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Comment: Re:Big deal (Score 4, Insightful) 132

Snowden supplies some of the answers.
The GCHQ and NSA's surveillance of Italy specifically included looking for commercial advantages. It looks very much as though the same applies to Germany so it seems obvious what this is a general pattern. My first thought when I saw this article was that the FBI is trying to claim "everybody does it" - hell, they may even be right.
What annoyed the Germans so much was that it was their supposed friends acting this way.

Comment: Re:More reason to keep using Firefox! (Score 1) 1482

by Vlad_the_Inhaler (#46632355) Attached to: OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

Firefox users! Boycott OKCupid!
So this guy was against Prop 8 six years ago. Big deal. I wonder what Steve Balmer's position (ouch!) was on Prop 8 back then, are visitors allowed to use Internet Planet Exploder? The guy in charge of Apple now? Is Safari access welcome?

This has to be an April 1 thing, right?

Comment: Re:Is it really that costly? (Score 1) 423

by Vlad_the_Inhaler (#46602333) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

My "old laptop" - it was released as "Vista ready" which gives an indication as to its age - has 1GB and a Core Duo processor.
It is totally unuseable under XP for several minutes after booting, XP is doing all the things it really *has* to do with the very highest priority.

I'll admit it runs decently after that.

It is not going to be upgraded for several reasons, what I have done is to uninstall security holes like Flash or Java. I never browsed as Administrator anyway, people who did are a big reason XP is considered so insecure.

Comment: Re:Globalization (Score 4, Interesting) 198

Russia is upset about the NSA and the US + EU's reaction to them taking over the Crimea.
China is upset about the NSA and is backing Russia over Crimea.
Android is open source.
Both countries have the resources to go through Android with a fine toothed comb. This looks pretty much like the best short-term option they had - lets see if someone now buys up Symbian, it comes from a Finnish company and could be a good starting point.

Comment: Re:Good for Linux (Score 1) 367

by Vlad_the_Inhaler (#46544619) Attached to: Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

I have an older laptop which is set up to dual-boot between XP and Linux. It only has 1GB of memory and the dvd drive crapped out years ago so upgrading is not an option. The Linux version I have on there is long-life, but updates ceased at the end of last year and it was a *lot* younger than XP. Suggesting that a Linux release will be around longer than XP was is being optimistic, and if there is such a beast, was that choice obvious 10 years ago?

In my previous job 10 years ago I had responsibility for maintaining a small Linux server for three years. I was running NFS and FTP on it. In those three years the distribution's FTP-server-of-choice changed twice, I kept with ProFTPD because that way my scripts still worked.
XP was supported for far longer than any version of Linux was.

What upgrade path should they have taken? XP's end-of-life was actually deferred a couple of times - basically because Vista was such a turkey. Once Windows 7 came out that option was no longer necessary. Apple also have shorter cycles than Microsoft.

Comment: Re:What does the comment about "Noble" mean? (Score 1) 110

by Vlad_the_Inhaler (#45695331) Attached to: No Longer "Noble"; Argon Compound Found In Space

Several of the others form more-or-less stable molecules- usually with Hydrogen, none had been found for Argon up to now.
The circumstances under which it forms appear to be rather extreme. I don't know enough (ok, anything) about Nuclear Chemistry to know if it is significant that the Isotope is Ar36 rather than the Ar40 we get here. Normally it would make no difference but this is an extreme case.

Comment: Re:Bahahahahaha (Score 4, Interesting) 192

That *is* their business model.
I read up on this yesterday (German Language) and the situation is more complicated than it seems.
The providers affected are all over Germany, so various local courts were involved. The one in Köln really screwed things up: what the people are supposed to have done is Downloaded the file(s), what they were accused of was Sharing them and Köln went along with this. The difference is that the provider does not have to give out addresses on Downloads but they do if Sharing is involved. The actual "Abmahnung" letters which went out said nothing about Sharing at all. The Law Firm based their claim on the Downloads being in Cache so they were available for others. To make things worse, the largest provider in Germany (T-Online) is based in Köln. Other courts rejected that argument, others asked questions and the Lawyers withdrew their request.

I have a related problem at the moment - a couple of years ago someone accused me of sharing some other porno film, again T-Online was involved. My wlan is wpa2 with a 63-byte random, generated mixed upper/lower string and it accepts only one Mac address, I have checked both PCs which were on at the time for Trojans / Virii with a bootable scanner and there was nothing. Under German law there is no redress - if they claim it then I must have done it. I'm fighting this one out at the moment.

For me this is a reason not to use T-Online. My main account is now somewhere else but I *need* Internet for when I work at home and two independent providers (Cable and DSL) made sense back when the Cable provider was unreliable. I think I'm going to have to dump T-Online which means dumping Telekom for my phone.

"If you want to eat hippopatomus, you've got to pay the freight." -- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory