* Posts by Robert Carnegie

2248 posts • joined 30 Sep 2009

Not enough personality: Google Now becomes Google Not Anymore

Robert Carnegie
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Joke

And

"Google Maps" is being rebranded as "We Know Where You Live". :-o

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My God, I've got nothing on! Microsoft's $200m Wunderlist is down

Robert Carnegie
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Well -

I think it is meant to mean "Our product is good enough for us to choose to eat it ourselves - yes it is dog food but even so."

Also, poor and/or elderly people are rumoured to buy canned dog food in the supermarket because it's cheaper than food advertised for human consumption. This is not a good idea, because it really may not be made to the same quality standard. It may e not actually cheaper anyway.

But to Wunderwhat / Wunderwhen : if they didn't use a Microsoft cloud and database now then you would think that there was something wrong with those.

Oh look - there is something wrong with those.

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Robert Carnegie
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A shopping list app is useful. I use one that can scan product bar codes to add items to list, and also manage coupons.

Also potentially useful would be to add again automatically previous purchases that are calculated to be either consumed or expired. For instance when to buy the new TV guide magazine - which I still do.

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Galaxy Note 7 short stack

Robert Carnegie
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Oh yeah. https://xkcd.com/1328/ "Update"

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Robert Carnegie
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Maybe in fact

Maybe the battery is replaceable after all, and the returned units (those not already combusted) will have a safe(r) battery fitted to go out to another customer.

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Apple iPhone 7 launch hysteria? Not in Viking land

Robert Carnegie
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Mono 160*160px...

If they make one that runs PalmOS programs then I am in.

Actually I think somebody already made a sort of PalmOS emulator for iPhone, and for Android.

Mainly I want the "FITALY" touch keyboard, which I assume is not converted yet, we would be told.

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India court could stop Facebook’s WhatsApp mega-slurp

Robert Carnegie
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I don't think that's the point

Although I am not sure why.

If the users are using a written language other than English, then the company ought to provide terms in the user's language. On the other hand, if the users accepted the original terms in English without understanding them, the company is entitled to apply the terms.

If hypothetically I could and did translate the terms as a third party, I'd have to add my own disclaimer that "I think this is what it means, but I'm not a lawyer and I'm not from India, so I'm not guaranteeing it." That would be helpful, wouldn't it.

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Will US border officials demand social network handles from visitors?

Robert Carnegie
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Yes you have

There's your account on The Register.

And did you ever use MySpace? Friends Reunited? Do you remember?

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BT's Wi-Fi Extender works great – at extending your password to hackers

Robert Carnegie
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What if the attacker does know where you live? My neighbours all know where I live.

If the password is changed then I can't use the Wi-Fi myself, but another mode of attack, apparently, will obtain my passphrase. Then they can use my Wi-Fi without paying. If I had this particular product, which maybe I don't.

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Indefatigable WikiBots keep Wikipedia battles going long after humans give up and go home

Robert Carnegie
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Intelligence plus enlightenment

If a bot achieves Artificial Enlightenment then it may stop flogging a dead horse.

I wonder what sort of an artificial mind will be produced by reading every article in Wikipedia. Perhaps wise, perhaps not. I usually find that I need to read the referenced external article to understand a subject more deeply, unless I couldn't understand the Wikipedia piece in the first place: that may or may not mean that the subject itself is unattainable to me.

By the way, Google denies knowledge of "lessons of Spock" and of "Spock or how logic", although the latter, without quotes, produces some thoughtful articles about how logical Spock really is, and how effective. And, after all, half the time, the First Officer is really in command of the ship, because the Captain is asleep, or stranded on the planet surrounded by either Klingons or beautiful women or possibly beautiful Klingons.

Mr. Scott, on the other hand, knows that what the wiki says about the ship's specifications ain't necessarily so. So does Spock, I suppose, but he has to turn to Scott - usually - to get things done properly.

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Victoria Police warn of malware-laden USB sticks in letterboxes

Robert Carnegie
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Stolen goods?

Maybe somebody stole a box full of USB sticks, in which case, the cost of the attack is considerably less.

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Opera debuts free VPN built into desktop browser

Robert Carnegie
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not Chrome

It's "Chromium" - more or less, anyway - and since Google isn't providing it, Opera isn't "phoning home" to Google - probably, and, up until you use Google to search.

Chrome apparently is a lot more eager to stop working and install an update suddenly.

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Let's Encrypt won its Comodo trademark battle – but now fan tools must rename

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"Acme"

"Acme" is a Greek word meaning roughly "utmost" or "best". As a real product trademark it may have been used by companies wanting an impressive name from Victorian times down to the present, when you can buy "Acme Writing Tools" (e.g. pencils) and a Chinese "Acme" Sewing Machine.

(Likewise, you can buy a "Volcano" camping stove online today. You put wood in and set fire to it, and it does not literally produce a volcano. It is just hot, and you can use it to cook food. But really the name is ridiculous exaggeration. But if you've never heard of us, then we need to sound impressive, or at least ambitious.)

These are some of perhaps many different businesses over time using "Acme" for their product, so the cartoons weren't portraying one real producer accidentally or deliberately, unless it was also a real product. Also, there only should be a problem (but don't count on this) if the product is unsatisfactory in itself, as opposed to Wiley Coyote shooting himself in the foot with it due to his own foolishness. I think this used to go either way, objectively. I would accuse him of not following assembly instructions but I think he used to do that carefully, after the first few times.

I am aware that a possible acronym of "A Company that Makes Everything" is "ACME", but I think that may have come later.

It is not far from a company that sells everything, or nearly everything, and may put its own name on a lot of it - such as Sears (if they did that in their catalog) or Walmart.

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You call it 'hacking.' I call it 'investigation'

Robert Carnegie
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I don't think that ahwquobehjdltfshohctyowa is guessable.

It is selected letters from words in a newspaper story.

Admittedly I'm not going to memorise it either. Not with 20 other passwords I also need to change once a month.

As for 2FA, a device could be stolen... and then I will report it stolen, and I will obtain a new one.

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It's OK for the FBI's fake hacks to hack suspects' PCs, says DoJ watchdog

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Aww, the press shedding crocodile tears...

So the FBI couldn't or wouldn't plant incriminating document files on the suspect's home computer in case there weren't any real ones?

If I ever happen to annoy a police officer then I confidently expect to be given a little bag of chopped leaves and then immediately be arrested for possessing it.

With the FBI it would be something grander - maybe a little bag of apple seeds, which contain cyanide, which can be used in mass poisoning if you have enough of it (it would actually need more than that).

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Trump website server config snafu left interns' CVs exposed

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Careful El Reg

http://www.snopes.com/2016/08/03/joe-scarborough-donald-trump-asked-three-times-why-us-cant-use-nukes/

is suspicious of the story about Donald Trump's interest in using nuclear bombs to solve America's foreign policy problems. It looks like a rumour repeated on national television. I don't always trust Snopes on politics, so by all means show me where you go for checking on things.

I think a most favourable interpretation, if the story is true as told, is that Mr. Trump accepted that nukes don't solve all the problems, but wanted to have it explained to him in detail why some particular cases weren't nukable at this time, and what would have to change so that they are.

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Student charity's ex-IT boss in the cooler for stealing $1.3m through fake tech contracts

Robert Carnegie
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Upon investigation -

U.S. salary may be higher, but $167,000 is "high end" for an "IT Director" (my choice of title) according to,

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Information_Technology_(IT)_Director/Salary

That information includes bonuses (hmm...), maybe doesn't include medical and dental insurance.

So maybe indeed he was getting overpaid (but he didn't think so). I expect a well run charity's salary to be fair but not - as this chart puts it - "generous".

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Robert Carnegie
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This is a professional, not a volunteer. (And apparently a fraudster.)

If the charity wants a professional level of IT service then they have to pay market rate for an employee who can function at that level. Although I'm not sure how much they need to spend on IT to run an office anyway... apparently they spent somewhat over $1 million dollars and that was the problem.

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Nvidia: Eight bits ought to be enough for anybody ... doing AI

Robert Carnegie
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Possibly also not relevant -

I gather that 8 bits sound quality isn't adequate for computer speech recognition (sub-A.I. of course) That's very roughly AM radio quality compared to FM radio or Compact Disc, and the lesser quality is not good enough.

Maybe 8 bits A.I. is good enough to be an AM radio presenter, and understanding what other people say isn't a requirement?

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

Robert Carnegie
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Re: eh?

So you want a built-in battery... to power the phone volatile memory... when you remove the battery...

and apparently it did have that... but it ran out after several days...

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Is there paper in the printer? Yes and it's so neatly wrapped!

Robert Carnegie
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Quite a long time ago and possibly not true...

The bass-baritone singer Ian Wallace told a story in a performance and comedy record, that goes something like - he returned to his hotel or lodging after hours, found reception deserted and dark. He decided he probably could get over the reception desk, put on the light, and find his room key. Instead he found the fire alarm switch... it raised hell but it didn't raise any of the other guests, but after a couple of minutes the night guy arrived with a torch: "Oh, it's you, Mr Wallace! I heard the alarm and I thought I must be crackers - because if there's a fire, I'm the one that turns it on."

I wonder if Ian Wallace slept soundly that night. I'd fret.

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Robert Carnegie
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I think

I think a new administration in the White House in America brings in its own computers - I wrote "new" but I suppose that's if you're lucky (and you won't be lucky again if your guy gets a second term). The UK has non-party "Civil Service" staff but the US has political appointees. So the new government can't trust computers that the old government was using.

Evil Overlord rules 50, 57, 83, and for George W. Bush's case Rule 57 may apply.

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Florida Man's prized jeep cremated by exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Robert Carnegie
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In the UK it isn't on sale yet.

So, are you not seeing information about the recall in a territory where this phone is sold?

Also, does the phone itself tell you? That seems technically feasible.

Also, does it actually come with a car charger? The Apple fire and electrocution cases tend to be claimed as involving poor quality third-party charging equipment. So that could be what was the problem this time too.

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Forget Khan and Klingons, Star Trek's greatest trick was simply surviving

Robert Carnegie
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Transporter of delight

I think there were sufficient Star Trek episodes where the story is something happened to the transporter machine (or later the hologram playroom). About one month in there's the Richard Matheson story where the Transporter pauses and then materialises your evil identical twin. Or you end up in a an entire universe or in an alien's version of Pokegym or in an exact copy of your spaceship with no crew or talking to President Lincoln. Okay, these are not all actually the transporter's fault.

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Drone speedboat isn't

Robert Carnegie
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Technically a "torpedo" would qualify :-)

Probably also not allowed on the Thames though. Although I seem to remember at least one James Bond movie (but maybe I don't).

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Google plots cop detection for auto autos

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Prior Art?

Traffic lights already exist that change to allow emergency service vehicles to pass, although probably not universal. I think it involves a radio box that is illegal to use in a non-emergency vehicle, obs.

Also obvious is that other queueing traffic should pass into the junction to make way for the emergency chaps. If you're actually in a jam and can't go then that's a pity. You could turn left or right if you want to be helpful.

My sister was driving me the other day in a two lane slow trundle when an emergency car came up behind us. The queueing traffic budged to left and to right and the emergency car came up in between the two queueing lines, which I hadn't expected to work, but it did.

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Hacker takes down CEO wire transfer scammers, sends their Win 10 creds to the cops

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Is this just a puff piece for Sec Consult?

I think hate is a reasonable inference from interfering with a criminal's business. Think "Valentine's Day Massacre". These are not forgiving people.

However, hacking a criminal's Microsoft account name (or even their postal address) and sending it to police may not count as "evidence" that can be used.

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Debian plugs Linux 'TCP snoop' bug

Robert Carnegie
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If you have Ubuntu...

Wait?

Or, from my ill informed reading, you can install kernel 4.7 instead to get rid of the TCP problem?

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98.1 million CLEARTEXT passwords pasted as Rambler.ru rumbled

Robert Carnegie
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Perhaps?

Perhaps the passwords were encrypted, hashed, even salted, but wore not very good ("passwordski" etcetera), so they got cracked by a dictionary attack and then were posted in cleartext in 2016 for ease of misuse.

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Obama says USA has world's biggest and best cyber arsenal

Robert Carnegie
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Neologism of the Day

"Topic of convo" is a thing?

Does it seem to have an Australian flavour? Because of how they decided to form the abbrevo?

I have just looked up what "abbrevo" is a trade mark for and I don't want one.

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Life imitates satire: Facebook touts zlib killer just like Silicon Valley's Pied Piper

Robert Carnegie
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Why we have Zip

The Zip compression format exists because the owner of the previous ARC format wouldn't share it. So someone made a better format instead.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zip_(file_format)#History

And a similar story:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Network_Graphics

The lesson from history is to say No Thank You to Facebook, even if this time it's their tool that is better. The conditions are still troublesome.

Exception if you're a programmer who is getting into bed with Facebook anyway, such as inventing the new Farmville or something. Maybe involving imaginary friends unless Facebook points out that that's what they do already.

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Facebook replaces human editors with McChicken romping, Fox News faking AI bots

Robert Carnegie
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WTF?

Snopes.com

Covers true or false. This one appears to be true. So you don't -need- Register for weirdness.

But I'm not sure why everyone is getting excited about this, um, event.

Still, if it's what people want, then should I prepare to film "Bucket for One"? Which is NOT something that I am going to do anyway.

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Blackhat wannabes proffer probably bogus Linux scamsomware

Robert Carnegie
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"Classic" ransomware

I think there may have been data ransom hack attacks before encryption. In that case, "take away the data, offer to give it back for money" -is- the "classic" version.

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That Public Health study? No, it didn't say 'don't do chemo'

Robert Carnegie
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XKCD (NSFW, language)

https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/931:_Lanes

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Brave idea: Ex Mozilla man punts Bitcoin adblocking browser

Robert Carnegie
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Anonymous?

I think (I don't know) it identifies the user as someone running the "Brave" web browser, but not whether you're user #1 or #23.406. So a site owner knows that much about visitors.

I remain not sure that this will catch on. Unless they make it work for online sex, obviously.

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SETI searchers: We still haven't found what we're looking for

Robert Carnegie
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Laser?

They did pick up this satellite by radio though?

I'd also call it extraterrestrial although of terrestrial origin (unless it belongs to our alien lizard masters after all).

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Quake-hit Italy: Open up Wi-Fi

Robert Carnegie
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Re: That's daft

I agree, these volunteer organisations are completely unprofessional. ...What?

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Crims share vulns but vendors don't. This needs fixing

Robert Carnegie
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Not the big names, I think.

Microsoft does disclose vulnerabilities in public security updates - although not necessarily what the vulnerability actually is. Microsoft, Google, and others have people busily testing competitors' software and discovering - and publishing (responsibly) - security holes that are found. So I think we're taking about the likes of Target or Walmart and compromised point-of-sale payment machines: that information about that sort of thing isn't shared between companies that are victims.

However, Microsoft, Red Hat, or Cisco won't have any software in common between their products except for what either is produced by a third-party, or is copyleft open code, or both.

Another category is the recent matter of CVE-2016-5389, where implementation of a TCP standard in the Linux kernel apparently led to a quite serious security hole, that any other implementation might have had, as well - if there had been another implementation.

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Robert Carnegie
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What vendors?

I struggled to understand what "vendors" have security issues that they aren't discussing.

I think you mean: e-commerce services - online stores, and bricks and mortar as well - that may be hacked or attacked, or sent fake orders for goods, and so forth. Yes?

But, a little too abbreviated, for me.

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Beauty site lets anyone read customers' personal information

Robert Carnegie
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Who, nowadays, is in the phone book?

With their credit card number listed as well?

Also there are sanctions - limited but real - against misuse of the phone system.

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German minister seeks facial recognition at airports, train stations

Robert Carnegie
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Munich?

I don't think that Munich counts as "caught up" unless you were one of the hostages, in which case, you were killed. So your insight into present situations may be not current.

So presumably the plan is, any time someone walks into a railway train station that the computer thinks looks like a terrorist, they evacuate the train station?

Then terrorism just got a lot easier, yes? Just put on a turban and the alarm will be set off. Or if the system is really refined, also wear a false beard. These items can be discarded during the panic, and the attack can be repeated again and again.

Last night I actually was on a train and I saw a small unattended bag which almost certainly was someone's discarded rubbish, so I didn't say anything. I didn't sit next to it though. I can only say I haven't heard any report...

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My headset is reading my mind and talking behind my back

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Not "fat-burning" per se

Wellllllll.

The fat dimension claims appear (1) to be exclusively "sleeping well" related and (2) to sort of disappear as you read.

What it actually mainly says:

Sleep Better, Burn Fat, Get Focused, Feel Energized, Look Cool

At least 3 of these are things that you could do, not things that the glasses could do. So I think the intention is that you also look cool (one of my exceptions) and you burn fat (the other one). Not what the glasses do (they may look cool just on their own, as well).

"Burn" is misleading. You will be metabolising - using as body energy fuel - the fat that was kept in your body. That is the reason why your body keeps it, to be used later (apparently). It's only necessary to not eat more calories than your metabolism needs to use. If you do eat more calories then you won't metabolise any of the fat.

You also can exercise yourself, to metabolise more of your present and past calories. Also, so I'm told, exercise causes muscles to grow, and muscles - aw, heck - muscles "burn" more energy even while you aren't exercising but just sitting around. Except for sitting around watching TV or, ahem, a computer screen, because then most of your body turns off from the neck down.

Elsewhere, "Five ways to burn fat while you sleep" does not live up to billing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/realbuzzcom/weight-loss-and-sleep_b_3980550.html

(two require staying awake, three are about eating choices, one is to sleep longer... that is five. I assume that you can bedtime snack while technically already asleep. Here the plan is to snack on magic foods which are said to prevent obesity, one of which is cottage cheese. I think that is a kind of cheese but it doesn't go on a burger.)

A customer of the amber facewear declares, "These are not your ordinary yellow tint protective lenses." I don't know though, do you think maybe they are?

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Robert Carnegie
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Not "fat-burning" per se

According to your description, the "fat-burning" glasses are actually "don't-eat-so-much" glasses. Burning off the fat is still up to you.

I suppose that "make food look a different colour" glasses may affect appetite. Or ones that make the food look bigger or smaller... By all means try this experiment and report back.

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Password strength meters promote piss-poor paswords

Robert Carnegie
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Joke

Re: Storage space

I thought of a very efficient hashing system. Only store the length of the password. Up to 65,535 character length can be identified in 2 bytes. Oh wait - 32,767 characters; it's signed. And, yes, I'm allowing password length zero; someone's going to want it. Pedants, I expect.

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If this headline was a security warning, 90% of you would ignore it

Robert Carnegie
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Re: fakes

I seem to recall Yahoo introducing a graphic of your choice to display on genuine messages from Yahoo - or something like that. Fake system messages wouldn't be able to mimic that.

Also, you can simply block popups in your web browser, except for whitelisted sites that you want to allow.

I think the principal issue is to make the user receive and correctly deal with system messages and not to ignore them or to click "OK" to the wrong ones. In that context, it's a matter of web sites or apps that take unexpected and inappropriate actions, that you want to block. And then also stop using the site or the app as soon as you can find a substitute.

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Ancient radioactive tree rings could rip up the history books

Robert Carnegie
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"the dinosaur was holding a placard with “Ban the Bomb” written on it"

Sacking offence. Or final warning. (Appropriate I suppose.)

By the way I'm also sceptical of those toy shop kits where you get your choice of dinosaur to excavate, in a box... I'm saying how do they know?? ;-)

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Robert Carnegie
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Re: "...God has *planted* the evidence."

I don't recall Douglas Adams's planet builders (of Magrathea) putting in fake fossils. Fjords, yes. And "glaciers poised to roll over Africa" IIRC on the new model of Earth, so they did use some traditional methods.

Terry Pratchett's planet makers did planted dinosaur bones in his early novel "Strata", and then there's an indication in the story - this may be a spoiler - that God uses a similar method in Her work.

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Wearable fart generator

Robert Carnegie
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On the internet, no one knows, ...

(He who posted it, hosted it!)

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Robert Carnegie
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I read an SF novel

where virtual reality was not "immersive" but "intrusive". I think the non-visual interface device was called "the Probe", and it was unisex. And difficult to ignore.

I think "DOS" was in the title.

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Fortinet follows Cisco in confirming Shadow Broker vuln

Robert Carnegie
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Hoarding?

That's three bugs confirmed, two patched already, one a nasty surprise. So if these are from the NSA secret hoard, then that last one seems to have been still secret and still hoarded, until this week.

It seems however that the legal workaround is that the secrets aren't held by the NSA itself but by one or more private hacking companies that they employ. So they're supporting American private industry (or Israeli or whatever) and it's -trade- secrets that "belong" to the hackers. Maybe not even known to the NSA.

I remember a video game on computer where you could collect points while just standing in the corner doing nothing. Tip: this also works in some offices. (I'm not sure now why I thought any of this information was going to be relevant.)

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