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Comment Re:What Backdoor? (Score 1) 107

It my impression that most criminals aren't nearly clever enough.

Maybe small-time criminals like home burglars or armed robbery people aren't clever enough, but someone capable of delivering a working e-commerce site? I'm assuming there that all the cleverness required to pull it off is built-in.

My question is -- they caught THIS guy, but how many have done the same thing and not gotten caught? There's possibly millions of e-commerce sites out there written by people with nobody looking over their shoulder and not enough resources for someone to check for something like this.

Surely this isn't the only person to give in to a moral hazard like this.

Comment Re:I call bs (Score 1) 83

I don't know for sure, but I thought they had a method for fingerprinting songs that made it (relatively) simple for them find copyrighted audio in video audio tracks.

Since each porn star has a different voice, coupled with background music or sounds, it's they'd have to fingerprint the audio from every porn movie.

Plus I always thought that porn was detected more or less by people flagging the videos as porn if they weren't detected by more obvious screening methods (ie, keywords or something in the titles).

I found a series of German TV documentaries from the late 1960s/early 1970s on YouTube about the "german youth" that had pretty explicit sex and nudity, more explicit than I had ever found in YouTube. They had been posted for years with thousands of views and I was kind of surprised they had kicked around that long.

I guess I would assume that private, unshared content on YouTube would be subjected to all the usual automated scanning plus a higher than normal level of human review since it seems like an ideal way to swap prohibited content on Google's dime.

I've also wondered if it would be possible to use video content as a means of storing data while having it survive re-encoding. Tivo used to buy time on a cable network at night and broadcast a kind of flash block pattern that was decoded into data.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 79

I'd be curious to know what the propeller-heads who study long-term valuation think of Comcast NBCUniversal.

I'm not one of those people, but I have this idea that of that combo-package, NBC has the best long-term business model, Universal second and Comcast third.

Comcast's primary value *now* is its local monopolies on broadband and cable television, and the cable part isn't an actual monopoly if you take DirectTV and Dish into account as viable competitors for most households. But long-term, doesn't the whole viability of the cable television model look shaky? Netflix, HBO Now, Prime Instant, the whole streaming thing looks like its undermining their cable business.

That leaves broadband, but who knows what that will look like in 5-10 years. 5G with high enough caps and/or more fiber rollouts could undermine that business, too.

Universal is mostly a production studio, and their future is probably decent as a content production business -- maybe not big growth, but at least competitive if managed right.

NBC still has a giant network of affiliates who actually broadcast their signal in addition to a fair amount of content that still draws eyeballs, which makes it seem to have some durability.

So at the end of the day, Verizon, with its giant cell phone network and terrestrial network seems to have much more asset value and long-term value.

Comment Re:AI as a marketing term (Score 1) 154

My question is that as AI is developed from machine learning or whatever it's antecedents are, at what point will we decide that we have AI?

It seems like the goal line for what we're will to accept is AI keeps getting moved forward, mostly driven by a science fiction version of AI, like HAL9000, Westworld robots or some other kind of self-aware machine consciousness.

Comment Re:FB is not entertainment (Score 1) 32

I think the big error Facebook made early on was making it too easy to post links and to share other such posts. This diluted the content from "stupid shit my friends say and do" to "clickbait social media shares" with no original content from friends.

I see people on Facebook who seem to do nothing other than re-share web links and meme photos, with zero original content added. And there's a lot of it, which is why you end up speed-scrolling your news feed, because its all clickbait and a lot of it politics, too.

I also think that politics and the ease of re-sharing has been a REALLY toxic combination for Facebook. The amount of ZOMG Trump and strident political messaging makes the content even worse.

I was flat on my back sick for 3 days and was surprised how easy it was to blow past everything in my news feed when I finally checked it out again, I thought for sure there would be enough unique self-generated content to kill some time, but it was, again, just a lot of low quality noise.

The idea of Facebook as a long-form video source platform just seems ridiculous. It's not on any STBs and even if it was, the newsfeed doesn't make for a video selection user interface. Even Netflix struggles a little with content catalog presentation.

Comment Re:battery life a braindead argument (Score 2) 285

I work as an IT contractor, and I have about 400 gigs of miscellaneous software archives that I drag around with me. About a third of it is legacy crap that I almost never need but when it does come up, it's usually critical to solving some problem.

I split the archive between a current branch and a legacy branch and keep legacy as just a symlink to a directory on a 256 GB card that stays in my Dell laptop and fortunately fits completely flush.

I agree that the speeds to SD are kind of erratic and not nearly as good or predictable in response to even a decent USB3 stick, but for what I'm using it for its more or less ideal.

Submission + - Opera Presto Source Code Leaks Online (

An anonymous reader writes: An unknown third-party has leaked the source code of the old Opera Presto browser engine on GitHub, and later on Bitbucket, two services for hosting and sharing source code online. According to timestamps, the Opera Presto source code was first uploaded on GitHub but was taken down last Friday, on January 13, after Opera's lawyers filed a DMCA request. The repository was moved a day later on Bitbucket, where it is still available today.

Opera Presto is the layout engine at the heart of the old Opera browser. Opera Software used Presto between Opera 7 and Opera 14 and replaced Presto with Blink, Chrome's layout engine, in Opera 15, released in May 2013.

According to information provided in the repositories, the leaked source code is for version 12.15 of the Opera engine. Opera has not developed the Presto engine in past years, and most likely, this is an outdated technology. Unlike Google, Mozilla, Apple, and Microsoft, who open-sourced some parts of their browsers' source code, Opera never open-sourced any part of the Presto engine.

Comment Re:Corporate Arrogance strikes again. (Score 1) 83

It's got nothing to do with corporate arrogance and everything to do with boosting sales numbers. The ".99" thing is psychological and is connected with how the optical cortex processes the sequence of numbers we see into a value that we then equate to. Apparently, enough extra people will purchase an item priced at $x.99 instead of ${x+1}.00 than is necesssary to offset the $0.01 loss of profits, and where people are becoming aware of this marketing technique the simple trick of using .98 supposedly tricks the brain and brings the sale numbers right back up again.

Comment Re:battery life a braindead argument (Score 1) 285

A modular bottom panel is a pretty good idea. I suppose ideally the entire case would be designed around the bottom panel being swappable for a thicker one which included supplemental battery power and extra ports.

If they had a docking port on the bottom, this could almost be something a third party could deliver.

Comment Re:battery life a braindead argument (Score 2) 285

Am I the only one who finds that a SD card slot that holds an SD card is a great way to hold extra data? I keep a 256 GB one with low-use archive data in my SD card slot, symlinked into the main file system.

Frankly I wish they could put 2 or 4 of these slots into a laptop. I would use one for portable data I expected to move to other computers, one as a generic storage enhancer, and one other for my automatic image backup.

The latter I would really like, I can keep at least 5 restore points in 512GB for my system's 66% full 1 TB boot disk if I run the backup cycle daily. Create an incremental at every boot and then auto-dismount to protect it from malware or accidental overwrite.

My summary of this whole Macbook Pro issue (and I don't even own one) is that one side is arguing that "nobody" uses the missing features (SD card slots, USB ports, etc), basically arguing that because the *average* user doesn't use them, it's a waste to add them.

The other side seems comprised of the actual power users who have use cases for them and think that a product should be offered that addresses something other than the average user.

At the end of the day, the whole thing seems to boil down to millimeters and ounces of weight.

Comment Re:battery life a braindead argument (Score 1) 285

you obviously don't do anything processor intensive, while on the face of it the clock speeds haven't changed much the actual raw performance change from a sandy bridge to a haswell is massive, it is close to a 50% step up.

There is none. Go to The newer cpus are about 5% slower than the ones a few years ago. Massive my ass

Comment Re:battery life a braindead argument (Score 1) 285

Ah so you have a load with more cores? I was about to reply on your previous comment that benchmarks show little to slower performance to older haswells. But unless you have a parallel load which admit that is about 3% of PC users that won't make a difference which is why your CPU cost $500 more.

I wonder though how much of Mac power users have GPU vs CPU limited workloads?

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The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."