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Researchers Discover SS7 Flaw, Allowing Total Access To Any Cell Phone, Anywhere

DutchUncle Unlocked door w/ sign "Authorized Personnel Only" (88 comments)

This isn't even a back door; it's how the system works. Only the authorized licensed carriers are supposed to issue command codes, just like the C,D,E,F touch-tones (yes, Virginia, there are four more than on your phone). What's being described here is a basic fraud, as basic as Charlie Chaplin in a restaurant posing as a waiter and pocketing the money someone else leaves with a bill. The failure is in assuming that someone intending to violate conventions and rules will follow the "authorizations" any more than they will follow any other rules.

2 days ago
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Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

DutchUncle Re:Terrorists Win (580 comments)

Umm . . . no. What seems like rationality and logic to you is irrelevant to the other side (whoever the other side is), and vice versa, so one side pointing out that a "manifesto is full of outright nonsense" just translates to "refusal to acknowledge our legitimate concerns" on the other side. As an example, consider the "right to choice" vs. "right to life": if one side insists that human life begins at conception, then abortion is logically murder, and it DOES NOT MATTER that the other side considers that initial premise to be false because of its origin in religion; in fact, that very failure to "accept" the premise is grounds for the one side to invalidate anything the other side says. The two sides are arguing completely different logical structures based on completely different premises that have nothing to do with each other, and could not possibly disprove each other.

3 days ago
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Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

DutchUncle Re:Terrorists Win (580 comments)

Chaos wins, not because Order is stupid (though Mel Brooks had a good point), but because its victory conditions are simpler.

3 days ago
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Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

DutchUncle Re:Boycott (580 comments)

wait a minute - since when has "being crap" stopped anyone from showing a movie?

3 days ago
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What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

DutchUncle Re:EEE (216 comments)

"Embrace and extend" was the original phrase, in which a company would "embrace" a standard with "minor extensions and enhancements", eventually rendering the original standard apparently incompatible with its implementations. As a simple example, consider Microsoft Internet Explorer, which became significantly incompatible with the HTML standard it was supposedly supporting; or Microsoft's implementation of Java in a non-transportable way. Microsoft's approach was described as "Embrace, extend and extinguish" during the failed antitrust case. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

4 days ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

DutchUncle Ancient idea. Not news at all. (567 comments)

Monitors, and scopes, were 4x3 because TVs were 4x3. 1970s word-processing systems like Wang and Dialogic used CRTs portrait-mounted. Rotating monitors have been around for years, especially since LCD displays are so much easier to reorient than big heavy CRTs. This is not news.

about two weeks ago
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WTF, Firefox???

DutchUncle Ability to un-do is no excuse for forced change (7 comments)

I don't want a program update of *any* program changing my existing settings. This would be considered a stop-ship defect in the embedded systems that i work on, and I consider it a defect in any program I use. (Defaulting *new* settings for *new* features is different.)

about two weeks ago
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Preferred Type of Game?

DutchUncle Re:exactly (171 comments)

This is just one of the differences in games. Some games are open information - everyone knows the resources that everyone else has at the start of the turn - and the only secret is your strategy and intentions. Other games are secret information - like poker - and "bluffing" (such a nicer word than "deception") is part of the game. There are so many choices, you can find something you're comfortable with.

about two weeks ago
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Preferred Type of Game?

DutchUncle Re:Modern board games (171 comments)

Kill Dr. Lucky - lots more from Cheapass Games (designer James Ernest) like Unexploded Cow, Give Me The Brain, and Lord of the Fries.

about two weeks ago
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Preferred Type of Game?

DutchUncle Re:Modern board games (171 comments)

Dominion http://boardgamegeek.com/board...

Transforms some of the deck-building and card-action techniques from CCGs like Magic: The Gathering into a common game by using a common set of cards. "Buying" and otherwise acquiring your desired collection is the early part of the game, using it is the middle, and "selling" or otherwise sacrificing cards for final points is part of the end. The difference is that it's not about money buying a winning hand, because everyone starts with the same amount of "money" and everyone is drawing from the same selection of cards (10 sets drawn from a much larger collection in the base game). There are expansions, most of which are thematic to increase the larger collection, but still in any given play everyone has the same choices.

about two weeks ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

DutchUncle Re:Really? (772 comments)

I'm presuming your standard has been affected by "Game of Thrones"?

about two weeks ago
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Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

DutchUncle Re:Greasing Palms. (280 comments)

The tech industry went through this argument before, and lost (mostly). Claiming that everyone is an "independent contractor", and thereby avoiding any responsibility for their actions or any responsibility to them as employees, has been argued for years. Uber can claim that they are "only" the communications broker, and they have nothing to do with actual rides in actual cars, but if they weren't organizing rides in cars there would be no reason for their communications, so yes, they're a cab company.

about two weeks ago
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French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

DutchUncle Re:They can go bite a donkey (698 comments)

I think you're looking for the line "This is the kind of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put. ", whether or not Churchill actually wrote it.

about two weeks ago
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FISA Court Extends Section 215 Bulk Surveillance For 90 Days

DutchUncle They can extend legislation without legislation? (83 comments)

Which means they can just go forever, without telling anybody. Of course, they could do that anyway, but this *admits* that they can do that anyway.

about two weeks ago
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French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

DutchUncle Re:Legal Opinion, Please? (698 comments)

The problem is that using ad block can kind of be compared against messing with your electricity or water meter so you aren't billed for as much.

No. It's not messing with my meter; that would indeed be dishonest. It's more like making sure that I turn off all of the lights, and unplug all of the wall-wart transformers, and unplug anything else that I don't absolutely need, in order to avoid *using* extra so that I'm wasting something that I'm billed for.

about two weeks ago
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French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

DutchUncle Re:They can go bite a donkey (698 comments)

Yes, we know the sites have ads; but no, we did NOT ask for the ads, and if we can avoid getting the ads, then we will.

about two weeks ago
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Heathrow Plane In Near Miss With Drone

DutchUncle Re:Forget paranoia, more likely about the $$ it co (325 comments)

You left out the potential "cost of funerals, cost of damage and death in crash area, cost of airframe replacement . . ." An engine failure could be catastrophic. People who don't live in the New York City area may not fully appreciate just how many buildings the "Miracle on the Hudson" plane avoided crashing on when both engines were stopped by bird-strike, not to mention just how much trouble crashing into the George Washington Bridge along the way would have caused (it's the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G...

about two weeks ago
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A Backhanded Defense of Las Vegas' Taxi Regulation

DutchUncle Re:We've already seen the alternative to regulatio (93 comments)

Your .sig says "I'd rather be free to choose, even if I make the wrong choices." Getting into a gypsy cab in NYC was the last choice some people made, back in the bad old days of the 1990s. Personally, before I put my life in the hands of a cab driver, I'd like to have some idea that the driver is licensed and the cab was inspected at some point. There's a difference between bringing new technology to improve an old market, and doing an end-run around all of the rules."Wouldn't soccer be so much better if people could use their hands?"

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Slashdot finds a way to keep me from bothering to check it today

DutchUncle DutchUncle writes  |  about a year and a half ago

DutchUncle (826473) writes "By making everything unreadable without lots of extra effort, Slashdot has found a way to keep me from wasting as much time today. Thanks!"
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Can you patent a steak?

DutchUncle DutchUncle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

DutchUncle (826473) writes "Someone at Oklahoma State University has "discovered" a new steak. By now I would have thought that every possible part of a cow was already discovered, not to mention used for something. I can understand trademarking a name for a particular cut of meat; I can understand copyrighting the published instructions on what to cut where; but can this be novel enough for a patent?"
Link to Original Source
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No termination fee if Verizon terminates *you*.

DutchUncle DutchUncle writes  |  about 5 years ago

DutchUncle (826473) writes "Just received the following email announcement from Verizon. Nice to know that if they cut off my service, I won't have to pay extra:

"The following is an outline of an important change to the Verizon Online
Terms of Service, which is effective as of November 30, 2009. ...

1. If you are on a term plan and Verizon ceases offering service to
your location prior to the end of your term commitment, you will not
have to pay an Early Termination Fee.

Please take time to review the complete Verizon Online Terms of Service.
Thank you for being a Verizon Online customer."

To which I add: For now."

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