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SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

El_Oscuro What about landing at White Sands? (81 comments)

White Sands Missile Range is right next to the Spaceport America and has 4,000 square miles of uninhabited desert. The Army tests rockets there all the time, and sometimes closes highway 70 (which passes through the range) when they do. Since the goal of cheaper launch costs is something the miltary would find useful, I am pretty sure Spacex could come to an agreement to do some testing using the range. Before talking to the Army, Spacex would probably want to run several real tests at sea, where they would expect the landings to fail until wthe worked out all of the bugs with the aerodynmics, winds, etc. Not so much to ensure you can land on a ship, but to ensure you can land within a few miles of where you want to. If you can do that, there are lots of places you can land.

yesterday
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The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse

El_Oscuro Re:"Could", (387 comments)

The funny thing about Sandy, is that the Capitol Weather Gang correctly predicted it about a week in advance, based on a very similar storm in 1878. We didn't quite as many SUVs nor coal plants back then.

5 days ago
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Keurig 2.0 Genuine K-Cup Spoofing Vulnerability

El_Oscuro Why does the DRM even exist? (270 comments)

I mean, I understand the PHB/corporate group think that thinks this useful, but why, when I can get a perfectly good non-DRM official Keurig from amazon for less than I would pay for a Keurig 2.0? And no, it is not some discontinued model, it is the #1 best seller on Amazon.

about a week ago
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We Are Running Out of Sand

El_Oscuro Re:Coastal people live in their own universe (264 comments)

You mean like Wonko the Sane, who also lives in California? According to ancient legends, when Wonko saw instructions on how to use a toothpick on a packet of toothpicks, he became convinced that the world had gone crazy and so built the house as an asylum for it, with the insides and outsides reversed. Apparently he also received a fishbowl from the Dolphins before they left.

about a month and a half ago
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Flaw in New Visa Cards Would Let Hackers Steal $1M Per Card

El_Oscuro Re:Tin Foil... (126 comments)

Right here.

about a month and a half ago
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GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today

El_Oscuro Re:do one thing and do it well (156 comments)

You mean VI, the notepad for Unix? Since it is by default installed on pretty much every Unix system, including Macs, I would say it is cross platform. It is even easy to get for Windows. As far as stability goes, it has never crashed in the 20+ years I have used it on any platform. An it is easy to replace. All you have to do install another editor, i.e. sudo apt-get install emacs.

about 2 months ago
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If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

El_Oscuro Re:The driving force to open source? (313 comments)

I don't think the command line is an issue. I don't think instructing a user to open a terminal and issue commands is any harder than having them open regedit and add obscure keys.

The really sweet spot is a well designed GUI configuration utility which allows you to generate approriate command line scripts to allow the configuration to be duplicated. Unfortunately, this is rare in the Unix world and non-existent in Windows.

Compared to GUIs, command line interfaces are stable. I am still using commands for 20+ years ago to adminster modern systems, while the recent "upgrade" to Win7/2008 has made so many changes to the interface that it seems like I have to relearn it each time I use it.

about 2 months ago
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How Poor Punctuation Can Break Windows

El_Oscuro Re:Shellshock is way worse (94 comments)

Windows has its own version of shellshock in CMD.EXE C:\Usersl>set foo=bar^&ping -n 1 google.com
C:\Usersl>echo %foo%
bar

Pinging google.com [74.125.228.105] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 74.125.228.105: bytes=32 time=8ms TTL=250

Ping statistics for 74.125.228.105:
Packets: Sent = 1, Received = 1, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 8ms, Maximum = 8ms, Average = 8ms
C:\Users>
Unlike Linux, I don't think this has been patched.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

El_Oscuro Re:Camel = Horse designed by committee... (644 comments)

In Linux, the killer feature is that each desktop has a separate taskbar. I once had several major migrations running from my workstation, and had a separate deskop named for each one of them. This feature made keeping track of the tasks in each project much easier.

about 3 months ago
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Original 11' Star Trek Enterprise Model Being Restored Again

El_Oscuro Re:Crude? (99 comments)

In TOS, if watch The Doomsday Machine episode, it is obvious that the the damage Constellation had was caused by something like a lighter. There is some debate as to whether the model was actually one of those Revell models we used to get as kids at the local Gemco, or if it was the crappiest version of the full scale models. Given that it would be easier to generate those kinds of burns on a smaller Revell model, I would guess the former.

about 3 months ago
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Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

El_Oscuro Re:All the more reason-- (166 comments)

I once had a computer which did that, a Commodore 64. I am pretty sure most others at that time were that way too. The whole "store the O/S on a R/W hard drive" was an IBM PC/Microsoft idea, as were viruses.

A ROM based system with Ubuntu or Knoppix would be pretty sweet for surfing teh Interwebs.

about 4 months ago
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Paint Dust Covers the Upper Layer of the World's Oceans

El_Oscuro Re:another record (141 comments)

In other words, stop buying shit made in China. If enough people do that then even the 1% will listen. Even in the US, it is still easy to find shit made here - you just have to look. And most of the the time the price is about the same and the quality is better.

about 4 months ago
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China Bans iPad, MacBook Pro, Other Apple Products For Government Use

El_Oscuro Why? (115 comments)

I mean, isn't all of Apples shit made in China anyway? That would be like the US government banning GM cars.

about 4 months ago
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Giant Crater Appears In Northern Siberia

El_Oscuro Re:Move along, nothing to see here... (122 comments)

I'm guessing that less than 2% of you know probably what the heck I'm talking about here.

Missed it by THAT much? Agent 86 once said that after he almost shot his dick off. I wonder if he ever screwed Agent 99? Man, I used to think she was hot. And the Cone of Silence? I saw a real one in action while on jury duty once. The judge lowered this stupid contraption when he was talking with the lawyers. It made this white noise which gave everyone headaches but I had no problem hearing their entire conversation from the other side of the room...

about 5 months ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

El_Oscuro Going back to cash (753 comments)

Last week I swiped my card at a gas station pump before noticing the tamper proof seals had been broken. I have replaced the card, but while waiting for the new card I used cash. You tend to conserve more money when it is cold, hard cash instead of of just swiping a card. Less surface area for compromise as well.

about 5 months ago
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The Least They Could Do: Amazon Charges 1 Cent To Meet French Free Shipping Ban

El_Oscuro Re:Things are simple... (309 comments)

All of those small family bookstores that Barnes and Noble and Borders put out of business about 15-20 years ago? Guess what, they are back in business. The just sell through Amazon now.

about 5 months ago
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The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

El_Oscuro Re:"To replace obsolete and aging aircraft platfor (364 comments)

If the Israelis were to set up constant patrols over Gaza with them, that little rocket firing business would dry up real fast. Fire a rocket, expect a 30 mike-mike up your ass.

about 5 months ago
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The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

El_Oscuro Re:"To replace obsolete and aging aircraft platfor (364 comments)

The parent is wrong. Nothing has replaced the A-10. The Pentagon tried to kill the Warthog earilier this year until everyone who actually uses them screamed bloody murder.

This fricken plane is airworthy with half a wing and an engine missing. Could the F-35 do that?

The Iraqis don't want us to send troops over there to deal with the ISIS business. They have plenty of troops of their own. What they have asked for is some air support. Immagine what a couple of A-10 squadrons would do there..

about 5 months ago
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Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

El_Oscuro Re:Teachers... (519 comments)

Must have been taught by the LAUSD.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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MPAA Wants Theaters To Call Cops On People Who Dare Take A Photo During A Movie

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  about a year ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "According to Consumerist, The Motion Picture Association of America has released new best practices guidelines for movie theater operators who want to crack down on that worst of crimes — the shaky-cam pirated movie. To that end, the MPAA is suggesting a zero-tolerance policy, not just for people caught trying to record a motion picture, but for anyone who dares to take out their cellphone to take a photo during a screening.

That’s right. Theater owners should just assume that anyone who pulls out a phone during a movie is a thief looking to deprive Ben Affleck’s children of their next meal. And rather than simply remove that suspected copyright terrorist from the theater — like Alamo Drafthouse does with people who text during movies — the MPAA says theater owners need to alert the authorities."

Link to Original Source
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Software patents abolished in New Zealand

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  about a year ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "According to the Washington Post, New Zealand just abolished software patents.

What’s wrong with the patent system? Most people cite problems with patent trolls or low patent quality. But a recent study by the Government Accountability Office makes it clear that the real problem is more specific: Patents on software don’t work.

Of course, the GAO doesn’t quite come out and say that. The study, released last week, has the bland title “Assessing Factors That Affect Patent Infringement Litigation Could Help Improve Patent Quality.” But the study is chock-full of evidence that most of the patent system’s problems are really problems with software patents.
According to the GAO, software patents now account for more than half of all patents submitted."
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Can someone patent a skateboard?

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  about 2 years ago

El_Oscuro writes "In a move that would put amazon.com to shame, Hamboards is suing some dude who has made a skateboard that is kind of like theirs. The real bizzaro thing is, he hasn't actually sold any decks so I am not sure exactly what would be violated. There is so much prior art here that it makes the Apple/Samsung round corners business look original. And if you think software patents are shitty, wait until you read some of the skateboard ones such as Patent USD556283 and Patent USD564613."
Link to Original Source
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The World's Lightest Electric Vehicle

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 2 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "Not only is it a vehicle – it’s a skateboard, more specifically a longboard. silverfishlongboarding tested some prototypes and has a good write up on it.

If you rode a Tony Hawk when you were a kid and are tired of rising gas prices, parking, traffic, etc, this might be for you. With a speed governed 20mph top speed, 6 mile range and regenerative braking, this bad boy could be your next commuter ride.

The Tech
Boosteb Boards founders, all three of whom were engineering students and longboarders at Stanford University, are definitely well-versed in the technologies they've applied to their board project. For reporters like us, drooling over paper with the large, fat pencils the doctors say are safe for us to use, it boils down to sime relatively simple stuff: a custom mounting plate and driveline they bolt onto Landyachtz'es Bear Trucks, independently belt-driven by tandem 1kw, brushless DC "outrider" motors, all powered by a lithium-ion battery pack managed by a heat-sinked mos-fet controller that's directed by a blue tooth handset. Simpler yet: tons of horsepower, 6+ miles of range and only about six pounds heavier than the longboard they start with before adding on the electronics."
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Dennis Ritchie, Co-Creator of Unix and Founder of

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 3 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "In less than a week, the world has lost two tech pioneers. Last week, we mourned the passing of Steve Jobs, and now we say goodbye to computer scientist Dennis Ritchie who also recently died.

Ritchie, or dmr as he was called in programming circles, worked most of his life at Bell Laboratories where he helped create the C programming language and worked extensively on the Unix operating system."

Link to Original Source
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Computer chess champ stripped of 4 titles

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 3 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "According to the Washington Times, Yet another world champion has been brought low for suspected use of a banned performance-enhancing substance. Rybka, the chess-playing computer program that won the past four World Computer Chess Championship titles, was summarily stripped of its silicon crown this week amid charges its programmer plagiarized the software of two rival programs.

David Levy, president of the International Computer Games Association (ICGA), announced the action against Rybka on Wednesday and imposed a lifetime ban on Czech-American programmer and Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate Vasik Rajlich. He accused Mr. Rajlich of ripping off the coding of two other software programs marketed as Crafty and Fruit. Mr. Levy also demanded the return of trophies and prize money the program won.

Because Fruit and Crafty “open-source” program, its codes are available for anyone to use — but its license strictly prohibits anyone from making money off its code and not giving credit. John Dozier Jr., a lawyer who specializes in Internet copyright issues, said no successful preventive measure from this is in sight."

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Sarah Palins emails released by Alaska

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 3 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "According to to the LA Times, the state of Alaska is expected to release more than 24,000 pages worth of emails from Sarah Palin's tenure as governor, more than two years after they were requested by news organizations and local activists. The Palin emails were originally sought to shed light on the then-little-known running mate of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain. Their release comes at a very different time — as Palin, who enjoys near-universal name recognition, is contemplating a White House bid of her own.

Apparently, the Alaskan government cannot create something like a zip file or tarball so they will print out each individual email and then release the printed copies to new organizations. Why do I feel this belongs on thedailywtf.com?"

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New California legislator deployed to Afghanistan

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 4 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "The LA Times reports that newly elected Assemblyman Jeff Gorell is on a mission, it just wasn't the one he expected. In March, the freshman Republican from Camarillo, a Navy reservist, will trade his business suit for combat fatigues and report for a year's duty in Afghanistan. Never mind that he hasn't yet hired a staff, opened an office or introduced legislation."
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Microsoft shares hit by downgrade

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 4 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "According to BBC, shares in Microsoft fell nearly 2% during US trading, after Goldman Sachs cut its rating of the computer giant. The investment bank cut its rating of Microsoft shares from "buy" to "neutral". It said Microsoft was being threatened by the rise of tablet computers such as Apple's iPad, which do not run Windows software."
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Ubuntu featured in the Washington Times

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 5 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "On the day before the Windows 7 Launch, The Washington Times ran a prominent story about Ubuntu. above the fold in the Marketplace section of the paper. This is the first mention of Linux as a consumer desktop I have ever seen in a non tech publication, and its focus was clearly for consumers.

Even more interesting was the followup that appeared in the newspaper a week later:

"For a good part of last week, your reviewer's musings about Ubuntu Linux was among the top five most-read stories on washingtontimes.com. Since the other top stories concerned health-insurance reform or the H1N1 vaccine and similar weighty topics, the presence of a geek-oriented column came as a pleasant surprise.

I suspect this may reflect a growing disenchantment among computer users with the high cost of operating systems, specifically Windows operating systems from Microsoft Corp.""

Link to Original Source
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Turning Plastic Trash Into Fuel

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 5 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "According to the Washington post, a D.C. Start-Up Aims to Pitch Oil Made From Plastic Waste. Plastic soda bottles, Big Gulp cups and empty sour cream containers get fed into the top of the three-story machine. About 10 minutes later, out the other side comes a light-brown synthetic oil that can be converted into fuel for a truck or a jet airplane.

The Envion Oil Generator, scheduled for an official unveiling at Montgomery County's Solid Waste Transfer Station on Wednesday, represents a local company's decade-long effort to fight rising fuel costs and help protect the environment. As part of a pilot program, the company recently assembled the first of its fuel-producing generators at the Derwood waste facility.

Envion said its new generator can consume any type of plastic and convert it into synthetic oil; depending on the type of plastic, one ton can be converted into three to six barrels of fuel. Envion said it costs about $10 to convert the plastic waste into a barrel's worth of synthetic oil; currently, crude oil sells for close to $70 a barrel.

How much oil could we recover from the Pacific Garbage Patch?"

Link to Original Source
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iTunes goes DRM free

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 5 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "Apple Australia's John Marx confirms that the new three-tier pricing plan, introduced around the world today, has also kicked in at iTunes New Zealand.

Previously, a sprinkling of higher-resolution 256kbps, DRM (digital rights management)-free "iTunes Plus" songs have been available for the premium price of $1.79.

Now, all nine million songs on Apple's music store are "iTunes Plus", DRM-free, 256Kbps and priced at $1.29, $1.79 or a new top rate of $2.39 depending on popularity.

The lack of DRM, or copy protection, means any song can be transferred to another iPod or indeed, once converted from ACC, to almost any device, rather than tethered to the purchaser's music player.

According to a radio report heard on the way home, any iTunes songs purchased previously with DRM can also be upgraded for $.30 or $3/album"

Link to Original Source
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World of Goo (for Linux)

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 4 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "How many of you have wanted the latest games for Linux? Wouldn't it be great if you could just select Linux as your platform instead of Windows or Mac. Well now, you can buy World of Goo at 2dboy.com. Just select your package type (.deb, .rpm or tarball) when downloading. As far as I know, this is the first major commercial game released for Linux at the same time as Windows and Mac.

Every slashdotter who wants games for Linux should download this demo. This game is really fun and worth every cent of the $20 the full version costs. Buy it! Even if you don't really like the game, it is for Linux and has no DRM. And even if you don't like it, your kids will. Mine are both playing it now on Ubuntu. Wouldn't it be cool if half the sales of World of Goo were for Linux? If you want good Linux games without DRM, vote for this one with your pocket book."

Link to Original Source
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Breaking Nintendo WII system security

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 6 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "On Thedailywtf.com,
Hector just wanted to see what he could do with the Wii. And when he first took a look under the hood, he started with the usual approach — he started poking through Wii game discs. On every disc he tried, the entire contents were encrypted with secure RSA-2048 and SHA-1. The second place he looked — game saves — were signed using elliptic curve cryptography. Nintendo clearly wasn't going to make this easy.

It looked hopeless. That is, until someone looked at the core function via a disassembler that performed the RSA and SHA-1 verification. Hector provided this pseudocode for the check function:

        bool is_valid_signature(byte signature[256], byte public_key[256], byte content_sha1[256]) {
                byte decrypted_signature[256];
                decrypt_rsa(signature, public_key, decrypted_signature);
                if(strncmp(content_sha1, decrypted_signature + 236, 20) == 0)
                        return 1;
                else
                        return 0;
        }"

Link to Original Source
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What makes shitty software?

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 6 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "Another slashdot poster submitted a comment with examples of bad software. Since this is something every slashdotter experiences on a daily basis, this should be a basis for a poll or an article. There is no FA. Not that it matters; nobody reads them anyway. :) Let the flame wars begin!"
Link to Original Source
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You pwn it, you own it

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 6 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "CanSecWest Vancouver 2008 is having their second PWN2OWN contest.



Three targets, all patched. All in typical client configurations with typical user configurations. You hack it, you get to keep it.

Each has a file on them and it contains the instructions and how to claim the prize.

Targets (typical road-warrior clients):
  • VAIO VGN-TZ37CN running Ubuntu 7.10
  • Fujitsu U810 running Vista Ultimate SP1
  • MacBook Air running OSX 10.5.2


Happing hunting! I wonder which will pwned first?"

Link to Original Source
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Pirates crack Vista at last

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 6 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "A genuine crack for Windows Vista has just been released by pirate group Pantheon, which allows a pirated, non-activated installation of Vista (Home Basic/Premium and Ultimate) to be properly activated and made fully-operational. It seems that Microsoft has allowed large OEMs like ASUS to ship their products with a pre-installed version of Vista that doesn't require product activation — apparently because end users would find it too inconvenient. The question, how can I do this with XP?"
Link to Original Source
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Two Linux stories in The Washington Post

El_Oscuro El_Oscuro writes  |  more than 6 years ago

El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "In todays business section of The Washington Post, there were two stories which referenced Linux. The first one is a piece about Windows Vista after 1 year, and article can be summarized by: "Windows Vista after one year: meh." This article is interesting because it is something an average Windows XP user would understand, and also mentions Linux and OS-X as alternatives. It is the first time I have read about the Linux alternative in a mainstream dead tree newspaper.

The second article is about Future Combat Systems, a major US Army program for battlefield communications which will run Linux. From TFA:

"Another software difficulty is the operating system, which is being developed by Boeing. The System-of-Systems Common Operating Environment, or SOSCOE, is supposed to be like Windows, the world's dominant operating system, only better.

"Boeing and the Army said they chose not to use Microsoft's proprietary software because they didn't want to be beholden to the company. Instead, they chose to develop a Linux-based operating system based on publicly available code.

"Microsoft, which does substantial business with the military, declined to comment."

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