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Trump’s trainwreck press conference ushers in a clueless presidency

Posted on January 12th, 2017 at 9:28 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

It’s heartwarming to know that the president-elect is so concerned about how fake news can destroy real people. If only he had the self-awareness and self-discipline to live by his own words.


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  1. A clueless President for a clueless country. Fighting endless wars to save ourselves?

Oracle, URL parameters are dangerous!

Posted on January 12th, 2017 at 9:25 by John Sinteur in category: News

No, Really!


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Swiss town denies passport to Dutch vegan

Posted on January 12th, 2017 at 9:22 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

A Dutch vegan who applied for a Swiss passport has had her application rejected because the locals found her too annoying.


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Addicted to Your iPhone? You’re Not Alone

Posted on January 10th, 2017 at 17:21 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

McDonald’s hooks us by appealing to our bodies’ craving for certain flavors; Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter hook us by delivering what psychologists call “variable rewards.” Messages, photos, and “likes” appear on no set schedule, so we check for them compulsively, never sure when we’ll receive that dopamine-activating prize. (Delivering rewards at random has been proved to quickly and strongly reinforce behavior.) Checking that Facebook friend request will take only a few seconds, we reason, though research shows that when interrupted, people take an average of 25 minutes to return to their original task.

[..]

A Facebook spokesperson told me the social network focuses on maximizing the quality of the experience—not the time its users spend on the site—and surveys its users daily to gauge success. In response to this feedback, Facebook recently tweaked its News Feed algorithm to punish clickbait—stories with sensationalist headlines designed to attract readers. (LinkedIn and Instagram declined requests for comment. Twitter did not reply to multiple queries.)

Even so, a niche group of consultants has emerged to teach companies how to make their services irresistible. One such guru is Nir Eyal, the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, who has lectured or consulted for firms such as LinkedIn and Instagram. A blog post he wrote touting the value of variable rewards is titled “Want to Hook Your Users? Drive Them Crazy.” While asserting that companies are morally obligated to help those genuinely addicted to their services, Eyal contends that social media merely satisfies our appetite for entertainment in the same way TV or novels do, and that the latest technology tends to get vilified simply because it’s new, but eventually people find balance.


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Smart electricity meters can be dangerously insecure, warns expert

Posted on January 10th, 2017 at 17:18 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Smart electricity meters, of which there are more than 100m installed around the world, are frequently “dangerously insecure”, a security expert has said.

The lack of security in the smart utilities raises the prospect of a single line of malicious code cutting power to a home or even causing a catastrophic overload leading to exploding meters or house fires, according to Netanel Rubin, co-founder of the security firm Vaultra.

“Reclaim your home,” Rubin told a conference of hackers and security experts, “or someone else will.”


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Donald Trump’s Twitter Account Is A Security Disaster Waiting To Happen

Posted on January 10th, 2017 at 16:38 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

The most powerful publication in the world today is Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account. In the past six weeks, it has moved markets, conducted shadow foreign policy, and reshaped the focus of media around the world. Just today, it caused Toyota’s stock to drop. It is also shockingly insecure.

That insecurity was acceptable when @realDonaldTrump concerned itself with Kristen Stewart cheating on Robert Pattinson and how thin people don’t drink Diet Coke. And yet Trump’s newfound influence — combined with the unpredictability of his tweets — makes the president-elect’s account a particularly tempting target for hackers.

That’s especially true because there is a large fortune that could be made in a single 140-character message. If someone were able to gain access to Trump’s Twitter, they could tweet approvingly or disapprovingly about a company (as Trump has done) and play the stock market accordingly — or cause others to do so. A market-tracking app called Trigger has already set up an alert that responds whenever Trump tweets about publicly traded companies.

[Quote:]

An alarming report issued by heads of the U.S. intelligence agencies on Friday asserts that the Twitter account of President-elect Donald Trump was successfully hacked by a four-year-old child.

Profilers and cryptologists who studied Trump’s Twitter feed believe that the account was first hacked during the 2016 campaign, when the child was three.

“The hacker would often wake up in the middle of the night, in an addled and cranky state, and start tweeting,” an intelligence source said. “This disrupted sleep pattern is consistent with a suspect in the three-to-four-year-old age range.”

N.S.A. analysts who studied the vocabulary, syntax, and spelling of the tweets “determined beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are the work of a preschooler,” the source said.

While the intelligence agencies have yet to determine the identity of the hacker, the source stressed that a four-year-old capable of hacking the President-elect’s Twitter account poses “a serious national-security threat.”

“Based on these tweets, this particular four-year-old has a loose grasp on reality, lacks all impulse control, and is potentially very dangerous.”


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  1. “Based on these tweets, this particular four-year-old has a loose grasp on reality, lacks all impulse control, and is potentially very dangerous.” – Not a 4-year-old. Just Drumph in person. Has the mind of a four-year-old, the control of a 1 year old, and intellect of a carrot, which goes well with his hair.

This is what happens when you reply to spam email

Posted on January 10th, 2017 at 15:25 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Comments:

  1. :ROFLMAO: !!! Great, and thanks for posting this.

Mad Feet

Posted on January 7th, 2017 at 22:44 by John Sinteur in category: News


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America’s New Intelligence Community

Posted on January 7th, 2017 at 22:10 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]


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Comments:

  1. Yep. Looks about right to me.

  2. A+

Treasury Nominee Steve Mnuchin’s Bank Accused of “Widespread Misconduct” in Leaked Memo

Posted on January 6th, 2017 at 10:14 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Mnuchin, the former CEO of OneWest, was already facing challenges in his upcoming Senate confirmation hearings on account of his bank’s ruthless foreclosure practices, ranging from locking out one homeowner during a Minneapolis blizzard to foreclosing on another over a 27-cent payment shortfall.

“After years peddling the kind of dangerous mortgage-backed securities that eventually blew up the economy, Mnuchin swooped in after the crash to take a second bite out of families by aggressively – and sometimes illegally – foreclosing on their homes,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a statement last month. Sen. Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, warned: “Given Mr. Mnuchin’s history of profiting off the victims of predatory lending, I look forward to asking him how his Treasury Department would work for Americans who are still waiting for the economic recovery to show up in their communities.”

The consistent violations of California foreclosure processes outlined in the memo would indicate that Mnuchin’s bank didn’t merely act callously, but did so with blatant disregard for the law.


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This machine gun runs on snowballs

Posted on January 5th, 2017 at 15:24 by John Sinteur in category: News

Or build your own:


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Miss Cellania: The Joy of Vibrating

Posted on January 5th, 2017 at 15:16 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Ever since we got electrical power, there have been weight-loss gadgets that depend on vibration. They don’t work; you can’t vibrate fat away. That doesn’t mean these gadgets can’t be fun. Two little boys found one out for demonstration in a store and decided to try it out. One was overcome with the ridiculousness of it all. The other discovered what vibrating will do to your voice. Then the first kid found that so funny that he literally ROFLed.


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Comments:

  1. 🙂 They would make more $$ selling these as “toys for tots”! At least the kids like them.

How to make money from FaceBook

Posted on January 5th, 2017 at 9:59 by John Sinteur in category: News


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2017

Posted on January 2nd, 2017 at 15:49 by John Sinteur in category: News

 

 

And they’ll make a move for 2016:


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Leia Organa: A Critical Obituary

Posted on December 30th, 2016 at 10:00 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Leia Organa, the politician and revolutionary who led the defeat of the Galactic Empire, died after a short illness. She was 60 years old. Hers was a life laced with controversy concerning everything from her tactics to her very ancestry, but her intelligence, commitment to the Republican cause, and place at the heart of the Rebellion, and later the Resistance against Neo-Imperialism, remains the indisputable core of her legacy.

[..]

Most historians now see the Stardust/DS-class superweapons as relatively minor parts of the Empire’s war machine (The Imperial-class Star Destroyer remained the primary engine of its force-projection capabilities), but Organa demonstrated the importance of stymieing these and similar efforts through her landmark analysis of the Empire’s ideology and political economy. Later published as The Head of Clay: Elitism, Warlordism and Weakness in the Galactic Empire, her papers proved that as competition for political prestige motivated the Empire’s factions, they would necessarily centralize power, organizing capital in progressively less efficient “superprojects:” initiatives a clique could explain to the Emperor and his inner circle in simple, direct terms, and control through a centralized command structure. Superprojects caught the eye of the inner circle, while more complex proposals (such as Holonet infrastructure improvements) and those requiring cross-clique cooperation (such as maintaining Clone Wars era advanced military technologies) fell by the wayside.

The superprojects trend began during the Palpatinian Republic (and possibly earlier, if GAOR clone forces could be considered one of them), reaching an early peak in Stardust/DS-1 itself, a massive undertaking that consumed 1% of GaDP over nearly two decades. Alliance attacks on superprojects inflicted devastating economic damage and often led to the death and capture of key Imperial influencers, who preferred to personally supervise their work in case a competitor attempted to sabotage or seize control of it. Each attack made the Empire more reliant on successor superprojects to recoup losses and keep systems dependent on its common economy, but each failure prompted peripheral worlds to secede and escape the fallout. Although it would later become famous as a verse in Interstellar People’s War, Organa first explained her doctrine’s essence to Wilhuf Tarkin himself: “The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.” Yet the Empire remained locked into the cycle, to the point where the Emperor personally commanded a successor to Stardust/DS-1 in the hope that this economic necessity would at least create a viable terror weapon.

The Organa Doctrine is widely believed to have won the Galactic Civil War.


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The Chaos

Posted on December 29th, 2016 at 21:31 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

 		Study English pronunciation.
 		I will teach you in my verse
 		Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
 		I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
 		Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
 		Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
 		So shall I!  Oh hear my prayer.
		Pray, console your loving poet,
		Make my coat look new, dear, sew it! 

 		Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
 		Dies and diet, lord and word,
 		Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
 		(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
 		Now I surely will not plague you
 		With such words as plaque and ague.
 		But be careful how you speak:
 		Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
 		Cloven, oven, how and low,
 		Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

(source)

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Trump: Don’t Blame Russia For Hacking; Blame Computers For Making Life Complicated

Posted on December 29th, 2016 at 17:53 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

President-elect Donald Trump is less than enthusiastic about some senators’ suggestion that Russia ― and perhaps even Vladimir Putin himself ― should be sanctioned for interfering in the U.S. elections, telling reporters Wednesday that it’s time people move on.

For Trump, the real culprit isn’t the Russian president or his hackers. It’s computers and technology.

“I think we ought to get on with our lives,” Trump said Wednesday, according to the pool report. He was at his Mar-a-Lago resort, standing next to boxing promoter Don King. “I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind the security we need. But I have not spoken with the senators and I will certainly will be over a period of time.”

U.S. intelligence agencies have been clear in saying that they have a pretty good idea of what’s going on. The FBI, CIA and the director of national intelligence have agreed that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections to help Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Intelligence officials also recently told NBC News that they have “a high level of confidence” that Putin himself was involved in the covert operation.


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Microsoft Word for Windows Version 1.1a Source Code

Posted on December 29th, 2016 at 16:07 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Remember, this was a time when a typical personal computer might have an 8 Mhz processor, 1 megabyte of memory, a 20 megabyte hard disk, and a floppy disk drive. How did Word accomplish so much with so little?

There’s only one way to understand the magic in detail: read the code. With the permission of Microsoft Corporation, the Computer History Museum is pleased to make available, for non-commercial use, the source code of Word for Windows version 1.1a as it was on January 10, 1991. This material is © Copyright by Microsoft.

The 7 MB zip file contains 1021 files in 33 folders. In the root directory there is a “readme” file that briefly explains the rest of the contents. Most of it is source code in C, but there are also text documents, x86 assembler-language source files, executable tools, batch files, and more.


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The Last Word: Carrie Fisher on LSD, Death and Sex With Han Solo

Posted on December 28th, 2016 at 11:46 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Do you fear death?
No. I fear dying. Anything with pain associated with it, I don’t like. I’ve been there for a couple of people when they were dying; it didn’t look like fun. But if I was gonna do it, I’d want someone like me around. And I will be there!


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Amazon refuses to give police Echo voice data in murder case

Posted on December 28th, 2016 at 11:41 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Amazon is declining to hand over the audio records transmitted through an Echo device that belongs to a man charged with murder, despite a search warrant from police investigating the case.

According to The Information’s Tom Dotan and Reed Albergotti, the Echo device in question was owned by James Andrew Bates, a Bentonville, Arkansas, resident charged with first-degree murder earlier this year.

A man was found dead in a hot tub at Bates’ home last year, and the police believe additional evidence for the case could be found in the Echo device.

The report says Amazon refused to hand over the audio data on two separate occasions, although Amazon did share Bates’ account information and purchase history. The police were able to take some information out of the device, but it’s unclear what that included.

Why on earth would anyone want to have such a device in their home?


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German ‘call for government unit to fight fake news’

Posted on December 27th, 2016 at 14:52 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

German officials have proposed creating a special government unit to combat fake news in the run-up to next year’s general election, reports say.

According to one proposal, Facebook would be obliged to delete fake news or face a 500 000 Euro fine per article.

The risks?  Looking back, a prime candidate for “fake news” would be the past would have been the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults in Cologne. The official police reports said it didn’t happen, so it must have been fake news, correct?

And then there’s this…

 

Verordnung des Reichspräsidenten zum Schutze des Deutschen Volkes.

Vom 4. Februar 1933.

§ 9

(1) Periodische Druckschriften können verboten werden,

[..]

7. deren Verbreitung geeignet ist, lebenswichtige Interessen des Staates zu gefährden;

 


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On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world.

Posted on December 25th, 2016 at 10:13 by John Sinteur in category: News

Happy Birthday Isaac Newton


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Comments:

  1. And I thought you meant my hot Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau 🙂

    Cheers!

DeVos Has Contributed to 17 Senators Who Will Vote on Her Confirmation

Posted on December 21st, 2016 at 14:37 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Billionaire Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education and a champion of charter schools, has contributed to the campaigns of 17 senators who will vote on her confirmation. Four of them sit on the Senate Education Committee, which will vet her. These are Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Tim Scott (R-SC). DeVos and her husband have also contributed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). When Trump talked about draining the swamp during his campaign, hiring people who have contributed to the campaigns of the people who will confirm or reject them was apparently not something he considered fishy. DeVos herself sees no problem here, although she once wrote: “We expect a return on our investment.”

Some Democrats see her political donations as a problem, but not all. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said: “Penny Pritzker was a fantastic secretary of commerce, and she probably made a few donations to Democrats over the years. I don’t worry about those donations.” (V)


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What Happens When the Wheels Outlast the Wireless

Posted on December 20th, 2016 at 10:11 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Owners of dozens of BMW AG models sold in recent years will have to deal with an unexpected problem when the calendar hits 2017: their swanky luxury cars will lose their connection to the outside world.

Vehicles sold by the German auto maker are equipped with AT&T Inc . ’s second-generation, or 2G, wireless service for its BMW Assist roadside assistance service. Similar to General Motors Co. ’s OnStar and other auto maker’s wireless services. BMW Assist acts in a crash to alert authorities, offer turn-by turn directions, remotely unlock doors and perform other functions.

Huh. I’m more or less getting used to the idea that I’ll have to buy second hand cars for the rest of my life to make sure they cannot be hacked remotely (simply because they are too old to have any connectivity), but it looks like that problem may solve itself after all.


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Comments:

  1. You bought a 70,000 dollar car and you don’t have a wireless phone to call the garage?

  2. @will: The idea is that you may be unconscious or half-crushed after the crash and unable to make the call yourself.

    @John: good luck finding a lot of cars that only have 2G wireless built in. And in 10 years you’re undoubtedly going to want a hybrid/all-electric car. Good luck finding one without connectivity features.

Home routers under attack in ongoing malvertisement blitz

Posted on December 20th, 2016 at 10:07 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

As you read these words, malicious ads on legitimate websites are targeting visitors with malware. But that malware doesn’t infect their computers, researchers said. Instead, it causes unsecured routers to connect to fraudulent domains.

Using a technique known as steganography, the ads hide malicious code in image data. The hidden code then redirects targets to webpages hosting DNSChanger, an exploit kit that infects routers running unpatched firmware or are secured with weak administrative passwords. Once a router is compromised, DNSChanger configures it to use an attacker-controlled domain name system server. This causes most computers on the network to visit fraudulent servers, rather than the servers corresponding to their official domain.

Their advice, however, is rather self-serving:

The best defense against these attacks is to ensure routers are running the latest available firmware and are protected with a long password that’s generated randomly or through a technique known as diceware. Disabling remote administration, changing its default local IP address can also be helpful, and hardcoding a trusted DNS server into the OS network settings can also be helpful.

How about “install an adblocker”, dear Ars Technica?


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Bye, privacy: Evernote will let its employees read your notes

Posted on December 20th, 2016 at 10:04 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Evernote is changing its privacy policy to let employees read its customers’ notes, and they can’t opt out.

Users have until Jan. 23 to move their notes out of the company’s system and delete their accounts if they want to avoid the sanctioned snooping. Companies using Evernote Business can have their administrators opt out, but users won’t have individual control over it.


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Comments:

  1. Looks like the customer won! Changing the Policy Change… https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2016/12/15/evernote-revisits-privacy-policy/
    And ‘Thanks’ for the warning. If it had proceeded; Sayonara Evernote.

Leak reveals Rex Tillerson was director of Bahamas-based US-Russian oil firm

Posted on December 19th, 2016 at 11:40 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Rex Tillerson, the businessman nominated by Donald Trump to be the next US secretary of state, was the long-time director of a US-Russian oil firm based in the tax haven of the Bahamas, leaked documents show.

Tillerson – the chief executive of ExxonMobil – became a director of the oil company’s Russian subsidiary, Exxon Neftegas, in 1998. His name – RW Tillerson – appears next to other officers who are based at Houston, Texas; Moscow; and Sakhalin, in Russia’s far east.


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Glossolalie

Posted on December 19th, 2016 at 0:53 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Geen kladderadatsch, maar wat een gebakkelei over het Engels als academische voertaal en de virulente impact daarvan op de landstaal. Hier faalt elke conciliatie middels getoost met krambamboeli. Complicerende factor: de impardonnabele dociliteit van de Taalunie, toch gesubsidieerd om het Nederlands te protegeren, niet te abhorreren.

Men kan ook de hyperboreeërs op het perfide Albion ervan verdenken dat ze hun anorectische koloniale ambities willen revitaliseren door het idioom van de overzeese buren te infiltreren. Met anglicismen als boobytraps wordt alsnog een talig Angelsaksisch Gemenebest gecreëerd.

De vicedecaan van de bètafaculteit moge zonder restrictie voor verengelsing zijn, schrijver dezes is mordicus tegen. Als de Taalunie het Nederlands aan excavatie blootstelt, dan zal ik deze vijfde colonne attaqueren teneinde onze prachttaal voor dysthymie te behoeden.

De voorstanders bewieroken hypocriet deze internationalisering, onderwijl subcutaan blakend van commercialiteit. Het resultaat is hooguit een hybridisch Dunglish – glossolalie zonder zweem van religieuze extase.

Mijn gastheren zullen hierna wel een Groot Dictee in tot lingua franca geüpgraded steenkolenengels bestellen, riskerend dat tegenstanders van fossiele brandstoffen voor de Eerste Kamer komen demonstreren ten faveure van windturbines en fotovoltaïsche cellen.

Onze gevioleerde moerstaal kan nog qaly’s winnen via een didactisch angehauchte opiniepeiler die alle korte ei’s door lange wil remplaceren, daarmee zelf enigmatisch metamorfoserend tot stuttende pijler van een mening. Aldus kan ten langen leste de te steile helling naar een uitgebeende nationale stijl geslecht worden.


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Oracle finally targets Java non-payers – six years after plucking Sun

Posted on December 19th, 2016 at 0:43 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Oracle is massively ramping up audits of Java customers it claims are in breach of its licences – six years after it bought Sun Microsystems.

A growing number of Oracle customers and partners have been approached by Larry Ellison’s firm, which claims they are out of compliance on Java.

Oracle bought Java with Sun Microsystems in 2010 but only now is its License Management Services (LMS) division chasing down people for payment, we are told by people familiar with the matter.

The database giant is understood to have hired 20 individuals globally this year, whose sole job is the pursuit of businesses in breach of their Java licences.

In response, industry compliance specialists are themselves ramping up, hiring Java experts and expanding in anticipation of increased action from LMS in 2017 on Java. Huge sums of money are at stake, with customers on the hook for multiple tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The version of Java in contention is Java SE, with three paid flavours that range from $40 to $300 per named user and from $5,000 to $15,000 for a processor licence.

Public Service Announcement: VirtualBox is also owned by Oracle. Avoide them like the plague.


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Canada Says Only 28 Americans Have Applied for Trump-Related Refugee Status

Posted on December 18th, 2016 at 10:49 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Before the election, plenty of celebrities—and average, everyday Hillary Clinton voters—pledged to pack their bags and take off for Canada if Donald Trump won.

But since that fateful day, more than a month ago, Canada’s immigration services department has received only 28 requests for Trump-related refugee status. And none appear to have come from Hollywood, despite the large number of celebs who threatened to cross the northern border is Trump became president.


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