* Posts by DropBear

4219 posts • joined 4 Mar 2013

Yale Security Fail: 'Unexpected load' caused systems to crash, whacked our Smart Living Home app

DropBear
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2) No. My SII is working perfectly fine.

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DropBear
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Devil

Re: Unexpected load? Really?

"Or at least a physical key to unlock the wonderous computer controlled lock?"

I can only speculate, but I have a suspicion that it's a market-imposed constraint; playing the devil's advocate, I assume slapping a convenience electronic control module on top of a conventional key-based lock may simply not be a convincing value proposition for the average punter who looks at it and goes "I want an e-lock to ditch my keys, not to need to keep them on top of one more nuisance to configure and manage!"

PS - You don't actually need your keys - I haven't looked at this particular lock but I do have a Yale smartlock on my desk, and it should be unlockable via its keypad (or RF fob); also, it does not depend on the mains as it's battery powered (also operable with an external 9V battery if you let the internal ones go flat).

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DropBear
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Re: Let this be a lesson

@gerdesj I find your exquisite rigour and attention to detail immensely, uh... entertaining, considering that in my experience Home Assistant on its own regularly and gleefully breaks absolutely everything seven ways to hell simply by applying its latest version (at least as far as z-wave devices are involved - I have no idea what _you_ have and whether that fares better or actually worse, considering the fundamental issue is not technical but one of HA dev attitude).

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Oz intel committee: Crypto-busting is only bad if you're a commie, and we're not by the way

DropBear
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Re: Hashes are not encryption

"the process of converting information into code to prevent unauthorised access"

There are rather huge differences though - "encryption" usually kinda implies that the information can be recovered, which is not the case with hashing which is simply a fingerprint of that hashed data. Nothing can be recovered from it, it can only be compared to other hashes (usually produced from what you suspect the password might be).

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Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

DropBear
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Re: One reason for removable batteries...

"When the craze for personalised (loud, obnoxious) ringtones was at its height, it was an unfortunately common occurrence for people at my then workplace to wander off to interminable meetings leaving their phone behind on their desk. "

What do you mean "was", and why are you stalking my life?!?

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DropBear
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"you're no longer subjected to them in a professional environment any more"

...which is the point I realise that apparently I have never ever been in a professional environment. I'm definitely still hearing everyone's ringtone in any and all environments I've seen.

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Ex-Huawei man claims Chinese giant is suing his startup to 'surpass' US tech dominance

DropBear
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Re: Employee poaching?

And I regard the vacuum of deep space as the only appropriate location for asshats who try to "own" your acquired experience. It may or may not be quite legal to pull it off, mind you - I wouldn't know; but if it is, it damn well shouldn't be.

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Haunted disk-drive? This story will give you the chills...

DropBear
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Ghost in the machine

If you're looking for spooky computer-related stuff, there's no need to go any further than a certain fairly popular upload sharing site that uses an old-school text-based orange captcha box instead of the ubiquitous "you shall train our AI" Google ones: I swear almost all of the text it throws at you has a distinctly whimsical / spooky quality - it is very, very obviously _not_ random text, to the point where you fact-of-the-matter start expecting one of the texts to say either "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that", "take me to your leader" or just "doooooo eeeeeet!" any moment now. Laugh all you want, but I swear the choice of those 2-3 words it throws at you each time... is genuinely unsettling.

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FYI: Drone maker DJI's 'Get it on Google Play' website button definitely does not get the app from Google Play...

DropBear
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Re: Walled Garden

Hear, hear! If you can't make your own judgements regarding what you trust and what you don't, if you're trying to defer responsibility* for what you install on your hardware, then you have no business operating it. You will NOT get more security** by using a centralized store, but you WILL get extra walls, arbitrary rules of what is "allowed" and what is not, loss of privacy by definition concerning what you have installed, having your choices screwed with by definition through the order in which your search results get ranked and sorted, being bombarded with shit about "you might want to also install / what others use" and much, much more. Woohoo, what's not to like...?!?

* That's not something you can do anyway; that responsibility is yours regardless of whether you accept it or not and whether you are capable of handling it or not - the consequences won't give a shit either way. It won't be Google who stays safe or get pwned: it will be _you_.

** So is stand-alone app "X" trustworthy _enough_ to install, yes or no? No...? Okay, you can get it from the app store too - did that suddenly make it trustworthy enough? See, of course it didn't. It's completely irrelevant how much "more" secure that allegedly makes it. If your judgement hinges on having "X" scanned by an app store, you absolutely deserve everything you gonna get.

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DropBear
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Re: That's actually a good feature

Why the hell would I want a Google account just to use a smartphone, whether it is an Android or not?!?

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Chinese biz baron wants to shove his artificial moon where the sun doesn't shine – literally

DropBear
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Re: Alternatively - as a weapon ...

I'd very much like to know how you define "small", seeing as how the Sun in NOT a point source - but rather a sphere (disc) with a diameter of one and a half million kilometres, each square foot of which is still illuminating Earth unless you have some part of your "small" disc covering it. The shadow of an object smaller than the Sun, placed between it and the Earth is actually a cone tapering off into nothing behind said object because of that. And notably, the Earth isn't a point target either. To black out just one single parking lot on Earth you would need an object of at least that equal size between it and the Sun, in close Earth orbit. How would you propose blacking out anything larger, with a _single*_ object of realistic dimensions, disc or not?

* Yes, you might be able to send up lots of cargo launches of innumerably many small objects and try to disperse them into a huge cloud to cover a sizeable chunk of the Earth, but that is an entirely different thing and still definitely nowhere near "small"...

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Microsoft points to a golden future where you can make Windows 10 your own

DropBear
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Re: Deinstall parts of W10?

"I'm holding on to Win7 for now, but what's everyone else planning to do in Jan 2020? "

Nothing. Updates were of no concern to any windows computer I ever had so far, starting from DOS. Over two decades of absolutely zero problems caused by that, I think I can manage a little longer. Especially considering I'm in the process of moving over to Mint anyway - at least as soon as it remembers how to check for and notify about new mail that isn't Google's.

As for gaming - I'm not excluding that it might come to Win10 being unavoidable for that at some point. Being a stubborn but first and foremost practical person, if that ever happens I'll just install it onto what will never be more than an empty hardware shell as far as it is concerned. I'll encrypt all other partitions and Win10 will not get a key; it will never see a single email, document or picture of mine; and it will connect out through its own empty VLAN walled off from absolutely anything else I have on my LAN. But that's in the far future, maybe - the near one has no Win10 in any way shape or form in it for me.

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DropBear
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No idea if they're still distributed like that, but I was doing just fine downloading a browser to a new win box by FTP, using nothing more elaborate than the CLI "ftp" command...

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Someone's in hot water: Tea party super PAC group 'spilled 500,000+ voters' info' all over web

DropBear
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Meh

Nah...

In almost any practical democracy today the politicians are exactly as afraid of the voters and their choices as mobile carriers are terrified about you moving to one of the other ones due their abysmal customer service. Except of course all of them are exactly equally shitty and they know that you know that.

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is worth 154 median minions

DropBear
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Re: With the pay-check this guy's making ...

"I absolutely have no idea why I'm studying medicine."

...when you could be studying IT instead and end up working for less than €10000. Yes, per year. Yes, within the EU. Yes, it's still considerably more than the hoi polloi's loot. Dreaming about what it would have been like being a proper human being like a lawyer* or a doctor instead.

* Okay, fine, semantics; they clearly aren't human by any other definition.

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Chrome 70 flips switch on Progressive Web Apps in Windows 10 – with janky results

DropBear
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WTF?

Bollocks, to the lot of you. Full-width is exactly how the internet used to look like back in the pre-2.0 good days when its biggest flaws to complain about were blink tags, animated gifs and page backgrounds resembling Outlook stationery. But you did give me an idea, so I tried looking at a few articles here isolating and widening the article text only - and it's simultaneously shocking and depression-inducing how massively better it looks that way, instead of the currently ubiquitous "fuck two thirds of your screen, mate!". Actually I might just have to add a few lines to my styling script to try showing the whole site permanently like that. Oh, and guess what - I could still read each and every line just fine. Turns out all you need is knowing how to read. Astonishing really...

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Pixel 3 XL reveals innards festooned with glue and... Samsung?

DropBear
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Re: "replete with a hidden ribbon cable"

Still a piss-poor choice of words. Synonym or not, I have never seen "replete" used instead of "complete".

"Did You Know?

Given that one of the roots of replete is the Latin verb plēre, meaning "to fill," it isn't surprising that the word has synonyms such as "full" and "complete." "Replete," "full," and "complete" all indicate that something contains all that is wanted or needed or possible, but there are also subtle differences between the words. "Full" implies the presence or inclusion of everything that can be held, contained, or attained ("a full schedule"), while "complete" applies when all that is needed is present ("a complete picture of the situation"). "Replete" is the synonym of choice when fullness is accompanied by a sense of satiety."

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DropBear
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Trollface

Re: Recycling

"I remember reading about car manufacturers experimenting with plastics that deformed when heated so that it was easy to separate them from metal components for recycling."

An obvious dead-end; what we really need are clearly a myriad of 5G/WiFi-connected Smart Bolts, each running a tiny (but non-updatable) full-scale Linux stack inside, that can be commanded to let go by anyone in possession of the correct engineering keys and credentials who bothers to ping them. Just think of what that could do to IPv6 uptake rates...!

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DropBear
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Re: 4/10 for repairability?

And that sounds exactly like what they all should get, if they're all this miserable to dismantle / fix...

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UK.gov to press ahead with online smut checks (but expects £10m in legals in year 1)

DropBear
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Devil

Re: "Why can't we have both?"

"a right pain to get out of the bed sheets"

I've been told that's what those PVC sheets every single sex shop sells are for.

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DropBear
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Trollface

But what if they just declare your site's content "100% pussy" and shut you down anyway?!?

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Arm PSA IoT API? BRB... Toolbox of tech to secure net-connected kit opens up some more

DropBear
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I'm sure if any manufacturer picks this up, they will love the "only we can install new firmware and you'll get it whether you like it or not" feature. Which is fine, just as long as they don't expect me to buy any of their tat infected with it.

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Sure, Europe. Here's our Android suite without Search, Chrome apps. Now pay the Google tax

DropBear
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Re: TANSTAAFL

Wow, this got some attention... Thanks to everyone who replied! Let me try to address some of it...

@Come to the Dark Side "Not sure I follow what you mean by "non-web-access email"

Email that can be accessed not only trough a web interface, but also from a desktop client via POP3/IMAP. Last time I checked, this was a very serious problem with free hosts in the sense of "haha, nope" which is somewhat understandable seeing as how they can't even fling ads at me if I'm not using their web interface. Admittedly, that check was some time ago.

@_LC_ "Is this a joke? Employ your search engine of choice and enter “best free e-mail providers”

Rest assured, certainly not a joke. See reply above. I did, and quite literally the only free ones I found were Google, Yahoo and GMX. Concerning the latter, see also below.

@Jamie Jones "Is your issue with the service, or the apps?"

Strictly speaking: neither, or both - While Gmail is perfectly usable as-is, I'm not appreciating all the snoop going on; but if I leave Google, obviously both the app AND the service would need to go.

@DavCrav "I downloaded WeMail for that. Works like GMail, accesses your GMail inbox [...]"

Thanks for the suggestion, that app might come in handy yet...

@Dan 55 "You need a webmail provider that offers IMAP IDLE and an Android client. If you can't find the info any other way you can test if it's got IMAP IDLE by telnetting to the IMAP server and port. If you want a quick answer try GMX.com with K9 Mail on Android."

Ok, IMAP IDLE might work, further studies needed. As for GMX, they can die in a fire, hopefully. I did have an account with them which they simply booted me out of without explanation citing only unidentified ToS crimes. Which is bullshit, considering that I really, really, REALLY wasn't doing much anything at all with the account and absolutely definitely nothing that would have been against their ToS . Nevertheless, after an appeal the only answer I got was that their decision stands, for mysterious reasons that continue to be none of my business, apparently. So pardon me if I hope to see them firebombed some glorious day, because they definitely deserve it.

@David Nash "Just get a domain and a simple mail service from one of many providers (I use 1&1)"

See above - last checked, there was NO such thing as POP/IMAP accessible free mail outside those Big Three. I am not sure how to find any non-free but reasonable ones that would be worth moving to from Gmail (after all I really don't want all the exact same downsides and some more with none of the upsides) ,but thanks for the tip-off, I'll look into 1&1.

@ Claptrap314 "I find it weird that no one attacked your premises that 1) an email client with your desired features should be available for free and 2) you should be notified about personal emails instantly while at work."

1) You may have overlooked the "or low-cost" part in the original post; at least concerning the service - I do have a free email client on desktop (Thunderbird) thank you very much and my phone does have a built-in generic email client - all I would be interested in is some mechanism that would notify me near-instantly when I get new mail, like Gmail Push does. Which brings us to:

2) You may be forgiven for not realising that very much unlike some people's Facebook stream, my email gets 5-6 mails total on a good day, essentially none of which are personal in nature (but rather formulaic notifications from standard sources such as merchants, Kickstarter, Patreon etc.), which I spend roughly thirty seconds on to parse, each. And my employer can fuck the fucking fuck off and die if he doesn't like that - hell will shatter to a zillion tiny bits due to frost shrinkage stress before you'll manage to guilt trip me for spending that kind of amount of "my employer's time" on that. No offence, natch.

"I'm not ready to cede either of these points."

That's OK. Me neither.

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DropBear
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Most of all of that I would be fine without actually, the sticking point for me is email (including the "instant" push notification of having received one - my "email-checker" currently is the "ping" of my phone...). Deride all you want, I _do_ need an email address and the only free ones left I could find offering NON-web based access (ie. for Thunderbird) were Google and Yahoo. No, I'm not going to use my ISP-provided address (if they even actually provide one - no idea. Just _nope_.) No, I'm not going to install an email server at home considering I don't even have a fixed IP and wouldn't begin to have the foggiest idea about how to set up and secure one properly (not to mention spam filtering sucks by definition when you can't compare to what everybody else receives en-masse). No, I'm absolutely definitely categorically not going to start renting a cloud server so I can (fail to) do the same on someone else's hardware.

So the question remains open - are there actually any third-party (either free or low-cost) non-web-access email providers sufficiently trustworthy to make switching from Google mail worthwhile - preferably EU-based and with some sort of quick-notification mechanism on Android...? Because I'm willing to endure a lot to appease my tin foil hat, but past a certain point practical need trumps all, no discussion, full stop.

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Google Cloud chief joins Saudi shindig exodus over journalist's worrying disappearance

DropBear
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Re: @Trilkhai re @amanfromMars 1

No. "You're an idiot" is an ad-hominem. "Your posts are literally unreadable" isn't - it is addressing the substance of your "arguments".

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Alexa heard what you did last summer – and she knows what that was, too: AI recognizes activities from sound

DropBear
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Big Brother

Re: oh.. They'll know

And pay no attention to the faint "tk... tk... tk..." coming continually from the box - it's just pinging the room, trying to echo-locate anyone moving inside. Which is essential information. To Us. For your own protection. From yourself. Oh and don't you worry, the protection of you personal information is "incredibly important" to us...

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Finally. The palm-sized Palm phone is back. And it will, er, save you from your real smartphone

DropBear
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Re: WTAF?

I don't get the use case either. Apparently it does ALL of the exact same things as your main phone, except... on a smaller screen? And using the same phone number...? But what can I do with it that I can't with the main one?

If I wanted a second phone, I could just get a small new one for $30 or so or just re-commission an older one I still have and charge (now only for alarm clock purposes, but it's working perfectly fine nonetheless...). And bollocks to the "less distractions" angle - it looks like it has all the exact same sources of distraction, and besides there's nothing preventing one to set up one's main phone to distract less. WTF?

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DropBear
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Re: Bizarre

No. I basically have two completely independent sets of personal data management apps on my phone, ex factory: one by Google, one by Samsung. Which one do you think supports syncing to a non-connected, offline desktop app? That's right, neither. All they let you do is look at what you have on your phone - while it's plugged in.

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EU aren't kidding: Sky watchdog breathes life into mad air taxi ideas

DropBear
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O RLY?

"In conventional fixed-wing aircraft, loss of an engine means you start gliding back to terra firma under the pilot’s control. In a helicopter, autorotation happens: the main rotor keeps turning thanks to wind pressure, providing enough lift to make a controlled descent to a safe landing."

...and in basically all modern "air taxi" prototypes which tend to be many-rotor aircraft, you won't even notice the loss of one of them if you have a bit of luck. At worst, you'll find it advisable to land as soon as possible, but plummeting is not on the table, as long as those devising the flight software were something other than monkeys with typewriters.

Multiple redundant power supplies would be expected and with four rotors you don't need them all to land in a reasonable manner. With six, you can even pretend nothing happened. And there are actual flying designs with eleventy billion smaller rotors - those would be basically indestructible short of dropping a bridge on them or flying them into a mountain.

ALL OF WHICH are inherently safer than either fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft having to snowflake down to the ground unpowered, trying to stay in the air very much like a brick doesn't, placing its hopes and prayers on the ability of the pilot to crash at least somewhat gracefully.

PS: ...also? Parachutes ARE a thing on these, and they deploy basically instantly. Look up "ballistic parachute" some day.

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Samsung’s flexible phone: Expect an expensive, half-bendy clamshell

DropBear
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Re: "Clamshell phones have all but died out"

Tell anyone in Asia that clamshells are dead

and they'll be wondering whether you're mad.

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DropBear
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Re: Obvious

Duh, of course it's obvious. And of course it gets granted anyway. That's patents for you these days. Hopefully you have more money than $industry_giant if you wish to dispute it legally though. Sometimes I think I should just patent "method and apparatus for transporting liquids by counteracting gravity through forming a concave shape" and start collecting license fees from everyone who wants a glass of water...

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DropBear
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Re: I still think a bifold device will be a market failure

Except a "square" is just fine by me - I would hope to use it as a book reader, and the format would be just fine for that. Incidentally, it's why I would have no interest at all in a "clamshell" folder. One would think web browsing would be also significantly enhanced seeing as how the current 2:1 displays either show five lines of text in landscape or "hahaha get an electron microscope" in portrait.

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GDPR stands for Google Doing Positively, Regardless. Webpage trackers down in Europe – except Big G's

DropBear
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Re: GDPR and why Google isn't being sued

They are. See my reply to Irongut above. Not entirely sure what the legal technicalities are regarding lawsuits vs. complaints to data protection authorities, but one should not forget this is THE Max Schrems we are talking about. I trust he knows what he's doing.

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DropBear
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Which is exactly why NOYB jumped on them immediately as soon as GDPR went into effect. The only thing is, legal matters aren't exactly a "blink of an eye" business; but the complaints _are_ filed.

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AI's next battlefield is literally the battlefield: In 20 years, bots will fight our wars – Army boffin

DropBear
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Devil

Re: Insanity

Why of course they have - they just had the opposite reaction to it than you did...

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DropBear
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Mushroom

Re: AI ? We don't need no steenking AI.

Yeah, about that - it always honestly puzzled me. Is it truly so directional anyone behind it would be considered safe...? Naive question perhaps, but what little conventional wisdom a civilian might have regarding traditional explosive stuff generally indicates you don't want to be _anywhere_ around any of them when they go off...

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DropBear
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Re: The Wizard of Boston

What he said ^. "Battle Bots" is what a remotely controlled hunk of metal looks like. Boston Dynamics "robots" may lack actual AI for proper autonomous operation but as far as immediate locomotion goes any computing power is potentially remote merely for convenience, not because it couldn't be built in. And frankly "shoot anything that moves or just raise the alarm if anything does" as dumb and limited as it may be, is not the hard part when robots are involved - that "not falling on your ass at the first rock" part is.

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DropBear
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Thumb Down

Re: Humans will always have the most important battlefield role

"the citizens are responsible"

So what's your favourite - ye olde lead or trusty old Cyklon-B...? Maybe we should make them pay for it in advance too...

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Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved

DropBear
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Facepalm

Another RSS El Reg reader here - I have quite a few "live bookmarks" and have never read RSS any other way; looked at a few readers a while back but just didn't see the point - "live bookmarks" work just fine and Feed Sidebar lights up a button whenever there's something to read and lists the titles nicely by site on the left. I guess Mozilla just really, REALLY wants to make sure I never even consider using their latest crap.

What I don't understand is, if they think RSS is obsolete - what are they proposing instead? How are you supposed to be notified that a site you haven't been to for two years sprung back to life and emitted a new post...? And FYI I mean some way other than a Facebook feed whatever that might be because fuck Facebook sideways.

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Does Google make hardware just so nobody buys it?

DropBear
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Re: Dropbear

The utility of a wide e-book reader might be debatable (although I would prefer a "two page" one given the choice), but the point I was trying to make was merely that at the time Amazon launched their tablet the "colour" tag was not really redundant - it really was their first device with a honest-to-goodness colour screen...

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DropBear
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Re: If you build it will they come?

Yes. Otherwise known as "an e-reader". Traditionally equipped with a very low-power, but also very slow and black-and-white screen. When you're Amazon and that's where you're coming from, your tablet being a colour one is a meaningful distinction, even if e-readers aren't quite really "tablets"...

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Shortages, price rises, recession: Tech industry preps for hard Brexit

DropBear
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Pint

Conjure up more energy from heck knows where for Yet Another Brexit Shouting Match or imagine the bliss of holding a cold one in a few hours...? Hmmm, choices, choices...

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With sorry Soyuz stuffed, who's going to run NASA's space station taxi service now?

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: Still mad about the Shuttle program...

"1969-06-20 (Orbit Yuri Gagarin) - 1961-04-12 (first moonlanding)"

Wait, Gagarin's orbit happened _after_ the moon landing...?!?

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Yale Weds: Just some system maintenance, nothing to worry about. Yale Thurs: Nobody's smart alarm app works

DropBear
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Trollface

They fuxxored up the live system then "restored" that over the backups instead of the other way around, didn't they...,

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Astroboffins discover when white and brown dwarfs mix, the results are rather explosive

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: Interesting what a range of chemcials you can make just banging some near stars together

"if you wait long enough you'll get to Iron"

Oh thank heavens, we finally found something we can call "ironic" without fear of being immediately contradicted...

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DropBear
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Re: Cygnus, which is shaped like a swan

It's quite true though; constellations hold the absolute worse record at pareidolia. Compared to how much most of them actually resemble their names to any degree, perceived images of Jesus on knotted wood or toast are practically photorealistic stuff. Which is probably why the constellations are named wildly different things in different cultures, even when the formation is distinctive enough to consist of pretty much the same stars in most of its variants. Is it a dipper, is it a cart or is it a bear then...? Screw that nonsense, I get that we're stuck with it but it's still indefensible...

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PC makers: Intel CPU shortages are here to stay ... for six months

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: Pah... when I was a kid...

I spent £100 on FOUR MEGABYTES...

Luxury! I can't even recall how much I've spent on a 256K DIP RAM chip to double my Trident video card's memory, back when video cards were still RAM-extensible...

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Google and Microsoft boffins playing nicely together to stop replay attacks in their tracks

DropBear
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Trollface

Yeah, that meddling Balfanz just HAD to get in there and mess everything up. Without him, we could have called this the PoNy Protocol...

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Russian 'troll factory' firebombed – but still fit to fiddle with our minds

DropBear
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Trollface

See, that's what happens when you're not doing it properly, using Greek fire...

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Chinese Super Micro 'spy chip' story gets even more strange as everyone doubles down

DropBear
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Red pill or blue pill? There is no 'neither' option...

People seem to think this is an case of either "we are being spied upon by preposterously crafty chips" or "nothing really happened, move along", apparently forgetting that the latter option is off the table. Either the former case is true, or if it is not, then someone went to a lot of trouble setting up a large scale scam sufficiently elaborate to convince / fool a major news outlet - that in itself is very much major news if so. The option with zero actual credibility is "oh, Bloomberg just had a bad dream..."

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