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Comment Re:Must Be The Shipping Cost (Score 4, Funny) 72

Maybe Australia should just ban regional locks and require that digital goods be priced within say 5% of the US/EU price. Or maybe apply to join the EU.

Yeah, but the price of joining the EU has just gone up . . . you need to take in a million Syrians to join the EU. But, hey, Australia has plenty of room in the outback. And, although Australia is infested with lots of poisonous toxic critters and varmints, it can't be worse than in Syria.

Comment Re:just like a movie (Score 1) 167

Well, Slashdot had a story not too long ago, that a lot of folks believe that "The Martian" is based on a true story. I'm guessing that some of them are sitting in Congress. So when a funding bill for a NASA trip to Mars comes up, some Congress folks will chime in with:

"Why do we need to fund this again! We already went to Mars! I saw the movie about it!"

Comment Re:Let's just not do it. (Score 1) 167

Actually, this would be an important topic of research: Lap and Pole Dancing in the Gravity of Mars. If NASA wants to get the general public interested in visiting Mars, the first thing Joe Sixpack will ask is if Mars has blackjack, gambling and lap & pole dancing.

Definitely worth an Ig Nobel, at least.

Comment Re:duh (Score 1) 186

Just attach it to a word document

If the Aliens have any intelligence at all, they won't open any attachments from folks from another planet.

If the Aliens want to conquer us, all they need to do, is to send us nasty stuff in attachments. Some idiot here on Earth will open it, and we will all be turned into a Alien Earthling Burger Botnet.

Yum, yum.

Comment Notebook shipments . . . ? (Score 2) 209


Analyst Avril Wu said, "Notebook shipments in the third quarter fall short of what is expected for a traditional peak season mainly because Windows 10 with its free upgrade plan negatively impacted replaced sales of notebooks to some extent rather than driving the demand for these products."

Um . . . maybe folks are just buying Apple and Android critters, instead of Notebooks. Did any "analyst" think of that . . . ?

Comment Re:It's not what Google wants.... (Score 1) 422

I'll be cynical, and guess that Google wants the data so they can sell it to insurance companies. This would be of extreme value, if, for example, a Hollywood star died in a car crash in a Porsche, doing 100mph in a 40mph zone, and someone tries to sue Porsche for a design defect.

On the other hand . . . maybe if Volkswagen diesels were equipped with something that collect the real emissions data . . . the fudge in Volkswagen diesels might have been found earlier.

Maybe we should call them Fudgewagen . . . ?

Comment Re:This ruling won't fix anything (Score 5, Interesting) 203

I don't have any problems with the US spooks asking an EU spook for the data from a specific suspected Muslim terrorist. The EU spook would probably comply, due to sharing agreements that are already in place.

However, what the NSA does, is to simply harvest anything they want from anyone. I am not comfortable with that. And I don't believe an EU spook would set up a system enabling such universal access. If the EU spook can say the data was harvested outside the EU by the NSA, the EU spook has no problems. If the EU spook enables harvesting . . . we will see the EU spook in court.

Note that Snowden's revelations did not result in any legal action in the US, despite that the NSA is clearly violating the law. This decision by the EU court is the only legal action that I know of.

Comment Re:Laughable (Score 5, Informative) 203

If you look at how this law case started, it was initiated by a private citizen. Not by the EU executive branch. The EU justice branch made a decision that the EU justice branch is visibly not comfortable with, because it places a lot of companies in legal limbo. Read more here:

Because the EU executive branch did nothing about it themselves . . . well, it shows that they were in cahoots with the USA/NSA folks.

So in this case, it is not a shakedown by the EU. The EU governments and Executive branch were perfectly happy with the way things were. It was a private citizen who appealed to the EU highest court that caused this.

Submission + - Europe's highest court just rejected the US's 'safe harbor' agreement (

craigtp writes: The European Court of Justice has just ruled that the transatlantic Safe Harbour agreement, which lets American companies use a single standard for consumer privacy and data storage in both the US and Europe, is invalid.

The ruling came after Edward Snowden's NSA leaks showed that European data stored by US companies was not safe from surveillance that would be illegal in Europe.

This ruling could have profound effects on all US based companies, not just tech companies, that rely upon the "safe harbor" agreement to allow them to store their European customers' data in the US.

Under this new ruling, they could effectively be forced to store European customers' data in Europe and then have to follow 20 or more different sets of national data privacy regulations.

FORTRAN is not a flower but a weed -- it is hardy, occasionally blooms, and grows in every computer. -- A.J. Perlis