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Comment Re:Look a bit higher (Score 1) 90

Well, the law disagrees with you. It doesn't, however, work like people here think it does. There isn't a line in the sky saying "this far, no farther". It depends on the nature and intent of the intrusion.

For example I've flown in a helicopter belonging to the Florida Keys Mosquito Control district. Those spray jockeys' job is to lay down pesticide on hard to reach places, particularly the first place a mosquito might light after crossing between islands which is likely to be a line of mangroves or bushes. They're accustomed to flying *low*. En route between Stock Island and Marathon Key we flew so low over peoples' houses I could certainly have told what magazines they left out by the pool -- if we hadn't been going over 100 mph. It's just normal business for those guys, and they're not targeting those homeowners in any way. But if we'd hovered over his house to ogle his teenage daughter, that would be an intrusion, apart from the epic noise.

This isn't really different from privacy law in general: context and intent matter. If someone is standing behind you at the ATM, that's not necessarily breach of privacy; but if they are doing it to look over your shoulder that's different. If your neighbor looks at the back of your house, it's normal. If he sits in his tree trying to peer through your back windows, it's not.

One of the landmark cases in privacy was Nader v.General Motors Corp. where GM retaliated against Nader for writing unkind things about its cars by hiring private investigators to dig up dirt and intimidate Nader. One of the things they did to intimidate him was to follow him around all day, often openly following him a few feet behind as he went about his business so he'd know he was being constantly watched. The court ruled this was an invasion of privacy. Sure the PIs had a right to be in the places they went, but they didn't have a right to be there doing what they were doing.

Comment Games and OSes (Score 1) 67

Because people want to play video games...

Was does Windows have anything to do with couple of thousands games on Steam(*) that all run on any OS (Windows ; Mac OS X ; Linux) ?

Oh, yeah... "Triple-A games".
The kind of overrated content that rarely gets correct ports (Hi, Ryan Gordon, thank you for being the refreshing exception to this sad rule !), and is the most likely to b0rk your machine due to DRM (You know! Because "AAA" development costs a lot of money, and the "AAA" studios have to protect their revenue. By completely fucking the experience of their paying customer base).

If anything, today's DRM example is a big argument of why people should prefer the PirateBay version, and why I've personally downloaded cracks for any DRMed game that I've bought.


(*) : I know that Steam also uses some forms of DRM, but we have yet to have a FA on /. titled "Steam's own DRM causes a massive backdoor on all computers"

Comment Re:Bad memory... (Score 1) 118

overflows in C don't cause immediate crashes

Where in any C standard does it say that.

"overflows in C [ compiled by most compilers ] [ run on most common hardware ] don't cause immediate crashes" is probably true.

But an overflow in signed integer calcutaltions on a Harris 800 or a Tandem TXP, to cite two examples I have real experience with, would cause an immediate crash.

Comment Re: SEUs are a real thing... (Score 1) 118

99.99â... of SEUs have notihing to do with cosmic radiation.

Let me guess, you are a millennial, and to cool to use Google?

It was initially thought that this was mainly due to alpha particles emitted by contaminants in chip packaging material, but research has shown that the majority of one-off soft errors in DRAM chips occur as a result of background radiation, chiefly neutrons from cosmic ray secondaries


Comment Re:Can we get something like windows 10.01 10.02 (Score 2) 100

What is effectively Windows 7 SP2 is called the Convenience Rollup instead, probably because it avoids complications about extending support dates if a new Service Pack is released, and it's found as KB3125574. See my first post to this discussion for more about how to use it, including installing it without waiting an eternity for Windows Update to get its act together.

Comment Microsoft Update Catalog is my new hero (Score 5, Informative) 100

For general information, if you're installing a fresh Windows 7 now (starting from SP1, presumably) then it seems by far the fastest way to get a system reasonably well patched is to install the Convenience Rollup (KB3125574) and if necessary its prerequisite (KB3020369) from the Microsoft Update Catalog. That immediately brings you up to somewhere around April 2016 in terms of patch level, and you can download the required files quickly from the Catalog site and then install them locally using WUSA without waiting around for hours while Windows Update does whatever its current broken mess needs to do now. The most recent time I did this was just a few days ago, and after doing that it was then another couple of hours for Windows Update to find the rest and install the remaining security updates, but at least it could be done in an afternoon instead of leaving the new PC overnight and hoping it might have found something by the morning. Spybot Anti-Beacon or some similar tool can still turn off the various telemetry junk that you can't now individually because it's all bundled into the CR update.

Incidentally, for those who would prefer to keep security patching their existing Windows 7 systems but not get anything else, there are reportedly (direct from a Microsoft source) going to be monthly security-only bundles as well, but you'll have to get those from Microsoft Update Catalog manually as well, they won't be advertised or pushed out through Windows Update. So it looks like the new SOP is to turn off Windows Update entirely (as a bonus, you get back that CPU core that's been sitting at 100% running the svchost.exe process containing the Windows Update service for the last few months) and instead just go along and manually download the security bundle each month to install locally.

Of course, Microsoft Update Catalog requires Internet Explorer 6.0 or later and won't run with any of the other modern browsers, but I'll live with using IE to access it if it means I get security-patched but otherwise minimally screwed up Windows 7 machines for another 3 years.

Also, it's been confirmed that this policy will apply to all editions of Windows 7. It's not an Enterprise-only feature and doesn't require the use of WSUS etc. Let's hope they stick to their word on this one.

Comment Re:How much do they vary? (Score 1) 227

The joke is that the Old Testament we have today is probably closer to the original text than the New one.

That isn't true, for any reasonable definition of "original". The majority of the New Testament (i.e. everything which isn't the gospels) seems reasonably intact, given the history of its transmission. Sure, in most cases we don't know who wrote it, when, or why, but that's beside the point.

Having said that, it's hard to say what you mean by "original". Job and Jonah are a case in point. The Jonah story is almost certainly fairly close to what the original author intended, given the lack of alternative readings. The epic poem of Job, however, shows a lot of evidence of editing. We're missing half of one of the dialogues, and at least one of the monologues, the prologue, and the epilogue, were added later, possibly at different points. Oh, and then there's the Documentary Hypothesis.

So you do need to be clear on what you mean by "original". When it comes to very ancient texts, there probably is no such thing.

Comment Re: Obligatory.. (Score 1) 227

don't know how to say this as nicely as possible, but..
are we sure we are talking about the same book?

I'm not the person you're replying to (obviously), but yes, you're almost certainly referring to the book with Acts 15 in it. Wikipedia has more on the Noachide laws if you're curious; this is absolutely settled.

Oh, it's also the same book which gives a method for terminating a pregnancy via magic. Hopefully it's not the same book that cynical politicians have subtly rewritten to suit their agenda...

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