* Posts by AustinTX

98 posts • joined 15 Jul 2008

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Palo Alto IDs another C&C-over-DNS attack

AustinTX
Boffin

Probably trivial to protect against

This 'attack' seems to rely on the malware using a DNS server of it's choice. Lots of SOHO routers have a feature to transparently grab outgoing SMTP and redirect it to a preferred one. Especially if those routers have "captive portal" (ala free hotspot) or "guest" features. It should be pretty simple to redirect all of the outgoing DNS traffic, too. In fact, the "for pay hotspots" have this feature by default. A legitimate DNS server will either reject or ignore the C&C strings.

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Coders crack Oculus DRM in 24 hours, open door to mass piracy

AustinTX

Re: This whole thing pisses me off.

@John Bailey: I get your point, however it is self-evident that content providers would rather have control over their product than have a larger market.

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AustinTX

Re: This whole thing pisses me off.

@PJF: I'm looking forward to the return of the Power Glove... which of course needs the latest computing hardware and a quarter billion lines of code to function, for some reason.

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AustinTX

Re: This whole thing pisses me off.

@goldcd: Your beef is with the content providers who doubtless threatened to boycott Oculus.

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Speaking in Tech: Uber and Lyft tell Austin: Hell no, we won't give you the finger

AustinTX
Megaphone

Lyft & Uber's still delivering passengers in Austin

Uber and Lyft are both apparently still delivering passengers in Austin. They simply pick them up outside, in the suburbs. Folks can try using Get Me to pick them up inside the city to take them back home. Uber Food, a delivery service, is still operating too. Your Get Me driver will probably also be an Uber/Lyft driver anyway.

Most Austinites who voted against Uber and Lyft weren't even customers. These were knee-jerk SPITE VOTES due to a deceptive campaign by the City of Austin to demonize the rideshare companies as "bullying the city" with "corporate threats", when actually, the City changed their terms after Uber & Lyft made agreements when they opened here for business.

Austinites are famous for voting against their own best interests because they're culturally vulnerable to fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) packaged as defending their right to choose. This only applies to certain "enemies" of course. People like to think themselves liberal here, but they have the southerner's "you can't tell me what to think" attitude which means they live and vote with such closed minds. It's an insult to them, to open a dialogue or try to educate.

Now, we've lost rideshare CHOICES and the corrupt taxi companies have their near-monopoly back. Hu-farking-rah.

That said, I don't think requiring fingerprints is too much to ask. I get fingerprinted for IT contracts. There are too few fingerprinting service offices here, though. I've driven to San Antonio to get fingerprinted because the local ones had no appointment slots! If I were a driver, I would pay for my own background check as long as my rideshare network refunded my money after a few months of active service.

Our public transportation isn't terrible, either, though I won't ride home during rush hour. Busses can be packed nightmarishly full. Also, despite a recent reorganization, busses still mainly just run along certain main roads and lots of the city is underserved. I bike whenever possible, though let me go on the record of saying that Austin's "bikeability" rating is an obscene farce. Motorists hate bikers, and the lay of the streets is very dangerous for biking. We do have a lot of bikers who don't obey traffic laws though.

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Congress calls for change to NSA spying law

AustinTX

Even as a kid, I wondered why the rules were different for foreigners than it was for us. I mean, sure I understand that a visiting foreigner isn't entitled to request welfare and such, but then, our government was always so very eager to dispatch them without employing the time-honored system of justice we supposedly feel is superior to that of the rest of the world.

It seemed like the gov held an actual grudge against the American way of life and liberty, since they would circumvent it at any opportunity. The government demonstrates that it would prefer not to follow these laws, you see. In their heart of hearts, they don't feel it's the best way to do things. This is critically dangerous.

As a teen then, it was little surprise to learn that the USA keeps prisons and torture facilities in foreign countries on the theory that they're then not bound to follow our laws there. It seems that when one of our agents or officers steps off USA soil, they shrug of all of the laws of our land, except those which please them.

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AustinTX

'no one has "ever demonstrated that a terrorist attack was stopped through Internet monitoring"'

Yah, sure they SAY there were those, uhm, 3-4 instances. They didn't say what they were, though. And they had to walk back that count, too.

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ICANN knifes Africa's internet: New top-level domains terminated

AustinTX

Re: @Austix TX - why customers left those walled gardens

@DougS: Don't forget that when phone companies brought "web browsing" to cell phones, they fought hard to keep people in walled gardens too. The service providers hoped to make content providers and consumers alike pay, and make themselves the only way to come together. But, customers had already heard of "the Internet". Ultimately, it fell apart because it cost the providers far more to maintain the artificial restrictions than it benefited them. As I said, customers didn't like paying more for a restricted network than others were paying for open Internet.

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AustinTX

Re: They CANNT (which people)

@veti: yes, and perhaps this is why Google hasn't made the plunge yet. People want more flexibility in domain names. Google wants us to give up domain names. Once their URL-shortener runs out of combinations, they may change their minds. More about that at:

https://mParuMlWQpk5UjfamngwCeFMSBTjQwiOlHrBvVbjRYSsK648NvaYgUr1NmsSzFSEkjIPCfwzp56kE1MMQuEfKmOfq4o2ogBhm9RpZ5U3P500WNTmQyueUxwTfSAvFuVMrgDdH5E70hK9TgOWIt3p5ejqIVS38Pdwccamb8I1JOV8xGYxmvrZpu40hxgFefdWpUwxvZreTp1Q3uXv4GIzR3O2De1ZJG5hpey5SV2pOIwQhhgtu3aMz2AWUDEuxXf93oAM

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AustinTX

Re: @AustinTX, re: DNS.

See, an actual walled garden, by definition, doesn't let you visit places outside. But I welcome the good, old fashioned anti-aol nerdrage! :)

You should realize those "members only" sites didn't exist on the open Internet at all, but rather on the paid service's internal network. Charging corporations extra to reach a minuscule extra percentage of eyes, was never going to last. If someone is adding value to your service, they expect to be paid, not charged!

Furthermore, customers jumped ship from those old walled gardens because they didn't like being restricted AND charged for free content. In time, I think the same effect will kill ICANN. The fella posting earlier stated that his ISP uses google DNS by default. Those are the first steps. (So does my ISP, but then, I have Google Fiber, lol)

ICANN is the walled garden here. It may be a big garden, but they're a monopoly on domain names, and as long as that goes on, they'll be free to make any rule that benefits them and charge any amount they think they can get away with. For providing no real service.

What I'm proposing is a better, opt-in, more flexible and less-restricted "list" of sites that *includes* ICANN's. This is good, legal, and ICANN can't do a thing about it.

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AustinTX

Re: They CANNT

@Terry.6: A good point. What carrot to hang from the stick? How not to become the new oppressor? Since this opens up a tremendous amount of new 'real estate', every organization, company and internet provider will be eager to secure their namesake. And, if they want to homestead their new domain name, make it a requirement that they use and promote the alt-DNS too.

The application could include a field to submit trademarks, so that anyone who later applies to register a name containing those phrases will be flagged for review. Impose a fee at cost. There would be a list of exceptions one can pick from a list, such as "I-hate-%domainname%" or "%domainname%-fansite" so bloggers can launch their free speech or parody site without delay.

I mean, you can lob gruesome obstacles at me all day, and I can post creative solutions back atcha. I've been thinking about this for years.

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AustinTX

They CANNT

Isn't it clear that ICANN doesn't facilitate services? Instead, they charge big money to remove encumbrances. Seriously, we don't need this obscenely corrupt company any more!

It's insane to be charged money for the right to tack a dot and a reserved word onto the end of our web addresses. I wish an influential Internet company like Google, OpenDNS, or the like would implement their own non-ICANN domain registry. By that, we could register any 256-character string as a domain name the same way we used to register free subdomains. People need only configure their DNS server to one of these providers to enable an overlay of non-ICANN domains, which falls back to ICANN if there is no match. This does lower the bar to enabling certain misuses, but the current system hasn't exactly had much effect on spam, phishing and malware.

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Edward Snowden sues Norway to prevent extradition

AustinTX

Re: It's a Trap!!!

Send someone incognito, with the implication that it's Snowden himself, just to see what hijinks ensue.

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AustinTX

"My fellow Norwegian countryjmen, we are gathered together to decide whether the laws and policies of the USA are enforceable within Norway, and whether our police and military must obey orders from the USA government. 'Cause we don't know anymore!"

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Sysadmin given Licence To Perve shows why you always get it in writing

AustinTX

SAID NO MANAGER EVER

“I'm apparently an idiot for yelling at this poor man for doing a job he have been ordered to do,” the manager said. “I will hereby leave and beg for his forgiveness.”

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Bypass the Windows AppLocker bouncer with a tweet-size command

AustinTX

Like good ole Windows Media Player

Reminds me of when we used Media Player to get into Internet Settings and turn off restrictions so we could browse the open web at work.

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VXers pass stolen card data over DNS

AustinTX

What you want to do is transparently redirect all traffic on the DNS port to your internal DNS server. This way, you benefit from security alerts when those seemingly-corrupt packets from infected machines are logged. DNS (and SMTP) redirection is standard for captive portals (public wifi hotspots). If you don't capture the DNS, then a bit of software on your portable can tunnel everything over 53 TCP and you get free wifi.

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Which keys should I press to enable the CockUp feature?

AustinTX

Re: I avoided a prank once

Oh my... I do admire your *amazingly* large hands, sir!

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How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript

AustinTX

Take Your Ball And Leave, Will Ya?

Bwaha! We stole your ball back!

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Microsoft adds 'non-security updates' to security patches

AustinTX

Yes, it would be nice to have a resident program that blocks microsoft's resident infection. Something that auto-updates so I can put it on customer's PCs and leave it. I have "GWX Control Panel" installed on several machines, but it really just watches for KB3035583 and, ironically, it puts an even more prominent [10] icon on the task tray.

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AustinTX
Terminator

It didn't happen to me

Ran the updates the other night. For whatever reason, KB3146449 wasn't installed on my machine.

However, KB3035583 was included in the list of "Important Updates" again FOR THE FIFTH TIME.

I keep unchecking it and hiding it. It keeps coming back like pernicious cancer.

Here's my compiled list of unwanted WX and telemetry "updates" which I keep an eye out for. You can put these in a batch file and run as Administrator:

wusa /uninstall /kb:2952664 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:2976978 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:3022345 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:3035583 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:3068708 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:3075249 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:3080149 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:3146449 /norestart

I have W7, so there are actually several more which W8it users should worry about. Once you run the batch, reboot, then launch WU, Search for updates, and manually hide each of the KBs which come back. That'll keep them at bay until microcrap sends the secret signal to unhide them again, heh.

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I beg you, please don't back up that secret directory full of photos!

AustinTX

Re: "Some things seen can't be unseen."

This reminds me of when I and a girlfriend dropped off some film at a 1-hour place at the mall. I was distracted arguing with her about the personal nature of the photos (she didn't care) that I didn't notice, until returning, that their developing machine displayed photos on a conveyor along the front window. And to think the staff gave *us* dirty looks!

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AustinTX

Re: In the olden days

I still don't, hehehe.

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AustinTX

I always kept my various .bat files in C:/belfrey

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AustinTX

The things you learn about your friends

I guess what surprised me the most, when I worked on one client's PC, was who the photos showed that it was that did what. You see, one of them looked like Johnny Weir, and the other like Colonel Sanders. Johnny Weir does not look good in a leather chest harness, and Colonel Sanders does not look good wrapped in saran wrap.

I also used to work for a local dialup ISP which did a really piss-poor job of setting permissions on user directories. They had a telnet address where, upon connection, all guests were provided the text-only web browser Lynx as a shell. There, customers could access forms to update their password, contact info, etc.

Did you know, Lynx isn't a half-bad file manager too? Not as good as Midnight Commander, but you can browse around, and it even facilitates downloading files locally. So, the keystrokes are "(press G, period, enter)" (Google that WITH the quotes for a treat), and they were not disabled by the ISP.

Years later, after they had supposedly "hardened" their network to try and sell "security services", anyone could still browse the private folders and files of most customers. The ISP had been very popular at one time, and had a ridiculously short domain name, so many of my friends and colleagues had email and web space there. It was amusing to find out who among them were furries, prostitutes and foreskin-restorers.

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Gopher server revived after 15 years of downtime

AustinTX

Re: needs some work

Could be there were problems which they fixed.

I'm browsing it using Lynx browser and it's lightening-fast.

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AustinTX

Gopher is all cleartext anyway, man.

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AustinTX

Re: Good Gopher Times

BTW, if you want to visit Gopherspace, there are still, well, dozens of servers to connect to and thousands of relatively updated links. Google 'em. You'll likely find that your browser no longer supports gopher:// addresses, but if you install Lynx on a Unix/Linux system, it still supports it. Lynx actually makes a handy file manager if Midnight Commander is too heavyweight for ya. See paragraph on bottom right here: io.fondoo.net

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AustinTX

Good Gopher Times

Back when I was a college boy, I got my Internets for free by dialing up the local university's free Gopher-only dialin for library book availability. You dialed in just like it was a BBS or CompuServe, only you just got their Gopherspace.

I could maneuver my way into a real free Unix account provided by cyberspace.com by using Gopher search engines (Archie, Jughead and Veronica were the Google, Yahoo and Bing in those days) to find a "gopher to telnet gateway". I typed the destination into the gateway's Gopher page field, and if it was agreeable, my screen turned into a telnet window.

Cyberspace gave free trial accounts to anyone who applied online, so from that point I had a real commandline and tools like Lynx and Pine. Pine got me my email and newsgroups and Lynx got me my web pages sans images and file downloads. If I wanted anything on my local machine, I had to mail it to myself at a local BBS (9JACK9) which connected periodically to the Internet since the nature of my connection prevented X/Y/Zmodem from working.

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AustinTX

Gopher vs FTP

An FTP server generally displays folders full of files and symbolic links in the order which they actually appear in real folders on the server. Like an HTTP directory listing. The FTP server generally only displays files and folders on one server - it doesn't span servers (though this can be accomplished). Also, FTP is technically a command-line interface though this is masked by using a GUI FTP client. FTP directory contents are fundamentally bound to real accounts existing on the server.

A Gopher page's content is arranged at-will and contains hot-links to pages and documents on various servers. Just think of Gopher as the web without embedded images or self-launching widgets (though there can be entry fields and submit links for search engines and such).

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Tor users are actively discriminated against by website operators

AustinTX

Re: HELLO I AM TOR ENDPOINT LOL

Well, that's if the discriminator is inspecting packets. Inspecting host names is trivial. I've paid attention to this when I've encountered "you can't tor us" messages. Refresh the 'identity' a number of times and you'll find that the one they accept doesn't have 'tor' in it as I said.

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AustinTX

HELLO I AM TOR ENDPOINT LOL

If TOR endpoints don't want to be discriminated preemptively, they ought to not register a domain name that has the string tor (or snowden, etc.) embedded in it, and they should opt-out of being listed on the web page that shows endpoint status.

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Standing desks have no effect on productivity, boffins find

AustinTX

Not Your Average Office Environment

I don't think they tested productivity in the right sort of setting. Call centre workers are pushed to the absolute limit no matter what kind of desk they have. You spend a whole working day with your mind separated from your body as you talk back and forth and record details on keyboard without thinking about it. Being really uncomfortable doesn't much impact productivity.

Let's see how productivity is affected when you test the sort of environment where a comfortable Airon chair is an invitation to tip back with feet up and browse the Internet with the mouse. At a standing desk, you'll remain alert and your full range of tools and supplies are always within hand's reach.

One last thing is that the article's title almost sounds negative about standing desks. Spin it a different way and you could have said that the healthier desks did not *impact* productivity, so readers see that it's an advantage.

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D&D geeks were right – their old rule books ARE worth something now

AustinTX

Re: AD&D, Digitised

Ahh, Castle Ravenloft... I was a temporary worker at a printing company who was producing this one. I spirited out several copies of the module as whole uncut sheets. Like a poster, complete with calibration marks along the sides. I wonder what they're worth now? :D

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Austinites outraged as Google Fiber tears up Texas capital

AustinTX

Take it from a local

I'm a long-term Austin citizen with Google Fiber partly installed (the fiber's not live yet, so they haven't brought the router out). While I see clues here and there that the subcontractors doing various legwork and digging are a bit detached from the smiley-face Google Fiber cheerleaders, they've been very helpful and personable for us.

My experience with Texans, Austinites, and particularly with my south side neighbors compels me to disclose that no-one loves a shark frenzy like this mob. You simply would not believe what kinds of things they whip into some sort of social or safety crisis. Picture a city packed solid with small-town busybodies. Once a target has been selected, everyone jumps in and tries to tear a hunk of flesh out for themselves. No-one is ever *for* anything; they're always just opposed to something.

Google Fiber is doing a fine job, though they do seem to be about 1-1.5 years behind schedule, heh. I credit the delay with them moving with necessary diligence. My only complaint is that they chose the deplorable "teleNetwork" call center to serve as their local customer service. I worked for them at one time.

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Alleged Anonymous hacker rescued off Cuba by Disney cruise ship

AustinTX
Big Brother

He did what?

Exercised his free speech anonymously. So naturally the authorities insist on making an example of him. Beware, citizens! Free speech does not extend to discussions about enemies of the State!

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Big Brother's pet unicorn Palantir closes the Kimono

AustinTX
Big Brother

Portent of things to come?

So what the hell is happening here? We know 'retired' FBI/CIA/NSA/GCHQ types like to launch "private" companies which find the government all the contractors they need to do their dirty work. Companies who provide all of the data-vacuuming services which the government is unable to do legally. And make a profit doing it.

Now, are we seeing private industries who are not part of the shadow brotherhood being gobbled up so that there are no freelancers capable of feats which the spooks can do?

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US government's $6bn super firewall doesn't even monitor web traffic

AustinTX
Big Brother

THIS

is how I would either scam the government for money, or squirrel away money for a black operation. Depending on whether I were a well-connected defense contractor or an alphabet agency with covert side-projects.

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BT broadband is down: Former state monopoly goes TITSUP UK-wide

AustinTX

Bungled upgrades

Screwed up while installing fiber taps!

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Cabling horrors unplugged: Reg readers reveal worst nightmares

AustinTX
Linux

Illuminati Online

Bad enough when it's a company's network that looks like spaghetti... how about when it's an actual Internet Service Provder? Behold Illuminati Online circa 2000:

https://imgur.com/a/flhlT

Yes, THAT Illuminati Online. Originally the BBS of Steve Jackson Games, the USA secret service decided to seize the entire contents of their office on the pretense that they were training the public how to hack teh internets. Actually, they were designing a role playing game. You know, roll 2D6 for 11 or higher to see if you'd "hacked" that server, durrrrr. SGJ never got their shit back. Years later, SJG miraculously won their lawsuit and launched the ISP with the money.

And check out the old 2000 website:

http://io.fondoo.net/

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How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

AustinTX

Can't click any of the things on the screen

Reminds me of when I did Dell tech support. One lady asking for help adjusting her monitor WOULD NOT STOP trying to mouse the on-screen menus. I'd get her to do one thing using the buttons on the frame, then her hand would apparently shoot back to the mouse for another playful round of "nothing happens".

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GCHQ spies quashed this phone encryption because it was too good against snoopers

AustinTX

Re: So GCHQ wants to help the terrorists and Russians?

It being RATHER OBVIOUS that true criminals and terrorists and Russians (oh my!) will continue to use secure encryption instead of the weak encryption being offered to them by snooping governments.

Pushing weak encryption on the masses simply makes them vulnerable to foreign governments, corporate espionage and hackers. And outlawing strong encryption only inflates the power of snooping governments.

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Does anyone know what their broadband costs? The ASA hopes to change that

AustinTX

Re: Funnily enough...

It was a big surprise to me when the ISPs proposed that "unlimited" meant only that I had their blessing to use my service at any time of day and for any length of time within the billing period. Provided I didn't use up my ration of megabytes, of course.

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Stephen Hawking reckons he's cracked the black hole paradox

AustinTX

Re: Other ways to preserve information

I just want to say how honored I am that you feel my theory presented an imminent danger of catching on! As to whether such imagination has a role in the scientific process; consider that inspiration often comes first, eventually followed by the math to describe them. Visual analogies like mine are far from uncommon. If there's the slightest chance that I've given a real mathematician an idea, then it's worth it. It would not be the first time I've read about a scientific discovery which was an awful lot like an idea I'd had years earlier. People keen on making personal attacks should realize they just make it less likely anyone will collaborate with them.

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AustinTX
Coffee/keyboard

Other ways to preserve information

I'm no scientist, but it seems to me that what a black hole does is convert matter into gravity. Sort of like a standing wave that grows and grows. The way the information about in-falling matter is represented and preserved is in changes in the black hole's mass and angular momentum. In other words, it vibrates. Obviously, this makes the information far too subtle and complex for mankind to interpret, but it works fine in the reverse direction. Imagine a white hole which vibrates and loses mass in precisely the reverse way a black hole has encoded it. The result could be the creation of particles possessing velocity. Where are all the white holes? I suspect they're a wide-area effect instead of objects. Perhaps particles disappearing into black holes re-appear throughout the galaxy's bulge, which helps to explain the relationship with the bulge's size and the mass of it's minuscule central black hole.

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Future Snowden hunt starts with audit of NSA spooks' privileges

AustinTX

The solution is free

NSA should adopt the N. Korean Linux as it's OS. Built-in auditing and everything!

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Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

AustinTX

Re: KB you need to uninstall, hide, and uninstall again later:

And without duplicates, that list is:

wusa /uninstall /kb:2952664 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:2976978 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:3022345 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:3035583 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:3068708 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:3075249 /norestart

wusa /uninstall /kb:3080149 /norestart

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AustinTX

KB you need to uninstall, hide, and uninstall again later:

Launch Windows Updates. "View update history", then select "see Installed Updates" and search for:

KB3035583 (Win10 nag)

KB3068708 (telemetry)

KB3075249 (telemetry)

KB3080149 (telemetry)

and right-click to uninstall them.

Reboot and launch Windows Updates again. Go to automatic updates settings and select 'download but do not install'.. also uncheck ' install recommended updates with critical updates'.

Reboot... run automatic updates and look at recommended updates.. uncheck and hide the four listed above. KB3035583 will occasionally be unhidden and added again to your "recommended" updates so keep your eyes peeled.

Other unconfirmed "telemetry" updates:

KB3022345

And to keep an eye on things, you might download the GWX Control Panel, though ironically, it also adds a [10] icon to your task tray. It has some rudimentary cleanup options, but mainly just watches and warns about KB3035583.

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'Wipe everything clean ... Join us ...' Creepy poem turns up in logs of 30 million-ish servers

AustinTX

Re: Um

I think it's safe to assume they used a botnet, so they didn't provide the honkin' majority of the hardware or bandwidth. It was essentially a multi-hop peer-to-peer activity. That's what decentralized means.

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LogMeIn adds emergency break-in feature to LastPass

AustinTX

Secure passowords or SHARE them?

Seems like LastPass is now a password SHARING app with many options and methods to do so. That can't open the door for exploits, heh.

Also, if the corp can hand our passwords over to our bereaved wives, it seems obvious they can decrypt the file supposedly only held in escrow on their servers.

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