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Comment Crying out for open source (Score 1) 240

Surely this is the sort of thing that could be solved once and for all by paying a few hackers to write some open source software? Hell, I bet you could raise all the money you needed from a Kickstarter project: this is the sort of problem that I know other countries apart from the USA face. The UK's NHS has had terrible IT problems for at least a decade. Solve it once, solve it internationally, and force the competition to (open) up their game or go out of business.

Submission + - Microsoft Kickstarts Windows Insider Program

SmartAboutThings writes: Microsoft wants to make sure that it doesn't screw up with the next operating system as it has done with Windows 8. That's why the company has opened the Windows Insider Program for early testers of the upcoming Windows 10 version. Those who will sign up will l get all the latest Windows preview builds as soon as they’re available.

Microsoft will provide members of the program with an app to give feedback, so that Microsoft could know if the system works as intended or it still needs to be tweaked.

Submission + - City of London police call for more state intervention in the Internet

Presto Vivace writes: Since last year City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit have been working with copyright holders to tackle online piracy

Founded little over a year ago, the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has quickly grown to become one of the world’s most active anti-piracy operations. ... PIPCU is determined to continue its anti-piracy efforts in the years to come. However, the unit’s head Andy Fyfe also believes that the Government may have to tighten the rules on the Internet, to stop people from breaking the law.

We live in a world where corporations have set up their own private spying operations, and the police regard spying as a second career. We live in a world where nations protest America's surveillance operation, even as they run their own. We live in a world where Bloomberg feels free to run an intelligence operation on Goldman Sachs. We live in a world where News Corps feels free to run saboteur operations against it competitors. I wonder how many members of the PIPCU are planning second careers as cyber security consultants/hackers? In a world where everyone with a billion dollars acts as if the laws do not apply to them, there is very little possibility of cyber security.

Comment Re:So Consumer Reports didn't test the actual issu (Score 1) 304

What fucking idiot would test for this weakness by only bending the device in the middle?

Someone who just bought an iPhone 6 Plus, perhaps?

People who buy into the whole Apple lifestyle thing tend to be quite resistant to admitting flaws in Apple's products. There are bound to be a few of that sort working at Consumer Reports.

Submission + - The Government Can No Longer Track Your Cell Phone Without a Warrant 1

Jason Koebler writes: The government cannot use cell phone location data as evidence in a criminal proceeding without first obtaining a warrant, an appeals court ruled today, in one of the most important privacy decisions in recent memory.
"In short, we hold that cell site location information is within the subscriber’s reasonable expectation of privacy," the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled. "The obtaining of that data without a warrant is a Fourth Amendment violation."

Comment Re:Killing two birds with one stone? (Score 1) 408

There is not enough liquidity on all the exchanges to sink such a large amount. It will drive the price rock-bottom if done in one swoop.

Actually, if Bitcoin succeeds magnificently in the future, this sale could be very good, on several counts.

First, the NSA will divest itself of a currency that in the future could be immensely valuable, thus preventing them from being able to wreak havoc on Bitcoin after it gets more established, and more of a threat to fiat currencies that inflate year-on-year.

Second, driving the price down will encourage some holders of large stashes to sell while they can. This will distribute the currency more evenly across the market, so that at the point the currency becomes valuable again, a Bitcoin "middle class" will be created, rather than a few zillionaires and a lot of paupers.

Third, the above will help to stabilize Bitcoin's value, as there will be less incentive or ability for a few very rich individuals to game the system, purposely attempting to drive the price down to reap the rewards when it comes back up again.

I suspect that each time Bitcoin crashes, the wealth contained in the currency gets spread more evenly across the population that is using it, because of the number of Bitcoins sold in order to drive the price down. This is a feature, not a bug. At this stage, we want Bitcoin to gain broad acceptance, and that won't happen until it has a large userbase. The crashes should help that userbase to grow. Each time Bitcoin crashes, it crashes less hard than the last. That suggests to me that it is becoming increasingly stable.

Submission + - Snowden: Government treats dissent as defection, criminalizes political speech

An anonymous reader writes: Edward Snowden is calling for international help to persuade the U.S. to drop its espionage charges against him. Snowden said he would like to testify before the U.S. Congress about National Security Agency surveillance and may be willing to help German officials investigate alleged U.S. spying in Germany. Snowden is quoted as saying that the U.S. government "continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide no defense." And he continues, "I am confident that with the support of the international community, the government of the United States will abandon this harmful behavior."

Submission + - Wall Street and Bitcoins (

thomasw_lrd writes: Instead of CSA credits, Bitcoin provides a safe and transferable currency for soft dollars. Could it work?

But there is another way. What if the asset manager gets immediate access to their commission credit through Bitcoin: the peer-to-peer (P2P) digital currency?

Submission + - US cops make 'first ever' Bitcoin seizure following house raid (

An anonymous reader writes: American cops have made their first ever seizure of Bitcoin after raiding the house of an alleged drug dealer. The Drug Enforcement Administration seized a haul of 11.02 Bitcoins (worth $814.22 at today's rates) from an address in South Carolina on April 12. They were in the possession of a man suspected of dealing drugs using the infamous Silk Road marketplace, accessible only as a hidden Tor service. The case came to light thanks to eagle-eyed Bitcoin advocates, who searched the police record of seizures.

Submission + - You Will Get DirectX 11.2 Only With Windows 8.1 1

SmartAboutThings writes: Microsoft has just announced the next version of DirectX, 11.2, on its website. But the real "problem" is that it is going to be exclusive to Windows 8.1 and next generation consoles — Xbox One and Play Station 4. This is not news, as DirectX 11 was exclusive to Windows 8. But is this going to help Microsoft convince people to ugprade or will make them angry?

Comment Re:Old arguments (Score 1) 339

At the moment, monetary wealth is incredibly disproportionately held. Doesn't stop fiat currencies working.

If Bitcoin takes off as an international currency, then the initial enthusiasm of early adopters will have played a large part in this. Those bit-billionaires deserve a very hefty reward for getting a currency started that governments can't print at will, or track.

To the extent they spend their money, they redistribute it throughout society, and they'll have to spend it in order to get, at the very least, food, water, and utilities.

True, an eeeevil bit-zillionaire could crash the value of bitcoin. But two observations spring to mind about this:

1. What happened to Zimbabwe's currency? What happened to the mark during the Weimar Republic? What the hell do you think the bank bailouts and Quantitative Easing have been doing to the Dollar, Euro and Pound Sterling recently? You don't need eeeeevil bit-zillionaires in order to monkey with the currency, you just need an unscrupulous government, which can be had for tuppence ha'penney. At least you can't print Bitcoins.

2. If you're worried about the value of Bitcoin crashing (reasonable), don't keep your savings in Bitcoin! Keep it in something else (gold?), and use a service that will easily exchange your gold for bitcoins when you want to cash in some of them. Such services would spring up pretty readily in the event that Bitcoin took of but remained volatile.

Comment Re:Is this part of Murdoch's rage against Google? (Score 1) 336

How exactly is the UK 2 party system? With SNP running Scotland, Lib-Dem in the coalition, and AV being voted on in like 3 weeks?

Speaking as an Englishman (as I tap my pipe out on my mantlepiece), in my opinion a 3-party system functions as horridly as a 2-party one.

"Introducing... the 3 Party System! Now with 50% extra choice! Running the gamut of meta-opinions from A to C!"

Comment Re:He could have fixed it with a wave of the hand (Score 1) 615

We Americans need to stop letting the loonies think they are on even footing with the rest of society. We're only doing ourselves a disservice. First we let the Scientologists think they are legits, then creationists, then the Tea Baggers, now Jedis? Ugh.

According to TFA, the Jedi in question lives in Southend, England.

But fuck it, you're having fun. Rant on, sir, rant on!

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken