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* Posts by Dave Mundt

51 posts • joined 1 Feb 2008

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Outsourcing your own job much more common than first thought

Dave Mundt
Black Helicopters

Not to be too pedantic

But, you probably mean "simultaneous" or "concurrent".

However, beyond that, I am not surprised that so many instances of this out-sourcing are coming out of the woodwork. After all, when one has a labor pool that provides high-quality product at 1/3 to 1/4 the price, who is going to pass that up?

Perhaps the most useful result of this coverage by El Reg, though, is pointing out the huge mistake made by these folks. I am sure that all over America there are software engineers quietly setting up a server and a VPN to remove the chance of being caught out like the other guys.

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Hooking offshore wind farms into UK grid will HIKE bills, MPs warn

Dave Mundt

What a deal!

Sounds like a great investment opportunity! where do I sign up?

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America planned to NUKE THE MOON

Dave Mundt

"Dark Side Of The Moon"???

Hum.....I suppose that is "correct" depending on what you call "the dark side of the moon". Just to be slightly pedantic, the moon is tidally locked the the Earth, so, the same face points at us all the time (ignoring the fact that precession and such does add about 1.6% to the total visible amount). It is the Moon, going from the same side of the Earth as the Sun, to the opposite side to the Sun that causes the changes in the illuminated amount of the Moon's surface.

So...the only way to create a flash visible to the USSR would have been to time it so the missile hit as the new Moon was setting, and, making sure that a general broadcast through VOA alerted the population to the event. Frankly, though, it would not be worth the cost and effort, as the biggest bombs available would have had less energy than quite a few of the meteors that continually pound the Lunar surface. Much more effective to blow up an island, film the event, and broadcast it all over the places

pleasant dreams

dave mundt

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SCO keeps dying, and dying, and dying

Dave Mundt

Re: @AndrueC: That was work for a different SCO

Yep, I actually bought a copy of SCO Xenix ($1200.00 or so) and ran it for several years until Linux got its sea legs. It was a VERY good OS, put out by an excellent company. However, alas, like all good things, Santa Cruz Org. came to and end, and, the scavengers that dragged its corpse off did not even have the honorable character to devour it and let it go. Rather, like a bad version of "Weekend at Bernies", they propped the body up, and, claimed it was king.

A sad fate for a good company and some quite good software.

pleasant dreams

Dave Mundt

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Hobbyist builds working assault rifle using 3D printer

Dave Mundt
FAIL

Building Guns.

I should point out that human-kind has a long history of hand fabricating guns, some of which have been fairly sophisticated. It does not take complicated tools to create a gun, just time and a certain amount of care. If one wishes to stamp out dozens of them as quickly as possible, then, yes, machines make it possible...

Another point made in the story is that little remark about the gun jamming. That is a Bad Thing, because if one is in a position where firing the weapon is a good idea, one does not want it to jam!

While this was an interesting thing to do, it is not as if this is going to allow untraceable AR-15s to flood the market because the criminals are cranking them out on printers. Perhaps one day, when the 3d printers are capable of printing with metal, it may be a problem, but, that is not going to happen anytime soon. The folks that mis-use guns will continue to get them the old-fashioned ways: illegal mass purchases from manufacturers, hijacking shipments, smuggling in weapons from countries where it is even easier to purchase weapons, etc.

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openSUSE 12.2 release delayed, team calls for a rethink

Dave Mundt
Linux

Open Note to OpenSuSE...

Greetings and salutations;

I have been using SuSE distributions for quite some time now, and I am sorry to say that the 12.x distribution was almost enough to push me to Ubuntu. While the last maintenance release dealt with all the issues I had run into (for the mix of programs and features that I use), migrating from the 11.x releases to the 12.x release was a terribly painful and difficult process that added to the white hairs I have already.

There were several issues that caused me pain. First off, there were the various drivers and modules that did not work. While not a serious issue in most cases, it did mean that I was back to the generic, low functionality video and audio drivers. This caused some of the pivotal parts of the 12.x code to either fail, or work poorly. The the Plasma desktop, for example, was not a happy thing. Also, I had several more mysterious lock-ups that were hard to deal with. Then, there was the fact that a number of the programs I had been using either did not work, or, had changed so radically as to where they hid their work files it was easier to change programs than migrate to the new code. I am looking at you, Kmail, in specific. The audio issues were not pretty either, but after an update cycle or two, that stabilized. However, I had to bail out from using banshee to using VLC - which meant tracking down all the streaming audio sources I had in order to get them into VLC.

I would suggest these changes to the OpenSuSE development system:

1) For the moment, focus on quality of code, and, NOT on how quickly you can push out versions. Get it right first, then, push it out.

2) learn the difference between "this would be REALLY COOL" and "this makes the OS a better, stronger tool". Enforce those decisions for the "live" version.

3) It sounds to me as if some control has been lost over organizing code changes. Slow down the process a bit, and, have a pool of gurus look at proposed changes. Too many cooks spoil the broth. That does not mean that we cannot have a huge pool of contributors - just that there has to be some auditing by "big picture" folks.

I suspect I could come up with some more suggestions, but, trying to keep this to a reasonable length. In closing I want to say that these are presented purely in the spirit of helping OpenSuSE return to the solid, well-done distribution it used to be.

Pleasant Dreams

Dave Mundt

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McAfee founder raided in Belize by gang-busting police

Dave Mundt

Time to Relocate

I am in agreement with the previous post. If the government does not want to reap the benefits of having the cash flow from his company then the best thing to do is pull up stakes and move to a safer country.

I would suggest Ireland.

regards

dave

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Opera retires Unite, widgets in latest browser cut

Dave Mundt
Terminator

Re: Pull the plug

Greetings and Salutations;

It appears that the current version of Opera has more or less fixed the ONLY problem I had with the browser - that was a continual drip of memory that would finally suck up every byte on the computer, requiring a restart. From day one, though, it has been smaller, faster, and far more flexible in its configuration than other browsers.

Since I am in a charitable mood, I am going to believe that your opinion is based on reading http access logs, and, noting that there do not seem to be any visits from Opera users. I want to remind you that one of the great strengths of Opera has been the ease with which it can spoof the User Agent ID strings of other browsers. It may LOOK like IE, but, it might well be Opera. This has allowed me to surf a huge number of poorly written websites, apparently created by script kiddies running "pick 2 from column 1, 1 from column 2" page generators that attempt to lock one into one particular browser (yes, I am looking at YOU Microsoft). I have found very few browser specific web pages that Opera cannot render properly - something that I have not been able to say about IE, Firefox, or Chrome. While Firefox has been my "goto" choice for the past year or so because of the memory leak issues, I almost exclusively use Opera now.

pleasant dreams

dave mundt

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Ted Nugent fined for failing to kill bear

Dave Mundt

So much for the mighty hunter.

Greetings and Salutations;

Hum...Kind of a shame about this. Nugent claims to be the "mighty hunter", yet, to have let a wounded animal go without tracking it down is a big breach of those rules. To do it when one is being FILMED is the height of stupidity. Overall, I would say he got off pretty lightly, considering, but, I hope the next time he will do the animal the honor of tracking it and finishing the kill.

Pleasant dreams

bee man dave

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Dave Mundt
Happy

Re: Weird laws for sure

Greetings and Salutations.

Hum...There could be several answers. 1) Alcohol was involved. 2) the moose defaulted on a gambling debt one time too many. 3) Alaskan Airlines has a really tough stowaway policy.

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West Australian WiFi mesh sniffs out bushfires

Dave Mundt

Another use for the sensor grid

Greetings and Salutations,;

I can see this as being a very complete, and inexpensive way to monitor a large area for a variety of signals. For example, one could probably attach motion sensors and video cameras, and use it as an automated sentry system. Because the network has a map of changes, it would be easy to tell when stations are taken off the air, either through normal failure, or deliberate damage. The system could easily transmit images and other sensor info back keeping an eye out for human movement, or animal movement.

I also suspect that it could be used in seismically active areas to monitor earth movements and other related data associated with earthquakes, etc.

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Google finally admits it wants to OWN YOU

Dave Mundt
Paris Hilton

Not just for the pictures....

Greetings and Salutations.

This is a good point. Back in the 70s, I, as a young man, bought Playboy because it was going through a cycle of publishing some of the best science fiction short stories available. There was some fine prose printed in that magazine. And, for all of you nodding your heads and saying "yea, sure...." I will freely admit that, because I have been a fan of abstract art for a long, long time, the pictures were pretty enjoyable too (*smile*)

pleasant dreams

dave mundt

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Tesla 300-mile e-car UK debut set for 2013

Dave Mundt

exactly right about the interior.

Greeting and salutations....

Not only do I think the 17" touch screen is both ugly and awkwardly placed, there is not a single cup-holder in sight! Impossible!

pleasant dreams

dave mundt

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NASA halts 'naut flogging Apollo 13 notebook

Dave Mundt

Get it in writing....

Greetings and salutations....

The problem here is that times have changed. In the day, the unwritten policy at NASA was that once the mission was over, pretty much everything that was not nailed down was up for grabs and it was fine that the astronauts took stuff with them. However, now, for whatever reason, NASA is backing away from that policy and claiming that it did not exist. Hence the object lesson of why all of us should get promises from management in writing.

Now, I agree that it would be great for the notebook to be on display in the Smithsonian, as it is a way to return to, and be close to, that time in the space program when the entire world held its breath over the survival of the crew. However, I should point out that quite a number of the folks that have bought space artifacts have, indeed, put them on permanent exhibit in various museums. It is not like this is an artifact that is like a fine original painting by one of the old masters, that is worth contemplation for years.

The fact that NASA has ignored the notebook for 40 years indicates it has been abandoned, and, so, belongs to the person that has it. Shucks, NASA has a long history of dumping or selling off historically important artifacts. I cannot recall where it is, but, I remember reading in Sky and Telescope some years ago about a tempest in a teapot over an amateur astronomer who had used one of the heat shields from an Apollo command module as the dome on his observatory. There have been a number of other such things that have shown up for sale over the years, and, no one seemed to care.

SO...call it salvage and let the guy sell it

Pleasant dreams

dave mundt

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Did Vatican commit Cardinal sin over Wikipedia bios?

Dave Mundt

Plagiarism?

Greetings and Salutations...

Well, an American composer by the name of Peter Schickele, who is mainly known for his amazing work excavating the lost works of P.D.Q Bach, said that this particular Bach child looked upon what we would call plagiarism as nothing more than creative recycling.

regards

dave mundt

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Area 51 to host sci-fi knocking shop

Dave Mundt

Where did the cat nuns come from?

Greetings and Salutations

And I suspect that the cat nuns may have been inspired by the Cordwainer Smith story "The Ballad of Lost C'Mell" which is a well written and thoughtful examination of racism, love and the challenges of life.

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Apple shovels $400m in stock grants to top execs

Dave Mundt

Get that fanboy?

Greetings and Salutations....

Well, while I will agree that the 1%s run Apple, that is hardly a surprise. Remember the golden rule - the man with the gold makes the rules.

However, I do have to disagree about your assertion that Apple has never paid dividends to its stockholders. From 1989 through 1997 they did, indeed, pay a few cents per stock in cash to the stockholders. Since then, they have split the stock twice, with its value still staying way up there, so, it is very similar to giving a dividend.

But then, Jobs did have a rather different view of how business should be run, and, Apple reflects that world view.

regards

dave mundt

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Meteor shower falls from Halley’s Comet on Saturday

Dave Mundt
Linux

and to complete the reference

Whale: Oh! What is this thing coming at me??? I wonder if it will be my friend??

Potted Plant: Oh no, not again!

probably paraphrased, as it has been a bit since I read Doug Adams

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Sesame Street YouTube page hijacked by smut pushers

Dave Mundt

That reminds me...

Of a couple of things. First off, there is a great little show called "Avenue Q" that is a parody of Seseme Street, but with a more "Adult" attitude. One of the amusing songs in the play puts forth the theory that the main use of the Internet is "Porn...."

I also agree that the folks that did this are slightly lower than a snake's belly. I suspect that they are probably a couple of giggling, 14 year old boys, who are either trying to build some street cred with this, or, are trying to prove that they are not a total waste of skin.

regards

xmundt

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Microsoft cofounder Allen unloads on Gates

Dave Mundt
Grenade

Crappy code? Of course!

greetings and Salutations.

It has been my experience that everyone writes really crappy code at times in their life. The question is this: Has the quality of code improved? If not...that says a lot. As for Mr. Gates...He never struck me as an "uber programmer" in the least. He could, like many folks, knock out code that works pretty well but, may fail when it hits boundry conditions... For example, I recall a story (I THINK in the book "MicroSerfs" where the author was re-writing a graphics fill routine because it would fail to fill the crevasses of a complex polygon. He was bitching about the crappy program, and did not realize that Gates was standing behind him. Of course it turned out that Gates had written that code himself.

Now...before I wander too far away from the topic...As I said, I never believed Gates was a great programmer. However, one thing he is excellent at is sales. He has that amazing ability to talk with someone and convince them that their lives will be dark and dreary places if they do not have whatever it is that he is selling! He IS one of those guys that can sell snow to an Eskimo. It is those skills that have helped him build Microsoft into the hulking giant it is today.

As for the quality of coding that comes out of Microsoft...I, like most folks, have not seen the source code, but, i will say that, as an independent IT Consultant, the multiple examples of security holes and flaky behavior have made me a bunch of money over the years, so, I appreciate his company's efforts in my behalf. From a user's standpoint, though, it can be REALLY irritating when things do not work the way they are supposed to work, or hours of effort are lost because of unexpected software failure.

Pleasant Dreams

dave mundt

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Terry Pratchett computer sniper-scope deal inked

Dave Mundt
Happy

re: How?

greetings and salutations...

Simplistically....the wind DOES sort of deflect the laser beam. It causes density changes in the air, which refracts the light, causing the reflection of the spot to distort. Software can compare the reflected/refracted image with what was sent out, and, can determine how the density changes, and from that, what corrections need to be done to return the image to "perfection".

This technology is really useful in the astronomical world, as it allows ground-based telescopes to take vastly improved images by applying real-time corrections to the mirror to back out the distortions of the atmosphere.

About the only problem I can see is that, in the telescope context, it requires a fairly powerful laser beam to get good results. While this does not matter when one is creating an artificial star in the sky for analysis, I suspect that a target that sees a dot of light on their body, with smoke coming from it MIGHT suspect that something is wrong, and, would seek shelter fairly quickly.

regards

dave mundt

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Shopping mall mulls Supreme Court bid to back no-speaking ban

Dave Mundt

Chatting at the Mall.

Greetings and Salutations.

I am not a lawyer (my parents raised me to be ethical and honorable). However, it appears that the Mall is so far in the wrong here that the best they can do is negotiate a settlement, and move on. According to the uncontested reports, the pastor was speaking with three young ladies about his Christian views AFTER he had asked their permission and received it. It was an employee of the Mall who was offended and precipitated the unlawful detention. Some of the important points here are that the employee had no standing in the conversation, as they were not a part of it. Then, there is no indication that the pastor was soliciting anything (Most retail stores here have "no soliciting" signs on the building, as they do not want the competition). Finally, the California Supreme Court has ruled that "that the free-speech and petition provisions of the California Constitution grant mall visitors a constitutional right to free speech that outweighs the private-property interests of mall owners"

Now, when the pastor was approached by security and refused to leave when asked, he may have stepped over a line...However, if his goal was to force the issue, this was a good way to go about it. However, again, the request should never have come up, because there is no sign that he was doing anything to disrupt the shopping experience of the other folks in the Mall.

So...Looks like the lawyers will be able to argue either side of this case, and, either way will get a new Mercedes out of the deal!

Regards

Dave Mundt

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Steve Jobs denies Judas Phone antenna problems

Dave Mundt

Anechoic Chambers and Antennas

Greetings and salutations...

Because there are no surfaces for the radio waves from the antenna to bounce off of, it is possible to map the undisturbed radiation pattern of the antenna. Useful to know what direction the antenna is pumping out that power, and, probably in this case, how that radiation pattern changes when the antenna gets touched.

Regards

dave mundt

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Secret ancient code, basis of all modern civilisation, cracked

Dave Mundt
FAIL

Where is the reply link?

Greetings and Salutations.

The link is there, but the CSS apparently gets interpreted as white text on a white background. Makes it a TAD hard to read!

Say...REG....how about FIXING that?

regards

dave mundt

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Opera pushes out 10.6 preview

Dave Mundt
Unhappy

Does it still leak memory....

Like an incontinent old man? I hope the development team has gotten that issue addressed, as I get tired of having to kill the process and restart every couple of hours or so.

It is especially annoying because I have used Opera since it came out, and, have been quite a fan of it. However, right now I am using Firefox, because of the memory leak problem. Typically on my system, Opera will go from using 20% of memory to using 75% of memory over a couple or three hours. I can even watch the memory usage slowly grow when the browser is just SITTING there!

Beyond that...it is a great piece of software.

regards

dave mundt

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Sun man and 'Bond nemesis' celebrate 25 years of dotcom

Dave Mundt
Happy

Man from U.N.C.L.E. of course...

Greetings and Salutations...

Yes, that little factual mis-step jumped out at me too. However, that is the problem with the youth of today...they have no education in the classics...(*smile*).

Speaking of which, there is an amusing cop show on American TV called "NCIS", wherein David McCallum plays the medical examiner, and, actually does quite a good job of creating an amusing character that one really cares about. However, my POINT here is that in a recently re-run episode, one of the characters asks another "I wonder what he looked like when he was younger?" The second character replies "Illya Kuryakin", and walks way with this little, smart-a$$ grin on his face. This was an amusing episode too, because it featured a small part for several Corgis...

Regards

Dave Mundt

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'Code theft trader' denied bail

Dave Mundt
FAIL

Surely you jest???

I had to read that FBI press release twice, and, still checked to make sure I was not being re-directed to The Onion!

Just the thought of this guy pasting tens of thousands of lines of code to a WORD document, then printing it out causes a little twitch in my left eyelid. I cannot believe that security is SO good there that he could not have walked in with a thumb drive and simply dumped the data to IT.

Besides that, how are they going to get this code back into the machine so it can be compiled? OCR? I doubt it. While the science has made great strides forwards in the past decade or so, this is not a case here 95% accuracy is acceptable. Hand Typing? Probably, but, again, they would likely end up spending as much in tracking down bugs caused by typographic errors as they would in simply writing the code from scratch.

It just causes me to shake my head in disbelief, and, start that search for the BIG clown-hammer again.

Pleasant Dreams

Dave Mundt

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Gene that allows growing a new head identified

Dave Mundt
Thumb Up

Those wild and crazy planaria...

Greetings and Salutations.

There is a classic book here in the USA, titled "Animals without Backbones" (and no it does NOT mention politicians anywhere in its several hundred pages), that has a section on the Planaria worm. There are a number of amazing photos, including one where the researcher split the head in half, along the central line of the body, then, after those heads regenerated, continued the process until they ended up with a worm with about 16 heads. The "expression" on a Planaria worm is puzzled at best, and with 16 heads it made it quite amusing.

Although it was published in 1938, it is still considered a great reference and textbook. By the by, it was also what my parents would read to me when I was growing up to put me to sleep...and THAT might explain a number of things (*smile*).

Pleasant dreams

Dave Mundt

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Rogue admin waits for verdict

Dave Mundt
FAIL

Another facet to this complicated story...

Greetings and Salutations.

As other sites have reported, the issue was that Mr. Childs was bound by policy limitations as to who he could turn the passwords over to. The people that were demanding the passwords from him were, arguably, NOT authorized to have them, and, the fact that the person asking for them had a bunch of other random folks with them who were REALLY not authorized to have the passwords, made it even more important that Mr. Childs follow policy and NOT reveal the passwords in question. Had he done so, he would have been criminally liable for breaching policy, and, likely would be exactly where he is today. Now...when the Mayor visited him in his prison cell, Mr. Childs did turn over the passwords in question as the Mayor WAS authorized to receive them under the policy rules.

There has been a lot written about this, and a lot of it seems to be unhindered by consideration of the facts of the case.

As for the charges that lead to this trial, sadly enough, it looks far more as if it is that Mr. Childs' actions got publicized and embarrassed the DA and other highly placed officials in the government, so, the goal ceased to be justice, and, became "let's squash the snotty little bug".

I suspect that Mr. Childs is not the most pleasant person in the world, either, so, that simply added fuel to the fires...

pleasant dreams.

Dave Mundt

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Amazon sues US state on customers' privacy

Dave Mundt

About Ebay's data retention...

Annoyingly enough, I could not find the video about this, but, I recall an interview with "Meg" Whitman, ex-president of Ebay, where she was cheerfully saying that Ebay has a copy of every transaction ever run through the site, from day one. This was, as I recall, as part of a presentation to a bunch of marketing guys, and, I believe she was pushing how profitable renting the demographic information Ebay keeps would be.

So...the bottom line is that these companies all keep as much data as they can...

Pleasant dreams

Dave Mundt

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Death row inmate claims allergy to lethal injection

Dave Mundt
Stop

Facts...what are the facts

Not to get into a large argument here, but, a quick look at the crime statistics from the early 60s to 2008 (available here: http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/ohcrime.htm ) shows that there was a jump at about 1970, but, since then, the numbers have stayed pretty steady, simply fluctuating down and up a bit. As a matter of fact, in the past five or six years there appears to be a slow but steady net DECREASE in violent and other crimes.

I do not think that the death penalty works as an overall deterrent. However, it works very well for the individual being killed. Death is a solid guarantee that individual will not be a danger to society again.

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FBI calls for two year retention for ISP data

Dave Mundt
FAIL

Who pays for this?

Greetings and Salutations.

One thing that is often overlooked is the actual cost of this insane request. Access logs can take up huge amounts of space - up to Terabytes per DAY. This will cost huge amounts to retain this data for any amount of time, and, would be a terribly unfair burden for the consumers. I say the consumers, because of course, the ISPs are NOT going to eat these costs themselves but will pass the cost along to their subscribers.

Another technical issue is that there is no way to filter the logs - so a DDOS attack can produce millions of valid-looking entries in very little time. Finding particular entries in this mass of data would be like finding a specific grain of sand on a beach. Not impossible, but, nearly so.

regards

dave mundt

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'God help our smartphones,' vicar prays

Dave Mundt
Flame

About that laptop running Windows...

Did it, by any chance, burst into flames, and release a terrible, sulferous smoke, while the rafters echoed with the distant wails of the Damned?

Considering what I have to struggle with on a daily basis...that is the outcome I would have expected.

Regards

Dave Mundt

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Boys in blue caught breaking IT rules

Dave Mundt
Stop

re: Nothing New...

Greetings and Salutations.

Here in the USA, It has been long true that Law Enforcement Officers have a simple picture of reality. In their internal model, there are only THREE kinds of people: 1) Cops. 2) Family of Cops. 3) Perps/Criminals. The longer I live, the more I realize that this is the view of LEOs in ALL cultures.

The sort of harassment that you mention happens here too. There are, alas, no good ways to deal with it and get it to stop. Running away used to help, but, in today's world of instant communication, that is less effective. I would suggest that a good defensive measure would be to purchase a notebook, and, record, in ink, every time a stop happens. Write down the date, the time, the badge number of the LEO, if possible, and/or the Unit Number on their vehicle. Also, take time to write down, as exactly as one can remember, what was said. The good news is that there are some excellent, sensitive and reliable digital recorders available on Ebay and other sources that can go a long way towards helping keep that record accurate. This will not make the harassment stop, but, it can be a powerful tool after a year or so if one wishes to use the spotlight of publicity to scare away the LEOs.

In most cases, all one can do is hunker down, and just take it until the predators lose interest and move on to other, more interesting targets.

Pleasant Dreams

Dave Mundt

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'CRU cherrypicked Russian climate data', says Russian

Dave Mundt
WTF?

when, exactly, did the scientific method die?

Greetings and Salutations.

My father was a Microbiologist, and, spent most of his professional life researching yeasts and molds. His method was to gather as much data as possible, and see what results stemmed from it. I believe he would be shocked and dismayed to see this widespread tendency to come up with a conclusion, then, find the data that supports it.

Those so-called scientists who are doing this, either to push a personal agenda or to ensure the continuation of grant money should be ashamed of themselves, and, should either clean up their act, or get drummed out of the scientific community!

This sort of activity not only wastes huge amounts of resources, but, what is worse, undercuts the credibility of the scientific community, making it far harder for the good scientists who are following good protocols and producing good results to be believed.

I observed elsewhere that it appears that the entire world is falling into a pit of hair-trigger, paranoid madness. This example, sadly, supports that belief. I hope I am wrong, but, I fear I am not...

Pleasant Dreams

Dave Mundt

4
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Intel staff 'fired' in ring piece stunt

Dave Mundt
Megaphone

How about the Outpost.com hamster cannon?

Greetings and Salutations....

and if anyone has a link to the outpost.com commercial that involved firing hamsters from a cannon at the hole in the "O", I would LOVE to have it again. That was a great piece of politically incorrect film that is worth watching.

regards

dave mundt

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Facebook kills 'Kill Obama' poll

Dave Mundt
Alert

So what WERE the Poll results?

While it is a pretty tacky poll, I would be more interested in finding out what the results of those 760 or so votes were. Perhaps it created such a furor because the results were so highly biased towards "yes". Also, frankly, 760 or so persons are a pretty small sampling of the millions of Americans on line...so perhaps if the poll had been left up a bit longer, it would have gotten a bit more representative view of the American public on the question.

Sadly enough, though, while the White House denies it, I fear that too much of the opposition to Pres. Obama's administration is racially motivated, and, that is the sort of motivation that creates polls like this.

Regards

Dave Mundt

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Blind one-legged man wins arse-kicking contest

Dave Mundt
Pint

Missed it by *THAT* much....

Greetings and Salutations....

How sad that this fell almost a full week after the official "Talk Like A Pirate" day. (http://www.talklikeapirate.com/). Ignoring the human tragedy here, it would have made it even funnier.

Of course, this is also a good example of the way that Prosecutors all around the world try to inflate the seriousness of the crime, to make their records look even more impressive. Keeping the citizenry in a state of panic over this apparent mad attempt at Bloody Murder is a sure bet to keep that slippery slope to the desired Totalitarian State well lubricated.

Considering the facts given, I think the court's final finding of misdemeanor resisting arrest to actually be the most sane and logical charge. However, a few years ago, all that would have happened would have been that the cops would have grabbed the guy, tossed him in a cell overnight to sober up, and sent him home with no official record generated.

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Panicky Plod apologises to Innocent Terror Techie

Dave Mundt
Grenade

Congratulations on standing up to city hall!

Greetings and Salutations..

I am glad to see the update on this disgraceful situation, and to see that there is finally some recognition by the government that they were in the wrong. While I would not hold my breath while waiting for this to actually CHANGE their behavior, it is a good point and perhaps may do something to slow the descent into a Totalitarian Police State.

Terrorism is an awful thing, and should be condemned where-ever it raises its ugly head. However, for the government to use that excuse to suddenly consider every citizen to be a dangerous enemy of the state, and, to move on to implement the record keeping, constant surveillance and tight control of a Totalitarian Police State is a horrible way of dealing with the problem. This sort of reaction, and the way the government acted to attempt to PROVE the rightness of their actions in this example, simply means that the terrorists are winning.

The only way we (both in America and Great Britain) can truly win against terrorism is to maintain our free society in spite of it.

Regards

Dave Mundt

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Word handling bug shoots down StarOffice

Dave Mundt
Unhappy

Another Windows Malware Problem

Greetings and Salutations.

From looking at some of the postings for various distributions, it looks like that windows IS most Vulnerable (what a surprise), with mostly Linux/Apple problems stemming from the fact that the underflows will raise an exception and probably cause OO to burp (or maybe crash).

It MIGHT allow code to execute...but I am skeptical. And in any case, unless the Linux/Apple user is running as Admin, the user will end up shooting only themselves in the foot.

Regards

dave mundt

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Mozilla catches half of Firefox users running insecure Flash

Dave Mundt

Why would folks NOT upgrade flash?

Greetings and Salutations...

Well, I spent several days last week cleaning a particularly nasty worm off one client's computer that got its hooks into the system via a YouTube video that CLAIMED that they needed to upgrade their flash player to view. This sort of thing makes a person gunshy about updating, and, the average user cannot always tell when it is a legitimate upgrade suggestion, or, a foul piece of code trying to screw up their system.

It was bad enough that I ended up having to wipe the hard drive, and do a clean install of Windows to get rid of it.

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Doctor Who fans name best episode ever

Dave Mundt
Linux

Too Many Good Lines...

Greetings and Salutations....

Alas, I have not seen ALL the episodes, but, the thing that impresses me about them is the continual flood of amusingly subtle (and not so subtle) humor that shows up. The Talons of Weng-Chaing is one of my favorite episodes, too, both for the over the top acting and, that golden moment when Li H'sen Chang opens the box of swords, to discover that the Dr. has slipped out; looks at the audience and says in that delightfully bad Chinese accent "One of us is Yellow...".

All in all, though Dr. Who demonstrates that a well written show, even with cheesy effects and amazingly huge calls for the suspension of disbelief can provide pleasure for generation after generation, and, can evolve to bring a "reality" to the characters in it. Some of the recent episodes where the Dr. has been truly scary have done just that, and have enriched the show by the exposure of these facets of his complex personality.

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Opera 10 hits release candidate status

Dave Mundt
FAIL

but have they fixed the memory problem?

Greetings and salutations.

I like opera a lot, and use it almost exclusively. However, the fact that it slowly will grab more and more memory, until it brings everything to a creaking, cold molasses covered crawl is more than JUST a little annoying.

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Model-slag blogger sues Google for blowing her cover

Dave Mundt
Flame

29....Pot calling kettle black, I think...

Hum...no WONDER she is squalling like a cat with its tail under the rocker! In America, it seems that in the game of "female perfection", not only is 29 over the hill, but, there are distinct smells of putrefaction in the immediate area.

While it is IMPORTANT to be able to speak anonymously, and I reluctantly support this chick's right to do so, it is only while holding my nose. That is one of the drawbacks to that "First Amendment thing". It protects both pleasant and unpleasant speech. So...thanks to a cat fight between immature, pampered wenches with an overblown sense of self worth, another chunk is taken out of the freedoms we enjoy in America.

What a world.

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Riot police raid birthday barbecue for 'all-night' Facebook tag

Dave Mundt
Unhappy

Thanks to our English Cousins!

Greetings and Salutations from across the Pond.

I take a moment to thank you for this great and unexpected gift! This story takes the heat off the southern arc of states here in the competition to find which state has the lowest average IQ! We enjoy and invite international entries in the Great Competition, and while this is truly an excellent entry, I suspect we will manage to come up with an even more bone-headed example of overkill in the near future.

In a less joking manner, though, I have to say that HAD I been in residence at said party, I suspect I would have been less than willing to get kicked out of it. I also suspect that a few arrests for this sort of public protest would have made for even more juicy headlines.

Although I am sure we do not have all the facts, I find it hard to believe that 30 year old adults would be holding a rave. That seems to be the specialty of the teenagers (who should have that sort of thing squashed) I COULD see said adults having a party with annoying loud music and too much drinking...but, in THAT case the police should deal with that AFTER the offense has happened...It is a terrible erosion of freedom (what little is left) to start policing private parties BEFORE anything has happened, because something MIGHT happen.

I could rant on, but, will finish by saying that I have great sympathy for y'all. It is a sad state of affairs that the country that created the Magna Carta has fallen into.

Regards & best of luck

Dave Mundt

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Net sleuth calls eBay on carpet over shill bidding

Dave Mundt
Alert

of COURSE Ebay winks at shill bidding...

Try to remember that, like most corporations today, Ebay exists to pull as much money out of the pockets of consumers as is possible, with the minimal amount of work and expense on their part. It IS the capitalist way. There have been blatant examples of shill bidding since the inception of the business, and, their general response has been apathy at best. Years ago, I pointed out a number of likely candidates for that sort of deception...what did I get? A form letter back saying that they had investigated but found no evidence of such activity. This could be true, but, I doubted it then, and, doubt it now.

As earlier posters have noted, the changes to "increase security" by making bidders and sellers anonymous has done little except make it harder to track possible abuses, and, to ensure that Ebay makes as much as possible.

The only way to fix the problem now is for a mass exodus to an alternative auction site.

regards

dave mundt

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Anti-smut Baroness sent to solitary

Dave Mundt
Flame

Sounds like SOMEBODY needs to get laid

Greetings and salutations from across the Pond.

A good example of the sort of "do-gooder", busybody with too much time on her hands that is such a thorn in the flesh here in America. It is the sort of annoyingly maternal view that believes that everyone else is a mewling infant, and only THAT person knows what is best for them.

Our government has, for some years, been trying to train the citizenry that they are powerless and unable to make good decisions on their own, and only the Government REALLY knows what is best for us. This is so wrong on so many levels that it is not EVEN funny. Take a hint from our Declaration of Independence about government's true relationship to the citizens.

Good luck escaping the nanny state!

regards

Dave Mundt

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Kaspersky beats Zango in malware classification case

Dave Mundt
Grenade

re: the subtitle, etc

Greetings and salutations.

Here in America, we call it a F***king shovel....(as the joke goes - and yes...this is a VERY on-topic comment)

However, this is a good example of why the CDA is a poorly written law that got pushed through on the emotional wave of "it's for the children"...instead of some rational way of putting up appropriate roadblocks to minimize the chance of an emotionally traumatic image being dumped on a person who is not yet mature enough to deal with it. The law's language SPECIFICALLY targets pornography through most of the text, but, alas, has a really bad "and other objectionable material" clause tossed in at the end. This massive, Big Rig sized loophole is probably the basis of the lawsuit, and, really should be removed.

Actually, I think the whole CDA should be stricken from the books, and, the responsibility of dealing with the kid's exposure to sex be dumped back in the parent's lap, where it used to be and where the responsibility SHOULD be.

But that is just me.

Regards

Dave Mundt

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Microsoft fans call for Opera boycott

Dave Mundt
Linux

Opera as a browser and Microsoft holding the Moral High Ground

Greetings and Salutations.

1) I use Opera for about 95% of my web browsing. The ONLY problems I have run into are on websites that are so badly programmed that they will ONLY work with IE or Firefox, or, since I also run Linux, require some M$-Centric thing like running an Active-X control. It is a great piece of software, in that it is small, fast, and, very solid.

2) M$ will have to work very hard and very long to reach a point where they have the moral high ground in the software world. They have such a striking history of underanded and overbearing dealings to push bad software that they already start from a losing position. Their

FanBoys are nothing more than the annoying imps, scurrying around one's feet and poking at one's ankles with their little pitchforks, attempting to be significant.

Not that I have a bad attitude about Microsoft and its software, of course. I just seem to run right on the verge of ulcers from the stresses of having to keep the blasted systems running well and virus/malware free. The Linux systems I administer just keep ticking along...it is great.

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eBay gets negative feedback about ban on negative feedback

Dave Mundt
Joke

Ebay's feedback system...

I stirred the pot a couple of years ago, trying to get some momentum to change the feedback system. Although I got a lot of positive remarks on forums from buyers and a lot of negative arguments from sellers, nothing seemed to happen. Then, suddenly, Ebay adds the multiple star ratings to feedback - amazingly similar to what I had proposed.

At least I can have a good feeling that I was right, and that it DID need to happen, even if I did not get even a thank you from corporate for suggesting it.

Now, as for not being able to leave negative feedback for buyers. I Don't support that, as I think that the field should be pretty open. The fact that Ebay splits up feedback between selling and buying now allows a buyer to determine if a given vendor is a more or less safe bet. Feedback for buyers has been useful to me, though, as it has helped me understand the reason for negative feedback for a given seller.

I am not sure that I am happy that they are going to "age off" feedback. I fear that this will allow a bad seller to simply play nice for a bit, then, get to a point that they look good, and can hook in a bunch of buyers before sticking it to them.

I don't just look at the numbers of positive/negative feedbacks, but, rather check how they are distributed, and, look at what percentages of the total mass are negative and positive. Alas, it is true enough that there are some folks that are impossible to please, and, one way or another a seller will end up with a negative feedback from them. However, if that seller has 95% positive feedbacks, and, there seems to be reasonable explanations on the negative feedback exchange, that does not mean I will not buy from that vendor.

I do like very much sellers that give feedback when they ship the package out. That seems an appropriate time for them to do it. The only negative I have gotten so far was retalitory, in that I negged a guy for not following through on a sale, and, he negged me with false claims about bouncing an E-check on him. My feeling was that he got a better offer on the item I was purchasing, so blew off my bid, and sold it to someone else.

By the by...speaking of E-checks and such, that brings to mind Paypal. which was mentioned earlier too. In terms of payments and such, remember that Ebay, which owns Paypal, is making a truckload of money every day on the "float" on payments, so, they are unlikely to EVER cut down on the four or five days it takes to credit a payment to a seller. They pull the funds out of my bank account by midnight of the day I make the payment, and hold onto them for at least four full days before crediting them to the seller. What do they do with that cash in that time? Believe me, it does not go into a big piggy bank somewhere in the Midwest of America! They are likely investing it in overnight and very short term loans with relatively high interest rates, and keeping that income for management and stockholders. On top of that, they ding the sellers for fees!

While the overnight interest on a US$40 transaction is not much at all, remember that they are collecting over a million payments a DAY, and THAT starts to mount up to a decent pile of cash.

I could go on, but, there are only terabytes of storage out there, so I probably should leave a bit of space for other, wiser folks...

Thanks for listening.

Dave Mundt

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