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New Snowden Docs Show GCHQ Paid Telcos For Cable Taps

Paradise Pete Re:Lyft, Whisper, Line, Skype.... (84 comments)

In GCHQ's eyes, that probably the worst thing about this leaking. Not because of what they did, but because now the other companies know how much the paid and will raise their rates.


Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack

Paradise Pete Re:Dear Sony, I am delighted! (153 comments)

"Yes I snuck into your house and hid there for two years quietly observing you, but look, I wasn't malicious!."


UNSW Has Collected an Estimated $100,000 In Piracy Fines Since 2008

Paradise Pete Re:Not the holder's money (98 comments)

The copyright holder don't care. As long as the university is stopping people from downloading free content

Why in the world would they want to stop people? They're making money from it! They have incentive to make it as easy as possible. Their best strategy is likely to be to ignore most of it and issue the occasional small fine. That both keeps it going and fills their coffers.

5 days ago

Tracking a Bitcoin Thief, Part II: Illustrating the Issue of Trust In Altcoins

Paradise Pete Re:LOL (46 comments)

Why is that insightful? Claiming ownership is not the same as copying. It is funny though.

5 days ago

For Some Would-Be Google Glass Buyers and Devs, Delays May Mean Giving Up

Paradise Pete Re:It's a combination of problems (154 comments)

Hint for internet tough guys: don't boast about your fencing skills unless you habitually wear a sword.

Maybe he meant he built sheep enclosures and stuff.

about a week ago

For Some Would-Be Google Glass Buyers and Devs, Delays May Mean Giving Up

Paradise Pete Re:Always a bigger fish. (154 comments)

He doesn't want any trouble, but if you hit him, he has every right to pummel you to mush.

He does? Is this some sort of special "Bouncer Exclusion" to the normal assault laws?

about a week ago

AT&T Stops Using 'Super Cookies' To Track Cellphone Data

Paradise Pete Re:Hear something similar from Verizon? Riiight. (60 comments)

That is amazing. I was sure your link would go to some rant-filled blog, but those are Verizon's actual words in the court filing. Unbelievable.

about two weeks ago

Assassin's Creed: Unity Launch Debacle Pulls Spotlight Onto Game Review Embargos

Paradise Pete Re:Don’t really get it (473 comments)

I see what you did there by not making that link instantly clickable.

about two weeks ago

Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

Paradise Pete Re:Or just practicing for an actual job (320 comments)

That instructor, despite earning A's on all my papers, gave me a C for the course.

Well obviously she graded on a curve. Thank you ladies and germs, I'll be here all week.

about two weeks ago

When We Don't Like the Solution, We Deny the Problem

Paradise Pete Re:Senator James Inhofe (282 comments)

A lie requires intentional deceit, not merely wrongness.

about three weeks ago

When We Don't Like the Solution, We Deny the Problem

Paradise Pete Re:Senator James Inhofe (282 comments)

If a person believes what he is saying, no matter how wrong or dumb it may be, he's not lying. Using the word "lie" adds a connotation that does not serve the discussion.

about three weeks ago

WireLurker Mac OS X Malware Found, Shut Down

Paradise Pete Re:No. (59 comments)

it does not prevent someone from doing it again in the future so stop thinking you're safe because you run a Mac.

How about if I just feel safer? Is that OK?

about three weeks ago

Satellites Spot Hidden Villages In Amazon

Paradise Pete Re:contact (84 comments)

I don't think that would be comparable to this situation.

about three weeks ago

Security Companies Team Up, Take Down Chinese Hacking Group

Paradise Pete Re:Chinese government complicity (63 comments)

WTF = the Chinese plan 200 years ahead where the USA thinks only to the next "November"

So you think the Chinese started their hacking plans while the US was involved in the war of 1812?

about a month ago

Can Ello Legally Promise To Remain Ad-Free?

Paradise Pete Re:Bennett Haselton (153 comments)

What he writes may be insightful, I wouldn't know.

The idiotic title is a good indication of his general level of insight.

about a month ago

Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Paradise Pete Re:ACH = Automated Clearing House (631 comments)

More like a debit card. And if you don't have enough money in the account when an ACH transaction hits its treated like a bounced check, along with all the fun that entails.

Your only defense against a fraudulent transaction is to go your bank and fill out a signed declaration that it's an unauthorized transaction. The bank will then talk to the ACH clearing house which will in turn issue an "R1" to the client that initiated the transaction, giving them a chance to show proof. After all that you'll get your money back, and maybe your bounced check fee.

But that won't repair any collateral damage. If the transaction, for instance, started a cascade of bounced checks and bounced check fees, well good luck with that. It's easy for an account to suddenly "blow up". For people living paycheck to paycheck it's a dangerous and precarious position.

By the way, while a pain to do, disputing transactions is worth it. About the only way a client can lose ACH status is to have too many R1 transactions.

about a month ago

Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Paradise Pete Re:Not a chance (631 comments)

While not perfect, Apple Pay is the closest thing to that. Only you know what you bought, and only you and your CC company know how much it was. Nobody gets to handle (or even look at) your credit card, And your fingerprint secures your "wallet" (phone).

about a month ago

Microsoft Now Makes Money From Surface Line, Q1 Sales Reach Almost $1 Billion

Paradise Pete Re: Did they make money on Surface? (117 comments)

By indirect costs he means cost of sales. Costs that are specifically for the Surface. That's marketing, advertising, development, incentives, inventory, etc.

Having a positive gross margin is trivial. That just means you were able to sell for more than the cost of building it. Not exactly exciting news.

about a month ago

As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

Paradise Pete Re:Prison population (407 comments)

I guess it's time to toss out conventional wisdom.

At least that's what conventional wisdom would tell you. But now I'm not so sure.

about a month ago

Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

Paradise Pete Re:Not so much, maybe. (986 comments)

She sure packs a lot into that tutu. She should be the one smuggling iPhones.

about a month and a half ago


Paradise Pete hasn't submitted any stories.



OS X 10.4 Early Impressions

Paradise Pete Paradise Pete writes  |  more than 9 years ago I've had 10.4 installed for only about a day now, so no doubt many of the gripes will be easily solved as I discover more.


  • Improved searching is great.
  • Why is there so little control over the sounds?
  • The interface seems to be "de-proved." But maybe I just need to get used to it. It sure seems harder to see at a glance the state of the folders. I did go get Cage Fighter, which helps a bit.
  • Why did they remove the "Quote Level" from the contextual menu? I can use the keyboard, sure, but chances are I've just selected some text and my hand is on the mouse, not the keyboard. And I'd rather have it right there than have to go to the menu bar.

System Preferences

  • What? No more toolbar? I can't drag the frequently used ones to the top anymore? Am I missing something, or did they make it less usable? And here's an aside: I notice that System Preferences is one of the few apps that doesn't have Preferences.


  • Impressively fast. Seriously fast.
  • I just noticed in typing this that it supports multiple undo. I don't know if that's new or not.
  • It's able to deal with some sites it couldn't before. I don't who was at fault, but either way they work now.
  • Overall, simply a first rate browser.


  • So far, pretty much a toy to me. Seems like a big layer of stuff just to bring back desk accessories, but then I'm pretty sure I just don't get it yet, and the light will come on.
  • Does World Clock actually work? When I flip it over to set the city I can't flip it back. There's no "Done" button or anything, so it just sits there, taunting me with its back turned. It looks like maybe it's missing some resources.
  • Many of them seem pointless, as if someone said "Well we've got iTunes, and we've got widgets, so I guess we'd better make an iTunes widget." How is that any more convenient than going to the actual app?
  • The translator, which I was very pleased to see and thought I would use in place of going to babelfish or google, is pretty clunky. It's slow, with no indication that it's doing anything, and the interface sucks. How do i actually invoke a translation? Do I tab, click on the squiggles, what? If it weren't so pokey I could use the feedback to figure it out, but for right now I don't really know what makes it "go." It's also very easy to make it appear to be wrong.
  • I really like the weather widget. It looks great and does what I want.


  • Why do all the apps now say .app? It gives it such a "Windows-y" feel. Is that to protect me from accidentally running a program or something? If that can be turned off I'd sure like to know how.
  • Can I get some control over the interface sounds? It seems like such an obvious desire that I wouldn't be surprised if there's already a third-party utility to do so.

X 11

  • I generally use this for only one thing, running gnuBackgammon. For whatever reason, it (gnubg) takes much longer to start up now.
  • I now have to click twice on the dock icon to get it to come to the front.


  • I guess it's great. I find myself making "interface" blunders, though. I'll get used to it, but it somehow seems unfinished. Maybe it's just me, because I can't be more specific. I think part of it is that my expectations were so high.

That's all that comes to mind right now. I really haven't yet done all that much with it. More to come. Comments are encouraged, especially where I'm wrong about things.


Golf Today

Paradise Pete Paradise Pete writes  |  more than 10 years ago The rain broke early this morning, and Nito the caddy calls me on his way to the course. Convinces me que se vale la pena, it's worth going out there.

So I get there and the course is in good shape, and very few golfers. Nito and I go off alone.

Hole #1: For some reason I'm a little bit nervous today. I also feel like I'm going to play well, so I take the nerves as a good sign. I yank my first drive a bit, but hit it well, so I'm long but in the right rough, about 80 yards out. I hit a 90% sand wedge. It's right at the flag, but because of the rough there's not much spin on it, and it hits and rolls about 15 feet past. It's a slippery and fast putt, but I'm able to get it near the hole and make the two footer for par.

The swing with the wedge felt really good; loose, smooth and easy, and the shot went straight at the flag. It felt like I could do it all day long. So as we approach the the number two tee, with my driver in hand I say to Nito "If this club cooperates, today is the day." And he grabs the putter and says "No, If this club cooperates, today is the day!"

#2, the long par four: I hit a solid drive right down the middle. I'm about 140 out. The flag looks like it might be slightly towards the front, so we vacillate between a 9 and an 8. We settle on the 8. I hit a good shot towards the middle of the green, but then we realize the flag is not just a little, but rather all the way up front, so I'm on the green, but a full club long. I'm able to lag the 30 footer up to about two and a half feet, and make that for par.

#3, par five dogleg right: I hit a good drive down the middle, but what wind there is is against, so I still have a ways to go to get to the turn. I hit a four iron solidly, but with an unintentional draw. It happens sometimes with my long irons, so I'd aimed far enough left to guard against it that the ball curled around the turn nicely. The flag is on the far right, so I have a little tree trouble, but an 80% sand wedge goes right over it, and right over the flag, hitting and sticking seven feet past. I roll it in for birdie.

#4, par four, water on the left. I don't quite get all of the drive, but it's in the fairway and on the right hand side, which is good because the flag is tucked in the extreme left corner, guarded by those trees. So the right side is the place to be to get an angle. I hit a pitching wedge right at the flag, but it's a little long and hits and sticks in the fringe, about 12 feet past the hole. The putt has a big bend in it, and it's fast, so I just try to cozy it up. With its last turn the ball dies at the hole and drops in the side door, for an unexpected but pleasing birdie.

#5, par three over the water. The way it's set up today Nito says it's playing about 120. He hands me a pitching wedge and asks how far I hit it. "125," I say, and he says "Si, OK, plays 125." Hmmm. So I hit right over the flag, and it goes 125, but sure enough the flag is indeed 120 away, so I'm on the back of the green, well long. The hole is on the crest of the hill, and I don't hit the putt hard enough and leave it well short. Now I power the next one past the hole. Then I miss the comebacker! Man oh man. Four-putt Double bogey, and those two birdies go up in smoke. Shoot.

#6, par four dogleg right. I crack my drive to the turn. The flag today is placed perilously close to the water on the right, and you know how the green just feeds everything that way anyway, so I employ some o' that course management stuff and hit a cautious lob wedge pin-high, but ten feet left. The putt is VERY fast, and a has fair bit of break. Too aggressive and it could go off the green and into the water! So I gently baby it up to a foot away, and tap in for par.

#7, par three over the water. Pin all the way in the back, and some wind against, so we go with the 6 iron. Too much club, and I also get another unintended draw. So I'm over the back and right. Tough chip up over the slope, and I leave it short. The next chip one-hops off the flag stick and lands next to the hole for a tap-in bogey.

#8, par five dog leg left. I hit a good drive, but in the left rough, so I've got those two big pine trees to deal with. I avoid those, but catch the branch of one of the small trees instead, and the ball ricochets over the huge water hazard on the left, and lands on the far left bank, just in-bounds. They've dug out the hazard so that now it's a 15 foot deep lake. So I walk all the way around it and through the mud to get to my ball, which happens to have a great big blob of of that mud stuck right on it. I'm 140 out, but because of a small tree the only line towards the green is over the next water hazard and the trees guarding the left side of the green, and with that mud ball I don't think I can make the shot. So I hit it out to at a right angle to the green, across the fairway to the hill on the other side. I'm 70 yards out lying three, but I stick a lob wedge one foot from the hole for a tap-in par. Whew!

#9 the par four over water. I hit a mediocre 3 iron off the tee, and am left with a long approach to the green. The flag is again tucked in the left corner, and from my position it's too dangerous to go at it. Anything less than perfect and it's in the water. So I take a five iron and aim for the middle of the green. Apparently today was "hook the long irons day," as I get yet another unintentional draw. So I'm just over the back of the green, and way on the opposite side from the hole. I don't get up and down, so I make bogey for a two-over 38 on the front.

#10, the par five with the creek. I hit a long drive, up on the hill on the left. That hill usually feeds the ball back to the fairway, but with the wet conditions the ball stays up on the slope. Earlier in the year, when there was a strong helping wind on this hole I could sometimes hit driver, 9 iron. With the rainy season the conditions have reversed, and now there tends to be a wind against here. So instead of 9 iron, I'm hitting 3 wood! I strike it well, and the ball flies over the tree on the right and fades back to the slope above the greenside bunker. I chip up to about 8 feet, but roll the birdie try by. Par.

#11. Par four. I hit a good drive to 100, then a decent wedge to about 15 feet. Somehow I manage to three putt! Bogey.

#12. Long par four. OB and sand left, water right. I hit a good drive to the valley, then a five iron. It of course draws to the right, so I'm pin high but off the green. The hole is again on the crest of the hill, and I can't chip close, and then the par putt lips the cup and stops one inch directly behind the hole. Bogey.

#13. Par four with the tiered green. Water left, wide open on the right. I hit my drive way right to the other fairway. We're not sure of the distance, but decide on an eight iron. The flag is on the upper shelf, way left. Tough pins today. With a slightly uphill lie I hit a towering shot right at the flag, and it's hanging in the air for forever, and we're sweating out the distance, until it finally plops down on the crest of the ridge that runs through the green. It sits there for a moment, thinking it over, before it finally gives up and rolls back down to the lower tier. Bummer. Very tough putt from down there, and I'm not up to the challenge. Another three-putt bogey.

#14. Par four. I crack my drive down the middle, then hit a 9 iron to about 10 feet. I smooth it in for birdie.

#15. Long par three. I hit five iron pin high, but it's a long iron, so naturally I'm off the green to the right. I get up and down for par.

#16. Short par four. Wind against, so it plays a little longer than usual. I hit a good drive, then a pitching wedge at the flag. It hits and sticks 8 feet past. My birdie try just slides by. Par.

#17. Short par three. I hit 90% pitching wedge, but pull it a little, so I'm on the green pin high but 20 feet right. Hole is once again on the crest of the hill. I three putt. Bogey.

#18. Long par five. OB left, water right. Dogleg right. I hit a good but not great drive just past the tree. I crack a three wood to within 40 yards of the green. The flag is all the way in the back, so I hit a full lob wedge, but it's not quite enough to get all the way there, and I'm about 12 feet short. My birdie try just breaks off at the end for a tap-in par.

So, a 38-39 77. And as usual, Nito was right. It was the putter.

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