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Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 342

There is a case where an "undefined language condition" caused a C++ program to destroy a computer. (Well, such was reported in, I believe, "Effective Modern C++", though without sufficient data to track down the actual case.)

Given that, there's nothing unreasonable in saying your computer was destroyed by an MSWindows "upgrade". I don't know that it's true, but it isn't intrinsically unreasonable. More likely, the system could consume so much disk space that a complete version couldn't be written to disk, resulting in an unbootable system. In that case a geek could retrieve any data that wasn't overwritten by the installer. Now whether the user data *would* be overwritten by the installer I can't say. I expect you could probably recover any non-encrypted data by mounting the disk in another computer...but if the partition were encrypted (does mswindows do that?) then it might well be irrecoverable. Or if it were a RAID setup. (Again my ignorance of MSWindows is showing.)

Comment Re:Oreo (Score 1) 64

They probably won't use Oreo, because that names a trademark. (You could argue that this is another area of business...but better to avoid legal wrangles.) Orangeade would probably be safe, but it's not similar to marshmallow or nougat. I suppose they could just use orange. (That would let them use quince for "q". But I still don't see how they'd handle 'x'.)

Comment Re:Color Management (Score 1) 64

OK. I'll say color management was introduced on the Apple ][.

OTOH, this is a really stupid argument. Names are just names, and two guys named Harry can be quite different, yet both really named Harry. I don't know what the MSWind color management system is like, or what the Android color management system is like, but even if they're quite different they can both reasonably be called by the same name if they do *something* having to do with managing colors.

Comment Re:Civil Contempt is Not Forever (Score 1) 520

What you have said is, in theory, correct. There are, however, cases that cast a lot of doubt on how that theory is actually applied in practice. Naturally we probably only notice outliers, but those outliers *do* exist, so there is a definite chance that the judge could take a large number of years to decide that he's "unpersuadable".

Now the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" also has a large number of counter-examples, especially when the accused is being accused of something that most people consider horrendous. In fact, if the accusation is vile enough, many people won't even consider whether the evidence has any validity, or whether it could have been faked, or....well, much of any mitigating factor. He is being accused of obstruction of justice, which may or many not be true, and he will be punished extensively before there's ever a trial at which he, presumably, will have a fair defense. Many, however, never receive a fair defense, or even an only moderately poor defense. And even if he's found not guilty he will already have been punished extensively.

I don't know what an ideal way of handling things would be, but don't fantasize that we in the US have something even coming close to something fair to those who are poor or unpopular.

Comment Re:2FA - might loose my OnlyKey/Yubikey (Score 1) 520

You are making the presumption that he is guilty. This may or may not be true. He might be innocent and actually have forgotten his password.

OTOH, just consider, if he gives them his password, they will be able to implant any evidence they choose onto his disks. Whoops! Forging dates isn't that hard.

Comment Re:Contempt of the court... (Score 1) 520

Sorry, but that's not true. I know I've forgotten my own password a few times. I had to reinstall and recover from backups. (I really don't like sudo, and I also don't like logging in as root, and a decade or so ago I forgot the root password twice. It was really annoying, but not a real problem as one of the times I'd been thinking about switching distros anyway. The other time was more annoying, but I had the original CDs, and there hadn't been THAT many updates. [I said it was over a decade ago. I think it was while I was using Red Hat Professional edition, before I switched to KRUD Linux.])

Comment Re:Contempt of the court... (Score 1) 520

That would be destruction of evidence...if done by the accused. After a warrant was served.

OTOH, if it's set to do this after n failed attempts, then it could quite likely be done by inept police, who didn't bother to image the disk before working on it. And then it's the police who destroyed the evidence...if such it was.

That said, I really doubt that applies in this case. But I know *I've* forgotten passwords, and had to reinstall, and recover from backups. So "I've forgotten the password" sounds possible, though unconvincing.

Comment Re:IEEE, your grandpa's club (Score 1) 239

COBOL was a horrible language even for the day. Fortran was much better...but it was harder for the bosses to pretend to understand. (OTOH, COBOL was decent at some formatting tasks compared to Fortran, and I believe it included BCD numbers, where in Fortran you needed to use a library for that.)

It's true that there's a lot of ancient COBOL code still live, and I attribute it to the fact that nobody can really understand it, but, unlike assembler, it didn't automatically die when you change processors.

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