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Comments

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For Now, UK Online Pirates Will Get 4 Warnings -- And That's It

Xest Re:Except... (132 comments)

No, only when there is a profit motive in supplying does it become a criminal case. If you're supplying without charging it's still very much a civil case.

yesterday
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For Now, UK Online Pirates Will Get 4 Warnings -- And That's It

Xest Re:Warnings are discoverable ... (132 comments)

Well, it's not for free. The industry is paying ISPs £750,000 one off + £75,000 per year. The ISPs have to pay £250,000 towards it and £25,000 per year.

I'd be amazed if they even ever see a return on that investment. As someone else pointed out in the UK you don't get the absurd escalation of penalty costs in court that you do in the US, you actually have to prove damages and only get actual damages. Even if they do litigate that amount they'll gain from doing so would be so small it wouldn't cover the cost of staff time in collating the information to be sent to the lawyers, even if the lawyers fees themselves were covered.

I really don't think this will achieve anything other than getting a few kids told off by their parents.

yesterday
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Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

Xest Re:Isn't this Apple's entire shtick ? (287 comments)

But that's exactly the point isn't it? The assumption that software magically "just works" when you move it on to shittier hardware is complete nonsense. That's never been the case, not even on the desktop.

When you buy cheap you're not just buying cheaper hardware, you're buying a more cheaply QA'd phone, you're buying a less tested phone, you're buying a phone that has had less investment in bug fixing. Your analogy of Intel's i series is completely off base as it's not simply the process version that changes - everything from the wireless chip, to the screen size, to the quality of memory, to the amount of storage space, to the graphics processor will also often change. All that can make stuff that works on high end devices just fine fail miserably on low end devices.

It's all part of the package - the idea that it's cheap but the software should be just as great is complete bollocks. Software has a cost too, and just as you pay for better hardware quality and assurance by upping the amount you spend you also pay for better software quality and assurance by upping the amount you spend.

2 days ago
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Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

Xest Re:Isn't this Apple's entire shtick ? (287 comments)

Right and it's the same with equivalent cost Android phones too, but the problem here is that he's bought a cheap crappy device and decided to complain that it's cheap and crappy.

He wants iPhone/High end Android quality at budget Android price, which is stupid.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Xest Re:I don't see the problem. (662 comments)

Saudi Arabia is a Sunni country, an al Qaeda is a Sunni organisation.

The west didn't have occupying troops in Saudi because it was done with the support of the Saudi government to help protect Saudi Arabia from shia nations like Iran.

The person I was responding to said al Qaeda were initially freedom fighters, and that's what I disagree with because obviously that's false because their freedoms hadn't in any way been restricted by the people they were attacking.

There are many groups you can claim were potentially freedom fighters including the Taliban, but al Qaeda just isn't one of them because they were wholly the aggressor and that's what I take issue with - the suggestion otherwise that somehow al Qaeda only got aggressive because the US attacked them first. That's nonsense - they may well have started it for the reasons you describe, but that isn't freedom fighting as the GP suggested, that's still terrorism.

2 days ago
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Math, Programming, and Language Learning

Xest Re:I disagree (239 comments)

Most of the posts here talk about calculus and efficiency but it's only a small part of how math links into programming.

You don't need to know math to program, but math is what separates great programmers from the mediocre. Math has been essential for the formulation of new ideas. If all you're doing is creating run of the mill CRUD applications then you don't need math at all, if however you work in an R&D department solving hard problems then math is absolutely essential.

I have a degree in maths and a degree in computing, as someone who learnt to program long before I did either of my degrees, I frankly found my degree in math to contribute far far more to my capabilities than rigorous study of computer science did. Having a good math foundation is the difference between being able to listen to a problem a client wants solving and saying "No, we can't really solve that" which is what most developers would do in the face of a tough problem and recognising that the clients problem is an optimisation problem, a classification problem, or some other type of problem and knowing what sub-areas of maths apply to solving or approximating an acceptable solution.

So you can develop without math fine, but without math there'll be whole classes of problem that you have no idea how to solve and will just write off as not possible. You might argue that you could just find a library or framework, but without even being able to classify the problem you wont even know what you're looking for let alone know how to use it properly so even that's not going to work out for you.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Xest Re:Let us keep our thoughts with our Kremlin frien (662 comments)

Just when I thought Alexander Borodai couldn't stoop any lower in saying the ICAO can pick up the flight recorders whilst also stopping ICAO represenatives getting to him to pick them up the train carrying about 200 of the bodies now apparently can't get to Western Ukraine because the railway has magically been damaged today.

Worse, Borodai has also now said he will only hand over the bodies of the deceased directly to the relatives. Yes, that's right, you can't have your dead son back for burial unless you personally travel to Borodai's warzone to pick him up.

What an absolute pathetic excuse of a person Russia has sent to run things in Ukraine, classy company Putin must keep. I can't really tell if they think they're somehow making the situation better by so desperately preventing any evidence escaping their grasp or if they're just being malicious at this point. Either way they're certainly not making the situation better for themselves and they're basically screaming their own guilty in refusing to cooperate.

Meanwhile, as an aside, Denis Pushilin another Putin puppet and spokesman for the rebels decided to resign and flee to Moscow over the weekend. I can't tell if he's more or less stupid than Borodai for doing this, on one hand his actions scream that he has something to run from and that the rebels are guilty as hell and he doesn't want to be punished from it, but on the other at least he's not just digging deeper like Borodai and trying to achieve the medal of "Most horrible person on Earth" in the process.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Xest Re:I don't see the problem. (662 comments)

Well the Janes article also suggests it can be set into an autonomous mode where it just fires at anything approaching it (presumably that doesn't identify explicitly as friendly - so both enemies and civilian aircraft).

It's possible there was no human pulling the rhetorical trigger at all and that they set it in autonomous mode and kept their distance fearing it might be hit by a HARM missile or something.

Though I doubt we'll ever know, I doubt the person who set it in autonomous mode, or who pulled the trigger is even still alive right now quite frankly.

2 days ago
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UK Government Faces Lawsuit Over Emergency Surveillance Bill

Xest Re:Are they forgetting that this is the UK? (44 comments)

So how do you think the data retention law was slapped down in the first place as being an overreach then genius?

Of course some laws supersede others - the human rights act for example has resulted in many rulings that deem newer laws to be invalid.

Parliament can still held to account by the judiciary and it is ultimately the judiciary that determine what happens when one law conflicts with another - there's no automatic "newest wins" as you originally claimed.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Xest Re:I don't see the problem. (662 comments)

Janes the defence intelligence organisation disagrees with you FWIW. They claim that IFF in the Buk systems simply asks if it's a friendly and if it doesn't reply with a friendly signature it assumes it's a foe.

I know you claim you've been trained in the system but I'd rather believe Janes given that their description makes much more sense. If what you said is true that surface to air missile systems can be disabled from firing at a target by simply claiming to be civilian in their IFF response then they'd be less than useless as every military jet would be flying around pretending to be civilian.

See here:

http://www.janes.com/article/4...

Quote in question:

"Although it has its own identification friend or foe system, this is only able to establish whether the target being tracked is a friendly aircraft. It is the electronic equivalent of a sentry calling out: "Who goes there?". If there is no reply, all you know is that it is not one of your own combat aircraft. It would not give you a warning that you were tracking an airliner."

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Xest Re:I don't see the problem. (662 comments)

"could be classified as freedom fighters since they were fighting against their aggressors"

Where? Al Qaeda car bombed the WTC some years earlier and the US military had drone footage of him in the late 90s.

I'm not by any measure a fan of the US, nor am I one to think the US isn't the cause of many of it's own problems, including many terrorist incidents, but Al Qaeda seem pretty clearly to be an aggressor. The worst the US did was support them against the soviets and then just stop returning their calls when the USSR fell, it's not like they were hunting them day in day out like they do nowadays.

Osama was even handed the US on a plate at one point but they weren't fussed enough to deal with all the crap surrounding it to take him, so to paint him and al Qaeda as freedom fighters and the US as aggressors in the US vs. al Qaeda conflict seems complete nonsense.

You can argue post-9/11 that the US became an aggressor against the Taliban depending on how much you believe the Taliban had to do with 9/11, but against al Qaeda? No, the first WTC bombing, the USS cole attack and so on and so forth - al Qaeda was clearly the aggressor in that particular case.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Xest Re:I don't see the problem. (662 comments)

There's a stark difference between an old decommissioned vehicle that does little more than drive around, and a fully working launcher with working radar, tracking system, and missiles.

Getting old decommissioned military surplus kit is easy, getting working military kit capable of actually doing damage is a whole different ball game.

Normally all that's left in these things are the engines and driving mechanism, and even that's not the case sometimes.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Xest Re:I don't see the problem. (662 comments)

Even the manpads that can't reach that altitude aren't the sort of thing you can buy easily on the black market. If it was then we wouldn't be hearing about people dying to barrel bombs in Syria because the helicopters chucking them out would be easy pickings.

Similarly, we'd likely have had terrorist incidents of terrorists shooting down airliners on landing or take off with them.

The fact we haven't speaks volumes as to how obviously supplied by Russia this kit is. The closest we've seen of even manpads used after black market sales is a few stinger launches in Afghanistan against NATO aircraft and even these are likely just the one or two stingers given to the Mujahideen in the 80s to fight the soviets whose batteries still just about worked.

A large part the reason this kit doesn't appear on the black market more prominently is because it has a shelf life, the missiles and batteries have to be maintained/replaced, so even if you do leak one it's only good for a short while. Hence why the Ukrainian military helos shot down by manpads were almost certainly shot down by manpads given to the separatists directly from the Russian government, because there were a number of them and they were all obviously in perfect working order. You just don't get that kind of haul of manpads anywhere other than from a nation state - again, if you did, then the Taliban and Al Qaeda would've been having a field day against NATO aircraft in Iraq/Afghanistan, against Syrian aircraft in Syria, and against Gaddaffi's forces in the Libyan civil war.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Xest Re:I don't see the problem. (662 comments)

He was also democratically removed. Whilst a majority of 75% is needed under Ukrainian law to pass the actual impeachment, before that can be done there must be an investigation into whether he has committed an impeachable offence. A majority (73%) of elected representatives voted to start impeachment procedures - i.e. investigation into whether he has done something that makes him liable for impeachment. Rather than face that investigation he decided to resign, flee to Russia, then once in Russia, try and "un-resign" which isn't a thing you can do.

"Are you so sure that his pro-EU replacement was democratically elected?"

Yes, because there were international monitors in every region that the rebels weren't blocking elections, and where the rebels were blocking elections the number of people who could vote wasn't high enough to change the outcome anyway. These were actual international monitors who provide transparency so that their work can be properly verified, as opposed to the far-right monitors Putin used to rubber stamp the Crimean referendum for which there was no verifiability too.

The problem isn't that Yanukovych was democratically elected, most Ukrainians accept he was. The problem is that he was democratically elected after years of his opposition being destroyed by Russia to make sure he was the only viable candidate. Effectively he was elected because they'd been left with no other choice - elimination of other candidates ranges from poisoning, to Russia screwing the previous leader, Yulia Tymoschenko on gas deals leaving her no choice but to either sign or face more cutoffs then when she was kicked out of office, they used this to jail her claiming she overpaid wasting state funds as if she had some kind of choice.

So the issue isn't that Yanukovych was democratically elected, we all know he was, he was just elected in the face of no serious opposition due to a decade of Russian interference ranging from assassination attempts to defamation. The issue is that the majority of the public got absolutely fed up after only a few years of him because he was exactly as they expected - a corrupt puppet of Putin and as a result, he decided to resign in the face of protests that triggered the start of the impeachment process against him by a massive majority of elected representatives.

There was nothing undemocratic about Yanukovych's ousting whatever Putin might tell you. The ability to oust incompetent or corrupt leaders is as much part of the democratic process as election of them in the first place - when you're elected you're not guaranteed immunity for an entire term, you still have responsibilities and can still be held accountable, and he was, which is why he legged it.

2 days ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

Xest Re:Let us keep our thoughts with our Kremlin frien (662 comments)

I don't think black box data will be much use, they were shipped out to Russia within hours of the crash, Alexander Borodai, a Russian national, normally a resident of Moscow and political leader of the "rebels" claims he has them and is waiting for the ICAO to turn up so he can hand them over, except the ICAO can't turn up because his soldiers are blocking them from doing so. The Russians/Rebels are very clearly stalling the handover (they've also been caught removing bits of aircraft and a number of the dead who showed evidence of damage/wounds that would be caused by Buk missile fragmentation FWIW so the whole crash site has become a forensic nightmare in that regard).

So the chain of custody of flight recorders now makes them utterly useless for determining anything worthwhile. To be useful they'd have had to have been left in the exact spot they fell until international investigators showed up to properly document their locations and to set up a proper chain of custody.

Speculation is that Russia would easily enough be able to remove some flight data to make it look like the last location pings from the aircraft came further back to the west than where the aircraft was actually shot down so that they can try and pin it on the Ukrainian military.

I'm intrigued after MH370 whether MH17 was relaying it's satellite locations though given that the company that handles that said they'd offer it for free. I expect an interesting blame game and arguments about tampering to come up if the temporary Russian held black box data mysteriously does end earlier than the satellite data held by Inmarsat in the UK. I'm sure Putin and his cronies will be accusing Inmarsat of making up data when the reverse is true - that if Putin and his soldiers in Ukraine had nothing to hide they wouldn't be fiddling with evidence, removing bodies, running off with the black boxes, and blockading international investigators.

2 days ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

Xest Re:Who benefits (503 comments)

I don't know exactly how these identification systems work, but I presume they have to be pre-loaded with known radar/electronic signatures to be able to offer any form of reasonable identification.

This launcher is likely older than the Boeing 777 (as it's a 70s/80s design, whilst the 777 didn't fly until the 90s) and so if it's not been kept uptodate it's possible also that not knowing what the fuck a Boeing 777 was it assumed it was something like an AN24.

4 days ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

Xest Re:Wrong priority! (503 comments)

That is basically the impression it gave, but Churchill was also competent enough to not make it publicly clear when addressing people about grave events.

4 days ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

Xest Re:meanwhile overnight... (503 comments)

Right, but there's a difference between ethnicity and nationality. I'm referring to Russian nationals.

Even those born in Ukraine, but who served in the Russian army post-soviet split up will also likely have Russian nationality.

This, for what it's worth describes the "separatist" leadership. Igor Girkin the military leader of the "separatists" and Alexander Boradai, the political leader of the separatists are actual just plain old Russians, no natural Ukrainian association at all and don't even live in the Ukraine (well, not until this separatist movement started), they're both from Moscow.

When the Ukrainian military destroyed a truck transporting I believe about 30 rebels, their coffins were all sent to Russia, because that's where they were all from.

This is really the problem with the battle, a lot, possibly even a majority of those doing the fighting aren't even actually Ukrainian, they're simply out and out Russian, nationals, citizens, residents, fighting in the Ukraine for Russian ultra-nationalist expansionism. I'd say it's a new form of imperialist expansionism, but it's really not new. It actually harks back more to the days of the crusades where civilians often acted not in a state capacity, but simply only with the implicit support of the state to invade foreign lands to try and take them for their own.

4 days ago

Submissions

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Man jailed for trolling

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Xest (935314) writes "A man in the UK has been jailed for just over 4 months for trolling, and has also been given an order banning him from using social networking sites for 5 years. The trolling in question involved insulting a person who committed suicide by jumping in front a train by posting offensive remarks on a page dedicated to her memory, and creating a YouTube parody of Thomas the Tank with the deceased girls face in place of Thomas'.

Is it about time trolling to this extent saw this kind of punishment, or is this punishment simply too harsh for someone who perhaps didn't realise how seriously his actions would be taken by the authorities?"

Link to Original Source
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Android takes 2nd place for the quarter

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Xest (935314) writes "For the quarter July, August, September Android has now pushed into second place for handset sales accounting for 25% of all phones sold, with Apple taking 3rd place and RIM taking 4th. Symbian is of course still king, largely due to it's massive userbase of low end phones in places like Africa, India, and China where handsets such as the iPhone and high end Android devices are simply unaffordable to many. The article notes that sales by smaller handset manufacturers such as HTC, Huwaei, and ZTE who often develop phones on behalf of other companies to brand themselves now account for a third of phone sales. With devices like the Orange San Francisco developed by ZTE selling at £99 without a contract and sporting an AMOLED screen whilst also being able to run some of the most popular games and applications today such as Angry Birds, perhaps even Symbian will see itself displaced over the next few years to be replaced with some of the highly competitive Android devices beginning to trickle out."
Link to Original Source
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A brighter future for freedom in Britain?

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Xest (935314) writes "Over the last decade on Slashdot since the events of 9/11 we have constantly been bombarded with stories reporting the continued deterioration of freedom and civil liberties in the West as governments come up with their new latest and greatest scheme to track down terrorists and criminals however negative the effect is on the rest of the law abiding population.

Today, Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister of Britain's new coalition government who came to power just last week outlined the new government's vision for the future of British civil liberties. The government has so far confirmation that they will be abolishing Britain's ID card database, abolishing the National Identity Register, abolishing the ContactPoint database, look into reforming libel laws to protect freedom of speech, will be restoring protections for the right to peaceful protest, and will improve the fairness of the DNA database to ensure innocent people's DNA is no longer held on it. This all begs the question; is the tide finally turning against deterioration of our rights and freedom?

The results of this rhetoric are yet to be seen, but if they are sincere in their aims, and truly even wish to allow citizens to recommend laws for removal as stated, then might we perhaps even see the dreadful Digital Economy Act repealed? Right now it's too early to tell, but a positive vibe on civil liberties from people now in power is often news in itself when taken in the context of the last decade of mostly doom and gloom for civil liberties and freedom."

Link to Original Source
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PS3 plagued by similar problems to the XBox 360s i

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Xest writes "More and more reports are appearing of Playstation 3 consoles failing in a similar way that the earlier models of the XBox 360 did, except for Sony, it's the Yellow Light of Dead. The BBC has an interesting article, which suggests the problem could be almost identical to that which caused the earlier XBox 360 models to fail — poor soldering connections. From the article:

"Several of those businesses have told Watchdog that the vast majority of consoles they see with the "yellow light of death" can be repaired by heating up specific parts of the circuit board. This process is called solder re-flow. By heating the connections between the components and the circuit board to temperatures in excess of 200 Celsius, the metal solder joints melt, just like they did when the device was first assembled. Console repairers say that this process method is commonly used to repair fractured connections, or dry joints."

But it's not the only rule from Microsoft's playbook on the issue that Sony have been following, whilst they have admitted 12,500 out of 2.5million (a convenient 0.5%) of systems have failed, they refuse to release full figures of failure rates citing them as being commercially sensitive. Unfortunately one rule Sony does not appear to be following Microsoft on is an extended warranty, stating that if it fails after 12 months, it is not their problem. In the UK however at least, the Sale of Goods act would disagree with that statement."

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft announces "YouTube for Games"

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Xest (935314) writes "At this years Game Developers Conference, alongside the announcement of Gears of War 2 due for release this November, Microsoft have announced another interesting feature — homebrew game sharing. Utilising XNA, developers and gamers will be able to share games that they have created over XBox live and rate them in a similar manner to YouTube's video sharing service. Microsoft have released 7 games to showcase the capabilities of the service at the event.

If this idea is extended to Windows users through Microsoft's Live for Windows program and with XNA Game Studio being a nice environment for amateur and professional game developers alike this could provide a powerful new path to mainstream users for indie game developers."

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