* Posts by Jtom

284 posts • joined 25 Apr 2012

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US mobe owners will get presidential text message at 2:18 pm Eastern Time

Jtom
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Re: @stiine -- Just an observation.

Fascists order things done using a pen and a phone. That would be Obama.

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Jtom
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My wife's Samsung Galaxy 6 was turned on, and we have Verizon service. Nothing. Zippo. Phone was quiet the entire day, and no alerts were received. I have an older mode Samsung Galaxy, but the battery was drained, as usual. I effin hate cell phones, and regret being in the group that decided the tech specs for roaming back about twenty-five years ago.

The worst thing I can imagine is a national alert if something were to go seriously wrong. What would happen other than mass panic, gridlock, and riots? A very selective alert to key people in the event of a massive threat would better serve the country, and, no, I would not be included in it. If I were, I would just pour me a gin and tonic, and wait for the inevitable.

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'This is insane!' FCC commissioner tears into colleagues over failure to stop robocalls

Jtom
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I would prefer low-tech solutions to this:

$100,000 fine per call to someone with whom you do not have an established business relationship.

Telcos get a 50% ‘finder’s fee’ from the above penalty for every telemarketer it finds, shuts down, and

produces the number of calls it made.

Make number-spoofing a form of ID theft, a criminal act with a minimum of 1 year in jail for each

offense.

Then, just for a change, actually ENFORCE the above.

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How do some of the best AI algorithms perform on real robots? Not well, it turns out

Jtom
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I am not worried about AI ever being a threat to humans. Without human guidance, a machine will still just be a machine, incapable of escaping its programming parameters. I’m not sure if humans can be taught creativity, which means we could never teach it to machines.

The true danger will be when the human brain can directly interface with, and be augmented by, the capabilities of machines. Imagine having all of human experience to draw upon to decide your actions, plus the speed and strength of machines. The first human who successfully does that will be given a new name, God, and his first act will be to ensure that no such connectivity is ever done using any other human brain.

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America cooks up its flavor of GDPR – and Google's over the moon

Jtom
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Re: I'd take the negative comments even further. This is a license to slurp/steal/

Name any country in which that isn’t true. The cause is not the country, culture, or form of government; it’s man. It is in his very nature because of its evolutionary advantages.

The best way to slow down corruption is to spread power out, separating who has what powers (national, state, county, city, judiciary, legislative, executive, military).

That is why messy, loose democracies are more successful than highly managed, centrally controlled socialistic governments.

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While the UN laughed at Trump, hackers chortled at the UN's lousy web application security

Jtom
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Re: They ain't laughing WITH you, Idiot in chief ...

Jimmy Carter was an honest, sincere, ethical,and moral President. His policies sucked, and it was a dark period in America’s history. High unemployment, high interest rates, high inflation, lots of personal suffering.

Trump is a laughable buffoon, but his policies have been great for the country. Lowest unemployment recorded for every segment of the population, low inflation, low interest rates, booming economy.

Let Carter be a role model for the kids, but keep someone like a Trump running the country.

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No, that Sunspot Solar Observatory didn't see aliens. It's far more grim

Jtom
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Undetected life in the rest of universe has no practical difference to there being no life in the rest of the universe.

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NASA 'sextortionist' allegedly tricked women into revealing their password reset answers, stole their nude selfies

Jtom
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I don’t, but you will know when I do. That will be the day when everyone tosses their electronics (and maybe their cookies). It will be the same as when I buy stock in a company; everyone suddenly wants to sell theirs.

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NASA's Kepler probe rouses from its slumber, up and running again

Jtom
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Re: "NASA has fixed up one of its thrusters"

But a model like the Voyager 1 gets more than 40,000 miles to the gallon (and increasing daily). You’ll recover the initial cost in fuel savings after only a few decades.

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TSB goes TITSUP: Total Inability To Surprise Users, Probably

Jtom
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Re: How long...

Studies on ‘loyalty’ show that loyal customers are the first ones screwed by a company. Companies are now operating under the (pretty good) assumption that the longer a customer stays, the less likely they are to switch due to increased costs or reduced services. The belief is that the customer is too lazy/stupid/time-challenged to research alternatives and leave.

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Russian volcanoes fingered for Earth's largest mass extinction

Jtom
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Re: The Ends of the World

Try reading Vonnegut’s Galapagos. The premise of the story is that nature screwed up and gave us too big of a brain. However, she corrects her mistake, and we (d)evolve to be the critter she Intended us to be: one who spends everyday simply laying in the sun, eating, farting, and having sex, noting more.

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No, eight characters, some capital letters and numbers is not a good password policy

Jtom
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Ok, from a slightly different angle, how about addressing customer password requirements? I must have over a hundred different passwords, and no single password template would be acceptable at all sites - different lengths, special characters, capitalization, etc. what do you think your customers do? Yeah, simplist things possible, post-it notes, and unencrypted files listing sites, user ID, and password (I really loved the site that required a special character in the user ID). Here’s a trick I’ve seen done: when the site is saved as a ‘favorite’ it is renamed as siteiduseridpassword, so the result would be: abcbank jtom pass123, SHOWN ON THE FAVORITES BAR. Makes life so easy.

Look, please, if you make the decision, the first question you should ask yourself is, does this application really require a password??? I can log into my electricity account, look at how much I owe, and pay the bill. Why do you require a password?? If someone wants to pay my bill, LET THEM. They have my permission! Now, if you have a feature where I can store credit card info, and pay my bill automatically, then require a password just on that feature.

If your site lets me store recipes, keep track of loyalty points, make comments, etc., then give ME the option to opt out of using a password. I have no fear that someone will post a comment on a site like this under my user name. It would gain them nothing, and at worse, I would change my name and then password protect it. If someone is desperate enough to log into my Subway account and steal loyalty points for a free sandwich, then they may do so, and may God bless. And I have no idea why anyone would go into my Kroger account and mess with my shopping list. I’m not going to buy a crate of spam simply because it is on the list.

Maybe if I didn’t have to contend with this I would be more careful with passwords where they really mattered.

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Chap asks Facebook for data on his web activity, Facebook says no, now watchdog's on the case

Jtom
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Two things:

It sounds like FB is trying to say if you collect no data, you are following the law; if you collect some data, you must follow the law, and provide a copy of it to the ‘owner’; but if you collect a lot of data, you may ignore the law, and refuse to provide a copy to the owner. Good luck with that logic if it ever hits a courtroom.

Secondly, if a non-subscriber discovers FB have been electronically following him without his knowledge or permission, sooner or later this will be charged as a criminal complaint of stalking, and the perpetrator does not need to know the name of his victim to be guilty.

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Just how rigged is America's broadband world? A deep dive into one US city reveals all

Jtom
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Well, after doing some basic research, I have decided that this is yet another advocacy group providing misleading information to counter the government’s misleading information. As usual, neither side tells the whole truth.

Read ILSR’s entire report, and see if you can find the words, ‘satellite internet service’. They seem to omit that option. Both Hughes and Viasat cover the entire country. Specifically, a check of Ostrander, MN, shows Viasat offering 25 Mb/s downstream, 3 Mb/s up (didn’t check Hughes). Where is Ostrander? Right in the middle of ILSR’s ‘no broadband coverage’ area. Hmmm...

Perhaps a clue to their omission lies here:

“We excluded all fixed wireless service from the second and fifth maps because the technology, though often superior to DSL, is not as reliable as fixed wired services in most areas and usually cannot serve the same volume of customers in a neighborhood. Wireless service is often unable to guarantee coverage of all homes in a region due to variations in topology, tree cover, and building materials. Because of this, fixed wireless providers may not be able to provide the maximum advertised speed to everyone within their service areas. The reviews for the fixed wireless providers near Rochester suggest that some of the services are unreliable, though we have also heard quite positive reviews on HBC’s wireless service from subscribers in the RS Fiber Cooperative territory.7“

Nice way to bias a study.

BTW, Rochester has a population of less than a quarter of a million people, and this study incorporates an area within a thirty mile radius. That puts you into some very remote, rural areas.

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Criminal justice software code could send you to jail and there’s nothing you can do about it

Jtom
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Re: what about the right to face your accuser?

The judge still decides. They are not bound to what this, or sentencing guidelines, suggest. A decent defense attorney can and will point out mitigating factors for the judge to consider.

The alternative to these strategies is mandatory sentencing, which takes the judge completely out of the sentencing phase.

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You won't believe this but... everyone hates their cable company: Bombshell study lands

Jtom
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Re: Charter (Spectrum) Scum Rats Don't Offer 'Deals' After One Year

Unless you live alone, you might try canceling the service in your name, and getting ‘new’ service under the name of a different household member. Of course then they will hit you with a lot of upfront installation fees, and it will take several months to break even, then start saving.

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Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

Jtom
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That was my thinking. Reprimand her for incompetence, then fire her for lying.

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Basic bigot bait: Build big black broad bots – non-white, female 'droids get all the abuse

Jtom
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Re: as if we were the only country on earth with such a problem

Your Corbyn seems to trump Trump when it comes to racism. Trump is not a glib politician. Sometimes he has a poor choice of words. The biggest fascist group in the US right now are the Antifa (which seems to mean Anti First Amendment), and you would do well to look at the actual stats before claiming police shoot a ton of blacks.

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The End for Fin7: Feds cuff suspected super-crooks after $$$m stolen from 15m+ credit cards

Jtom
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Re: The USA ...

It is against US law to contaminate food intended for human consumption, LD or not.

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Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

Jtom
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Re: "How to use a barometer to measure the height of a building."

7. Tie the barometer to the end of a sufficiently long tape measure and drop it over the side.

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FCC caught red-handed – again – over its $225 complaint billing plan

Jtom
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As presented, this story might be entirely correct. Or the changes just might be due to screw-ups and incompetence (which happens far more often) inherent in bureaucracy. The problem is, the writer’s lack of even a veiled attempt to present a balanced article, replete with references to a work of fiction, and the scorn shown in this vituperative rant, makes me believe the actual, complete facts are other than what is presented.

This piece seems designed to invoke outrage, not to inform.

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Cops suspect Detroit fuel station was hacked before 10 drivers made off with 2.3k 'free' litres

Jtom
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Re: Outrageous!

What about writing down the tag numbers and telling drivers they will be reported for theft? I think the attendant was either sleeping, or selling the gas for cash at a discount.

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Jtom
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Re: Outrageous!

But at least the rest of the country doesn't smell like piss, isn't covered in feces, nor must tiptoe around used needles. Once you run out of potable water you will well and truly be a third-world city.

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Open plan offices flop – you talk less, IM more, if forced to flee a cubicle

Jtom
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Egads, doesn't anyone have the same problem with this as I? Put a bloody 'sociometric badge' around my neck to monitor when I'm talking/listening to someone and with whom (and to trust you that you aren't actually recording the conversation), and I'll retreat to e-communications, too. I hate open floor plans for all the reasons given in the comments, but the Big Brother aspect of this research would literally leave me speechless.

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'Plane Hacker' Roberts: I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing. Holy crap!

Jtom
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Stay retro

Ugh. Well, I have a 1997 Honda Prelude, and a 2001 Honda S2000 sports car. Yep, haven’t bought a car in 17 years. Thirteen years without a car note to pay. No electronics other than that needed for the engine, assessories like AC, lights, etc, and a radio/CD player. All you can do is drive and listen to music. And that’s all I want to do with a vehicle.

Guess I'll keep them for another couple of decades.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled

Jtom
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Re: Ahem....

But from a slightly different interpretation: the photons that are seen are captured by electrons, and no longer exist. So they have indeed passed on. I would say, may they RIP, but they never rest.

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Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

Jtom
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Re: @Ted Treen ...@AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

In many states, if someone is in your house without permission, the default assumption is that you are in bodily danger, and may shoot to kill, even if there is no overt threat at all. Not only does that keep common burglars away, but your teenage girl's boyfriend as well.

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Jtom
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Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

He would not have been able to legally obtain a gun in the US. We have background checks, which he would have failed since he was not a citizen, and a waiting period.

As far as getting an illegal weapon - it's not hard if you are a known person living in a sketchy area. You could find a friend or a friend of a friend who would sell you one. A stranger? Good luck. Show up to buy an illegal weapon, and you'll be leaving without a gun or your money.

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Telstra reveals radical restructure plan

Jtom
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There's a lot of copper in the ground, all going back to interconnected central locations. An entrepreneur buying some of it could make a business cheaply interconnecting groups for their own private internets - like hospitals to vendors, insurance companies, and remote databases, all hardwired together with no external connections. I've seen enough evidence that many businesses cannot handle virtual private networks on the public internet without having major security issues, and up untill now, dedicated hardwired connections have been too costly.

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Donald Trump trumped as US Senate votes to reinstate ZTE ban

Jtom
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Bah. Trump threatens to veto the bill if the amendment is not removed (if he doesn’t want the ban), and they will remove it in reconciliation. The senate knew they could pass it for political reasons without it ever going into effect.

As far as your other gripes: we don’t care how you trade or to whom, but you won’t be trading with us if you trade with nations that sponsor terrorism. And if you are putting tariffs on US products coming into your country, you can expect tariffs on your products coming into ours. If you have a problem with that, tough. You don’t have to trade with us.

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Um, excuse me. Do you have clearance to patch that MRI scanner?

Jtom
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Sometimes to go forward you need to go back

A lot of high-tech solutions are being offered here. How about an old-fashion, low-tech solution? For many situations, a nailed-up data line would suffice, or even a dial-up line for equipment not updated often. There were hospitals, insurance companies, and vendors before the internet. They were interconnected with dedicated circuits. The only real difference between doing that and using the internet is cost, but just how much are you saving if you have constant nightmare security concerns using the internet?

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Former FBI boss Comey used private email for official business – DoJ

Jtom
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The Weiner computer emails were not 'substantive' only because the FBI wanted them not to be. There were classified emails among them. Now consider: the computer of a sexual deviant kicked out of public office contained classified emails from a period AFTER he left office. This isn't a cluster f-up of all involved???

With security like that, you might as well give everyone access to begin with. The only ones NOT privy to the secrets of the government were the voters and the country's allies!

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Jtom
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Re: "So Hillary was suppose to know what she was doing was wrong but not James Comey?"

The theory is: Had Hillary been elected, as highly expected, she would have started with a clean slate. The response would be that everybody knew everything before voting her into office. The FBI would have closed the books before her inauguration, never to open them again on her actions.

It simply backfired on them.

The Trump investigation, in the actual words of an investigator, was their 'insurance policy' in the very unlikely event of his election. There was no reason of giving the appearance of maybe being biased against him before the election. So they just held it in case the unthinkable happened, to damage him or remove him from office..

We will never really know what is true. What we know without doubt is that Hillary had many friends, and Trump had only enemies, in the FBI. For a group that is suppose to be apolitical, that is unacceptable.

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The eyes have it: 'DeepFakes' bogus AI-meddled videos outed by unblinking gaze

Jtom
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All of their analysis would be totally defeated by a pair of sunglasses.

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Astroboffins 'sprinkle iron filings' over remnant supernova

Jtom
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Re: Not too shabby indeed

Not too shabby until you realize that there is absolutely no way to verify their analysis. Most of what we 'know' today will be proved either wrong or woefully incomplete in the future. For starters, we have no way of determining if our 'laws of nature' remain constant over either large timescales or distances. If, say, the speed of light in a vacuum is not invariant in the universe, it would upend all cosmological theories.

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That was quick: Seattle rushes to kill tax that would mildly inconvenience Amazon

Jtom
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There is a new wave of homelessness in the US. They are called 'crusties' by many. They are young, able-body youths who see no reason, have no desire, to work. I've worked in charitable 'soup lines' giving out free lunches, and saw many of them. They have cellphones, trendy clothes (both paid for by parents trying to help them sort out their life), and frequently smell of weed. Most could go back home, but would rather hang with friends than to be subjected to being nagged to find a job or live a purposable life.

Yes, they are homeless and jobless by choice, and like it very much, thank you. They can exist in this lifestyle because of the wealth of the nation. In an impoverished country where the policy was no work, no food, they would be working. Pandering to them by giving them still more assistance would only make the situation worse.

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Every bloody gadget in the house is ringing. Thanks, EE

Jtom
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Re: Hang up by numbers app - Marketing company, Survey

That would be good, but I have actually done this: responded to the telemarketer (who had called many times previously), saying, "Hold on while I get my father. He's been wanting to get [whatever the telemarketer was selling - heating duct cleaning, I think]." Then set the phone down. The TV was going in the background, so the caller knew the phone had not been hung up.

I checked the phone two hours later. The call had ended, and he never called again. I wonder how long the telemarketer waited....

Ah, the fun you can have when you're retired.

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ICO smites Bible Society, well fines it £100k...

Jtom
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That's because Jesus saves.

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No lie-in this morning? Thank the Moon's gravitational pull

Jtom
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Re: Climate

The oceans absorb solar radiation, and the sun plus ocean cycles, created by decades of absorbing solar energy, determine the air temps. It is obvious looking at the heat content and volume of the oceans compared to the heat content and volume of the atmosphere, that the oceans drive the temps.

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NASA spots asteroid on crash course with Earth – with just hours to go

Jtom
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Re: Asteroid Ahhhhhhhhh......

Well, I, for one, would like the chance to drink the Bourbon and Scotch I have put aside for a special occasion. Then there's a little lady I know who might want to go out with a bang.

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EmDrive? More like BS drive: Physics-defying space engine flunks out

Jtom
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Great comment on how science was, and should be, done. Unfortunately, it's rather outdated. Today, scientists put their assumptions into computer models that 'prove' that which is desired to be proved. When real data conflict with the models' output, they clearly must be wrong, and are adjusted until they conform properly to the models.

Don't expected significant scientific breakthroughs in several fields for a while.

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Astroboffins, get in here and explain Saturn's odd-shaped balls

Jtom
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Re: That's no moon!

The name given to a body in astronomy is dependent on its location and relationship to other objects. For example, the same object could be a meteor, meteoroid, or meteorite, depending on its location.

Our moon, orbiting the sun without its partner Earth, would be a planet, even if it were once part of Earth. An asteroid captured by a planet would be a moon if it met the size requirement. It is thought that many moons in the solar system are captured asteroids or planetoids.

BTW, the question of our moon's formation is still in debate, although the giant collision (someting colliding with Earth) theory is most widely believed correct.

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Kids and the web latest: 'Won't somebody please think of the children!' US Congresscritters plead

Jtom
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Re: We can protect them from those evil advertisers.

Says the guy from a country that has a city with a murder rate higher than NYC; life destroying acid attacks; gangs on mopeds; huge groups of child paedophiles; a flourishing child sex trade; and police who withhold evidence from innocent men charged with sex crimes.

Both our countries have huge problems because of a systemic breakdown of our cultures, led by those in the educational systems, and supported by globalist, socialist politicians.

And before any of you point to guns and Conservatives as the problem, let me point out one significant observation: guns, and even kids with access to guns, have been around for centuries. Mass murders were virtually unheard of until recently. What has changed?

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Zero arrests, 2 correct matches, no criminals: London cops' facial recog tech slammed

Jtom
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Arguing rates - false poitives, false negatives - is rather moot. Unless you believed that no criminals were scanned out of thousands, then they system is useless, since it found none of them.

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Jtom
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Re: Surely though

No, in this case, 100 were selected, only two matched their database, and they were NOT criminals, which makes the whole process completely worthless.

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FCC sets a record breaking $120m fine for rude robocalls

Jtom
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Here's something to think about. Suppose I wanted to put a bell in your house, and tell you anyone in the world can set it off whenever they wanted, day or night? You would likely tell me to go somewhere very hot. Yet that is exactly what we have done with phones.

If possible, set your phone to ring only for phone numbers you have entered into your contact list (or a subset). Then route every call not on the list straight to voice mail. Take back your privacy. Drive telemarketers out of business.

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Jtom
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Re: First step the fixing robocalls

Why one or the other? Do both. The message should be, pull this shit, and your prison time will be a luxury compared to the poverty that awaits you when you get out. And give the same punishment to those who create and spread computer viruses. Tired of all this BS.

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US Congress finally emits all 3,000 Russian 'troll' Facebook ads. Let's take a look at some

Jtom
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Who these ads would have helped depends a great deal on who the target group of the ad was. If viewed by true BLM followers, they would agree with the ad, and strengthen their resolve to get out the vote for Democrats. If viewed by Conservatives, the same ads would scare them into getting out the vote for Conservatives.

All in all, though, you would have to have lived under a rock for decades not to know quite a bit about both candidates. These ads would have had little impact in this election.

Finally, so what? I would think that Obama saying the UK would be put at the end of the line for trade deals if they voted for Brexit, would be hugely more influential and meddlesome in the affairs of the UK, yet there was no great condemnation of it. Hypocrisy reigns.

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Jtom
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Re: The poor English reminds me of the 419 scam.

And yet your system is giving you the choice between May and Corbyn. Sigh.

It's not the system. It's the people. You can't fix stupid.

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Bombshell discovery: When it comes to passwords, the smarter students have it figured

Jtom
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Naw. I know an idiot who has the best password protection. He creates an eighteen-character (or the longest permitted length) password of random alpha-numeric, upper/lower case, and special characters, does not maintain a copy of it, and doesn't try to memorize it. Then he resets the password everytime he wants to log in.

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