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Comment: Re:Are those Amazon sales legitimate? (Score 2) 344

Pay attention, naive little brother: A machine with Windows on it costs the same as a machine without windows on it for the same model and specs . . . assuming you can even get a Windows-free version. This is because Microsoft have dictated that it be so. The difference, then, is that in one case you are paying for, and getting, Windows; in the other case you are paying for, but not getting, Windows. That, naive little brother, is the Windows tax.

Comment: Re:This doesn't add up (Score 1) 83

by Phreakiture (#48092301) Attached to: Infected ATMs Give Away Millions of Dollars Without Credit Cards

If you have access to the ATM physically, why not just take the cash there and then?

I suppose you could trigger the dispenser to start dishing out cash nonstop, but it is not as easy as it sounds. Getting at the cash cassettes is not easy, either, because the lower half of an ATM is, as you might expect when thinking about it, built as a slightly modified safe. Getting at the computer and modifying the software really is the path of least resistance.

Source: I used to work on these machines.

Comment: Re:Numbers don't seem right (Score 2) 76

by Phreakiture (#48055963) Attached to: JP Morgan Chase Breach Compromised Data of 76 Million Households

Well, I can see two factors that you're not thinking about: (1) a person having accounts at more than one institution (e.g. I do) and (2) different people in one household having accounts at different institutions (e.g. my wife and I have mostly but not entirely the same banks). It makes it quite plausible that multiple large banks could have customers in over half of the nation's households.

This can be particularly pronounced with loans and credit cards for various reasons including "brokering" a deal for the end customer (think in terms of a car dealer or realtor finding you a loan/mortgage) and the fact that loans get bought and sold between banks.

Comment: Re:Clipper Chip Anyone? (Score 1) 575

by Phreakiture (#48046235) Attached to: Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

This was precisely the first thing that crossed my mind. More to the point, I remember that both the EFF and the right-wing pundits (how's that for a combo?) were mocking the Clinton administration over it. RSA Security kicked up a hell of a fuss, too, though that may have been for show, given what we now know abou them.

Comment: Re:You know what this means (Score 1) 182

by Phreakiture (#48004873) Attached to: Breakthrough In LED Construction Increases Efficiency By 57 Percent

Yeah, no kidding. I'm a part time sound engineer and DJ, and the "Power" indicator on my mixing board is an ungodly bright blue light. I usually end up setting something on top of it to keep it from blinding me in an otherwise-typically-low-light environment.

If at first you don't succeed, you are running about average.