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Comments

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Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

hyades1 Re:I have a nasty, cynical mind (165 comments)

I don't think you're looking at the problem the right way. There was never any doubt terrorists exist, and that there's nothing they'd like better than to kill us. There isn't any doubt lightning exists, either. It can strike anywhere, any time. This doesn't mean I'm going to give up the right to go outside whenever I damn please to be "safe" from the small chance that I'll wind up falling victim to a lightning strike.

Actions like those described in TFA and what they say about us as a society are, as far as I'm concerned, a cure that's worse than the disease. And "knowing where to stop", in my view, is something citizens should be discussing and deciding for themselves. Paramilitary organizations with an interest in increasing their power and control shouldn't be unilaterally making such decisions for all of us.

As a law-abiding Canadian citizen, my odds of being killed by a cop with an attitude problem are a lot higher than my odds of being killed by a terrorist. So to my mind, the "kooks" are those who willingly trade freedom for the illusion of security, and cede their right to decide how much freedom to trade in without even a debate.

3 days ago
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Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

hyades1 Re:I have a nasty, cynical mind (165 comments)

I think it's pretty hard to deny that there's at least a modicum of truth in your statement. Frankly, I think there's more than that.

I wonder when people are going to wake up...or if.

3 days ago
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Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

hyades1 I have a nasty, cynical mind (165 comments)

If I was a member of a spy/security agency who wanted more than anything to wipe away the last, feeble laws protecting the privacy and freedom of my country's sheeple, this is precisely the kind of operation I'd set up. All it would take is a few words whispered in the right ear.

The most idiotic of the Muslim fanatics would jump on the idea with glad little cries, and the usual gang of fascists would gleefully portray the descent into a police state as the ultimate expression of First World freedom and security. And the sheeple would be lining up to flush away their rights.

Mission accomplished.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

hyades1 Sorry, but... (334 comments)

Your problem is one of social engineering, not hardware or software. It's almost impossible to "idiot-proof" any kind of technology if the people using it absolutely refuse to learn. Sadly, this seems to be your problem.

Until your relatives can be persuaded that the device in their house can take their identities, their life savings and perhaps even their children, they'll just keep going merrily along, trusting other people to clean up after them.

4 days ago
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Are Matt's Robot Hexapods Creepy or Cute? (Video)

hyades1 I foresee an ugly ending for us (35 comments)

If they teach these things to screw geeks, Slashdot is doomed! DOOMED, I tell you!

4 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

hyades1 Re:Ah well (541 comments)

I'd mod you up if I could.

5 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

hyades1 Re:Ah well (541 comments)

Fair enough, that's a valid point. But I believe you're the first person I've encountered who seems to love, Love, LOVE Win 8. I know people who tolerate it. I know people who have stripped it off their system and replaced it with 7. I know nobody who feels about it the way you evidently do, though. That's why I thought your comment sounded a lot like a PR blurb from MSoft.

5 days ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

hyades1 Re:Ah well (541 comments)

Great PR job, son! You've easily kissed enough ring to hang onto that job of yours for at least another couple of months.

Keep up the good work!

Yrs,

Satya Nadella

5 days ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

hyades1 And the dance continues... (609 comments)

This strikes me as simply the next logical step in marketing. U2 is a major group, and it's hard to argue that giving customers their new album as a bonus is a bad thing. But the next step will be "free" albums Apple wants you to listen to, and the one after that will be extorting artists to pay them to have their albums released this way.

The final step, no doubt, will be an extra fee to have automatic installation of such stuff disabled.

about a week ago
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Egypt's Oldest Pyramid Is Being Destroyed By Its Own Restoration Team

hyades1 Everything Old Is New Again (246 comments)

This reminds me of a documentary I saw at least 20 years ago. It was about how Egypt was throwing out Western restoration experts and putting its own people in to work on some mummies that had been returned from various museums around the word.

One expert was being interviewed while she worked on a sarcophagus. In the middle of her comment about how she and her colleagues were every bit as competent as the "foreigners" who'd been sent packing, she managed to accidentally pry off a big chunk of it, which fell on the floor and broke. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

I see nothing's changed.

about two weeks ago
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Google Serves Old Search Page To Old Browsers

hyades1 Re:It seems they really want to annoy their custom (152 comments)

Thanks for that information. The last I heard, the Classic Theme Restorer wasn't working all that well. I think I can live without the Menu Bar.

Cheers!

about two weeks ago
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Google Serves Old Search Page To Old Browsers

hyades1 It seems they really want to annoy their customers (152 comments)

I've already mostly given up on Google for images, because as a resident of North America, I can't completely disable "Safe Search".

I don't spend a lot of time looking for pron, but neither do I want my search engine eliminating some results because there might be a stray breast in the background of images I'd want to see.

TFA indicates there's a lot of problems with what they're serving to people using older browsers...it's much more than just a reversion to the old Google search page (which I loved, by the way).

Looks like I'd better start looking for a new default search engine, because I have no intention of moving past Firefox 22, thanks to that insane new interface they're cramming down people's throat.

about three weeks ago
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

hyades1 Big Surprise (542 comments)

The Imams decided Gutenberg's printing press was off limits, because (you have to know how the press worked...stamping, essentially) printing the prophet's words on one would be equivalent of punching him in the face.

And ever since, Muslims have been spiraling downward into a pit of ignorance and fanaticism. There was a time when they were the flower of human civilization. That time has passed. Ours will, too, if we continue to allow superstitious morons to dictate our social and educational policiies.

about three weeks ago
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Whole Organ Grown In Animal For First Time

hyades1 Organ Schmorgan... (77 comments)

I'm not going to be impressed until I hear somebody play Jerusalem on it...with reverb.

about a month ago
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Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

hyades1 Re:Gamer vs. Hacker (276 comments)

Sorry, but the sensationalist definition serves the ends of the people in power, and therefore will continue to be used by their boot-licking servants in the news media.

about a month ago
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UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

hyades1 Re:Every other answer is worse (391 comments)

So do you actually work for the police, or do you just suck them off for free?

about 1 month ago
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Scientists Confirm Life Under Antarctic Ice

hyades1 Good for them (46 comments)

"These organisms survive by converting methane into energy, enabling them to survive where there is no wind or sunlight..."

I convert methane into something...worse.

about 1 month ago
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UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

hyades1 Every other answer is worse (391 comments)

The video should be published. James Foley knew the decisions he was making put him in danger. He walked in with his eyes open, having decided that his photographs could tell the story of average people caught up in the evil going on around them...and that they were worth the risk.

The only thing worse than the murderous pieces of excrement who killed him are the fascist bastards in bespoke suits who want to use his death as an excuse to turn our freedom-loving countries into the same kind of totalitarian state ISIS is trying to create.

Fuck them. They're as bad as the terrorists.

We need to decide: is our freedom worth the price of a few successful terrorist attacks, or should we simply open the door wide to Big Brother, and invite him in for a permanent visit.

about 1 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 6 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 6 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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