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Comment Re:Why the focus on communication tech? (Score 1) 360

Masood supposedly sent a message just before the attack. It's hard to imagine how it could be anything other than some emotional venting. "Goodbye" "Alahu Akbar" "Now you'll take me seriously"....

The politicians imagine that he could be sending a final message to his "controller" or some other jihadist. But that seems pretty unlikely. He was almost certainly self-radicalised and acting on impulse.

And if he had, even having a copy of it would be undoubtedly a dead end -- the jihadis can read the newspapers, they know GCHQ and NSA are bugging everything everywhere. Osama gave up using the phone or email and had couriers carrying messages by hand. ISIS obviously has a bunch of tech guys for the web presence. Modern cryptography is not hard to understand and easy to implement.

The thing to take away from this attack is that in the UK, it's very hard to buy a gun and this loser used his car and a knife, killed four. If he'd liven in Birmingham Alabama instead of Birmingham, Midlands, he'd have been able to gear up at his friendly neighbourhood gun store and scored like the Orlando nutter who killed 49 people.

Comment Re:It's not surprising... (Score 1) 176

"1-off communications with vendors, institutions, legal documents."

Such are hardly ever "one- off", but part of a long relationship.
They would have worked out a common format long ago.

Anyway, don't see why it should be the recipients' responsibility to work out whatever crap some random person wanted to send.

PDF is pretty universal.
Hell, plain text would do for 99% of documents.

Anyway, the side with the power is who determines the format.
If I submit a file to a publisher, they have a page of specs I have to follow exactly if I want them to read it.

In any relationship with government, it has the power, and you comply with their format or .... there is no "or". You just have to do it their way.


Comment Re:It's not surprising... (Score 1) 176

Have you ever submitted a document to the government? If it doesn't fit their spec, they just reject it. Costs them no time, less work for them.

What is the alternative anyway? Accept every document from any source and spend hours trying to decode it?

I actually do shit like that because I'm dealing with files sent to me by clients, because they pay me.

Funnily enough I use WordPerfect 5 as my usual intermediate format to go from whatever the client uses to what my old DTP apps need.

Wordprocessors reached a stage of virtual perfection 20 years ago, and since then all they've done is add bloat, having so many features, ribbons, and WTF on their screen that 99% of users have no clue how to use them.

Last book length doc I got in Word had all its chapter heads pushed to the top of page by a series of blank lines, for instance.
30 years ago you could set a heading to start a new page. I could teach people how to do that in WordStar and the other basics in 10 minutes. Now, it's considered esoteric.


Comment Re:What He's Saying is... (Score 1) 499

"Fact-checking" is just weasel words for "control the narrative."

No, it's comparing politicians' statements with facts that van be verified by anyone.

It's terrifying that so many voters seem to agree with you that facts don't matter.

Even more so that people on a technology site like this would dismiss any fact based argument they dislike out of hand.

Comment Re:And? (Score 1) 140

"My point is that there is no World Government so there is no way to enforce World rules"

Maybe someone could invent a "treaty", or an "agreement" between countries, and create some form of "united nations" to administer it?

No, that's just crazy and impossible. The only solution is total war until The Donald rules all.

Comment Re:Such folly... (Score 1) 795

We don't have to be "the warmest the planet has ever been" to avert an ice age. Current temp or higher is good enough for that, and there is no prospect of it being lower short of humanity wiping itself out.

Our inputs are swamping the natural cycles unintentionally. If in a far future, post carbon era, temps started to go down, we could easily pump greenhouse gases into the air to prevent it going lower. But no matter what energy we use, we're going to be producing more raw heat every year anyway. Short of a nuclear winter, there will never be another ice age.

Comment Re:Also (Score 2) 795

"the next ice age is an inevitability"

No, it's been cancelled, at least as long as human civilisation is around.

If we actually needed more global warming, therw are plenty of ways -- pumping out methane, for instance.
Look at the ways proposed to terraform Mars. They'd all be much easier to do here.

Of course, if we nuke ourselves back to the stone age, yes, the natural climate cycles will eventually reassert themselves.

Comment Re:This just in! (Score 1) 85


Welcome to 1800. As soon as people made machines out of metal, humidity was fucking them up.

I live in Hong Kong where for half the year we have humidity over 90% every day.

Everything either rusts, corrodes or goes mouldy. Bicycles turn to piles of rust in a few months. Fungus grows in your crotch. The many and various colours of corroded metals on electronics are marvellous to behold.

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