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Comment Re:Will their implementation allow tracking? (Score 1) 38

When banks implement blockchains, will their version allow tracking of all the individuals involved in the whole chain?

Of course it will. They want to use a blockchain for maintaining an efficient high-speed ledger of all bank-to-bank transactions. When you do a funds transfer from, for your account to an account at another bank, they'll write an entry to the block chain and both parties will be able to validate the time at which the transaction occurred. Having an unforgeable ledger is the entire point of the system that they're proposing.

Comment Re:Best selling computer? (Score 1) 92

I'm surprised that it was that few. I remember seeing them for £50 in Argos about a decade after they were first released. They were incredibly popular as games machines and a load of shops had a row of C64 game tapes for around 50p each (NES games were around £10, if I remember correctly, at the same time).

Comment Re:A Lot of Effort to Bury the Lede (Score 1) 52

There's no vast left- or right-wing media conspiracy. There's a small number of owners of the mainstream press, and they will not print anything that directly contradicts the interests of these owners. This has no allegiance to any political party or ideology other than a desire for certain individuals to increase their personal power.

Various governments have allowed mergers and acquisitions among news companies until there's very little independent press. Most countries don't want to regulate press freedom too heavily (for good reason - there's a very fine line between regulating truth in journalism and forcing propaganda and it's incredibly easy for the former to slip into the latter), so we're left with the majority of the population being informed by untrustworthy sources.

Comment Re:Pretty shocking (Score 1) 59

I find the map pretty surprising. Zoom in on the UK, and most of England is yellow (11-15 g/m3), but Reading (dense traffic, industrial areas, lots of diesel trains passing through) is green (<10), yet completely surrounded by yellow areas. I'd probably be inclined to trust the point samples, but their averaging between them looks like it's nonsense. The middle of Wales is pretty green, but with squares of yellow. The green makes sense (it's basically a big space full of hills and sheep), but the yellow doesn't seem to correspond with any human habitation or industry.

Comment Re: don't get your hope up (Score 1) 196

Indeed. Under the Consumer Rights Act and the earlier Sale of Goods Act, you are entitled to a refund for a variety of reasons. Any claims made by the seller that influenced your decision and are false gives you grounds for a refund (or a replacement with a version that meets these requirements). I had the battery on an Apple laptop fail after the warranty expired, but because of the SoGA they replaced it without quibble: their website claimed that it would retain 80% of its charge after 300 discharge cycles and the system monitor showed that it was retaining about 15% of its charge after about 120 complete cycles.

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 403

Military meals are designed with attention to the morale factor. Even the modern MRE is designed to help the soldier feel human in unfavorable surroundings. Apollo 10 was the first to officially test real bread. Gemini Astronauts smuggled aboard a kosher corned beef sandwich but it was stale and thus had too many crumbs which went airborne. By Apollo 10 it was discovered that nitrogen-flushed bread would stay fresh for 10 days. I'll have to try that.

Comment But then who audits the auditors? (Score 1) 165

The solution is pretty simple, but often skipped:
1) The reason for every search should be required and logged by the searcher. ...
2) The logs be randomly spot-checked by an auditor(s) who verifies the reasons given by interviewing the person(s) who searched.

But to check it the auditors need detailed access to the records. So who audits THEM?

This kind of question has been asked repeatedly since at least the Roman Empire.

(The U.S. answer to "Who guards the guardians?" , at least for direct abuse of person under color of law, is the Fourth and Fifth amendments and the "fruit of the poisoned tree" doctrine: Fail to follow the law and you don't get a conviction, because misbehaving police are FAR more of a problem for the population than even a lot of violent private-enterprise crooks going back to work. But while it does reduce the incentive, it doesn't block the behavior.)

Comment The invisible hand strikes. (Score 4, Interesting) 117

Not one organization I have ever worked for has seriously cared about IT security.

When it comes to rolling out new products, ignoring security is the norm.

This is because the "window of opportunity" is only "open" for a short time - until the first, second, and maybe third movers go through it and grab most of the potential customers. Companies that spent the time to get the security right arrive at the window after it closes.

This happens anywhere the customers don't test for and reject non-secure versions of the "new shiny" - which means enterprises sometimes hold suppliers' feet to the fire (if the new thing doesn't give them an advantage commensurate with, or perceived as outweighing, the risk) but consumer stuff goes out wide open.

Then, if you're lucky and the supplier is clueful, they retrofit SOME security before the bad guys exploit enough holes to kill them.

I expect this will continue until several big-name tech companies get an effective corporate death penalty in response to the damages their customer base took from their security failings. Then the financial types will start including having a good, and improving with time, security story (no doubt called "best practices") among their check boxes for funding.

Comment Re:Why not coax? (Score 1) 151

And the reason you cannot do this with radio is that the noise from the transmitter is greater than the received signal.

Actually you CAN manage it with radio - very difficultly, with very careful antenna design.

But the combined antenna has to be far from anything that reflects, absorbs, or just phase-shifts any substantial amount of the transmitted signal energy. If not, the discontinuity destroys the careful balance that nulls out the transmitted signal at the receiver. That gets you back to the "transmitter shouts in the receiver's ear much louder than the distant communications partner" case. So it's not very practical in the real world.

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 403

but what are the chances of finding a good vintage of scotch to go with all of this breaded goodness they are going to be having up there?

Alcohol is definitely going to space. Ballantine's zero-gravity glass is made in cooperation with something called the Open Space Agency, which also has a design for an automated Dobsonian telescope. Ardbeg is going to space. And a vacuum still is an old science-fiction trope.

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