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Comment Re:This is what will happen when cloud providers d (Score 1) 186

In theory, the auction site should blank the machines

At least here in the UK, there is no law that would require them to do so as far as I am aware. The only obligation to destroy the data rests with the data controller, who in your scenario is not even the cloud provider. The cloud provider may have undertaken to do so on behalf of the data controller, but I am uncertain if such an obligation would survive the company being declared insolvent: at such a time, recovering the maximum possible revenue for the company's creditors becomes the highest legal priority; honouring existing contracts is relegated to a distinct second place.

Comment Re:I wonder (Score 1) 186

One (public) example where this has been carried out is where someone wiped their collection of child porn but the prosecution were able to prove the disk contained a few illegal images, enough to secure a conviction.

If this really has happened, you should be able to point to the details of the particular case. Common wisdom is that this simply does not happen any more (as the likelihood of being able to recover enough information to achieve a conviction has become much, much lower with modern disks that are much more accurate in head positioning than older disks), so I'd really like to see actual documentation of cases where such a technique has been successfully used in, say, the last 10 years.

Comment Re:How does... (Score 1) 186

Of course, in this case the net result is that the public has been fined £200,000 worth of health care.

I'm sure there has to be a better way of penalising government institutions.

Maybe they should consider firing the person who made the decision to pass on confidential data to an uncertificated contractor without performing any due diligence, or is that perhaps a little too radical?

Comment Re: How does... (Score 1) 186

That's the real problem in this case - no contract. It's all all in TFA (if you can be bothered with such trivia).

Of course there's a contract: there's one described in the summary above. The contractor agreed to wipe the machines in exchange for getting them for free. There, that's a contract. Now, it may be difficult to sue him for breach on the basis that there doesn't appear to have been a *written* contract, but that's an entirely different matter from there being no contract at all.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 2) 241

Cheap home routers tend to have crappy power supplies and inadequate cooling.

Still: I've gone through 3 consumer-grade routers over the last 10 years, and each time I've got a new one it's because the old one isn't up to the job, not because it's failed. They shouldn't need active cooling (they don't use more than about 2W in typical use), and the power supplies seem perfectly adequate for the task to me.

Comment Re: Who you gonna call? (Score 1) 304

Switching between client and server is a large enough switch anyway. I'd say it's actually *easier* to work in different languages on each side, because it allows you to keep your conceptualisations of each side more distinct in your mind. Sure, I can't justify that in any way, but I doubt you can justify any assertion of a cost in a "mental context switch", either.

Comment Re:Who you gonna call? (Score 1) 304

exactly, but "java is slow" meme, just won't die...

That's because there are certain ways in which Java *is* slow:

* AWT is a heap of shit, very badly designed, and takes a positive age to initialize. Swing is no better, because Swing is built as a layer on top of AWT.
* Java's performance for floating point leaves a lot to be desired because Java's specification of some mathematical operation means that processor-specific instructions cannot be used, e.g., to calculate the result of Math.exp() on x86 processors, so it must be done in software. This bug: http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=7174532 suggests they may have recently found a solution, but I don't think this is in any released version of Java yet.
* Garbage collection is much slower than hand-optimized memory allocation, and heap allocation is much slower than stack allocation, so a well written C++ application can always outperform Java on memory handling.

This doesn't mean that Java isn't perfectly suitable for the vast majority of tasks, particularly those that are I/O bound like a typical server application, but there are things that it really isn't good enough for.

(Signed, somebody who once attempted to write a high-performance neural network simulator in a language that can't do exp() at a reasonable speed.)

Comment Re:Going nowhere (Score 1) 137

Yes, the problem is that random accidents and animal attacks are different than deliberate human actions.

Why?

What makes it more important to give up our liberties to prevent terrorism than to give up our liberties to prevent accidental death caused by wild animals? Analyse the logic behind the sentiment, and I think you will find it an utterly irrational and thus indefensible emotional reaction in a situation where a cool, analytical reaction is more appropriate (because what we stand to lose is very valuable).

Comment Re: 29 years old (Score 1) 432

There is no such thing as "correct" English.

You be writin' in Ebonics in a college English class an' see what da mofuggin teacha say about it, foo.

Spoken English is not written English. Double negatives always parse as positives when written.

The point remains, though, that going by current most-widely accepted theories of linguistics as an academic subject, there is no such thing as a universal "correct" version of English. Grammars and dictionaries are descriptions of the way people speak, not prescriptions for how they should speak. Identifying one variant of language as correct and another as incorrect is a cultural bias, and not an appropriate thing to do while studying the language in question from an academic perspective. Therefore, to make any definitive statement about English grammar, particularly one as controversial as "double negatives always form a positive", is clearly not the kind of thing you would expect an academic in the field of linguistics to say.[1]

This does not mean, however, that they wouldn't prescribe a particular dialect and set of grammatical rules that they expect their students to use. To require a particular variant of a language in a particular context is a matter of practicality, and is somewhat orthogonal to the study of the language from an academic perspective. (Consider that the students could be studying French and writing their essays in English, for example.)

[1] All of which kind-of detracts from the joke. Change the MIT professor to a high-school English teacher and it works much better.

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