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Comment Re: Not just Southern Spain (Score 1) 130

Look at what happened to the Aral Sea under the Soviets. The sea doesn't really exist anymore! (except as two small pocket remnants)

I've seen what's left of it from 10,000 metres. Bit of an eye-opener when I realised what it was, and that it didn't look much at all like what's shown on maps made just 50 or 60 years ago.

Comment Re:use wireless (Score 1) 194

Maybe, just maybe, I want to transfer some files between my computer and my phone, and I don't especially want them going over the air, particularly via wireless networks and/or third-party storage that I neither control nor know with certainty to be secure?

And I'm not necessarily talking about porn, either. I sometimes handle data that is confidential and/or proprietary, and which I'm obligated by company rules and/or by law to safeguard. If I'm careless with it, it could mean losing my job. Or going to prison. "But all the cool kids...!" is not likely to wash in either case.

Comment Re:Too late (Score 1) 298

Until it does not work due to a networks error

Do you really think merchants don't have manual backup for the extremely rare occasions when that happens?

or you forgot your pin.

So you can't remember a 4-digit number? Must suck to be you.

Also, you are a bit of an arse if you use your card on anything less than 5 bucks these days.

And why is that, exactly?

FWIW, I usually carry the equivalent of US$20-30, and use it for little things like a takeaway lattè. But plenty of people here just use their card for that sort of thing, and I do, too, if I happen not to have cash. And nobody so much as blinks at that. Which leads us back to the question above--why should they?

Comment Re:The foxes own the hen house (Score 1) 79

Before you make that claim you need to prove that location tracking is somehow incredibly detrimental to the life of people.

If you were to emerge from your little bubble of safety with eyes open and brain engaged, I think you'd very quickly find plenty of cases in which it could be incredibly detrimental to some people.

Comment Re:English losing its elegance (Score 1) 79

Contrast that with Mandarin, where you could have a sentence where carelessly raising, then dropping, the pitch of some word in the middle of the sentence instead of simply dropping it could transform it from something a parent might say to their child into something that could be interpreted as crude, inflammatory sexual slang that would make guys in an American locker room cringe because it's *so* bad.

Not nearly as likely as it might seem. (To my relief, I might add.) For one thing, although each Chinese *character* represents a syllable, Chinese *words* are not necessarily monosyllables. While there are pairs that can be easily confused (e.g. mãi "buy" and mài "sell"), these tend not to be used in isolation for just that reason ("buy" is usually gòumãi, and "sell" is often shòumài). In addition, there's a lot of variation--even amongst Mandarin speakers, some words are spoken with different tones in different localities, so Mandarin speakers tend to have a very forgiving ear, just as most English speakers have no trouble recognising any of "ai", "ah", and "oi" as the first person singular pronoun that all English speakers write as "I".

(I'm using the tilde to represent the low tone, BTW, because fucking Slashdot won't let me fucking use anything with a fucking caron. Idiots.)


Web Bluetooth Opens New Abusive Channels ( 79

An anonymous reader writes: Recently, browsers are starting to ship Web Bluetooth API, soon to become a component of Web of Things. Web Bluetooth will allow to connect local user devices with remote web sites. While offering new development and innovation possibilities, it may also open a number of frightening security and privacy risks such as private data leaks, abuses and complexity. Web Bluetooth as currently defined by W3C may introduce unexpected data leaks such as location, and personally-identifiable data. "There are numerous examples of data processing methods possible of extracting insight previously seemingly hidden," said Steve Hegenderfer, director of Developer Programs at the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. "With Web Bluetooth, core security and privacy responsibility is delegated to the already powerful Web browser. Browsers should consider the types of information made available to websites and act accordingly in designing their data privacy layers." Is pairing kettles with web sites a good idea?

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