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Top NSA Official Raised Alarm About Metadata Program In 2009

hyades1 A Minor Correction (108 comments)

"An anonymous reader sends this report from the Associated Press..."

"A reader who thinks he's anonymous sends this report from the Associated Press..."

There...fixed that for you. ;-)

2 days ago
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Blowing On Money To Tell If It Is Counterfeit

hyades1 Does this mean... (112 comments)

...hookers will soon be blowing the cash as well as the customers?

4 days ago
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Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

hyades1 What am I not getting? (165 comments)

I just can't get my head around the idea that somebody would take information vital to their needs and put it beyond reach, under the control of other people whose priorities probably don't match theirs.

What advantages are so overwhelming that they make this a sensible thing to do?

4 days ago
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HBO Developing Asimov's Foundation Series As TV Show

hyades1 Re:I'm sure it will suck (242 comments)

R Daneel Olivaw, who appeared in "Caves of Steel" (set in the same universe but predating the Foundation books) exists through the entire "future history", often in a central role. And it's implied that he was an unnoticed observer of much that occurred in books where he isn't explicitly mentioned.

It would be very easy to have any random character actually be Olivaw throughout the series, thus allowing him to act as an omniscient narrator supplying relevant information to the viewer without interrupting the stories themselves.

5 days ago
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Carmakers Promise Not To Abuse Drivers' Privacy

hyades1 Re:Then make it a felony criminal offense (98 comments)

Why is it I never have Mod points when I really, really want one?

You're exactly, 100% right. I'd only add that the sentence would have to sting...no 90 days at a country club stuff. Start the bidding at two years less a day at one of those institutions where "shank" isn't a cut of meat.

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

hyades1 Re:The Ads Can Be Disabled (309 comments)

Let me guess. Phrases like "mission creep", "nose of the camel" and "give them an inch and they'll take a mile" are utterly foreign to you. Or perhaps you believe they came into existence to describe situations that don't happen all that often?

about two weeks ago
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How Alibaba Turned November 11 Into the World's Biggest Online Shopping Day

hyades1 Re:November 11th? Really? (115 comments)

China needs North American markets. And they're very hot to get their hands on Canadian raw materials. Or are you such a fucking moron you hadn't noticed those small facts?

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

hyades1 Re:The Ads Can Be Disabled (309 comments)

Yeah, and I bet you believed your boyfriend when he said he'd just put the tip in, too. ;-)

about two weeks ago
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How Alibaba Turned November 11 Into the World's Biggest Online Shopping Day

hyades1 Re:November 11th? Really? (115 comments)

So they're welcome to sell in China. Here, it is Remembrance Day, and they can fuck off.

about two weeks ago
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How Alibaba Turned November 11 Into the World's Biggest Online Shopping Day

hyades1 Re:I won't be part of this (115 comments)

Excellent comment.

I'm not one of those people who believe Remembrance Day should be used as a back door way to glorify current wars. It is, however, about remembering soldiers who gave their lives to help make Canada into a real country rather than just an overseas extension of Great Britain. We only give them one day. They shouldn't have to share it with greed-driven marketers and sheeple who care about nothing but their next new toy.

about two weeks ago
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How Alibaba Turned November 11 Into the World's Biggest Online Shopping Day

hyades1 I won't be part of this (115 comments)

Here in Canada, November 11 is called "Remembrance Day". It's the one day of the year when we pay special attention to those who fell in service of our country.

So thanks anyway, Communist China. But shove your slimy promotions of your second-rate trash sideways up your ass.

about two weeks ago
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Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart

hyades1 Cynical view... (273 comments)

Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart

The problem is, too many of them are right.

about three weeks ago
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Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

hyades1 Ah, the irony... (152 comments)

The copyright on Mickey Mouse should have run out a thousand years ago, but Disney's tame Congressmen just keep letting them renew and renew and renew.

The idea that they're now trying to muscle their way in on other cartoon characters is disgusting.

about three weeks ago
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U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

hyades1 Re:And in other marketing opportunities (165 comments)

You may be onto something there. I mean, seriously, without this kind of lure, how would they ever get good-looking women into WalMart?

about 1 month ago
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U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

hyades1 Re:And in other marketing opportunities (165 comments)

Even with the warning, I'd probably be the first friggin' corpse.

about 1 month ago
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U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

hyades1 And in other marketing opportunities (165 comments)

No doubt there will be a brisk trade in copied files of some of the cuties who will use the booth to make anatomically perfect dolls of themselves.

about 1 month ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

hyades1 The Genius Gene (366 comments)

If genius is genetically linked with a sense of humour that could best be described as "Perverted Three Stooges", I'm Einstein's smarter offspring.

about a month ago
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The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

hyades1 I've still got one of these... (304 comments)

...but there's a keyboard I love even more. Nothing ever made, in my humble opinion, can match the old IBM Selectric typewriter keyboard. It was wide. It was flat. The keys were well separated. And the action on it was unparallelled.

I've got big hands (one of which has undergone some fairly serious repairs) and wide, spatulate fingertips. There has never been a keyboard I could get a higher speed on. I could actually go for brief stretches faster than the funny little type-ball could keep up with.

I weep bitter tears that it never translated well to computers. One of the DasKeyBoard models is close, but no cigar. And it costs an arm and a leg, of course.

about a month ago
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Oxytocin Regulates Sociosexual Behavior In Female Mice

hyades1 Re:And in other science news... (216 comments)

We may have to think this through. Who, after the traditional wedding feast and midnight nibblies, is hungry enough to rip open the nice little box and scarf down their piece of wedding cake?

A cynic might suspect that people inclined to such behaviour might be...how can i put this gracefully..."girthful". Excessive "girthfulness", of course, introduces another factor into the social mix: the so-called "Beer Goggles Effect". I think you'll agree that under such circumstances, rational analysis becomes difficult.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Verizon Intends to Share Your Personal Information

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

hyades1 writes "Gizmodo reports that Verizon is sending out notification letters infested with virtually-indecipherable legalese. In their sneaky, underhanded way, they're informing you that you have 45 days to opt out of their plan to share your personal data with "affiliates, agents and parent companies". That data can include, but isn't limited to, "services purchased (including specific calls you make and receive), billing info, technical info and location info."

If you view your statement on-line, you won't even get the letter. You'll have to access your account and view your messages. However, Read Write Web says the link provided there, called the "Customer Proprietary Network Information Notice", was listed as "not available."



No doubt Verizon would like to reassure you that everyone they're going to hand your personal data over to will have your best interests at heart."

Link to Original Source
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Get Out Of Sprint Free

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

hyades1 writes "Gizmodo says Sprint quietly tacked 25 cents onto its administration fees. This means you can get out of a contract with them and not have to pay the Early Termination Fee. It's suggested that they'll try to weasel out of it once they realize people are onto them, so you'll apparently have to stick to your guns.



http://i.gizmodo.com/5134918/get-out-of-your-sprint-contract-etf-free-until-the-end-of-the-month"

Link to Original Source
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Location Spoofing Possible with WiFi Devices

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hyades1 writes "Location Spoofing Possible With WiFi Devices: Positioning System Used By IPhone/iPod Breached



http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414145659.htm



ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2008) — Apple iPhone and iPod (touch) support a new self-localization feature that uses known locations of wireless access points as well as the device's own ability to detect access points. Now researchers at ETH Zurich/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have demonstrated that positions displayed by the devices using this system can be falsified, making the use of this self-localization system unsuitable in a number of security- and safety-critical applications."

Link to Original Source
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The New IT Guy Wants Vista

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hyades1 writes "Here's the situation: A mid-size Canadian law firm running the usual law software (Amicus or something like it) hires an IT guy from their computer contractor. The guy immediately asks to install Vista as the operating system whenever it becomes necessary to replace a PC. There's zero chance the firm will upgrade all its computers at once, so the change to Vista would take at least a year, more likely two. I'm told the IT guy has no clue about the software needs of the people doing the lawyering, but wants to make the change from XP (which they're happy with) anyway.



Some employees have said they're already run ragged, and don't have the time or resources to deal with the inevitable growing pains of a new (apparently cranky) OS. One has heard me bitch about my few direct encounters with Vista and some of the things I've seen about it on SlashDot.



Among the potential problems I see:



I've heard Vista doesn't always play nicely with older hardware (the firm scans and prints thousands of letters and documents every month). If Vista decided it didn't like some of the printers or scanners, the consequences would be serious, and would put a lot of stress on the secretaries and clerks (especially if the affected hardware was all on one floor).



Vista is quick to shut you out when it thinks you shouldn't be doing something. Telling their major client, "My computer won't let me have that information. I'll have to call you back," would be a disaster.

There's more, of course, but I'm sure you get the point.



My personal view is that the IT guy sees an opportunity for unlimited job security at the expense of everybody else in the company. However, I'm not a computer person and I don't have the chops to question his decision.



Can somebody point me towards "slap it down on the boss's desk" arguments and backing documentation indicating that Vista is not the way for this firm to go? I've done some searching, but have found mostly anecdotal evidence indicating that Vista should be avoided like the plague. That won't cut it against a guy who can lapse into techno-speak. Can the firm keep XP going until Vista's replacement comes along?



Any help will be most humbly appreciated."
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He died HOW???

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

hyades1 (1149581) writes "UPI reports that the deputy mayor of New Delhi plummeted to his death during a tussle with aggressive monkeys. http://www.newsdaily.com/TopNews/UPI-1-20071022-20513500-bc-india-monkeys-crn.xml Deputy Mayor S.S. Bajwa was attacked by monkeys while standing on the balcony of his residence Saturday and fell to the ground during the ensuing struggle, CNN-IBN reports. Bajwa was taken to hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. Here, for the first time anywhere, is solid, documented proof that spanking the monkey can kill you."
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Computer Vision

hyades1 hyades1 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

hyades1 writes "There may be a revolution coming in the field of computer vision systems. The ability to recognize 3D reality from 2D photographs and the use of context to make reasonable assumptions about perceived objects http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017174328.htm could solve some major problems that have limited the ability of machines to perform visually-oriented tasks humans do without thinking. A major problem with robots that "see" is that they don't use common sense to quickly discard useless alternatives. Using a little-known Google Labs widget, computer scientists from UC San Diego and UCLA have brought common sense to an automated image labeling system. Basically, it's the ability to use context to help identify objects in photographs. For example, if a conventional automated object identifier has labeled a person, a tennis racket, a tennis court and a lemon in a photo, the new post-processing context check will re-label the lemon as a tennis ball. "We think our paper is the first to bring external semantic context to the problem of object recognition," said computer science professor Serge Belongie from UC San Diego.

Carnegie Mellon researchers, meanwhile, have found a way for computers to recognize real 3D objects they have previously "seen" in 2D photographs http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060614091016.htm. Using machine learning techniques, Robotics Institute researchers Alexei Efros and Martial Hebert, along with graduate student Derek Hoiem, have taught computers how to spot the visual cues that differentiate between vertical surfaces and horizontal surfaces in photographs of outdoor scenes. They've even developed a program that allows the computer to automatically generate 3-D reconstructions of scenes based on a single image. "The technique provides an approximate sense of the scene, a qualitative grasp of the structure of a scene," said Efros, assistant professor of computer science and robotics."

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