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Comment: Re:Government Intervention (Score 1) 417

The sabotage here was more intense and without consequence. Also, any ticket involving a competing DSL service went to the very bottom priority every time. It could literally take a month to get a plug inserted into an adjacent jack. It would, of course get 'accidentally' unplugged a week later and take another month to get plugged back in.

Then, as you said, they got rid of it.

Comment: Re:Regular users only (Score 2) 83

by sjames (#48937633) Attached to: 'Anonymized' Credit Card Data Not So Anonymous, MIT Study Shows

Actually, many businesses had a credit surcharge for a while. Then the credit cards added a no surcharge clause to the merchant contracts. So they hiked their prices and offered a cash discount. Then the credit cards added a no cash discount clause.

Yes, services cost money. That's no excuse for hiding how much it costs and forcing it to be paid for by people not using the service (for example, everyone that pays cash).

Many merchants prefer cash because cash can't be charged back after the fact. For example, if the card turns out to be stolen but not yet reported or the customer files a false claim.

+ - Irish woman first adult in world to be given bionic spine->

Submitted by TechCurmudgeon
TechCurmudgeon (3904121) writes "An Irish woman has become the first adult to undergo an operation to insert magnets in her back to combat a severe curvature of her spine. ... Deirdre McDonnell, from Drogheda, County Louth, spent 30 years in pain after being diagnosed with scoliosis. ... Surgeons performed the pioneering MAGEC rod operation on the 34-year-old, inserting magnetic rods into her spine. ... The procedure, also known as the magnetic expansion control system, involves screwing the rods into the spine. ... The rods can then be controlled externally in order to correct the curvature of the spine. ... Consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Tallaght Hospital, Doctor Patrick Kiely, said: ‘This is a big step forward for us. The largest benefit of MAGEC rod technology is that it removes the need for repeat operations. With the rod, once the initial procedure has been carried out, the patient doesn't have to undergo any more incisions. The spine is straightened externally using a remote control, which is painless and is performed without anaesthesia.'"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Jealous much? (Score 1) 420

by sjames (#48936031) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

WITH a warrant, a pentrace is still available. That is, who did this phone call and where was it at the time. But note they're not complaining about phones that encrypt voice communication. Neither Google nor Apple are proposing to do that. They're complaining that they can't read your address book or paw through your email and photos. They're complaining that your papers might be secured nearly as well as Capone's (but not quite as well unless you have a tommy gun).

The thing is, most crimes eventually come down to some sort of physical activity somewhere that can be observed or to money moving from one place to another which can be traced (yes, including bitcoin).

+ - ATM Bombs Coming Soon to United States

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Nick Summers has an interesting article at Bloomberg about the epidemic of 90 ATM bombings that has hit Britain since 2013. ATM machines are vulnerable because the strongbox inside an ATM has two essential holes: a small slot in front that spits out bills to customers and a big door in back through which employees load reams of cash in large cassettes. "Criminals have learned to see this simple enclosure as a physics problem," writes Summers. "Gas is pumped in, and when it’s detonated, the weakest part—the large hinged door—is forced open. After an ATM blast, thieves force their way into the bank itself, where the now gaping rear of the cash machine is either exposed in the lobby or inside a trivially secured room. Set off with skill, the shock wave leaves the money neatly stacked, sometimes with a whiff of the distinctive acetylene odor of garlic." The rise in gas attacks has created a market opportunity for the companies that construct ATM components. Several manufacturers now make various anti-gas-attack modules: Some absorb shock waves, some detect gas and render it harmless, and some emit sound, fog, or dye to discourage thieves in the act.

As far as anyone knows, there has never been a gas attack on an American ATM. The leading theory points to the country’s primitive ATM cards. Along with Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, and not many other countries, the U.S. doesn’t require its plastic to contain an encryption chip, so stealing cards remains an effective, nonviolent way to get at the cash in an ATM. Encryption chip requirements are coming to the U.S. later this year, though. And given the gas raid’s many advantages, it may be only a matter of time until the back of an American ATM comes rocketing off."

Comment: Re:Liars figure and figures lie (Score 1) 135

by Vitriol+Angst (#48929563) Attached to: The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

Apple pays out 67%. That's on Gross.

If they were to perhaps, talk about the expense of promotion, servers, and the fact that all the toys for Whack-A-Mole ended up in lawsuits, they could use Hollywood accounting. It would still be 67%, but of the net -- which means cab fair instead of money to buy the Limo.

Comment: Re:Problem for Evolution (Score 1) 19

by sjames (#48929381) Attached to: Scientists Discover How To Track Natural Errors In DNA Replication

The part you're missing is selection. The harmful mutations either fail to reproduce altogether or they reproduce at a lower rate than the good ones. Actual experiments show that you can actually randomly mutate a program and if you have a good selection function, you can actually evolve new functionality.

The catch is that the evolution tends to 'find' really odd solutions.

"Anyone attempting to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course, living in a state of sin." -- John Von Neumann