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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?

5 days 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 week ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

hawkinspeter Re:maintenance costs (249 comments)

All the big international companies end up reducing their tax bill by shunting money around and finding loopholes. I think you'll find that Microsoft is adept at avoiding tax bills. I remember reading somewhere that they end up paying around 13% tax.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

hawkinspeter Re:Yup. That sounds perfect. (352 comments)

Is it because all the stupid people use Microsoft?

about a week ago
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Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

hawkinspeter Re:Abject brand mismanagement (352 comments)

Patching windows is a real pain. What I don't understand is that you apply all the available updates and then after rebooting, you find that there's critical patches to fix the patches you just applied.

You can end up spending hours checking for updates, applying them, rebooting and then repeating it because your time is worthless to Microsoft. With Linux, when you apply the updates, you get all the updates at once and you only reboot if a new kernel was installed. A job that takes many hours on Windows takes maybe half an hour on Linux and doesn't require constant user attention.

about a week ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

hawkinspeter Re:Ignorance is self-righteous posturing (535 comments)

Many thanks for your pity, but I'm English, not American. I appreciate that your comments probably apply as much to Britain as it does to the US (I presume that you don't necessarily mean South America, Mexico and Canada when you specify American), but I like to think that I don't just believe in the propaganda spewed out by governments and media outlets. I'm sure there's a good mix of sceptical and gullible people in the U.S., so it's a bit disingenuous to portray everyone as if they all think exactly the same.

about two weeks ago
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Hidden Archeology of Stonehenge Revealed In New Geophysical Map

hawkinspeter Re:abattoir == slaughterhouse (28 comments)

I say! He just called us all savages.

Sir, I really must protest that although our savagery is debatable (I like to think of myself as a modern humanist rather than a knuckle-dragging savage), I do take exception to your surprising claim that we are all Muslims. I personally am not of a religious bent - I am a card carrying atheist (although the cards are just the normal credit cards and shop loyalty cards that most people carry around).

I am somewhat confused about what you mean by your "Asian militants" statement. Are all the militants coming to visit Britain (probably site-seeing - I do see a lot of Japanese tourists taking photographs of all manner of people, places and things) or did they all move here at an early age? My belief is that if someone has been living in a place for the majority of their life, then it's reasonable to designate that place as their nationality, so wouldn't they then become "British militants"?

I have met several Muslims who were absolutely outstanding chaps and in no way "savage", so I'm begininng to doubt your entire post as some kind of rant.

Good Day, Sir

about two weeks ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

hawkinspeter Re:Ignorance is self-righteous posturing (535 comments)

I appreciate that English is probably not your first language, but can you stop using the exclamation mark (!) to finish every sentence? It makes your comments look like they're written by a crazy.

about two weeks ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

hawkinspeter Re:US is... (535 comments)

Mainly foreigners who are accused of wanting to say it with guns and bombs, but there's no actual evidence and no judicial process or civilian oversight.

about two weeks ago
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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

hawkinspeter Re:Map of a box of chocolates (275 comments)

I'm thinking of starting a class-action against Quality Street as the toffee penny is not a chocolate. Also, why do they put so many of them in and so few of the green triangles? There's the other chocolate covered toffee, so I fail to see the need for the un-covered toffee penny.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

hawkinspeter Re:Essential (471 comments)

That'd be neat, but there'd be way too much latency to get any kind of accurate time display on a smartwatch.

about two weeks ago
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UK's National Health Service Moves To NoSQL Running On an Open-Source Stack

hawkinspeter Re: Are you fucking serious? Tell me you aren't! (198 comments)

So, you're a professional DBA and you can't even write a few sentences without using entirely the wrong words? How can you loosen a wire transfer? Your competent what?

about two weeks ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

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

I'd hazard a guess that your fingerprints are going to be all over your phone. (Which is why it's the stupidest biometric to use for a phone)

about two weeks ago
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BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

hawkinspeter Re:As a BBC "customer" in the UK... (363 comments)

I've encountered that as well. Sometimes it's just an article that is on the Worldwide site and everyone in the world can read it for free UNLESS they live in the UK (and presumably pay the TV License fee). You can usually get to the content via other means, but they just erect ridiculous legal barriers to UK residents.

about two weeks ago
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Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

hawkinspeter Re:Flip the switch (247 comments)

I don't see how consciousness is a "real" phenomenon. How can you tell by observing whether someone is conscious or is just following a certain set of complicated rules?

If it's real, how do you measure it? I personally believe that consciousness is just a by-product of our brain as a convenient way of formulating models of the real world, but doesn't actually exist. It's so easy to trick the "conscious" mind with false memories or mis-direction, not to mention the clear lag between actions and the conscious decision to make the action (the nerve impulses to move happen before the conscious realisation).

about three weeks ago
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UK Prisons Ministry Fined For Lack of Encryption At Prisons

hawkinspeter Re:As a former employee... (74 comments)

Maybe he keeps an (empty) one in hes back garden just for times when he feels like laughing a lot. He's a strange chap.

about three weeks ago
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UK Prisons Ministry Fined For Lack of Encryption At Prisons

hawkinspeter Re:old way? (74 comments)

I think encryption is the key here. Doesn't matter so much where you store it as how encrypted it is. However, if you put it onto a device that can fit very easily into someone's pocket, then you'd better make damn sure that it's encrypted.

about three weeks ago
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South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

hawkinspeter Re:Mandatory panic! (421 comments)

What I don't understand is why there's so many killings in schools that teachers need to be worried about someone looking at a website with guns on it. Do you Americans really shoot yourselves that much that you get scared when a kid looks at pictures of guns?

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 2 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 3 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 9 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 a year and a half 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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