* Posts by Pirate Dave

815 posts • joined 25 Oct 2008

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HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday

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Thanks for the link. The Kiwi Bloke's pages kept me going for a while. Good way to end a Friday.

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Microsoft bans common passwords that appear in breach lists

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Re: @codysydney: Because, Dear Commentard.

@cornz 1 - Agreed. I'm 47, and I have to say I'm SICK of sites that were obviously written by a 20-year-old and ask "secret" questions that relate to childhood. How the fuck am I supposed to remember my first pet's name, or who my favorite 3rd grade teacher was, or what flavor the cake was at my 10th-birthday party? All that stuff is now shrouded in the mists of time, so I make up some answer that I KNOW I will forget if I need it in a year or two. So a big THANK YOU to all the PFY web designers out there, you're really showing your age (or lack of it).

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Motion Picture Ass. of America to guard online henhouse

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so

this mostly affects domains most people will never use. No worries then. I hope the MoPiAss. paid a stupidly large sum of money to get the agreement.

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Supernova bubble clocked at 19,000,000 km/h

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Has it been expanding at that rate the entire 444 years? If so, my sloppy calculations say it should be around 1,086,379,368,040,875.4 brontosauri across. That'd be over 93 trillion miles here in 'Murca, and just under 16 light-years (although that seems wrong but, eh, I did say it's "sloppy")

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Laser-zapping scientists will save the Earth from meteorite destruction

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But...

if this laser plan comes to light, eh, what will we need Bruce Willis for?

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The 'new' Microsoft? I still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole

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Re: The lock in Question

@John Sanders - thanks for judging someone you don't even know, mate. I've learned enough about how systemd works to know that I will not use it in the future if I can at all avoid it (and for right now, I CAN avoid it). So forgive me for saying I don't want my system to work that way.

As to reading the manuals, well, you got me there. I wasn't expecting such a drastic change from the Red Hat I've been using since 5.2 (that's the 5.2 from when it was just Red Hat Linux, BEFORE there was a RHEL, And I did read extensively back in those days), so was completely flabbergasted to see an /etc/rc3.d directory that only has one K script and one S script, and a grub2 config file that's 3 or 4 pages long (whereas the grub config files on my other machines are usually around 20-25 lines long, including comments). Again, forgive me for saying I don't want my system to work that way.

The end result is the major distros are stripping away our choices in something that's fundamental to how our Linux boxes work, and that's a damn shame. Maybe, to some people, systemd is the greatest thing since binary math, but that doesn't mean that the rest of us should have to quit doing decimal math just to make them happy.

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Re: Pirate Dave: The lock in Question

BSDs - I'd thought about that, but hadn't seriously pursued it. Had also thought about Slackware, but are they even still a thing? The latest version I saw in their ISO download area was from like Sept. 2013, but maybe I was looking in the wrong place.

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Re: The lock in Question

@jim-234

Thanks, Jim, I'll take a look at Devuan. I don't think I've run a debian-type system in probably 15 years.

I don't guess anyone has forked Red Hat yet to create a systemd-free version, have they?

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Re: WOW!

" A bit of study would reveal that PASSPORT was their new tollbooth for the information superhighway."

Yes, Microsoft's effort failed, as it should have. But somehow Facebook's succeeded. I still don't understand why so many sites allow users to login with their Facebook info. They must all want to be associated with the hip, cool kids.

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Re: The lock in Question

" I am actually looking forward to the day when using anything to come out of Redmond is history."

I don't think all that ass-hattery is exclusive to Redmond. I don't know that Apple is much better. Nor Firefox. And I recently (finally) tried CentOS 7 with all the foolishness that is systemd and grub2, and I have to say that feels strongly like something Redmond would do. In fact, RH's decisions make me sad now. I used to enjoy being a Linux admin when it was more unixy, but this new systemd thing is the pits, and grub2 has a config file that's stupidly long and complicated for just a boot loader. And worse, that stuff is so deeply embedded in the distro now that it's near impossible to rip-n-replace. So we've finally come to the point where my favorite Linux distro is no longer about choice, it's about doing things ONE way and doing them poorly.

It seems like the entire computer industry is in motion to "Do What It Wants To Do" and fuck any and all of us admins who don't agree or don't want to do it that way. Hell, it's not just admins, it's ANY competent computer user. I guess the money is big enough now for all these companies that they don't give a shit about those of us on the "outside" who got them to where they are today. Microsoft was just one of the early companies to get to that point back in the mid-90's. Now the rest are catching up. Sad.

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This is what a root debug backdoor in a Linux kernel looks like

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Re: Vulnerable?

"Actually, one of the best ways to learn is to set up a Linux instance that you can treat as disposable in a VM."

I dunno. I think if you REALLY want to learn, you have to at least once accidentally do "rm -rf *" when you think you're in /var/sometestdir but you're actually in / on a production system. You NEVER forget that lesson... always, ALWAYS do a pwd before an rm -rf .

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Revealed: HMS Endeavour's ignominious fate

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Hungry now

It's lunchtimere here in the States. I must endeavor to have a sandwich.

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Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell

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Thanks

I just gave our phone guys a new project for the summer.

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Hubble spots ice moon orbiting dwarf planet Makemake

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"So Makemake is inhabited by pirate ghosts?"

Yes, they are hiding there in fear of the ghost Ninjas. :(

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NASA prepares to unpack pump-up space podule

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Smithsonian Article

Smithsonian magazine has an interesting article about Bigelow and BEAM in this month's issue.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/robert-bigelow-visio-future-living-space-180958698/

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Intel preps Knights Landing 'Ninja' dev boxes

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CentOS

"The Ninja Development Platform is available for pre-order here. It ships with user-specified memory and local storage, CentOS 7.2..."

I'm a long-time CentOS user, but why isn't Chipzilla using RedHat for this? Not that I'm knocking CentOS, I'm just curious. Is it some weird licensing issue with RedHat or some strange allegiance with someone else that would be strained by using RedHat?

I mean, for a workstation, I'd think maybe Scientific Linux might be better than CentOS (based on my miniscule understanding of SL).

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Graphene solar panels harvest energy from rain

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I work at a University that was originally called "<snip> Normal College" (snipped for obvious reasons). My understanding is that it's an old-ish name for a 2-year school that trains elementary school teachers.

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Re: lightbulb moment...

"Would it be possible to use piezo-electric devices to generate electricity from the actual force of the rain drops falling on a surface?"

When I clicked into the story, that's what I thought it would be about - a new use for that "generate electricity from people walking across a pad" thing that came out a few years ago. It's an interesting concept, but it might require a hail storm to generate any significant electricty.

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The future of Firefox is … Chrome

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Re: Choice

"Give us a Goddam choice!"

Verily, verily. Amen.

Like, give us (back) the choice to "Remove Completed Downloads" (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=845658 and https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=838681 ) when we close the browser instead of bitching and moaning about how stupid we are for wanting to do things that way, and then saying it won't be fixed because that's not how the Mozilla developers want us to use their browser.

Bastards...

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Aluminum-wrapped robbers fail to foil bank

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I see the problem - they should have used Transparent Aluminum. Then they'd have been invisible.

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BlackBerry boss mulls mid-range Androids

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Re: Just can't make it work?

"OTOH with Outlook now available for Android it's a lot better than it used to be."

Only if MS would stop fucking with it. They had a decent version last Fall, then screwed with it royally after New Year's to the point that it's almost total crap now. I've gone back to using OWA. It's less convenient, but it just works.

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When should you bin that old mainframe? Infrastructure 101

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Change Management

For my switches, I use some expect scripts to login and download the current config to a text file. Then I check that file in to RCS*. Then backup the whole kit and kaboodle to tape/removable. Not only do I get to see what's changed over time, but when it changed, and what it was before it was changed.

*Ok, so maybe RCS isn't the best choice, but it's dead simple to use.

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Verizon plots 28 GHz 5G tests

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Re: Er...?

That is pretty weird. Apparently it's to do with the drug laws from the 1980's.

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/193770.pdf

Down near the bottom of the 2nd page, it says broadcasters can lose their licenses, pilots can lose their licenses, etc, etc, etc. Not exactly the crowd I would think anti-drug legislation should be aimed at.

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X-ray scanners, CCTV cams, hefty machinery ... let's play: VNC Roulette!

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"Why do people use VNC these days anyway? There are so many better alternatives."

1. It's been around a while so it's a known vector for those of us who know better than to put it on a machine directly reachable by the Internets. Also, it's been implemented several times by several different groups (Tight, Tridia, Tiger, etc, not to mention the original AT&T code), so the code has been beaten upon quite a lot in the past 15+ years.

2. It can be made somewhat more secure using SSH tunnels. Still, I wouldn't put that directly against the Internet, but it does secure it fairly well for internal, behind-the-firewall use in case you don't trust your internal users either.

3. It's free.

4. It runs natively as a compiled C program (iirc), and does not require Java (although I think there is a Java port) or any kinds of runtimes or plugins.

5. It doesn't require an Internet connection - so you can use it perfectly well on isolated networks.

6. It's been implemented cross-platform for ages. Windows, Mac, *nix, all work well and can talk to each other. (It is also the foundation for Apple Remote Desktop, FYI).

7. It's fairly open. I can't remember if AT&T still hold copyright or if they've released it completely, but AFAIK, nobody will come knocking if you decide to write a new client/server from the ground up.

So yes, there are alternatives, but VNC still has a place.

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Re: Medical records

I saw that one too, and it was picture 8 for me as well, which leads me to think these are relatively static screen caps.

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More VC dosh, vicar? Moneymen hand Slack-a-like biz Domo $131m

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Re: I'm clearly getting very old

I must be getting old too, I thought "Slack" was a slang reference to Slackware, and Domo must be some newfangled distro or fork. Google told me Slack is some sort of messaging something or other. Wut? AIM isn't good enough anymore?

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Linux fans may be in for disappointment with SQL Server 2016 port

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Re: Err...

Ah, I hadn't thought of Wine. If so, then they're only sort-of-kinda-maybe-if-you-don't-look-too-closely running MS-SQL on Linux then.

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Err...

"What Microsoft has done so far is create an abstraction layer between the database and operating system,"

Isn't that what we used to call an API?

Is he saying there's no separation between MS-SQL and the Windows kernel on a Windows box?

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Steve Ballmer: Get the Facts. I 'love' SQL Server on Linux

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Re: Windows on Linux next?

I thought years ago - Linux had a good kernel with a "meh" GUI, Windows had a lackluster kernel and a decent GUI (at least 2000 and XP). Too bad we couldn't mix-n-match to get the best of both worlds. But so much sub-surface plumbing would have to be redone to get the Windows GUI to run on Linux, it's probably not worth the effort. Would be very interesting to see such a creature, though.

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Monster motor breathes fire in Mississippi

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Re: That's enough to drain an average family-sized swimming pool

Yes, I'd think a "family-sized" swimming pool would be very roughly about the size of two bathtubs (assuming we shoved two family members from a 4-member family into each bathtub). Although there would likely still be extra space left in the bathtub with the kids in it, but no space left in the tub with me and the Missus in it.

Does make me wonder - what's the average volume of a family in Olympic-sized swimming pools?

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SQL Server for Linux: A sign of Microsoft's weakness. Sort of

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Re: Yeah ... @Pirate Dave

"Speculating with the yanking of the rug - that's just FUD, man."

No, that's something we have to seriously consider when we think "hey, MS has MS-SQL on Linux now. Should we move our student records database to that platform?"

Let's face it, the only real guarantee from MS about MS-SQL is that it will always run on Windows. Anything else is a gamble in any mid-to-long-term scenario, regardless of what comes out of the mouths of the marketing droids this week/month/year. So the safe bet, if MS-SQL is needed, is just to run it on Windows. Otherwise, in 3-5 years, it could be Zuned when Microsoft "re-aligns our core competencies".

I mean, it's good (overall) that MS is offering MS-SQL on Linux, but at the same time, those of us who need long(ish)-term stuff are going to be wary of this (besides which, with EDU vloume pricing, a standard Windows Server license is only $50 a year or so). Internet startups will probably eat this like candy, though.

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Re: The competition awaits...

"Yet one of the MS SQL server's strength is also its interface and its hooks into MMC (and Powershell of course)."

MS started this with Server Core - they don't want you actually touching the server directly, they want you to do things remotely.

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Re: Yeah ...

My thoughts exactly. Why would anyone spin up a production database running on an OS that Microsoft may decide to stop supporting or even developing for in 5 years (or less)? High and dry, that's where they'd be.

So if nobody puts MS-SQL on Linux to "real" use for fear that MS will yank the rug out from under them, it will remain a niche player and eventually die due to lack of interest.

http://www.aesopfables.com/cgi/aesop1.cgi?4&TheScorpionandtheFrog

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PARIS paper plane lands in Spanish school textbook

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Re: Bravo!

Textbook on the Post Pub DeathMatch sounds like a bad idea. Some of the things I've seen in the PPDM as an adult have warped me forever. I can only imagine what they would do to the mind of a child.

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Gopher server revived after 15 years of downtime

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Re: Good Gopher Times

"Ah, lynx. Memories of the old days"

Old days? I just used it last month on a Linux box. It's still handy for those of us who don't like GUI on our Linux boxes that are doing semi-important stuff. Although I do admit with all the new advancements in "web" stuff over the past 15 years, pages sometimes don't look as good as they used to.

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Intel shows budget Android phone powering big-screen Linux

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Rooted Android or locked-down Linux?

Just wondering - is the Linux part of this locked-down as much as normal Android, or can you get to the root account in a terminal and "rm -rf *" to your heart's content?

As the BOFH said in a very early episode - "root IS my account."

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Re: "Low-end == 2 Gb"

What went wrong?

IMHO, it really started going downhill when XML got popular. XML is great for data interchange, but then folks had to start using it for general data storage too. Why go to all the trouble to write (fairly simple) code to pull data out of a delimited or fixed-field file, when you can load a big library and just call some standardized functions to pull the data out of all the XML cobwebs surrounding it? Your computer's lack of memory capacity is not the problem of the programmer...

I do remember Novell used XML quite a bit under Netware 6.5 and OES2 to store their configuration files. I always thought that was quite lazy on their part. What program, besides ConsoleOne, is really interested in parsing and understanding the ConsoleOne config files?

So (again IMVHO) acceptance of XML as a data storage standard seemed to coincide with a general idea that the users could/should just throw more memory in their machines and do all this whizzy new stuff.

And before I forget -Get Off My Lawn!!!

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Nasuni sees cloud killing on-premises storage

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Ah, no hyphen

From mis-reading the title, I thought this article was about a company peddling cloud-killing storage that is on-premise. But take out that first hyphen and it means something completely different.

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From Zero to hero: Why mini 'puter Oberon should grab Pi's crown

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Re: Click-Bait much?

Perhaps I was a bit too optimistic when I posted that three months ago. My enthusiasm towards Apple-land is faltering a bit. See, I tried using this thing called "Apple Remote Desktop" to manage some new Mac labs we're installing for our artsy-fartsy folks, and, well, it's kind of broken under El Cap. Like flat out doesn't do what it says on the box. I mean, sure, it's a swell VNC client for connecting to the 12 Macs in that lab, but it doesn't do other useful things like push config changes out to those machines, or create the remote-desktop client installers that are supposed to make it sooo easy to manage and control those Macs. Nope, that stuff has been broken since like 10.10.4, and no word yet on when a fix will arrive. Not even if you call the magic elves at Apple Enterprise Support.

So I will retract my former blubbering gush about Apple and say it IS good for simple things where you don't have to look far under the hood. Like making pretty pictures. But under the hood, yeah, it's as messy as any other PC OS I've ever seen.

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Follow ESA's intercontinental ballistic missile launch live today

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Re: So...

Thanks.

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So...

ehh, who's the gal in the red dress?

Definitely makes rocket science interesting...

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'Hobbit' heads aren't human says bone boffin

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Re: Not Hobbits!?!?!

Maybe it's Dwarves, since they were created by Aule instead of Eru, so were a bit "different" than everybody else.

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Get out of mi casa, Picasa: Google photo site to join Wave, Code, Reader in silicon hell

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Re: My Tracks too

I used to be a heavy user of their SMS query service, since I am a Luddite and refuse to get a smart-phone. It was great for finding things when visiting a new city, but it got canned due to "lack of interest". I guess I was their last user...

Can't count on anything at Google sticking around. At some point, they'll bin everything for some new latest-and-greatest whatsit. Follow the money.

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When asked 'What's a .CNT file?' there's a polite way to answer

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Re: Its True, as it actually happened to me

I can't count the number of times I've been called into a classroom by a panicked faculty member because "The projector won't come on". Go in, hit power button on projector or remote control and, voila, projector lights up. "Oh, I'm supposed to turn it on?"

Poor PhD's. Sometimes they just need a little extra help.

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Dell PowerEdge R730: Reg rack monkeys crack smiles over kindness of engineers

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"Provide all 4 screws or make it so drives clip in."

Verily, verily. Amen.

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"These are drive caddies that will sustain years of service, something that may mean little to some, but to folks like us who have done our time as rack monkeys it certainly is appreciated."

Eh, I'd think if you're swapping the drives often enough for caddy wear-out to be an issue, then maybe you should have bought better drives to start with? If I have to swap a drive more than twice in a 5 year period, then something is wrong.

I admit, the 2.5" spinning rust SAS drives HP has been shipping the past 2-3 years have had a very high failure rate, IMHO. Far more than the 3.5" U-320 drives I got from IBM 10 years ago (which are mostly all still running as of today). But even so, I don't think any of the HPs have failed twice. Yet.

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Microsoft researchers smash homomorphic encryption speed barrier

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confused

So I admit, I'm no cryptographer. That's way too much math for me and it puts me to sleep. But I'm confused by this new homomorphic thing. If you can "massage" the encrypted data until you see manipulable patterns in it, doesn't that mean your encryption isn't really that good? I mean, I thought the whole point of encryption, the gold standard, was that without the keys the data was basically jumbled streams of worthless numbers. Only with the keys can you do anything worthwhile with the data.

Sorry to sound dense, but this doesn't make sense.

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Are Indians too stupid to be trusted with free Internet?

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Re: It would be the same anywhere

" Basics is live in 37 countries and has been shut down by the elites in just two (so far)"

FTFY...

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Winning Underhand C Contest code silently tricks nuke inspectors

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" contest for the most innocent looking snippet of code/script/VB that can be posted on a forum as a 'solution' to someone's question, that in fact plants a virus."

You mean something like...

Get-WUInstall -KBArticle KB3012973 -AcceptAll

;)

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Ban internet anonymity – says US Homeland Security official

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I see the problem...

"As the use of technology by human beings grows..."

There's the problem. Right....there. Perhaps we should henceforth ban human beings from using technology and just teach panda bears how to run everything. I mean, who could ever get angry at a cute, fuzzy panda bear? They seem peaceful enough, just let them take care of it all while we spend our lives growing bamboo. Human beings, especially ones in positions of power over other human beings, are stupid, power-hungry, selfish critters. But mostly just stupid.

I, for one, welcome our adorable ailuropoda overlords.

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