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Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 1) 353 353

There are chemicals you can apply to plastic to make it less brittle, chemicals which are banned in most of the developed world because of their carcenogenic side-effects.
The computer magazine I read conducted a test of various components at the start of the year and had a very big surprise. I believe product lines were dropped.

Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 1) 353 353

Wait until a laptop power cable fails, at 240v. A smell of burning then the insulation burns through.
I was really happy to be right there at that moment, it took a couple of seconds to turn the thing off at the wall.

The Ethernet cable I had simply fail during normal operations was harmless in comparison.

Comment Re:French cowards (Score 1) 304 304

Look at their losses in WW1 before complaining about their behaviour in WW2.
I don't know what U.S. casualty figures have looked like in the various wars but I doubt they ever reached the 60% France suffered. Then they were supposed to do it all over again because their leaders had been asleep at the wheel. No.

Comment Re:Third Dimension (Score 5, Insightful) 1173 1173

up to the level allowed to commercial aircraft

That is too high.

  • 1 - Passenger-carrying fixed-wing aircraft. They have no place being near the ground except for takeoff or landing, light aircraft obviously fly much lower than jets. It ain't broke, don't fix it.
  • 2 - Helicopters. They fly a lot lower and make a lot of noise, at least they are expensive and dangerous enough that they are not ubiquitous.
  • 3 - Drones. They should be below the helicopters.

But what can - say - Gisele Bündchen do if some obnoxious prat has a camera-carrying drone hovering over her home? No "Lex Bündchen" here, anyone else should have the same expectation of privacy at their home.
Drones have been adapted to carry firearms, how close should they be allowed to approach?

If people are telling the truth here, taking a shotgun to it was a fair response.

Comment Re:We all saw this coming a mile away, why didn't (Score 1) 316 316

There appears to be a fundamental misunderstanding - on the part of Microsoft - just what a computer is for.
I have a Windows 7 PC which I fire up a few times a month to perform specific tasks. Those tasks are the reason I bought the OS in the first place. I did not buy Windows 7 just so I could install Windows patches. Yes I had automatic updates turned on until a few months ago (The tasks I perform on that machine tend to be towards the end of the month, so the worst turkeys are gone by then) but some security update caused a major update-reboot-fallback loop on my dual-boot machine when I needed it in a hurry so now I only apply patches when various sources indicate they have seen no problems with them.

From what I hear of Apple, they are not much better.

Submission + - Secret Service Agents Stake Out the Ugliest Corners of the Internet

HughPickens.com writes: Josephine Wolff writes at The Atlantic that sifting through messages to determine which, threats to President Obama need to be taken seriously is the responsibility of the Secret Service Internet Threat Desk, a group of agents tasked with identifying and assessing online threats to the president and his family. The first part of this mission—finding threats—is in many ways made easier by the Internet: all you have to do is search! Pulling up every tweet which uses the words “Obama” and “assassinate” takes mere seconds, and the Secret Service has tried to make it easier for people to draw threats to its attention by setting up its own Twitter handle, @secretservice, for users to report threatening messages to. The difficulty is trying to figure out which ones should be taken seriously.

The Secret Service categorizes all threats, online and offline alike, into one of three categories. Class 3 threats are considered the most serious, and require agents to interview the individual who issued the threat and any acquaintances to determine whether that person really has the capability to carry out the threat. Class 2 threats are considered to be serious but issued by people incapable of actually follow up on their intentions, either because they are in jail or located at a great distance from the president. And Class 1 threats are those that may seem serious at first, but are determined not to be. The overall number of threats directed at the first family that require investigation has stayed relatively steady at about 10 per day—except for the period when Obama was first elected, when the Secret Service had to follow up on roughly 50 threats per day. “That includes threats on Twitter,” says Ronald Kessler, author of In the President’s Secret Service. “It makes no difference to [the Secret Service] how a threat is communicated. They can’t take that chance of assuming that because it’s on Twitter it’s less serious.”

Comment Re:Why not (Score 3, Insightful) 112 112

but the uk government really doesn't give a shit about anyone other than themselves
That is missing the point somewhat. Secret services want to watch over absolutely everything - because they can. Their governments seem to have largely abdicated control, not least because then the decisions on what to spy on and what to ignore could then be held against the politicians responsible. GCHQ seem to consider any inland NGO and most foreign countries to be targets but a lot of that is absence external of controls.

The E German Stasi *owned* the country, and had leading figures in all three W German agencies. A significant proportion of that country's budget was spent on the Stasi. Did it help them when Gorbachov decided not to stand in the way of reunification?

The U.S. are gathering more and more data, hell - they even knew about the 9.11 group ahead of time (and had been warned by the Germans) but did it help?

Look at Tunisia a couple of weeks ago, GCHQ were so busy spying on AI that they missed the big one. As if AI are going to mount an attack of that kind.

"If a computer can't directly address all the RAM you can use, it's just a toy." -- anonymous comp.sys.amiga posting, non-sequitir

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