* Posts by User McUser

562 posts • joined 6 May 2011

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US government sued by 11 pissed-off travellers over computer searches

User McUser
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Big Brother

Re: Searches, Searches...

When you cross a frontier, EVERYTHING is subject to search for contraband.

OK, fine search my bags for illegal fruit and/or drugs; but I ask you this - what could *possibly* be stored on a phone that a customs agent needs to see?

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Boffins prove oil and water CAN mix – if you do it in a gas giant

User McUser
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Coat

Re: Ionic vs. Covalent Bonds

Just wanted to add that when it comes to chemistry, you're either part of solution or you're part of the precipitate.

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PC sales to fall and fall and fall and fall and fall for the next five years

User McUser
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Re: Virtual Reality

As for "showstopped bugs being worked out", do you mean the sync issues with direction getting out of sync with reality, the issues in manipulating 3D space or the objects in it (moving around or interacting with objects) or the issues of interacting in an unconstrained way with the environment (leaning or otherwise moving through a solid surface).

You've clearly only used mobile VR - the ones that use your phone. Proper desktop VR has robust tracking and positioning and the controls are mapped 1:1 within the space around you. You can pick up virtual objects with ease - it's all very intuitive and natural feeling. Don't get me wrong, there are still a LOT of issues to work out, but it is merely a matter of time before they figure them out.

Is VR "the future" of all computing? I have no idea, but I think that the technology is here to stay, even if it's just for video games and entertainment.

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US trade watchdog puts down the phone to Qualcomm, reaches for probe, sticks it in Apple

User McUser
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WTF?

I Clearly Do Not Understand Patent Law

[Qualcomm] wants an import ban placed on iPhones and iPads that use Intel-made wireless broadband modems, the operation of which allegedly infringes six patents held by Qualcomm.

Surely Qualcomm should be suing INTEL then? Apple is merely buying Intel's chips so not sure how that would infringe any patents...

Apple usually uses Qualcomm modem chips in its handhelds, but has started using Intel components in some of its latest products. Qualcomm reckons Apple's use of Intel's technology tramples on its patents, hence the import ban request.

I know lawyers like money but how is this even a lawsuit? Does Qualcomm have a patent on device manufacturers buying chips from their competitors?

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Creepy tech tycoons Zuck and Musk clash over AI doomsday

User McUser
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Re: Slavery

What if we programmed them to *want* to perform mundane tasks?

Would that still be slavery?

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I've got a verbal govt contract for Hyperloop, claims His Muskiness

User McUser
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Alert

Re: Please complete this sentence Elon:

But Main Street's still all cracked and broken!

Seriously though - America has a large infrastructure problem that will eventually doom us if we don't start doing something about it soon. We need to fix the existing roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, and train tracks before we invest in what's basically an oversized pneumatic tube system for people. (Which is more of a Futurama thing anyways.)

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DARPA cracks wallet to open heads: Brain interface projects get Uncle Sam's backing

User McUser
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Boffin

Re: Clearly needs machine learning

The 1 million neuron number is the sort of level you'd need to drive the optic nerve, once you'd figured out how to convert the image from a conventional sensor into one the brain can process.

Back in 1999 they figured out how to decode the visual info, at least in cats: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/471786.stm Encoding would seem to be a matter of reversing the process.

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Trump's CNN tantrum could delay $85bn AT&T-Time Warner merger

User McUser
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Megaphone

Re: Temper temper!

It is true that almost half of USAins don't like Donald, but the other slightly larger half like him just fine

So, are you calling Trump supporters fat or are you just bad at math?

Popular Vote Tallies:

Trump: 62,979,879

Clinton: 65,844,954 (2,865,075 more)

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/21/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-popular-vote-final-count/index.html (Oops, CNN again...)

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FREE wildcard HTTPS certs from Let's Encrypt for every Reg reader*

User McUser
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IT Angle

I disagree

"Before Let's Encrypt, HTTPS was difficult and cost money," [Josh Aas] said.

Getting and installing an SSL certificate wasn't ever difficult - it was actually quite straight-froward and easy if you just RTFM and followed the instructions. And it only cost money if you wanted a certificate that was signed by someone other than yourself.

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It's the iPhone's 10th b'day or, as El Reg calls it, 'BILL RAY DAY'

User McUser
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As Mr. Ray himself wrote about his iPhone prediction: "I'd hate to be remembered for that one article when I've made so many bigger mistakes than that."

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Murderous Uber driver 'attacked passenger and the app biz did nothing. Then he raped me'

User McUser
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And would be on the wrong end of an industrial tribunal if it took action against an employee on that basis without at least supporting evidence from the powers of law enforcement.

Except that this is in America where you can basically be fired for any/no reason. And furthermore, given that its drivers are all supposedly "independent contractors", Uber doesn't even have to tell them they're "fired" - they can just shutdown their login and that's that.

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Google plans to scrub 'inflammatory' and terror vids from youTube

User McUser
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Re: Nice idea but...

A good example of that would be the masked doctor video where the BBC [changed] her words to say "Chemical Attack".

This is the first I've heard of this - any links you care to share?

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Disney mulls Mickey Mouse magic material to thwart pirates' 3D scans

User McUser
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Re: Disney complaining about others ripping them off?

Surely you just spray the item to be scanned with [matte] black paint or something first?

Or just take molds of them and cast your own copies to scan.

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Fear the dentist? Strap on some nerd goggles

User McUser
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Coat

Re: More detail required?

It's a very broad topic, quite long in the tooth!

Why even with years of study one could hardly put a dentin it.

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French firm notches up 50km unmanned drone inspection flight

User McUser
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Headmaster

BVLOS?

Surely "visual line of sight" is redundant, yes?

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Please do not scare the pigeons – they'll crash the network

User McUser
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IT Angle

evaporation being Ethan's best guess about the cause of problems in situations when users would not admit to having touched a thing.

Reminds me of an old (possibly part of a joke) technical support form from the mid-90s which read in part:

"Please note what you were doing at the time the error occurred. (If 'Nothing' please explain why you were wasting our computing resources.)"

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July web protest plan: What do we want? Net neutrality! Um, that's as far as we've got for now

User McUser
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Megaphone

Just Call Them

Seriously, no need to get cute or clever - just call your actual[1] members of Congress and tell the intern who answers the phone that you support net-neutrality and give them your name, address, and phone number so they know you are actually in their district. Be polite and brief. Do not call anyone outside your district or State, only your actual representatives (and make sure you are registered to vote in their district!)

If just 500,000 people across the nation all did this on the same day, it would be far more effective than whatever online nonsense is decided upon. If you can't or won't call, send a snail-mail letter.

Remember, your members of Congress are almost certainly OLD - email is generally meaningless to them (doubly-so for form-letter email) so only phone calls and snail-mail will matter to them.

[1]Find your Representative here -> http://ziplook.house.gov/htbin/findrep

Find your Senator here -> https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

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'My PC needs to lose weight' says user with FAT filesystem

User McUser
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Unhappy

I remember the time when I was 10 years old and I discovered compression on Windows 98

Thanks for making me feel old!

When *I* was 10, I was crushed to discover that the BASIC program I had written at home on our brand new Commodore 64 and saved to a 5.25" floppy was not readable on the school Computer Club's Apple IIe.

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Virtual reality headsets even less popular than wearable devices

User McUser
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Still in the early days.

The problem here is people's unrealistic expectations about what VR is and should be versus where we actually are right now. People want a Holodeck on their face and we are not at that point yet. People want AAA top-tier games and services but the installed user-base just isn't there yet.

Developers and designers are still working out how to present virtual worlds in a believable way; they're still developing the tools, techniques, and "language" that they need to offer better and more natural interaction with the virtual space. Motion sickness is still an issue with a lot of people; hell I generally have an iron stomach and on occasion I have felt a little nauseous playing some faster paced games. We still need to figure out what new tropes will apply to virtual environments[1].

It helps to think of early cinema - back at the turn of the last century, many movies were essentially YouTube clips ("Man Washes Horse" was a real nail-biter I'm sure.) But eventually the industry figured out all of the tools, techniques, and "language" that make movies into films. Framing rules, establishing shots, the 180° rule, split edits, traveling mattes, optical compositing, and so forth. You don't go from "Train Arriving at the Station" to "Star Wars" overnight. VR is just starting on that journey.

To put it another way, we're still at the Atari 2600 stage of the VR market; the tech is new and exciting and in your home for the first time and there are a lot of competing devices that provide varying levels of fidelity. The games are more simple and a large segment of the available software relies heavily on multiplayer being the driving force (no need to program an AI if you just make player two be another human) or is just sandbox style "play." Eventually we'll get to the NES/Famicom stage of the VR industry - I would guess that we'll hit this point in about 3-4 years - and that is when it is going to take off.

[1] - For me, the most compelling VR experience I have engaged in is a silly little "game" called "Room 202" in which you are being interrogated by two police officers and can only respond with a nod or shake for yes or no. There is a moment in the game where one of the cops tosses a photograph onto the table in front of you and asks you to look at it. When you lean over to get a good look, the game uses your change of focus to switch you into a flash-back moment at another location. It's an amazing trick - you're concentrating on the picture and when you look up again you're in an entirely different location. It feels extremely natural but at the same time delightfully surprising; a sort of "distracted transition." It's these sorts of techniques that need to be developed and refined before VR becomes what people want it to be.

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Defend yourself against ISP tracking in an Trump-era free-for-all

User McUser
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Re: What is metadata, exactly?

With HTTPS, your ISP will know:

* A computer with the IP address they assigned to your endpoint did a DNS lookup for "en.wikipedia.org"

* That computer then connected to port 443 of the IP address returned from the DNS query.

* The amount of data that was exchanged between the two and the amount of time it took.

But that's pretty much all they get with HTTPS; the rest of the connection info, including the requested URI, is encrypted.

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Sainsbury's IT glitch spoils bank holiday food orders

User McUser
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Re: First world problems

I don't have two hours to drive to a "local" Sainsbury's

Why do you shop at a store that's two hours away? (Or is it an hour each way and you're giving the round-trip figure? Or perhaps you are just being hyperbolic?)

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Uber New York class action alleges passengers overcharged $7.43m per month

User McUser
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Re: Stealing one penny on every transaction

You mean the Superman III/Office Space scheme?

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

User McUser
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Pardon my ignorance...

But how is this not just WINE?

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Armstrong's moon-purse set for $4m bid-off

User McUser
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the (by now empty) lunar sample bag

Oh, I bet there are a few specs of lunar regolith somewhere in there. Anyone who's ever taken a bag or backpack to the beach knows that you'll be cleaning the sand out of it forever.

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Vegemite tries to hijack Qantas name-our-planes competition

User McUser
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Coat

Re: Bruce

Rule One? - NO COPTERS!

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WannaCrypt 'may be the work of North Korea' theory floated

User McUser
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Re: Naive Question

Usually it's because some program requires IE 6 to operate correctly; Windows 7 shipped with IE 8 and (AFAIK) it can't be back-leveled/downgraded.

You could of course run those apps in XP Mode, but that merely contains the XP in a VM rather than eliminating it entirely.

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So your client's under-spent on IT for decades and lives in fear of an audit

User McUser
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Wait what?

Recently, a client of mine went through an ownership change. The new owners, appalled at how much was being spent on IT, decided that the best path forward was an external audit. The client in question, of course, is an SMB who had been massively under-spending on IT for 15 years, and there [was] no way they were ready for – or would pass – an audit.

So the new owners were appalled at how *much* was spent because the SMB had *underspent* on IT for 15 years? Surely that should be "appalled at how *little* was being spent on IT" because otherwise it sounds like a marketing drone overheard a conversation between two techs and made up a story to headline a not-quite-but-sort-of "news" article?

This article is sponsored by HPE.

Oh, I see. Never mind then.

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It's been two and a half years of decline – tablets aren't coming back

User McUser
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Buy another? Who needs one at all?

A while ago they gave us all iPads at work (because "iPads" I guess? TBH I'm not really sure why we got them.) I booted it up, signed into my Apple account, turned it off and put it on my desk where it has remained completely unused for over two years now.

I see no reason to bother with it - the company already provided me with an iPhone that runs exactly all of the same software as the iPad and does so in a form factor that fits in my pocket and works when I'm away from the WiFi. For any situation where I need to do real work (or just need more screen real estate) my dual monitor PC is vastly superior in every conceivable way.

Whatever niche it is that tablet devices fill is not one that I have ever encountered. At no time have I ever said "Gosh, if only I had a tablet device right now! This [smart-phone/laptop/desktop] just isn't cutting it."

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Linux Mint-using terror nerd awaits sentence for training Islamic State

User McUser
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Low tech

[The flash disks] contained military manuals for guided missiles, which Ullah was said to have been preparing to translate for the Islamic State terrorist organization

[...]

“This is just the sort of information that may have helped people involved in planning devastating, low technical level attacks on crowded places as we have seen in other cities across the world,” added [Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Commander Dean Haydon]. (Emphasis added.)

So guided missiles are low tech now?

And while we're on the subject, who needs help planning the "drive a large vehicle into a crowd" type of terrorist attack? Seems like everything you need to know is in the description.

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Sneaky 'fileless' malware flung at Israeli targets via booby-trapped Word docs

User McUser
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Well, we'll look for the house with no numbers.

So couldn't one just terminate any processes that doesn't correlate to (with?) files on the disk?

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Reg reader offered £999,998 train ticket from Cambridge to Horley

User McUser
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Boffin

Well, *I* could be bothered.

We can't be bothered adjusting for inflation, currency fluctuations and whatever other processes might be necessary to cobble this numerical comparison into something remotely resembling anything other than a back-of-a-beermat chuckle, but we're pretty sure that, had Andrew purchased the ticket, he would in some way or another be the equal of Armstrong and Aldrin.

USD$61 in 1973 is, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI Inflation Calculator about USD$350 in 2017.

GBP£138.88 is currently USD$178.25.

So the train ticket is roughly half as expensive (per second) as the Apollo program was.

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Samsung Smart TV pwnable over Wi-Fi Direct, pentester says

User McUser
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Unhappy

Nobody, but that won't stop them.

Hopefully, your television will last 10 years, but your computer needs to be changed every 2 or 3 years. Why joint both in a single equipment?

Probably because they want to sell you a new TV every 2 or 3 years instead of every 10.

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Lyrebird steals your voice to make you say things you didn't – and we hate this future

User McUser
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Go

One upside to this...

Finally I can have a computer that sounds like Majel Barrett!

But that should be the only legal use of this software.

OK, maybe also William Daniels for my talking car.

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We're spying on you for your own protection, says NSA, FBI

User McUser
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Facepalm

Re: Spoiler Alert - It's a lot

I'm so sorry that my transpositional typographical error has ruined your otherwise perfect day. Please accept my sincerest apologies.

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User McUser
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Unhappy

Spolier Alert - It's a lot

The intelligence agencies claim that it affects very few US citizens and so Congress has persistently asked what that number is: how many US citizens are included in the 702 database?

The US House Judiciary Committee first asked that question a year ago – April 2016. There is still no answer.

I think we can safely assume that if it were a small number, say 100,000 or fewer, that they would have already told us the number because 100K out of 350M is a trivial amount (0.03%). So we must therefore assume that the number must be fairly large; millions or tens of millions at least.

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30,000 London gun owners hit by Met Police 'data breach'

User McUser
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A large part of firearms security is through obscurity

Meanwhile in the US, a large part of firearms security is owning more firearms.

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Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly

User McUser
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Re: Spinning plates

You know who really likes spinning plates?

People paid to spin plates.

Windows is an extremely troublesome piece of software - just this week I'm having to deal with our Windows clients ignoring Group Policy rules for no apparent reason. If it worked correctly the first time and every time then I'd be out of a job.

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Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

User McUser
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Headmaster

No, no they don't.

Some laws stop us taking each other's stuff (property, liberty, lives)

Whoa, slow down there fellow - laws do NOT stop anyone from doing anything.

Murder and theft have been officially illegal for at least 4,100 years that we know of[1] and yet stuff still gets stolen and people are still murdered every single day in every single country on the planet. Laws merely establish a fixed and uniform punishment for specific acts so that everyone knows ahead of time what the consequences are should they be caught committing one of said acts.

While some people *might* weigh the punishment against the crime and choose not to murder their coworker or steal that shiny-shiny from the jewelry store, there are plenty of other people who don't perform such calculus, or reach a different conclusion, and thus steal and murder as they please.

It would be more appropriate to say that laws discourage us from taking each other's stuff.

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

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Overcharge customers, underpay the serfs. Who else but Uber (allegedly)

User McUser
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Joke

What's next for Uber?

I've obtained a leaked Uber document outlining upcoming new rules for their drivers. Here are some of the highlights!

-Drivers to be paid in script, which can only be used at the Uber Company Store.

-"Dead Peasant" insurance policies issued on drivers who are then routed by the Uber app along the most dangerous routes (based on traffic fatality statistics.)

- Must legally change their name to "Jeeves."

-Must now pay Uber for permission to drive their own car when "off duty." (Note: Company script is not an acceptable form of payment.)

-Lyft drivers must now be fought to the death (previously only "to incapacitation.")

-Must sign away rights to their "DNA and all works derived there from."

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Microsoft's new hardware: eight x86 cores, 40 GPU cores

User McUser
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Re: Yeah, but where can you buy hammocks?

Well, there's the Hammock Hut, that's on third. There's Hammocks-R-Us, that's on third too. You got Put-Your-Butt-There? That's on third. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot...

Matter of fact, they're all in the same complex; it's the hammock complex on third. [3F23]

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WWW daddy Sir Tim Berners-Lee stands up for end-to-end crypto

User McUser
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Re: No, it's not settled

Sir Tim needs to assist with finding a way to allow law enforcement authorities to monitor Islamists and child porn purveyors.

First off, I reject the idea that people need to be "monitored." People should be assumed to be innocent unless you have reason to suspect otherwise. And the Government should not be allowed to go fishing for terrorists. But once you reasonably suspect that someone is a kiddie-fiddler or a terrorist, just infiltrate their end-points.

End-to-end encryption only protects the data in transit; once it arrives it's generally saved as plaintext. Surely the Government have RATs (Remote Access Trojan/Toolkit) which they can deploy to paedos and terr'sts' computers, after obtaining the proper warrant, either by social engineering or technical exploits.

We shouldn't allow the NSA to monitor everyone around the world in real-time, but this is a technical problem and a technical solution surely exists.

Knives must be sharp in order to cut things - if you dull a knife so that it won't cut people then it also won't cut bread. So you can't legislate a knife that cuts bread but doesn't cut people because the sharpness of a knife is the defining quality that make it useful.

Weak or backdoor enabled encryption is the same as a dull knife; it just won't cut it.

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BezosBux: Amazon gets into scrip game with Cash scheme

User McUser
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Re: Amazon Gift Cards

That's exactly what they're doing. From the article:

Once the barcode has been scanned, the cash is converted into an Amazon gift card that is credited to the customer's account.

I guess the difference is that they'll save a few cents by not using an actual physical gift card?

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D'oh! Amber Rudd meant 'understand hashing', not 'hashtags'

User McUser
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Re: Can't Stop the Encryption

So- what was your actual point?

You might be able to decrypt the data, but that doesn't mean you'll automatically be able to understand the message.

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User McUser
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Big Brother

Can't Stop the Encryption

You don't need a computer to do encryption; using computers is merely faster and easier.

I mean you could literally sit down with a copy of the AES specification, an ASCII or Unicode chart, a pencil and some paper and manually encrypt or decrypt any message you wanted as long as you had the appropriate keys and an understanding of the math. I don't know how long it would take, but you could do it.

You can force them to use an unencrypted protocol but you can't force them to send plaintext.

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Kremlin-linked hacker crew's tactics exposed

User McUser
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Coat

Re: "...and an endpoint exploitation kit called Scaramouche."

IDK about that but it *can* use Thunderbolt and Lightning ports, which is very very frightening.

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User McUser
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Re: Check is in the mail, SecureWorks

Assuming that Putin read the polls like everyone else, would he risk infuriating the likely next President of the United States – Hillary Clinton – by embarrassing her with an email leak that would amount to a pinprick?

Because it's a low-risk, high-reward opportunity?

Worst case for them, Russia angers a newly elected President Clinton who issues some sanctions. Best case for them, Russia appeases a newly elected President Trump who tells everyone what a great guy Putin is.

Clinton herself blamed her surprise defeat on FBI Director Comey’s decision to briefly reopen the investigation into whether she endangered national security by using a private email server as Secretary of State.

Don't forget, there were three wholly separate email "scandals" that got conflated into a single nebulous email problem in the minds of many voters.

There was the "Hillary used a private email server while Secretary of State" issue, there was the DNC hack-and-release issue, and finally there was the Anthony Wiener's secretary's laptop issue. The first two are entirely unrelated and the first and third are only tangentially related because the two parties had potentially corresponded with each other such that messages not contained in one set might have existed in the other (which was not the case.)

It was this last one, the nonsense with Anthony Wiener's secretary's email that was the October surprise from Director Comey, to which Secretary Clinton assigns much of the blame for her unexpected defeat.

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Alabama joins anti-web-smut crusade with mandatory opt-out filters

User McUser
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Meh

Re: Who wants to bet...

All those Catholics are going to burn in hell.

No, not really. Neither a fiery punishment nor a divine award await us; it just ends unceremoniously without so much as a "We Apologize For The Inconvenience."

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'Windows 10 destroyed our data!' Microsoft hauled into US court

User McUser
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Mushroom

Options

a Microsoft spokesperson said [...] "Customers had the option not to upgrade to Windows 10."

Oh yeah, I had that option. I said "No thank you" but you kept asking me every day anyways.

I disabled the start-up items but you kept restoring them.

I deleted the GWX folder but you kept putting it back.

I removed and blocked the updates but you kept putting out new ones.

FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR

ON EVERY COMPUTER I OWN

50 No's and a Yes means Yes.

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US Senate votes to let broadband ISPs sell your browser histories

User McUser
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Flame

Onerous

The FCC's regulations were not only onerous, but also singled out ISPs with overly restrictive privacy responsibilities.

Yes, NOT collecting and selling my browsing history and instead doing absolutely nothing is *such* a regulatory burden.

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As ad boycott picks up pace, Google knows it doesn't have to worry

User McUser
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Editorial Control

Note the emphasis on providing tools for advertisers to make the choices [...] rather than Google increasing resources or editorial control.

Because if they did exercise additional editorial control then they might lose their "Safe Harbor" status under the DMCA and similar laws. Remember, Google still pretends that they don't really run YouTube - it just magically runs itself and everyone/anyone else gets to be the gatekeepers.

Plus it would cost money to do otherwise, and we can't have that now can we.

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