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* Posts by Mayhem

235 posts • joined 3 Feb 2009

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Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM

Mayhem

Re: Android ZX Spectrum emulator

No crashes, but it does have a tendency to get on your nerves by complaining all the time.

Seems a bit on the paranoid side too by all the permissions it asks for ;)

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Oracle's Larry Ellison quits as CEO – new bosses are Hurd'n'Catz

Mayhem

Re: Love article title, Herding Cats

While I worked for EDS I loved those ads, especially the airplanes in the sky one - taking off with no idea of a destination, frantically putting things together at the last minute, and expecting the tech staff to wing it to a plan ... yep, that was EDS.

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Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign

Mayhem

Re: Of course they haven't conducted mass surveillance of their people...

Yes, I noticed Key being extremely specific about the GCSB never conducting any surveillance, same script as for Cameron and Obama when they were asked about the reciprocal nature of US-UK data capture.

I expect NZ is spied upon by the ASD, and we return the favour. Makes for perfect deniability.

As for the Southern Cross bugging - given the nature of what we've seen of atlantic cable taps, I wouldn't put it past the NSA to have already tapped the Hawaii end. I expect they want the NZ end for error correction on the bugging mechanisms.

Heck, I still remember being in a call centre the day that some muppet unplugged half the fibres in Takapuna by mistake on a Saturday afternoon in 2005 and broke most internet connectivity for NZ for 8-9 hours while they respliced them all. There are a lot of substantial service degradations that don't make it into the headlines that would have been perfect opportunities to install "upgrades"

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Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC

Mayhem

Re: what's the difference?

What's the difference between being 'labeled a pirate' and being 'considered suspicious'?

Oh there are a whole bunch of use cases for the idea of Suspicious for a overarching monitoring service which wants to quietly expand its remit to grow the business.

For example, if you don't fall under the simple idea of Pirate then they can bump you up to the wonderfully evocative potential child porn trader or all the way to resembles known host of criminal sites.

That's what all the comment about burden of proof are about, and why under rule of law it should be the accuser's job. It is much harder to prove a negative, so making you prove that you aren't using the VPN for piracy merely removes you from the list of potential pirates. It says nothing about the other lists of potential criminals ... unless of course, you have nothing to hide ... at which point they get to ask "Why do you need a VPN" ... both exposing their lack of understanding of basic security protocols, and inviting you to bend over to all and sundry ...

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Mayhem

Or you use a UK located server to restream to yourself

I have a Plex server in London.

That has a iplayer channel that I can access from any of my registered devices wherever I am while travelling in Europe, and since iplayer is streaming to London and the Plex server is streaming to me, I can happily watch anything. Should work equally well in Australia, although I haven't tested that yet to determine performance.

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Cryptolocker flogged on YouTube

Mayhem

Re: Malware served through ads? Oh dear...

@ammabamma

So a related question - assuming the virus writers are operating under an expectation of many of the above being present ... could this become a silent infection mechanism of a more savvy user?

After all, being used to not seeing ads means the user becomes complacent in terms of what is rendering on the page. The primary defences on a windows platform are 1/2/4 above.

Yet Adblock relies on a (relatively) trusted third party list which means what is blocked is known, and could in theory be worked around. To be fair, the vector above relies on a trusted ad delivery mechanism, so should be blocked at the source as I understand it. But if they are tailoring their exploits to language/platform/browser, then they are already being selective in terms of target, so it isn't a huge stretch to extrapolate further.

Inquiring minds would like to know.

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Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

Mayhem
Thumb Up

Re: possums

Yep, but the key to possums is to hit em with the back wheel so the mess sprays out behind you, rather than under the vehicle. Even more fun on the gravel back roads.

Cue the mandatory rally ad

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaoAkoLT274

On the other hand, Aussies learn early to swerve round wombats, which are pretty much indestructible mobile traffic islands...

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BOFH: The Great Backup BACKDOWN

Mayhem

Re: Flaming external usb drives

Ahh, the classic I have a mirror therefore I have a backup idea.

Until it is pointed out firmly that all a mirror means is you will happily duplicate the missing file.

Or worse as I found many years ago, you duplicate the corrupted Master File Table, and lose everything on both disks.

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Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers

Mayhem

Mirage

Given Israel's history of industrial espionage, especially Mossad stealing all 200,000 original blueprints of the Mirage V from the French (including the engine plans) back in 1971, which they then used to construct the Kfir - I really have little sympathy for them getting spied on in return.

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Mayhem

Re: aware of the benefits of 4K

Speaking as someone who actually has an 80" TV (non-4k) in the lounge, anyone sitting closer than about 5ft from the screen will have much more serious problems than differentiating pixels. Preferred viewing distance is 10-14 ft. You can however comfortably separate pixels @1920/1080 from about 2-3ft away with good eyesight.

First things first, you *need* HD or blu-ray content to make the most of it - low res imagery looks horrible as the pixels are blown up to massive proportions. Particularly noticeable when streaming poor youtube content. The difference between SD and HD content from Sky is orders of magnitude, but there just aren't that many good HD channels.

Secondly, gaming when closer than about 6-8ft away (which fills your vision) is pretty much a recipe for motion sickness. The brain has issues coping with that much stuff changing that quickly in your peripheral vision. Just moving a mouse around up close is a headache. I end up doing something else while the controller batteries recharge.

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Reg Latin scholars scrap over LOHAN's stirring motto

Mayhem
Pint

Re: Caliganote

Just wanted to say that dodgy puns like this (and the attention to detail in the delightful article that spawned it) is one of the main reasons I love el Reg so much.

Two. Two main reasons. And whoever writes the subheads on the front page has those occasional flashes of brilliance that makes whatever rubbish is in the story well worth reading.

So the three main reasons I love the Reg...

Barkeep! A round to the Reg team on my way out!

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Who has your credit card data? 1 million HOLIDAY-MAKERS' RECORDS exposed

Mayhem

Interesting

Ahh, so that's what happened.

I actually used Essential Travel for the past five years, found them a good and reliable inexpensive travel insurance provider for a worldwide multitrip policy.

And they no longer exist, as of some time in the past year - I was unable to renew my policy in January as the new company simply didn't support anything other than package holiday cover.

I wonder if the previous lot got flattened in an acquisition, and the underlying setup was so bad it was safer to start afresh. Certainly the old website was terrible, both to use, and from a coding viewpoint. And as demonstrated here.

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Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 world conquest plan: folders!

Mayhem

Re: @Robert Grant

It means he's heard of Jokes, and knows that good Jokes bring the mythical Upvote, but hasn't really understood how they work, so is building his own imitation Joke based on what he's seen used before in the hope of getting some sympathetic Upvotes.

aka ... the Cargo Cult, where primitive tribes built fake wooden airstrips after WWII to try and attract back the military aircraft bearing Cargo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

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The cute things they say

Mayhem

Re: Barf

Easiest way to clean a keyboard is to put it in a mesh bag and put it in the dishwasher (ideally without all the dirty plates)

The mesh bag is just to collect any keys that fall off in the process, to save hunting around to see where they went.

Put it in a hot water cupboard for a day or three to dry properly, good as new.

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AV for Mac

Mayhem

Re: ESET

I was going to ask if anyone used Eset for macs - I really like the plain nod32 AV on Windows, and knew there was a linux variant as well.

Reliable, low resource use, and basically invisible to the end user. All you ever want.

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Coca Cola slurps millions of MAC addresses

Mayhem

Re: Thirsty!

@Gordon 10

I suspect you missed a unit there - a standard 500ml bottle of coke contains 900kJ or 210kcal.

Somewhat more worrying is the 53g of sugar, which is around 40% of the RDA for men.

Which is roughly equivalent to one standard dairy milk bar (ignoring the fat content, which is substantial).

Not that that is likely to stop me drinking a shedload of it, but it does explain why I don't drink as much any more unless I'm working hard.

@AC

The key to the obesity epidemic isn't the sugar in soft drinks and chocolate though. Those are obvious targets, and few people consume huge volumes of them without awareness of the consequences.

The key is in the steadily rising sugar and fat contents in just about everything else you eat. Since salt, sugar and fat trigger favourable taste responses, manufacturers of processed foods add more and more to "enhance flavour", especially for low budget foods that don't taste particularly good without the additives.

Which means you end up blowing out your RDA by noon without even realising it, and a low income family has very little choice in the matter.

The solution isn't as simple as cooking your own food, although that helps, but in paying attention to what you eat and how much of it, and a lot of people simply don't know or don't care to do that. And cooking your own food is expensive - in time, in energy, and in raw ingredients, not to mention transportation and storage of bulk ingredients. Which puts it out of the reach of many of the worst affected, especially pacific islanders.

(This of course doesn't cover genetic and racial predisposition towards metabolising particular foods due to differing biological reactions and intestinal flora - eg. asians and alcohols)

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Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

Mayhem

Re: It Will Not Die

I swear accountants tend to be cold blooded ... their fingers are cold and clammy whether alive or dead.

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Quadrillion-dollar finance house spams Reg reader with bankers' private data

Mayhem

Re: RE: made up email address

I quite like a@b.com which is about the shortest address I know that passes basic validation

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NSA spied on 'radicalisers' porn surfing so as to discredit them, reveals Snowden

Mayhem

Re: dumbass k chickens coming home to roost

@Matt

I think you mistyped some words, so I fixed up your post for you ...

"....Good work, Ed....." Oh, so you want hypocrite jihadis western media outlets to carry on brainwashing the gullible into good little Muslim suicide-bombers minimum wage workers, or maybe you'd prefer that the influencers and their brainwashed followers were stopped by a drone strike? Would you prefer the jihadi western followers to give up their jihadi capitalistic ways when their leaders are exposed as hypocrites or when the followers get arrested and thrown in Gitmo for the rest of their lives? Maybe you'd prefer it if the NSA, CIA, GCHQ, MI6 et al all downed tools? Complete fail.

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PC market: ABANDON HOPE all ye who enter here

Mayhem

Re: Really ?

@sam bo

You can talk about translation all you like, but the original Italian phrase is Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate, and being latin derived, Italian is quite precise in meaning, which makes translation straightforward. The modifier "All" clearly applies to the word "Hope". English word choice is down to the translator, hence "Abandon all hope" instead of say "Leave behind every hope", but the context and grammar is clear.

Lasciate - second person plural of the verb to leave or deposit. "(You) Abandon"

Ogni - masculine plural adjective each or every. "All"

Speranza - noun. "Hope".

Voi - pronoun. "You"

Ch' - Che - pronoun - who or that. "that"

entrate - present impersonal. "is entering (this)"

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GTA San Andreas: Now smack that disobedient hooker on your PHONE

Mayhem

Re: ...and I'm sure it will only need all of my available storage

Well, on IOS - both phone and tablet, GTA III is 688MB, Vice City 1.1GB, so I'd expect SA to weigh in at somewhere around 2-3GB - a standard pc deployment was around 4.5GB and they can probably do some funky optimisation to reduce that.

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We flew our man Jack Clark into Facebook's desert DATA TOMB. This is what he saw

Mayhem

Re: Good God, that's depressing

Thats true - our old DR site had the best hot chocolate machine I've ever encountered - left our local cafes for dead, let alone the chains.

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Antidote for poisonous Aussie Red-Back Spider venom DOESN'T WORK

Mayhem

Re: Heroine's are bad?

I know if I woke up and the doctor said I'd become a heroine I'd be pretty distraught!

(After the mandatory chest examination, of course)

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Brit spymasters: Cheers, Snowden. Terrorists are overhauling their comms

Mayhem

Re: blah blah blah Snowden blah blah blah.

Of course their finances use electronic bank transfers.

The difference is that the money tends to route via Governments which breaks the trail nicely.

Saudi Arabia for example, or in the case of the IRA towards the end of the war ... the UK government.

How else do you think they manage to pay for the arms they need? Suitcases full of cash are heavy and too easy to trace.

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Alleged Peeping Tom claims First Amendment right to upskirt

Mayhem

Re: Consent on both sides?

@Ian

I sadly have to agree with you here - they need to clarify the laws related to "reasonable expectation of privacy"

After all, the red tops seldom get successfully sued for the pictures taken by paps, and most of those constitute fairly direct invasions of privacy as far as the individuals are concerned.

Today I get the feeling "in public" means "viewable from the neighboring hilltop with a small telescope for a lens and clearly reflected in a shiny metal object outside".

Upskirt photography is fairly offensive, but in many countries it isn't technically illegal.

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Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

Mayhem

Re: Hotels

Within the Schengen area, you won't need to show a passport at the border if travelling by land.

Switzerland you may do, depending on where and how you enter the country. Once you leave the Schengen area, you always hit a border post where they should check documents - that's part of the agreement for the free travel area.

Taking the eurotunnel, its a 50/50 on if you get checked at the border - we had a minivan full of people waved through on the way out as "too hard" but all were individually checked on the way back into the UK for example.

Flying you always do, as they don't have separate entry points for Schengen flights and other EU flights.

In terms of accommodation - every hotel,hostel, backpackers and even campsite I have stayed at in Europe has taken a record of my passport, whether in a heavy tourist area or rural. The only ones that didn't were when we rented accommodation, at which point only the lead name needed to provide ID.

You may find that when you made the booking for the hotel in advance, you provided ID. I know my details are saved with a range of websites so they automatically get sent through and I don't have to fill them out each time.

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Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE

Mayhem

printui /s /t2 from an elevated command prompt is your friend on Windows 7 - lets you actually delete corrupted print drivers before reinstalling.

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You're more likely to get a job if you study 'social' sciences, say fuzzy-studies profs

Mayhem
Joke

Re: What social sciences actually do

Oh, they'd flip your burger fine.

The only problem is it would end up really well cooked on one side, but only lightly heated on the other.

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Insight warns of $20 MILLION kick in the teeth from Microsoft

Mayhem

Re: Tragic News

What, you mean the first three things I uninstall on every new box from Insight - Evernote, Symantec trial and Verisign?

Sure. That's a definite improvement in their service.

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Microsoft investors advised: Sack the guy searching for Ballmer replacement

Mayhem

Re: But...

The directors of the firm hired to continue the search after the other people had been sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked.

Mr Ballmer's iReplacement Has iBeen iFound In An iEntirely iDifferent iCompany At Great iExpense And At The iLast iMinute.

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Virgin Media only puts limited limits on its Unlimited service

Mayhem

Re: What a bunch...

@Joe Montana

Zone 1 is a ghetto for commercial fibre as well, and even having money to spend doesn't help - we've been waiting almost 14 months for a symmetric 100Mb fibre line to be run into Piccadilly thanks to an overstuffed pipe.

So far there is a 20m gap between our building and the street box that has taken 8 months to attempt to get a new pipe run through. A more useless pack of wallies I haven't met.

It also doesn't help that there are only two groups licenced to pull fibre in central London - Virgin and BT. Ours is a Colt circuit, but we still need Virgin to do the last mile, or 20m in this case.

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SEX CRAZED FISH keeping hapless Southamptonites awake

Mayhem

Re: Sir

Well, it could always be a normal microphone with a rubber-over and an elastic band, especially if tracking Yangtze river dolphins

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Oz Army red-faced after ready ... aim ... FIRE burns suburbs

Mayhem

Re: “talking through her hat”

@AC

To be fair to the environmentalists ... most of the wilderness areas in that part of NSW are now National Parks as they were the main forested areas left. Which means of course the red tape has expanded - unauthorised fires and habitat destruction are kind of frowned upon in National Parks.

The other main reason is that eucalypts tend to grow over winter, when water is plentiful, and dry out as summer comes on. In summer the fires race through the canopy and char out the understory, but the dry trees are generally unaffected because the fire doesn't stick around long enough to hurt the growing parts. End result, a short term clearance followed by an explosion of growth.

In winter, with damp trees, the fires tend to burn slower and stick around longer which damages the growth buds and boils the water in the trunks, which splits the trees open and makes them vulnerable to pests. End result, a lot more dead trees and poor regrowth.

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Mayhem

Re: “talking through her hat”

Or more likely ... how about the locals try NOT building houses on ridges in heavily forested areas.

The Blue Mountains get bushfires. Every year. Everyone knows this. Most of the mountains between Cessnock & Sydney were left as wilderness because of the fire risk, not because the NSW government at the time had a particular mania for preservation.

This is nothing to do with environmentalism, or global warming, and all to do with urban sprawl and the encroachment of housing into many areas previously deemed too high risk to build houses in.

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Lumia 2520: Our Vulture gets his claws on Nokia's first Windows RT slab

Mayhem

Re: AltGrrrrrrrrrr

Actually if you look at the photo beneath, you can clearly see an Alt Gr key, and the Euro symbol is still the third symbol on the 4, same as a normal UK keyboard.

In other words, unless the author was talking about a built in soft keyboard and not the external keyboard ... I have no idea what he was on about..

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Easily picked CD-ROM drive locks let Mexican banditos nick ATM cash

Mayhem

Re: Backwards

If its anything like the Wincor Nixdorf machines we used to work on - once you have access to the top half of the machine, you have access to all the hardware.

The ATM controller is simply a little windows embedded PC, usually a Beetle, which you can swap components out in relatively easily (dead PSUs were not uncommon). Occasionaly we'd yank the whole PC and drop in a replacement. You can do anything via diagnostics once it is opened - change the value of cash bins, spit out notes, send test comms up the chain etc. It is all logged though, which uploads remotely, and you can't clear the logs easily.

However this is a complete fail from an operational point of view - the controller section is totally separate to the cash drawer below, requiring a different pair of keys to open - one we held and one the security guards who load the machine hold. Also, every time we did any work on the box, we had to have a security guard present - precisely because of the potential for cash to be dispensed.

(Or most often, we'd have to pull out the cash bins to extract the remains of several hundred dollars in bills chewed up in the mechanisms - that goes in a sealed back back to the bank)

If anything I think the above poster is correct - we're probably talking about the dodgy little third party machines that charge for transactions - they are built to a significantly lower standard than the top line bank models.

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MI5 boss: Snowden leaks of GCHQ methods HELPED TERRORISTS

Mayhem

Details please.

>> Parker sought to explain how individuals known to MI5 have gone on to plan, or in some cases execute terrorist plots

Name one. Go on, state When you learned they were plotting, What they were plotting, and How your evidence was what secured the country. You can avoid the exact specifics of the methods, but surely if these people were so bad, they were lawfully arrested for their crimes on our soil right?

Oh, the crimes are international. Or they were. So what did you actually do that was useful?

Provide the mass public with a single tangible bit of evidence that ANY of this mass information gathering has been of specific benefit to the country. It can't be that hard to pull out one case that won't harm your sources.

Or are we still talking about environmental activists, journalists, or friends and family of the above, all of whom have been stitched up by the various forces that don't like their behaviour. Or the bugging of political conferences so you can get an understanding of opposition views?

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British support for fracking largely unmoved by knowledge of downsides

Mayhem

Re: Simple

Well, the bombs have to be used *somewhere* or our armaments industry will get unhappy.

So dropping em into a hole in the ground seems to be a viable workaround, and this way our Brave Lads (tm) don't get shot at.

*yes, I know they don't use bombs.

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Flying in the US? Remember to leave your hand grenades at home

Mayhem

Re: two shoulder fired rockets !!

I have never forgotten seeing a LAW on the wall in the firearms section of the main Gart Bros store in Denver back in 91 or 92. Apparently it was considered a hunting weapon.

"Look ... a moose"

BOOM

<holds up shreds>

"Got em."

As for the rest, I recall flying back from Japan in 94 or 96 with a carry on bag full of interesting items.

On being stopped by the scanner, he opens my bag, pulls out several throwing stars, a folding knife, a polycarbonate knife allegedly designed not to show up on xrays, a set of brass knuckles, several thousand BB rounds and a few other similar things my military obsessed homestay had given as mementos. He then pulls out my old all metal pentax SLR & lens boxes, looks them over, and puts everything back in and I board the flight.

Apparently all that simply indicated "teenage male" and was classed as harmless fun in the days of airport sanity. Still have most of them lying in drawers back at the family home I think.

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British spooks seize tech from Snowden journo's boyfriend at airport

Mayhem
Joke

Re: Association and retaliation

Much better to wait until its Olympics time again, and hold up all the UK & US political types.

"Oh I'm sorry sir, I know you had stadium tickets, but you see they appeared to be forgeries and we were worried about terrorists. You can go through now. Yes, yes I know the race has finished, but I'm sure you want people to be safe"

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Cool cars, cat-crushing chronometers, cashmere ... is this your IT boss?

Mayhem

Re: Global Warming?

New Zealanders do. If not necessarily to Verbier.

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REVEALED: Cyberthug tool that BREAKS HSBC's anti-Trojan tech

Mayhem

Natwest two factor is worthy of Joseph Heller

Hah.

I've had a lot of runins with Natwest Business banking lately.

They have a browser based malware scanner of some form that runs in the background when the user logs in. If this detects what it thinks is malware, it disables the users account, and then their system deletes the user.

We have to recreate the account from scratch from another admin account, and then wait a week for the pin code to be sent out by their central mail centre. There is no way to speed this up.

Upon receipt of which the user logs back in, triggers the system again, and the account is promptly redeleted.

We phone the helpline and they simply advise that Malware X was detected on IP Y for that user.

The IP is the public gateway for our network. The malware X isn't detected locally, nor on our virtual desktops. We ask for info on specifically what malware was detected. "I can't tell you that".

How was it detected? "I can't tell you." "You can't, or you won't?" "I can't tell you that either"

Is there a second line team I can speak to? No, it is based in India, and doesn't talk to end users.

Can you advise how to get around this? "Install Rapport. We provide it free and it will protect your pc" The user is in a Citrix desktop, via thin client, they don't have a pc. "Install Rapport. It will fix it"

We tried logging in via Chromebook and guest adsl link. Same result. "Install Rapport" "How?!!"

All they record for diagnostic purposes is User, Malware family, Public IP & DateTime. Really freaking useful, not even specific to strain of malware.

Eventually we replaced every item of hardware in the office, rebuilt every accounts user's Citrix profile, and reinstalled windows from scratch on their machines and a month later the system finally gave up deleting the accounts. Only took three months of new account every other week.

1
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Climate change EVEN WORSE than you thought: It causes WAR and MURDER

Mayhem

Re: WALOOB

Actually, Google searching for those names and "The Treehouse Gang" gives me no useful results whatsoever.

So no, I have no idea what you are talking about.

Although being as ad hominem attacks are the most effective and honest form of persuasion, you have completely convinced me that you are right and these guys are certifiably kids in a tree.

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Mayhem
Coat

Re: WALOOB

Fool! Don't use your <faulty site>, you should use my <perfectly honest site> instead.

After all, <person who runs site> is a known (Skeptic/Apologist/Reliable Source - delete where inappropriate) and his opinion is far better than <your previous suggestion>

Why can't you use some critical thinking and look at <proper site> like all sensible people!

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Hotel marketplace Airbnb: Show us your privates if you want to book a bed

Mayhem

Re: Booking hotels and hostels in China, Japan, S Korea. etc

Most countries in Europe have laws requiring hotels and hostels to record the identity of their guests, using either a passport or internationally recognised ID document. The UK, Germany, Spain & France are definitely included, it may even be an EU wide law in exchange for the opening of borders.

At no stage do they actually hold on to the document though, it is simply handed over to the clerk who confirms your identity and records the number and type of document, then hands it back with the room key.

As I understand it, the records can be accessed by police or border control services when required, usually for the purposes of tracing missing persons.

Sure beats the biometric registration that the US insists on for foreigners, with all 10 fingers and photograph.

I'm sure that will *never* end up misused ...

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Why next iPhone screen could be made of SAPPHIRE - and a steal...

Mayhem

Re: Ah yes, Hunting for Slags...

Oh aye, oop north has always been famous for its ores.

Nowadays of course it's mostly slags you're finding.

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Mayhem

Re: Have a gorilla...

No thanks ... I'm trying to give them up!

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Hold on! Degrees for all doesn't mean great jobs for all, say profs

Mayhem

Re: It's whether the degree is *hard* or *soft*

@boltar

The point of my post was to explain the difference in approach between the rigorous logical heavy rote learning approach of the traditional CS teacher when I was at uni, with the practical approach adopted by the cross-discipline lecturers. In their experience, if you took too long making your systems talk together, your samples had a tendency to go wrong or die and you would have to start from scratch again - biology can be like that. So they taught how to quickly get a solid understanding of what one side emits and the other side expects, and the best way to interface between them. CS on the other hand taught a specific range of historical protocols as if they were handed down on the mount, and expected you to adapt your experiments to work around them. The rapidity in which almost all of them were replaced in the following years has answered that debate.

And what I found in my career is that their experiences are far more relevant when it comes to troubleshooting and implementation. For Development? Not so much, mostly because as a developer you generally have the time to do it right. When you put something live, or if the main app breaks, that free time goes out the window, and the focus is on effectively making it work.

That being said, there are three very different disciplines being discussed here - design, adaptation & development and implementation. A really good designer will almost always benefit from cross-discipline work - good design needs experience and the broader the background, the more likely the exposure to a similar problem in a different setting.

Adapting that design into a good bit of development is a different skillset, one which needs a detailed knowledge of platform and program. Here your CS rigor is probably more useful, as is knowing when *not* to reinvent the wheel.

Implementing though ... in every company I have worked with, there have only been a handful of really good implementation guys, because its a bloody hard job. They have to know their system well, and they have to know the quick and dirty workarounds for bending it to fit the environment. They also have to know when to kick the problem back upstairs for more work, which is a tricky balance to achieve.

And quite frankly, in my years I've only once had to remember any specifics of multiplexing as opposed to generalities - its something handled either by the dedicated networks team on big scales, or by the nice black box attached to the wall on small scales. But you're right - I hated most of the network papers. Which makes it all the more interesting that I got a heck of a lot out of the advanced one. Which was down to the lecturers. Which was my original point.

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Mayhem

Re: It's whether the degree is *hard* or *soft*

My best set of lecturers when I did my Comp Sci degree had no formal training in IT at all - two were masters in botany and one was a biologist. They taught an advanced networking course.

What made them exceptional was the real world training they had in connecting disparate systems, and making them talk to each other. Which meant they were really good at explaining what you needed to do and why to adapt a protocol in a language that all of us could follow. Unlike all the formally trained lecturers who went into the minutiae of particular protocols, out of which the only thing I can recall from a year long paper is a Romanian accent saying 'Multiplexing!'.

6
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How I nearly sold rocket windows to the crazy North Koreans

Mayhem

Re: You'd be surprised

To be fair to the KGB, I suspect that the west did regularly plan unprovoked first strike tactics during the cold war.

And then filed them under the *completely insane* category, and put them to one side.

I mean, I would expect the US military to have plans to invade most of the countries of the world filed away somewhere. They are a military after all - it is their job to plan for this stuff, along with modern civil war scenarios, and what to do when Canada finally has enough and invades again.

If the President turns around and says "We need to invade Afghanistan", you need to be able to quickly say "sure, here's what needs to be done and who we need to talk to" while frantically cleaning off the dust.

The problem of course comes in when the policy making types start thinking that the existence of these plans mean that such a decision is likely to be successful, or if the plans are removed from context and handed to the Great Leader with a note saying "see what wikileaks our great spies found ... we must strike first!"

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