* Posts by ma1010

408 posts • joined 30 Nov 2012

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

ma1010
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Just curious

What possible GOOD could something like this do? I see lots of downside with this technology, but no real upside. Why do it?

I hope these clowns don't invent a simple way to (say) rebuild an old TV into a powerful bomb or make large quantities of poison gas from common groceries. They'd likely publish it to world+dog instantly.

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We're 'heartbroken' we got caught selling your email records to Uber, says Unroll.me boss

ma1010
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Facepalm

Is there a fee?

If there isn't a fee for a given Internet "service," you can be certain that selling your information is what keeps the lights on and the servers running. Did you think they were running a charity?

And giving a third party who isn't your email provider access to your email? Can't be a good idea.

If you want private email, subscribe to a for-fee service, like fastmail.com, and don't let anyone else have access to your email box. That way, only the CIA, NSA, FBI, GCHQ, SIS, DGSE, FSB, etc. have access to your email. Oh, and Microsoft, if you use their products.

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

ma1010
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Re: Betamax - Betamax quality wasn't actually that much better.

"People wanted longer recording/playback times and cheaper VCRs, and VHS delivered on both. It was the rightful winner of the format war."

Exactly! American Football (I believe that, correctly or incorrectly, Right-Pondians refer to that as "Rugby for Pussies"?) or Baseball games generally last around 3 hours, and VHS could record (at slower speeds) for up to 6 hours, so it was the obvious choice for time-shifting sporting events back in the day.

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Zuckerberg's absolutely mental: Brain sensors that read YOUR MIND at 100 words a minute

ma1010
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WTF?

The great filter?

I'm wondering if the "Great Filter" that keeps us from noticing all those extraterrestrial civilizations was something like this? Perhaps they all invented something like this idea of Zuckerberg's and then dissolved into total chaos. Sounds plausible to me.

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Trump's self-imposed cybersecurity deadline is up: What we got?

ma1010
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Joke

STOP THE PRESSES!!!

"Quick clue: President Snowflake is a compulsive liar"

Shock front page news: A Politician Lies!

Film at 11:00.

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SPY-tunes scandal: Bloke sues Bose after headphones app squeals on his playlist

ma1010
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Truer words have never been spoken

@Daniel Hall

I also think the whole world attitude to assuming its the norm to give up your data should be quashed to history like slavery.

Have an upvote. I'd give you 100 if I could. It's REALLY time we did something about making privacy more than an (obsolete) word in the dictionary.

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What a To-Do! Microsoft snuffs out Wunderlist

ma1010
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Mushroom

Beyond "shot themselves in the foot."

Normally, when someone shoots themselves in the foot, they do it once. However, MS seems to have emptied the magazine, reloaded, and continued firing. Perhaps they will stop once there's no foot left to shoot at? Then, perhaps, start on the other one.

What MS's (I hesitate to use the word strategy since that involves actual thought) is, I can't fathom, except it appears to be as self-destructive as possible. You have to wonder how a company like MS, that really did produce some of the best (and certainly popular) software around has turned into the total insane asylum it appears to be nowadays.

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PACK YOUR BAGS! Boffins spot Earth-size planet most likeliest yet to harbor alien life

ma1010
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Holmes

Even if we could get there, somehow

Even if we had a working "warp drive" (or whatever), I expect that the gravitational pull of the planet would make us all a mite uncomfortable. I mean, 200 lbs on Earth = around 1400 lbs there? If there were any intelligent inhabitants, we'd just have to wave to them from orbit.

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DTMF replay phreaked out the Dallas tornado alarm, say researchers

ma1010
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Happy

Yes, it's quite simple, really

I'm a ham radio operator, and totally agree with other posters that the radio part of this would be simple. I happen to own a couple of radios that could have been used to do something like this because they can (not legally) transmit on those frequencies and send DTMF tones. Simple enough to record and play the tones back, too. (But I don't live in Dallas, nor am I an assbag like whoever did this.)

So very many of our infrastructure systems are based on security by obscurity, and that really doesn't cut it with ANY systems these days. It looks like Dallas (and probably many other cities) need to step up their game a bit and modernize systems to prevent tampering.

Not exactly the same thing, but for some reason the situation here reminds me of this.

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Troll it your way: Burger King ad tries to hijack Google Home gadgets

ma1010
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WTF?

Makes you wonder

Who really thinks it's a great idea to have a voice interface that's NOT trained to the voice(s) of the people living there AND that listens all the time?

Personally, while I occasionally use Google's voice capabilities with my phone or tablet, I keep that turned OFF except when I want to use it. For those who don't agree with me, don't invite this guy over to your house: (XKCD here).

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Homes raided in North West over data thefts from car body repair shops

ma1010
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At least be happy someone cares

You Right-Pondians should be happy that at least someone in your government cares about stopping these spammers. Over here in the U.S., our government is doing everything it can to increase spam (e.g., allowing ISPs to sell our personal details to whoever).

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Toshiba conglomerate: Can we keep going? We don't know

ma1010
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Black Helicopters

Possibly long range revenge?

I recall a big flap in the 80's (think Cold war) about Toshiba selling technology to the Russians to help their submarines be more stealthy. The U.S. was up in arms, and the government was seriously considering massive economic retaliation against Toshiba. The whole thing blew over eventually (partly because the U.S. had so many Toshiba machines). But the paranoid part of me wonders if this isn't someone, somewhere playing a long game against Toshiba to make an example.

Or I could just be overly paranoid.

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FCC kills plan to allow phone calls on planes – good idea or terrible?

ma1010
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FAIL

Follow the Money

This is Pai, Mr. "Make corporations bigger profits at any cost." It's all about big corporate money, and that's what he's been since day one. This is just more of the same.

If you let everyone use their cell phones, then there's no reason for those expensive pay phones on planes. But with cell phones banned, anyone who wants to make a call from a plane has to use one of those phones. And pay dearly. More $ for big corporations, which is what Pai is all about.

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Startup remotely 'bricks' grumpy bloke's IoT car garage door – then hits reverse gear

ma1010
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FAIL

My opener had this option

When I had my garage door opener replaced, I bought a major brand-name unit with lots of useful features, such as battery backup. It also had one totally useless option, which was the ability to, at additional cost, get a gadget to connect it to that interweb thingie.

When I got the opener, I couldn't imagine why I'd want that "feature." Still can't.

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As Trump signs away Americans' digital privacy, it's time to bring out the BS detector

ma1010
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Big Brother

Coming next from the U.S. Government

Where you stand on the issue can be determined by answering this simple question: do you trust companies to do what they say, or do you believe they will do whatever they can get away with in order to make more profit?

Obligatory Dilbert: here

Tomorrow's news: House Republicans introduce bill allowing employers to harvest internal organs of redundant employees.

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Boeing and Airbus fly new planes for first time

ma1010
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Facepalm

Re: Yes, they look beautiful

@Headley_Grange

Sounds good, but I think I'll just take my flying car.

Oh, wait....

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Windows 10 Creators Update: Clearing the mines with livestock (that's you by the way)

ma1010
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Alert

It's more like the Russians in WW II

The Russians had penal battalions, essentially unarmed "soldiers" who had somehow pissed off the Communists. They used them for unpleasant tasks, like heavy labor and clearing a minefield -- by marching them through it. (If they refused, they were shot on the spot.)

If one considers using a beta operating system to be punishment (which I do), then it looks like: "Welcome to the MPB (Microsoft Penal Battalion), Comrades!"

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US Senate votes to let broadband ISPs sell your browser histories

ma1010
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Mushroom

It's all about money

Unfortunately, "Government of the people, for the Corporations and by the Corporations shall not perish from the Earth."

Whoever has the money (corporations) gives our rulers those campaign contributions that get them elected. This will not change, and it doesn't really matter a whole lot which party is in power. Money talks, and the rest of us can either

1) Get angry enough to vote for someone else -- except the someone else will also be on same payroll, so don't expect much change

2) Complain a lot but do nothing

3) Start a revolution (but once the new government is in place, see #1)

In the long run, it's unlikely that there is anything the average person can do to help the situation. Possibly if everyone got mad enough to write their Congresscritter and complain about this vote, it might be stopped. For now. But then the FCC will still deep-six it. And before long, they will sneak the same damn thing through Congress. They always do.

Just remember, whenever you use any of our modern electronic media, THEY are listening and taking notes, "they" being NSA/GCHQ (or whatever flavor exists in your country), your ISP or phone carrier and anyone they feel like selling/sharing everything you say or do with. There is no privacy with electronic media. None. If you want to communicate privately with someone, go into a room with them and make sure there are no electronic gadgets there. (And if you're real paranoid, remember, even windows can be a problem.) Otherwise, whenever you converse with anyone, assume THEY are listening, because they pretty much are. You can try using ProtonMail or something, but eventually the governments will either backdoor it or outlaw it, so we'll all be back to square one.

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eBay dumps users into insecure authentication mechanism

ma1010
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Re: One laugh of a security measure

I like the idea of "BullshitSafe"! I do something like that with keepass. It has a "comment" field where you can store those little fictions, and I've used it for that.

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Ex penetrated us almost 700 times through secret backdoor, biz alleges

ma1010
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Facepalm

How about his replacement?

Whoever stepped into this guy's shoes should have audited all the user accounts him/her self. It's sort of important to know who has access to your network. After all, for all the new person knows, their predecessor was a twit who left an unauthenticated "Guest" account set up with full access to everything. Wouldn't be the first time that happened, either. So in early innings after taking over, a user account audit should have gone something like: "Who's this 'Jeff Manning'? Nobody knows him? Delete that account!"

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BOFH: Elf of Safety? Orc of Admin. Pleased to meet you

ma1010
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Thank you, Simon

Nothing like a BOFH to help make the day go a little better. Please keep them coming!

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Radioactive leak riddle: Now Team America sniffs Europe's skies for iodine isotope source

ma1010
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Joke

Re: "Constant Phoenix"

Hey, it's no worse than "MAGINOT BLUE STARS" or "CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN," the sort of names your Laundry spooks use.

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IBM to UK staff: Get ready for another game of musical chairs

ma1010
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Alert

Another dying company

Obviously, if you are unfortunate enough to work at IBM, it's time to look for another job. Another corporation killed by mismanagement.

I figure in a couple of years IBM will start filing lots of patent troll lawsuits which is a sure sign of a corporation going down the drain.

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Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious

ma1010
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Holmes

Mozilla, are you listening?

Someone should send Mozilla's bosses this article and the comments for their edification.

If they'd listen to their users, they'd end up with a much better product!

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UK prof claims to have first practical blueprint of a quantum computer

ma1010
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Re: whoooooosh

Arrrgh, I posted this then saw someone beat me to the main point! So I can only say that I agree that this sounds like the spreadsheet in the first Dirk Gently book: you give it the budget you WANT, and it comes up with justifications for it.

So maybe that's what these boffins are up to?

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Hyperloop sueball noose-man launches tube-travel rival

ma1010
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Trollface

Re: Quelle Surprise!

Also sounds a little bit like "Vogon." Not a nice association.

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Zut alors! Uber wrecked my marriage, fumes French businessman

ma1010
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Re: Oops

I work at a court. Now I know why red light camera tickets have the faces of any passengers blotted out!

It's surprising what you can learn reading El Reg.

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Android Wear: The bloatware that turned into gloatware

ma1010
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WTF?

Mostly it's a matter of "What's the point?"

Most of us carry smartphones these days. A smartwatch (except for possible pedometer-type and related "fitness" functions, a niche market) is pretty much redundant, it seems to me.

Like many people, I don't even wear a wristwatch anymore (after wearing one for 25+ years). After all, my computers, my house, my office, my car and my motorcycle all have clocks, and if I'm somewhere else, I can take out my phone and look at it if I need to know the time. For most of us, I think it's a question of why spend good quid on a redundant bit of kit like a smartwatch?

As has been said by others, it's pretty much a solution looking for a problem.

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More tech companies join anti-Trump battle, but why did some pay for his inauguration?

ma1010
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Holmes

This is surprising because?

I expect that if you looked, you'd find many of these companies also contributed to Clinton's campaign. It's called hedging your bets. No matter who wins, you can point out you "supported" them in their run for office and now reasonably expect some quid pro quo.

Now that Trump is doing something that may affect their lucrative H1B visa program, one of several different ways Silly Valley bosses use to keep tech salaries depressed for U.S workers, they're suddenly up in arms against Trump because they see it costing them lots of additional $ in salaries, quite possibly more than any political favors they were hoping to gain from the new regime. Please don't try to convince me that any of this opposition to Trump from Silly Valley has much of anything to do with whether Trump is morally right or wrong about immigration. As far as those people are concerned, it's all about the bottom line and always will be, and they've demonstrated by their past actions that they are quite happy to sacrifice others' well being to benefit that bottom line, no matter how many billions they already have in the bank.

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Samsung battery factory bursts into flame in touching Note 7 tribute

ma1010
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Joke

More corporate arrogance?

...Samsung has now seen its phones, washing machines, financial losses, and factories all explode in various ways. Also execs were caught in a massive corruption scandal.

I've heard that arrogant corporations have a tendency to self-destruct. It looks like Samsung is taking that to heart and in a rather literal fashion.

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Intel Atom chips have been dying for at least 18 months – only now is truth coming to light

ma1010
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Megaphone

Corporate weasels just can't learn

Corporations are like people: if you make a big mistake, you're generally much better off owning up to it, apologizing and undertaking to not do it again.

But scumbag weasels duck, dodge, lie, deflect and do anything else they can to try to avoid owning up to their screw-ups. Most people have no respect for weasels. Or weasel corporations. Like Intel appears to be turning into (if it wasn't already).

Even Steve Jobs finally admitted Apple screwed up on the "they're holding it wrong" iPhone. It's time for Intel to step up and take the blame, too.

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Broadband internet in New York is so garbage, the state's suing Charter

ma1010
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Flame

Re: Try to find the non-introductory prices

So TRUE! And that's why I still use DSL. It works well enough for me, and the cost is much more reasonable. I have no contract, and I don't have to worry about giant price hikes when the "introductory period" runs out.

I say kudos to the AG for going after these crooks. First Charter, next Comcast, I hope.

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Don't worry, America: Elon Musk says he'll have a word with Trump

ma1010
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For good or ill...

I found what Scott Adams is saying about Trump to be interesting. He says that this immigration order is just Trump being Trump - he always make a ridiculous "first offer" ("setting an anchor") then negotiates from there toward something more reasonable.

Adams was one of the few who believed during the early primaries that Trump would win not only the nomination, but the general election. Adams based that on Trump's persuasion skills which he says are world class. He's been right a lot, so maybe he's right about this too. You can read what Adams has to say about the immigration order here. IMHO, it's definitely worth looking at, whether you hate Trump or love him.

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Has President Trump’s executive order on 'Public Safety' killed off Privacy Shield?

ma1010
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Big Brother

Privacy?

What is this "privacy" thing of which you speak?

Haven't you heard of Snowden? Or NSA? Or GCHQ? Us 'Merikans have the "Patriot Act", but doesn't the U.K. have the "Snoopers Charter"? And just about every remotely modern country has multiple agencies that snoop on everything and everyone, the US, UK, France, China and everybody else, pretty much.

I'm not saying this is a good thing, because I don't think it is. However, hair splitting over Trump's order misses, I think, the simple reality: there is no privacy from any government's snooping. We can split all the hairs we want about this law or that law, but the reality is the government will ignore any and all laws when they decide they want to know anything about any of us. The law may hinder prosecution in some cases ("fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine), but they will spy to their hearts' content.

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National Audit Office: UK's military is buying more than it can afford

ma1010
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Pirate

And the winner is...

All those shiny new ships and aircraft will be of no use if they’ll just end up in mothballs.

No, they were of great use to the contractors who got paid a boatload of quid for them. Of course, they would earn the contractors even more for spares and support if kept in service, but BAE et al. would, I'm certain, be content to ride off into the sunset with just the initial costs after those assets are mothballed, should that happen.

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WTF? Francis Ford Coppola crowdsources Apocalypse Now game

ma1010
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Childcatcher

So, if you complete the game an WIN...

...you meet up with Captain Kurtz? Can the player collect some powerful tranquilizers and a strait jacket on the way there?

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Naughty sysadmins use dark magic to fix PCs for clueless users

ma1010
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Trollface

Re: "Mechanical Sympathy" and magic

"I repair neither computers nor software. I repair users.”

As does the BOFH. Often by use of a cattle prod.

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Oh, the things Vim could teach Silicon Valley's code slingers

ma1010
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So Very Right!

Truer words have never been said. Wish I could upvote that more than once.

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'Exploding e-cig cost me 7 teeth, burned my face – and broke my sink!'

ma1010
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WTF?

Was that vaper built by Samsung?

Just wondering.

Sounds like a hell of a lot of force to get from a small battery explosion. Perhaps it somehow shorted and dumped a bunch of energy into the heating element all at once, but even then it's hard to imagine getting that powerful a steam explosion from a tiny bit of liquid. Curious to see hear more about how something like that could happen.

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Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring

ma1010
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Good on Obama!

What Manning did may not have been the optimum thing, but I understand the horror he (now she) felt when viewing some of these documents (I was horrified by some of them) and the desire to publicize them as a way to put an end to what they revealed.

I think more good came of Manning's actions than harm, and am glad that Obama gave Manning a chance at having a life now.

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Valley techies to protest outside Palantir – Trump adviser's creepy citizen database biz

ma1010
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Holmes

But Trump said...

Okay, folks, let's review Campaign Promises 101: campaign promises are pretty much lies, m'kay? Trump (and Clinton, for that matter) made lots of promises which they had little, if any, interest in actually fulfilling. Election rhetoric is made for the purpose of getting elected. Once the candidate gets elected, the rhetoric pretty much goes into the bin. Sure, Trump said some scary things, but what evidence do we have that he plans to implement them?

If you've been following Trump at all recently, you can see that he's changed his tune already, even before he gets inaugurated. He's moving towards the middle of the road, which is to be expected if he has any hope of working with the majority of Congress (yes, including Republicans, most of whom are not really all that far right). I doubt Trump ever had any intention or desire to deport every illegal in the U.S. There are certainly some (criminals) we could do without, but most immigrants are fine people, and the U.S. is richer for having them here, and most people know that, even Trump. So no, I don't expect some database leading to 3:00 AM raids by the Stasi on the homes of illegal immigrants in the U.S. And from the attendance numbers of this event, it seems most other folks don't expect it, either.

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Trump fan Peter Thiel 'considering' CA Terminator role*

ma1010
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Re: Been There, Done That

California Republicans tend to be the stupidest of the lot nationwide, for some reason. They had an opportunity to make a mark on the state a few years ago when all they had to do was agree to put on the state ballot a measure that would increase one tax during the economic crash in 2008. Not adding a tax, mind, but just allowing people to vote for it if they wanted it. They refused. They said they would agree, but came up with a ridiculous laundry list of demands on the Democratic leadership that was rejected. The Democrats replied by managing to put a different law on the ballot removing the Republican's former ability to block the state budget every year, so now California Republicans have been pretty much marginalized by their own stupidity.

I doubt Republicans will ever control either house of the legislature in the foreseeable future. However, it is quite possible for a Republican to be elected governor.

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The top doc, the FBI, the Geek Squad informant – and the child porn pic that technically wasn't

ma1010
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Headmaster

Re: I'm not sure you can make the its not porn argument

You're almost right. However, a cop CAN go through your garbage without a warrant once you put it out for collection. There's a U.S. Supreme Court decision to that effect, California v. Greenwood, 486 U.S. 35 (1988).

Many, many cases have been solved by exactly that technique. I remember a case I saw recently where police solved a murder that way. They went through the garbage of a suspect in a robbery/homicide and found gloves and clothing that matched what a robber had worn as seen on video from the incident. That was enough probable cause for a search warrant, and they found enough more in the residence to get a conviction and take a killer off the streets.

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How Apple exploded Europe's crony capitalism

ma1010
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Headmaster

Re: CRTs

In Clarke's book 2001: A Space Odyssey, those devices were called "newspads" and were only for receiving/presenting information, not sending it. They had no "phone" capability at all, much less videophone capability built in. There's nothing like a cell phone in either the movie or book, AFAIK. One place where reality outstripped science fiction.

However, in Robert Heinlein's book Space Cadet, written in the 1950's, there a scene where one of the characters gets a call on his "pocket phone," so I guess it's really just a matter of what a particular author dreamed up.

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CIA director AOL email hacker coughs to crime

ma1010
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Megaphone

Re: Yeah, but

EXACTLY!

If I forget to lock my house when I go out, that doesn't make it okay for some thief to walk in and steal my property. It would have been fine to let the fed know about their poor security, possibly even to publicize the fact, but then to break into databases, publish the data and send threatening messages and phone calls? That's way over the line.

Federal laws here are generally horribly draconian, but most of the time they will offer a reasonable plea bargain. Personally, I think he does deserve some punishment for his actions, partly as a deterrent to others, but I hope they don't go overboard on it.

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Forget aircraft – now cretins are laser-blinding ferry boat crewmen

ma1010
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Re: Motive?

I don't begin to understand it, either. But there are lots of twisted people of this type. I think it's the same sort of mentality that writes viruses that just screw up computers and spreads them around to infect computers of people they don't even know. I've always wondered what the point of that was.

Perhaps more or less the same sort of motivation here? Just 5 year old mentalities playing with grown-up stuff, I guess.

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Google gives up YOUR private data to US govt – but won't hand over its OWN staff personal info

ma1010
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Holmes

As the article pretty much says

My irony meter is pegging.

I mean, this is GOOGLE, the guys who spy on EVERYBODY and want to know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE and who are happy to cough up anything they do know to Big Brother. But they draw the line at giving up data about their own employees, who seem to be the only ones for whose privacy they have the slightest consideration. Did someone say "hypocrites"?

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NASA plans seven-year trip to Jupiter – can we come with you, please?

ma1010
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Alien

Re: Artifacts Express- opening soon in an orbit near you!

Just hope it's not a Thrint. You really would not want to wake it up. (See Larry Niven's World of Ptavvs.)

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Assange confirmed alive, tells Fox: Prez Obama 'acting like a lawyer'

ma1010
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A pardon?

I have no idea what Trump will do, but I wouldn't mind seeing him issuing a pardon to Assange and, better yet, Snowden. Anyone who reveals illegal and evil activity should not be punished, but rewarded. After all, if some corporation were doing something highly illegal and pernicious, anyone bringing that to the light would normally be acclaimed for doing good by the public and government.

Unfortunately, that isn't how it works when it's the government whose nefarious behavior gets exposed. Then you get lots of jail time, which isn't really how it should be.

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Internet of Sh*t has an early 2017 winner – a 'smart' Wi-Fi hairbrush

ma1010
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Pirate

Re: Incredible (Talking Toilet Paper!!)

Well, it could be made by Sirius Cybernetics Corp. Then you'd get something like "Thank you for using this piece of toilet paper to wipe your ass today" or "Glad to be of service." How would you like to have to listen to THAT hung over in the morning after a bit of a knees up the night before?

Or, worse, they could have the sensors give you a status report, "Oh, it looks like you had a few Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters too many last night! And WHERE did you get that really nasty curry from?"

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