* Posts by ratfox

3442 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

White House forbids feds from reading WikiLeaked cables

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Big Brother

Security procedures

Yes, some other sites have mentioned that if an unclassified computer gets infected with classified data, it is a big problem because then the whole hard drive has to be shredded, as a standard security procedure. Imagine that happening to the mail server because somebody sent an e-mail about a cable he just read...

So, because nobody is willing to either declassify the lot, or create an exception to the security procedure, official unclassified computers must be kept clean by staying away from the bad stuff... This is actually a fairly valid explanation for a bureaucracy with many layers of rules.

However, this does not explain why university students have been warned to not talk of the cables on social networks, in case they ever want to work for the government. This may be paranoia, but it is fairly bone-chilling.

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Future employees to be careful

Boston University warned its students that posting about the leaks on social networks may look poorly when they apply to US government jobs. Getting these jobs entails a security check, which might just entail a google check for their name+wikileaks...

That I understand, this was not an official statement, just a warning to the students to be careful. What does it say about a government that merely commenting on the news may bar you from getting a government job?

Popular sites caught sniffing user browser history

This post has been deleted by a moderator

WikiLeaks dubs Amazon 'The Cowardly Liar'

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US gov forbidden to read leaks!

"White House Tells All Federal Agencies To Prohibit Unauthorized Employees From Wikileaks Site"


Now, this is comedy material. "Yes, we know that everybody in the world can read these leaks. But YOU are our F**ING EMPLOYEES and YOU will only read what we ALLOW you to read!"

A law school has also warned its students that talking about the leaks on social networks could possibly give them trouble if they apply for US gov positions. You never know.

There is an IT angle: this could be due to Standard Security Procedures(TM). Apparently, any unclassified hard disk that is found containing classified information has to be shredded and replaced. Talk about an IT support nightmare!


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Pass the popcorn

Quite honestly, the circus around the leaks is way more entertaining than the leaks themselves.

Will Joe Lieberman retract his claim that Amazon booted Wikileaks thanks to his intervention? Don't answer that. Ha ha.

Still, all this is probably the biggest concerted international effort to close down a website that the internet has known so far. It actually seems to give quite a lot of work to the people in Wikileaks, more than I would have thought. Still, it obviously will not work. Duh.

I am wondering at which point Wikileaks will just say: "screw that" and distribute a huge file with the remaining cables in one go, rather than the daily spoon feeding they did so far.

Oracle asserts non-existent open source trademark

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Like it is necessary to be right to send threatening lawyery letters. Just ask SCSO.

Russia wins World Cup bid in parrot-sickening travesty

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Don't cry

You still have the Olympics, you lucky dogs, you...

DDoS attack, sex warrant won't stop Assange's leaky discharge

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Paris Hilton

I think not

He's probably sworn off sex for the next few years, unless the partner first signs two contracts and an affidavit.

Even if it's PH.

People's Republic says it will purge self of illicit software

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Ha ha

Next, they'll tell us they will stop producing cheap imitations of luxury brands.

Ha ha.

Interpol issues arrest notice for Wikileaks' Julian Assange

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Paris Hilton

I bet he's regretting it...

I can't think of anybody else who must regret so much listening to his lower brain since Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky affair.

By the way, this is from the Wikipedia entry on Interpol:

"In order to maintain as politically neutral a role as possible, Interpol's constitution forbids its involvement in crimes that do not overlap several member countries,[3] or in any political, military, religious, or racial crimes.[4] Its work focuses primarily on public safety, terrorism, organized crime, crimes against humanity, environmental crime, genocide, war crimes, piracy, illicit drug production, drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, child pornography, white-collar crime, computer crime, intellectual property crime and corruption."

I don't usually follow what Interpol actually does, but it looks like they are a bit out of their usual tracks, this time.

...Oh, Ecuador have apparently rescinded their offer, condemning the leaks. Apparently, diplomatic cables are still going from US to the Ecuador.

PH for the honey trap, of course

Wikileaks hit by second DDoS

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What Arab country?

You mean Iran? Tsk, tsk... Iran is not an Arab country (part of the reason an Arab country asked the Americans to bomb it)

How I saved the Macintosh

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I actually understood

That the author saved Apple by returning back to art school and stopping trying to sell them... ?

Canada steps closer to legalising sex work

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Prostitution legal?

From what the comments say, prostitution itself is already legal both in Canada and the UK.

...So that will be only the US still pretending that it is better to make it illegal than regulate it, I guess...

Oh, and of course, Muslim countries and China.

Dutch twaddle-prof lambasts Google Scholar

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Has never been a problem for me

Usually, I am looking for a very particular question. Either the Google Scholar results are about the right problem, or they are not. There is no "better" or "worse", just "yes" or "no".

If I am looking for new papers, I usually find them by searching which papers cite the papers that I already know.

Gamble to win and lose... and win

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As with precedent article...

Wouldn't you actually make more money by working at McDonald's? What is more, in a truly risk-free way? From my point of view, it would even be less boring.

There are quite a few things that can go wrong in such a scheme, from the bookie going bust to your connection lagging at the wrong time to a simple mistake in the betting. If anything happens, you are likely to lose everything... and eve if you win every time, the margins are small.

Go ahead if you have nothing better to do with your time. As for me, I do have.

Seagate DeLorean: World's priciest hard drive?

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Is there a complimentary sticker for your forehead with "I am a lose^H^H^H^H nerd^H^H^H^H geek" written on it?

WTF is... up with e-book pricing?

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I don't get it

Why are people complaining so much about the price of eBooks? Just buy a real book, then.

...Or could it be that you find eBooks so much more practical, because you can keep a whole library in a single device? Well, THAT advantage is something you should, obviously, pay for.

Honestly, I feel that people are complaining that the thing they find so much better and more useful and easier to use and easier to buy, actually costs more money.

Start-up pitches low-cost no-glasses 3D for iPad

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One of the problems...

It only works in one orientation, of course. Turn your device sideways, you lose the 3D.

Money for nothing – and your (gambling) kicks for free

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Sorry, how does this compare to a job at McDonald's?

In terms of how much time you spend, checking the fine print, placing opposing bets, just to earn 50 quids? (minus what you lose placing opposing bets, of course)

Not for me, thanks. But if you have the free time, go ahead...

USA to bin colour-code terror warning system - report

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Wrong colors, says the expert!

From the New York Times:

Amy Wax, president of the International Association of Color Consultants North America, said the use of “childish” primary colors like red, yellow and blue might have diluted the impact. “Purple, orange and magenta might create a sense of something that would get attention".

CLEARLY, this is an expert consultant.

Google sued for scanning emails of non-Gmail users

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OMG noes

When I send a postcard to someone, the postman actually scans the postcard to find the address of the person I am sending it to!

Angry Birds struggle to take on Androids

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Hang on, is it a performance problem, or something else?

Some comment imply that on a cheap low-end android, you should not expect high performance. But the article seems to imply that if it was just programmed in Flash, everything would work everywhere.

So which is it? If Android has low-end models that cannot run computation-intensive programs, that is understandable. If all models are powerful enough, but so different that is is a pain to code something that will work everywhere, that is a point against Android. On the other hand, if Flash really makes it simple to code for all models, then that is a point FOR android: "Just code it in Flash. Not that big of a deal."

Verizon revives Microsoft's unhappy hipster phone

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Good luck to them

Maybe they just could not get Microsoft to accept them, so it's that or the garbage dump...

I wouldn't want to be the salesman in charge of selling that. It really looks like a moving yard sale, and yet the price are not that attractive...

Google accused of hard-coding own links in search

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Big deal

Whenever I look for something that looks like a place, e.g. "san diego ca", I always get a Google Maps link in top position, never a Mapquest link or whatever equivalent Bing has.

My assumption always has been that the Google engine forcibly adds a Google Maps link, not that by some incredible chance, the best link was always that one...

Google's social 'problem' doesn't involve building Facebook rival

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We don't want to go through the hassle

We just want the data over who is friends with whom

Google: Oracle doctored that 'copied Java code'

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SURELY you jest

> First, in the US you can't sue anyone over anything. It has to pass a sniff test otherwise the lawyer > bringing the lawsuit can be disbarred.


Good to know you cannot sue for improper reasons in US... And that only cases that are legitimate are brought to court... *pffffrt* WA HA HA HA HA HA... sniff...

And you owe me a new keyboard!

China faces million-strong zombie phone horde

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I must be behind the times

I hardly ever click "continue" on anything on my smartphone. Probably means I'm not using it its full potential...

I would add that I feel safer because it is a iP**ne, but that is probably a baseless assumption

Israeli robot trouser snake 'too big' to penetrate backdoors

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Hurk hurk

He said... hurk hurk

Mac OS X haunted by ghost of Jailbreakme bug

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Viruses in Apple

I recently had my MacBook Pro repaired under warranty (hardware problems exclusively). It came back with Symantec Antivirus installed! Who would've thunk it?

By curiosity, I looked at virus definitions:

- 12 Hypercard Viruses

- 34 Macinotsh File Infectors

- 19 Macintosh Trojan Horses

- 2 Macintosh Worms

follow ~6'000 Macro Viruses essentially affecting Microsoft Office software, and ~30'000 PC Viruses.

Rethinking the iPhone

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Exactly my take

In my book, your nerdiness is proportional to the number of devices you have... This reminds me of the comic of Dilbert walking around with a utility belt full of devices, only to be defeated by a guy with a sat dish on his head.

And counting the iPad as "free" because you already have one is disingenuous. Even if you already have one, you will use it more than before, which will at best bring down its battery life, and at worst wear it down sooner.

Hacker sinks Royal Navy website

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Most probably...

To indicate their level of knowledge: ?html - html, what's that? It's one of those PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES, right?

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Oh my

Interesting <centre> element, too... British spelling is not recognized by my Firefox.

$8.9m poker prize up for grabs - humans only please

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Totally ignorant about poker, but...

What is the problem with playing with more than two players?

I assume that good players observe the bids of other players and guesstimate what kind of hand they have... Which changes the odds of their hand being the best one.

Any other ideas?

Google open sources Apache server speed mod

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Black Helicopters

I haven't seen a conspiracy alert yet so...

Are we SURE that Google did not put a backdoor in this code that everybody will install on their server?

Android phone sales up 1,309%

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Infinity %

Last year, that is by how much Android sales went up: Infinity %. From zero to more than zero.

This year, sales of Windows 7 phones will go up by infinity %. with only 1,309%, Android phones are clearly beaten.

@regviewer: learn statistics.

No wonder CompSci grads are unemployed

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@Pawel: read again

He said he saw that 13 years ago, before the kibibyte et al. units were proposed...

Ellison accuses HP boss of espionage

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Paris Hilton

Children in the schoolyard

Did not! Did too!

Wikileaks taunts Pentagon with server mirrors in USA

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Another meaning of puce

In French, puce also means chip, as in chip card (carte à puce), mirochip, etc.

Because on their pins, they look like insects with legs.

Apple to sell 420,000 11.6in MacBook Airs this quarter

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Talking through his head

Watch me, researcher in an investment company, shooting numbers randomly on the dartboard. It's way too early to tell. Some people call that a job.

Hand over illegal porn at the border, please

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More sheep in Australia!

Twice more, in fact.

...of course, per inhabitants, the proportion is reversed...

Man cops to botnet-fueled pump-and-dump scheme

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And it works?

I mean, the efficacy of spam is usually counted in 0.01%, is that enough to have an influence on the market??

Apple leaks 'Back to Mac' goodies

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Bow to Apple

Nevertheless, even if they did not leak the information, the information got out...

I'm in awe. Whether it was on purpose or not, Apple is getting publicity at the smallest flap of a butterfly.

High-speed asteroid pile-up prompts X-File

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Not symmetrical?

"The crisscrossed filaments at the head of the tail suggest that the colliding asteroids were not perfectly symmetrical"

Blimey, they lied to me in Astronomy 101 when they said asteroids were perfect spheres!

Facebook introduces one-time passwords

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This is easy in the US where the person receiving an SMS pays for it, but in the UK, it is usually not the case... Will Facebook really spend money to send SMSs to people whenever they want?

Hefty physicist: Global warming is 'pseudoscientific fraud'

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Who is this guy?

Not that I approve of Climate politics, but who is this guy and why is he worth an article?

He is a retired professor in physics at UCSB, true. But unless his specialty was in climatology, it is likely he has as much to say on the subject as a computer scientist. From what I was able to find, his specialty was advising the government. He does mention in his resignation letter that he joined the APS sixty-seven years ago. So maybe he is some grand researcher in physics, still active in retirement? Does not look like it. His name does not really jump up on the Internet, apart from his resignation letter. No recent articles, no web page, no Wikipedia article.

So this guy just got around to reading the Climategate e-mails, and he was disgusted by what he saw. Well yeah, it is fairly disgusting. But we do not need an old geezer who never researched the subject to tell us that. I understand his anger, I believe he over-estimates Climategate, I may understand that he resigns in protest from the APS.

What I do not understand is why articles are written about him. His move is similar to somebody like Steve Wozniak protesting against the use of 3D in movies.

Asus Eee PC 1215N 12in netbook

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Price, weight, screen size, higher Windows version... Is Asus trying to make more expensive laptops to distinguish it from the iPad?

We had notebooks, subnotebooks, netbooks... This must be a supernetbook!

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Yeah, glossy looks really cool... until you try to see what's on the screen.

Beer for you, my friend

Google robo cars drive selves on public streets

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Americans need cars

They could and should have better standards, but the way their towns are built, they DO need a car to do anything, unless they live in a large city.

Android rebellion: How to tame your stupid smartphone

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Dead Vulture

Calm down, iFanboy...

Really, I believe it is possible to write an article about the problems of Android without such nastiness, and without a somewhat irrelevant apology of the iPhone. True, the Reg spares no one, but this is still severely biased reporting. I do not recall reading such vitriol during the antennaGate thing.

And I say that as a happy iPhone 4 user.

Android phone auto reverts jailbreaks

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People sometimes do want a feature that they will never use...

However, most of the people buying phones have no idea of what an open or close system is.

And they would not choose a car depending on whether they are able to reprogram the sunroof and all windows to open at the same time as their favourite music is playing.

(...wait, this actually sounds cool. Patent that baby!)

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