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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 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.

Comment Re:Gender Distribution? (Score 1) 90 90

But are you in college?
My college time is a while ago now but I remember virtually all of the females marrying during those years, mostly other students but sometimes boyfriends from before they even started there. Those who did not were usually not interested for some reason or other. Most of those relationships were still holding up at the 25th year meetup we had.

The rest of us males were fishing outside that pool.

Comment Re:Have you checked for your wife's name in that a (Score 2) 213 213

I had a case a bit like this recently.
I started getting mails from a cellphone company (the one I actually use myself) which had nothing to do with me. Then I started getting bills emailed. The bills had the cellphone number and a postal address, I looked it up and rang their land line. It turned out I knew the person involved - he has the same name as me and works for the same company so we sometimes get each others mails at work. He had made a mistake when he supplied an email address. It took a couple of months to fix it. I would get an email and forward it to his address, he would complain to the cellphone company, I would complain to the cellphone company. Eventually he sent me a mail saying they had managed to send a bill to him rather than me.

Comment Re:Economics (Score 1) 337 337

That could end up being the lesser evil, and would end up making a hell of a statement.
Of course the consequences with countries like China or Russia would have to be thunk through - they would be encouraged to pass similar laws so as to get Google out of their countries.

The balkanisation of the Internet.

Comment Re:Hideous? (Score 1) 337 337

Alas, while the Chinese rulers are pragmatic enough to accept things they don't really like but can't control, the French rulers are idiots who believe nothing is beyond their power, because, after all, they're French....

The U.S. authorities have a history of this type of behaviour. Just think of the case Microsoft is currently fighting, the one where they do not want to give the U.S access to emails being held in the E.U. (Ireland), or the case where some NYC judge imposed a massive fine - and confiscation of assets - on the Iran for some terrorist attack they patently had nothing to do with.
The U.S. mostly try to be a "force for good", but accept no outside authority in the many cases where they failed - often maliciously.

For the record, I am not particularly happy with the "right to be forgotten".

Any given program will expand to fill available memory.