* Posts by ShelLuser

2066 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

Hate Windows 10? Microsoft's given you 'Insider' powers anyway

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

There's one small problem though...

We can send in issues using the feedback hub, only usable on Windows 10. So what happens to those brave insiders who wish to remain on Windows 7 and still send in feedback about Win10? ;)

Now, this comment isn't fully honest because there are more ways to do that. But it always struck me as a little odd that they narrowed it down so much.

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LinkedIn mass hack reveals ... yup, you're all still crap at passwords

ShelLuser
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@Dave

"just lots of people trying to connect with me so that they can try to sell me stuff"

Which could just as easily originate from a bunch of spam drones. In other words: compromised accounts from people who thought just like you and also didn't see the need to apply better security.

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Norton bans kernel.org

ShelLuser
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Stop

Perfect example...

...why you shouldn't let others run your browser. In many cases black / white -lists are only hurting your options, nothing more or less.

And just to explain how utterly ridiculous this is: kernel.org doesn't even run advertisements (#1 source of virusses and other nasty malware).

Still.. I wonder if their javacode code has anything to do with this. Opera (developer mode) spots a lot of javascript code from an "unknown domain".

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Bold stance: Microsoft says terrorism is bad

ShelLuser
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There is a problem with this...

Trying to hide the truth that there are dangerous radical minded people out there does not make it go away. And even though I have no love lost for groups such as IS and other ones I do believe in free speech. Here's the culprit: if you think highly of free speech and the freedom to express oneselves then you should keep in mind that this includes both sides of the medal: topics and ideas you might agree with just as much as the opposite: stuff you totally oppose.

And on that subject: let them express themselves, it would also act as a good source of information for us; a reminder as to why these people should be considered dangerous.

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Ubuntu 16.04 LTS arrives today complete with forbidden ZFS

ShelLuser
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Devil

This is awesome!

I'm a vivid FreeBSD user and as you may or may not know ZFS support has been part of that OS for quite some time. I love it. I lived the launch of ZFS on Solaris, and it was highly anticipated. Heck, us Solaris fans started being a little disappointed because several exciting features (ZFS, zones and BrandZ (virtual machines)) didn't make it into the first release of Solaris 10 but got added later on.

And ZFS has come along way since then. It's highly useful because it allows you to completely share your valuable disk space while still allowing for filesystem separation (you know: /var vs. /usr for example). And the best part: although you'll get the most out of ZFS when you set up a mirror it is not a direct requirement. You can easily use ZFS using a single hdd as well.

So with that congratulations to Ubuntu! I think this is very good news for Linux. ZFS is pretty exciting and it's a good thing that Linux users get to enjoy it also.

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Europe's digi-boss tells YouTube to cough up proper music royalties

ShelLuser
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Let me translate this for you...

I'll bet some of you lucky folks don't speak "European" so yeah: $overpaid_politician discovers new ways to generate revenue and tries to go for it.

Because that's the main issue with these kinda of deals: the royalties hardly ever find their way to the artists themselves. And in some ways its plain out hypocritical too. In Holland we have to pay extra taxes on "data carriers" (think CDR's, DVDR's, blank VHS tapes, etc.) to compensate all those poor artists. But in return we also have the right to make a reserve copy of every media carrier which we buy (CDs, DVDs, etc.). Just too bad that many copyright protection schemes prevent this from happening. And of course there's no way to demand such a copy either.

Which leaves us with the question why we're paying all that extra tax for in the first place?

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Saw-inspired horror slowly deletes your PC's files as you scramble to pay the ransom

ShelLuser
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Megaphone

What's more shocking though...

Is that a lot of those ransomware viruses get spread through none other than advertisements. Obviously compromised advertisement sources, but none the less: the culprit didn't have much chance on clients which used an AdBlocker of some sorts. And it makes perfect sense too: if you manage to compromise such an ad source then you'll automatically target several websites at once. Win-win.

This happened a few weeks ago in Holland where dozens of very well known newspaper and media sites turned out to be the (temporary) distributors of such a notorious ransomware virus. And to add insult to injury some of those sites even used "adblock warnings". You know: you enter the site and you're alerted that you're using an ad blocker and are also requested to turn it off.

So basically, during the time of the virus, the sites themselves helped to actively spread it. Provided someone actually followed up on the "adblock disable advice" of course.

Which is why I think that ad blockers should be considered security software: worthy extensions of virus scanners and other tools to block nasty things from happening on your PC. Ask yourself this: what's more worth to you: the security of your computer or the revenue of a 3rd party? The problem should be obvious: you may consider said 3rd party as a trusted source, but even if you do you'll have no way of knowing where all the advertisements will be coming from.

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Embrace, extend – and kill. Microsoft discontinues RoboVM

ShelLuser
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@Herby

You say Microsoft doesn't care, so I think you failed to read this snippet: "In addition, Xamarin/Microsoft is offering full refunds to existing customers as well as free subscriptions to either Xamarin Test Cloud or HockeyApp.".

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Admin fishes dirty office chat from mistyped-email bin and then ...?

ShelLuser
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He did the right thing IMO

Its a hornets nest. Another problem is that you don't know if his e-mail would have been appreciated or could be filed as sexual harassment. One way or the other erotics has no place in the office, so this is definitely the best way to go: remove it, the guy will probably have gotten the hint and yeah...

Then again: maybe because the e-mail got deleted the guy felt rejected by the woman and so he left the company? ;)

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Microsoft's equality and diversity: Skimpy schoolgirls dancing for nerds at an Xbox party

ShelLuser
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@John

Well... I remember a Dutch TV show (talkshow) which featured a highly intellectual guy (I don't fully recall the context) and Miss Holland (don't know which year). They started talking somewhat casually and then the host mentioned how this could be perfect: if they had a child then it would probably be beautiful and highly intelligent. So in other words perfect.

So the professor looks up, grins, and says to the host: "Or the child could get my looks and her brains" after which the whole audience had to laugh it out ;)

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How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world's PC pest

ShelLuser
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Windows

I can't believe...

When looking back then I can't believe that I actually applied for the "Windows 10 insiders program" (before its launch) because I figured it would be a good thing to keep up with current developments. Now you actually have to take plenty of effort in order NOT to upgrade.

Clear signs that Microsoft is slowly but steadily totally loosing it.

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Microsoft traps and tortures poor little AI in soulless Minecraft world

ShelLuser
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Re: Virtual world, with AI slaves bound to pointless tasks.

The singularity will occur in Minecraft.....and it will be angry.

Now all we can do is hope that it won't be a creeper, because that would have quite some impact ;)

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Polite, helpful? Stop it at once in the name of security

ShelLuser
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Devil

Easily turned around...

"Politeness is your enemy."

No, its not. Lack of education and instructions is. Making people fully aware why keeping the door open even for a colleague could be a bad thing. Many IT guys keep up an unhealthy attitude regarding their policies and users and would easily answer questions about them like: "Because we say so!". Yeah, that's a sure way to motivate your users to help you do your job. Not!

If you keep creating an "us vs. them" environment then it's in my opinion inevitable that there will be plenty of users who won't take you seriously or would rather ignore you than pay any attention to what you say to them (because all you'd say is that you know best anyway).

On top of that: weakest link anyone? If opening the door for someone else could indeed be that big of a disaster then I think you have a serious issue with single point of failure.

Helpfulness is also your enemy.

Depends. In the above scenario I'd say trying to help your users to understand instead of creating an environment as "We know best" could actually have some good results. Here's not saying that it would apply all the time, but usually these bigger issues start small.

And you're also ignoring other underlying issues here. When people feel the need to be extra helpful towards their users then isn't it possible that they realize that some procedures are actually doing more harm than good?

For example: requiring that people use an 8 digit password with all sorts of extra's to make sure it's hard to crack. Yeah, obviously some won't be able to remember that and will write it down. And sure it gets taped to the computer so that they don't risk of loosing it.

As an IT guy I can see the horror in that scenario. But as someone who can also place themselves in the role of the end user I understand perfectly well why someone would do that.

Here's another question for you: how likely is it that people would try to crack user passwords from their own terminals, especially considering that there's often a lock out threshold? Also: if the password is easy to remember then there's less chance that the user would write it down. The main area where this could become a problem is if the data got intercepted somehow or if people tried to bruteforce the actual password database. Yet that part often doesn't get as much attention than the user passwords.

I'm not making this up... plenty of organizations, where Sony is the most obvious example, had very specific polities for user passwords to make sure things were safe. Only to end up getting stored in a plain text file.

Translated: users need to remember a 10 digit password, while the servers are all open and permanently logged onto as root or administrator, simply because the server room door is locked and only a select few have the key. Sure. So basically the single point of failure has now become 1 simple, yet physical, door. Some call that security, I call that false hope and, as mentioned, a severe single point of failure.

Of course it's the users who get the most blame.

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Hey Windows 10, weren't you supposed to help PC sales?

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

Microsoft's major mistake is a simple one...

For the record: even though I'm a vivid and enthusiastic Unix administrator (quite the passionate one at that) I also appreciate and value all the things which you can do in Windows. Although the target audience maybe the illiterate end user there's also a lot of stuff going on underneath the GUI and there's plenty of tinkering and discovering to do.

Please note that I'm not claiming that Windows is without any flaws or issues. But I do think some people don't give it the credit which it deserves. There's a very solid infrastructure underneath (MMC anyone?) and there's plenty of stuff which you can do on the commandline. Starting/stopping a Windows service? No, I don't use services.exe or services.msc for that. I more than often use sc.exe instead (just start it, you'll see what I mean).

But what Microsoft needs to really get into its thick skull is that this isn't the 80's anymore. The market is no longer something you can dictate by throwing (sometimes): horrid stuff at it and expecting people to buy i(n)t(o) anyway because they don't have a choice. Thanks to the power of the Internet; the power of social media and the massive share of knowledge people do have a choice. Worse yet (worse for the vendors): they now also realize as much, or can easily find out with a few mouse clicks.

Yet here we are.. It seems to me that the only thing Microsoft has "learned" from the Windows 8 drama is that this freedom of choice is what got their OS the downfall so what is the logical step to take? Apparently not making your choice of option as appealing as possible, but instead trying to take away that choice of freedom.

Like I mentioned above: this isn't the 80's anymore! I've seen people who were very happy with WIndows 7, even Windows 8, and completely freaked out when Windows 10 happened. Merely because they felt oppressed. They didn't got any choice in the matter, "Big brother" was running their PC and that was a clear sign to them that it was time to try this "Linux thing" and get rid of Windows completely (true story). And the worst part: even though I actually admire Windows and how far Microsoft has come so far I really can't blame those guys. Worse yet: I think they're completely right too.

I'm pretty sure that there are plenty of manages and beancounters and others who actually have studied all this and they know what's good for Microsoft. Bollocks!

PowerShell. That was good for Microsoft, because it actually managed to get talked about on Unix fora where even Unix fanboys (you know, the "I hate Windows because... you can't open it") had to admit that PowerShell "wasn't all that bad".

Mono. That was also good for Microsoft because plenty of players could respect the fact that Microsoft allowed a bunch of fans to hack into their crown jewels (pun intended) and provide .NET on other platforms. Many people enjoy mod-mono (yours truly included) but not only that: got a nice taste of what working with a Microsoft standard was all about.

But everytime Microsoft has something good they feel the need to enforce other stuff on us. Visual Basic 6 anyone? It's EOL is waay behind us, Microsoft opted and pushed heavily on .NET but a large group of programmers remained who won't let VB die out like that. Because VB can get you places where other languages can't, not that easily anyway. Only now has Microsoft finally realized the obvious and they're actually adding the VB dll's to later versions of Windows so that code can run without the missing DLL messages.

So yeah. Microsoft's mistake is that they don't try to appeal to the masses. And when something good hits them then it seems they're even too stupid to realize it. Give people what they want, not what you think they need. What people need is getting what they want. And when done right then giving them what they want could even be good for you Microsoft.

But if you keep this up then I honestly fear for the worst. It would be well deserved, but not something I'd enjoy. Because the less players we have on the IT market the more vulnerable us consumers become to getting even more crap pushed down our throats. Because then we won't have as many choices as we do now.

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Microsoft adds 'non-security updates' to security patches

ShelLuser
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@AC

Well, I consider myself a Windows (7) fan but even I don't appreciate all this. Here's my problem: I paid solid money for Windows 7 (my PC got shipped with Home Premium, I upgraded it manually to Professional), and when I bought it I was told that it would be supported until 2018 at least.

So what I want is my moneys worth: support until its EOL. And that doesn't include a forced (and hidden) upgrade to Windows 10 just because they claim it is better. I know it's not.

My problem: If Microsoft is already so untrustworthy that they'll try to sneak their way out of providing me the experience I paid for, then what guarantees do I have that this won't happen more often in the future? Especially considering how much Win10 relies on Microsoft (app store anyone?).

If they push any further then I might even go as far as to consider Apple. I still think their products are overpriced, but as far as I know they don't try to force upgrades down your throat like this. And most of the software I use professionally has versions available for both Win and Mac.

Better thread lightly Microsoft. Because I'm pretty sure that if I start to toy with the whole idea then there are bound to be many others like me. And that would get you the exact opposite of what you're trying to achieve here...

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Steve Ballmer: Get the Facts. I 'love' SQL Server on Linux

ShelLuser
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Windows

The more he talks, the more credibility he loses...

If there's one thing becoming obvious now it should be the issue of Ballmer talking the talk which is "best for business". Heck, I don't care if he dislikes or hates Linux; we're all entitled to our own opinion. Even nutjobs like Steve Ballmer. But at least try to ensure that it doesn't cloud your business issues.

Like when some Microsoft devs. demonstrated how they expanded on virtualisation which allowed Windows Server to natively run Linux. This isn't an issue of being in favor or either OS, it's merely looking at the effort people put in to make this work. Yet here we have Ballmer who couldn't share his disdain for Linux again with commenting that it "looked ugly" to him. Must have been fun for those developers; getting their work "praised" like that.

So yeah; now that Microsoft is operating more on the Linux area all of a sudden it's becoming "different". Such a transparent fail...

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Ad-slinger Opera adds ad-blocking tech to its browser

ShelLuser
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Has the author ever used Opera himself?

"What Opera will do when users are able to block what they consider to be non-relevant in-app ads, at the network level using technologies like Shine, remains to be seen."

Remains to be seen how exactly? It seems to me as if the author is under the impression that this is the first time when Opera users can block ads, and that idea is a grave oversight. I've been using Adblock plus ever since I made the switch to Opera; and it has kept me safe all this time. And things don't stop there. I discovered that NoRef is an excellent way to block even more idiocy on certain sites, especially if those try to pull in contents from "overseas" in somewhat weird ways.

So to answer the raised question as to what Opera will do? Well, it seems obvious: giving their users exactly what they want by supporting popular features themselves. Of course, that's assuming that this feature will actually be added to the upcoming version.

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SQL Server for Linux: A sign of Microsoft's weakness. Sort of

ShelLuser
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Windows

The competition awaits...

I think Microsoft are in for a hard time because just like the mobile market is already more or less saturated, the same can be said for the availability of SQL environments running on Linux (and other Unix-like variants).

Of course I'm looking at MySQL and PostgreSQL for starters (which are also available on Windows I might add) but there's a whole lot more than that. Firebird SQL, MariaDB and MongoDB (all available on both Windows & *nix) are players as well.

And competitive issues aside; even though I actually like Microsoft SQL server (to a certain degree anyway) I can't imagine how this would work out on a *nix environment, which is mostly dominated by commandline usage. Yet one of the MS SQL server's strength is also its interface and its hooks into MMC (and Powershell of course).

Take all of that away and I honestly can't help wonder why I should pick MS SQL server above PostgreSQL (which is my favorite pick for larger (enterprise-like) environments).

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Java evangelist leaves Oracle to save Java

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Devil

Techies vs. corporate drones ;)

"“Many people seem to have an impression of Oracle as a company full of corporate drones,” he writes. “This is far from the truth. I wasn't, Cameron wasn't and we are very far from being alone."

--<CUT

I know I'm playing the devils advocate here, and I'll also admit up front that I am biased because I never really liked Oracle's business model one single bit.

Having said that: Although Cameron and Rahman may not have been corporate drones, fact of the matter is that they're now both gone. So I still can't help wonder if the impression is really as far from the truth as Rahman says it is. I mean, in all fairness: this isn't the first time when an (obvious devoted) techie left Oracle.

But even if what he says is true: Oracle still doesn't try in the very least to appeal to technies on the market but only the big cooperations. Heck; that because quite obvious the very moment they took over: I had actually licensed Solaris because I strongly believed in the product and the company. When Oracle came marchin' in my license costs suddenly got 3x more expensive while I got a whole less service back in return (SunSolve for example was already nearly gone by then).

Do note: I'm actually referring to tech services; such as providing specific (technical) information which would only appeal to a select crowd. Not the support stuff like being able to open tickets and such.

SO yah.. Although what Rahman says might be true; Oracle sure does its best to keep that fact hidden. And with that my impressions about Oracle really haven't changed much :P

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Ad-blockers are a Mafia-style 'protection racket' – UK's Minister of Fun

ShelLuser
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Re: Takes one to know one

"So, I buy a television, to which I plan to connect to a DVD player and games console only. Don't need a TV licence, do I?"

Are you going to use multiplayer on that games console? Then good luck! Dunno how it is in your country, but here you usually get "all in one" packages. So you want Internet? Good, you'll get it with a phone and television subscription.

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How exactly do you rein in a wildly powerful AI before it enslaves us all?

ShelLuser
Silver badge

Emotions?

Power, control... what good would that do a machine exactly? What would such an AI gain from it in the first place? I think this whole research says more about us humans than the AI's. Namely: it hasn't been invented yet or we're already working on a foundation of mistrust, anxiety and control. And only because we /believe/ that AI's will most definitely try to control us.

But that same reasoning would also imply that the only reason we have peace between our nations is because we're a bunch of retards. After all: a super-intelligent being, such as an AI, would immediately enslave us according to these researchers. Which is another thing: enslave us with what exactly? The power of the mind maybe great, but a gun is usually enough to end it.

Guess some Anime's, looking at Time of Eve and Appleseed in particular, might be true afterall. "You can't trust a machine because you just can't, it's a machine!". As if all humans are so trustworthy...

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Bill Gates can’t give it away... Still crazy rich after all these years

ShelLuser
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@Nigel

"Bill is spending his on medical and other research."

Basically he spends a lot on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Which in their turn also does plenty but... Has anyone checked the annual reports?

In a post further down I pointed out how Gates donated 1.5 billion to the foundation in 2014. But the foundation itself spend "only" approx. 4 million in 2014. Don't take my word for it: annual report for 2014. A foundation also run by Gates and his wife I might add.

It still accounts for something, for sure, but spending billions on a foundation which in itself only spends a fraction of that on charity (which includes research!)... I dunno.

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ShelLuser
Silver badge
Stop

Are they really so charible?

The main problem when these guys donate to charity is that people only look at the cold numbers while ignoring the relationship with their income. Or put differently: the percentage of their fortune which is been given to charity. And when you look at those numbers then things suddenly look a whole lot different.

For example: According to CNBCGates has donated 1.5 billion ($1.500.000.000,00) worth of Microsoft stocks to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in 2014, making him someone who donated most to charity. But if you look at Gates' income, my source being Paywizard dot org then you see that his annual income is estimated at: $11.500.000.000,00. 11 billion, 500 million dollars per year. So now we can determine that Gates has actually spend approx. 13% of his annual income to charity.

I know people who make around E2400,- per month. When they spend E200 on charity they spend 8% of their monthly income. And something tells me that it would have much more consequences for them as well. Some people actually cut on their expenses in order to donate to charity, something which I seriously doubt would apply to Mr. Gates.

Yet the latter are the people which no one takes into account.

Do note that I'm not claiming that what Gates does isn't impressive at all. But I do think you shouldn't look at the numbers alone, also look at what people actually do (or don't do).

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Official: Toshiba pulls out of European consumer PC market

ShelLuser
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Sad news :/

I got a very old Toshiba Satellite (SA60) which originally ran Windows XP Home edition. Never had any issues with it, could even enjoy playing DVD's (onboard dvd writer). The only issue which I should have done different is the wlan; it doesn't have an embedded adapter but needs a pcmcia.

In the mean time I replaced Windows XP with FreeBSD and my laptop, though slow in comparison, just keeps going. It's a perfect network problem solver and office workstation (OpenOffice). No screen issues, no keyboard issues... The only issue, as we all have, is that the battery could have lasted longer for my liking.

So yeah, sorry to see Toshiba go, I always favoured the brand :(

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Dead Steve Jobs owed $174 by San Francisco parking ticket wardens

ShelLuser
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Black Helicopters

Bait?

We owe you xxx amount of cash, please contact us.

Aha, so there you are: you also owe us yyyy amount of cash, please pay!

???

Profit!

Why does that go through my mind? :P

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Apple fans take iPhone unlock protest to FBI HQ

ShelLuser
Silver badge

I'm just glad...

That there are still some /real/ patriots out there who can see through the lies and mudslinging. When politicians (want-to-be's) start to make weird comments about "unpatriotic companies" then you know that something weird (and stupid!) is up.

I mean: I'm not an American myself so the whole "patriot thing" eludes me a little bit, but I can still use my imagination. And what could be more patriotic than to stand strong for what you believe in? Especially if that also helps out a lot of others?

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Bill Gates denies iPhone crack demand would set precedent

ShelLuser
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Windows

@Hero

And the government always lives up to its word? I think not. Another thing, from that same article; you can also read that the FBI already has access to the device backups. The time span between those and the data on the phone is merely a couple of weeks.

Sure, a lot of things can happen in a few weeks, but I can't help wonder if it isn't a little short for setting up ties between fanatic religious organizations.

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Linux Mint hacked: Malware-infected ISOs linked from official site

ShelLuser
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Devil

This is why...

This is why all my servers are updated from source. I keep a source tree up to date, compile that and from there on install the whole thing. Obviously this is no 100% guarantee failsafe, but infecting a source tree and making sure your hack fits in is still a heck harder than replacing one single file.

Do note that I'm using FreeBSD (hence the demon icon) but don't pick up my post as "FreeBSD is better than Linux" because such comments are bogus. Even FreeBSD provides ISO's for installation purposes so basically the same risk factor applies.

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Google to snatch control of Android updates from mobe makers – analyst

ShelLuser
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Mandatory?

Re; about time... For people who want to keep up and have the latest version(s) this is good news.

But I can't help wonder if the updates will also become mandatory if Google handles everything. A bit like: "If you don't update then we reserve the right not to provide you with our services", which could create some pretty weird situations.

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Microsoft Office 365: You don't need 27 floppies, but there is desktop friction

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

At least they play it fair.

Of course; Microsoft really wants you to buy into their annual subscription so that you can use Office both offline an online and it's soo easy (marketing talk no doubt). And to that end they'll even go as far as to place the offline purchases (hardcopies?) of Office at the back of the (sometimes electronic) shelves and focus their attention on 365. Because that means you'll be paying them a small fee every month.

And although that small fee sounds nice: many smaller things combined can make one bigger thing. That is the whole gameplan. Heck, you see this business model all over the place: even Visual Studio now favors their subscription model over the "hard copy". Don't believe me? Check out the 2015 product editions overview. I want professional, but I don't want a subscription. Now what? (trust me: it is doable, but simply more burried away).

But I still think they're playing it fair. First the case of Visual Studio: did you see that first link? "Visual Studio Community" => Free (quote: "Visual Studio Community is free for individual developers, open source projects, academic research, training, education, and small professional teams."). Just a comment: hopefully you, dear reader, are smart enough to realize that "open source" does not equate to "free software" per definition. Just saying. And on top of that: I think there are dozens of people who ignore the Community edition because "It's free so probably not as good as professional". Bzzzt.

Enough offtopicness: back to Office. Even here do you see the fairness of the business model. Because if you get the 'offline product' (which I'd refer to as a normal Office installation) then you still get access to the online counterparts if you want. I am running Office 2010 (waaay outdated, right?) and I can still upload Word documents onto OneDrive, give certain people access to said documents and we can even group-edit. Not only am I using an ancient Office version, I'm not even using 365!

And the same applies to the current Office software. Some of my friends do enjoy the modern interface better and yeah... No worries.

So although I do agree that Microsoft is a big vague about some things I still think they're playing a fair game.

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Patch ASAP: Tons of Linux apps can be hijacked by evil DNS servers, man-in-the-middle miscreants

ShelLuser
Silver badge

@doug

"You'd have to jump through a lot of hoops to build one these days if for some odd reason you wanted to."

What's so odd about it?

For example, FreeBSD has known the /rescue folder for quite some time now; it's basically a folder which is packed with statically linked binaries (from bzip2 to mount, sed and tar and a whole lot more) and the reasoning behind it is quite simple: if for some reason your libraries become unavailable (for example because of the /usr filesystem crashing, some installation going wrong or even a human error in removing the wrong file(s)) then you can always fall back to these tools.

I've never needed it myself so far, but I still think that there's nothing odd about the underlying philosophy.

If interested then the rescue(8) manualpage has more information on this.

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IP freely? Your VoIP phone can become a covert spy tool...

ShelLuser
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@Paul

"Clearly, telling people to use long, strong & unique passwords (alone) isn't enough. It's not beyond the realms of possibility to limit functionality *until* solid security practices have been followed; it's not much to ask."

It is. Whatever happened to someones own responsibility? I can counter this argument easily: Its also not beyond the realms of fairness to hold people accountable for their own actions. If they didn't do a proper job on setting up their environments and people abuse that because of negligence then the responsible people should be held accountable.

Sure; add a more secure system. Then what happens next if people simply opt to disable or change it and then add the easy passwords themselves? Then we're a few years ahead, a few years with plenty of abuse, and then we may finally come to a conclusion that those people who are negligent should have been held accountable.

This isn't simply spouting off, its based on facts. Small sidestep: take a look at SELinux, pretty much a standard in security on several Linux distributions. And which question has made it into their official FAQ? "How do I disable SELinux?".

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De-anonymising data should be a criminal offence, says MPs report

ShelLuser
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Act on abuse, but not pre-emptively

Rules, rules, rules... The problem with a lot of those rules is that they also harm innocent people who don't abuse whatever they're doing. Take a look at the definition: de-anonymising data; if I host a webserver and then check my visitor amounts and also check from which country each visitor originates then I'm more or less doing the same thing. After all: instead of working with a boring IP number I can now establish than the IP address represents someone from a specific country.

So it has become less anonymous. What was once an IP address is now a Brit, Dutchman or German.

I know I'm playing the devils advocate here, but when it comes to law enforcement then the law is taken to the letter of the word, not its intent. If de-anonymising becomes an offense then the same can be said about using log analyzers.

Or what about allowing someone to log on, and provide a way to place a cookie so that the next time they visit they can simply continue their session? That would also fall under this category.

What I'm saying here is: instead of trying to come up with dozens of new rules why don't we enforce the rules we already have instead? If someone abuses data which they obtained from the Net and intrude on peoples privacy then act on it. Surely the current laws allow for that already? You can't just invade someones personal life you know.

I think the real culprit here is effort. Its much easier to deny the whole thing, then simply don't act on those who aren't abusing it (even though they technically violate the rules) and act on those who do. But all that does is create a double standard. It might be easier on the government, but its also much less fair on the people who are affected by it.

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Women devs – want your pull requests accepted? Just don't tell anyone you're a girl

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@Pascal

"I can't believe how stupid we still are."

That is of course assuming that the study results were on the mark, and I have some doubts. Because the part which I'm missing in this study is the quality of code sent in. It doesn't talk about code differences, only about profiles.

So couldn't it be possible that the ladies who shared more info on their profile also send in more crappy code?

Because that park irks me with studies like these: they draw conclusions (gender really matters in this case) without giving us the full picture. Unless they actually asked the project leader(s) for the reason of the code pull then they're in no position to draw conclusions like these.

9
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Offers? Opera's board likes Qihoo, says shareholders should too

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Opera is definitely different ;)

I've been a happy SeaMonkey user for years now, I especially like the non-changing interface and the overall no-nonsense approach (as I tend to call it). I'm of course referring to the fact that SeaMonkey is not a browser which gets all sorts of stuff crammed into it which no one would really use.

However, last year I gave Opera (28) a try and I was pleasantly surprised with its speed and features. I especially liked the fact that it could import all my bookmarks from both Internet Explorer (which I used very sporadically) as well as SeaMonkey. Next I was happy to find out that most of the plugins which I liked having around on SeaMonkey were also available for Opera (here's looking at Adblock Plus for example) and slowly but steadily I've been using Opera quite often.

The features which I like best is the speed dial screen; this is an overview page which can contain bookmarks to often used sites, the easy to activate private mode, the extensive developers extensions / modes, the Opera services (news section) and the instant access to multiple search engines (with the ability to add more yourself); this is actually a Chrome feature. So say I want to search something on Wikipedia (English) I simply enter: "we <stuff to search>" and it'll fire up the search and show me the result page on Wikipedia. 'we' stands for 'wikipedia english' and its a search engine which I manually added.

I still keep SeaMonkey around because I also like that browser a lot, but the main browser so far has definitely shifted towards Opera.

1
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Ballmer schools SatNad on Microsoft's mobile strategy: You need one

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Too little, too late!

If Ballmer thinks that Microsoft needs a mobile strategy then why didn't he set on up when he had the chance? I think this is a poor display on his part: it's always easy to comment on something with a little hindsight.

Yet when he was in charge he didn't exactly do that well either. Or was the enforcement of a mobile platform onto the desktop market (Metro, ugh, yuck, blech!) his idea of a mobile strategy perhaps?

With strategies like that, who needs competitors? ;-)

8
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Microsoft explanation for Visual Studio online outage leaves open questions

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@al_langevin

"Has less to do with the cloud and more to do with developers writing crap Stored Procedures."

I disagree, it has everything to do with the cloud. Because all it does is create a single point of failure and the moment it goes awry many people get to suffer from it. And you see this issue all over the place...

"No, I don't need to backup my downloaded (bought!) products because I can always download them again".

Sure, until the moment when the companies website goes offline or whenever you need to do a re-installation without an Internet connection. Then it becomes a different issue.

"Who cares if this game needs to authenticate itself online?"

I do whenever I want to play it on my laptop without having an Internet connection. In fact; this goes for any kind of serious software. The moment an Internet connection is demanded then I'm really not that enthusiast anymore about its usage.

In the end it boils down to the simple strategy of not putting all your money on a single horse.

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Dutch govt says no to backdoors, slides $540k into OpenSSL without breaking eye contact

ShelLuser
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And yet another useless effort

Now, the funding of the OpenSSL project is a good one, though I can't help wonder if that money would have been better spend on trying to fix our own economy (when at least 5 large Dutch public shops and businesses which have been around for at least 30 years all go bankrupt under the reign of a certain prime minister then something is not going right here).

But in the end this whole encryption thing is kind of useless. Because we also have European laws to content with. And with that in mind I think the whole thing is a bit hypocritical. Because during the last European vote on encryption and backdoors our government voted in favor. So its kinda easy to try and make it sound as if they're now against the whole thing; especially since nothing they (can) do would change anything.

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Upset Microsoft stashes hard drive encryption keys in OneDrive cloud?

ShelLuser
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Facepalm

My gf is going to love this!

"While you're logged into your machine, your data is decrypted and accessible. If someone steals your PC or tablet, and they don't know your password, they shouldn't be able to get at your files because they can't decrypt them."

At this moment my Windows 7 PC has 3 main accounts: my own; passwordless and all, the 'root' account; renamed and password protected, and finally my girlfriends; she likes some kind of dynamic theme and different icons on the desktop. She doesn't use it often (when she's over she usually has her laptop with her and uses that) but even so...

Am I right to assume that in a regular situation this would result in my gf getting stuck whenever she tries to log on? I'd say that's one more compelling reason to stick with Windows 7 for now.

At the risk of bordering fanboyism but... If I want security then there's only one organization I'd put my trust in: The FreeBSD organization. It includes the best from Solaris (my all-time personally favored Unix environment), is run by a friendly, -mature- and reasonable organization and yah... It even supports using encrypted storage media.Of course without the quiet opt-out approach. And they don't want your keys either! :-)

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1

Chat messages in Skype for Windows are bang out of order – so here's how to 'fix' it for now

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Re: In the long tradition of Microsoft, each release of Skype is worse

Same. I used to heavily enjoy MSN Messenger, and looking back part of that enjoyment came from the non-intrusive approach. Yes,there were advertisements and sometimes they were a wee bit annoying but nothing too intrusive as with Skype.

But the main problem for me was Skype itself. The moment I went to my Skype profile I saw half the page filled with advertisements. No, not 'spam' but Skype spam: "How to go premium" and "Why you should go Premium" (or something alike; I don't quite try to remember). I can understand that a free service wants me to pay, but I do not appreciate this kind of advertisement in something as serious as my settings page.

Because what's next? "Go Premium and then you can use these settings! ===>"? I went 'Premium' alright: purged Skype from my computer and in the rare event I do need it I'll simply use the web client on Outlook.com.

1
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Password-less database 'open-sources' 191m US voter records on the web

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Has anyone besides the guy himself seen the proof?

So far I've heard a lot of noise coming from this guy but nothing substantial, other than "he said so", to back up his words. I'm reaching a point where I don't trust it anymore.

Thing is: have you, as an individual, ever tried to take down a confiscated server? When it's located in China or other "vague areas" then good luck to you because you won't succeed. Even if you try to contact the data center directly and provide them with all the proof they need then more than often the server will remain as-is. Heck; this also often applies to US and EU located servers.

Yet here is this guy who finds huge privacy sensitive databases, no one other than him seems to have had access to it, and when he's done the information is also gone. My other point: if the people behind it would want to spread this info then they'd have utilized torrent and other means which make it pretty much impossible to take it down. If they didn't want it to be found... Well, any idiot can set up a firewall these days.

My last point: with the recent "high end" hacks, I'm talking about the Sony PSN breach for example, anyone who dug a little deeper could find traces themselves. But the stuff this guy manages to dig up... Nothing. And what a coincidence that his own personal info was in this last find as well.

Yes, I am a little cynical, I know. But I've seen too many fake companies, and individuals, trying to make a name for themselves by simply fabricating stories. I've also seen television shows do this to demonstrate just how easy it is to become a "reliable source" of information (referring, for example, to "Neveneffecten", a Belgian TV show).

Note: I'm not claiming that none of it is true. But I do have some serious doubts here.

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Bah humbug. It's Andrew's Phones of the Year

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Problematic market...

I hold no grudge against any brand and I'm also not a fanboy of one, not even mine. I use a Windows Phone and although I enjoy using it I'm realistic enough to realize that it's hardly the best. However, I do worry a little about the market and the dominance on the market. Not from Apple, but from Google. Maybe unfounded, each to his own, but Google's intrusion into our everyday live worries me a little. Especially because they're doing everything they can to expand on that field as best as possible.

Sure; they're being open about it mostly, but the parts which they like to hide are also those which worry me. Especially because all the courtesy which Google seems to show us stops the very moment when someone has the nerve to pry on, discovers something weird and then asks them about it. Put differently: when you disagree with Google and speak your mind then will you discover just how cooperative Google is. Like those Android developers who didn't got paid and didn't got any responses from Google by e-mail. Resulting in their forum thread to get locked "Please send us an e-mail instead" and eventually it got purged from history alltogether.

As said I don't hold a grudge. Because in general Google does play a fair game. Control needs 2 sides afterall: controllers and people allowing themselves to be controlled. Which is exactly what is happening, and it's understandable too: I mean you'd be a fool if you didn't recognize Google's huge potential and the tremendous ease of use which they provide. I most certainly am not questioning that.

What I do question is the price we pay for all those goodies. Because if there's one thing which us geeks should know: digital freedom doesn't really exist. Most often there's some kind of price attached. A free download? Cool, but they "only" want your e-mail address. That's not free. A free to build and hosted website? Cool! Of course you will get banners and the domain name you get to use isn't yours either. That's not free.

To me the phone market is no different. Cool: when my phone gets stolen then Microsoft provides me with the option to remote-fry it (I prefer the term ghost-burn, from GiTS). But that comes with a price; they're into contact with my device the whole time and can get all sorts of info from it. Most of that is opt-in (so I'm led to believe) but how sure can you be?

And that's where I'm getting worried. Less players on the field means less competitiveness which means that the options for market dominance are much easier. Players simply agree to apply $unpopular_feature together and all the consumers can do is to accept it. Its not fully related but still comparable: XBox vs. Playstation. Playing multiplayer games on the Playstation was always free or charge, on XBox you always had to pay a fee. And so we've reached a point where none of them are free anymore. Microsoft and Sony dominate the market and thus they dictate the rules. All the more reason for me to postpone the idea of getting a PS4: instead I'm considering to get a gaming PC and then hooking that up to my TV.

Phone of the year? I'd say brand of the year and it can only be Android. I'm still using my Windows Phone and if the time comes then I'll definitely try to find something else which isn't Android. Not because I think Android is bad, quite the opposite, but because I think Google is way too intrusive.

Heck... My browser of choice right now is Opera, I know it's build upon Chromium which is basically the "Google Chrome do it yourself kit". And already some Opera users have noticed a few times that "weird connections" were made with Google's network. It never got confirmation but of course it does. I mean: you get to use the browser for free, but freedom in the digital world? Yeah right!

12
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Microsoft in 2015: Mobile disasters, Windows 10 and heads in the clouds

ShelLuser
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Windows

@Doctor

The urge for 'indefinite grow' is most certainly part of the problem, but it's not something exclusive to Microsoft. Microsoft's real problem is their outdated and plain out dangerous business model. They still operate as if they can dominate the market, just look at the way they're trying to push Windows 10 down our throats. But instead of dominating they're fracturing. And they do this on all levels. With fracturing I'm referring to actually pushing people away.

XBox One? The pre-launch was a disaster, maybe spared a bit by some smart advertising and propaganda about reversed decisions, but damage has been done. Not just that: it also showed us just how desperate Microsoft seems to be with securing revenue (now referring to their initial attempts at blocking any way for players to sell used games).

Visual Studio? 2012 just showed us how much Microsoft cares about its developers: not that much. Basically they introduced dozens of problems (stripping color away and creating an awkward interface) which the community partly solved themselves. Of course Microsoft's official solution was presenting us with an offer to buy into VS2013. And right now it's plain out obvious what the real idea is: a service model. You don't pay for your license anymore: you rent a license.

Windows Phone? Just how exactly are you going to appeal to the geeks and fans (those are the players you need; those will advocate your product!) if you require them to cough up E 100,- / $ 100,- for merely getting the right to hack their own phone (just so we're clear: hacking as in coding: controlling your phone straight from within Visual Studio or even cooler: PowerShell).

And that is happening all over the place. Visual Studio (though there is an opt-out, and you can also pick up the free Community version), XBox (you need a subscription before you can play online games), Office (the main focus sits on 365; the subscription model) and we even see this slowly surfacing in Windows. Windows Phone? Yeah, eventually Microsoft realized the obvious and allowed anyone to apply for a phone unlock free of charge. Just too bad that it happened 3 - 4 years later, when most geeks (your's truly included) had already moved on.

The real problem? Given Microsoft's history and it's inability to listen to its customers, how feasible do you think it is for people to buy into this? Because although it may sound appealing: only pay for what you use, there is a dark downside. The risk with most online contents and services: the moment they pull the plug (even if unintended) then it's hasta la vista, baby. Now you're paying for something which doesn't work anymore.

We've seen this happening several times in 2015 with Office 365 and Azure. Small outages, maybe, but an outage still. And although we may think it's small because some "only" lasted a few hours: those hours can be crucial for someone who needs to get some work done ASAP. It's always easy to relativate things if they don't directly affect you.

Instead of trying to squeeze money out of everything they can think of Microsoft should try to get their act together. In my opinion Microsoft has a huge potential when it comes to software, they have some state of the art technology which can be plain out impressive. But if they don't make sure that it actually appeals to their customers then all of that potential is useless.

Use the best tool for the job, instead of trying to group it all together in some weird hybrid form. A subscription model can work; but not with everything they sell. A touch based environment can work, but not if you force it down the desktops, etc, etc.

Microsoft needs to get their act together in 2016, otherwise I fear that we may see some very strange developments happen.

4
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Microsoft halts downloads of new PowerShell power-up

ShelLuser
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Windows

Leave it up to MS...

To ruin something which has a tremendous potential. I consider myself a PowerShell fan, I'm really in favor of the environment because it's the best of both worlds... It mimics and feels like a Unix shell but has everything good about Windows on board. Referring to the entire .NET library. You can actually use .NET commands and routines straight from within PS.

If you're familiar with the Unix commandline you'll have everything you need to become familiar with PS. 'man man' works like a charm, the use of \ isn't mandatory ('cd /users/peter' works just as fine as 'cd \users\peter') and I love the command chaining. Because everything in PS is an object you can do some crazy things with the info you receive. And best yet: connecting to other servers isn't a problem either.

I used to have a PS script which would check the event logs on 4 different Windows servers and warn me when something odd was found. That is innovation for you.

Of course it started going downhill when they introduced mandatory translations. All of a sudden "man man" stopped working because I happened to be using a Dutch Windows version. My Windows 'culture' was nl-NL, so the help system looked for Dutch contents. Which unfortunately weren't made, and I couldn't force PS to use the English locale. Effectively rending the dynamic help system useless. It was made with help updates in mind, I think I never ever got one. So why did they need to break the help system in the first place?

Sure, I could use a hack (copy the English help into the Dutch help location), which I ended up doing, but ye gods... It's a really good way to make me lose interest in an environment: adding plain out sloppy and crappy updates. Even though I'm a big PS fan... Heck: you can even use PS to perform administration tasks for SharePoint, they're really taking it quite far.

And instead of learning from their mistakes they just keep blundering onwards while continuing to wonder why their user amounts keeps dropping and dropping.

7
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You ain't nothing but a porn dog, prying all the time: Cyber-hound sniffs out hard drives for cops

ShelLuser
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WTF?

Uhm...

So if I bring my harddisk along (or have one in my possession) I'm automatically labeled as a pedophile and need to prove my innocence by showing them what kind of digital contents I have? Yeah right, no way you're getting access to my stuff without a search warrant.

Cynical? You bet, because I can't help wonder if that'll be the next step here.

7
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The Police Chief's photo library mixed business, pleasure and flesh

ShelLuser
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So who was to blame?

Problem with some stories is that they're one sided. Take PJ's; it may seem funny that the customer typed out s-p-a-c-e instead of using space (as in the spacebar) but who is to blame? How was the password sent to the user? By phone? Sounds to me as if that could also have been a clear case of not being explicit enough and doing a poor job at sending in the password. If PJ would have billed me for that he'd have gotten a nasty surprise.

How hard can it be? For example; I always send in passwords within quotes to make sure that the other side understands that this includes the whole password.But I also always mention: (without "") or (""'s not included) or (without the quotes). Small effort, maximum effect.

Which is my main issue with some of the "customer stories". Most people assume the customer is at fault but in many cases I can't help wonder if the support guy didn't do a lousy job instead by not being explicit enough or with making sure that the customer actually understood what he was saying.

Just my 2 cents obviously.

9
2

Hello Kitty hack exposes 3.3 million users' details, says infosec bod

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Sorry for being blunt, but...

I think it is appalling and plain out disgusting that some people would target children and people who are bound not to be very adversed with IT skills in general. There are some lines you shouldn't cross, and this is one of them.

But on the other hand I also can't help wonder how real this whole thing actually is. From what I can tell so far it's basically the word of one guy. Normally such databases are made online and get spread around quite heavily, but in this case that doesn't seem to be the case.

What also bothers me a little is when you mention thoughts like these the first you hear is: "but several big news outlets have reported this", as if that has any meaning when it comes to the legitimacy of a story... I know I can be quite the skeptic, but when it comes to commercial issues then the competition can also do very weird things, it's easy to try and ruin a companies reputation like this, especially without even having to provide any proof.

I mean... This guy ran to the media first and informed the company second. That strikes me as a little bit odd.

1
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Windows 10 won't come to old WinPhones until some time in early 2016

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@Phil

"Quite why people stick with Windows phones and MS's constant crapness for handling everything around it, I don't know."

Because it works for me. Got one of the 2nd gen WP7 phones, eventually upgraded to WP7.5 (didn't like the 8 interface, so never bothered with WP7.8) and well.. It simply works and does what I need from it. Maybe my environment also has something to do with that because I never bothered to upgrade to Win8 and also have no plans for Win10 any time soon. It's Win7, Office 2010 and VS2012 here, so I suppose my environment is also dated a bit.

Main reasons for me to use Windows Phone: simple but useful interface, Office connectivity (from word to Onenote), and I can even use it to log onto my BSD servers (SSH) as well as Windows servers.

Why would I upgrade (or change) if what I have works for me?

6
1

Big Brother is born. And we find out 15 years too late to stop him

ShelLuser
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Privacy huh?

I wonder... How many people who speak up about privacy concerns have a Google account? How many of them are logged on with the system reminding your session so that you can easily log back on again?

And then the real question: how many take action against websites which use Google analytics?

Obviously this is just one player. You can easily swap 'm out for the more popular social networks as well (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

On one hand people are very concerned about privacy while on the other they also easily allow themselves to get tracked and monitored. It's not just the big bad government at work here.

4
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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Star Wars Special Editions

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Why not give the viewer a choice?

My main gripe with the DVD releases of the "enhanced" movies is that they could have given us a choice and chose not to. How hard can it be to simply add a toggle so we can chose to include or exclude all the new additions and changes?

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