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Comment So can they or can't they? (Score 1) 306

From the bottom of the article:
âoeApple is standing by its decision to implement end-to-end encryption, having conceded only to hand over the content of some messages to the FBI, rather than providing real time access as requested.â

If it can hand over the content of some messages then surely that implies that Apple has the ability to decrypt people's iMessages. Does Apple have its own back-door / master key?

Comment Many hotels do this too (Score 2) 572

Many of the hotels I've stayed in iver the years, both major chains and smaller boutique hotels, and in several countries, have attested to MiM my secure mail server or http a sessions. Similarly I caught the Qantas lounge in Sydney trying this a few years ago. I never use hotel internets any more or airline lounges' wifi - it's just too creepy.

Comment Re: Whew. (Score 1) 465

Presumably such a Time Traveller would have been given some training, or read up on the history of the time they are travelling to. Though, perhaps not, given the way some people behave now when they travel between countries. Maybe time travellers are accidental - that that also seems unlikely. In fact the whole existence of time travellers seems unlikely, deliberate or not.

Comment Books that affect the way you view the world (Score 2) 796

Here's a short list of 32 book's I've read that really affected how I look at the world (with links to Goodreads):

0) The Dancers at the End of Time Trilogy by Michael Moorcock - A literary dandy of a series. Short, sweet, funny and eternally optimistic. Stays with you.
1) The Illuminatus! Trilogy By Robert Shae and Robert Anton Wilson. - Truly hilarious - the literary equivalent of taking LSD. Once you've read it you'll never see the world in the same way again. This book invented the Illuminati conspiracy myth as we know it today.
2, 3, 4, 5) Hyperion / The Fall of Hyperion / Endymion, The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons - Heavy, difficult, big-idea science fiction / space opera set in a deeply religious future. The end made me cry. (Also check out Drood by Simmons. It's creepy and great.)
6) Solaris by Stanislaw Lem - a moving and beautiful critique of the scientific process - also made me cry. (read any Lem you come across, it's all great)
7) Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon- a monster of a book - took me 3 years to read - but worth every bit of it. Affects how you perceive the world. (Also worth reading the companion so you can see what you missed the first time around)
8) Accelerando by Charles Stross - Truly a book for our times. Read any Stross, it's all pretty good.
9) The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov - funny, trippy satire of the soviet era and religion.
10) The Sacred Book of the Werewolf - Funny, especially if you've read The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov but ultimately this is a book about the nature of perception and reality.
11, 12, 13) American Tabloid / The Cold Six Thousand / Blood's a Rover - James Ellroy. - Shocking, funny, tense, amazing. You'll never look at US politics in the same way again. Very few sentences longer than about 4 sentences unless it's dialogue, newspaper extracts or wiretap transcripts.
14, 15, 16) The Baroque Cycle by Neil Stephenson - Terrific fun nerd core historical adventure that reveals the history of money and science. Then go read all of Stephenson's other books, especially Cryptonomicon, Snow Crash, The Diamond Age and Anathem.
17) The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - scary because it's true and increasingly relevant. You'll look twice at train carriages after reading this.
18) Any / all of the Culture books by Iain M Banks, but especially Surface Detail.
19 and 20) The Commonwealth Saga by Peter F Hamilton - pure fun space opera.
21) The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Should be mandatory reading for everyone.
22 and 23) Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell - Also should be required reading.
24) Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. And indeed any KVjr
25) Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - funny, clever, trippy and interestingly structured.
26, 27, and 28) The Road, No Country for Old Men, and Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy - bleak and terrifying each in their own way. Amazing writing.
29) Flood and Evolution by Stephen Baxter - post apocalyptic funtimes.
30) World war Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Barry - best zombie book ever.
31) Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis - Demons vs Ubermench during WW][. Scary and weird but creepy good fun.

I could go on but if you get through all of these you'll never look at the world in the same way again.

Comment Re:Great for CC scammers (Score 1) 222

Here in oz tap-to-pay is the latest thing. You just tap your card on the device and the payment happens - no signature, no nothing. It's valid for purchases up to $100 and it's brilliant. Paying for your cab is just a quick tap and you are gone, none of this printing receipts for you to sign, or having to member PINs.

Of course it's susceptible to theft etc, but clearly it's not such an issue for the banks or they'd not all be tripping over themselves to roll it out everywhere.

Comment Re: Rreasonable response (Score 1) 461

The book has been in beta as an ebook for about a year. I admit I was one if those beta readers, alas I never actually got around to opening it. The hard copy version is sitting on my dining room table right now glaring at me.

I guess I should actually read it at some stage.

Comment Re:Metro UI (Score 1, Flamebait) 467

You obviously don't know anyone with kids then. I'd say pretty much every household I visit has at least one iPad (often 1 per child). Add to that a plethora of iPod Touches and iPad minis. Go to any airport lounge and you'll see more iPads than you can poke a shitty stick at. I guess it's because I live in a first world country though.

Comment A mete 33 years later (Score 1) 587

The first computer I ever coded on was an IBM System 470 (in 1980, i was in High School and they had a deal with the Angle Park Computing Centre) and I believe it had a massive 4K of memory. My current iMac has 16GB of RAM and the new one being bought for me for my new job will have 32GB of RAM. The System 470 had tape drives which held 512K per tape. My iMac has 3TB internal fusion drive + another 6 TB of Thunderbolt drives attached to it. The System 470 had no graphics at all, just a paper card reader and printer. The iMac has a 2GB Graphics card.

Truly simple systems... require infinite testing. -- Norman Augustine