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Comments

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When Spies and Crime-Fighters Squabble Over How They Spy On You

Alain Williams If they have done nothing wrong ... (120 comments)

then what have they got to hide ?

At least: that is what we are being told. So if that is good enough for us, why is it not good enough for them ?

3 days ago
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SpaceX Releases Video of Falcon Rocket's Splashdown

Alain Williams Why the annoying sound track ? (49 comments)

Not everyone has such a short attention span that they need jangley noise to keep them from moving to another web site.

about a week ago
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Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

Alain Williams Re:Trusting a binary from Cisco (194 comments)

Who modded this troll, it should be modded insightful? Are the NSA operatives getting in quick these days ?

about a week ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Alain Williams Do not 'phone - write (401 comments)

Send a letter to their registered head office stating that you do not want their service from xxx date. Then cancel the payment with your bank. Job done.

Your new provider can do whatever work is needed to take the line over. Send them a copy of the letter that you send to your old provider.

about two weeks ago
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Dubai's Climate-Controlled Dome City Is a Dystopia Waiting To Happen

Alain Williams World's largest mall: Occupying 8 million sq ft (265 comments)

A big shopping center - sounds like hell on earth! I just can't understand the obsession with shopping, once you have your clothes & stuff just leave and do something interesting.

about three weeks ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Alain Williams No one is excluded by other people (608 comments)

Things are wrong if a group of people are excluded from something by others for no particular reason or a frivolous one such as: sex, religion, skin colour, ... However: we are not equal in achievement, I will never be a swimming great -- the young lads at the pool power past me, but I could prob write a better C program or shell script than they could. However if they were willing to put many years work they might manage that as well.

Life is not fair, different people have different abilities & achievements. What is important is that society provides equality of opportunity; it is up to the individual to exercise that opportunity based on the time that they are willing to put in and their innate abilities.

about three weeks ago
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Famo.us: Do We Really Need Another JavaScript Framework?

Alain Williams Re:HTML5 & JS should just crawl away and die (104 comments)

It means that there is yet another web site that I arrive at at see an empty page or maybe a few items scattered apparently at random. I surf with javascript switched off by default. Most sites should work without javascript, OK some fancy features might be missing but I should generally see the page. Those that do not: I might look to see what javascript to enable, but all too often they are trying to pull in javascript from 1/2 dozen sites - so I guess a couple and then give up and go elsewhere.

Javascript should be used to make a page look nicer, not to make it work at all. Insisting on javascript is like insisting on flash.

I accept that a few special pages really do need special effects that need javascript, but not many of them.

about three weeks ago
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Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

Alain Williams I was going to ask ... (115 comments)

what sort of encryption(s) were the cops unable to break - assuming that they were able to tell by looking at the files; failing that what were the ones that they succeeded in breaking? That might be useful as it would guide me in choosing which algorithms to use for encrypting my stuff.

Then is occurred to me that if the cops revealed it I must assume misinformation. They surely would not make their life difficult by telling me how to defeat them -- or would they answer the question honestly ? So: I could ever trust their answer -- is there any point in even asking them the question ?

about a month ago
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The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...

Alain Williams Re:Longevity (196 comments)

Agreed, I worded it badly. How about: ''How long had the last energy saving bulb that you replaced been working ?'' Even then it is sloppy since some bulbs will be used a lot (eg in the kitchen) whereas others very little (in the garage or spare bedroom). But it is not intended to be a scientific survey.

about a month ago
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The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...

Alain Williams Re:Submit a poll idea :) (196 comments)

Following on from the current poll: How long did your last energy saving bulb last ? 0-1 months; 2-4; 5-8; 9-14; 15-23; 2 years; 2-3 years; 4+ years

The reason for the question is that they are supposed to last many years of typical usage - I do not get that out of most of them, some only last 6 months. I want to know if others find the same ?

about a month ago
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Want To Resell Your Ebooks? You'd Better Act Fast

Alain Williams Re: The site does not commit piracy ... (72 comments)

That is the whole point -- with an e-book you can sell it and still have/keep a copy to use, something that you cannot do with a paper book. This is what the publishers want to stop.

about a month ago
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Want To Resell Your Ebooks? You'd Better Act Fast

Alain Williams Re: The site does not commit piracy ... (72 comments)

Who reads a book twice?

You might not want to read a novel more than once, but many books are not story books. Eg: an academic text book; a reference book - these you might read and want to keep so that you can look up points of detail later.

Having said that:: I have read 'Lord of the Rings' 3 times.

about a month ago
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Want To Resell Your Ebooks? You'd Better Act Fast

Alain Williams The site does not commit piracy ... (72 comments)

it is just a market place. ''the site operates on an honor basis.'' it expects that once you have sold your e-book that you delete it from your machines. If you do not then it is you who commits piracy. It is an issue of trust: the book publisher/author knows that it is all too easy for someone to sell a book once they have read it but still keep the copy. But just because it is easy does not mean that everyone will keep a copy. I do have to admit that many will sell and keep.

I do not know what the answer it, shutting down a market place or wrapping the book in DRM are not the answers.

about a month ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

Alain Williams Simple question: (534 comments)

What have the SWAT teams got to hide ?

about a month ago
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Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

Alain Williams Re:HALLELUJAH! :D :D :D (649 comments)

Why was this modded down as 'troll' ? It is deliciously funny!

about a month and a half ago
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EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

Alain Williams Re:The problem with safe harbor (60 comments)

The trouble is that facebook et al are subject to the patriot act - this means that all the govt of the USA needs to do is say ''give me this data'' and they have to do it. The data can be anywhere in the world, if they can access it they need to give it to the NSA/... upon demand and can be stopped from telling anyone what they have done.

This could result in these companies being put into an impossible position where they have to meet conflicting demands both of which they must absolutely obey. The only way that they will survive is to lie, either ''we do not have the data'' or ''we did not give it away''. I suspect that the NSA will, at least initially, win this and they will just lie to tell the EU regulators ''we did not give it away''.

about a month and a half ago
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Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed

Alain Williams Re:Not evil.... (364 comments)

If there were 5 video services and all had similar levels of marketshare, it wouldn't be a problem.

It is not the market share of the video service that matters, it is the visibility of the artist's works that really counts. If another service will carry the songs and that other service is indexed by google then there is little loss. OK: punters won't be able to search in the Youtube search bar, but they will soon learn to do searches in google/bing/...

If another video service cannot carry the bandwidth then maybe they ought to pay more. This is where net neutrality, peering, etc comes into play -- I have to admit that size of video service does matter as the really small guys cannot afford content delivery services ... but plenty other than youtube can.

about a month and a half ago
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Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed

Alain Williams Re:Not evil.... (364 comments)

I honestly don't see how this doesn't run afoul of antitrust provisions. They're leveraging their position in the video market in order to push their streaming service and give themselves an unfair market advantage.

How come ? You can host your music/... elsewhere, somewhere where google (the search engine) will find it. So, if you don't like their terms, just move.

about a month and a half ago
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Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed

Alain Williams Re:Not evil.... (364 comments)

But be prepared to have search results for your web site pulled if Google finds out you are making money off it and not buying ads through them. Google is no longer in the search business.

Do you have any evidence of google pulling sites that do not buy ads through Google ? If Google were to do something like that its quality as a search engine would drop and people would go elsewhere - it would be search engine suicide.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Slashdot Poll suggestion on energy saving light bulbs

Alain Williams Alain Williams writes  |  about a month ago

Alain Williams (2972) writes "How long had the last energy saving light bulb that you replaced been working ? * 0-1 months; * 2-4 months; * 5-8 months; * 9-14 months; * 15-23 months; * 2 years; * 2-3 years; * 4+ years; * never had one fail; * I eat carrots you insensitive clod!."
Link to Original Source
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Jewish school removes evolution questions from exams

Alain Williams Alain Williams writes  |  about 5 months ago

Alain Williams (2972) writes "Religious sponsored ignorance is not just in the USA, a school in Hackney, England is trying to hide the idea of evolution from its pupils. Maybe they fear that their creation story will be seen for what it is if pupils get to learn ideas supported evidence. The girls are also disadvantaged since they can't answer the redacted questions, thus making it harder to get good marks."
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Detained David Miranda loses legal battle

Alain Williams Alain Williams writes  |  about 5 months ago

Alain Williams (2972) writes "The BBC reports that the nine-hour detention at Heathrow Airport of an ex-Guardian journalist's partner has been ruled lawful. David Miranda lives with reporter Glenn Greenwald who has written articles about state surveillance based on leaked documents by Edward Snowden. At the High Court, Mr Miranda claimed his detention under anti-terrorism laws was unlawful and breached human rights. But judges said it was a "proportionate measure in the circumstances" and in the interests of national security."
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Study doubts quantum computer speed

Alain Williams Alain Williams writes  |  about 6 months ago

Alain Williams (2972) writes "The BBC reports that a new academic study has raised doubts about the performance of a commercial quantum computer in certain circumstances. In some tests devised by a team of researchers, the commercial quantum computer has performed no faster than a standard desktop machine."
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Work begins on hardware to aid Edsac replica recreation

Alain Williams Alain Williams writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Alain Williams writes "Plans to rebuild the pioneering Edsac computer are a step closer to completion as parts that will form its metal chassis start to be manufactured.

Edsac — Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator — ran its first program in 1949 and was created to help scientists at Cambridge University."

Link to Original Source
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Apple drops 'thermonuclear' patent bombshell

Alain Williams Alain Williams writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Alain Williams writes "Apple has launched a new patent assault on its competitors, first granted to the American Mathematical Society in October 1912, subsequently renewed, then acquired by Apple at an unknown date. The first entry among the patent's Claims describes "A quadrilateral having all four interior angles of 90, opposite sides that are parallel, and congruent diagonals that bisect each other.""
Link to Original Source
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Actress sues Amazon over her age on its IMDb site

Alain Williams Alain Williams writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Alain Williams writes "An actress has sued Amazon.com for more than $1m (£639,000) after her age was posted on its Internet Movie Database. She says revealing her age on the site will lose her acting opportunities. So is her career dependent on lies ?"
Link to Original Source
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Kodaks' patent spat threatens photo web sites

Alain Williams Alain Williams writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Alain Williams writes "The fallout from a patent dispute between Kodak and web photo site Shutterfly could embroil many online image sites, says patent experts.

Kodak claimed it owns patents regarding the display of online images that is being infringed by Shutterfly."

Link to Original Source
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UAE 'moves to suspend some Blackberry services'

Alain Williams Alain Williams writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Alain Williams writes "The move comes amid UAE concerns that data from the devices is immediately exported offshore and managed by a foreign organisation.
The UAE's telecoms regulator, TRA, said last week the devices could therefore pose a threat to national security.
It follows an alleged attempt last year by the state-run telecoms company to install spyware on Blackberry handsets."

Link to Original Source
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Slashdot poll suggestion

Alain Williams Alain Williams writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Alain Williams (2972) writes "''Job control: largest job number''

When you hit Ctrl-z in an app and type ''jobs'' you will get a list of job numbers in square brackes, eg ''[2]'', what is the largest number that you have seen ?
(I currently have 20 on one of my ssh sessions).
Options

* 2
* 5
* 10
* 20
* 20+
* I don't control my jobs"

Journals

Alain Williams has no journal entries.

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