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Comment Re:Sidetalking? (Score 1) 221

How many people actually make calls nowadays anyway?

For personal use, I'd wager not too many.

I'm texting and/or using data most of the time when I've got my phone out.

I don't have a landline, and my personal cell gets maybe 10-15 minutes per month of calls.

My work phone, on the other hand, probably racks up a few hours a month. I telecommute a couple days a week, and while I use data for most communications I still have conference calls and other discussions. Eventually that stuff might go to VoIP or something, but we're not there yet.

And yes, I use a headset most of the time. My work cell is, ironically, a bit too small to hold comfortably for the length of a call.

Comment traitor to his _something_ (Score 1) 719

Regardless of whether you think what Snowden did (and continues to do) is good or bad, he is a traitor to the country.

If you think what he did was bad, then he's a traitor to his country. If you think what he did was good, then he's a traitor to his government and a hero to his country. I think a lot of peoples' opinions on the good/bad question are going to correspond with their opinion about whether or not the country and the government are on the same side.

Comment Re:entertaining? (Score 1) 199

I've seen a dog watch TV, though she had a pretty short attention span. The best part is what she was watching and what was happening; it was perfect. It was a nature show about wolves, and there was a pack and an "outsider" wolf. I shit you not: my dog started growling at the outsider! Something about its posture, I guess.

Comment Sidetalking? (Score 1) 221

That meme pretty much bit the dust with the advent of decent bluetooth (or even wired) headsets, or integrated vehicle sets.

If a device is too big to hold comfortably to the ear, you're pretty much an idiot (or, to be redundant, a hipster) to stand there holding it that way if there's a better solution.

At this point, the only significant difference between "tablet" and "phone" should come down to pocketability and how well you can hold it.

Comment Re:The demise of an empire (Score 1) 193

In our defense: fuck the Boomers. We were lied to.

Wasn't that exactly what the young Boomers (who were briefly the hippies before becoming the yuppies) said to their parents (the ones who built nuclear MAD and the rest of the post-WW2 military industrial complex)?

And yet a couple generations later, not only have the Boomers been the ones to expand the system, but Obama (a Generation X) is doing the same.

It's nice to see Gen Y taking up the fight, but totalitarianism and the fight against it isn't a generational thing, is what I'm trying to say.

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.

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