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Bitcoin Security Endangered By Powerful Mining Pool

ITMagic Where's the news? (281 comments)

For the first time in Bitcoin's five-year history, a single entity has repeatedly provided more than ...

  • Bad grammar: If this has been repeatedly happening, then now is hardly the first time that this has become news-worthy.

Old news on Slashdot again...

about 7 months ago

Mac OS X Bitcoin Stealing Trojan Horse Called OSX/CoinThief Discovered

ITMagic Re:Beta Fightback (108 comments)

Whilst I, like every else here, seem to hate the changes being made here, are all the people here who post complaints here totally IT incapable?

If anyone here reads /. using firefox, it doesn't take a huge degree of effort to edit the HTML 'on the fly', and strip out all the offensive code. Has anyone looked at the RSS feed lately? It is abominable!

SOLUTION: Install Stylish, and voila. Complete control to throw away all the crap.

We probably should set up a community-driven recipe that everyone can download without the hassle of writing their own recipe. I *might* try to get round to doing this in a day or so... No promises, though.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Suggestions For a Simple Media Server?

ITMagic Re:No SINGLE solution for you... (420 comments)

It's a big question, and I don't feel that there is a single answer. But this is what I did...

I bought a Raspberry Pi, stuck XBMC on it, and am quite happy with it. However, what I did was wrong (at least, the approach was). However, I did it that way because I already had a Pi for other reasons, was playing with it, and I am a cheapskate that doesn't like buying hardware!

What you should do is decide what software you want to run, and your competency level of installing and maintaining it - and then buy the hardware to match.

I *really* wanted a simple DNLA Digital Media Renderer (DMR), rather than a DMC. Personally, I've never really liked GUI's, and wanted a simple backend just to play what was streamed to it. However, in the end, I could not find what I wanted, and developed an opinion that DNLA is a mish-mash of ideals that don't completely work in practice. So I gave up on that thread.

Had a brief encounter with the Apple TV. Didn't like it at all - not what I was looking for. The other retail consumer devices I had problems discovering that they wouldn't cope with all the potential formats I had, or wouldn't do what I wanted, or (more commonly) that I couldn't discover exactly what they were capable of anyway. I don't like locked-down platforms.

So I ended up with XBMC. It feels (to me) a bit bloated. Why would I need to view the weather on my TV? Or photographs? Etc... But the rest of the community seem to think that it isn't half bad, so that is good enough. But importantly, it works! I watch TV on a TV, not on the iPad (though the wife does) - and XBMC streams to it quite happily (so long as the format is correct - I've not bothered to look at streaming any .mkv files or transcoding options. And, if I feel the need, I can stream from the iPad to the TV (not that I do). Additionally, there is a very useful iPad/iPhone remote control app. It is my primary method of controlling it.

The annoyance (for me) is that I still need a keyboard plugged in to the Pi. It's not used much, and the plan is to ditch it completely, but I'm still tinkering with it. Also, I haven't got it to download TV schedules, or watch on-demand content from the web, or watch live broadcast TV, or act as a PVR, etc, etc. But that really isn't important to me. It may be for you...

1 year,11 days

US Intelligence Wants To Radically Advance Facial Recognition Software

ITMagic Inspiration (178 comments)

Unable to invent ideas for themselves, they name the project after Judge Dredd... (And not a very good film, at that)

about a year ago

Project Seeks To Build Inexpensive 9-inch Monitor For Raspberry Pi

ITMagic Re: MagnumPi (176 comments)

Either this one slipped by passed the majority of mods, or I have a warped sense of humour. If I had any mod-points, this would definately get +5 Funny.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Best/Newest Hardware Without "Trusted Computing"?

ITMagic Misinformation (290 comments)

I guess that the original post really doesn't understand what TPM is, and has subscribed to the 'conspiracy theory' brigade. What would be the reason for avoiding the chip altogether, when it is quite possible to disable the functionality.

As a self-confessed privacy freak, I'd love a TPM module in my home machine - sadly I have not located a source of the module at a sensible price. I did, however, have it on an old laptop, and (under linux at least) found its functionality very positive. Then again, it was under a non-commercial OS, and I had full control over it.

What I *don't* understand is UEFI - mainly because I have no hardware to hack with. However, that appears at first glance to be more problematic for me to hack, since it seems only MS are able to sign the bootloader. Not a problem with TPM.

In short, it is not the presence or absence of the chip that the OP needs to think about - it is the software that is installed and used.

about a year and a half ago

UK Government Backs Three-Person IVF

ITMagic Arghhh! (132 comments)

Stop this - RIGHT NOW.

Mitochondria do not have DNA, therefore the UK is not creating babies using the DNA from three people.

Mitochondria are being transferred whole, and contain RNA.

I know this is slashdot, and we must expect inaccurate reporting of scientific and technical subjects - but really...

about a year and a half ago

Mendeley Acquired By Elsevier

ITMagic Re:Zotero is good (87 comments)

Another very happy user of Zotero here. I have tried Jabref, which I like for it's simplicity, but I find it lacks functionality. There was another on-line collaborative site (beginning with 'C'?) that I tried briefly, and abandoned. I have probably tried several others also - though this is the first time that I have heard of Mendeley...

To be honest, the only downside that I can think of about using Zotero is that it is a Firefox plugin, and we are (supposed to) have a purely MSIE environment on the workstations here due to IT policy. This is easily fixed using Portable Apps.

Other than that, there is nothing that I would want any bibliography organiser to to that Zotero cannot. No - on second thoughts, as I think it only comes with pluging for MS Word and Open Office, it could probably do with some 'magic glue' to integrate it with LyX...

about 2 years ago

Netflix Using HTML5 Video For ARM Chromebook

ITMagic Re:if you're ok with DRM (232 comments)

Sorry - but I think you are missing a major point here.

This is all about how media content is delivered to the consumer. DRM is *supposed* to be about Rights Management. The problem is that the media companies consider this to be achievable through copy protection. CDs, DVD/Blueray are fast becoming extinct - which annoys me greatly. From their point of view, copy protection doesn't work. For a consumer to hire a disc, then rip it before returning the product back to the store, is piracy - and shouldn't be condoned. For anyone owning the disc, however, the copy process is legitimate, and (in my experience) essential.

The media companies have lost this battle - so the tactics have changed. The new battle lines are to do with streaming media. If you subscribe to Netflix, iTunes and the like, then you own nothing. You are renting the service, not the media, and are locked into their T&C - which will probably prohibit downloading and converting to a different format if you subsequently buy a non-supported device.

Therefore, by default (and whether you like it or not), by subscribing to any of these streaming services you are supporter of DRM. You are also contributing to the demise of the physical product.

about 2 years ago

Facebook Is Building Shadow Profiles of Non-Users

ITMagic Re:Violation of the Data Protection Act (338 comments)

How is this not a violation of the data protection act? I quote from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Protection_Act_1998)

Firstly, because the D.P.A. 1998 is *UK* law, which (as far as I can see) has no relevance to FB (usual IANAL applies). Try looking at the D.P.A. 1988 & the Amendment Act 2003. If you're interested, keep your eyes posted on the outcome of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner's report into FB.

Secondly, if you believe that the Data Protection Act has anything at all to do with the *Protection* of your personal data, in regard to it's distribution to other parties, then you are a complete and utter naive fool. At least as far as the UK Act is concerned, it serves to

  • legalise the practice of data retention and distribution;
  • Allow recourse for you to correct inaccurate data; and
  • allow the Government to make money by "registering" any company that needs to store data.

Forgive my cynicism, but it is simply another method of extracting 'Tax' from companies who need to store client details, and does almost nothing about protecting the availability of data that you may consider to be personal.

more than 3 years ago

Google eBooks-Integrated E-reader Out On Sunday

ITMagic Disappointing Device (56 comments)

Although I can't comment on the iRiver Story, I do have the Cover Story. For anyone interested, these are my thoughts on it:

The technical specs were (for me) pretty much perfect. It was most definitely a purchase made on specs, rather than having the product in my hand prior to buying it. But I have a lot of niggles - which renders the device somewhat less than perfect...

First, the good stuff. DRM is not an issue - for me, at least. That is an Adobe thing, and I don't have any DRM'd PDFs. The device should handle most of the (normal) formats you can throw at it. It is touch screen, with WiFi.

But that's all. Forget the "Open Source" crap. Sure, it's linux. But the download link is an odd .jpg of the GNU preamble, with an iframe for the actual license text. The links to sources are odd javascript, pointing to old versions hosted god-knows where. I can't see the tool-chain and anything else required to actually compile a working binary. Not that that would help, because I haven't worked out how to gain root access - which you need to. The fonts installed are useless for anything other than standard US English (major complaint).

What else? Crap battery life. Turn off the WiFi, and you might get 24 hours of reading time (but I can't). I know some people complain about the touch screen, but I can live with that, just.

All in all, the average user should avoid this device like the plague. Hell, I'd even recommend the kindle above this, at least for usability (despite the kindle/1984 intrusion). *If* someone manages to write a HOWTO about jailbreaking it, and compiling user software (or iRiver have a more helpful attitude), then it *might* be an interesting toy. DRM on this device is so insignificant a problem that you can ignore it - I suspect that Google would not really want to promote this ability, anyway. It's the encrypted kernel firmware that gets my goat.

more than 3 years ago

Technical Objections To the Ogg Container Format

ITMagic Which doesn't answer the question ... (370 comments)

... of what format *should* be used in its place.

It is all very well claiming one format is not particularly good, but overall rather pointless if you don't argue an alternative.

So the question any .ogg user will have (since they probably chose this slightly obscure format over the more 'normal' .mp3 alternative due to the reputation of being better to listen to from an audiophile POV) is what to use instead? FLAC is fine if you have the space, but sometimes you want to compromise in order to save storage space...

more than 4 years ago

Armed Robot Drones To Join UK Police Force

ITMagic So, what's new? (311 comments)

Let me see, now...

"Armed Robot Drones to Join UK Police Force"

Since most of the current ones seem to be mindless automatons who shoot to kill innocent civilians, I fail to see how this will be a change to the current situation... With the possible exception that, of course, it would be ludicrous to put a machine in the dock before declaring that there was no case to answer...

more than 4 years ago

Ginkgo Doesn't Improve Memory Or Cognitive Skills

ITMagic Re:No surprise because of the dosage (403 comments)

You either have not read the article, or have no concept of pharmacology (or, possibly, both).

The quantity of 240mg per day is meaningless. What we are interested in is: 240mg *of what*? Try taking a daily dose of 240mg of Foxglove extract; or Ergot infected wheat. I think you'll find quite a profound effect!

This particular study used "Ginko Biloba Extract". All well and good - but what, precisely, was extracted (and what was, therefore, thrown away)? From the manufacturers website:

One ton (1,000 kg) of the dried leaves yields only 20 kg of EGb 761® Ref.

contains approximately 24% flavone glycosides (primarily quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin) and 6% terpene lactones (2.8-3.4% ginkgolides A, B and C, and 2.6-3.2% bilobalide). Ginkgolide B and bilobalide account for about 0.8% and 3% of the total extract, respectively. Ref.

Therefore, by my maths, this study used an extract equivalent to 12 gram of dried leaf per day; a pretty reasonable dose - certainly considering that the same company sells 40mg capsules of EGb 761®. More importantly, patients received a *standardised* extract; We're not talking about Holland & Barrett bargain cheapo tea-leaves here!

It's a rather interesting article. Rather less surprisingly, the manufacturer of the product used in the study has not updated their "latest News" section to include these results!

about 5 years ago

Easing the Job of Family Tech Support?

ITMagic Re:here's where we get to hear someone spew (932 comments)

I'll second that. Not only does it reduce vulnerabilities, but my parents love the mac so much I no longer have to teach them how to use the machine. With the PC, mom could never work out what she was supposed to be doing...

more than 5 years ago

Wikileaks Plans To Make the Web Leakier

ITMagic Straw Man (94 comments)

Everything should be published. Obama's travel schedule/routes, secret codes, locations, troop movements, etc. Everything...

This is a straw man fallacy, and completely irrelevant to the discussion, or to the purpose of Wikileaks.

Go to the about wikileaks and have a read. Look at the slashdot article itself. Both use the work 'embargo'. The Advisory Board, and the staff of Wikileaks, are not going to release the information you are suggesting. It's not the purpose to reveal future troop movements, travel plans or secret codes. They reveal what has happened in the past, and how it was ignored, or hushed up, and allowed to continue.

more than 5 years ago

Wikileaks Plans To Make the Web Leakier

ITMagic Re:Awesome! (94 comments)

Yes - quite probably. some*one* will.

However, as it stands at the moment, it is quite probable that *many* people are already dying because of corporate or government activities or negligence; and that the reason why any situation goes unchallenged by the democratic voters is often because that they are unaware that the situation is occurring.

Lets face it - when there is a cock-up, and the person or organisation responsible is 'shielded' by corporate cover-up, do you really think that anyone is held truly accountable then?

If you want to live in a world where 'reality' is dictated to you, then I'm sure you can go and find a country that will pander to your requirements. If you choose to bury your head in the sand, and deny that it is in fact *you* as a voter, that are responsible for the actions of your government, and prefer instead to abrogate your democratic role, and instead to put blame on anyone you can point a finger at, then I suppose that is your choice. I hope you are happy with it, and the consequences that could ensue.

Unfortunately, Wikileaks is not only desirable, but absolutely necessary. Yes, someone, somewhere will end up being harmed by information released through the process. But the alternative is far, far more dangerous.

more than 5 years ago

Open Source Camera For Computational Photography

ITMagic Where's the source? (167 comments)

Ermm, Just where, exactly, is the source? Links to CAD designs, specs, software, etc? As far as following the Stanford links is concerned, I can't see how this project can be labeled "Open Source" without this...

more than 5 years ago

Scientists Reverse Muscular Dystrophy In Dogs

ITMagic So Old News... (143 comments)

Sometimes, it's not so useful to rely on /. for breaking cutting edge news...

The drug you are interested in is PTC124, otherwise known as Ataluren. It is currently in phase 2 clinical trials IN HUMANS (in the UK, at least) - We have boxes of it...

more than 5 years ago



NHS take action against Burning Patients!!!

ITMagic ITMagic writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ITMagic (683618) writes "The UK National Patient Safety Agency has just issued a Rapid Response Report , warning about the dangers of burning patients! This, therefore, requires the NHS staff involved to not only take IMMEDIATE action, but also to to ensure that compliance is policed and enforced (action point 4), and to 'snitch' on patients that do not do as they're told (action point 5)...

From the official document (and I paraphrase)...

  • smoking when covered in petroleum jelly can be a fire hazard.
  • You (the NHS employee) must tell them (the patient) that smoking under these circumstances is a fire hazard. You must keep a record that this advice has been given. You must verify that they are competent to understand the aforesaid advice.
  • You are encouraged to design a suitable poster warning of the dangers of smoking whilst covered in petroleum jelly! :-)
  • If the patient is too stupid to understand the risks, put them in a straight-jacket.
  • Relatives should be warned about the presence of Questionable Darwinian DNA in their gene-pool.

OK. For anyone confused as to WHY the Govt. thinks this is necessary, here is the background...

And now the UK NHS response...

As ALL hospitals are now no smoking zones, thanks to recent legislative changes, this intervention by the Nanny State now seems a little pointless. Or, perhaps the time draws nigh when there will be a "Shoot-to-Incapacitate-With-Dum-Dum-Bullets" policy for anyone seen even holding a packet of ciggies?"


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