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Comment All this just to ensure ... (Score 1) 96

that the next guy who thinks of blowing the gaff on government wrong doing will think hard and probably not expose what he knows. Is this not terrorism by the government of the USA, or maybe just a protection racket "Nice little life you have there, it would be a pity if you ended up in jail" ?

Comment Why don't they publish reinstalls ... (Score 1) 314

If they know how much a machine is used then they must be able to tell how many machines no longer report back to them. Some of these will be broken hardware, but others (like mine) will be because MS Windows has been wiped and Linux installed. The curious thing was that I did not see this number mentioned ....

Comment How this will be used (Score 1) 164

I suspect that the value is not in answering the question "who the hell wrote this - which programmer in Internet land ?" but in identification a programmer out of a small group of suspects, eg "was this written by the known malware team in Boston, Beijing or Kiev ?". So: it will further narrow the field out of an already small group of suspects.

This has an interesting implication on GPL enforcement. Today if Nasty Corp Inc takes a large chunk of code from Git Hub and makes it part of a proprietary product (eg: sell it & do not provide source), then even if you suspect that they have taken your code it is hard to prove it; yes you may be able to get disclosure by going to court but that costs a lot of money and is hard if they are in a different jurisdiction. Now you will be able to get a good idea if the code is yours before spending significant time and money chasing Nasty Corp.

Comment A Banker's wet dream (Score 3, Interesting) 440

They get a slice of the transaction when you pay via plastic (the trader pays 1-3%). They get a bit when you pay in cash since the retailer will have to pay the bank a bit (cash handling charge) when they pay in at the end of the day. However bankers get nothing on many payments: the man who mows the lawn, the baby sitter, the window cleaner, ... many of these will spend what they earn as cash - so several transactions that the banks do not get the chance to bacon slice.

OK: this might not be a large part of the economy, but all those free transactions must be annoying them!

Comment What other decisions will be forced ... (Score 1) 235

If I am forbidden from hacking my car's software will I be unable to stop it when:

  • * It shows me adverts on the dashboard when it is driving me somewhere
  • * I ask to go to my favourite restaurant but it takes me to McDonald's instead as they paid the car vendor more
  • * When more fuel is needed it drives to the filling station that the car manufacturer has a tie in with

Comment Good news for lawyers! (Score 1) 263

This opens up a the whole idea of what was agreed to during the relationship as being void afterwards:

  • * I gave you a car/fur-coat/... - give them back
  • * I gave you addresses of my friends - you must now delete from your address book
  • * I was in some pictures with our kids - delete these pics of your kids
  • * I told you our secret family recipe for apple pie - tear up your cook book

Oh, the lawyers are going to be able to buy lots of goodies with the money that they will make over this!

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At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.