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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

ledow Re:Soon? (299 comments)

Charge of resisting arrest.

It's a charge. He did it, by his own admission. We can confidently charge him. The charge will, more than likely, make it through a court successfully given that he was - a) under arrest and then b) knowingly resisted it. Resisting arrest is an offence, like any other. However, notice that although he was arrested on the Swedish request, there has been no CHARGE whatsoever. He's being extradited for questioning. That's not a problem. You can do that. That's how the system works. Because an allied country asks you to detain someone (arrest them), it does not mean that that it's up to you to charge them yourself, or determine what Swedish charges he should face. You arrest them, you extradite them. Petty thief or war criminal.

However, the initial arrest would not necessarily have resulted in any charges whatsoever, especially if the Swedish case is so weak as people try to make out. And the UK, in case you haven't noticed, made Sweden go back SEVERAL TIMES to ensure their reasonable cause for wanting to question him was proper and above board and lawful.

You might absolutely hate it. But it's all above board. And if you make "resisting arrest" not a crime, then you have a lot more problems on your hands than some moron costing the UK millions of pounds JUST SO they can send him to Sweden at great expense, after taking through the UK courts at great expense and finding NOT A SINGLE legal get-out clause that means they aren't obligated to do just that.

To be honest, I'd be over the moon if we just charged him with the UK stuff and then the Swedish stuff all blew over immediately. It would prove what a overblown pillock he actually is, and that you don't escape UK law just because you disagree with it.

You don't like UK law, get it changed, or don't come to the UK. Don't come to the UK, break it, and then expect to get away scot-free. And if you're truly fleeing false charges in Sweden, get the fuck out of the UK. They are both in the EU, so the laws are pretty much identical.

Fuck the Swedish crap, you BROKE UK LAW. Quite clearly. In front of the world's press. And then cost the UK millions. Damn right, you should be arrested, charged and banged up for that.

If the UK has problems with Swedish law and their history, that's for the UK to decide. They did. The courts said there was no plausible reason not to hand him over. Several of them. Appeal, after appeal, after appeal, all the way to the Supreme Court. Call it conspiracy. Call it authoritarianism. But it was by the book and the lawyers funded by Mr Bail-me-out-and-I'll-flee couldn't find a single hole in it. In fact, as part of the EU, they don't even really get a choice. And if they did, they wouldn't be handing him over if there was a credible threat.

The UK has a LOT more to lose by fucking up than the Swedish do.

I don't give a shit about what Assange revealed, personally. I don't think it was even worth risking jail time for, and it certainly wasn't worth the media circus. And Snowden and even Manning did INFINITELY more at much more personal risk than Assange ever did.

I'm not an authoritarian, but I am a nut for legal-wranglings and doing things by the book and STILL WINNING over authority. I've personally sued several companies I've used in the past, when I could easily let it drop - there's always a way for someone "in the right" to get through the law system unscathed no matter what's threatened and it's actually entertaining to do. Assange had no case. If he'd gone to Sweden and ANYTHING had happened he'd have the biggest case in history on his hands - the kinds of things that start wars. But it was never going to be. And the legal wrangling stage, I thought he was an idiot to try, but I admired him for trying.

The second he skipped bail, all sympathy left. To hole up in an embassy for YEARS is just taking the piss. He's lost. It's game over. He'll go to jail in the UK no matter what happens in Sweden. He's lost legally, morally, and intellectually.

But, at the end of the day, he skipped bail and is resisting arrest. Game over.

yesterday
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Chromium 37 Launches With Major Security Fixes, 64-bit Windows Support

ledow Re:Just being honest here... (112 comments)

1) If you're in business, likely you don't care about the privacy of searches anonymised under legal agreements because, well, there's just nothing quite that interesting and if your employees complain, you have to wonder what they are Googling in their spare time that they don't want you to know about.

2) Alternatives. I was an Opera user since before 3.something. It peaked a year or two ago, the developers were moved on, and it's now just junk and uses Chromium backend. IE isn't a sensible alternative either (trust no browser that wants you to go to Bing by default, has the Bing toolbar, etc. either). Quite what are we supposed to use and deploy? Firefox? The MSI and GPO integration is still all random-third-parties that we have to trust did it right and didn't add their own junk in.

Sorry, but on the face of it, the privacy "problem" isn't really a problem for most people. I agree that privacy is an issue and I get more than most people that privacy is just something you should have by default, not be made to justify or fight to get. But, honestly, there's little choice.

And when you're a techy working for a business, you'll deploy what's been agreed on, which will be the lesser of most evils. At least Chrome MSI-deploys and has proper GPO and respects Windows Internet Options, and is cross-platform in other respects.

At home, I still use Opera. But only until websites start crapping out on it, because there's no way I want to touch the newer versions anyway (whatever their underlying browser).

2 days ago
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Robo Brain Project Wants To Turn the Internet Into a Robotic Hivemind

ledow AI (108 comments)

Sigh.

Another AI project.

Call me when it does something useful or unexpected.

4 days ago
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Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

ledow Re:LibreOffice (190 comments)

This.

Their idea of a changelog is:

Problem description.
Before Screenshot
After Screenshot
Example document that triggered bug.

Best fucking changelogs in the world, because they have one of the best bug-hunting projects in the world.

Just send them the file. See if the fix is in the Changelog for the next one/two small releases they do.

4 days ago
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Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

ledow Re:Where's the money? (275 comments)

See my post above.

My mother is in retirement. She has owned and completed basically every Nintendo console and Mario game in existence (there's probably some obscure Japanese title somewhere, but if you've heard of it, and it has Mario, she's completed it).

We buy her the console for Christmas, we buy her the games when she completes them. It's an expensive outlay all round, given her gaming abilities. She's had more spent on her than my brother and I (old-school "gamers" from the ZX Spectrum era through to today) have spent on games collectively. She destroyed four Palm Pilots back in the day playing Bookworm.

This is exactly the point the article is making. What you THINK is a gamer and funding the industry isn't. Sure, buying your competitive CS:GO server and getting a huge rig to play it on and playing endlessly and winning championships makes you feel like a gamer. But, actually, the money Valve got from that was, what - a copy of CS:GO and maybe a competition entry that mostly went on marketing and prize money? It's a drop in the fucking ocean compared to a teenage girl or mother dropping a few quid every month for years on new Candy Crush levels or Wii Fit titles.

The industry isn't catering to a HUGE PORTION of its market. And it's stupid not to.

5 days ago
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Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

ledow Sigh (275 comments)

Just clarify your fucking terms.

A "gamer" is someone who plays games.

However, if you are only referring to "serious" gamers who invest hours of training to play a particular game, then specify that. Of course, most of the Candy Crush generation aren't doing that (they have a life for a start).

If you want gamer to distinguish between those who buy hardware for their PC to game properly, even that definition won't help you - I've had two people ask me about desktop PC's capable of playing The Sims 3 for their teenage daughters, and you need a decent graphics card for that.

What you want is to use "gamer" as some undefined term that meets your particular clique of game geek. It doesn't. It never has. To me a gamer is someone who was around in the 80's and will happily fight through 10-minute loading screens, unsuitable hardware, pump money into an arcade machine, for proper 8-bit graphics (not the fake-8-bit-retro OpenGL shite you get now) on a game that's almost, if not actually, fucking impossible to complete.

Sorry, guys, but most of you just aren't "gamers". I enjoy a TF2 jaunt as much as any of the other 800 games on my Steam account, that I've had before some of the gamer kids around now were even born. I've run CS servers from 1.6 to the current day. But I still sit and play Altitude like a demon.

Gamer is not a definition beyond "one who games". If you mean FPS player, say it If you mean professional-level twitch shooter, say it. If you mean someone who plays new titles on new hardware, say it. If you mean someone who plays lots of games, or for a long time, or spends lots of money, say it. If you mean someone the industry can sell games to, say it.

But "gamer" means nothing. My mother has completed every Mario game in existence (up to and including Wii U), used to play Horace Goes Skiing back in the 80's, broke four Palm Pilots playing Bookworm Deluxe so much, played Gin Rummy on our first DOS machine, and has caused more money to be spent on the gaming industry than the rest of her family combined. So the industry will target her. And get money from her. And she will buy stuff. To "ignore" her because she's not the stereotypical gamer playing whatever game is considered "real" at that moment would be insanity for the industry.

Maybe she won't join you in a 32-player CS:GO competitive tournament (though she did used to win at Turok quite a lot). But you can't say she's not a gamer any more than anyone else.

5 days ago
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UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

ledow Re:Thoughtcrime (391 comments)

Surely, viewing certain types of illegal pornography is no different.

It's not a "thought" crime if what you're watching (and thereby encouraging the production of) is illegal to view.

It would be a thought crime if, say, the police arrested you for signing up on a website where you COULD have watched the video.

about a week ago
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New Research Suggests Cancer May Be an Intrinsic Property of Cells

ledow Cancer. (185 comments)

My girlfriend is a PhD geneticist who specialises in cancer studies (leukaemia etc.) and is currently working in hospitals doing genetic test to confirm cancerous tumours and other genetic diseases.

When we talk about it, I can't talk on her level, but the way she explains it, cancer is an inherent factor in living things. There's a reason for that. It's a natural replication mechanism that is based on parts of a cells DNA. DNA is basically damaged ALL DAY LONG in your body. UV does it. All sorts of things do it. And DNA has repair mechanisms not dissimilar to a error-correcting code that runs your RAID array, or your PAR files.

So most of the time, when a cell is damaged, it "fixes itself". If it doesn't fix itself, then there are mechanisms in the body itself to detect and cull damaged cells that get that far (the immune system, basically). If those mechanisms fail against the damage, or the damage is of certain undetectable types, then the cell will replicate. But, crucially, the damage to the cell will mean it will never stop replicating. And all the replicated cells will share the same error. And basically then you end up growing a tumour.

As such "cancer" is inherent in all living things with DNA. The question really is whether you live long enough to be statistically affected by the amount of damage it takes to get a cell that can't be fixed or eradicated by the body, or not. Babies can get cancer. It's pretty much down to chance.

So, I'm not at all sure what we're being told here. It seems like someone is trying to claim that somehow cancer is some kind of "disease" that they've found in an older species so it must have been around for longer. Actually, from what I gather, it's ALWAYS been around. Pretty much since DNA existed, if not before. Because it's a misfiring cell that never gets the "stop" signal when it starts replicating (which happens millions of times a day throughout your body).

It's a "flaw", if you like, in the DNA error correction mechanisms. It's not a disease as such. It's not something you "catch". It's not even something that "evolves". It's a mistake. An error. A bad sector or flipped bit on your cell's hard drive that corrupts the rest of the files on there and, when you then blindly execute those instructions, can lead to writing over your whole hard disk.

about a week ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

ledow Re:Soon? (299 comments)

SKIPPING BAIL.
RESISTING ARREST.

The bail was with a UK court. The UK are seeking his arrests. It's UK police hung around the embassy waiting for him to come out and arrest him.

What part of that is difficult to understand?

Whether what we was originally in court for (which is now a legally-sound extradition to an EU country that we are legally bound to oblige after SEVERAL TIMES sending the Swedes back to dot their I's and cross their T's more correctly) he is innocent of or not, it doesn't matter. While there, under UK court bail, he fled against his bail conditions, and it currently knowingly resisting arrest.

Game over. Even if all the original allegations are definitively proved false. It's like running out of the police station after being arrested - whether what you were originally arrested for was committed by you or not, it's still illegal to do.

about a week ago
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Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

ledow Re:Rolling roadblocks (475 comments)

Thus speaks someone who's obviously never used British Rail.

about two weeks ago
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Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

ledow Re:Rolling roadblocks (475 comments)

Dunno about the US, but in the UK there aren't 4 lanes. There is one lane, and other overtaking lanes.

Technically, if you have four cars all at the same speed in all four lanes, at least three of them would be breaking the law (dunno about the US, assume it's similar). If they're overtaking, it's not a problem, because they have to pull back in when they've completed the maneouvure and you can overtake them then.

To be honest, robots obeying rules will make the roads I travel on move faster. It's the dickheads who constantly change lanes and try to "beat" the queues when speeds come down that cause most of the slowdowns and "phantom braking waves" that I witness every day.

And, to be honest, I'd rather get somewhere at 65 predictably than 70 unpredictably, in spasms and spurts and with sudden braking.

about two weeks ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

ledow Re:Soon? (299 comments)

Diplomatic protocol. We signed an agreement that we'd ask the ambassador first in such a case.

And, never heard of Ronnie Biggs? Fled the country despite being a wanted man, lived 30+ years somewhere else, was wanted for arrest all that time. It's not the petty crooks you have to worry about.

And what he thinks, or the ambassador thinks, or the asylum case (Russian spies who kill people on UK soil and then try to fly via a Russian embassy? Real-world examples exists) is immaterial. You can't have selectively-enforced laws and even if you can you can't SHOW that you have selectively-enforced laws for such a major case.

about two weeks ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

ledow Re:Eh. (299 comments)

Er... go have a look. Not saying it's locked down like a fortress, but you'd be hard pressed to get in or out without walking past an officer for the last two years.

The problem is that, actually, it's not news. Nobody really cares that he's in there any more, and any sighs over the expense are aimed at him for wasting police time (can we charge him with that, as well as skipping bail and resisting arrest?). Fact is, if he gets mention on the news it's because he's said something like this. The country sighs and moves on, no big scandal really.

Sorry, but he's just not that important and we can no more stop pursuing him than any other bail-skipping criminal. Or the Ecuadorian embassy would be full to the brim with every minor crook.

about two weeks ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

ledow Re:Soon? (299 comments)

Sweden could drop their charges today.

He still skipped bail from a UK court. And it's arguable he's currently resisting arrest.

Game over. You will be arrested and convicted if you leave.

The fact that people conflate "arrest" and "charges" into one is also annoying. You "arrest" someone in order to stop them leaving until you can ascertain whether "charges" are necessary and what charges are suitable (if someone is killed and you arrest someone else for murder, you can't then release them because it actually turned out to be manslaughter, or GBH, or a theft, on their part - they are under arrest until the charges are determined, if any). Sure, you need a reason . But "because an EU nation asked for your detainment" is good enough in the law, and skipping bail is definitely good enough.

So apart from skipping bail, resisting arrest, and everything else, the charges in Sweden mean little at this point. And the UK, whether you think they are in collusion or not, have the right to enforce their law on their soil (and, no, the embassy is NOT Ecuadorian soil, don't make that "old wives' tale" mistake).

Even if the UK couldn't care less about Sweden's demands, they went through the proper channels, offered appeals, it went to the Supreme Court and he ran away from UK bail. Game over. We HAVE to arrest you the second you try to leave or every Tom, Dick and Harry will follow suit thinking it's a "get out of jail free card" to just resist arrest and skip bail.

about two weeks ago
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Processors and the Limits of Physics

ledow Re:So what (168 comments)

Nobody says 5GHz is impossible. Read it.

It says that you can't traverse the entire chip while running at 5GHz. Most operations don't - why? Because the chips are small and any one set of instructions tends to operate in a certain smaller-again area.

What they are saying is that chips will no longer be synchronous - if chips get any bigger, your clock signal takes too long to traverse the entire length of the signal and you end up with different parts of the chips needing different clocks.

It's all linked. The size of the chip can get bigger and still pack in the same density, but then the signals get more out of sync, the voltages have to be higher, the traces have to be straighter, the routing becomes more complicated, and the heat will become higher. Oh, and you'll have to have parts of it "go dark" to avoid overheating neighbours, etc. This is exactly what the guy is saying.

At some point, there's a limit at which it's cheaper and easier to just have a bucket load of synchronous-clock chips tied together loosely than one mega-processor trying to keep everything ticking nicely.

And current overclocking records are only around 8GHz. Nobody says you can't make a processor operating at 10THz if you want. The problem is that it has to be TINY and not do very much. Frequency, remember, is high in anything dealing with radio - your wireless router can do some things at 5GHz and, somewhere inside it, is an oscillator doing just that. But not the SAME kinds of things as we expect modern processors to do.

Taking account that most of those overclocking benchmarks probably operate in small areas of the silicon, are run in mineral oil or similar and are the literal speed of a benchmark over a complicated chip that ALREADY takes account that signals take so long that clocks can get out of sync across the chip, we don't have much leeway at all. We hit a huge wall at 2-3GHz and that's where people are tending to stay despite it being - what, a decade or more? - since the first 3GHz Intel chip. We add more processors and more core and more threading but pretty much we haven't got "faster" over the last decade, we're just able to have more processors at that speed.

No doubt we can push it further, but not forever, and not with the kind of on-chip capabilities you expect now.

With current technology (i.e. no quantum leaps of science making their way into our processors), I doubt you'll ever see a commercially available 10GHz chip that'll run Windows. Super-parallel machines running at a fraction of that but performing more gigaflops per second - yeah - but basic core sustainable frequency? No.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death

ledow Phew. (179 comments)

I work in schools, preparing for a huge summer deployment, just re-imaged every PC on-site.

Fortunately, although I pushed the updates out over WSUS, my image was taken BEFORE patch Tuesday. Anything that hasn't been out for a least a month is in beta testing, as far as I'm concerned, and after a month it either "works" (for some definition) or something like this will come to my attention.

Have all the PC's imaged in my rooms, but only have a handful actually deployed at the moment while I test. The very first blue-screen I see, any kernel-mode patch this month will be changed to "Declined" so no further PC's get it.

Yet again, those people who get all stroppy about "you should install updates the SECOND they come out".... real life hits you again. And the downtime from a potential "zero-day" that I'll probably never witeness is nothing compared to potentially rolling out faulty updates to hundreds of PC's that would then have to be re-imaged, and/or having a faulty update inside your images forcing you to reverse changes (in my case, to pre-summer images which is a HUGE step backwards) and re-deploy.

about two weeks ago
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Google Is Backing a New $300 Million High-Speed Internet Trans-Pacific Cable

ledow Re:So which agencies' backdoors are in there? (135 comments)

A fact that even Google, Facebook, etc. are learning, as they start to encrypt ALL traffic between their datacentres and not just rely on the promise of privacy from governments / ISPs.

This is the natural evolution of the Internet, prompted by such spying and interceptions - being used for nothing more than transporting encrypted packets whose payload cannot be determined to any significant degree. The Internet is fast becoming a darknet of its own.

I know that, for years, I haven't accepted unencrypted communication for FTP, telnet etc. and now it's progressed to the point where Google are pushing people towards using TLS, etc.

Even my SMTP server lets you talk TLS to it if you try. Not everyone who emails me tries, of course, but it will let you do it so my "end" is secure.

I find it ironic that all the wiretapping etc. controversy has achieved is to make it even HARDER to spy on people.

But I have to say, I'm still wary of EC at the moment - being pushed as "the" alternative for a variety of problems such as PFS, etc. - I can't help wondering that while we're looking for the next "trick", it's already been done to us.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can Tech Help Monitor or Mitigate a Mine-Flooded Ecosystem?

ledow Re:Humans aren't supposed to eat fish (123 comments)

Despite the fact that it's a commonly-held belief in the scientific community that, at least in part, we walk because we were shore-based waders, that our brain development was linked heavily with consumption of fish and fish oils, and that there are still entire communities that with the help of a simple tool (a net, or even just a series of wooden stakes in the rivers/oceans), they can capture enough food to sustain themselves indefinitely?

Wanna take down a cow single-handed? Good luck. Seen what a carrot looks like before the modern age of fertilizers and heavy cross-breeding? Want to see the effort involved in turning wheat into something you can actually eat?

Don't talk bollocks.

about three weeks ago
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Silent Circle's Blackphone Exploited at Def Con

ledow Re:Cell phones are insecure. (46 comments)

I think that's pessimistic. That might be how they work NOW but there's no reason that an end-to-end secure cellphone network cannot exist.

Security of the conversation is basically guaranteed using TLS etc. Provide a certificate to your contacts, instead of a phone number. That certificate can encrypt communications to yourself so only you can decrypt them.

The biggest problem is routing, but that's something that can be layered over using the data network facilities and software like Tor.

The problems all along are really metadata related. If your contact is caught, gives up the phone and all his access details, you can be linked to have communicated with him (but with perfect-forward-secrecy, hopefully the contents of those communique will remain secret). Correlation attacks, etc. also exist and would be your biggest attack.

And, at some point, someone is providing the service you use and you're paying them somehow. Total anonymisation is possible, but difficult.

But if your definition of security is "no-one can know what I said to Fred on the phone when I know Fred and I are both in secure (un-eavesdrop-able) locations" then - yes - that can be done. Now. Today. Using existing technologies. I'd be amazed if there were thousands of people doing just that, especially given the sheer existence of things like PGP etc. many decades ago.

Absolute security is possible. And most realisitic definitions of security are more possible. It's really the trade-off between practicality, side-channel attacks (just following you and hearing what you said), and how much technology you want to use.

about three weeks ago

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