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* Posts by Velv

1252 posts • joined 21 Jan 2010

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MPs to sue UK.gov over 'ridiculous' EMERGENCY data snooping law

Velv
Silver badge
Big Brother

Conspiracy Theory

There is actually an extensive, ongoing, developed monitoring of a specific known threat. Why else would ALL parties agree to this rushed legislation.

I don't for one minute believe it would have received the support from Labour if Ed Milliband not been fully appraised of what his predecessors left behind and he would be likely to inherit.

Now I know David Cameron announced in a vague way that loss of data retention "would hinder investigations", but I'd suggest there must have been something substantially more tangible to present otherwise the opposition would have taken the opportunity to oppose.

Or maybe I just need a thicker tinfoil hat...

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Velv
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Boffin

Statistics are brilliant. Until recently that's how the insurance industry priced premiums. Male, 17, more likely to have an accident than a Female, 17, or a Male, 45.

There are types of people who are more likely to have accidents. It's largely down to attitude. It's a generalisation but it's been the foundation of the actuarial industry for centuries. So the people who adhere to the ban are typically those less likely to have accidents in the first place. Those who "know better" tend to be paying less attention irrespective of it being a phone, cigarette, CD, satnav, short skirt or any other distraction. That doesn't mean the ban is invalid. It simply means those who have chosen to ignore it continue to have accidents.

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Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs

Velv
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Mushroom

Orange (and now EE) really piss me off with these texts. Despite following the instructions to STOP, they continue.

Why does it piss me off - well its not my phone, its my Mums, and she's not up to speed with this text thing yet. So I get a call - "my mobile's making funny noises, what should I do". I then need to go through the whole rigmarole again of explaining what SMS is and why she can ignore it

EE - get your act together. Opt-out means OUT. No texts. None. Nada. Keiner. Aucun. Nessuno. Or do you like paying those Ofcom fines?

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Don't put that duffel bag full of cash in the hotel room safe

Velv
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Headmaster

Re: Well there is flaw right there....

I think you missed the point.

A bypass needs to be available so the hotel can access the safe when the guest forgets the code or the batteries fail.

Makes sense to put the emergency access BEHIND a screwed panel to increase the attack time required. You still need the emergency key to actually open the safe.

"Bit like putting screws for the padlock latch on the outside but covering them with thick paint that clogs the slot"

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Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet

Velv
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Headmaster

"Although Assange maintains his innocence of the Swedish allegations – and no charges have been filed against him..."

Yes, that is why Police have powers of arrest - so they can investigate allegations and determine if charges are appropriate. They cannot charge him until they investigate fully, that would clearly be a breach of human rights or at the very least would jeopordise any potential trial as a technical failure.

The simple answer is that the Swedish offices come to Ecuador (UK) and interview Assange. They can then decide either to charge him, or remove the arrest warrant. That then only leaves the UK laws he's broken.

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YES: Scotland declares independence ... from the dot co dot uk empire

Velv
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Flame

Re: Subsidised?

So Scotland subsidises the UK. Great. That's what being part of a caring communal society is about. Those who can contribute more, do contribute more. A progressive taxation policy.

Or are you not aware of the proposed taxation structure from the White Paper. It's great how the poor insist "the rich should pay more" - well you know what - you're probably an educated technical person if you're reading El Reg. You probably earn above the national average. You're the rich, please pay more!!!

I'm guessing you're the petulant selfish child in the mirror of Mr Salmond. "It's our oil and we'll use the money for ourselves only and screw anyone whose poor 'cause its OURS not yours".

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Popular password protection programs p0wnable

Velv
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Boffin

You have important passwords, and very important passwords. Just because they are passwords doesn't mean you should treat them all in the same way!!!

I save passwords for many websites and other services (e.g. El Reg) in one of the above. What's the worst that can happen - someone can compromise my account and post as me online.

I keep my very important passwords in a completely different manner.

As has been said many times before, security is about layers - you're more secure the more layers of protection you have

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Murdoch calls for ISPs to be liable for users' activities

Velv
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Big Brother

A bit like the old desire to be a politician should exclude you for life, if Murdoch wants it, it should automatically be discounted as an option.

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Amazon France routes around free shipping ban with €0.01 charge

Velv
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Surely the law is ultimately counter-productive

Amazon sells at roughly the same price as a shop.

Amazon enjoys bulk discount from the publishers so on any given book it's profit margin is larger, so it can invest in quicker delivery and more customer service (and potentially other "benefits"). At the very least it would cover the delivery charges and then some.

Or does the law mandate that the publisher must sell to each vendor at the same price (wouldn't that encourage a cartel and be against EU competition law)

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Google de-listing of BBC article 'broke UK and Euro public interest laws' - So WHY do it?

Velv
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Headmaster

Utter rubbish. Google is under no legal obligation to "publish" anything in a search result.

Public interest law does not mandate that a search must return any particular item which may well be in the public interest.

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iWatch watch: Apple tags sales bod from luxury Swiss watch firm

Velv
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Gimp

Nostradamus

"Apple hasn't officially announced the arrival of its iWatch, but you don't have to be Nostradamus to see what's coming."

And yet ironically Nostradamus didn't see it coming

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Brit celebs' homes VANISH from Google's Street View

Velv
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FAIL

Nothing like obscuring something to peak peoples curiosity...

"oooooo, what's that bit of property I'm not allowed to look at online, lets drive by next time we're out in the car"

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'Spy-proof' IM launched: Aims to offer anonymity to whistleblowers

Velv
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Childcatcher

Doomed to failure. How do you police the content? (and don't answer "the whole point is that you can't")

By their very point of being anonymous, these services are designed to be used for illegal activity. So how do you separate the wanted illegal activity from the unwanted illegal activity?

Whistle blowing has proven to be vital to maintaining sensible balanced order in our society, so finding ways to ensure it remains safe for the whistle to be blown are important. But that must be balanced against unwanted side effects.

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iPhone user SHAMEGASM: 'I beg of you', delete sex app from my purchase list

Velv
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Joke

I always thought the self indulgence induced by Apple products was called Macturbating

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Big Java security fixes on the way – but not so fast, Windows XP users

Velv
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Mushroom

I don't install Java on my own machines, but I'm required to use it on the corporate machines.

In my experience Java is rarely backward compatible, with 6 being widely deployed in multiple companies I deal with.

So it really makes little difference if Oracle supports versions prior to 8 or not, those versions are going to remain widely in use. Oracle may think it can claim "we told you to use the latest version", but ultimately it is going to need to shoulder some of the responsibility for the impending major security fail rooted in older versions since the new version doesn't work.

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EPIC FAIL, FACEBOOK: FTC complaint against creepy mind games filed

Velv
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Black Helicopters

Since the IPO took place in 2012 as well, it will not be long before a class action is launched by those who bought shares since this experimentation was not declared in the prospectus and is something that is likely to have a material impact on the share price.

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Microsoft confirms Office 365 price rise

Velv
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Flame

TCO

Doesn't matter what you use, you pay for it. Don't like Microsoft, fine, don't use Microsoft.

Use something free? Well, is it really free? You still have to pay to train users on a different product, probably more so if its not what they use at home or learned in school? You have to pay for support. Maybe not directly (although some regulated industries mandate vendor support), but you'll be training and employing specialist support personnel who probably command a higher salary than an off the shelf Microsoft monkey.

If only the world of business was flat and one product did everything for everybody. Well it isn't.

Prices go up. Nothing to see here but bitching from trolls.

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Google BLOCKS access to Goldman client-leak email

Velv
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Headmaster

Re: Autocomplete of e-mail adresses

The trouble with autocomplete is that you normally need to have used the full address at least once before it will then appear in autocomplete later.

And that would imply the contractor already has some form of relationship (i.e. a requirement to email) with the owner of the gmail address.

Something about the story as reported here smells funny. Either El Reg is reporting it badly, or more likely, Goldman et al are spreading the bullshit.

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Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE DNS outage

Velv
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Trollface

Re: Hmmmm DNS ...

Yea, because giving google even more information about the websites you visit is such a good thing.

Run your own DNS server and leave it to look up the root hints

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Velv
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Facepalm

Re: Hmm

I just love the status pages.

I just love that they offer to send you an email when an issue is resolved.

I just love that it was email that was down, and they offered to send me an email when it was fixed... (I leave the reader to do the facepalm)

(yes, yes, I know, I could have used a different email address if I had one, or if I had push email it should have come through to my phone or I could of chosen to receive an SMS. But where would the Virgin bashing fun be in that)

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Microsoft thumbs nose at NSA, hardens crypto for Outlook, OneDrive

Velv
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I know we don't allow lawyers in the house, but here's an interesting question...

If Microsoft (or another provider) were asked for data and they hand over the encrypted files, have they complied with the request even though the NSA et al are unlikely to be able to read it?

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Catch cack-handed baggage handlers in the act with Ericsson's SPY SUITCASE

Velv
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FAIL

Nothing like placing a huge FRAGILE sign on something to ensure it receives the opposite treatment.

Looks like a fairly distinctive design, something that should stand out nicely as it enters the carousel system almost ensuring it receives the treatment it deserves (before being subjected to a controlled explosion as mentioned above).

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Glastonbury debuts festival wide Wi-Fi network - fitted to COWS

Velv
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Headmaster

Pictures, or it never happened.

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France frostily foists flat fizz fear on ICANN's .wine plans

Velv
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Big Brother

Just goes to show how ill-conceived the whole non-geographical TLD piece was. And I mean all of it, .com, .org, .everythingthatsnotacountry. And no, the Merkins don't own it.

Many recent cases have raised questions over jurisdiction and pinning domain names to a country is one way to help clarify responsibilities.

Until we live on a borderless planet we are stuck with virtual borders as well as physical.

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Assange™ makes fresh bid for FREEDOM from Scotland Yard's 'physical encirclement'

Velv
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Re: Fees

While I absolutely agree with everything you've said about jurisdiction, you forget that the Merkins believe they have jurisdiction everywhere on the planet irrespective of what has actually been signed by governments.

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Unicode ideogram list-site Emojipedia goes titsup. Wow. Did you just give us the finger?

Velv
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Alert

And the lesson to be learned from this story is...

... when you want to publish something new on the Internet that might be popular, publish it secretly in a quiet little backwater first and let google cache make a copy.

Then just point the waiting world at google cache and let them handle the load.

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Tor is '90 per cent of the net' claims City of London Police Commish – and he's dead wrong

Velv
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Alien

Police Commissioner - says it all.

An ELECTED official. Not a trained officer. Not someone who's risen through the ranks. Not someone who's actually down the day job.

Don't you know that its a requirement of accepting any publicly elected post that 99% of your brain cells are removed.

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WORLD CUP SHOCK: England declared winner in 2-1 defeat to Italy

Velv
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FAIL

Since I haven't as yet spotted a footballer stopping mid-game to read his twitter feed it can hardly be "which team sings loudest".

But the day will come...

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DAMN you El Reg, CALL ME A BOFFIN, demands enraged boffin

Velv
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Boffin

NO!

"On these pages, "boffin" has always been a title of honour accorded only to proper scientists and engineers ..."

PROPER SCIENTIST AND ENGINEERS

And in particular, not someone who is working in the field of peer readers here at El Reg such as a "security researcher" or "computer scientist".

Boffins are those who do Voodoo in other fields of science for which we cannot consider ourselves as having proper peer knowledge.

I'm not for one minute suggesting Dr Oren isn't worthy of our respect. But if I understand the technical aspects of his article says, he's not a boffin.

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AWS breaks silence over Truecrypt's role in data import/export

Velv
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Black Helicopters

Previous evaluation by respected security experts found no immediate cause for concern, and an independent scrutiny of the TrueCrypt source code is now well under way.

Assuming that code passes, I see no reason anyone would stop using that version of the product because of any subsequent action by the developers. Perhaps Amazon have already conducted an internal review of the source code and didn't find any reasons not to use it exclusively.

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Report pegs Apple for October smartwatch release

Velv
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Gimp

Rumours ... Apple ... %product% ... %month%

Meh

I hear Apple's developing a holographic imaging and projection system for Facetime so little images will stand up from the screen while you hold it flat in the palm of your hand. Just don't tip it more than 5 degrees or your friends will fall over the edge.

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Brit lands on Rockall with survival podule, starts record attempt

Velv
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Stop

"I find it extemely disgraceful that these charities exist and the government (of any flavour) doesn't step up to it's responsibilities towards those who they have put in a position of need."

While you may think it is the government who hasn't stepped up to its responsibilities, ultimately it is you and I. We elect the government, and more importantly, we pay the taxes.

I'm not for one minute going to comment on the relative merits of one group over another. But ultimately the pot is only so large and can only be divided so many ways. And you won't find a politician (whose self-glory, whose job, whose pay packet, relies on everyone's vote) willing to increase income tax to pay for all the worthy causes.

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'THERE'S BEEN A MURRRDER!' Plod probe Street View 'slaying'

Velv
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Boffin

So is it a murder, or a man assisting a heart attack victim?

The Guardian had a great advert in 1986 about Point of View. Anything could have been happening.

It would have been good if the Police had conducted a "full investigation" and asked Google for the original undoctored images so they could identify the perpetrator.

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Velv
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Terminator

The garage is in Leith.

A pick axe handle is the least dangerous thing I'd expect them to have lying around ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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Spammer sprung to run Russian national payment system

Velv
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Terminator

Frank Abagnale - poacher turned gamekeeper. See, it worked. Once.

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Velv
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Paris Hilton

Re: Going Postal ...

I haven't been, but I believe you'll never struggle to find a Seamstress in the lobby of a Moscow hotel.

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iDevice gizmo-snatcher Oleg... you must be taking the Pliss

Velv
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Gimp

If you wanted to make an example, you'd have set the paypal address to something obviously embarrassing, such as "applesucks@paypal.com"

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Velv
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Boffin

Re: WTF?

@Mike Bell

"To protect your security, your Apple ID will be automatically disabled if your account password is incorrectly entered too many times."

No definition of what "too many times" is, and as stated, there doesn't appear to be any incremental delay in blocking failed logins (which iOS does with failed PIN/Password attempts). So while a full on brute force attack might not be possible, a brute force of common bad passwords is perfectly feasible.

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London officials declare cabbie-bothering Uber is legal – for now

Velv
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Headmaster

Re: Interested in the logic

Most of the bye-laws under which "licensed taxis" operate define quite clearly what constitutes a "taximeter". A quick search with a famous search app provided this from Reigate & Banstead Borough Council:

The taximeter

The owner of a hackney carriage must ensure the vehicle has a taximeter which is constructed, attached and maintained to comply with the following requirements:-

(a) the taximeter should be fitted with a key, flag or other device which starts the machine, bringing up the word AHIRED@ on the face of the taximeter;

(b) the key, flag or other device should be capable of being locked in such a position that the machinery of the taximeter is not in action and that no fare is recorded on the face of the taximeter;

(c) when the machinery of the taximeter is in action there should be recorded on the face of the taximeter in clearly legible figures a fare not exceeding the rate or fare which the proprietor or driver is entitled to demand and take for the hire of the carriage by distance and time in pursuance of the tariff fixed by the Council;

(d) the word AFARE@ should be printed on the face of the taximeter in plain letters so as clearly to apply to the fare recorded thereon;

(e) the taximeter must be situated so that passengers can see all letters and numbers on its face. The display must be capable of being illuminated during any period of hiring; and

(f) the taximeter and fittings must be fixed to the carriage with seals or other appliances so no-one can tamper with them except by breaking, damaging or permanently displacing the seals or other appliances.

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Velv
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Headmaster

Clearly you haven't bothered to read the article or any of the background material.

To be a driver under both apps you must already hold a private hire license from the council and be operating a vehicle that complies with all the relevant restrictions around private hire (i.e. insurance).

These apps aren't just for picking up random people at the side of the street who might be going the same way you are!

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Velv
Silver badge

I've seen a lot made about the accusation about these apps being a "taximeter", but what is the license constraint on how a private hire vehicle actually charges for a journey.

Is it a fixed price agreed in advance? (guess not)

Is it based on time?

Is it based on an old fashioned ruler measuring a distance on a map?

Are there fixed fees between waypoints that gets added up?

Is it just the driver suggesting a figure off the top of his head (feels like it sometimes).

That is the crux of the problem. While the licence may say that "private hire cars cannot use taximeters", what does it say should be used instead? And an app on a phone is not a taximeter. A taximeter is a well defined calibrated physical entity that is hard connected to the vehicle, and that is covered by law.

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TrueCrypt considered HARMFUL – downloads, website meddled to warn: 'It's not secure'

Velv
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: If you were the NSA...

Interesting concept, but I can see where this particular one is likely to fail - the crowd funded investigation into the integrity of TrueCrypt. Assuming the investigation finds (presumably 7.1a) to be good then everyone in the world can trust that the correctly signed version is safe, and you end up with a tool the NSA can never discredit.

Techies have long had a "toolbox" that often has older but known reliable tools in it. El Reg had just such an article this week,.

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Rich bitch sorority girls actually more likely to put out than low-class 'sluts': Study

Velv
Silver badge

Cruel Intentions - great film. Well worth a watch.

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Authorities swoop on illicit Wolverhampton SPAM FARM

Velv
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Trollface

Re: sizeable fine?

Nothing solves the problem of repeat offenders quite as effectively as execution.

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Help. Mailing blacklists...

Velv
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Joke

"I can't email my wife. Or reply to my wife"

Am I missing something here? What's the problem?

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NOT APPY: Black cab drivers enraged by Hailo as taxi tech wars rage on

Velv
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: GPS is shite ....

@Conor Turton

Depends on what you consider the true purpose of the "Satnav". Is it to pick the "shortest" or "quickest" route to a destination, or do you consider its purpose is simply to get you to the destination using a reasonable route.

You've proven your own point - your 20 years of knowledge of routes will always beat someone with no knowledge no matter what map or tech you give them (for now). But we're not far from every vehicle constantly feeding its position and destination to a central control point that can then route vehicles across the available network. Works for planes today (well, mostly), so it is only a matter of time.

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Velv
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Boffin

Re: Monopoly

Totally agree it's time to change and move with technology.

And while not trying to defend the status of Cabbies and The Knowledge, The Knowledge is extremely large, being some 25,000 streets and 4,000 short routes joining waypoints, that each Cabbie (in theory) needs to memorise.

But it is all just knowledge. Data and logic. Something technology is particularly adept at handling.

So perhaps the London Taxi license needs to change - protect the Cabbies right to pick up fares on the street, and require both Cabbie and Private Hire to have a "London SatNav" with the logic built in. (Consider this my patent application)

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Look, pal, it’s YOUR password so it’s YOUR fault that it's gone AWOL

Velv
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Facepalm

Love the theory...

I have just this week done said, although with a different product.

My experience so far is mixed, not so much with the password manager but with the websites. I set the password manager to use 16 characters, and all four character types.

About half the websites I visited to set a new password wouldn't accept such a complex password.

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eBay faces MULTIPLE PROBES into mega-breach

Velv
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Pirate

There but for the grace of God go I...

The critical thing we in IT need to take from this is to review our own security and procedures.

There's been several high profile companies caught out in recent months. We're screaming and shouting because we expected better of them.

But are we sure our own house is in order?

No, I mean really sure - like go and check Mr CIO, it's your job on the line.

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Chip and SKIM: How dodgy crypto can leave shoppers open to fraud

Velv
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Boffin

Re: Absolute rubbish

"This paper is scaremongering..."

Like many academic papers this one is dealing in a large amount of theory based on observed facts. So while it may not be a widespread attack vector, it highlights that EMV has weaknesses and is therefore not 100% free from fraud.

OpenSSL was secure and verified by its open nature - until it turned out it wasn't. EMV is closed source, so who knows what vulnerabilities actually lie in the code.

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