* Posts by Number6

1496 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

'Arkansas cops tried to hack me with malware-ridden hard drive'

Number6
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Cock-up or Conspiracy

At this point I'm quite prepared to believe that if one was to do an audit of the police department computers, most, if not all, of them would be found to be infected with the malware and the bigger question ought to be about who's stealing information from the police and what have they already got?

An interesting line of approach for the defence: "our client is incompetent, not malicious".

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LA schools want multi-million Apple refund after kids hack iPads

Number6
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Re: Technology for technology's sake

and the machines ended up just being used for internet access, but no actual learning.

I learned a lot from the alt.binaries.pictures newsgroups, including the fact that some of them should definitely not be viewed while eating.

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Eyes on the prize: Ten 23-24-inch monitors for under £150

Number6
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Re: @david bates

On the plus side, you don't get bombarded by all the banal advertising that one gets on US TV and UK cable TV. (Just tedious trailers about how wonderful the BBC is.)

There's always a debate on it, it is not a tax because if you're not receiving live TV broadcasts then you don't need to pay it. The contention comes when someone says they never watch any BBC stuff so why should they pay for a licence to support the BBC just to watch other stuff.

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Because the server room is certainly no place for pets

Number6
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Re: Actually, DON'T Virtualize it.

I still run an OS/2 VM because I have yet to find time to re-write a bit of software that runs on it. It's on the to-do list but so far things are working OK and there's no urgency, apart from thinking of some new features I'd like to add to it.

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Microsoft uses Windows Update to force Windows 10 ads onto older PCs

Number6
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Subverting the Programme

It's installed on my PC here so I just renamed the GWX directory to something else, that might make it a bi harder for something to run one of the programmes in there. Any other directories it uses?

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Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning

Number6
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If there's one thing guaranteed to spawn more copies of the book, an attempt by a clueless politician is it. People will host copies just because someone wants to ban it.

You don't fight extremism with censorship, you fight it with education. Or by making a few copies readily available for download and logging the IP address of those who actually do.

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Encryption is the REAL threat – Head Europlod

Number6
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Re: Headache eh?

If they hadn't been able to detect it then either they have subsequently discovered it or they're talking hot air. Just because they've been looking and haven't found it, doesn't mean it exists.

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Silicon Valley gets its first 1Gbps home bro– oh, there's a big catch

Number6
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Re: VPN

I was going to make the same comment, with the additional note that if there isn't a suitable VPN provider, you can be sure that someone will start one.

I like the data pollution idea, will see if I can implement it even without an AT&T connection. Perhaps someone could do an app for Verizon users and their unique cookies, too.

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Day FOUR of the GitHub web assault: Activists point fingers at 'China's global censorship'

Number6
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The way around that would be for people to install a browser plug-in that filtered traffic to the Baidu ad network. If they're not requesting scripts from inside the Chinese firewall then hopefully they're less likely to be modified.

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Virgin Media takes its time on website crypto upgrade

Number6
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I'm guessing they'll get around to it just after the nationwide IPv6 roll-out.

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'If people can encrypt their cell phones, what's stopping them encrypting their PCs?'

Number6
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They could use rot13?

For added protection I use double-rot13...

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Microsoft RE-BORKS Windows 7 patch after reboot loop horror

Number6
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Re: No issues here... you do not dual boot using GRUB.

If you have sshd running on the afflicted machine then you do stand a sporting chance of being able at least reboot cleanly without the button of power.

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Number6
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Re: @BobChip -- Windows is such an adventure

I just consider it a shame that more vendors don't produce Linux versions of their software. That way I wouldn't need a Win32 API on my machine.

As for the update in the article, it appears to be installed on the machine here (a Dell) which has successfully rebooted at least twice since the update was installed, so Im clearly missing out on the fun and excitement too.

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3,500 servers go down – so my FIRST AID training kicks in

Number6
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I remember the IT department in California installing an upgrade at midnight their time and then going home, only to be hauled out of bed by an irate CEO because the UK office, which was just starting its day, had lost all connectivity. When you're a multinational, there is no quiet time in which to install upgrades and it's therefore probably better to do them at the start of your shift (unless the overtime rates are good) so you've got maximum time to shovel the shit when it goes wrong.

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BOFH: Mmm, gotta love me some fresh BYOD dog roll

Number6
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About that roll...

There's clearly some confusion as to what is meant by a dog roll. It occurred to me that it's what the dog leaves, not what the dog eats. that would definitely be gag-worthy, even if it tasted OK with a bit of spice to mask the flavour. Probably still has some meat content, too.

Apologies to anyone eating when reading this, just be careful which door you open.

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Noobs can pwn world's most popular BIOSes in two minutes

Number6
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Re: OS Warning

A BIOS is basically a Ring -1. It can intercept any verification and return good results.

I wasn't thinking of situations where it's already hacked, because such a BIOS can report good results by any means, even on the boot-up screens. It was more an informational thing for people to be aware that there is a BIOS update available, in the same way they get informed of other updates. I bet most people aren't even aware they can upgrade the BIOS anyway - how many of them ever go through the BIOS settings? (OK, I suspect a higher proportion of Linux users are probably aware.)

Once your BIOS is hacked, it can probably simulate being upgraded too, so you're into some sort of JTAG reprogramming to be sure.

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Number6
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OS Warning

This is where someone with the necessary skills could do well with Linux - a nice little program to run that checks the BIOS version, compares with some friendly on-line database and reports back if you need an upgrade. Or does dmidecode already provide the information that just needs a parsing script and the friendly website?

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We have no self-control: America's most powerful men explain why they're scared of email

Number6
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Discretion

This is why you should always re-read an email carefully before hitting send. For the truly paranoid, type it in a text editor and only cut-and-paste when you're happy with it, lest the email client auto-save a draft of a rash comment.

I use email, but there's stuff I've declined to send after typing and reviewing it, and times when I've gone to speak to someone or called them on the phone rather than put it in email because it's ever so easy to click "forward".

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Euro broadcast industry still in a fug over that 4K-ing UHD telly

Number6
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...there's a reason for that...

However, I chanced upon the Graham Norton show the other night while channel hopping and it looked AWFUL in HD: the set design and lighting were utterly crap.

Many years ago, back before he moved to the BBC, I went to see one of his shows live. It was very entertaining, but in person the set looked very cheap and tacky. I think it was designed to look good on a standard CRT TV which was still prevalent back then. I suspect the effective video bandwidth of a digital signal is much higher - in theory you could encode adjacent pixels as white and black, whereas an analogue signal was much more restricted (test card with frequency bars, anyone?).

Obviously the set designers need to be updated to deal with modern technology.

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Number6
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photochromic Reactolite Light spectacles

Are these anything like the Peril-Sensitive nose decoration worn by Zaphod Beeblebrox?

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Number6
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Re: Chill.....

Good luck with that. We upgraded our CRT TV a few years ago when it finally died, and only bought a new one this year because we moved country (and standard).

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Storm in a K-Cup: My SHAME over the eco-monster I created, says coffee pod inventor

Number6
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The purists will probably recoil in horror, but my wife grinds a load of beans, makes a lot of coffee in a French press and lets it cool off, reheating a cup-full in the microwave when she wants one.

I stick to tea, much easier.

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Reckon YOU can write better headlines than us? Great – apply within

Number6
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Re: You really need a southwest desert bureau,

Also, it'd give y'all an expense-able reason to be somewhere not snowing in January

Not noticed any snow in Silicon Valley this winter. It did manage to rain a bit today though. If you want snow, you nip up to Tahoe for a bit.

(Note that San Francisco itself is colder than further round the Bay, and has a lot more rain.)

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Number6
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Re: Pay?

You could go live in East Bay, you can get stuff there for under $3000/month. Hop on BART, that'll get you over to the city itself without too much trouble.

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Microsoft man: Internet Explorer had to go because it's garbage

Number6
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Re: Um, what?

You can be happy then. Chrome has forked WebKit into something called Blink…

Just don't go browsing images of Weeping Angels with it.

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Number6
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Re: Um, what?

I had to stop and read that bit again. Microsoft is concerned with a monoculture coming into existence? are they really reformed or did the speaker just miss the "that we don't control" off the end?

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ACLU: Here's a secret – cops are using the FBI's fake cell-tower tech to track crims' phones

Number6
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US Constitution

The US Constitution was written with the understanding that the state had immensely more power than the individual and that's why criminals can get off scot free if the agents of the state don't stick to the rules - it provides an incentive for the agents to do so, and so attempts to prevent abuse of power.

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Stop viewing Facebook at work says Facebook at work on Facebook at Work

Number6
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Re: beep, beep-beep, ring-ring, cough, poke, slap, OY! YOU! TALK TO ME! NOW! RAAAAAAAAAAaaAAAAAaaaaa

I'm lucky - my phone rings and I can afford to look at it before getting up to go get a cup of tea in the hope that it's stopped ringing before I get back. At some point I'll have IT disable my voicemail box after I record a greeting that tells people to email me instead. The same for my mobile, if I don't recognise the number then I don't answer the call (family calls come in with a different ring tune).

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Number6
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Re: Wow! I'm just so....

How long does it take you to type three characters and click "Submit"?

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FCC Republicans slam brakes on net neutrality, but this wagon ain't slowing

Number6
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Who's in charge?

Isn't the debate here about whether it's controlled by the government or by large corporations? The American people have very little say in practice.

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BOFH: The Great HellDesk geek leave seek

Number6
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Re: The fun of a corporate card

Some people may recognise this story - company gave out Visa cards to people who needed them, all was well. Company was acquired, cardholders told to trade in their Visa for an Amex as this was the preferred card of our new US owners. At least one of the staff read the Ts and Cs for Amex, realised that the cardholder was personally liable, unlike the corporate Visa, and pretty much everyone refused to agree to the new Ts and Cs and I believe a compromise was reached where they were allowed to continue with the Visa cards (I was a bystander, not travelling enough to need a company card). To add spice to the tale, I had arranged to meet someone from another company site at Amsterdam airport on the way to a client meeting, and he had a corporate Amex which, as it turned out, was not accepted at the airport train station back then (and still may not be) so ended up using his personal Visa to buy our tickets. Needless to say, this tale got reported back to our site too.

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Number6
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I remember being invited into the project manager's office along with a few others to witness him calling the accounts department to tell them that if they didn't get their act together and stop delaying our purchase orders (usually a problem around the end of a month) then he'd be telling his team to book to the waiting time overhead number if the stuff we'd ordered didn't arrive.

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'We have NO IDEA who put those ads on our TVs', Sammy simpers

Number6
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Playmobil

I think the conference+mayo scene needs a Playmobil tribute. Just imagine how it could have gone...

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Reg hacks (and rest of 'Frisco) in LinkedIn measles contagion scare

Number6
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I once spent a day in a car with someone who came out in a rash (he was a teacher, too) during the day that was diagnosed as measles. I didn't catch it from him, so I assume that my childhood illness set up my immune system properly and that experience was the equivalent of a booster vaccine.

As for Frisco, I thought that was something one used in cooking, until I realised that C and F are close on the keyboard and my brain had suffered a typo.

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Number6
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Re: Mountains and Molehills

While I assume that like me, you didn't know the family personally, Roald Dahl lost a daughter to measles. In a few cases it causes encephalitis, which is what leads to brain damage or death, and his daughter was one of the unlucky ones.

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WATCH IT: It's watching you as you WATCH IT (Your Samsung telly is)

Number6
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Re: coming soon?

Only in the US. Host it on a non-US server with mirrors around the world. A good game of whack-a-mole could then take place.

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Number6
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Smart TVs

A timely article. I've already rejected LG based on their privacy policy for smart TVs, now I'm going to dump Samsung smart TVs too. I think I'll end up with a dumb one and add my own PC to do all the fancy tricks.

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

Number6
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Slowing the signal

Yes, the dielectric does slow down the propagation of the signal. If you look at coax cables they usually quote a velocity factor that depends on the dielectric in use. 0.66 is typical for cheap coax. PCB material has similar effects on the tracks, fibreglass has a dielectric constant of about 4.2-4.3, which slows the propagation down to about half that of free space (square root of the dielectric constant).

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Google mouthpieces: 'Right to be Forgotten' should NOT apply on google.com

Number6
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Changing the Norm

To some extent it's the wrong solution to the problem. One day, probably 20 or 30 years from now, pretty much anyone of working age is going to have something embarrassing on-line somewhere and it'll become the norm. Employers will learn to distinguish between evidence of current bad behaviour and what you did as a student but have outgrown. The world will end up with a "so what?" attitude when dodgy photos from the past get dredged up and they'll largely cease to matter.

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IBM chasing ex-staffers for $20 payments

Number6
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I think if I received a bill for $20 from an employer who'd just fired me like that, I'd write back and ask for a full cost breakdown to justify why I owed them the money. That would easily cost them more than $20 even if it turned out that I had to pay it.

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Carmakers DEFLATED by AIRBAG FLAW as US watchdog recalls TWO MEELLION vehicles

Number6
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I'm in California, I'm sure we have more lawyers than Florida and we're not at the front of the queue.

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Number6
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I was lucky, in that I never quite got around to getting the first recall done. I've got paperwork for the second, but interestingly they say that there aren't enough replacement devices to go around so they're prioritising areas such as Florida where there's heat and high humidity as evidence suggests they're more likely to have a problem than other areas. In the meantime, it is recommended not to carry front-seat passengers.

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Microsoft Outlook comes to Android, iOS: MS email now a bit less painful on mobile

Number6
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Phone Wiping

Last time I tried setting up my phone to talk to the Outlook cloud server, it wanted me to agree that the app could wipe my phone back to a factory reset if it felt like it. So I don't have it on my phone. If my employer wants me to have access, they can provide their own device for it.

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FCC sexes up, er, sextuples 'broadband' speed to 25Mbps in US

Number6
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Cost

At least they included the word "affordable" in the target definition.

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GoDaddy in doghouse over puppy-flogging Super Bowl ad

Number6
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Re: This is going to annoy Americans

You can be to the right of the Tory party and still be considered a socialist or a liberal in parts of US. They don't really know what one is, apart from the fact that the First Amendment doesn't apply to them and they shouldn't be allowed to say their piece.

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BOO! Grave remote-code exec flaw in GNU C Library TERRIFIES Linux

Number6
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Re: re Using zero terminated strings in C didn't turn out to be the best design decision ever

Back in the day, a lot of stuff didn't have the degree of communication with the outside world that it does now so security wasn't such an issue.

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Number6
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Re: Yay!

Patiently awaiting the CentOS rebuild of the fix...

I just did a yum update on my Centos VM and it pulled in a new glibc so I guess they've done something.

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PwC: Forget margin, tech biz, HUSTLE for that SALE

Number6
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Short Term, Get Rich Quick.

I was thinking along exactly the same lines. Very short term, screw everyone to get the share price up as high as possible and sell out quick.

I believe the US treats stock dividends unfavourably when it comes to tax, which is a shame. Pension funds and others looking for a long-term stable investment are generally happy to sit on the shares and use the dividends as a revenue stream that is likely to be fairly stable into the long term - that's certainly how it worked in the UK for many years.

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ICANN CEO criticizes domain 'hoggers'

Number6
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Not for Profit

Well, if ICANN is not for profit then clearly they have to spend all the money that comes in, hence the execs getting paid lots and having big travel budgets.

Mine's the one with the fee-reduction plan in the pocket.

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Landlines: The tech that just won't die

Number6
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I have an Asterisk PBX controlling my landline (and a bit of VoIP too). The general principle is that it looks up incoming CLI in a database and anything marked as a scammer gets answered with a recorded message (the 'weasels' one, for those who know Asterisk) and it hangs up, all without ringing the house phone. Very efficient. I also wrote a little app for the PC that logs all calls and pops up a little message from the system tray with the number and the results of the database lookup, so if it's a known wanted number, it'll be clear that I probably ought to answer the phone, otherwise I plug the number into Google to see who it is while the answerphone deals with the call itself.

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