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Proposed Penalty For UK Hackers Who "Damage National Security": Life

hawkinspeter Re:Here we go again (164 comments)

Playing Devil's Advocate here (woohoo high score!). This law might get passed due to the ruling parties having a strong majority in the Parliament. Maybe a future UKIP party gets to power with a small minority and gets blocked repeatedly by the other parties combining against them - they'd easily be able to use this law to get rid of their opponents.

yesterday
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U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

hawkinspeter Re:not until (159 comments)

I haven't seen a pound note for years. Probably the last one I saw would have been a Scottish one ('I think you'll find that's legal tender').

yesterday
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U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

hawkinspeter Re:UK article, US units (159 comments)

It probably depends on what scales you use, but in general if you ask someone their weight, they'll answer in stone. In official contexts KGs are probably preferred.

yesterday
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U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

hawkinspeter Re:Boycott ASDA (159 comments)

I don't know about Morrisons (my closest one is too far away) but Aldi currently beats Tesco and Asda on quality.

yesterday
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U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

hawkinspeter Re:UK article, US units (159 comments)

We still use imperial measures for height and weight of people (e.g. 6'1" tall and weighing 14st 6lb).

yesterday
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U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

hawkinspeter Re:not until (159 comments)

Which currency we use can be very important due to factors like inflation or qualitative easing. You have a point as for most transactions the currency is just used as a middle-man for swapping services (e.g. time you spent working for someone) for products or other services.

If you have a lot of currency "saved" then the choice of currency can be very important as the value of each currency can dramatically change (e.g. hyper-inflation can wipe out the value of a currency).

As a UK subject, I don't feel sentimental about the pound, but historically it has been a lot more stable than other currencies. At the moment, I believe that Sterling is in a safer position than the Euro as the Euro has problems with some of the countries having financial difficulties (e.g. Greece).

yesterday
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Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

hawkinspeter Re:yes, upgraded to FAX like 1970s Unix (123 comments)

Yep. I much prefer to use Linux, but my wife complained when I replaced all the Windows in our house, especially the double-glazing.

3 days ago
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Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit

hawkinspeter Re:I've said that, but Master lock and demolition (123 comments)

Depending on where you live, often the purpose of security is not to stop someone entering but to ensure that they're going to make a lot of noise doing so. If you're in a street with lots of neighbours, then a burglar is not going to want to be smashing windows or wooden doors.

This is also why dogs make good guard pets as some of them make lots of noise when they see someone they don't know. A lot of dogs would just go and excitedly greet a burglar, but the burglar wouldn't want to take the chance and will often pick a house without a dog.

3 days ago
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Microsoft Gearing Up To Release a Smartwatch of Its Own

hawkinspeter Re:Funny but Microsoft is the most open ecosystem. (172 comments)

If people insist on repeatedly buying rubbish, then why should the manufacturers have to pick up the slack?

Personally, I run Linux and the only problem I've had with drivers not working from one release to another was with a Multitech multimodem that I've not been able to get working on a anything newer than a 2.4 kernel. Luckily, I can still quite happily run an old OS and thus it's still working today (although why we need to run fax modems anymore is another question).

4 days ago
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Microsoft Gearing Up To Release a Smartwatch of Its Own

hawkinspeter Re:Funny but Microsoft is the most open ecosystem. (172 comments)

If it works when you bought it, then it's your fault if you change the OS and it no longer works. You should have thought about that before changing your OS.

On the other hand, if a manufacturer doesn't provide you with all the drivers that you want, then don't keep buying from that manufacturer.

4 days ago
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What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

hawkinspeter Re:more likely from Kenya than Canada (254 comments)

VO2 max isn't necessarily the most important factor for marathon runners as there's running economy (how much oxygen you require for running at a certain pace) to consider as well. Strangely enough, high VO2 max and high running economy don't usually appear in the same individual.

about two weeks ago
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Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

hawkinspeter So, it has come to this. (742 comments)

Can't he just sue his ex-employer for wrongful dismissal or does that not exist in the U.S.?

about two weeks ago
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DARPA Delving Into the Black Art of Super Secure Software Obfuscation

hawkinspeter Re:Good luck with that. (124 comments)

I imagine that self-altering program code could become incredibly hard to analyze and unravel.

about three weeks ago
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Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

hawkinspeter Re:Moron (103 comments)

Thailand has loads of different types of chilis all with subtly different flavours. It's not just about the heat (although it's an important factor), but about the flavour as well.

about three weeks ago
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Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

hawkinspeter Re:I measure taste like a food critic (103 comments)

Real Thai food is very spicy as the Thais love their chilis. I like my food spicy, but when you ask for Thai food "local style" (as opposed to the tourist food that is a lot milder), you get a VERY hot dish.

about three weeks ago
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PostgreSQL Outperforms MongoDB In New Round of Tests

hawkinspeter Re:It doesn't matter (147 comments)

Disk to network directly without going into RAM? I'm not sure that's possible with typical disks, filesystems and network protocols. Does the network card have details about all the different filesystems? What happens if you're using encrypted disks - how would the network card know how to read the disk?

about a month ago
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GNOME 3.14 Released

hawkinspeter Re:The hipsters need to go! (250 comments)

That depends on whether I'm expected to join in with the fucking of bonobos or not. (I'm not going to say which answer I'd be wanting).

about a month ago
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Navy Guilty of Illegally Broad Online Searches: Child Porn Conviction Overturned

hawkinspeter Re:Where is the misuse of military equipment charg (286 comments)

Does that reasoning apply to sites that host pictures of actual killings/beheadings etc? Are the people hosting the site complicit in the guilt of the murders commited? Does that apply to news channels as well?

about a month ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

hawkinspeter Re: Trust us with your payments (730 comments)

I prefer a passcode as I don't leave my passcode around on every surface that I touch.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Philip K Dick's "The Man in the High Castle" to be produced by Ridley Scott

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 3 months ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Amazon has given the green light to produce the Hugo award-winning "The Man in the High Castle". This is after the four-hour mini-series was rejected by Syfy and afterwards by the BBC.

Philip K Dick's novel takes place in an alternate universe where the Axis Powers won the Second World War. It's one of his most successful works, probably due to him actually spending the time to do some editing on it (most of his fiction was produced rapidly in order to get some money). Ridley Scott has previously adapted PKD's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" as the film "Blade Runner", so it will be interesting to see how close he keeps to the source material this time.

This news has been picked up by a few sites: International Business Times; The Register and Deadline.

So, are any PKD fans excited about this and is this story already Godwinned?"
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BBC ignores 50000 austerity protesters outside BBC in Portland Place

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 4 months ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "It seems that the BBC didn't notice a crowd of 50,000 protesters right outside their front door on Saturday. The march was organised by the People's Assembly Against Austerity on their one-year anniversary and was led by comedian Russell Brand who has become a figure head for the movement. He called out for a "peaceful, effortless, joyful revolution".

The protesters started their march outside the BBC to protest against the broadcaster ignoring the impact of the cuts on the impoverished. Sam Fairbairn (the national secretary of the People's Assembly) spoke to the crowds at the end of the march, outside Parliament, saying "Make no mistake, these cuts are killing people and destroying cherished public services which have served generations".

Although this event seems to have been ignored by a lot if the UK press, it is covered by a few of them: Daily Express, The Independent and The Huffington Post."
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China rejects 545,000 tons of US genetically modified corn

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 10 months ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "The BBC is reporting that US corn that was found to contain an unapproved genetically modified strain. Although China doesn't have a problem per se with GM crops (they've been importing GM soybeans since 1997), their product safety agency found MIR162 in 12 batches of corn.

"The safety evaluation process [for MIR162] has not been completed and no imports are allowed at the moment before the safety certificate is issued" said Nui Din, China's vice agricultural minister.

The Chinese are now calling on US authorities to tighten their controls to prevent unapproved strains from being sent to China after the first batch of corn was rejected in November due to MIR162."

Link to Original Source
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Doom comes to Kickstarter boardgame project

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about a year ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Kickstarter backers are up in arms and accusing the head of developer The Forking Path Erik Chevalier of fraud following the cancellation of a tabletop game that successfully brought in nearly $123,000 on the crowdfunding website.

According to Chevalier, the project — a game called The Doom that Came to Atlantic City — ran out of money following 13 months of development despite earning nearly four times the amount originally asked for through Kickstarter. Chevalier began the Kickstarter campaign in May 2012, asking for $35,000 to create the title.

"The project is over, the game is cancelled," he wrote. "Every possible mistake was made, some due to my inexperience in board game publishing, others due to ego conflicts, legal issues and technical complications. No matter the cause though, these could all have been avoided by someone more experienced and I apparently was not that person."

Chevalier added he hopes to personally refund the full amount to his backers beginning with those who pre-ordered the game through its official webstore.

"Unfortunately I can't give any type of schedule for the repayment as I left my job to do this project and must find work again.

"Again, I never set out to con anyone or to perpetrate a fraud but I did walk into a situation that was beyond my abilities and for that I'm deeply sorry." A number of backers since claimed to have reported Chevalier to the Oregon Department of Justice. According to the designer, he has contacted the department himself in response.

"While they gave no promises their agent didn't feel that I'd committed any fraud. I am going to provide them with more information and work with them to see what I need to do to make this right in their eyes. I will also be contacting any other agencies who receive reports in order to provide them with a transparent view of the scenario from all angles."

Angry backers are of the opinion that the project money was used to fund Erik's move to Portland and to set up a video production company (formerly Suicide Pact LLC and now renamed as Intrinsic Gray). Additionally, it appears that Erik had to have legal action threatened by the game designers themselves before agreeing to come clean about the wasted money."
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MIT blocking release of Aaron Swartz's Secret Service files

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about a year ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Lawyers representing MIT are filing a motion to intervene in Wired's Kevin Poulsen's FOIA lawsuit over thousands of pages of Secret Service documents about the late activist and coder Aaron Swartz.

It looks like MIT are afraid of the public finding out about the individuals who thought that sending Aaron to prison (for the digital equivalent of checking out too many library books) was a really good idea. Does that justify a non-governmental interfering with a FOIA request?"

Link to Original Source
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Ruby-on-Rails allows remote-code execution on over 240,000 websites

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Popular programming framework Ruby on Rails is affected by two critical security vulnerabilities — one allowing anyone to execute commands on the servers running affected web apps.

The bugs both involve the parsing and handling of data supplied by visitors to a Rails application. The CVE-2013-0156 hole is the more severe of the two because it allows remote-code execution against any Ruby on Rails application that has the XML parser enabled — a feature switched on by default. According to security tools firm Sourcefire the flaw allows hackers to run system commands on the server with the same level of privileges as the app.

Both vulnerabilities can be resolved by updating to the latest version of the Ruby on Rails platform.

But what makes the holes particularly nasty is that, until the patches are applied, every application running on the insecure open-source framework will be vulnerable — like castles built on sand and the tide is rising: at least 240,000 websites powered by RoR are thought to be at risk."

Link to Original Source
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Caught on camera: quantum mechanics in action

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Scientists at the University of Glasgow have captured images of ‘quantum entanglement’ on camera for the first time.

In quantum mechanics, entanglement is one of the bizarre behaviours exhibited by particles where the rules of classical physics are broken and seemingly impossible events are a reality.

Described by Einstein as ‘spooky action at a distance’, entanglement is the phenomenon whereby two particles act as one system even when separated by immense distances.

The entangled particles are in a superposition where their individual state isn’t known. However, as soon as one of them is measured or observed the other will take on a correlated state instantaneously, seemingly violating the speed of light.

Being able to exploit such behaviour would have major applications in communications encryption and could underpin the next generation of computer technology, known as quantum computation.

Their paper is available from Nature"

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft drope 'Metro' name for Windows 8

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "The BBC is reporting that Microsoft is dropping the 'Metro' name for the new Windows 8 UI. Apparently, the catchy new name they've settled on is 'Windows 8 style UI'! This has happened due to a (potential) trademark dispute with Metro AG , a German retail giant.

I'm wondering if Microsoft planned this to get publicity for their new OS and UI or whether they just forget to check on how 'Metro' is used around the world."

Link to Original Source
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Man claims cell phone taken by DC police for taking photos

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Just one day after Chief Cathy Lanier made it illegal for MPD cops to take recording equipment, a 26-year-old local man had his phone taken as he was trying to record a violent arrest. They eventually gave back his phone, but without the memory card which also contained photos of his daughter along with the record of the alleged police brutality."
Link to Original Source

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