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German Surveillance Trojan Spies On Fifteen Apps

phooka.de Funny that... (69 comments)

Slashdot used to be my primary news aggregator. Well, it's stories like this that push me away. Not the story itself, mind you, I was quite interested in the comments to it. No, the fact that all there was was "funny" jokes about Germans and their bad English. If I want that, I can watch fawlty towers on youtube, it's way more funny (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IngEMj4krpA).

Bye (for now?).

more than 2 years ago
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The Loudness Wars May Be Ending

phooka.de some people think this is great... (294 comments)

..they don't know what they're missing.

I recently listened to MP3s of a coworker, ripped at 320bit/sec but with the volume cranked up. With my 3-way-in-ears, I could hear accustic artifacts I couldn't explain given the nitrate. So I compared to the 30 second sample in iTunes... which was not as loud but had more detail and no artifacts.

Whoever did this *wanted* it that way, probably had lousy speakers and didn't know his MP3-player has a volume setting... *shudder* I like my music with lots of dynamic range. And yes, excellent earphones (I'm all for ultimate ears tipple.fi) tend to push you to old Pink Floyd recordings. ;-)

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Wants To Share Your Location With Others

phooka.de Too bad this is slashdot (248 comments)

Owning both an iPhone and an iPad, I was interested in details, interested if I can stop this in any way (as in denying individual apps access to the GPS-data).

But then I remembered (and a quick look at the discussion told me I was right): This Is Slashdot!

What that means is, that 80% of all postings are Apple-haters telling themselves and the world how bad apple is and 20% are fanboys in denial. There used to be a time when you would actually find interesting information about a topic on slashdot if you read the comments. Nowadays you can just plain forget about that, at least if the topic has anything to do with Apple (or Microsoft, Google...).

*sighs sadly*

more than 4 years ago
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Location Services Raise Privacy Concerns

phooka.de Re:You don't have to use these services (152 comments)

People are stupid (or rather they are uninformed).

That's what the law is there for (amongst other things): to protect the uninformed masses and the stupid so you don't have to be an expert in every field you encounter in your daily life.

more than 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs To Keynote WWDC iPhone Announcement

phooka.de Re:Great. :( (484 comments)

Ah... you don't get it. In fact, you don't get OS X.

The main benefit of OS X is that it just works. It can do so mainly bevause Apple controls the software and the hardware.

Without OS X, Apple hardware would lose a lot of customers, that's true. Mind you, it would still be some of the most beautifully designed hardware out there, but I doubt that people would be willing to pay the premium.

But likewise, without the hardware, OS X would be far less compelling. There's be driver issues, compatibility issues and (a point that's often forgotten) apple innovates by introducing siny new stuff that requires software and hardware components to "just work".

more than 4 years ago
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Mac OS X Problem Puts Up a Block To IPv6

phooka.de Re:Help me understand this. (204 comments)

...and we'd all have easy remote access to all our machines.

And who would want such a thing?

OK, you would, obviously. I, too, would appreciate it. Most /.-readers might find it useful. and just about everyone else would hate it, since it would diminish the (perceived) security of their machines.

more than 4 years ago
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StarCraft II Mac Client Beta Available

phooka.de Re:Yay! (123 comments)

Do you even understand what a beta is? It's a feature-complete build that has known issues. It's not a demo, nor a "You get to play for free" build. It's BETA. B-E-T-A. I.e., understood to be broken.

Well, thank Google for that. BETA as in Gmail, that was in Beta for years while being both reliable and (compared to webmail in general) functionally complete.

So to the google generation, beta means free and no support, but finished never the less.

more than 4 years ago
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3D Graphics For Firefox, Webkit

phooka.de Re:Calling it Firefox (198 comments)

If successful, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Mozilla folks include this feature in a future release of Firefox.

Heaven forbid, please no!

We don't need a rendering engine for every arcane formalt ever developed incorparated into a browser that's deployed on millions of desktops. Just remember, each supported protocol adds new complexety, new errors and with this new secutiry-issues that'll lead to exploits, bad press, compromised machines and painful bugfixing.

Stuff like this should never be part of the browser, it should be an addon.

more than 4 years ago
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$1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration

phooka.de Caus? No but cure... (690 comments)

Drive stick.

If the accellerator gets stuck, press the clutch. Motor revs to max, hits the limiter (preventing damage to the motor) while you break and come to a stop.

You wanna kill the engine now in case the key is stuck as well or the start / stop button won't help? Put in a hight gear and let the clutch go abruptly while staying on the brake. The engine will be off immediately without too much stress to the drivetrain, motor, breakes etc.

more than 4 years ago
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Bing To Become Default iPhone Search?

phooka.de 2nd Source? (463 comments)

All articles I see refer to business week.

Can we have a second independent source, please?

It sounds implausible enough to drive business week's webtraffic. It includes all bis three in IT, a sure way to generate traffic. It implies that Apple-Fanboys will soon support the arch-enemy, a sure way to boost webtraffic.

I don't buy it, not without a second source.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Says Ad Blockers Will Save Online Ads

phooka.de Multiplyers and their Motivation (419 comments)

I'm a multiplyer. I set up my PC, my gf's PC, my parents' PC, my steppatrnts PCs... whatever I do will affect a number of people.

Many PCs are configured by multiplyers like me. We pushed the use of firefox over that of IE in Germany. And we implement adblockers.

Now, why do we do that? It's not because we were asked for it. The people whom we help don't know that ads can be blocked before we tell them. No, we want to have less work.

How do we minimise our workload for administration of relatives' PCs? We secure them. Part of securing a PC is to make sure that only intended content is executed on it. That's why we install adblockers on so many PCs.

One or two years ago, a web-advertising company called "Falk AG" in germany got hacked. They had their banners on all sorts of resprctable sites like major newspapers. Suddenly, when you were visiting the websites of the leading German magazines, your PC would be hacked through manipulated ads served by Falk.

Again, we want to reduce the time we have to spend on those machines, therefore we want to keep them as clean as possible, therefore we make them block ads. What type of ad? Flash, animated gif, static image? I don't care. If it's not loaded into the browser, it cannot exploit a weakness.

Now for google.

If something needs to be found, it will be searched for, most likely using google. If all other ads are blocked, only the text-ads served by google on the google result-page will ever be seen. It increases their value.

Why would google care about banners on other people's sites?

And even if Chrome would not allow adblocking, what if a user actually found something in an ad he likes? He wouldn't have to google it. Google loses.

So, I'm actually surprised it's not google themselves who provide an adblocker for Chrome.

more than 4 years ago
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MS Finds Security Flaw In Google Chrome Frame

phooka.de That's a good thing! (214 comments)

In its attempt to make google look bad and to discourage usage of the plugin, Microsoft looks at it with great scrunity, possibly examining it in greater detail than their own software.

This is a good thing because it means that more errors are found more quickly and solved more timely.

At the same time, the error sounds less severe than what's in IE right from the start anyway...

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Patents Sudo's Behavior

phooka.de Re:claims (657 comments)

I've read numbers 1 through 8. It's the Mac OS X dialog you see when you need sudo-rights plus a graphical icon for Admin-acounts.

I'm absolutely stunned how novel and non-obvious this slight modification to Apple's OS is, how innovative and worthy of a 20 year monopoly on implementation of such an astounding improvemant over what Apple ships for years.

more than 4 years ago
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OS X Update Officially Kills Intel Atom Support

phooka.de Re:Start complaining, "free" software people (610 comments)

The difference is in that when something goes wrong, on Linux and OpenSolaris I can debug all the way up to the kernel, while on Windows and OS X I'm stuck if the problem happens to be somewhere in the closed components of the system,

Granted, but let's be honest:
- have you ever done this?
- would you know how to debug the application?
- do you believe that you'd be able to just debug the kernel or some complicated framework, understand the coding, write a fix and be sure that it won't break all other applications because your fix breaks some other expected functionality?

I agree that with colsed source, you just can't do it. But let's be honest, for most of us, we still wouldn't do it if we (technically) could because we lack the skills and the knowledge about the underlying layers of software.

This comes from a software developer currently doing development support (that means fixing bugs in our applications). If something goes wrong in someone else's coding - hand the issue to them, don't touch it; chances are you'd break something you didn't understand.

more than 4 years ago
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UK Plans To Monitor 20,000 Families' Homes Via CCTV

phooka.de Re:CCTV part probably fake (693 comments)

Without the CCTVs, it's not really that different from homes for the elderly.

Except it's "non-negociable2 meaning "forced on families" and highly invasive to their lifes. I'd challenge it in the european courts for breach of human rights in a heartbeat. Thankfully, the united kingdom is part of an organization that does recognize those.

more than 4 years ago
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HTML 5 Takes Aim At Flash and Silverlight

phooka.de Re:You're right - the tools are stupid. (500 comments)

Sometimes I'm lazy too. So on vacation, when downloading the photos of the day onto my old PowerBook, I started iWeb to select a few of them and write something about the picture and where it was taken, so I could host it for my parents to look at them.

I used iWeb because I wanted something simple at the end of a long day.

The result is absolutely W3C-valid - no errors, no warnings. Renders well in Firefox and Safari, I have no idea about IE6, but I think that renders it correctly as well. Sorry, what was the issue with incorrect HTML and WYSIWYG-editors again?

more than 5 years ago
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New Paper Offers Additional Reasoning for Fermi's Paradox

phooka.de Re:Where is everybody? (774 comments)

For the start of "recorded history", I on the other hand tend to look at the oldest written (and translated) documents preserverd until today. Which is mesopotamia and more like twice the 3K years postulated by GP.

more than 5 years ago
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Global Warming Irreversible, NOAA Scientist Finds

phooka.de Re:Positive feedback loops. (1061 comments)

I am sure the better informed reader can add a few more of these positive feedback loops, but in my humble opinion, these are the stronger ones, and make the process of global warming unstoppable.

You're so right! We did it! Humanity has achieved what supervolcanoes with all their CO2-emissions failed to achieve - massive positive feedback loops! Unstoppable!

For 4.5 billion years, earth might have maintained its fragile balance between supercold and Venus' twin brother engulved in heat and acid rain. It's completely beyond me how that could have lastet so long - no, it must be our special state of being the first intelligent living things, the first walking non-animals (clearly an abomination that has to be punished by nature) which tipped the scales. Now we're heading the Venus-way.

Of course this is bullshit.

Earth is currently relatively cool. It used to be a lot warmer most of the time. Whatever we do, the best we can hope to achieve is to heat it up to relatively warm and to do so quickly enough to cause mass extincion of plants and animals, opening massive ecological niches for new species to conquer.

We're possibly endangering human civilization in the process with it being undescided if the species will survive this or not. But the odds are, that we're positioned pretty well. We can eat both plants and meat and we've proven to be formidabely adoptable to various climates. Anyhow, even a complete breakdown of civilization will be unlikely to push us further back than rural africa, native americans in the rainforests or natives to australia in the outback.

So no, we're not destroying the planet. That's something completely impossible for us and quite unimaginable even for the future (if you define earth as a roughly ball-shaped lump of mostly rock floating around the sun).

No, we're not destroying life on earth. Life has endured worse than us and most of the biomass of the planet is presumably living underground anyway (as in bacteria with very slow metabolism capable to "feed" on the energies released by natural radioactivity found in very deep deep mines in south-africa, to name just one example.)

No, we're propably not destroying humanity either. Would be quite hard to achieve, given how far spread it is and how well adjusted to how many climates. And how it was so before the modern age.

But yes, we might endanger gouvernments, civilization as we know it and so forth. And Venice, of course, unless the dutch take over Italy. But why would they?

more than 5 years ago
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iTunes DRM-Free Files Contain Personal Info

phooka.de Old news (693 comments)

This came up when they introduced iTunes plus ages ago. It's been discussed back then. Yes, the info is there. You can simply look it up, no problem. Your ID3-Tag-Editor might not be able to chanxge it since we're not talking MP3 here. That's it.

Just use a different editor, clean out the information and start the copyrightinfringement-frenzy you seem to have been waiting for for so long. Oh no, you already do that, I guess.

Or, if you don't like finding an editor that can delete the info, just go to a record store and steal the CD.

more than 5 years ago

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