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Comments

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Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

Camael Yes, boo Microsoft (267 comments)

Let met know when Apple allows other Os's can use Imessage. That is when they get it fixed.

I don't currently use any Apple products, but even I can tell there is a difference between a messaging system that was built right from the start to be locked out of its competitor's OS and one which originally was platform independent, but had that feature removed.

To use a simple car analogy, if I bought a car knowing from the start it only ran on fuel brand X, so be it. If I bought a car which could run on all types of fuel, and during routine maintenance at the shop they changed a part so that it only ran on fuel brand Y, I would be mightily pissed.

Surely you can appreciate the difference.

about two weeks ago
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City of London Police Take Down Proxy Service Over Piracy Concerns

Camael Re:Not a private police force (133 comments)

Regarding the authority "issue" - the City of London Police seizing a domain name is no different to the Metropolitan Police seizing it, the jurisdictional "issues" are the same. The reason the City of London Police are doing this a lot is because they are highly specialised in economic crime detection, investigation and enforcement, so combating criminal level copyright infringement is in fact one of their specialities.

The problem however is the legality of the very act of the police in seizing domain names. Apparently, they do not have the power to do so. Instead, they request the "cooperation" of registrars who are threatened with possible legal sanctions in the same breath. Here is an excerpt of one of their letters :-

“Suspension of the domain(s) is intended to prevent further crime. Where possible we request that domain suspension(s) are made within 48 hours of receipt of this Alert. In respect of the information provided by us, we respectfully ask you to consider your liability and the wider public interest should those services be allowed to continue.”

I don't think you should be comfortable with the police making threats to force registrars to shut down online services in the absence of any court orders, findings of liability or any judgment that the online service is in fact against the law.

about two weeks ago
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City of London Police Take Down Proxy Service Over Piracy Concerns

Camael Re:Let's see if I get this right... (133 comments)

The police, who wants to fight piracy which is claimed to be happening by the corporations, go bust servers with neither warrants nor court orders. What exactly are making these claims legit enough to skip due process? Or is due process some sort of privilege that we shouldn't expect them in the first place?

They're probably getting away with it because nobody is challenging them AFAIK.

about two weeks ago
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US Intelligence Wants Tools To Tell: Who's the Smartest of Them All?

Camael Re: not again! (162 comments)

They gotta narrow down the choices of who to inject the super soldier serum into, ya know. Save the taxpayer's money.

They ain't gonna find him on Capitol Hill, that's for sure.

about two weeks ago
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Ecuador To Forge Ahead With State-Backed Digital Currency

Camael Re:Yet another fiat currency (85 comments)

Now that so many people have mobile phones it makes perfect sense to print less banknotes and use phones as digital wallets.

Perfect sense to the currency issuers and banks, who stand to save on costs associated with the production, transportation and security of physical cash, but less so to the actual users themselves. There are still numerous situations where using physical cash is still superior to digital wallets such as-

Ease of use- there is literally nothing simpler than me handing you the money, you handing me the goods. No fiddling with passwords and praying that the authenticating servers are online. Or worrying about batteries going flat in mobile phones.

Secure medium of storage- Paper money stored properly can last for on average 15 years. I have doubts whether any electronic wallet are as long lasting, not to mention the associated difficulties of maintaining your device, the apps or encountering the horror of corrupted wallets.

Easily divisible- Say my kid needs 10 bucks to buy ice-cream. I peel off a bill and hand it to him. You can't do that with an electronic wallet AFAIK.

My point being that at least in the near future, I see physical cash still playing a major part in our lives.

about two weeks ago
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Ecuador To Forge Ahead With State-Backed Digital Currency

Camael Linking to "productive capacity" is unlikely (85 comments)

I hope the coins are produced somehow coupled to productive capacity. Something along the lines of open and observable ammeters on their main power plants could suffice. Of course, it'd have to be a bit more complicated than that, but it's the general idea I'm talking about

Unlikely. Even you yourself admit that you can only describe the idea in general terms. That is because "productive capacity" is a amorphous concept which cannot be quantified or measured or even defined without some controversy. Whatever standard you choose to define "productive capacity" as can and will be gamed by the countries involved since the stakes are so high- that standard will literally determine the size of their economy/wealth. Taking your example, if we link "productive capacity" to power production, expect to see a proliferation of power plants of various types and sizes all over the world as countries race to boost their share of the coins, which equate to wealth. The side effect is that excess power/energy which no one wants will be produced.

p.s. I think you mean production capacity instead of "productive capacity" but for the sake of argument have adopted your nomenclature.

about two weeks ago
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Ecuador To Forge Ahead With State-Backed Digital Currency

Camael It's not far fetched at all (85 comments)

Take for example, in Kenya the M-Pesa, the leading form of mobile payment system is widely adopted and mobile phones are used to pay for things such as public transport, school fees, rent, money transfers, to get loans etc. It is so successful that it was launched in other countries like Tanzania, Afghanistan and India.

And M-Pesa is private owned, not a government project.

Oh, and M-Pesa is apparently now going into the digital currency market proper by integrating with bitcoin.

There is no reason why Ecuador cannot do the same.

about two weeks ago
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Ecuador To Forge Ahead With State-Backed Digital Currency

Camael Reason why Ecuador adopted the USD (85 comments)

Thanks for sharing.

I was intrigued enough to look up the reasons why Ecuador made the switch to USD.

For those who are interested, TLDR, in 1999 their economy tanked, their local currency sucre was losing value every day and the locals were converting the sucre they had to the more stable USD. The announcement only made official what was already happening anyway.

Sources:-
On A Roll: Ecuador's gamble with the U.S. Dollar
The effect of dollarization in Ecuador

about two weeks ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Camael Wrong measure (442 comments)

You are using the wrong measure.

The cast of BBT are not being paid that much because they are good at acting.
They are being paid that much because collectively, they enable the BBT show to continue being produced, which show generates substantial amounts of income for their corporate overlords through advertising, merchandising, syndication and whatnot.

The "hundreds of thousands" of other better actors you allude to sadly do not have this earning potential and hence, do not have this kind of paycheck.

Quality of acting is irrelevant.

about two weeks ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Camael Re:Over paid (442 comments)

This is by far the most rational explanation of why the parent post's anger at the "exorbitant salaries" is unjustified.

When you buy product, you buy it as is. Whether its costs were bumped up by advertising or otherwise is beyond the control of the buyer.

about two weeks ago
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Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Camael Well, it is a property offence (281 comments)

Strictly speaking, it is embezzlement

Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft) of such assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted, to be held and/or used for other purposes.

In other jurisdictions, this may be known as misappropriation.

Usually the burden of proof lies on the person you entrusted the property to (especially if it is a paid service) to explain what happened to it. If he can't/won't, you can invite the court to draw an adverse inference against him. Proving where it went is his problem.

about 2 months ago
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Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Camael Re:This just in. (281 comments)

Okay, here's some evidence for you. I will freely admit that if I could not have downloaded Season 3 of Game of Thrones, I would have shelled out $40 to get it on BluRay. HBO and/or the makers of the show and/or whatever retailer I would have bought the set from lost $40. I liked the shows enough to watch them but I really don't feel like paying $40 after having watched them all just to ease my commercial equivalent of a conscience. True fact and actual value lost. So what now? Can we be done with the "nobody lost anything because of downloading" argument once and for all and move on to something more substantial as a reason for both copyright reform and ethical Internet usage?

Your mistake is in assuming you speak for everyone else. Not everyone who downloads would have bought the set if the downloads were not available for various reasons (eg set not available locally, lack of interest, lack of funds). Hence, no direct link of cause and effect evidencing actual loss insofar as other cases of infringement are concerned.

In your case however, given your own admission which can be used against you, there is a direct link hence actual evidence of loss. Be happy you're not sued in court.

about 2 months ago
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Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Camael True value (281 comments)

The bitcoins in question had a monetary value of $400 million. That is, they could be exchanged for that much at the time. $400 million buys you a lot of physical stuff.

Not true. I seriously doubt you can find anyone who is/was willing to buy all those bitcoins for $400 million. I also doubt anyone is/was willing to accept all those bitcoins in exchange for $400 million worth of physical goods.

Lets say for example I take a slug of tin and stamp it into many coins of my own making. Nobody is willing to give me anything for the coins except for my best friend, who is willing to pay me $1 for 1 coin. The true value of my coins would still be zero. You can't argue that based on that one exception, the coins I made is each worth $1.

about 2 months ago
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Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

Camael Interesting? Dangerous? compared to? (281 comments)

An interesting and dangerous reminder of the nature of bitcoins. I am sure there were many bitcoin users who expressly intended to cheat on taxes and hide other criminal financial transactions.

I'm sure that users of cash and other forms of currency do not get scammed, do not get tricked, do not suffer fraud and do not lose the value of their currency of choice. Nope, perfectly safe.

And I'm sure that there are no users of cash and other forms of currency who expressly intended to cheat on taxes and hide other criminal financial transactions. Nope, all perfectly law abiding.

Oh, wait...

Lets not go overboard with the hyperbole here. All forms of convertible currency is exposed to risk.

about 2 months ago
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Adobe To Let Third Party Devs Incorporate Photoshop Features

Camael But...why? (39 comments)

Third party developers will be able to build mobile applications that tap into the features of Adobe's Creative Cloud, including effects such as Photoshop's "content-aware fill" and PSD file manipulation

But if you are a mobile developer coding an app which you presumably intend to profit from in some way, why would you want to put your creation at the mercy of Adobe? Not to mention the hassle of having to ensure that your app is compliant with whatever flavour of Adobe's Creative Cloud exists at the time, and having to update every time Adobe changes something.

Seems more trouble than its worth, really.

about 2 months ago
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1958 Integrated Circuit Prototypes From Jack Kilby's TI Lab Up For Sale

Camael Re:Learn to use a dictionary (76 comments)

The sad thing is that the wrong/erroneous parent post you are replying to is actually modded higher/insightful than your correct/accurate reply.

So much for moderation. =)

about 2 months ago
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1958 Integrated Circuit Prototypes From Jack Kilby's TI Lab Up For Sale

Camael Re:Microchip (76 comments)

1. Microchip is a brand name. Calling an IC a Microchip is like calling a moving staircase an Escalator.

Factually correct, but doesn't answer the question of "Why not?" We do it all the time. We xerox documents. We google for results. And besides, it is already too late .

about 2 months ago
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Bill Gates To Stanford Grads: Don't (Only) Focus On Profit

Camael People are more altruistic than you think (284 comments)

bullshit, most the dramatic increase in human life and health of the last 500 years has been driven by and is the result of profit-seeking. The only solutions to mankinds problems will be produced and distributed that way

Untrue. And unlike you, I have citations and links to prove it.

You might have heard of Edward Jenner , father of immunology and the man whose work in vaccination reduced smallpox from a feared fatal disease to a mere footnote today. Did he become rich from it? No. He sacrificed his own practice and in the end had to be bailed out with public funds.

Jenner's continuing work on vaccination prevented him continuing his ordinary medical practice. He was supported by his colleagues and the King in petitioning Parliament, and was granted £10,000 for his work on vaccination. In 1806, he was granted another £20,000 for his continuing work in microbiology.

Or we can look at Louis Pasteur, father of microbiology. He

...was a French chemist and microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases, and his discoveries have saved countless lives ever since.

What was was the motivation for his work?

After serving briefly as professor of physics at the Dijon Lycée in 1848, he became professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, where he met and courted Marie Laurent, daughter of the university's rector in 1849. They were married on May 29, 1849, and together had five children, only two of whom survived to adulthood; the other three died of typhoid. These personal tragedies were his motivations for curing infectious diseases.

You may be cynical and personally driven by profit-seeking, but don't assume everyone else is.

about 2 months ago
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California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

Camael Wut? Traffic? (314 comments)

Please explain why heavy traffic around LAX is relevant to the discussion, seeing that both established cab companies and ride companies want to brave the heavy traffic to pick up passengers at the airport.

The city in fact is trying to keep ride companies out.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Don't like a patent? Help kIll it.

Camael Camael writes  |  1 year,27 days

Camael (1048726) writes "When Joel Spolsky spotted an undeserving Microsoft patent application, he didn't just let it be granted — He killed a in just a few minutes. In short, he found prior art and submitted it, and the USPTO examiner rejected the patent because of it. From TFA :- "Micah showed me a document from the USPTO confirming that they had rejected the patent application, and the rejection relied very heavily on the document I found. This was, in fact, the first 'confirmed kill' of Ask Patents, and it was really surprisingly easy. I didn't have to do the hard work of studying everything in the patent application and carefully proving that it was all prior art: the examiner did that for me." This is all under the umbrella of Ask Patents'."
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Transparency and the PRISM programme

Camael Camael writes  |  about a year ago

Camael (1048726) writes "When President Obama took office, he issued a "Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies" where he stated that :-

Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing... My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use.

After the PRISM program was revealed, in an interview with Charlie Rose on 17 June 2013, when asked whether the program was transparent, President Obama stated that :-

It is transparent, that’s why we set up the FISA court...My concern has always been not that we shouldn’t do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism but rather are we setting up a system of checks and balances? So, on this telephone program you have a federal court with independent federal judges overseeing the entire program and you’ve got Congress overseeing the program.

Politifact.com opines that

We don’t doubt that there are good reasons for secrecy at the court, but if you’re going to operate a mostly secret court, you also don’t get to crow about how "transparent" it is. The president can’t have his cake and eat it, too.

Do you think having the FISA Court oversee the PRISM requests make the process transparent?"

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Snowden discloses US hacked Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator

Camael Camael writes  |  about a year ago

Camael (1048726) writes "In an exclusive provided to the South China Morning Post, a newspaper based in Hong Kong, Snowden revealed that computers at the Hong Kong headquarters of Pacnet – owner of one of the biggest fibre-optic networks in the Asia-Pacific region – were hacked by US spies in 2009. Accoding to their corporate website, Pacnet owns and operates the leading pan-Asian fiber optic submarine cable network spanning 36,800 kilometers that lands in 19 cable landing stations and extends from India to the US."

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