* Posts by Allan George Dyer

1302 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Google makes it official: Chrome will freeze Flash ads on sight from Sept 1

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

Re: At least somebody out there read 'The Art of War'

Fantastic... Does it also run the malware on the landing page it reaches, and confess to the RIAA/Police for accessing illegal content?

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Allan George Dyer
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Dissappointed...

The headline gave me hope that "not running flash" would become mainstream.

Anyone for a sweepstake on the time of appearance of first flash ad that tricks the "non-important" rule? In minutes? No? In seconds?

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Google Cloud in nine-hour storage SNAFU

Allan George Dyer
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Re: FFS!

I understand now. Which would you rather tell your boss:

1. "There was a disc failure in the RAID array and a second drive failed during the rebuild, so we're restoring from backup, it'll take 9 hours..."

2. "It's Google's fault. Look, it's affecting all their other customers too."

As a bonus, if the boss is still angry, tell him you can do it in-house, but you need a big budget (remember to move on to a new job just after spending the budget).

There are only two three certainties: Death, Taxes and System Failure.

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Using SQL techniques in NoSQL is OK, right? WRONG

Allan George Dyer
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Trollface

Any relation to Uri Geller?

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3D-printed robot hand grabs Dyson award for UK

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Re: "affordable prosthetics for all”

I'd give my right arm for an affordable prosthetic...

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Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

Allan George Dyer
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Flame

Nostalgia...

I love that song,

"You make a grown man cry"

I tried to avoid 95, and kept to OS/2 or NT whenever possible. 95 was just another GUI over DOS. When the filesystem is still FAT, long filenames are just a kludge, the real filename is still 8.3 characters. Plus, whoever thought that allowing long filenames AND keeping special meanings for extensions AND hiding known extensions by default was a good idea should be forced to clean up every virus infection this enabled, worldwide, while crawling on broken glass</rant>. Sorry, breath deeply, clam down...

On the plus side, 95 did kill off boot sector viruses... they didn't support 32-bit drivers, so when it booted, Windows was forced into compatibility mode. Everything worked, apparently normally, except the CD driver disappeared (most CD drives depended on 32-bit drivers). Users complained about that, so the virus was discovered and eliminated. Easy to diagnose, once you knew.

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The good burghers of Palo Alto are entirely insane

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Re: Excellent article

A McLaren F1 would be an odd choice as a taxi: only room for one passenger, insignificant luggage space, difficult to get in or out of. I can't imagine what the insurance premiums to use it as a hire car would be... but do Uber drivers care about proper insurance?

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High-heeled hacker builds pen-test kit into her skyscraper shoes

Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

Re: Given the size of a small mobile

Be fair, the OSS never hid an entire computer in a belt-buckle or even a shoe.

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Get whimsical and win a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive

Allan George Dyer
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Sigh, another website that ignores my browser's language preference and uses English because I happen to be in Whipsnade Zoo. Whaddya mean, 'go' isn't the ISO639 code for Gorilla?

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Allan George Dyer
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"Why, thank you, that's so kind. A lovely gift." (I did so want the 6+)

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OK, who unplugged the modem? North Korea's internet disappeared for four hours today

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

Wrong headline...

North Korea Networks Survive World-wide Internet Catastrophe

For four hours today, networks all across the world crashed. Only North Korea's were able to keep running during the cateclysmic outage...

It all depends on which way you're looking...

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Bruce Schneier: 'We're in early years of a cyber arms race'

Allan George Dyer
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Mushroom

"My own personal computers, being highly secured and reliable, coupled with my knowledge of how to use them, would make me personally the equivillent of a nuclear power in a nuclear war."

So the first sign that the "cyber cold war" is turning hot will be conventional military strikes against 1980s_coder and other IT experts?

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Why do driverless car makers have this insatiable need for speed?

Allan George Dyer
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Terminator

Re: The end of any driving pleasure

@LucreLout - "No reg plates requires a physical stop, which requires actual traffic police, of which we have very few."

But every driverless car around you is checking the registration of other cars (for purely safety reasons - "that's an early Ford controller, known for sudden braking on left-hand turns...") and reporting back tp the System. Then, like a dreadful, mechanised ballet, every car around your manual, unregistered car bunches up and gently forces you to stop outside the nearest police station, speeding away about their business once you're cuffed. No need for traffic police to stray from their donuts.

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China shutters 50 websites for spreading explosion 'rumours'

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Govt Owned Press?

A tautology and an oxymoron in the same sentence, well done.

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Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: Serious questions to the AC.

@Bleu - I guess that they are like the groups who are anti-vaccination, but, instead of objecting to injecting people with cows, they object to injecting people with old computers.

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Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Still learning about PR...

Chinese official in press conference on BBC news explaining they had detected cyanide at two locations but won't say where they are because cyanide is poisonous.

Yep, that is going to reassure everyone that the authorities are keeping people out of harm's way, and not cause mass panic at all.

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DIGITAL DOPING might make you a Tour de Virtual cycling champion

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

Re: FFS

But what would the environmental effect be of all the erstwhile-cyclists having two or three bin lorries stolen each year?

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IT jargon is absolutely REAMED with sexual double-entendres

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Nah - carpentry is where its at

Forget carpentry, try mechanics and plumbing: grease nipples and ball cocks.

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I've seen Kaspersky slap his staff with a walrus penis – and even I doubt the false-positive claims

Allan George Dyer
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Trollface

Re: Conflict of interest

You forgot the troll icon.

How about, Firemen, Doctors, street sweepers?

We had enough new malware in the 1980's - one new item a month is enough to make a subscription necessary, why would anyone make more work when there are tens of thousands of new samples a day? Knowing about it before your competitors only gives an advantage of hours - you don't get credit for detection until a testing organisation has a sample, and testing organisations are part of the sample distribution structure. On top of that, there's the chance of getting caught.

Full disclosure: I sell anti-malware software and Eugene has given me vodka.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Not fishy at all

Interesting article, after the attention-grabbing soundbite, "They are charlatans and scammers", Chris DiBona says, "No major cell phone has a 'virus' problem in the traditional sense" and "Yes, a virus of the traditional kind is possible, but not probable". I'd take 'traditional virus' to mean 'program that alters other programs to include a (possibly modified) copy of itself', and a defence against that is limited transitivity, which a walled garden can provide. However, 'anti-virus' suites nowadays are more general, acting against all types of malware, such as trojans. A trojan can be distributed in a walled garden, if the gardener is not doing his job. Can anyone name an app store where a malicious app was passed through vetting?

Google feels it is necessary to bad-mouth anti-malware vendors because admitting they are necessary is an admission that Google is unable to make its app store perfectly safe.

Full disclosure: I sell anti-malware software and Eugene has given me vodka.

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Surprise! Evil-eyed cats MORE LIKELY to be SNEAKY PREDATORS – boffins

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Yes, but...

Uh... that the mantis shrimp is the prototype for the supermarket checkout scanner?

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Want to download free AV software? Don't have a Muslim name

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Re: Works 4 me

And James Holmes was convicted today... how many gun nuts have attacked unarmed innocents? Perhaps no free AV software is the price one pays for being an NRA member?

Personally, I prefer controls that i) are easy to apply, ii) address the actual problem iii) are effective and avoid unintended consequences.

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Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Re: so now tha bad guys

@Fonant - Interesting lists.

At least the UK version has some activity details, so they could use a follow-up question that doesn't require sensitive personal information... like,

"In approximately 2005, did you run a 'basic training' camp for Al-Qaida in Pakistan?"

"Um... No?"

"We're all good, carry on with your download"

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STOP! You – away from the keyboard. There's no free speech in our China

Allan George Dyer
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Re: This raises questions

@Daggerchild - the MPS certainly has technical experts, I've met a few of them.

Is this about strengthening capabilities, or empire-building within the organisation?

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AIDS? Ebola? Nah – ELECTRO SMOG is our 'biggest problem', says Noel Edmonds

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Let's get this straight...

"part of a massive, incomprehensible universal web of energy" -

Yep, that's right. Biologists call it the Food Web. Next time you get bitten by a mosquito - celebrate, it's immortality on an instalment plan! Bird just shat on you? That might be Grandma trying to get back in contact, via the bird that ate the worm that... you get the idea.

Any sane person makes a distinction between energy and consciousness. Shesh!

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Chechen women swindle ISIS via social media: 'We need roubles to join you xx'

Allan George Dyer
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A cunning plan...

From: Chief of Police, Chechnya

To: Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS

Subject: Restoration of Proceeds of Fraud

Your Excellency, following the regrettable incident of criminal elements in Chechnya defrauding members of your esteemed organisation of "travel fees", I am pleased to report that we have arrested the perpetrators and will be arranging restoration of the funds as soon as possible.

However, to proceed with the case, we do need to take statements in person from the victims and verify their standing in your organisation. Please can you assist in contacting the victims and providing documentation of their atrocities and beheadings glorious work in your organisation, and ask them to report, in person, to any Chechen Police Station to make their statements.

We will, of course afford them every hospitality they deserve, and, in addition to the restoration of the fraudulent funds, refund their incidental and travel expenses if they are ever released when they leave.

Yours sincerely,

Chief of Police

P.S. - Please note, we have a relaxed dress policy at our Police Stations, weapons should be checked with the desk sergeant and suicide vests must not be worn.

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OFFICIAL SCIENCE: Men are freezing women out of the workplace

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: re: I blame the fact that they are the marketing department.

@AC - "programmers who don't understand that opening windows lets in more hot air and stops the air-con working"

Ah, must be Microsoft loyalists. They don't understand, air conditioners are like computers, they don't work properly when Windows is opened.

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Armouring up online: Duncan Campbell's chief techie talks crypto with El Reg

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

Re: a nice try....

@Cipher - The One Time Pad is not the answer to almost all real-world security problems. The article gave practical (but not mathematically perfect) solutions for two scenarios:

1) Data at Rest - The OTP is as large as the encrypted data, so you've replaced the problem of securely storing the data to securely storing the OTP, no gain. The OTP was never intended for this scenario.

2) Data in Transit - The OTP gives perfect protection to a message, provided you have previously securely shared a OTP at least as big. In other words, it allows you to time-shift the secure data transfer.

The OTP works for pre-defined communicators with previous opportunity for secure transfer - say a Government and its embassies. It is useless for whistleblowers or ad-hoc collaborative groups.

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'Fix these Windows 10 Horrors': Readers turn their guns on Redmond

Allan George Dyer
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Hawking, Musk, Woz (and Riley): ROBOTS will KILL US ALL

Allan George Dyer
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It's already too late...

We've seen video of a quadcopter-mounted handgun recently and facial recognition software is freely available. How difficult would it be to release a van-load of quadcopters programmed to "proceed to beach, shoot faces" and drive quietly away before the carnage starts? A bomb would be much simpler, but the terror effect of murderous drones on shaky cameraphone video would be much greater.

The limiting factor is the availability of guns. A drone can't be the "Kalashnikov of tomorrow" until you mount a Kalashnikov on it.

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YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin

Allan George Dyer
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Re: The Designation of needs to be down graded

Upvoted, not because I agree, but for your chutzpah. If you start a trend, we might be re-designating Mercury as a failed comet.

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YOW! Pluto STUNS boffins with HAZY, SHRINKY atmosphere

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NIST in suspected 'meth lab' blast: US Congress is demanding answers

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: lamar looks up

@Yet Another Anonymous coward - Can you ask them to put the glassware in a box marked "Gun Parts" or "Ammunition"?

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Choc Factory research shows users just don't get security

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Useful conclusion...

They "recommend security advice should be comprehensible, effective, and contain limited drawbacks", but don't give an example.

I recommend that studies like this should make recommendations that are easy to apply in the real world. There, that fixes everything.

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Disaster-gawping cam drones to be blasted out of the sky in California

Allan George Dyer
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What about the firehose option?

It occurs to me that a high-pressure hose is more aim-able than dropping water, and can be used without manoeuvring above the drone. Also safer than firearms, and I imagine the effective range is at least as good as a shotgun. Not to mention that it is normal equipment for firefighters, the ammunition does not explode when heated and there is plausible deniability in use.

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Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times

Allan George Dyer
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A long way behind Robert Liston...

He achieved a 300% mortality rate in one operation: the patient, an assistant and a bystander all died!

​The Legend Of The Surgery With The 300% Mortality Rate.

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Americans find fantastic new use for drones – interfering with firefighting

Allan George Dyer
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Terminator

Re: US of NRA

So Skynet and the extermination of humanity is going to be a public/private enterprise?

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Evil computers sense you’re in a hurry and mess with your head

Allan George Dyer
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Terminator

Re: Printing theses and dissertations

"All being different models - and not the exact same O/S and update level."

But then you get caught by the "it only prints correctly from THIS version" bug. If it's a long document, the problem will occur on a page in the middle (you know, the one with the complicated diagram) subtly changing it so that it is complete nonsense, but you don't notice until after the document is delivered...

And the page numbering on the table of contents is messed up.

They've got us. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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Did speeding American manhole cover beat Sputnik into space? Top boffin speaks to El Reg

Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

Re: No manhole covers involved

Surely a manhole cover is defined by function? Sounds like they drilled a shaft, lowered the device down and covered it. No mention of a man (or other person) entering the shaft, so it's a shaft cover or hole cover or lid, not a manhole cover.

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Toyota recalls 625,000 hybrids: Software bug kills engines dead with THERMAL OVERLOAD

Allan George Dyer
Silver badge
Joke

Toyota, Ford and Land Rover are building a car together...

You can't turn the engine off, it overheats and the doors now stay locked, so you can't escape the fire.

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Mozilla loses patience with Flash over Hacking Team, BLOCKS it

Allan George Dyer
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Re: The best bit is....

@ Trevor_Pott - Isn't that putting the cart before the horse? The advertisement houses want to buy the ad space. If a major news site stopped supporting flash, the ad houses would fall into line.

Also, I don't think the BBC are using flash because they want the ad revenue.

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What do you MEAN, 'Click on the thing which looks like a Mondrian?'

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

Re: I hate pictograms.

Perhaps we could use a limited number of pictograms, say 26, and give them short, standardised names. Hmm, but there are more than 26 things we need buttons for, so perhaps we could use combinations of pictograms to symbolise things, and derive rules for combining the short names for the pictograms so they become pronounceable groups of syllables. But someone is bound to mess it up, breaking the rules and adding extra bits above or below the pictograms to change their names a bit...

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Allan George Dyer
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Pint

Re: You Think You've Got It Bad?

"Och. It doesn't matter..." That sounds sooo familiar. Have an upvote, and a beer.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: You Think You've Got It Bad?

It could be worse. Does she interrupt halfway through any question intended to clarify the situation, either blaming you for not having already solved it, complaining you are being too finicky, or shouting, "Stop shouting at me, I just want to get my work done!"?

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Download Festival face scan: You’re right to be annoyed, said UK surveillance commish

Allan George Dyer
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Big Brother

Re: Really Stupid People Do Really Stupid Things

@Evil Auditor -

1. How do you know you weren't targeted?

2. What makes you think they've destroyed the file?

3. Were you called Evil Auditor back then?

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Smartphones are ludicrously under-used, so steal their brains

Allan George Dyer
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Love the gadgets but...

I don't see the use-case for bring-your-own-supercomputer-appliances. If I drop my smartphone in the cradle on the washing machine, I have to wait until my shirts are clean before I can cook my dinner and listen to some music?

The option of upgrading my stereo by giving it last-year's smartphone is attractive, but I can't imagine manufacturers giving up build-in obsolescence easily (yes, the cradle is an industry-standard, but you can't use new feature X without upgrading this bit).

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Hacking Team: Oh great, good job, guys ... now the TERRORISTS have our zero-day exploits

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

"Before the attack, Hacking Team could control who had access to the technology"

"Before the attack, Hacking Team could claim to control who had access to the technology, now we have been exposed as liars and have been forced to rely on misleading PR to maintain our business model."

FTFY.

They knew their job included defending against "terrorists and criminals", and they failed.

Who's for making knowingly concealing a vulnerability from the developer concerned a crime?

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KILLER! Adobe Flash, Windows zero-day vulns leak from Hacking Team raid

Allan George Dyer
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Pint

Bring the popcorn! I'd expect Adobe and MS to counter-sue for breach of their EULA - you know, the part where it forbids reverse-engineering? You did read the EULA, didn't you?

So the ongoing security of users depends on which company can afford more lawyers.

Hell, no popcorn icon, nevermind.

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Oi, idiot fanbois. DON'T buy this gun-shaped iPhone case, mmkay?

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

"You can prise my iPhone from my cold, dead hands."

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Boffin: Will I soon be able to CLONE a WOOLLY MAMMOTH? YES. Should I? Hell NO

Allan George Dyer
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Mushroom

Re: "but it's ethically wrong to do this from an evolutionary perspective"

@Fibbles - true, nicotine production originally evolved as protection against insects, but this doesn't invalidate Arnaut's point, "the only difference is we know we're doing it".

Should we do it? Depends on the risk analysis, but it is probably easy to wipe out a large, slow-breeding species like mammoths than something that works on humans like myxomatosis works on rabbits if things go pear-shaped. (icon - "Take off and nuke it from orbit...")

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