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Comment: Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (Score 1) 247

by squiggleslash (#48231143) Attached to: Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

If I'm reading this correctly, the logic is that he can demand a refund if using Mac OS means agreeing to a contract post-sale. It has little or nothing to do with third party PCs.

So, technically, Apple could be forced to determine a refund amount to give to people who buy a Mac without wanting to run Mac OS on it given you need to agree to the EULA when you turn on the machine for the first time. But they can also sidestep it in the majority of cases by using the control they have over the Mac sales chain to force sellers of Macs (including the Apple Store itself) to have the buyer accept the EULA at the time of purchase.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 201

by squiggleslash (#48228575) Attached to: Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

Yeah, we all forget that Microsoft peaked in 1982 and has subsequently been losing money ever since. You should see how much money they lost when they took advantage of the PC's success to bundle Windows with MS DOS.

It's a wonder they didn't go bankrupt in 1995.

(Yes, Microsoft was moderately successful prior to the 1990s. In the 1990s though they both used their high marketshare to establish an actual monopoly, squeezing out competitors like DR, and then used their monopoly to strangle potential future threats, such as Netscape. It wasn't pretty but it was highly profitable, especially the first part.)

Comment: Re:IBM no longer a tech company? (Score 5, Insightful) 201

by squiggleslash (#48228531) Attached to: Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

Only because they're trying to corner the market. And yes, I'm aware they kind of invented the type of cloud system that they are, but Bezos has been explicit from the beginning that he doesn't want competitors, and he'd rather see a few years of losses with the service underpriced than have a small share of the market.

I personally wouldn't invest in Amazon. That said, overall the company seems sustainable, it can afford to make losses like the one last quarter in part because it can easily reverse those losses if it ever becomes a serious problem. They're playing the "very long" game, everything they do seems to be aimed at ensuring they're a significant player 50 years from now. To me, that's absurd, you can't predict the future like that, but, hey, if they want to try - with other investor's money - then more power to them, it's that kind of attitude that moves us forward - usually.

Comment: Re:Those bastards? (Score 1) 107

Counterpoint: They invented FAT, which is where significant amounts of the royalties are coming from.
Counter-counterpoint: If they invented FAT, and Android Phones are feeling obliged to support it, they should probably be paying Android phone manufacturers $20 per unit...

(OTOH, FAT was a significant improvement on the CP/M file system, its biggest rival at that point, so there's that. Still, it says a lot that the actual FAT related patents they're collecting Android revenue on are actually for hacks to get around some of FAT's most stupid LIMITATI.ONS)

Comment: Should be VERY USEFUL for gene & stem cell the (Score 1) 45

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48226945) Attached to: Detritus From Cancer Cells May Infect Healthy Cells

This should be REALLY USEFUL - for gene therapy and stem cell therapy.

One of the big problems with such therapies is how to deliver the modified genes or regulators to the target cells, without converting them to something that would be rejected or otherwise have unintended markers or modifications.

One approach is to deliver genes or regulatory chemicals via a modified virius or using viral capsid proteins to construct an "injector". (A family of methods for turning harvested somatic cells into toti/pluri/multi/unipotent stem cells consists of inserting four regulatory proteins - by inserting about four GENES THAT CODE FOR THEM via a modified virus.)

Now here we have a a method, already used by the body, to transport RNA signalling snippets and other factors from one cell into another, by a sending cell creating virus-like carrier particles that destination cells readily accept and absorb.

THAT looks like an IDEAL basis for building a carrier for regulatory factors to switch cell modes on and off, or to tote new genetic material into a target cell for incorporation, to correct genetic errors or supply lost genes:

  1) Make fake exosomes carrying the message you want to deliver.
  2) Inject them into the tissue you want to affect.
  3) Rewrite the state or code of the target cells.
  4) Cure disease (or otherwise augment the patient's health).
  5) PROFIT!

Comment: But I bet it's descended from a virus. (Score 1) 45

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48226881) Attached to: Detritus From Cancer Cells May Infect Healthy Cells

Viruses by definition contain genetic code from outside the host organism.

On the other hand, just as some organelles (i.e. mitochondria, chloroplasts) are apparently the remnant of a microbial infection or ancient symbiosis that became integrated, there are several cellular mechanisms that are apparently remnants of an ancient retrovirus infection, where the bulk of the viral genome was lost but one of its mechanisms was retained and adapted to perform some useful new function.

I'd be willing to bet this is another example of such an

Comment: Not necessarily. (Score 1) 45

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48226835) Attached to: Detritus From Cancer Cells May Infect Healthy Cells

No, you'd have to be inbred with the cancer 'donor' to not reject their cancer as readily as you'd reject an organ transplant from them.

Not necessarily.

These things aren't carrying the full-blown genome. They're carrying little bits of it - like regulatory switches (or something that functions like that). They ought to be able, occasionally, to covert another person's cells JUST FINE without also marking them as any more foreign than an equivalent cancer naturally arising in that person.

Comment: Re:SSL/TLS may not help if you use Cloudflare (Score 1) 115

by Animats (#48223939) Attached to: Researcher Finds Tor Exit Node Adding Malware To Downloads

This attack on binaries requires a MITM attack. The attacker must be in a position to intercept and modify the data. SSL only prevents that if it's end to end SSL. Using SSL over Cloudflare doesn't eliminate the possibility of an attack on binaries, because Cloudflare is a MITM itself. The exit from Cloudflare is vulnerable in exactly the way the exit from Tor is.

Comment: SSL/TLS may not help if you use Cloudflare (Score 4, Interesting) 115

by Animats (#48223745) Attached to: Researcher Finds Tor Exit Node Adding Malware To Downloads

Cloudflare offers a fake SSL service called "Flexible SSL". Cloudfront gets a cert generated with a long list of domains. Users connect to Cloudfront, Cloudflare sets up a secure connection from the user's browser to Cloudflare, acts as a man-in-the-middle, and makes an unencrypted connection to the destination host.

And, of course, there's an exploit for this.

Even if you buy Cloudflare'ss "most secure" option, and have SSL to your own server using your own certificate, you have to give Clouldflare your SSL cert's private keys. Does Clouldflare take responsiblity for the security of your private keys? No.

So do not use Cloudflare for sites which handle any valuable data, such as credit card numbers.

Comment: Re:Not a feminist issue. (Score 1) 546

by fyngyrz (#48220927) Attached to: The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

Being able to be offended is free speech

Troll. All you did here was invert my argument and then complain about it. I agree that the argument you made up is invalid.

That is not the equality which feminism is about.

Your entire sally was a troll, which is why I only gave it a one-line answer.

none of that is relevant to anything

What I said was relevant. What you said definitely was not.

Comment: Re:Free aggregation? A problem? (Score 1) 95

by squiggleslash (#48220331) Attached to: German Publishers Capitulate, Let Google Post News Snippets

Actually, they wanted their work featured on Google News and get paid for it.

I know. Why do you think they want to be compensated for it, if, as the original poster argued, the mere presence of their work in search results is positive compared to search results existing where they're not present?

Their problem is the existence of search results to begin with. They want compensation from the fact they have to exist in an environment that's actively hostile towards the way they're structured, and they don't see an easy way to adapt to that environment.

Comment: Re:Not so easy (Score 1) 213

by fyngyrz (#48219045) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

I didn't say you had to learn them. I said they were there. The implication -- true -- that there are many more to learn to get to higher levels of literacy. I also pointed out that 2000 was a specific level of literacy.

Try not to get too carried away with your imagination. Just read what I said. Not what you think I said.

As for a simplified character vocabulary, take a trip to Taiwan, why don't you. See how that works out for you.

Your experience is only your experience.

Anyway, whatever.

Comment: Not so easy (Score 1) 213

by fyngyrz (#48217985) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

If the Chinese language is really such a notoriously difficult language to learn (and to speak) there ought to be no one using it anymore, right?


When we're young, we benefit from massive plasticity in our language learning skills, and of course any child who learns Mandarin (and sometimes Cantonese as well) is going to make a much better native speaker than I am ever going to make, despite the fact that I've devoted years to it and am highly motivated.

It's not just learning words. It is how things are said, references to metaphors and myths and such, and the fact that it is not a "spelled" language; the characters you're familiar with each represent a word part or a word that means one thing on its own, often something else in combination, and very few of them are used the way we use them in western speech. About 2000 of them constitute (approximately) high school literacy. But there are about 50 thousand of them. Bad enough? Oh no. A while back, Those In Power decided they were to o hard, so they "simplified" a bunch of them. Great, right? So you only have to learn the simplified ones, right? Wrong. The traditional ones are everywhere, and plus, some places in asia use the old ones, not the new ones. And then...

(Very) simple example. In English, I I ask you if you want soup, you might say "No." Easy, right? So you how to say no, (Bu Shi) Now you know what to say if I ask you about the soup and you don't want it, right? Wrong. In Mandarin, the question of if you want it is composed, literally, "want not want", (yao bu yao) to which you are expected to answer either "not want" or "want." (Bu yao) or (yao). And down the rabbit hole we go. :)

Trust me. As an adult English speaker, you go into learning Mandarin thinking it's easy, you're in for a serious encounter with your limitations.

Comment: To the face-in-phone generation(s): (Score 1, Insightful) 258

by fyngyrz (#48216325) Attached to: We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

You old people crack me up.

No, honestly, you arrived pre-cracked.

It may well, somehow, be our fault that you are cracked, but it an absolute certainty that our habits of actually talking to people are superior to yours of sitting at a table or walking down the street with your friends, looking only at your phones, as you busily talk to anyone but the people you're actually with.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray