* Posts by hellwig

334 posts • joined 3 Mar 2016

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Today in bullsh*t AI PR: Computers learn to read as well as humans (no)

hellwig
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What is the name of the southern border?

Would the machine have still returned that answer? It would have to understand language to know that "southern" is logistically equivalent to "to the south" in this context, even when re-ordered to proceed the noun. That's how our human brains work.

If we all talk like robots, should it not be easy for the robots to understand us?

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Intel, Microsoft confess: Meltdown, Spectre may slow your servers

hellwig
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Intel Product Assurance and Security

Sorry, but Intel owns McAfee, so don't they already have an entire business segment dedicated to security?

Oh right, McAfee, nevermind.

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Teach citizens IoT dangers, engineering students cybersecurity, Uncle Sam suggests

hellwig
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IPv6 Too Big to Scan?

Isn't the issue with IPv6 that with dedicated address spaces, it will be easier to guess the addresses for certain organizations or manufacturers? Doesn't matter that the IP space is 128 bits if the first 96 bits are always the same for something you're trying to attack.

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FBI says it can't unlock 8,000 encrypted devices, demands backdoors for America's 'public safety'

hellwig
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8000 Devices?

So we're looking at possibly 8000 9/11s? 8 kilo-9/11s? Shoot, is there a El Reg unit to cover this sort of potential catastrophe?

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How are the shares, Bry? Intel chief cops to CPU fix slowdowns

hellwig
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Amazon Pricing

Has Amazon appropriately adjusted it's pricing to reflect the reduced performance of certain workloads? or should people send those bills straight to Intel.

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More stuff broken amid Microsoft's efforts to fix Meltdown/Spectre vulns

hellwig
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Re: Systems without an AV may need the reg key to be set manually

I'm assuming they'll just bug you to enable Windows Defender over and over.

Cue the EU lawsuit in 3..... 2.....

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Microsoft patches Windows to cool off Intel's Meltdown – wait, antivirus? Slow your roll

hellwig
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McAfee?

My employer uses McAfee, so I assume we must already be patched and ready to go. I feel so secure.

Find out how you can make US 10.000$ a week working from home Visit $URL;> to find out more.

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

hellwig
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Re: Hmmm...

If written intelligently, the kernel would detect the CPUID and supported instruction sets, and apply itself appropriately.

Ideally the kernel would flag all Intel chips, and once Intel fixes their problem, Intel releases a new feature flag that indicates a fix to the problem that the kernel could also flag off of.

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To Puerto Ricans: A Register apology

hellwig
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Really, is this the FCCs responsibility?

Tracking cell tower repair rates seems like the responsibility of the Free Market, not some government bureaucracy. Really, this seems like a perfect fit for the FTC to handle. If the Puerto Ricans don't like the repair rates, they're free to use other companies.

Of course, they're going to have to pay some high tariffs, just like any other foreign state would. Lousy ocean-mexicans!

</sarcasm>

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Checkmate: DeepMind's AlphaZero AI clobbered rival chess app on non-level playing, er, board

hellwig
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This is NOT AI

The neural network took the positions on the board as input, and spat out a range of moves and chose the one with the highest chance of winning at every move. It learned this by self-play and using a Monte Carlo tree search algorithm to sort through the potential strategies.

I f*cking KNEW it! I said this months ago when it beat GO. At some point, it could catalog enough moves to basically know where to go from any point. So it basically kept playing itself at each move, and had enough processing power to compute probably billions of moves in the one minute it allocated to each real move. The less possible moves remaining, the more likely it was to find a successful path through to nearly guarantee against a loss (it tied 72% of the time).

In high-school I tried this approach with a Mancala game. I gave the game a few seconds to basically try each possible move and build up a tree of most-likely-to-succeed moves. It sucked because I didn't really understand proper Mancala strategy and my high-school coding skills sucked, but apparently I was just lacking the hardware. If only I was programming in a 32-bit instruction set at the time.

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Google lies about click-fraud refunds and tried to destroy us – ad biz

hellwig
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Google Evil?.................... *sarcastic shocked face*

As an ad company, it only makes sense.

These company's shouldn't be upset about the money, think of the EXPOSURE they've gotten. EXPOSURE is the future of currency, not yer fancy BitDollars or whathaveyou.

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America's drone owner database is baaaack! Just in time for Xmas

hellwig
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How will they enforce this?

Will Toys R Us, Walmart, and everyone selling these drones (seems like most drones are too heavy) require registration at time of purchase? How did 800,000 people even know they had to register their drone in the first place? Is there a very popular drone message board out there for drone enthusiasts?

If I bought my nephew a drone, would I have to fill out the registration? Or does he have to do that after he gets it in the mail? Are police going to be walking around demanding that anyone flying a drone present their registration papers? If the police had those kinds of resources, drones wouldn't be a problem to begin with.

Every state requires you register your car, but if you park it in your garage at night, chances are they won't catch your expires plates unless they pull you over for some other reason. Plenty of people drive around with expired registration or even licenses. How do we plan to police drones?

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hellwig
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Re: Metric

boo, take yer fancy metric system with your centiliters and your millimeters BACK to hell with you!

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Developers, developers, developers: How 'serverless' crowd dropped ops like it's hot

hellwig
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Lambda functions much be completely composable. No exceptions.

Sounds time consuming. If these lambda functions are small tasks, why would you want each and every invocation to re-authenticate and re-cache common data?

I was always under the assumption that getting data was the expensive (from CPU time) part of the equation. It's weird that in a cloud infrastructure, the cost to pull data from anywhere in the world seems NOT to be a concern anymore.

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OK Google: A stranger with stash of pirated films is spamming my Google Team Drive

hellwig
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re: advice

I think the real advice should be to use a company with a better reputation for quality of execution, support, etc...

Google is an advertising company, everything else is just a hobby for them.

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Don't rely on us to protect the open internet, warns FTC Commissioner

hellwig
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What?

So the FTC can't regulate the internet? But Pai has been telling us it's really their expertise to regulate trade, they are the Federal TRADE Commission.

Could.... could Pai be wrong? Or worse, a BLATANTLY CORRUPT Piece of Sh*t?

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Stop your moaning, says maker of buggy Bluetooth sex toy

hellwig
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Why STORE the audio?

If the app stores this as a "cache" and doesn't send it anywhere, and this guy only happened upon the file by accident, why does it "cache" the audio at all?

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Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

hellwig
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Re: Sad really... <code comments>

Perl doesn't lend it self any more or less to lack of comments, the problem is the syntax of Perl can be so complex, you really need the comments.

I find myself adding plenty of comments to my Perl, so I can remember WTH I was doing when I wrote it a few months ago. But I always add comments, that's just a habit built up in school. Just like math teachers make you show your work, my CS teachers made us add comments.

But then, I suppose so many "developers" these days are self-taught, which is why A) they don't comment anything and B) they complain about how hard Perl is.

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hellwig
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Sad really...

What's wrong with Perl? It's a great text processing language and was around long before your precious Python came about. Oh Python, meaningful white-space? Really?

If you hate regular expressions, your problem isn't just with Perl (Perl just makes them easier).

Now, people CAN do stupid things with Perl. People can do stupid things with any language, but the stupider you are, the easier it is in Perl.

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Google's phone woes: The Pixel and the damage done

hellwig
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Everything Google does is in Beta

Google's problem is they haven't grown out of the quirky young startup phase trying to find their place in the world. Start-ups do one thing, they develop an idea most of the way until they can produce it, then hope it gets picked up by either consumers or VCs to the point of establishing a "real" company.

Google doesn't need VC money anymore, but they don't have a concept of good and bad ideas. They just have ideas, so they throw them out into the world and see if anything catches on. Then they TINKER endlessly until the resulting product is no longer recognizable, resign to the fact that the public just doesn't like what the product is anymore, and cancel it.

Google is an advertising company, they just can't admit that to themselves.

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IBM offloads Notes and Domino to India's HCL Technologies

hellwig
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Last time I used Notes

It took something like four or five mouse clicks to mark emails as Read. And of course, the action wasn't called "Mark As Read".

A failure to understand what your application is doing is a big way to look like a fool. If you offer an email client, maybe do some research on what an email client actually is.

If Notes did anything else, we never used it.

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Verizon coughs up $18m after crooked contractor overcharged NY schools

hellwig
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FCC Taking Action AGAINST Verizon?

I'm sure the 3-year FCC compliance program will be personally overseen by Pai.

Just don't question why overseeing the program involves all-expenses paid trips to Caribbean islands or new vacations homes.

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GarageBanned: Apple's music app silenced in iOS 11 iCloud blunder

hellwig
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Re: "Countless 32-bit apps"

I'm not saying Apple is wrong to switch to 64-bit. But to say that every developer is now responsible for updating their product ignores that Apple is the one forcing the switch. For some of those people, even the $99 app developer fee is not worth it, so the app dies. That app died BECAUSE of Apple's actions, not the inaction of the developer.

If you point a gun at someone and tell me to stop you, it's not my fault if you actually shoot them.

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hellwig
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Re: "Countless 32-bit apps"

Remember when people used to create things that were simple enough or good enough that they didn't need to change?

Does your "Flashlight" app really need to be 64-bit? I know the OS is now 64-bit, but if you have an ad-free flashlight app, WHY would anyone care to update it?

Now, yes, there are millions of Flashlight apps, and you might even find an ad-free one around still, but seriously, there's zero reason for the original author to A) re-up their App developer fee (something android does not have, BTW) and B) recompile in 64-bit OTHER than Apple forcing them to.

It IS Apple's fault, because APPLE is the one who changed. Sorry if some of us buy things and expect them to last for a few years.

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Microsoft concedes to Mozilla: Redmond will point web API docs at Moz Dev Network

hellwig
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MDN? Never heard of it.

I use the "Help" menu in Microsoft FrontPage 97. Hasn't let me down yet.

But seriously, never heard of it. Not that I'm a web developer, but when I have HTML, CSS, or JavaScript questions, Google usually serves up links from W3schools or StackExchange (depending on how restricted my question is).

So, this has been around 12 years? Might want to work on their search page ranking.

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Has Git ever driven you so mad you wanted to bomb it? Well, now you can with this tiny repo

hellwig
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Git solved Linus's problems, most of us don't have those.

People love Git because it's new. People loved CVS because it worked, then people loved SVN because it was newer.

The problem with Git is that "distributed" is a buzz-word, not an actually useful feature. No system is truly distributed. Even bittorrent had to have seeders and indexes. Even Skype (before MS) had super-nodes. You will have a central Git repository, something that controls access and maintains a master copy (what, every employee connects to "Joe's PC" to fetch your repo? doubt it).

You can get internet access almost everywhere these days. I've never quite understood why I would need the whole repo on my own PC. I can browse history without pinging the server? Great, and when I see Joe made the change that broke something, I have to wait until I get internet access again to ask him about it. Boy did that make me more productive or what?

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Dumb bug of the week: Apple's macOS reveals your encrypted drive's password in the hint box

hellwig
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Why, what?

Question, why is the password stored at all, anywhere? Shouldn't it be immediately hashed?

This was addressed by clearing hint storage if the hint was the password, and by improving the logic for storing hints.

Improving "logic" for storing hints. I suppose it used to be

if (True) {

Store_Hint(Password.To_Plain_Text());

}

and now its

if (False) {

Store_Hint(Password.To_Plain_Text());

}

else {

Store_Hint(Hint.To_Plain_Text());

}

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Google finds 200m more people to advertise to in a single day

hellwig
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re: former colony

'Murica! 'Murica!

Hey, can we get a 'Murica icon over here?

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Introducing EE4J – Java EE's fling with the Eclipse Foundation

hellwig
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Open Source?

Considering how difficult Oracle makes it to work with standard Java, how will a claimed "open source" Java EE actually work? Aren't the special Oracle extensions to Oracle's standard Java part of their complaint about people not licensing it (I'm pretty sure that's they're whole basis for their lawsuit against Google's Android)? Now they're going to open-source Java's bigger more expensive brother, and the world will just join hands and sing Kumbaya?

Or am I misunderstanding what "open source projects" means? Will Java EE still be pay to play? Sometimes I just don't understand how any of this crap works. I don't develop for Java if that's not clear.

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The axeman strikes again: Microsoft has real commitment issues

hellwig
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Re: "The real problem is that they need to identify things they can do well"

I miss my Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0. Five buttons + 1-D scroll wheel (never used the left-right feature of recent mice) and most importantly, WIRED!!!

But apparently those mice weren't sexy enough, remember the Arc mouse?

Wires, those get in the way, why not use buggy proprietary wireless communications? Five buttons, nah, Four buttons is the key (and we'll map that fourth key by default to "Search",because why the f*ck not?)!!! And well-sized to fit the hand? Nope, low-profile is the way to go.

Seriously, those were great mice. I'm using some generic chinese "gaming" mouse now because I need the buttons and the wire. Can't imagine there's much margin in mouse technology these days, so why mess with a sure thing? Corporate incompetence is all I can fiture.

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Patch your Android, peeps, it has up to 14 nasty flaws to flog

hellwig
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My LG G4 is stuck on Android 6.0, and my "Android security patch level" is "2017-04-01". No security updates since April? Wonderful!!!

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Tech VCs sue Uncle Sam over President Trump's immigration chill

hellwig
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Foreign Business Folks Hire Foreign Workers and Relocate, Foreignly

How many people who come to the USA to take advantage of the vast pool of VC funds stay in the USA and hire US citizens?

How many, instead, take advantage of the VC funds, but hire foreign nationals on various visa's (or even at remote locations), and eventually return to (or technically never leave) their nation of origin?

Heck, so many companies are using corporate inversions to relocate their financial headquarters to tax-friendly countries, why would a company founded by non-citizens be enticed to remain in the US?

VCs may want to make money, but that doesn't mean the country itself benefits. And to be honest, I don't think the VCs are even making such a claim.

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Cost of Africa's internet shutdowns? $1m a day – quarter of a billion total

hellwig
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Why Shutdown? Build Up (walls)!

China seems to have a pretty good hand on restricting the internet for it's citizens. But I suppose forcing Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, etc... to all bend to your will requires a massive GDP that no African country can match.

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Tarmac for America's self-driving car future is being laid right now

hellwig
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Dealerships will kill the self driving car.

Look at what Tesla has to do to sell their cars directly to the consumer. It's not legal to sell a Tesla in the state of New Jersey (first hand, reselling is obviously a consumer right).

This is because antiquated laws dictate in most areas that cars must be sold through independent dealers. Independent from the manufacturer that is.

Unless this changes, you won't get many new startups. We'll all be reliant on Ford, GM, Volkswagen DEALERS to take the initiative.

With things like ride-sharing (i.e. you only need you care at certain times, if it can drive itself, it can do other things while you're at work or sleeping), that would mean less car sales, and why would Dealers support that?

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FCC big cheese given Congressional roasting in reconfirmation bid

hellwig
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I think you missed the point. Referring to anything as "Obama...." will instantly polarize people. Pai could label anything he disagrees with as "Obama...." and instantly get support for his decisions.

ObamaTelcoRegulations

ObamaNetNeutrality

Obama700MHzSpectrumAuctions

See, doesn't matter what his argument is or the validity of the argument, he's got automatic support against these ideas just by slapping Obama on them.

It's like bringing every argument to some sort of Nazi/Hitler comparison. You can't argue past that because there's no longer any rational discourse to be had. You either support or hate Nazis. In America, you either support or hate Obama, end of discussion.

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Angst in her pants: Alleged US govt leaker Reality Winner stashed docs in her pantyhose

hellwig
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re: but denies being a whistle-blower...

I don't think that you can claim to be a whistle-blower when state secrets are involved. The government, by it's own definition, can't do something wrong, so there's nothing to blow.

When the president reveals classified information to a Russian embassador, that simply makes it no longer classified. The Westfall Act essentially makes legislators and judges immune to prosecution for slander and libel.

The laws don't apply to the government, the government is no longer "of, by, and for the people". It's made itself into it's own separate entity begrudgingly tasked with having to cater to us for re-election every few years.

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hellwig
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Re: 10 Years? Fck!

I agree most people couldn't make a determination on the scope of a documents affects in isolation. However, some of the information we received from Manning, Snowden, and Winner (? honestly don't remember which specific tidbit came from her) shows that the government is NOT operating with the nation's best interests in mind.

When congress passes laws dictating what these organizations can and cannot do, and these organizations take it upon themselves to break those laws and then hide the facts behind "state secrets", who is acting immorally here?

From your own rankings, a lot of this "Secret" and "Top Secret" information is actually just "for official use only". The fact that we bugged the offices and phones of foreign leaders? How was that a danger to life and limb and not just something we really didn't want those countries knowing about? Someone might ask WHY we even did that, but these agencies only exist to "fish" for information. And by doing so much of this in secret EVEN from the intelligence committees setup by Congress leads to bad things. We invaded Iraq on "credible evidence from the CIA". Maybe someone else should have reviewed that evidence before getting us into such a quagmire?

Not saying Wikileaks is the right place to go, but it's troublesome that even Congress (the people WE the People elect to represent us) don't even know these things are happening.

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Google reveals Android Robocop AI to spot and destroy malware

hellwig
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Re: Hey Google... - Human Intelligence

Clearly you aren't a Silicon Valley insider. The whole entire point is to replace humans with technology.

Machines to do the labor, algorithms to do the thinking. Silicon Valley seems to think the path to utopia is technology, they seem to forget that without humans, the whole endeavor is pointless.

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FCC commish cites infamous porn ruling to slam shady US mobile competition report

hellwig
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So..

I'm going to assume Pai will take a job at Verizon after his tenure. Or will it be AT&T?

I don't know that Comcast needs any more former heads of the FCC on their payroll.

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Google's pay-to-play 'remedy' is warming Eurocrats' hearts

hellwig
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Ignorant ignorant ignorant

formalise the transformation of free, relevance-based traffic into paid, pay-for-placement traffic for all services but Google's own," the company's founders wrote.

Google is NOT a free service. What "Free traffic" is this person referring to? Google pays for that "free traffic" with Ads. The Ads are certainly not free, if you want priority displaying, you have to pay for it. The commission seems to be upset that Google doesn't pay for it's own ads, which would be pointless anyway.

Google is not the internet. If the EU doesn't like how Google runs its own services, the EU should create it's own competing search engine. Hell, if it worked, I might actually use that. We need alternatives TO Google (not meaningless fines to try to make Google work the way we want it) or soon enough, Google will be the internet. Google Accelerated Pages. Google "acceptable format" ads (and blocking of non-conformant ads in Chrome) is leading us down a dangerous path.

Use that multi-billion dollar fine to fund a startup to compete.

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Helium's for balloons and squeaky voices, not this 10TB Toshiba beast

hellwig
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Why any gas at all?

If you seal a drive tight enough to keep in the helium (the only thing thinner being hydrogen), why not just vacuum out all the gas?

I heard something about the read/write heads floating above the plates, and apparently the gas acts as a lubricant or something?

The size and technical difficulties of the read/write heads has been a limiting factor for spinning rust for some time now. Maybe we should focus on getting those heads more efficient?

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So. Should I upgrade to macOS High Sierra?

hellwig
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1 nanosecond?

Oh surely this is just fluff? Who's computer is that accurate (accurate as in relation to standard time, not in ability to measure nanoseconds)? I'm sure the high-performance computing world will jump all over Apple's proprietary file system any day now.

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CBS's Showtime caught mining crypto-coins in viewers' web browsers

hellwig
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Xfinity might be doing this too

So I usually play Netflix or something in the background while I game (Farming Simulator 17, hit me up Merkel).

When I decided to watch something on my computer off my DVR, the performance was heavily impacted. Not sure why Netflix can stream HD content to my PC and run fine but Xfinity cant stream HD content in the same house and I run into framerate issues. But now I wonder if I wasn't mining crypto-currency for some disgruntled IT folks the whole time.

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You've been baffled by its smart thermostat. Now strap in for Nest's IoT doorbell, alarm gear

hellwig
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Re: "If you want 24/7 monitoring, that's extra"

We found some great deals you might like on:

- 55-inch 4K HDR TVs

- 17" Laptops

- Jewelry

- Grandma's ashes

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Google, Bing, Yahoo! data hoarding is like homeopathy. It doesn't work – new study claims

hellwig
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Re: Hope someone tells Zuk @ Facebook...

Facebook also keeps things such as "likes" around. Does the fact you liked a post 10 years ago really mean anything? Also, at the time, "liking" something was the only way to show you had read and considered a post. Friend had a baby in 2007? Like! Friends parent passed away in 2008? Like!

What useful information does that give Facebook? None. Do you like babies and dead parents, or were you just trying to "support" a friend without having to think up an appropriate sentiment? Are you still friends with these people (real friends, not facebook friends). Facebook can't tell.

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DoJ: Look! Google is giving up overseas data for warrants outside Second Circuit

hellwig
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Laws stop at the border.

That old movie trope where the Sheriff has to call off the chase because the bad guys crossed the county line (just some good ol' boys) might be false thanks to inter-agency cooperation, but the government is taking this a bit far. They're leaving out the cooperation part.

Just because Microsoft is a US corporation doesn't mean the US DOJ's powers magically extend to any foreign land Microsoft may do business in. Microsoft has no power to circumvent any law, US or foreign.

This is one of those policies we really can blame on Obama. The loss of digital freedom during his presidency was severe.

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Spotify just can't wash those songwriters out of its hair

hellwig
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Re: I can't help but wonder if .....

Yes, copyright is extended to a ridiculous length. Death is bad enough, but death plus 80 years (or whatever Disney has fought for now) is absurd.

However, that doesn't mean that as the law still applies, Spotify should be able to get away with theft. Spotify should fight to weaken copyright (good luck, the RIAA has the government in it's pocket). Instead, Spotify has typical start-up mentality: "Laws don't apply to me, I'm on the Internet!!111!"

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Google to kill its Drive file locker in two confusing ways

hellwig
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Just Cache the whole damn thing

If I tell backup and synch to download everything, I have a "Drive" (application) replacement, right? So I guess this doesn't affect me, good.

The issue is this statement in the article: “allows you to quickly access all of your Google Drive files on demand, directly from your computer, meaning you use almost none of your hard drive space and spend less time waiting for files to sync.”

How can it not use hard drive space but also spend less time synching? I assume it only means "synching" as in "I uploaded 5GB of files to Drive via PC A, now I have to wait for those to download to PC B".

Because I can guarantee you that if you're normally used to all files being locally available, having to try to pull-down a previously unloaded presentation in front of management or customers, you WILL notice the wait time.

And how will it save disk space in the long run? Won't I eventually cache most things if I choose to use them? Will it eventually decide it's smarter than me and deletecleanup my local offline cache? How could it possibly know what I'll need the next time I'm offline (for that matter, can I even know that)?

Seems if I wanted to think about managing my Drive files 10x more than I already do, this is a great update. Otherwise, this is Google Drive trying to be something it's not.

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France to tack weapons onto spy drones – reports

hellwig
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Re: Rebranding exercise

Will the RAF also be rebranding the Typhoon as Refreshing Breeze?

Reminds me when Philip Morris rebranded to Altria to distance themselves from the stigma of their product (cigarettes) killing millions of people.

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Remember when Lenovo sold PCs with Superfish adware? It just got a mild scolding from FTC

hellwig
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What?

"In short, although VisualDiscovery's ad placement and effect on web browsing may have been irritating to many, those features did not make VisualDiscovery unfit for its intended use," she said.

What does that mean? VisualDiscovery's purpose was to inject ads, and that's what if did? You would think the question should be "what right did Lenovo have to install this software and profit from injected ads in the first place?" What about the operator of the website? Surely they care that the user experience was altered!

There's a difference between providing a service (the TV providers and networks inject ads into the stream they provide you) and providing a product (the physical TV you use to watch the stream). Lenovo crossed a big philosophical line by providing a product (computer) that interfered with the service (internet "stream").

I don't think major networks would be too happy if Samsung TV's started injecting Samsung-paid ads over their own shows. Imagine watching the SuperBowl, and seeing an ad they didn't pay $4-million to air? The user might not care, but the network surely would.

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