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Comment A hazard for us all (Score 1) 16

If a person or persons can demonstrate that they have unfettered access to your private communications they are in a good position to tell anyone else that you have things in there that might not in reality exist. They can assert that you have been talking dirty with minors, trading credit card numbers, selling secrets or conspiring to set a bomb. Anything they like, really. Very hard to disprove. A negative case is the hardest to sustain. Also, and this is what my users don't usually understand, a person who can read your correspondence can also write it. It wouldn't take much of an effort to insert the wrong sort of document into your outbox. Maybe some inappropriate photos? A badly worded appraisal of a colleague? Racial, sexual, political aspersions? Who knows? It's been done in pre-internet days. Probably under way as we sit here.

Comment Re:Which is the most counterproductive act of all. (Score 3, Insightful) 572

I think that may be the first time I have seen "reasonable request" and "sysadmin" in the same sentence.
The sysadmins I encounter are invariably anything but reasonable. Aloof, patronizing, condescending... all of those. Most have a very narrow specialization niche and absolutely no social skills or business experience.
I have seen them reduce naive users to tears and effectively discourage any user from making a request of any kind.

Comment Re:how long will this behavior be tolerated... (Score 1) 180

Actually, it was the US embassy in Moscow.
They found microphones suspended on dipoles in the walls. The Russians beamed in radio waves and the microphones modulated the re-radiated radio waves. No power required.
The microphones were installed while the embassy was being built for the US by the USSR.
There was an article about it in one of the tech mags about 30 years ago. Showed photos of grim US diplomats and the offending dipoles (which were simply wires cut to length).

Comment Re:and then linux and maybe mac os will go big (Score 1) 196

apple may be forced to open mac os to all hardware.
There's no actual restriction on what hardware you run OSX on, apart from the EULA.
True, OSX supports a restricted subset of hardware but there doesn't appear to be any custom stuff involved. Ask the Hackintosh guys.
On a related note, just what advantage would Apple get from this? Apple make their money from the hardware. It would be like Microsoft releasing their XBOX OS for other hardware makers.

Comment The past is dead (Score 1) 379

I couldn't think of anything worse! There are many good reasons why large parts of my life are forgotten. It's not easy forgetting all that stuff that I'd rather not remember.
Having it all recorded in other people's memories is the ultimate nightmare.
Apart from immediate family I don't think I'm in touch with anyone I knew 20 years ago. And that's the way I like it.
It's not easy being a fool.
The past is dead.
The future is unknowable.
As for the present... I forgot to bring one.

Comment Re:Funny... (Score 1) 588

Apple/Android tablet makers store their OS in a small, discrete storage device, with a second, larger storage space for user apps and content.
Sorry to ruin your fantasy, but my 8Gig iPod lists its capacity as 6.4Gig available without any 3rd party apps or user files.
My 16Gig iPad similarly lists its capacity as 13.4Gig.
I'm going to assume that the missing space is iOS etc. No need to invent a mythical "small, discrete storage device".

Comment Re:Blame (Score 1) 913

Yes, Microsoft won't have to pay for a Windows license.
Perhaps, but every one they give away with their "loss-leader" Surface is one not bought by an OEM.
Each Surface sold by MS represents not only a financial loss but a weakening of their vital Windows ecosystem.
Buying a market (EG XBOX) away from competitors might be smart, but buying one (EG ZUNE) away from the people who buy your product isn't.

Comment Re:Apple investment (Score 4, Informative) 151

Jobs, on his return, wanted to be rid of all the lawsuits between Apple and Microsoft.
The biggie was the presence of Apple's Quicktime code in Windows (because of a contractor's shortcut).
The end-result of the negotiations was that Apple would keep IE as the default browser, MS would continue to write Office for Mac for at least 5 years and would invest $150Mill in non-voting Apple stock (which they later sold at a profit).
People not knowing the facts simply invented reasons for the investment that suited them.

Comment Re:If we are to survive long term... (Score 4, Insightful) 352

With 70% of our planet's surface under at least 1 mile of water it makes more sense to develop ways of exploring (and exploiting) the oceans. We really have no idea what's down there. The "abyssal plains" of the '70s are disproved. What next? Of course, a nice big phallic rocket with lots of noise, fire and smoke will thrill Joe SixPack but where's the payoff? Mining asteroids? You're kidding, right? We can't even get back to the moon.

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