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Comment But Microsoft said Nuh-uh... (Score 1) 379

Microsoft's response to these allegations can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Press/2013/Jul13/07-11statement.aspx

In response to an article in the Guardian on July 11, Microsoft issued the following statement:

“We have clear principles which guide the response across our entire company to government demands for customer information for both law enforcement and national security issues.

First, we take our commitments to our customers and to compliance with applicable law very seriously, so we provide customer data only in response to legal processes. Second, our compliance team examines all demands very closely, and we reject them if we believe they aren’t valid. Third, we only ever comply with orders about specific accounts or identifiers, and we would not respond to the kind of blanket orders discussed in the press over the past few weeks, as the volumes documented in our most recent disclosure clearly illustrate. To be clear, Microsoft does not provide any government with blanket or direct access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype or any Microsoft product.

Finally when we upgrade or update products legal obligations may in some circumstances require that we maintain the ability to provide information in response to a law enforcement or national security request. There are aspects of this debate that we wish we were able to discuss more freely. That’s why we’ve argued for additional transparency that would help everyone understand and debate these important issues.”

Comment It's a ruse (Score 1) 496

I absolutely do not think that this will end up being an ITAR restricted item. However, it does seem to provide politicians enough time to cram through some poorly thought out legislation creating an outright ban on them.


4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."

GNOME 3.8 Released Featuring New "Classic" Mode 267

Hot on the heels of the Gtk+ 3.8 release comes GNOME 3.8. There are a few general UI improvements, but the highlight for many is the new Classic mode that replaces fallback. Instead of using code based on the old GNOME panel, Classic emulates the feel of GNOME 2 through Shell extensions (just like Linux Mint's Cinnamon interface). From the release notes: "Classic mode is a new feature for those people who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. Built entirely from GNOME 3 technologies, it adds a number of features such as an application menu, a places menu and a window switcher along the bottom of the screen. Each of these features can be used individually or in combination with other GNOME extensions."

Comment Well... (Score 4, Informative) 846

A synthetic AR-15 lower receiver is nothing new, printing one yourself is however. Is it dangerous? Yeah kinda, unless you a printing with a rather high strength polymer. Is it illegal? Not if you follow the BATF guidelines. Hobby machinists have been milling them from aluminum for ages. You can buy all sorts of jigs and receiver blanks. If you were to say start manufacturing lower receivers, or do not qualify to legally own them and get caught the penalties are very severe. Also as anyone who builds their own AR-15s will tell you, certain parts are in very high demand, you may wait weeks to months for something simple to complete your build. So I wouldn't worry about somebody building a ton of "off books" rifles any time soon.

Comment Headline is not accurate (Score 1) 527

First off the headline is bullshit, you aren't bypassing security at all. I have seen this first hand and here is how it works at the airport. You go up to security, at some airports like Detroit you still wait in line with everyone else unless you have airline status for the first class line, in Dallas they have a whole separate security checkpoint just for this. Then, they check your ID, scan your boarding pass, and if it says you get expedited security you get to go through the "special line". In the special line your backpack/bags still go through an x-ray and you go through the metal detector.

Keep on your belt, shoes and jacket
Faster line if you are a frequent business traveler
Don't have to wait behind Marge and her eleventy kids trying to go through at the same time

If you were not pre-approved as a frequent flyer by your airline you have to apply the old fashioned way
The application process SUCKS!
The website is horribly slow
You need every bit of information the same as you would for getting a government security clearance
You need to go have an in person interview and provide a lot of identification
You might not get approved

Comment People are just a-holes (Score 1) 805

I cannot count the number of times I wish that I had a cell jammer. Obnoxious folks who are so self important that they have no regard for those around them are everywhere. They are in line at the airport, the table next to you at dinner, oh and lets not forget in the movies! Some days I would just love to flip that switch and drop that call. On the other hand I would also be disabling the ability of anyone within range to call 911 in case of an emergency. Or to receive a truly important call or text message, maybe somebodies significant other goes into labor. Any number of things could potentially be disrupted. OK, so maybe flipping that switch isn't such a great idea. I mean don't get me wrong, I am a total a-hole myself, I realize that, but I don't think I would feel very good if I were causing a disruption and something legitimately bad happened and nobody could get a call through. Now if I had a jammer with a momentary switch that would only allow jamming for a couple of seconds, just long enough to drop a call, and it was on a timer so I couldn't mash the button....hmmmm Yup still an a-hole.

Comment Re:Ummm Really? (Score 2) 933

Yeah, I guess that would be asking a lot now that I think about it. I do object to your characterization that there are hundreds of individually smart people reading this however. Based on the lion's share of responses above, the percentage of idiots is pretty high. You can also easily pick out the teenagers, college kids and Doritto eating mom's basement dwelling trolls. Having a /. id !=intelligent

Comment Ummm Really? (Score 2, Informative) 933

I got up this morning and I turned on CNN for some noise. As I got ready, they showed the press conference from the Mayor of NY. He was very clear, this park is privately owned but the owners are bound to an agreement to allow 24/7 public access. There are restrictions to this such as no camping etc (which were actively being violated). They can also close the park for cleaning and public health concerns. The owners have completely supported the protesters using the park, and continue to do so. The Mayor stated several times, after it is cleaned, you are welcome to come back, but leave your tents and tarps at home.

You know what else I saw on CNN? Loads of footage of the garbage trucks cleaning up giant piles of garbage and refuse in the park. It looked like a shanty town in a 3rd world country. If there was some sort of media blackout nobody told CNN. If people were in fact kept away, doesn't it make sense that a bunch of extra bodies hanging around just might get in the way of the cleanup efforts?

Go home, let them clean the park, then you are welcome back. That was the message the Mayor gave in the press conference. Somebody please provide a rational argument or facts that they can back up as to why this is a bad thing?

Comment Excatly This! (Score 2) 862

I did the same thing, loaded it into a VM to give it a whirl. Guess what? Metro sucks! It is a tablet interface and needs to stay on tablets. It looks like a Windows phone raped Windows Media Center and this was the result. There are already utilities out to disable this "feature", so what does that say about it?

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It is masked but always present. I don't know who built to it. It came before the first kernel.