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Comment Re:Conflating several issues here (Score 1) 128

Canada isn't some third world mud hole. They have a regulatory process as well. I have every confidence in the drugs sold there. Same for the EU.

The FDA has gone well past the sweet spot and is now killing people rather than saving them. Their desire to have their asses kissed has gotten to the point that they are 're-evaluating' drugs with centuries of proven safety just because they pre-dated their authority. The result is that the prices jump by a factor of 100.(Yes, literally the price is now 100 TIMES what it was before).

Drugs people can't afford might as well not exist. It seems that health care is one of those things where a free market just won't work.

Submission + - RIP John Ellenby, godfather of the modern laptop (nytimes.com)

fragMasterFlash writes: John Ellenby, a British-born computer engineer who played a critical role in paving the way for the laptop computer, died on Aug. 17 in San Francisco. He was 75.

Mr. Ellenby’s pioneering work came to fruition in the early 1980s, after he founded Grid Systems, a company in Mountain View, Calif. As chief executive, he assembled an engineering and design team that included the noted British-born industrial designer William Moggridge.

The team produced a clamshell computer with an orange electroluminescent flat-panel display that was introduced as the Compass. It went to market in 1982. The Compass is now widely acknowledged to have been far ahead of its time.

Submission + - Sheriff's Raid to Find Blogger Who Criticized Him Ruled Unconstitutional (theintercept.com)

schwit1 writes: An appellate court in Baton Rouge ruled Thursday that a raid on a police officer’s house in search of the blogger who had accused the sheriff of corruption was unconstitutional.

The Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals argued that Sheriff Jerry Larpenter’s investigation into the blog ExposeDAT had flawed rationale: the alleged defamation was not actually a crime as applied to a public official.

The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel comes after police officer Wayne Anderson and his wife Jennifer Anderson were denied assistance in local and federal court.

Comment Re:Only SOME Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 356

I wonder if it's that as readers got faster, they have less time to deal with errors from disks that were crap to start with, so errors that have been there all along are now causing visible issues.

I remember a study that found there were problems caused by writing CDs at slower speeds on hardware designed to write faster -- causing more write errors. I've always written disks at the fastest available speed, which might be why I never ran into that issue. (Tho I still have an old 4x unit should I ever run into it.)

Comment Re:Yes, Because Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 356

Commercial disks are pretty durable, as you say (unless exposed to weather, then they fall apart fairly quick). The only commercial disk I've seen fail were bad out of the box. But burnables, not so much. Mine have done well (my oldest ones are still readable) but I lived in the desert. Dampness and CDRs do not play well together, as they're not completely sealed around the edges, so I'm not surprised by tales of woe.

I still use CDRs and DVDRs for sneakernet to the DOS machine that doesn't speak network or USB, and occasionally for a specific type of backup (movie or album) but no longer routinely use them for system backup. I can get a whole stack of DVDs on a single 128GB flash drive (not to mention backup is much faster and needs far less babysitting), and per the torture tests I've read about, flash drives beat everything else for durability (retaining data through all manner of abuse; one even partially survived being shot).

And until recently I was still using them for live CDs for testing OS distros, but along came that bootable-flash-drive app and now I have 40+ distros on a single flash stick, plus a place to save files convenient to whatever I'm testing.

I never did acquire a Blu-Ray, tho I suppose now that prices have gotten sane I'll pick one up just so I have it if I need one. Which might be never at the present rate (I don't buy BR movies, so what is it good for? burned BR are reputed very unreliable, failing in as little as six months.)

Submission + - British Companies Are Selling Advanced Spy Tech To Authoritarian Regimes (vice.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Since early 2015, over a dozen UK companies have been granted licenses to export powerful telecommunications interception technology to countries around the world, Motherboard has learned. Many of these exports include IMSI-catchers, devices which can monitor large numbers of mobile phones over broad areas. Some of the UK companies were given permission to export their products to authoritarian states such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Egypt; countries with poor human rights records that have been well-documented to abuse surveillance technology. In 2015, the UK's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) started publishing basic data about the exportation of telecommunications interception devices. Through the Freedom of Information Act, Motherboard obtained the names of companies that have applied for exportation licenses, as well as details on the technologies being shipped, including, in some cases, individual product names. The companies include a subsidiary of defense giant BAE Systems, as well as Pro-Solve International, ComsTrac, CellXion, Cobham, and Domo Tactical Communications (DTC). Many of these companies sell IMSI-catchers. IMSI-catchers, sometimes known as “Stingrays” after a particularly popular brand, are fake cell phone towers which force devices in their proximity to connect. In the data obtained by Motherboard, 33 licenses are explicitly marked as being for IMSI-catchers, including for export to Turkey and Indonesia. Other listings heavily suggest the export of IMSI-catchers too: one granted application to export to Iraq is for a “Wideband Passive GSM Monitoring System,” which is a more technical description of what many IMSI-catchers do. In all, Motherboard received entries for 148 export license applications, from February 2015 to April 2016. A small number of the named companies do not provide interception capabilities, but defensive measures, for example to monitor the radio spectrum.

Submission + - Trump's shock troops: Who are the 'alt-right'? (bbc.com)

alternative_right writes: Anthony Smith, a journalist for the website Mic, got a tip that the image had appeared on 8chan, an extreme message board with many users who self-identify as members of the alt-right movement.

At first Smith was sceptical that he'd be able to stand the story up. The message board is fast-moving, threads get deleted quickly, and it's difficult to search for and find images. But within an hour, he had his answer.

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