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Comment: Re:What kind of statement is this (Score 1) 83

by Hartree (#48625377) Attached to: Over 9,000 PCs In Australia Infected By TorrentLocker Ransomware

"How can you even say that."

It's been my observation over years of dealing with them.

  Most people who use computers aren't the Slashdot crowd. They "kinda, sorta" know enough to be able to check their email, surf the web, or play some games.

Usually when they have a failure from malware, they've been infected (perhaps with other things as well) for some time. If they can even find the original system restore disk, they're way ahead of the game.

They get Cousin Jimmy (or one of their kids), cause he's good with computers, to clean up or reinstall their computer. Usually leaving many of the same holes that got them zapped in the first place.

Or, they get some computer store to deal with it. They just gripe about losing some stuff, but it was a game they liked and can no longer find, or an email from momma before she died, etc. not something life and death. They may start copying some things to a thumb drive, if you're lucky.

So many times I've asked "When was your last backup?" and get a vacant stare even from people with PhDs at the university I work at. Let alone the everyday person on the street who has a computer at home.

Comment: Backups solve much of the problem: (Score 4, Insightful) 83

by Hartree (#48623297) Attached to: Over 9,000 PCs In Australia Infected By TorrentLocker Ransomware

As computer files become more valuable to ordinary people (rather than just IT geeks and businesses), backup plans become more important.

Most general users don't do this, but as the data becomes more damaging if it's lost, encrypted or maliciously destroyed, they may need some sort of solution.

Even a pretty sophisticated ransom-ware would have a hard time if you take an occasional backup and check it by restoring/reading the file on another machine.

Comment: The real damage? (Score 1) 586

by Hartree (#48623235) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

I have this sneaking suspicion that the real damage that could be done to Sony is if the group that broke in got into the internal financial data rather than what gets reported.

Word has long been that the accounting practices of Hollywood and the music industry make Enron look pretty tame. And Sony is into both.

Imagine how many lawyers/accountants would be going over any financial records that get released. There are lots of actors and musicians that have felt they got shafted with what they were paid versus what they were actually owed.

+ - MIT removes online lectures by Walter Lewin due to sexual harassment accusations->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The physics online lectures and courses of Prof. Walter Lewin ( are extremely popular in YouTube, and have been discussed several times in Slashdot.

Due to recent accusations of online sexual harassment against Prof. Lewin (who retired from MIT in 2008), MIT has decided to remove all lectures and courses ("

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Finally! (Score 1) 59

by Hartree (#48495519) Attached to: Test Flight For NASA's Orion Capsule Slated for December 4

So... The two of you are in agreement that we're completely fucked unless we follow your path.

However, you seem to disagree strongly about what that path is, save that yours is the "right" one.

Here are two cricket bats. Beat on each other until one of you is unconscious or you reach a consensus.

The rest of us will continue blundering our way to the future while you have it out. Hopefully, by then the answer won't matter anyway.

Comment: Re:We've been doing it for a long time (Score 1) 367

"why would some intentional geoengineering be so bad?"

If it fails, not much.

But if it works, and global warming is controlled, it would undercut the best fundraising, societal engineering and lobbying arguments many organizations have.

Example: It'd remove a massive issue for the Democrats and Republicans to argue about and scare voters with.

Repeat that with both environmental and conservative organizations losing that issue, and you have a worse crisis for them than just the prospect of getting cooked by rising temperatures. ;)

Comment: The Rare and Dangerous Metal Gallium? (Score 1) 260

You mean, like is combined with arsenic (a deadly poison) to use for all sorts of evil things like LEDs and high speed transistors for things like cell phones?

And you can combine it with that nitrogen stuff that is part of so many explosives. And use it for (wait for it) even brighter LEDs!

Wow. That's some real exotic stuff there. Certainly wouldn't want any of that in the world.

Yeah, this is the sort of BS I'd expect out of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. It's sad they've figured out that submitting everything to Slashdot is a way to shovel their message.

Is your job running? You'd better go catch it!