here we go again

"Just make a part of Facebook for idiots and creeps, and another for regular people who just want to like your breakfast."

Or, just do it yourself. It's not a public and open forum like Twitter, unless you want it to be. I use Facebook sparingly, mostly just to keep in contact with people I don't see very often. On the rare occasion I have a bit of a browse, I only see content from people I actually know. Mostly it's just gripes about bad days/ shopping/ traffic, pictures of friends' and families' kids or Instagram shares of meals, which is why I rarely use it. It used to be much more interesting than it is now.

But this also means I've never seen videos of baby murder on there. If I did have someone in my friends list who felt the need to post or share such a video, or who felt the need to go off on a racist rant etc., it wouldn't take long for me to hit the "unfriend" button. There would then be no need for moderation from above.

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Prisoners built two PCs from parts, hid them in ceiling, connected to the state's network and did cybershenanigans

Goldmember

Re: Odd that there were network ports available inside the secure area

The quote from the report:

"They narrowed the search area down to the switch in P3 and the PC was connected to port 16. I was able to follow the cable from the switch to a closet in the small training room."

So it wasn't simply a port; they managed to run a cable directly from a switch somewhere. Maybe a comms cab in a cupboard, locked door but accessible from the ceiling? I've not had time to read the report yet but will later to see if there's clarification.

One thing I'm wondering though; how did they manage to sneak out an entire monitor or 2 on which to use said PCs? You can cobble together the other parts and sneak them in pockets (with the exception of the mainboard, but that is thin so can fit down pants). You don't need a case for the PC to run. But how did they get a screen out?

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PC survived lightning strike thanks to a good kicking

Goldmember

Re: Interfering mice

Yes, we had this in a company I used to work for. Complaints of "I'm being hacked!" or "Someone is controlling my computer!" at spurious mouse movements, apps opening and words being typed always turned out to be some else's wireless keyboard and/ or mouse interfering.

To be honest, why anyone even requires a wireless keyboard and to a large extent, a mouse, when they're using a desktop PC, is beyond me. They're nothing more than a colossal waste of batteries.

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1

Forget robot overlords, humankind will get finished off by IoT

Goldmember

"Oh, and I will cross at pedestrian crossings when the light is green. It's not my fault I run into people who think red traffic lights are not for them.."

You run into cars and come off better?

Are you, in fact, a tank?

4
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National Insurance tax U-turn: Philip Hammond nixes NIC uptick

Goldmember

Re: On to the next target

"Yep, lucky that you and other small businesses are off the hook, just hope you don't need to use the NHS or any other cash-starved public service."

That was exactly my point; we should be encouraging enterprise, and the Tories should not be reneging on an election pledge. The hike should not even have been considered, and now with the backtrack it will likely just be used as an excuse to cut public services even further.

And as already stated, I am both employed and self-employed, so I actually pay 2 lots of NICs...

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Goldmember

"Drives me mad."

Yep, me too. And now the bigger worry is; what's going to suffer in light of this new-found £2bn hole in the budget?

Already-stretched front line public services are my bet.

What an absolute fuck up.

(side note; I am both employed and self-employed, so the NIC increase would have affected me. I'm glad the hike hasn't gone ahead, not just for me but for small business in general)

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User rats out IT team for playing games at work, gets them all fired

Goldmember

Yes, you can

"What about following due process? You can't just fire people like that."

Of course you can, even in the UK, if you use loopholes. Simply make the staff "redundant" and hire replacements with different job titles.

It happened all the time in a company I used to work for...

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Microsoft sued by staff traumatized by child sex abuse vids stashed on OneDrive accounts

Goldmember

Re: and don't take a job

"where your entire purpose is to look at the dregs of humanity."

One of the guys in the article was "involuntarily" moved to the snooping team.

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'At least I can walk away with my dignity' – Streetmap founder after Google lawsuit loss

Goldmember

Re: At the risk of sounding controversial...

"This is like saying, I'll buy major parts of the highway, and then saying you cannot drive on it, because I don't want you to (I only want my cars to get to work on time). You have to walk to work."

No, it's more like saying "This is my highway. So there's a dedicated lane for my cars. The rest of you are welcome to use my highway, but you can fight it out in the other lanes. Or use a competing highway."

Again, I don't see a problem. On a personal and moral level it may be dubious, but companies aren't people. They don't have moral compasses. All they have are lawyers to tell them what they can and can't do.

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Goldmember

At the risk of sounding controversial...

... I don't agree. Yes, the idea that Google isn't the "dominant" search engine is ludicrous. But so what? Does that mean Google has a responsibility for smaller companies, to stop them going out of business?

Google made a competing product (which may or may not have been better than the competition). It promoted its own product, ranking it higher on its own network than those of the competition. The competition subsequently lost market share.

This is just business. Build a product. Promote the product effectively. Grow the business. Eat up or destroy the competition. If you're clever, gain monopoly status (or get close to it). If Google had used underhanded tactics to take down Streetmap then fair enough, there's a case to answer. But simply promoting its own product over the competition, on its own website? I'd say that's just tough titties.

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Trump's cybersecurity strategy kinda makes sense, so why delay?

Goldmember
Facepalm

"We need less regulations and more action", Bay said

Fewer.

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Hello? Police? My darknet drug market was just hacked by criminals

Goldmember

Re: Maybe it's the police who are doing the hacking

I wouldn't expect police involvment in that. But FBI/ GCQH; absolutely. They have a lot of legal protection. To the point of having laws changed/ created when they do step outside of existing bounds.

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Northumbria Uni fined £400K after boffin's bad math gives students a near-killer caffeine high

Goldmember

Re: Contradiction?

"Call me cynical but that possibly sounds like a statement the ambulance chasing lawyer has cooked up, where there's blame there's a fat pay check for fees"

Maybe... But at the end of the day, this was a royal fuck up. A royal fuck which could, and should, have been prevented. The two lads were lucky to have survived at all, and they endured something which must have been horrific for them. It may even have caused some long term damage they don't know about yet. So, lawyers' fees or not, the uni deserves to pay every penny of that fine. And the two lads deserve each a decent enough payout to pay off their uni fees/ loans, and then some.

3
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Modular dud drags LG to first loss in six years

Goldmember

TKFKALG

The Kompany Formerly Known As Lucky Goldstar?

7
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China gives America its underwater drone back – with a warning

Goldmember

Re: Add TnT to it

In the future, these drones should have some kind of explosive added to them such that if they are illegally stolen again we can simply blow them up. Serves 'em right for stealing it in the first place!

So the "theft" of a single drone is worth causing instant death to military personell, a major international incident and potentially triggering a full-scale nuclear war between the two largest superpowers in the world, at unimaginable human and economic costs to both sides and half the other countries in the world to boot?

I really, really hope you don't wield even the tiniest amount of power in whatever work you do.

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