* Posts by Pirate Dave

897 posts • joined 25 Oct 2008

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Tobacco giant predicts the end of smoking. Panic ensues

Pirate Dave
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Re: Vaping isn't cool

"Nicotine is a bitch of a drug to kick and is on par with heroin for addiction, don't ever do it in any form."

Amen. I took up dipping snuff (aka "smokeless tobacco") as a teen. "Just a pinch between cheek and gum" is like shooting nicotine straight into your brain. I've quit a few times for a year or two, but always wind up back at the Cancer Altar, cursing myself for my inherent weakness of will, wondering which morning it's going to be that I wake up and find a lump in my neck or jaw. It's all downhill from there.

I was asthmatic into my 20's, so smoking was never really an option for me, and not sure if vaping would be any better. Wife wants me to try it, but, eh, I dunno.

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Nutanix makes thundering great loss, stock market hardly blinks

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Re: So

I agree, AC, but like Nate posted, the whole chart for Nutanix is there, and every quarter has been a loss for them so far. So I feel kind of funny telling my VP that I want to buy $100k worth of equipment from them. Unless their stuff is like super good, stable as a rock, and can be managed over lunch hour by an intern...

I guess I could roll my own with HP, VMWare and Citrix, but, mmph, that's a lot of work (and reading. Oh, and probably money, too). But at least I'm relatively sure all three will be around in 5 years. I do tend to run things until the bearings wear out around here, so I'm not much for the "here today, gone tomorrow" companies if I can avoid it.

But I do appreciate the input so far.

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So

is Nutanix considered a safe-bet for end users? I ask because we're looking to buy some of their gear next summer when we (finally) start moving some things (mostly computer labs and other public-use computers) to VDI. I'm not a stock-market guru, but, eh, it seems strange to want to give a hundred thousand bucks of my meager IT budget to a company that lost $162 million in 3 months.

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Outlook.com is still not functioning properly for some Microsoft punters

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Re: Microsoft will fix it

"I think you should change it a little to 5050"

I think 5150 would be much more descriptive...

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Windows cmd.exe deposed by PowerShell

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Does this mean

that MS is going to ease-up on the silly security requirements that Powershell currently has? I've had dozens of use cases in the past 5+ years where Powershell could have done something far easier than a batch file could, but the thought of "waking up" Powershell on 500+ computers, and getting the execution policy set, and jumping through all the other hoops to get Powershell to run PS1 files from our fileserver, well, that was daunting, and time is money, so I just bunged together batch files to do it. CMD doesn't need so much hand feeding to get things working, which is both good and bad. Maybe there's a way to make Powershell behave in a useful way using GPOs, I can't say I've looked into that to a large extent.

As to having CMD launch Powershell instead of command.com, I wonder if MS goes down this dark path, if they will let us overwrite the CMD.EXE with older versions that DO run command.com by default. Or even just rename CMD.EXE to BADCMD.EXE and create a CMD.BAT that launches command.com. I never type the EXE extension in the Run box anyhow...

It is somewhat worrisome that MS is still ratting around with these old ways of doing things and changing what we've all grown deeply accustomed to. I would think 99% of normal users never use CMD anyhow, unless they're following a How-To, and if they DID need PowerShell, how much harder is it to type "powershell" at the command prompt and hit Enter? So is MS futzing around with this to "help" the average user, or are they trying to (slowly, gradually) force us old-timers away from the last remnants of DOS so they can eventually get rid of it altogether?

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Microsoft just got its Linux Foundation platinum card, becomes top level member

Pirate Dave
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Re: Great news!

I'm glad somebody finally got it...I was beginning to worry that I'd been too subtle.

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Pirate Dave
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Great news!

It is wonderful that Microsoft is finally embracing Linux, and shows their faith in Linux as a competent operating system worthy of sharing rack space with Windows.

I'm sure as things progress, Microsoft will gladly assist Linus and the rest of the fine folks working on the kernel to improve interoperability between the two systems - possibly by extending things in the kernel to work better under Azure.

And as things continue moving forward, we'll come to a future where problems and conflict between Microsoft and the Linux community will be extinguished.

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Midi-archive box from WD stops at 19PB

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"I know! I'm still not touching Quantum, Maxtor, IBM or Micropolis hard drives! "

Don't forget PrairieTek - that was the first IDE drive I bought in 1991, and I'll never buy another one. (although to be honest, I still have that drive here in my desk drawer as a memento of the Good Old Days, when plugging in the laptop connector backwards meant a fried drive).

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Pythons Idle and Cleese pen anti-selfie screed

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Re: Shouting at clouds

"live in the moment, realise that you don't need photographic evidence of everything,"

But, but... how are the people on Facebook going to know what you had for lunch unless you provide photographic evidence of said lunch? I mean, those people are your "friends" and need to know exactly what you ate so they can Like it and comment on it. Life without hundreds of Likes and snarky comments just isn't a Life worth living.

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Google Pixel pwned in 60 seconds

Pirate Dave
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Re: Four Seconds

>It takes longer than 4 seconds for Firefox to do anything

Ah, point taken.

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Pirate Dave
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Four Seconds

"It took four seconds for Flash to fall."

Interestingly, that seems to be slightly longer than it takes for Firefox to start complaining that Flash is outdated after I've just upgraded Flash...

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IPv4 is OVER. Really. So quit relying on it in new protocols, sheesh

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Re: Exhaustion? and yet...

"Try getting a /24 it is pretty painful."

Unless you're a college/university. I got one in 2013 and it was way easier than the tech guru at my ISP had warned me about. ARIN didn't really even ask for justification, they just saw I worked for a university and said "Here you go..". Sometimes it's nice to get an unexpected break...

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Re: Where I am working right now

"Anyway, I like dotted quads. They're kind of friendly, and the dots are there to separate number groups, which are always there."

Amen!

"I'm not opposed to IPv6 <snip> But I think they tried to do too much with it, muddied the waters, and made it unfriendly."

Double Amen!

IP6 is just too unwieldy for mortal use. Sure, it's the cat's meow in a fully automated, integrated, updated network where the network admins get to stare at a wall of 70" screens in the NOC. But for those of us who still frequent dusty closets where network switches share space with electrical breaker panels and old phone line splice boxes, it seems like far too much overkill for our simple needs. Honestly, IP4 with 1 or 2 added octets would seem like a far better answer while still being relatively easy to remember. Everybody says "oh, that's what DNS is for." Yeah, because we know DNS never breaks or goes down. Until it does go down and you can't remember what the frikking 16-octet IP6 address is for the DNS server to connect to it. Buggers.

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Fleeing Aussie burglar shot in arse with bow and arrow

Pirate Dave
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Re: It will be a shame if the Archer gets charged

"The worst we would see is losing the ability to purchase new assault rifles"

That's something I've been pondering recently - I know Hillary has a boner for banning sales of the AR platform, but considering how "modular" the AR is, what exactly are they planning to ban? Are they only wanting to ban completely assembled rifles, or completely assembled rifles and lowers (the serialized part), or ban complete rifles, lowers, and assembled uppers, or ban everything related to the AR platform? I bought two stripped lowers 2 months ago just so I'd have some outlet if The Worst does come to pass, and I've been stockpiling 30-round mags like they're going out of style.

"A bigger problem for gun owners is sites like Craigslist won't take gun ads making private sales a little more difficult."

With sites like Gunbroker.com, there's not much need to sell guns on Craigslist, eBay, etc. It's all guns, all the time. If the folks at Craigslist don't want to list guns, well, fine, it's their servers, we don't need them.

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Pirate Dave
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Re: It will be a shame if the Archer gets charged

" don't vote for Hilary as she will make sure that no-one will defend their home ever again"

I think you seriously underestimate the number of firearms we have here. Unless Hillary is planning to force the cops to do door-to-door search-and-seizures of weapons, we (us gun-toting rednecks, that is) will still have hundreds of millions of guns, even if she starts banning the manufacture and sale of certain of them (AR's, AK's). Not to mention the billions of rounds of ammo we have stored up for the impending zombie apocalypse.

I did find it humorous that the Aussie cops said "Do not confront a person in your house." As a Merican, the idea of that is completely foreign to me and runs counter to the basic instinct of "protect the house". But since Oz is mostly disarmed now, that's probably good advice, since the intruder may actually be armed - when they outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns, right?

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We're going to have to start making changes or the adults will do it for us

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"heathens who use camel case also like to write sentences as their variable names,"

That's because VB doesn't mind long variable names. ;)

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Dark matter? More like diet matter: Super-light axions may solve universe's mass riddle

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Re: "Topological quantum fluctuations in quantum chromodynamics"

"Um, sorry, for a minute there I thought I was reading an excerpt from a ST:TNG episode."

I kept expecting to read :

and the Librarian replied "Ook! Ook!!"

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New MH370 handshake and wing debris analysis suggests rapid descent

Pirate Dave
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Any change in policy?

So in light of the mass confusion over where MH370 went down, has there been any change in policy - either with the airlines themselves, or with government aviation authorities - to require airplanes to use some sort of GPS that sends their coords to a ground-based logging system somewhere? I mean, some trucking/freight companies here in the US track their trucks via GPS 24 hours a day, know exactly where the truck has been, how fast it's been going, etc, etc. And this is for a $75,000 truck carrying $20,000 worth of freight from China.

When MH370 went down, I was surprised that they couldn't pinpoint the path their multimillion dollar airplane full of people had taken - I thought for sure they'd be tracking such things. Is there a reason, other than normal corporate cheapskateness, that they don't track airplanes?

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Want to spy on the boss? Try this phone-mast-in-an-HP printer

Pirate Dave
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Re: HP Inc - please don't tell them...

I was thinking they could use it to send you an SMS telling you it's time to bend over and buy a replacement toner cartridge.

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Arch Linux: In a world of polish, DIY never felt so good

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or Gentoo? Not that I use it anymore, but that and Slack are the two old kings of DIY Linux. Gentoo was cool, it just took too long to install for my ADHD personality. ;)

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I've arrived on Mars. Argggh, my back!

Pirate Dave
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On a positive note...

obviously the Martians haven't worked-out this physiology-of-long-distance-space-travel part either, or we'd already be pwned and covered in red vines!

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Rogue sysadmins the target of Microsoft's new 'Shielded VM' security

Pirate Dave
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Errr, no

"The main thing VMs are missing is something like Intel's trusted platform module (TPM)"

On the list of things VMs are missing, I don't see TPM anywhere on said list. Smaller hypervisor memory footprint - check. More efficient I/O - check. Lower licensing fees - check. TPM - nope.

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First look at Windows Server 2016: 'Cloud for the masses'? We'll be the judge of that

Pirate Dave
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Licensing

our VAR sent us an email about Server2016 licensing last week, and as I understand it, if you are going to run Server2016 in a VM, you have to license every physical core in the server, you can't license per-CPU anymore. So even if you only want to give the VM 2 vCPUs with 2 cores each, you still have to license all of the other cores as if you're running Windows on them. If you've got an older box with dual 4-core Xeons, you aren't going to be $$hurting$$ as bad as with a new box with dual 8-core Xeons.

(although, apparently, we Educational volume licensees CAN still license per CPU, with a minimum CPU count still at 2. I think...)

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BOFH: The Idiot-ware Project and the Meaningless Acronym

Pirate Dave
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"Just a quick slap," I urge the Boss. "Then really put the slipper in when he goes down. It's the only thing he understands."

Thanks, that made me chuckle. Our Helldesk guy is kinda like that. Always yapping, yapping, yapping, and taking 4 times longer to explain something than need be. Not fitting behavior for a nerd.

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Microsoft: Hey, don’t forget Visual Basic! Open source and new features coming

Pirate Dave
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Re: Bring back VB6 programming

I'm going to disagree. I think one of the good points of VB6 was that it was single-sourced but immensely extendable. If it gets opensourced, then there will wind up being several competing variants of it, all using different weirdo-libraries (probably open-sourced and highly version-dependent) to build themselves, and none of them 100% compatible with each other.

I just wish MS would give up on VB.NET and update VB6 a bit. Although, maybe that's a worse idea considering Microsoft's moves regarding the Office Ribbon, the Windows 8 interface, and Cortana. There surely are a lot of people at MS who have lost the plot...

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Pirate Dave
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Re: Open source VB6 programming

"Yet Microsoft still support VB6 programming until at least 2024. And it installs and runs on Windows 10."

Does it? I tried with Server 2012 and never could get it to work properly. Wound up installing XP in a Hyper-V VM just so I could install VB6. I can't remember what wasn't working under 2012, but it was a show-stopper in my case.

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'Too big to fail' cloud giants like AWS threaten civilization as we know it

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Cool

So once the huff-n-puff of "Cloud" wears off, and once a few companies experience major disasters by putting all their eggs in one off-site, hosted, cloud-lined basket, there will be rich pickings to be had for those of us who remember how to be actual Network Administrators. Since all the yoof will be busy picking their noses and wondering why they can't write a Javascript app that physically installs a 48-port switch into a rack...

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Wow, still using disk and PCIe storage? You look like a flash-on victim, darling – it isn't 2014

Pirate Dave
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Re: resilience

"still fine for running the mail server, just like the 486 box in the corner was..."

What do you mean, "was"...?

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Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

Pirate Dave
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Re: I can see it now...

"But you CAN buy the optional iOpener"

Err, I've had my iOpener for 15 years now, didn't know I was waiting for an iBag to put it into. Not that I can do much with a 180 MHz Geode these days...

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10-second hijack hole could kill any Facebook profile

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False hope...

"10-second hijack hole could kill any Facebook profile"

Come on, El Reg, you had my hopes up that this might be a way to actually KILL a Facebook account to the point that the account and everything associated with it disappears completely from the Internets as if it never existed.

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Bug of the month: Cache flow problem crashes Samsung phone apps

Pirate Dave
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Re: Mono

Ah, thanks for the explanation. That makes sense.

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Pirate Dave
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Re: Mono

Here's a dumber question (from a guy who learned a little assembly on the 8088) - why does the OS clear the CPU's cache? I thought the CPU was supposed to be in charge of stuff like that. But I admit my knowledge is quite dated.

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Brave telco giants kill threat of decent internet service in rural North Carolina

Pirate Dave
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Re: Isn't it time...

I wouldn't rush to nationalize anything as important as network access. That seems a dark path to a dim future.

But it would be nice if Congress would weigh-in and maybe pass a Federal law to pre-empt the state laws that the Monopolies bought 20-30 years ago that forbid this sort of thing. I'm usually dead-set against the Feds dictating to the States, but in this case, the state laws are just a racket designed to keep the fat-cats fat, not to help their citizenry.

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French hackers selling hidden .22 calibre pen guns on secret forums

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Re: Newton's Third Law of Motion

"The other issue is shooting somebody with a 22. The victim might get very angry, grab the wannabe assassin, and then tear them to shreds with their bare hands."

I saw a quote similar to that about the .25 recently, can't remember exactly where. Something along the lines of:

Never carry a .25 pistol. If you absolutely have to carry a .25, never load it because then you might shoot it, and if you shoot it you might hit someone by mistake, and if he finds out about it, he's likely to be very angry at you.

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Luxe cable crimper

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For the jacks

I want one. And a spare. And a box full of jacks. Unless it's stupid expensive, it looks like a good idea.

Not sure about the plugs though. meh.

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Aruba OS8 lands, with APIs so non-NetAdmins can do NetAdmin jobs

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"The HP unit's idea is that network admins shouldn't be called upon to do this sort of thing if it can be avoided, but should be happy to oversee a library of API-addressing recipes cooked up by developers."

Soooo...in HP land, the network admins don't admin networks, they, eh, errr, ummm, play Solitaire? Write software? Watch TV?

And sorry, but the fucking developers should NOT be allowed to mess with switches, VLANs, or routers. Nothing fucks up a good network architecture like someone saying "hey, let's try this and see if it works. Oi, where'd the Internet go??? OMG!!! now I can't get to StackExchange to figure out how to unfuck this mess I've made." There really are lots of OTHER PEOPLE in the company who rely on the network to function properly so they can do their jobs.

Downvote away, dev-op fanbois. I know you want to.

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Kneel before Zod! OpenText claims mighty Documentum from Dell

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Genuine question

"OpenText hopes to sell its existing products into those customers, putting it in new markets."

I'm not a customer of Documentum or Opentext, just a nerd reading a story here on El Reg. So my question is: is OpenText really paying $1.6 billion just so they have new fields of potential customers to harass? Are they likely to let Documentum's product(s) wither on the vine? Or is this a semi-fire-sale like when Novell sold it's good stuff to Attachmate a few years ago?

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Network Management Systems are a 'treasure map' for hackers

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FINALLY!!!!

My lackadaisical work ethic, and skinflint hatred of spending money, has FINALLY PAID OFF!

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Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell for Linux, Macs. Repeat, Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell

Pirate Dave
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Re: "On Linux we’re just another shell"

" Whilst I've never gotten on with powershell it's got an awful lot of nice structured features that make the standard Unix shells looking like what they are - a 1970s solution in need of update."

It does, until you get neck deep into it and realize it's still full of sharp edges and half-baked ideas. While there are things that make it LOOK like a true programming language, you eventually realize that's just shiny-shiny, and it's really just an overly complicated shell, or worse, just a bunch of loosely bound together common commands with a bit of looping, branching, and variables thrown in. And, in truth, it is relatively restrictive. You can only do the things that Microsoft thinks you need to be able to do, and (mostly) in the ways Microsoft thinks you should do them. At first, you don't notice these walls so much, but get further into it, and they become much more apparent.

It is an improvement over the venerable DOS shell, however. Import-CSV is worth its weight in gold and is the primary driver for using powershell at all, IMHO.

I'm sure the clean-shaven MS fanbois will apply the appropriate number of downvotes to this post. Fire away, guys.

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$67M in bitcoin stolen as hacking typhoon lashes Hong Kong's Bitfinex

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Re: Misconceptions...

"Finally, referring to XBT as "newfangled fad-inducing social crap" is just revelling in ignorance."

In my own defense, I was referring to the OPs question about why us old guys use the Internet, not Bitcoin in general. My limited understanding of Bitcoin is that it's mostly popular with uber-nerds on whom anything "social" is completely wasted.

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Pirate Dave
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Re: wow... el reg really is visited by only old cynical IT hacks

" why on earth do you bother with the internet when you don't accept any development in tech."

Maybe because we're the ones who actually RUN the Internet... we're old, crusty, and hate newfangled fad-inducing social crap, but when your packet needs to get from London to Tokyo, we're the ones who get it there.

AND GET OFF MY LAWN!

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Ford announces plans for mass production of self-driving cars by 2021

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Interesting, but

With no steering wheel or pedals, how are you going to pull up to a gas pump at a crowded, busy gas station? That's sometimes a tricky set of maneuvers, even for a meatbag. I would imagine the AI will be very conservative in such a situation, meaning the meatbags will constantly be cutting in front while the AI is waiting for a totally clear and safe path to a pump.

Or maybe these driverless cars without steering wheel or pedals run on hopes and dreams instead of gas, so never need to fill up their tanks.

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Hilton hotels' email so much like phishing it fooled its own techies

Pirate Dave
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Re: Protection

"And for those who STILL can't get it? Especially those who happen to carry the immunity of an executive position?"

I honestly don't have a good answer for this. I've realized that there's a small percentage of idiots who will ALWAYS do the wrong thing. in spite of my years of lecturing and harping, and sometimes some of them are C-level. For those, it's like dealing with a 2-year old - I know there are going to be messes to clean up and no way around it, so I just hope they move on to another job soon.

Vigilance does help somewhat - if I see a new type of scam/virus email that gets past our junk filters, I immediately send a warning to all employees saying it is a scam.

I work at a university - some things never get "done", they just get forgotten about with the passage of time...

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Pirate Dave
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Protection

"sometimes, non-technical users need to be protected even when they don’t realise it."

No, that would be "ALL THE TIME", not "sometimes". I swear, some users would try lighting a cigarette in a gasoline refinery.

Education about the evils possible in an email helps, but it can take years to pound that through some people's thick skulls. Eventually, though, most of them will realize email isn't a happy utopia of rainbows and unicorn farts where everybody loves each other, but a dark, gritty place full of greed and malice. Mostly greed. It can take decades, though.

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Judges put FCC back in its box: No, you can't override state laws, not even for city broadband

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Who to cheer for?

Decisions, decisions. It's good that the FCC is trying to lower the boom on the monopolies enjoyed by the ISPs and let municipalities serve their people. But then, it's also good that a judge is limiting the power of a federal agency in relation to a State's laws.

I don't know who I'm cheering for more in this...

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update is borking boxen everywhere

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"Oh - and if you could put in a big TELEMETRY OFF button (that actually really works) for home users"

And don't forget a similar button to turn off Cortana. It totally irks me that there's no (reasonable) way to completely kill that software and prevent it from chewing 25 Megs of RAM for no reason whatsoever.

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California to put all your power-hungry PCs on a low carb(on) diet

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Re: PSU quality

Agree wholeheartedly about PC Power & Cooling's PSUs. I ran one here 24/7 from 2000 until 2012 when the fan finally died (and motherboard tech had moved on from PIII's), and I still have a few running here in boxes I built in the mid-noughties. Good, quality stuff.

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Pirate Dave
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Eh, well

It will probably end up like it is for cars, lawnmowers, guns, etc - one model that's modded to make it legal to sell in California, and a more "normal" model that all the rest of us can get. No biggie if they do that with computing devices too.

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Plenty of fish in the C, IEEE finds in language popularity contest

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Re: Haven't heard of R

"Once upon a time, when dinosaursmainframes roamed the land there was the proprietary SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences)."

I'm still paying a butt-load of money annually to use SPSS in our computer labs. But that may be because the current crop of PhD Sociology profs grew-up using SPSS so that's what they are sticking to and don't talk about anything else...

Unlike the dinosaurs, SPSS is still around and IBM (who owns it now) is more than happy to take (a lot of) your money for it every year.

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BOFH: Free as in free beer or... Oh. 'Free Upgrade'

Pirate Dave
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Re: Have Laserjets gone out of fashion?

The 4000/4050 printers were good, Maybe the 4100 too. But I think it was the 4200 or thereabouts where HP changed the fuser roller sleeve from mylar to metal. They are probably more long-lasting for general printing, but not so good when you print a lot of envelopes and get the bands on the sleeve where the edges of the envelopes have eaten-off the teflon. I found a local printer-parts company that "imported" replacement sleeves (and most all the other parts) from unknown parts of China and would sell the mylar sleeves for $25. Call HP for that and they'd say "it isn't a user-replacable part, here, buy a $200 refurb fuser assembly, that's all you can get." So we saved a lot of money over the years - the mylar sleeves would get the envelope bands after 6 months or so with heavy envelope printing, but $25 would fix them right back up.

But then HP went to metal sleeves. I could get them from the same importer for around $70, but I never could figure out how to grease them properly, and after a month or so they'd start making a horrible racket when the grease got pushed out of the way and it was metal-on-metal contact between the fuser bar and the sleeve. After that happened 3 or 4 times, I decided it wasn't worth the effort and told the users they'd have to spring for the $220 refurbed fuser from HP. I don't think the HP refurbs ever made the noise, so there was either some trick to putting the grease in, or they were using a grease that the importer couldn't supply.

We did look at the specially modified inkjets that were made to print insane amounts of envelopes. But most of them were in the $4000+ range, which was more than anyone here wanted to spend, and it seems like the print quality wasn't too great. This was back in 2001-2004, maybe things have changed now.

It's all water under the bridge now since we send our envelopes out for printing.

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