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  • Feb 20th, 2015 @ 5:37am

    Not free to put spyware on computers

    Private companies are not free to do what they like. They have fiduciary, privacy, and good practice requirements to meet.

    My bank can not advertise my balances in the local paper. My computer can not knowingly have spyware installed by the manufacturer that sends my passwords to a third party. A car manufacturer can not legally sell a car whose brakes will fail one time in a thousand.

    The we are a private company mantra, and can do as we like, is nothing but fabrication. Products of companies must meet implicit warranties of merchantability and fitness. Failure to meet those legal criteria open a company to civil and criminal liability. I don't know if Lenovo committed the actions described above or not. But any company that did so, would almost certainly be in breech of implied warranties.

  • Feb 3rd, 2015 @ 3:43pm

    FISA court

    Has no purpose but rubber stamping the demands of law enforcement. It has been that way since the beginning, and will undoubtedly get to the point where claiming that the probable use of toilet paper is legal justification for the issuance of warrants.

  • Feb 3rd, 2015 @ 3:39pm

    Public Health Measures

    The cable companies, in their most gracious hearts, have decided that Americans are watching more TV than is healthful for them. So they have made cable TV unwatchable by anyone with an IQ over 50, thus forcing the vast majority of the population to get some healthy physical and mental exercise.

  • Feb 3rd, 2015 @ 3:36pm

    (untitled comment)

    How many people from the CIA have been charged with the known hacking of the Senate system? Certainly a far worse crime than the Stratfor attack, but not a one of the CIA was even publicly slapped on the hand.

  • Feb 3rd, 2015 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: Sony BMG

    Sony clearly doesn't care about getting hacked unless they can make political hay out of it. They have been hacked so many times, and ignored it, just refusing to improve their security. Everyone who has been hurt by their behavior can certainly claim that Sony has intentionally failed to keep their fiduciary responsibility to their clients.

    With regard to the rootkit hacks, how were there no criminal charges brought against Sony, when these are clear violations of the CFAA? If an individual were to do to Sony, what Sony did to millions, that person would never see the light of day.

    Further, one must wonder how the class settlement was achieved so quickly, and so cheaply for Sony. In most other cases these things drag on for years. In addition, Sony BMG did nothing to aid those it had hacked, but rather released software reputed to fix the problem, but actually caused additional damage.

  • Feb 3rd, 2015 @ 3:20pm


    If citizens were to use the same excuses, actions and perjuries that the FBI used, the civilians would be laughed out of court into a jail cell. Law enforcement must be held to a higher standard -- not lesser, or in fact no standards for criminal behavior.

  • Jan 29th, 2015 @ 5:19am

    (untitled comment)

    While in the 70s, it was believed that the brain stopeed growing at 16, and after the turn of the century, that the brain stopped at 26, neurosciences now believe the brain continues to grow -- that neurons continue to be reproduced.

    Unused, not hooked up into the other neurons, they lie fallow and die within a few weeks.

    Few games will provide real intellectual stimulation -- certainly not the one person shooters. Go or chess are likely exceptions if pursued beyond patzer (wood pusher) levels.

    I suspect that the best way to utilize the new neurons is to learn to do new things, or to try and keep up one's original field. Continuing challenge and stimulation are likely the most utile mechanisms for retaining intellectual capacity.

  • Jan 27th, 2015 @ 2:51pm

    ISPs can put an end to this

    A weeks worth of leave for all ISP staff would put an end to this incredible idiocy.

  • Jan 24th, 2015 @ 11:44am


    The body does indeed have a mechanism to metabolize fructose. It is called fructolysis, as opposed to the metabolism of glucose which is called glycoloysis. The body needs this ability because humans are omnivores, and they eat fruit. This particular dietary substance often contains a lot of fructose -- for example in pears, in which 2/3s of the sugar is fructose, watermelon, and many more. Many fruits have higher concentrations of fructose than so called "high fructose" corn syrup, which is 42% fructose. That is lower than table sugar, which is 50% fructose. Honey is about 40% fructose and only 30% glucose. Fructose happens to be sweeter than glucose, and were people satisfied with reasonable amounts, a mix of "high fructose" and glucose would be healthier because it would take fewer calories to produce the same amount of glucose.

    Alas human behavior is not like that. Whether glucose or fructose, fat or protein, some people will eat more calories than they expend, and the end result is obesity. Others care enough to exercise and/or diet to keep their weight down.

    In a reasonably healthy human, carbohydrates, proteins and fats are mostly interchangeable. A normal body can interchange one for another as needed. Not unlike a checking account in Switzerland, which can accept multiple curries and dispense them in different coinage.

    Eat too much protein or carbohydrates of any kind, and it will turn into fat.

  • Jan 15th, 2015 @ 6:38am


    US and State governments have a horrific level of failure in the writing of user based software.

    It took three attempts to produce a simple WIC (Women, Infants and Chidlren) program, and succeeded only because it was allowed to bypass the security requirements of HIPPA.

    The FBI has had multiple disastrous attempts at writing software. The last one was junked after spending a billion dollars on it.

    A children's immunization database, while noble in intent, was repeatedly funded even though it was demonstrated to be impossible to be functional. It could only work in poor states where the overwhemlming percentage of the immunizations were given under state, not private control. Independent physicians simply would have nothing to do with it.

    Security staff in at least one state were so incompetent that they were unaware that the mac address could be spoofed at the card level, and believed that a macid was absolute proof against an intruder.

    Governmental agencies like the FBI can not produce user centric software, how the hell do they expect to protect the nation, or even themselves, from crack attacks -- I guess they will just blame the technology emanating from North Korea.

  • Jan 13th, 2015 @ 8:43am


    The author has stated "the DOJ comes out of this looking terrible..."

    I must disagree. This (relatively) trivial offense can have no impact upon the sordid reputation of the DOJ. For that to occur, the DOJ would have to do something like carry out the Roman practice of decimation against the entire population.

  • Jan 13th, 2015 @ 8:28am

    (untitled comment)

    Imprison anyone who has seen a real life computer, or a picture of one.

  • Jan 12th, 2015 @ 10:54am

    (untitled comment)

    Pillow talk is one of the basic, standard, and most productive methods of espionage. That Betrayus should fall for this, even with a presumed friendly, demonstrates his incapacity for anything more complex than guarding a telephone pole in the middle of Alaska.

    And yes, Betrayus was his nickname to the troops, when he was an unknown low grade officer.

  • Jan 12th, 2015 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re:

    Since the early 80's I have become rather anti-apple. They are no longer particularly innovative, they are overpriced. This is the result of changes in the proprietary nature of hardware and software. The Apple ][ was a good deal because anyone could create hardware and software for it. That is no longer true.

    MS is even worse. Totally non-innovative except for selecting companies to buy and copy from. It used to take a half hour to compile and link an MS program that was done in less than a second by Borland. It was only then that MS "discovered" that was possible and copied the capability.

    Computers are in the midst of a new revolution, and neither MS nor Apple are paying attention.

  • Jan 11th, 2015 @ 7:18pm

    (untitled comment)

    There are actions and statements from a politician for which the most minor reparation possible, is the commission of seppuku, in the public square, without a second, through the use of a bamboo sword.

    Delauter owes a far greater demonstration of penitence.

  • Jan 11th, 2015 @ 10:15am

    Re: Inevitable

    That is the institutional part of lying -- that the Fourth doesn't mean what it says it means.

  • Jan 11th, 2015 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Liars

    Everybody includes each and every person in the courtroom with the possible exception of silent observers. Judges as well as prospective and seated jurors lie as well.

  • Jan 11th, 2015 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re:

    Some of the aging view LEOs as incorruptible models of purity. So do people of every other age group. Seeing this from the young is particularly irksome.

  • Jan 9th, 2015 @ 8:11am

    (untitled comment)

    This is truly a problem. Elementary statistics courses are almost always centered around the model of the Bell (normal) curve, which has as a similar relationship to the real world as does Disneyland. It is really impossible to gain a significant understanding of the meaning of statistic analysis without a fair amount of calculus. It is not one or the other that is needed, but both. Algebra, Geometry and Trig (though perhaps not in its present form) are necessary for building a base of mathematics, as well as practical everyday use. Prior to retirement I saw well educated individuals believe that having SAS, SPSS, R or S on their PCs allowed them understand statistics. And finding any statistical test that appears to yield p>0.95 is absolute proof of their hypothesis.

    People need an understanding of the sciences. It is an embarrassment to the educational system that such a large percentage of people do not understand evolution, believe that the sun rotates around the earth or that the killed flu vaccine can cause flu.

    History, and the arts are also grossly neglected. Few graduate college understanding that the US is a violent and aggressor nation, believing instead that our nation is peace loving and a champion of human rights.

    Few have any appreciation for the arts, except those which grind out a loud beat approximating the heart rate.

    Just where in curricula, is there sufficient time to delve into meaningful studies of the enormous amount of human knowledge?

    And as human knowledge expands exponentially, the problem only becomes worse.

  • Jan 9th, 2015 @ 7:51am

    (untitled comment)

    With this remark it is clear that as a government employee, Clapper is either to ignorant to express an opinion, is in violation of his oath of office, or most likely both.

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