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How Birds Lost Their Teeth

Cloud K Natural selection (137 comments)

Nothing succeeds like a toothless budgie. Other birds flocked to the gene pool following the same example.

4 days ago
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How To End Online Harassment

Cloud K Re:Special treatment (834 comments)

What about it? There's no point in using every combination of examples or we'd be here all day.

For the record though, I also think it's wrong to start yelling "get out of r country, terrorist muslamic scum!!!" to anyone who happens to follow the Islamic faith. That is another example of being a dick to someone, a religious person in this example, when they've not provoked you. And a few extremists do not represent provocation from an entire religious group.

about a month ago
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How To End Online Harassment

Cloud K Re:Special treatment (834 comments)

This is the problem with "lists". I subscribe more to Wheaton's Law aka "Don't Be a Dick". Why not just not be a dick to anyone, including religious people?

As for my views on religion (as a non religious person), it may be a choice but if the individual doesn't force their beliefs on others then I see no reason to attack them without provocation.
Obviously it's different with the nutjob "God hates Fags" types who need to be told that they're being assholes and projecting their personal beliefs on other people (i.e. there's your provocation), but that's a vocal minority - most are just passively living by their personal rulebook and condemn the violent idiots like Westboro et al, and don't deserve a torrent of abuse for something they've not done.

about a month ago
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Suspected Ebola carriers in the U.S. ...

Cloud K Re:Should be sent.... (349 comments)

I know patent trolls are scumbags, but that's ridiculous. you're really lumping them in with *politicians*?

about a month and a half ago
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Apple A8X IPad Air 2 Processor Packs Triple-Core CPU, Hefty Graphics Punch

Cloud K Re:I don't really see the point. (130 comments)

I don't know, but pretty much everywhere else on the internet everyone is screaming "haha only 3 cores? Android has had octo core processors since 1973" - I suppose this is one small step towards shutting them up (though Apple haters will usually find something else 'superior' to be smug about)

about 2 months ago
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My toy collection is ...

Cloud K Big enough to cause concern (209 comments)

My room is home to more ponies than the Shetlands, to be quite honest. It's getting out of hand. I just threw my wallet at Apple though, so the giant manchild within will have to sod off back down to the imaginary basement for a bit.

about 3 months ago
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Apple's TouchID Fingerprint Scanner: Still Hackable

Cloud K Re:Indeed (70 comments)

If your spouse is going to the lengths of covertly grabbing your phone, placing plastic over your screen, making sure you don't notice it, grabbing it again when you've used it, removing the plastic and taking it to a copier..
1) What an awesomely geeky spouse, where do I find one? Or do I just marry a copper?
2) You have much bigger problems to worry about than the security of your fingerprint scanner. But you might want to search for your divorce solicitors using Private Browsing on a throwaway pay-as-you-go phone and throw it into the canal afterwards. Just in case.

about 3 months ago
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Apple's TouchID Fingerprint Scanner: Still Hackable

Cloud K Indeed (70 comments)

It should be perfectly fine for the average person protecting their credit card details from thieves and their porn from their partners.
People who go to these lengths would surely be either:
Really determined for some reason (in which case they'd probably social engineer it out of you or something)
People who'd just cut your finger off
The police (at which point they've already obtained your phone and fingerprint)
The NSA (who probably already have a backdoor)
Either way, it's more secure than your typical 4 digit PIN or pattern unlock.

If you need more than that, you'd probably use some tedious-to-type ultra secure battery horse staple thing anyway.

about 3 months ago
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Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

Cloud K Re:Poor Apple (191 comments)

I'll use what I want to, thank you.

Similarly, whether you choose sides (or choose a tinfoil hat and avoid cloud services altogether) is up to you. That's how the world works you see, people make personal decisions, they don't usually take orders off people on the internet.

3 years ago I liked what Google were doing and disliked what Apple were doing so I switched to Google
Now, vice versa.
There's no brand loyalty here, but these happen to be the two biggest mobile OS manufacturers (sorry but Blackberry and Microsoft are irrelevant by comparison IMO) and in direct competition, so damn right I'll pick a side when one is doing something I like and the other is doing something I don't.

about 3 months ago
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Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

Cloud K Re:It's the goal. (191 comments)

Whilst you do sound like a channer (no offence - Anonymous is what they call themselves, and your writing style reminds me of one I know, but they do sometimes pretend to "know things") I wish I could mod you up as this is exactly what I'm suspecting as well. I really don't think the corporations are necessarily all Evil Devils out to collude with the NSA and do all sorts of nasty things with the data of individuals.

They're successful financially but surely this doesn't automatically mean they have no conscience.

about 3 months ago
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Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

Cloud K Re:Poor Apple (191 comments)

Call me gullible if you wish (given the PRISM leak it'd be fair) but I do actually relatively trust them, and believe that they were probably just as horrified to discover that the NSA had manipulated whoever they managed to manipulate (some engineers most likely) and tightened things up accordingly.
There's always this idea that the more successful a company is, the more Pure Evil they are and basically out to be as scummy as they possibly can. But short of the PRISM thing (which again I personally suspect was probably more a case of the NSA bullying some engineers than them colluding with C-levels) I've not seen much to suggest that Apple are actually evil and out to eat your children. I really can't help wondering if these levels of cynicism are all that good for your mental health - it sucks assuming that everyone is out to get you.

I don't outright 100% trust them of course because that would be silly, which is why I said "relatively". But the relativity between Apple and Google in terms of respecting privacy is a chasm of epic proportions, IMO. Google's C-levels say things like "privacy is dead" and "if you have something to hide you shouldn't be doing it".

There's a huge difference, and it actually IS a very good advantage for them to market - I've been deciding whether to switch back to iOS for my next tablet, and this statement has been enough to seal it.

about 3 months ago
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A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

Cloud K Re:Privacy Badger (194 comments)

Mine says: "Your browser fingerprint appears to be unique among the 4,310,202 tested so far."

Oh bugger indeed.

But seriously it's always been like that whenever I've tried it - even without the huge fingerprinting effect of the browser plugin reporting (I tried it with a completely fresh OS installation), in many cases just the combination of user agent and screen size - both reported in the HTTP headers - is unique. You might possibly blend in using some version of IE on Windows 7 on a 1024x768 or 1080p display, if you're lucky. There's been some discussion around making User-agent a bit less specific http://www.wilderssecurity.com...

Also quite interesting is that if you block as much as possible with something like noscript (which I found rather impractical to use, incidentally - CDNs are a genius idea when it comes to tracking people as it's easy to just get fed up of deciding whether you want each site to work properly and have the fonts required to display menus properly etc and just unblock all the CDNs - in the end I figured I might as well just remove noscript) then you're in a highly privacy conscious minority and therefore potentially even more unique. Sort of a black hole.

about 5 months ago
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Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

Cloud K I've had beers like that. (242 comments)

Or at least, English lagers..

about 5 months ago
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Human Language Is Biased Towards Happiness, Say Computational Linguists

Cloud K Re:Makes sense (86 comments)

I see, thanks for your input on it. I feel terribly ignorant and no doubt come across as such, but hey, better to learn and get ideas and inputs. Being of the internet sort I come across depressed folks quite a bit, and every little helps.
There's probably not a huge amount that someone like me can do, but want to help somehow.

about 6 months ago
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Human Language Is Biased Towards Happiness, Say Computational Linguists

Cloud K Re:Makes sense (86 comments)

I see. I don't mean to be rude, I'm genuinely curious (and don't want to annoy people, so avoid saying anything). I think from an observer point of view it can be frustrating to watch someone in a rut of having a defeatist attitude (even knowing they can't necessarily help it) where they won't get help for themselves because of this belief that it's pointless because life sucks, but the reason it sucks so much is because of the lack of help.. you sort of want to try and guide them out of the self defeating infinite loop and towards recovery.

Also whilst it may be rude to say it'll get better, it's hard to think what else to say when someone is kind of "brb killing myself" and you need some way to convince them not to and to illustrate that you can't get better from being dead.

I'm curious what would be more helpful. I'm primarily thinking of online here, where "just being there" is something rather difficult to convey.

about 6 months ago
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Human Language Is Biased Towards Happiness, Say Computational Linguists

Cloud K Re:Makes sense (86 comments)

Is it possible to get better, then?

When I've pointed out this uncomfortable truth of "people are attracted to positive, happy people" and that finding some way - be it therapy, meds, determination, some combination whatever - to stop being negative, then people would react to them better and they'd have a happier life and less to feel miserable about, I have tended to get shouted at and told that clinical depression is a lifetime battle and that suggesting a depressed person at least *try* and adjust their attitude a little is massively insulting and like telling a disabled person they should just try to get up and walk etc etc.

about 6 months ago
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EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

Cloud K Re:This reminds me of a great Simpsons episode (625 comments)

Yeah... we have a habit of assuming that "exercise" means running (outside or pounding on a treadmill) or other time-consuming 'deliberate exercise' things that a lot of people don't have the time for (or rather, don't notice enough of a benefit to justify making the time for, or find really boring).

It's good, for your cardio / general fitness, but weight loss? You just have to get off your backside a bit. I'm normal weight now but in the process of getting there, I could've been eating and drinking the same stuff for 2 weeks, week 1 I'd just sit there as usual, week 2 I'd make the effort of standing up once an hour for a few paces, park on the opposite side of the car lot, and get up to see people in my workplace instead of phoning them. Once or twice I'd maybe walk into town for lunch. No more effort than that, no actual exercise sessions. Week 1 I'd shift 0.5-1lb, week 2 I'd shift 2lb+. It seems to be the overall attitude / mindset being in favour of moving that matters the most, not necessarily sweating away in a gym.

The other thing is, if you eat or drink too much of something "bad" (weekend of beer drinking say), yes, it's probably wise to offset that with some form of heightened activity to maintain a decent weight loss and/or not have weight creeping on over the months/years. And if you know it's going to happen, maybe getting some of that extra activity in advance. But we should also avoid a mindset of "if I go for a run today I can have some extra beers / chocolate". There's a very subtle yet very important difference between the two, imo.

The other thing is weighing regularly. If you do go wrong and put weight (back) on, it's amazing how much you can pile on before you actually notice.

about 6 months ago
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EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

Cloud K Re:It is one (625 comments)

I'd +1,Insightful this if I was able to. I'd not really thought of it like that, but the comparison seems sound.

My initial reaction was like many, that this would be a bad thing, and everyone would be playing the "I stuffed myself, now I'm disabled and so don't have to work / am able to get handouts, discounts and special treatment" card. I'm sure there are some people who would do just that. But maybe the majority would think "oh shit, I'm disabled" and be more motivated to do something about it.

That said, it would seem that "disability" usually implies that it's a long term / lifetime problem. "Illness" may be closer to the mark.
I've been obese. The cure is a balanced diet, exercise, and expending more calories than you ingest. The first step towards that though, is caring about your long term health MORE than you care about short term enjoyment. For me that didn't apply for a while, and you will find a lot of people saying the same as what I did: "I don't care about living to be 90 if I have to be miserable along the journey".
I think in those cases it could be considered a mental illness sometimes. A combination of low self esteem (in the form of not caring about your own life enough) and just the inability to get one's head around the fact that you can still enjoy yourself and will not be miserable at all. And heck, almost nothing is bad enough in moderation to matter. I still drink beer. I still sometimes indulge in some chocolate (though rarely, as I'm more aware of how densely packed the fat and sugars are and don't like to do that to myself). It's just that I don't throw them down my neck as fast as possible, and I've acquired the taste of fruit and veg and other healthy foods (just like we all did with beer, did anyone like it the first time they tried it?).

We just tend to need a push start, a reason to care about yourself, beyond "other tax payers hate me because people like me cost the NHS billions" (more self loathing, yay). Being considered disabled? That might the the push that a good few need.

about 6 months ago
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EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

Cloud K Re:Please make it a mental one (625 comments)

Maybe use those funds to subsidize fruits and veggies?

This.

I'll use my favourite fruit as an example: oranges (I like them, and they keep colds at bay). Medium-to-large oranges are about 40p each in supermarkets (though you can get down to 25p or so on the market stalls, but people tend to stick to the supermarkets). A massive (250g+) bar of chocolate can often be found for about £1. Or people can go to the pound shop and buy packets of crisps ("chips" to the American folk) for 5-10p each. The same shop also tends to have massive bags of broken biscuits (cookies) for £1.
To someone on a tight budget, it's a no-brainer to go and pick up 10-20 packets of crisps rather than a couple of oranges. They'd love to get their 5-a-day, but fruit and veg do not come cheap! And rather than 1 day's worth of fruit, they get a week's worth of crisps.

I think a fruit and veg subsidy would be one of the best investments any government with a health service (like ours) could possibly make. Obesity costs the NHS... I think I heard £7bn mentioned recently. I'm sure they could spend a bit to save a few of those billions if they put their minds to it.

about 6 months ago

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