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Comment a Vaudeville hook for the Vaudeville crook (Score 1) 89

He goes on to say, "Our removal serves as an excellent example of why the law should be changed to prevent repeated extensions of copyright terms."

Make that retroactive, pretty please, so as to retroactively revoke the ridiculous retroactive extensions.

The whole thing flies in the face of even libertarian notions of contract: that you only get what you shake for, in the first instance.

Douglas Adams used to quip "I love deadlines. I love the sound they make as they whoosh past." Market capitalists love markets. They love the sound the rigging makes as it twangs in the salty sea air. "Arrrr, r-r-r-r-retroactively extended copyright. First we shakes, then we takes."

Comment Re:Extra battery? (Score 1) 178

They are. I have a 15000 mAh unit; two, 2.4 ampere outputs. Wouldn't be without it, can't really, at least unless the companies making the cellphones stop putting too-small batteries in them. last weekend I drove five hours, during about 3 of which we were either completely out of contact or only in distant contact with a cell tower (Montana... lots and lots of empty space.) When we left the city, my phone was at 25%. I kept the phone (a Galaxy Note III with an aftermarket "big" battery that's good for about 48 hours here, where we're within about 4 miles of a cell tower) plugged into the external unit for the entire trip, and when we got home, the phone was at 100% and the external unit at 45%, which allowed for both charging it and running it.

Really, won't even consider being without that external unit. As for a pager... no. Just no.

Comment Re:Wait a mintue (Score 4, Informative) 223

The former. All modern browsers except Firefox have decomposed their browser into multiple processes, so that a compromise from one site will only gain control over an unprivileged (i.e. isolated from other stuff the user cares about) process. They also run plugins in separate processes and have fairly narrow communication paths between them. Firefox is still a massive monolithic process, including all add-ons, plugins, and so on.

This basically means that you just need one arbitrary code execution vulnerability in Firefox and it's game over. In contrast, if you have the same in Chrome, Edge, or Safari, then it's just the first step - you now have an environment where you can run arbitrary exploit code, but you can't make (most) system calls and you have to find another exploit to escape from the sandbox. Typical Chrome compromises are the result of chaining half a dozen vulnerabilities together.

Comment Re:This is a big bitchslap to Mozilla (Score 4, Interesting) 223

It also scales based on processor resources. They hit serious TLB scalability issues at around 17 processes (varies a bit between CPUs, in some systems - particularly mobile - you'll hit RAM limits sooner), so if you have more tabs open than this, you will start having multiple independent sites share the same renderer process.

Comment Re:tom (Score 1) 119

Typically not to end users though. Microsoft sold the BASIC that computer vendors (including Apple) burned into ROM. Microsoft QuickBASIC for DOS contained a compiler that could produce stand-alone .exe or .com binaries, though the free QBASIC that they bundled with DOS 5 and later was a cut-down version that only included the interpreter.

Comment Re:Turing Evolved (Score 2) 194

Robots don't feel those emotions, and have committed no massacres on that scale. I trust robots more than I trust humans.

Do you trust a gun? Do you trust a bomb? Of course not, because the concept is meaningless: neither will cause harm without instructions from a human. Both can magnify the amount of harm that a human can do. Autonomous weapons, of which landmines are the simplest possible case, expand both the quantity that a person can do harm and the time over which they can do it.

During the cold war, there were at least two incidents where humans refused to follow legitimate orders to launch nuclear weapons - in either case, the likely outcome of following the orders would have been the deaths of many millions. The worst atrocities of the second world war were caused by people 'just following orders'. And you think that it's a good idea to remove the part of the chain of command capable of disobeying orders.

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 1) 529

The person in your story was relying on his ability to read a map, which sounds pretty reasonable, and his ability to read a compass (which was not such a good plan, if he didn't sanity check it with the direction of the sun). The people in TFA, however, are carrying a device that tells them their precise position in the world to within a few metres. If you're not periodically checking and saying 'hmm, I want to get from here to here and I'm nowhere between the two points' then I think that counts as a bit stupid.

Comment the other perspective (Score 1) 143

Sarcasm and satire have only superficially similar.

The thing with satire is to create incongruity between the package and its contents.

Some dishevelled fellow shows up, claims he's a world-class chef from Syria, and offers to cook you a five-star dinner in exchange for his own meal. He doesn't look especially Syrian. And you can't make out his accent.

So you say, "well, I'm not sure whether to believe you. I made this pate yesterday, and I'd like your opinion. Just one second." Then you duck around the corner, dip a knife into the kitty litter box, smoosh the fresh excavation onto a nice Wheat Thin that Jr. left uneaten on his plate after dropping it on the garage floor (use the dishwasher, people!), which you then—in a flash of inspiration—decorate with two fish eyes from the fish carcass in the fridge that is now mired in cold gelatin and really should have been turned into fish stock three days ago. Oh, what the heck—let's do this right!—so you add a tablespoon slab of the aging fish gelatin.

At this point, it looks like fancy French cooking (looks can be deceiving). It really looks like French cooking when you extend it with the utmost graciousness on your whitest French serving cloth.

"Syrian chef" picks it up, opens his mouth, slides it trustingly under his nostrils, and is about to bite down, then freezes in an eyebrow-raising display of alarm and disgust.

"Don't be angry! I had to make sure. Do you still want to cook dinner? Oh well, better luck next time. "

"Sheesh. I think he called me a racist bastard in some foreign gibberish. Did he really mean it? Surely he could see my predicament and my efficient solution. Hmmm. I suppose it did look a lot like I was serving him shit on a cracker, Gallic style, from his point of view."

Sarcasm is exactly the same thing, except you can't be bothered with the cracker, the fish eyes, the extra slab of fish gelatin, or the white napkin. You just hold up a dry cat turd with your bare fingers and call it a cheesy, because you really wouldn't want to have to eat a fancy dinner prepared by the colour blind, not even if he really was a great chef in his own land.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman