* Posts by Herby

2438 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

US think-tank wants IoT device design regulated, because security

Herby
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Enterprise...

"Some penetration testers have gone further satirically arguing that a vendor's state of software security is inverse to its use occurrences of the term 'enterprise'. "

Now this is something that seems to ring true in many cases. Usually because some higher up wanted to look "important" (see this weeks edition of On Call for a GREAT example).

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Samsung, the Angel of Death: Exploding Note 7 phones will be bricked

Herby
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Maybe they should...

Have the update display "return for refund" on the screen, and not do anything else. Might get the point across.

Surrounding the message with flames is of course optional.

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Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason

Herby
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Pint

Four pages of comments...

With almost as good content as a BOFH story. Including LOTS of ways to make the process work "so well". Yes, it must be Friday.

Cheers.

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HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

Herby
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Simple Solution...

Maybe rename the piece as "December 21 is coming" (northern hemisphere centric, for sure).

Yes, this is a bit silly.

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Oi, you, no flirting, no touching in the back of our rides, sniffs Uber

Herby
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Maybe Uber needs to have...

A cab setup like the one in taxicab confessions. That way we can all see what is going on in the back seat. Of course it would "educational" for all involved.

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90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

Herby
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Re: Yummy ransomware target

"When you say "ransomware", are you referring to malicious software attacking a vulnerable OS, or are you referring to the price that MS is charging to maintain support?"

YES

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For God's sake, stop trying to make Microsoft Bob a thing. It's over

Herby
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But...

I'm farsighted, and will probably have problems with focus at such a close range. Have these VR headset people even thought about that?

Yes, it does get a little bit blurry at close range unless there is a LOT of light to constrict my pupils increasing my focus range.

Sadly most of these things are used by youth that haven't been subjected to presbyopia which comes as you enter later decades in life (*SIGH*).

Me? I just go to Costco and pick up +2.75's in the three packs and scatter them all over the place (soon to be +3.25's I suspect).

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If your Xmas party expenses left you with a hangover, you should see Dell's spending

Herby
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Need...

POSITIVE...CASH...FLOW!!!

Unless you are doing something illegal (which DOES happen), if you can get this right, things have a habit of curing themselves.

So, don't go into debt to cover operating expenses, that is a bad idea!

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Qualcomm, Microsoft plot ARM Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs, tablets, phones

Herby
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Cores??

Maybe intel will make one of the cores in a multi-core ARM chip execute x86 code directly. That might be interesting. Different instruction sets for different cores. You have lots of space so why not??

You heard it here first, so when the patent trolls come knocking over a year later (it will probably take that long to have something patented, I hope), it won't be. I can only hope.

Now they need to get rid if that UFEI (or whatever it is called) "secure" (aka lockout) boot stuff.

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China is building a full scale replica of the Titanic to repeatedly crash into iceberg

Herby
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Does the realism extend to...

The ship sinking? Do they get the life rafts out so that only a portion of the "passengers" will survive.

I has relatives that were enamored with the movie, to which I said "The ship sinks", they called "spoiler alert". I'll leave it at that...

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I was a robot and this is what I learned

Herby
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Joke

Robots: "Danger Will Robinson"

With a telepresence droid, I couldn't resist.

Could happen, you never know.

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Online criminals iced as cops bury malware-spewing Avalanche

Herby
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A plus for the operation. Spam volume down??

Time will tell. I certainly hope so. My current count is over 300 messages per day, some that include "buddy" or other such words in their subject (usually with asterisks somewhere, most NSFW). Most I suspect want me to click on some nice link that has lots of javascript to do nasty stuff. Yuck!!

Off with their heads (I wish!!).

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Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

Herby
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Vitamin B12

Is provided by animal products, and very necessary for human health.

Need to get it somewhere, so why not a fiver??

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NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark

Herby
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Now if they built cars this way...

Of course we would all be going around 5 MPH, and having daily runs of 20 feet or so.

JPL had a pretty good record when it comes to building things. They have a couple of boxes escaping the solar system. A bunch of vehicles on Mars, and other things. All in all if it lasts thru "infant mortality" (check your unit conversions), they are bound to last a while. The engineers there would make Howard Wolowitz be very proud.

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Shhhhh! If you're quiet, Linus Torvalds might release new a Linux

Herby
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Bugs and their effect...

Yes, bugs come in a variety of severities...

Yes, many bugs are not very tolerable, and result from unknown interactions between things, and with Linux growing in complexity the number of interactions grows as well (and that is just the kernel!). Sometimes bugs can be a bit esoteric and for the most part benign. An example I noted on an operating system from long ago (the 70;s) was that leap year was calculated when the date was manually entered on the console (at boot time). This would have bad effects if the date were entered in December of the year, and the machine ran continually for another two months (till February 28/9th). Since the leap year was for the year before, it might think that Feb 29, 2017 existed (no it doesn't, I know). Sure this was an esoteric bug, and AFAIK it was never fixed, because reboots happened more often than the two month interval necessary for the bug to appear.

This is why some software is released with "known bugs". They are ones that usually 1) Aren't commonly seen, or 2) Have work-arounds that are acceptable to the user base. They are usually documented as well.

Then again, I have no idea how Microsoft and Windows do their releases, or if they follow any of these "reasonable" practices about "known bugs". Such is life.

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Have some sympathy for the AT&T devil

Herby
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Broadcast or Point to Point?

That is the question. Most video things are broadcast in nature (like over the air TV). When you go to point to point, lots of thing change. For one thing you need bandwidth, and someone needs to pay for it. Most of the time the monthly fees contribute to the build-out of the connections that support high bandwidth. Eventually the users pay for much of the capital cost of the bandwidth, then the operator can keep charging people even though the capital cost is now zero (it was paid for). This happened for long distance in the period leading up to the "divestiture" of 1984. Because bandwidth was so cheap, long distance subsidized local service which was more costly to maintain, and so it goes. Fast forward to cellular service, and a similar circumstance happens. You charge for minutes while you build out the physical plant and keep going. Eventually the cell towers get paid for and all that is left is the electricity bill (cheap by comparison). Then the bandwidth hogs take over and you then need to make more bandwidth between points, and charge for it. If the pipe to the service provider (netflix, amazon video, etc.) pays for some of this it makes the consumers happier since they don't have to (directly) pay for it. So, it is all about cost shifting and capital costs. Pick your poison. Yes, AT&T (a modem test command if you are interested) will make money, possibly obscene amounts of it. If you are interested, the symbol on the stock exchange is 'T', and invest there.

Life goes on. Movies will cost money, bandwidth will cost money, and we will all pay.

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BOFH: The Hypochondriac Boss and the non-random sample

Herby
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Experience...

My PFY days were back in the late 60's and early 70's. It got adventuresome at times. Eventually I got to be the proper BOFH when I got the boss fired (he purchased something that he wasn't supposed to).

Youth gives you all sorts of experience. The normal comment was a retort to "I only changed one card, and it doesn't work now". The response was always "Look at that card", with an implied "you idiot" at the end. Of course some of the people I was dealing with had computer skills of a potato, even though they were PhD's ("piled higher and deeper") or getting one. Things have gone through a metamorphosis in the years gone by.

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Security bods find Android phoning home. Home being China

Herby
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All your base...

...belong to us.

Enough said.

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Dirty code? If it works, leave it says Thoughtworks CTO

Herby
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When things get old...

You just want to wash your hands of it all. The problem is that if you work on code over time that has accreted parts here and there from increasing requirements, you just keep pounding away at adding little things here and there, and the ball of string just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Yes, it works, but very few people "understand" it, or what is going on.

I suspect that eventually you get shortcuts compiled in, and underground cheats (see VW). Those that actually need to RUN the software and understand its error messages and their context (to correct the environment as necessary) just need to muddle through.

It is a tough life but we all persevere somehow.

Don't even ask what software I am relating to, let's just say it is BIG and COMPLEX and EVOLVING, all at the same time.

Oh, at one time I drove a nice grey VW bug (it wasn't THAT dirty!).

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Mac administrators brace for big changes to Apple-powered fleets

Herby
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Optional...

As I understand the process, it is quite optional. One can (follow instructions) revert back to a more "open" system.

I just don't know if this is how shops will do this function, but it is an alternate path. I suspect that the reason is to dry up malicious software so it can do little harm. At least the company is trying to make things "secure". I can't speak for the company up north.

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FBI's Clinton email comedown confirms it could have killed the story in a canter

Herby
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Thankfully...

most of this will be "ancient history" come Wednesday morning. Then one of two things will happen:

1) It is buried forever in a really big coverup.

2) It sees the light of day and we will all know what is going on.

Time will tell.

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Florida Man cleared of money laundering after selling Bitcoins to Agent Ponzi

Herby
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On laundering money..

The only way to "launder" money is to pay taxes on it.

Quote from a TV series (Orphan Black in this case).

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'F*cking crap' aside, Linus Torvalds says Linux 4.9 is coming along nicely

Herby
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General Patton...

Speak to them in a language they will understand.

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Hell Desk's 800 number was perfect for horrible heavy-breathing harassment calls

Herby
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First liar doesn't get a chance... (cont'd)

My escapades in this area are a couple:

As for phones, I would get people calling up my number and changing the digits. Mine was 8488, and they wanted to dial 8848. I would happily accept their take out order, and say it was on the way (the other number was a take-out restaurant.

The other phone story is that I would get calls that were intended for a real-estate agent with the same name (they must have looked up in the book). I would happily accept the golf dates with tee times for the next Saturday. I might have also said I would take care of everything.

Email, I have my own domain name, and for some reason people want to use it for signing up for stuff like outlook, or facebook. A couple of times I did the "forgot password" and posted lots of poor things on the page, and sent out lots of nasty notes to friends that had already linked up. Probably didn't do much good, but it made me feel better. I get 10's of megabytes of mis-addressed email every day!

Then I realize I must be a real geek when I look at the digits given and without looking at a phone understand exactly what it spells.

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Microsoft puts Windows Updates on a diet with 'differential downloads'

Herby
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So how does this work for a reasonable systems administrator??

Who is maintaining a bunch (100?) of W10 PCs?

Ideally he would like to have only one update path to a local store so he doesn't tie up bandwidth for all 100 downloads to "the latest". Keeping updates "internal" to an organization makes the proofing of said updates (do they work? do they break things?) easier to do and publish the results for internal use.

All of this "E.T. Phone Home" stuff looks nice for individuals, but when you need to scale it up, things can get a little bit clogged up.

Oh, well wait and see, and let the BOFHs of the world get a new boss along the way.

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Build your own IMSI slurping, phone-stalking Stingray-lite box – using bog-standard Wi-Fi

Herby
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Joke

Might as well...

Implant the whole device in our bodies, and use them to run the device. No exploding batteries is a bonus to boot. Then we'll have antennae poking out of our heads and everybody will know as much as they want.

Sounds like a future described in books, so it must be good.

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DRAMA ON MARS: Curiosity bot fires laser at alien metal object

Herby
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JPL/CalTech do incredible things!

Yes, they do the "rocket science" stuff we all talk about.

Good people there. Of course the fact that my brother-in-law works there might color my opinion.

Still, if you want successes, this is the place to go.

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Leaks password, check. Leaks Wi-Fi password, check. Can be spoofed, check. Ding! We have an Internet of S**t winner

Herby
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All the cameras want to be proprietary to make $$$

I've got a nice internet camera that works quite well, but only when you go through THEIR SERVER. Someone didn't tell the vendor what business they were in (selling cameras) not in setting up servers. Sure I can get nice few frames/sec video, and some low grade audio, but why can't I get it directly and control whole thing myself.

No, I need a silly proprietary plugin that isn't available for Firefox (I use Linux at home) and even though I tried couldn't get to work. You would think that they would want to save customer support calls by making it work on a garden variety browser out of the box without any add-ons. Nope you need specialized stuff that isn't available for all platforms.

Who knows, I may have the camera in question. It does have some weird setup stuff.

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Facebook chokes off car insurance slurp because – get this – it has privacy concerns

Herby
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Facebook?? Privacy??

The mind boggles!

Me? I don't say much on facebook. That which I do I understand that the public at large can see it.

Scott McNealy was right!

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Google man drags Emacs into the 1990s

Herby
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Trollface

Re: Whats wrong

Nano??

Isn't that for script kiddies.

He ducks as the flames fly by.

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Herby
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Problems with web browsers is...

That web sites insist on transferring megabytes to put up "hello world" text. Then including gobs of javascript to be special.

Note: For the most part ElReg doesn't do this.

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America has one month to stop the FBI getting its global license to hack

Herby
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Just a note...

Ron Wyden is NOT R-OR, he is very D-OR!!

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F-35 'sovereign data gateway' will stop US reading pilots' personal data? Yeah right

Herby
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ET...

Phone home??!!

Somehow I don't believe that there isn't some little data transmitter hidden somewhere that talks to a nice USA Satellite to let everyone know what this bad boy is up to.

Like continuously sending out GPS coordinates.

Anyway, I like the OBD-II connector right under the dashboard control panel. Proven technology! Oh, does it flub tests for pollution when plugged in??

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Florida man ran $1.35m hack-and-spam racket with 50m-plus addresses

Herby
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But...

Will his arrest/conviction result in a decrease of the amount of spam I get every day?

Probably not bloody likely!

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ARM: Hold my beer, we'll install patches for your crappy IoT gear for you

Herby
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Just "require" an update as specified intervals...

It probably won't work, but just have the silly IoT device "time out". Then you take it back to the manufacturer to "update" it for another interval, or it lights up an "insecure" light. Not ideal, but might work.

I don't see much better solutions in the offing.

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US judge rubber-stamps Volkswagen's 'Dieselgate' settlement

Herby
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AND....

The lawyers get rich. If it were me with such a vehicle, I'd keep it the way it is. Better performance, and it passes the tests. What is not to love. The tests are all made up anyway, and isn't that the way we are schooled?

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Finally, that tech fad's over: Smartwatch sales tank more than 50%

Herby
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How about a watch that...

TELLS TIME Oh, wait, those can be had for about $50 (or less) at the corner drug store. Oh, and the batteries last years not days, so they can be simple (non explosive) ones. Anything else is just dumb "applications" that I really don't need on my wrist unless I'm Dick Tracy (which I'm not!).

Me? I've got a Seiko, which has lasted around 20 years or so, and will likely last another 20.

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Puppet shows its hand: All your software is belong to us

Herby
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Joke
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Today is the 211th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar

Herby
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Monty Python...

Would probably do as good in the "Politically correct" sketch.

Very good

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What will happen when I'm too old to push? (buttons, that is)

Herby
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Christmas (no), Holiday Season (no), FESTIVUS!!

For the rest of us.

Yes, LED's are a scrooge that should be dealt with. Why do you need one. Nice while pilot lights were very nice and usually were not full brightness.

As for buttons, maybe we should go back to dial telephones. Fortunately they still work on local exchange lines (if you still have them).

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Microsoft keeps schtum as more battery woes hit Surface sufferers

Herby
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Joke

What to do with idle SP3's

There is the possibility of making them targets. Fling them into the air when the battery dies ("pull") and aim with a nice shotgun. The report should be quite nice. Of course the Galaxy Note 7's might have better reports still.

Yes, a joke, but I suspect many are thinking of doing it someday...

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Coming soon to smart home devices? Best Before labels – with patch cut-off dates

Herby
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My Toaster...

Doesn't need to be connected. Don't bother, PLEASE!

While some things can be connected, it probably isn't necessary, and for many thi9ngs won't make much of a difference. About the only people who want "connected" things are the marketing people looking to tick another box in the specifications. Kinda like "digital" which is supposably better (but it isn't!).

The fact that I can build a crystal set to receive a radio station is lost with some of these people.

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Red Hat eye from the Ubuntu guy: Fedora – how you doin'?

Herby
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Works for me!

Been using a Fedora desktop since the Fedora Core 8 days. It has been very nice to me. The only problems are that the update process seems to keep changing names (with similar functionality), but overall it works well for me.

At my previous place of employment, I started with a nice Fedora DVD, and installed it on a W7 machine. It worked very nicely. The nVidia drivers were a bit weird, but I was able to resolve that pretty easily. Having a nice Linux desktop machine was very useful, as it was quite easy to pop up a window and ssh into the object machine to do development. The biggest problem was that the source control (ClearCase as I remember) did weird things with line endings between W7 and Linux.

As for desktops, I prefer KDE which does all I really want.

Oh, updates? Only when I want to, not while in some mode that others decide what to do.

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Mysterious algorithms, black-box AI recruiters are binning our résumés

Herby
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You play the game...

But you don't know the rules.

Sounds typical of life in general.

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Pisspoor IoT security means it'd be really easy to bump off pensioners

Herby
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An 8 letter word, starting with S, ending with Y.

For many people that is what "security" is. Oh, and it costs money.

One day the DDOS attack will be on the company that actually makes the devices, and it might get some traction.

I'm not holding out much hope. End users need to be conscious of the many problems as well. Good luck with that.

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New UK National silicone database will help avoid boobs

Herby
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In addition begs the question...

What unsecured server is going to hold these data records. I'm sure that there might also be a "public records" access question. For a sum, one could "verify" that a record exists.

Yup... The "are they real" database. Has a nice ring to it.

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Google: We look forward to running non-Intel processors in our cloud

Herby
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Two words...

Genetic Diversity

Of course an alternative would for Google to BUY AMD. It is almost petty cash for them. At one time Motorola made chips, but that was spun off as Freescale swallowed up by Renasas. One of these days the musical chairs will stop, but given the environment I never know.

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Marmite's not the only national treasure hit by Brexit. Will someone think of the PCs?

Herby
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Joke

Marmite??

Peanut butter for me (no Nutella!!).

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The IRS spaffed $12m on Office 365 subscription IT NEVER USED

Herby
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My government...

At its best. Wasting money it could use to better reform the patent system.

(*SIGH*)

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