* Posts by Mephistro

1217 posts • joined 8 Oct 2007

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Yay, we're all European (Irish) now on Twitter (except Americans)

Mephistro
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Re: You're damned either way

"the family trip to Disney World Orlando is indefinitely postponed …"

Yep, the poor kids would have to go to Disney World Paris instead . :-)

On a more serious note, I'd like any US official that makes such a request from an European company to be sued and judged -probably in absentia- by European courts. That would send a clear message to the incumbents.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Tortilla de patatas

Mephistro
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Re: just checking

"seems a bit wasteful of oil to cook them in loads of oil, then straining them"

As I pointed out in a recent comment, olive oil can be reused several times as long as you don't overheat it, filter it immediately and keep it in a closed container after use. The only problem is that some flavours will remain in the oil, but you can reuse the oil from a tortilla española for making another tortilla, or for frying meat, to which it gives a nice taste.

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Mephistro
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Re: Overcooked?

"Edwina Curry does not approve this message."

May her yolk rest in peace!

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Mephistro
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Re: Success! (@Carl W)

You can use sunflower oil instead, but it decomposes very fast with heat and oxidises when exposed to air, so you can only use it once or risk getting some nasty flavours.

On the other hand, olive oil can be re-used many times, as long as you follow some simple steps. Don't overheat it ,filter impurities before storing the used oil, keep it in a closed container with as little air as possible and you'll be able to make many tortillas with a single bottle of olive oil.

Olive oil that has been used to fry spuds and onion can be reused to fry more spuds and onions, and also to fry meat.

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Mephistro
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Megaphone

When the revolution comes...

... you anti-onionist will be FIRST AGAINST THE WALL!!!

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Default admin password, weak Wi-Fi, open USB ports ... no wonder these electronic voting boxes are now BANNED

Mephistro
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Unhappy

"...lack basic security measures against physical and electronic incursions."

That's a feature, not a bug.

Really, the name WINvote says it all.

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Adobe, Level 3 drive a stake through heart of vid-stream creature before it attacks again

Mephistro
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Facepalm

Sigh...

Software patents, again.

Most of them could be summarised as follows:

"A method of doing things with a computer that other parties have been doing for years, either with computers or with pen&paper, expressed in the vaguest language and whose biggest achievements are usually destroying innovation and making lawyers rich."

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Spanish election site in security cert warning screwup snafu

Mephistro
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Pint

Re: Must... not... get... angry...

Been there, done that, and I totally agree with you. Spanish govt. webpages are total rubbish, seemingly coded and maintained by -quite inept- interns. Standards compliance seems to be an exotic concept for these guys and the Java apps are simply terrible.

One of my clients was unable to fill a tax form -IVA(VAT) return- in time due to this and was correspondingly fined. After a complaint and lots of paperwork he got his money back. It only took him almost two years. :-(

The good side is that every year I earn some tidy €€€ fixing these issues in my clients machines. You know, the 'Broken Window' and all that stuff. ;-)

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It's not you, it's EE ... again! Mobe network hit by 'PDP authentication failure' snafu

Mephistro
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Holmes

@ AC

"I'd rather have a monopoly (with decent coverage and decent service for a decent price)"

That's a huge oxymoron. The moment you get a monopoly, prices go through the roof and service quality sinks. :-(

I'd rather go with lots of competition and Antitrust keeping an eye on the providers, just in case. ;-)

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Tech troll's podcasting patent blown out of the water by EFF torpedo

Mephistro
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Devil

Re: Problem? (@ Mage)

"Are they paid more if they approve rather than reject?"

I think that's exactly the case, but the really important question is whether those payments are made openly to the USPTO or 'under the table' to the people who approves the patent. ;-)

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Microsoft's top legal eagle: US cannot ignore foreign privacy laws

Mephistro
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Re: turn it round ...

"How do you spell 'hypocrisy' in American English?"

Mmhhh... 'Hypocrisy' is the American spelling, the British one would be 'Hypoucrisy'.

Thank you! Thank you! I'll be here all week.

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Astronomers battle plague of BLADE-WIELDING ROBOTS

Mephistro
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Re: Methanol (@ Eddy Ito)

"If only there was a way of creating some sort of invisible fence by some simple means like laying a wire in the ground"

Or better yet, a visible fence made with some sticks and stickers in shiny colours, that the lawn mover could read with a camera and a simple artificial vision app.

I guess that for iRobot, the biggest issue with this later approach is that people would be able to make their own 'beacons' with an inkjet printer, instead of purchasing them from iRobot at inflated prices.

I hope this 'design decision' bites them in the ass. With extreme prejudice.

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Sony tells hacked gamer to pay for crooks' abuse of PlayStation account

Mephistro
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Re: He needs to escalate it (@AC)

"That could comfortably put a six figure dent in Sony if they're not careful, and it seems that would be richly deserved."

While I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment of your post, I must disagree with the last sentence. When a big company acts the way Sony has done here, it's because they know that 99.99% of claimants will bend over and 'pay the man' just to recover the rest of their content -which in this case is being held hostage by Sony- and escape the hassles of a legal claim or a complaint to Trading standards.

Of course the only way for us customers to prevent this is to make the issue as public as possible and exercise our legal rights to their full extent, including also asking for damages for the time the user can't access his content.

It would be even better if the existence of abusive clauses in EULAs -like the ones discussed here- caused the company to be automatically fined by Trading Standards or similar bodies. Yeah, I'll keep on dreaming. :-(

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Barry Obama declares national emergency over foreign hackers

Mephistro
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"Barry Obama"

When I read that part of the heading, it mildly irritated me. Until I read his declarations. Now it's safe to assume that POTUS is preparing to become an stand up comedian, and "Barry Obama" would be a nice pseudonym for that!. ;-)

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Feds cuffed for allegedly PILFERING Silk Road drug souk's Bitcoins

Mephistro
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Unhappy

These two were dumb&corrupt feds

Makes one wonder what the clever ones are getting away with.

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Cross-dressing blokes storm NSA HQ: One shot dead, one hurt

Mephistro
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Devil

Perhaps it was just...

... two guys that had watched 'Thelma & Louise" too many times.

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Osbo: Choose a f*cking IoT fridge. Choose spirit-crushing driverless cars

Mephistro
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Devil

Typo in the article!!!

"The Chancellor promised to pump £40m into the development of Internet of Things"

It should be:

"The Chancellor promised to dump £40m into the development of Internet of Things".

Here, fixed!

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'The troll stats saddened me as a human, but didn't surprise me as a boffin'

Mephistro
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Re: I used to have an old dictionary

When I was sixteen I had the opportunity to 'play' with one of these ancient punchcard things that a family friend had in an old storehouse. Didn't enjoy it much, as by that time I was addicted to programmable calculators, whose use was far more enjoyable than that of the old IBM beast. :-)

To the point: I totally agree with your central point. It's the exact same thing I thought while reading the article.

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Mephistro
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Re: I used to have an old dictionary

"Concise Oxford, from about 1950. ..."

My Merriam-Webster 11th edition says that the word "computer" originated in 1646 and it doesn't list the word "computor", so one of these two publications seems to be wrong.

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Mephistro
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Holmes

Re: I used to have an old dictionary

"I would be interested to know the language, probably a pre-77 version of Fortran."

Ermm... no.

From the article:"Oh we didn’t have any programming languages. They weren’t very common back then.”

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Curiosity rover RENDERED ARMLESS by short circuit

Mephistro
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Coat

"As to what porn a 2 tonne laser-armed space tank watches, I leave that as an exercise for the reader's imagination..."

Hmm... an M1 Abrams? Frau Merkel? A BigDog robot?

Brain hurts!

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Mephistro
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Coat

The poor bugger...

... probably cut a buried power line. It happens all the time.

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Canadian bloke refuses to hand over phone password, gets cuffed

Mephistro
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Happy

Re: Beaver pelts(..borked graphics)

Where do you think I got the idea from?

Chowd.

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Mephistro
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Devil

"I'm always locking myself out of stuff."

That ability will probably be really useful for you soon, citizen!.

Postdata: MWAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!

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Mephistro
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Re: Beaver pelts

Nice idea. I could also suggest a little bit of meddling with the graphics driver so as to change refresh rates-for a single user- in such a way that the graphics card seems to be borked. I did something similar in a PC 20 years ago, as an April 1st joke.

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'Just a kid' Zuck's word is his bond ... but NOT in his backyard, lawsuit claims

Mephistro
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Re: Markie Sugar town Cannot be Trusted (@ tombo)

"Do kids in state schools really all reach their full potential?"

Perhaps I should have highlighted certain parts of my comment, e.g. "to allow every children the opportunity". Which, FYI, is not the same as "... really all reach their full potential?"

Same thing regarding "People who think parents should take no responsibility are part of the problem". Are you sure I'm part of that group of people? Hints:"Yes but no" and "...whose parents don't have the time, knowledge, will or motivation..."

Yep, low scores in reading comprehension, indeed. 0_o

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Mephistro
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Re: Markie Sugar town Cannot be Trusted

"Parents need to take some responsibility too."

Yes but no. The whole point of having a socialized education system is to allow every children the opportunity to realize their full potential. Even the children whose parents don't have the time, knowledge, will or motivation to help with the children's education.

A good education system provides social mobility, a level playing field (sort of) for the unprivileged, and creates lots and lots of wealth by helping the talented to reach higher skills levels. A society that allows only the children of the wealthy to become engineers or scientists is a society with too few scientists and engineers.

The ones that support 'fwd.us' and similar initiatives -usually big quangos and their owners and managers- just are proving IMO that they don't give a flying shit about children, education and their own country. Because, as fellow commentards have pointed out already, this kind of initiatives and the lack of support/funding for the education system will make any country that follows them totally irrelevant in a few generations at most.

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Want that awesome new Apple TrackPad? Don't get a MacBook Pro

Mephistro
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Re: @ Suricou Raven (@ Dave 126)

"...making the device both more expensive to manufacture and assemble, and more expensive to recycle"

Regarding the cost of manufacture and assembly, how much would the methods I described cost? pennies per unit? I can understand your reasoning -up to a point- for products that cost, say, €100, and whose margins are razor thin, but for expensive gadgets it's just plain greed. If a manufacturer saves a few pennies per unit at the cost of halving the life of the device or making repairs after the warranty period several times more expensive, I reckon said manufacturer is scamming its customers. And a well designed gadget could be disassembled in seconds, and these structural elements - e.g. rubber blocks and metallic latches- could be recycled very efficiently.

And regarding recycling, the glue itself is not recyclable and the heating process will probably damage other components of the device (plastics, batteries,...). And what's more, it needs some specialized equipment, - e.g. an oven with precise temperature control- and energy.

"The manufacturer is responsible for the end-of-life disposal of products"

An obligation many manufacturers fulfill by sending the units to some third world country in a bulk carrier or simply dumping them in some discrete landfill. I don't think ease of recycling is, sadly, one of the top priorities for the manufacturers.

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Mephistro
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@ Suricou Raven

"Glue is pretty common in phones, tablets and the very thinnest of laptops. It's part of the 'quest of thinness, ..."

Sorry to dissent, but there are other solutions that don't add to thickness and at the same time don't make gadgets almost impossible to repair. I can understand the use of glue in elcheapo phones and netbooks, but the use of glue in Apple's expensive gadgets is, in my opinion, pure and simple planned obsolescence. As an example, combination of sliding parts, latches and rubber 'stoppers' wouldn't add weight nor thickness to these gadgets, but would allow a good degree of serviceability and ease of recycling.

I can't believe Apple's designers (or Microsoft's or Samsung's or...) aren't aware of the existence of these alternatives.

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

Mephistro
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I never met him personally...

... and have only listened his voice in an interview.

Still, I feel as if an old friend has passed away.

Thanks, Terry, and Godspeed!.

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Should online pirates get the same sentences as offline ones?

Mephistro
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Megaphone

Warning!!! (Was Re: nothing competes with:)

WARNING!!! WARNING!!! JEREMY CLARKSON IS IN THE VIDEO!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

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White-listed phish slip through Google Apps

Mephistro
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WTF?

"...and handed the duo US$500 by way of thanks."

Perhaps I'm being a little bit paranoid, but the amount awarded seems designed to discourage security researchers. Either that or G is pathologically tightfisted. Seriously, US$500?

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Broadband routers: SOHOpeless and vendors don't care

Mephistro
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Re: @ Mephistro Why, oh why...(@ Ian Michael Gumby)

While you have some good points, i think you're forgetting some important facts:

- Most SOHO modem/routers are sold by ISPs to the customers, who usually pay the kit over a period of months, and agree to a minimum stay term. As sellers, they have a responsibility over the kit they sell. The flaws discussed in the article clearly describe a "not fit for purpose" product.

- There are a few SOHO modem/routers with no known serious vulnerabilities. Yes, they're probably more expensive than kit sold by the ISPs nowadays. So what? Let the customer more time to pay the device. Fixed.

- SOHO modem routers are made by the millions. Adding a few good coders to create and test the firmware should add no more than $1 to the price per unit.

- ISPs usually add changes to the firmware. Sometimes it's these changes that compromise the kit.

- Adding a little bit of regulation regarding routerscomputing devices and their support, and what's expected of the makers and the distributors in terms of security, would be a good thing. As other fellow commentards have pointed out, the automotive industry without regulation would be a frecking bloodbath.

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Mephistro
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Flame

Why, oh why...

...aren't the makers and distributors of this gunk being held liable for their lack of due diligence? Most of these 'defective by design' units are distributed by ISPs who also ignore due diligence when evaluating a new router. Yes, ISPs should also respond for this rolling SNAFU.

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OK, they're not ROBOT BUTLERS, but Internet of Home 'Things' are getting smarter

Mephistro
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yes, the dishwasher and toaster can talk to each other, but what will the conversation be?

Mandatory quote:

Sink: "Sir's accoutrements are precisely where sir has left them, and should the toaster say otherwise I remind sir that it is a wastrel."

(From Fallout New Vegas Old World's Blues.)

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Adobe launches cashless bug bounty

Mephistro
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Facepalm

Great idea!

Instead of wasting money rewarding the monkeysresearchers for their work, they offer instead a virtual badge that will give the researchers as much true social recognition as farting aloud in crowded rooms.

Adobe's CEO (to himself): "I can envision thousands of hackers queuing at Adobe's HQ. For the first time in history, Adobe's products will be bug free!!!. A new age is coming for Adobe!!!"

And then he run out of bath salts.

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‪Obama criticises China's mandatory backdoor tech import rules

Mephistro
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Re: At the risk of being controversial...

I stand corrected. Needless to say I haven't read anything from the guy, except several aphorisms. It could be one of those cases when the theatrical trailer is far better than the film !. ;-)

And perhaps we should consider Confucius in his own historical context. Compared to the alternatives (bloodthirsty feudal warlords enslaving the rest of the population without any laws to restrain them) Confucius was a big improvement, imo.

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Mephistro
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Re: At the risk of being controversial...

"But, at the end of the day their hearts are in the right place, ..."

Are you sure of that? Totally totally sure? Are these TLAs and their staffs incorruptible? How many of them have already found ways to 'monetize' their positions, either by selling data to criminals or foreign states or private companies? How many will find said methods -and use them- in the future, given that corruption seems to grow exponentially over time in any big institution?

If we allow this to go on, who do you think will rule your country in say, thirty years? Yep, the ones that can blackmail or bully everybody, the ones that can have laws and rulings tailored to their liking, the ones that want to know where you are, and who is with you, and what you think at any given moment, day or night. Yes, those ones!.

If Americans don't fix the issue ASAP, I prophesy that the NSA and pals will have turned the USA into a full blown dictatorship by then. The current bunch, compared to them, would be like comparing Confucius with Hitler.

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Mephistro
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Re: The difference is... (Charles 9)

"But that leaves the "haters gonna hate" plots..."

Well, those "hatters gonna hate" dudes (and dudettes)(let's call them "sickos" for brevity) have to obtain funding, training, shelter... . They don't have some oppressed people backing their effort. Of course you could picture a terrorist group formed and supported exclusively by sickos. Said terrorist group would have some internal power struggle every six months of so, and would murder far more of its sicko members than innocent citizens. :-)

On the same vein, it could be argued that having all the sickos in a terrorist group makes it easier to deal with them. The current situation, with sickos spread everywhere, with extra thickness in politics and big money areas, makes the issue intractable. ;-)

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US watchdog: Anthem snubbed our security audits before and after enormous hack attack

Mephistro
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Easy peasy!

1) - Put on hold all federal payments to Anthem until the audit is complete.

2) - Give them an ultimatum to allow the audits or have all their contracts terminated. No more than two weeks, please.

...

4) - See how they bend over faster than a mousetrap. Profit !!!

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Snowden, NSA spying, hard drive malware ... what we need is a UN privacy watchdog!

Mephistro
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Yeah, it's probably useless, but...

...given the way the US Govt. and the US courts have being closing any legal tools available for the EFF to fight the NSA and pals, it probably makes sense. It also helps keeping the issue in the mind of Joe Public, which is a good thing.

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The spy who leaked me: Ex-CIA boss Petraeus 'fesses up to blabbing intel to his mistress

Mephistro
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Coat

But... but... He did it willingly!!!

I mean, he did it for his Willy, didn't he?

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Google offers 'INFINITY MILLION DOLLARS' for bugs in Chrome

Mephistro
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Thumb Up

Re: Simple infinity

Well spotted!

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Why does the NSA's boss care so much about backdoors when he can just steal all our encryption keys?

Mephistro
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Linux

Re: Next week's news:

Your first counterpoint may be true, but I find your use of the Little Devil's icon a little bit too minoritary.

Your second counterpoint does nothing to prove or disprove my second point. I said already that "open-source is no panacea" though with different words. The methods you describe to corrupt open source are much more difficult (i.e. more expensive) than simply slapping some NSL on, say, Google or Microsoft, ordering them to add a backdoor in their -more or less- closed source products, and also imply bigger risks.

And before you say it, yes, I know they could bribe/blackmail/fool/waterboard some member of Opera Software's staff to surreptitiously include the backdoor in their product, but by doing that they'd be running a serious risk of exposure and of being arrested by the Norwegian Police or the EU institutions. This would be bad for NSA's business, wouldn't it?

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Mephistro
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Re: Next week's news:

"They actually went after the WebKit engine"

Two points:

a) - "Citation needed".

b) - WebKit is distributed under BSD and GNU and its source code is available for review by anybody. Not saying it's impossible to compromise it, just that it's orders of magnitude more difficult than compromising proprietary software, and any vulnerabilities in the engine have a far bigger chance of being discovered & dealt with by the developer community.

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Mephistro
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Devil

Next week's news:

"Following Admiral Mike Rogers suggestions that the NSA would order backdoors installed in web browsers, Norwegian company Opera Software's share prices rose a 200%. "

Yep. He is an idiot.

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Iran hacks America where it hurts: Las Vegas casinos

Mephistro
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Devil

Well, I hope they paid him well...

... for explaining "HIS" opinions, where the word "HIS" stands for "coming from a huge gang of lobbyists*".

I hope the FSM or the Karma or Yahveh or whoever will bury him under tons of shit, most of it of his -own creation.I wonder how much financing would that idea receive at a Kikcstarter campaign. This way we wouldn't need to bother any deities!

Mhhhh... Got it!: "Throw Clapper down the ..." Ermm... Does anyone know a word that rhymes with Clapper? TY for your help.

*Note: you know, Big Money, the Industrial-Military Complex, Mafiosi, ... The usual suspects. :-)

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Net neutrality victory: FCC approves 'open internet' rules in 3-2 vote

Mephistro
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Re: Good (@ doctariAFC2)

How do you know "net neutrality" was "enforced",...?

Probably by knowing the implications of considering the Internet as a "Title 2" comms service.

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Mephistro
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My hope is that...

... these events are the beginning of a Sanity Outbreak regarding Internet and its governance and laws, worldwide.

Yeah, I'll keep on dreaming. :-)

Anyway these are really good news. At the very least a step in the right direction. Perhaps the pendulum is bouncing back at last?

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So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

Mephistro
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Re: @Mephistro (tl;dr)

"There was no infamous brouhaha back then"

You know that the word 'infamous' has several meanings, don't you? And I remember reading about this particular SNAFU in some computer magazine several months after the fact, and reading comments in forums during the 2000 outbreak of bad capacitors. So it wasn't the Capacitorgeddon, but neither was it a trivial matter.

Capacitor failures have happened since their invention, for any number of underlying reasons

Yeah, but if you see at least one of them -probably more- failing in every mobo served by a company, you can safely conclude that said company's quality testing process is crap.

And an equipment vendor that'll repair things outside the warranty period is a rare sight

Actually, the failures happened always in the first fortnight after purchase, with two systems being directly DOA. The replacement machines exhibited the same behaviour. The amount of work we had to do in order to move the data and reinstall the OS's was simply unbelievable.

Must be a truly known and endemic issue (like it was in 200x) to get free service.

Not in Europe. And I thought that the USA had similar rules, but I might be wrong. The reseller finally took away the systems and reimbursed my customer, after receiving a copy of the technical report and letter from the company's lawyer.

"15-20 years is a very long time..."

Sure. But I operate following a simple rule: No company screws me twice, if I can prevent it. The incident related in TFA seems to hint strongly towards Lenovo's current management having the same philosophy the company had in the nineties.

Seriously, the most infamous -or disgraceful, if you prefer- part about this incident is the way Lenovo tried to elude their responsibility. At first, they claimed the issue was caused by failures in the customer's leccy supply and/or the grounding. Luckily, the customer's electrical installation had been certified a few weeks before the purchase, so Lenovo and the reseller had to look for a different explanation.

The next step was a meeting full of weaselspeak where they hinted -without saying it clearly- that the affected computers had been sabotaged. We had none of it, of course, and shortly after sent one of the units to an electronics firm for the forensic examination.

After the events, I learned that other people had been having the same issues MONTHS BEFORE MY CUSTOMERS ORDERED THE MACHINES!!!

When Lenovo acquired IBM's PC division, my first reaction was of incredulity and a lot of profanity. ;-)

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