* Posts by Old Handle

1084 posts • joined 4 Mar 2011

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Flying giant octopus menaces New York

Old Handle
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Boffin

Re: Buffalo burghers

I've pretty sure I've seen things compared to the weight of a pound of butter more than once. Admittedly the average person probably has more experience with that than 50kg of calamari.

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

Old Handle
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Re: $2000/kid?

But you're only considering in the hardware. Don't forget the super awesome educational software that never worked properly.

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Finally, Mozilla looks at moving away from 'insecure' HTTP. Maybe

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FAIL

Oh good.

Another reason not to upgrade Firefox.

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Aluminum bendy battery is boffins' answer to EXPLODING Li-ion menace

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Re: Aluminium?

Seems to have the charge value too, 70 mAh per gram, if I'm reading it right. I don't know how heavy it is so it's hard to say how that works out in volume, which might be the more important measure. But based on the AA I just weighed, and the post about energy density above, that sounds pretty good actually. An aluminum battery with the same weight as the alkaline AA I had in my office would give something like 1645 mAh.

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Old Handle
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Flame

Re: It only works with green energy?

It's okay, this doesn't catch fire, remember?

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Can't patch this: Mozilla pulls Firefox encryption feature after just a week

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Re: 100% False Positive rate

You know how most browsers have a Private Browsing or "Incognito" mode? What we need is to move those heavy-handed warning into an optional Paranoid mode. You could turn this on for banking etc. The rest of the time, a little red warning icon would suffice.

I've said it before, but what I find hugely irritating is that https sites with irregular certificates are treated as if they were more dangerous than plain http sites I visit all the time. Clearly that isn't actually the case, but browser makers apparently can't understand this.

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Old Handle
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Re: Mozilla backtracking on new features

Yeah, but it took them much longer than a week to come around.

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Google cracks down on browser ad injectors after shocking study

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I would think you could put some javascript on your site to check if they layout has been messed with (presumably to insert ads).

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This tool detects then ATTACKS evil twin access points

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Boffin

Isn't changing a MAC address fairly easy?

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Project Spartan: We get our claws on Microsoft's browser for Windows 10

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Trollface

Re: How to make spartan users happy

Actually if you try to download Chrome it kicks you into a well for some reason.

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SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

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Ours aren't alot better. We've got one of the stupid things here in California for a few years (not Stockton, so mine didn't explode). I can't say it's caused any problems, but it still smells like a boondoggle. They promised we'd be able to track our usage online, which never happened. And the meter itself has a digital display and a button, which makes you think it would provide some info directly, but the display just cycles between a test-pattern (e.g. all 8s and misc indicators visible) and some meaningless ID number. And the button does absolutely nothing.

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This one weird trick deletes any YouTube flick in just a few clicks

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Did they include ALL the fractional cents? Or did they just round it up to 59?

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El Reg lays claws on RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium sat comms unit

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Re: I am a bear of very little brain...

The other end is a web service, rather than another RockBLOCK, so that at least explains how you receive the 340 byte messages without them getting cut off.

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Ebay snuffs malware upload bug

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Hmm

I wonder if the fix still leave open the possibility of using a file that is simultaneously a valid image file as well as something else. I know I've heard of tricks like that in the past. Although that might make it harder to convince the browser/OS to execute it.

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Apple's Tim Cook and Salesforce's Marc Benioff DECLARE WAR on anti-gay Indiana

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Apple Open?

I stopped reading right there.

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Pass the Lollipop: Google creepily warms to body contact with Android lock function

Old Handle
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Boffin

I think it's the other way around

I don't think this works the way the article implies. My interpretation is that it's not for detecting when the phone leaves your person, but rather stopping the phone from auto-locking as long as someone is carrying it. (Presumably as indicated by slight motion.)

So the idea is you set it to lock after say 5-minutes, but it won't do so while it's in your pocket, only if you set it down for that long. I suppose that's moderately useful for certain threat models, but robbery clearly isn't one of them.

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Scientists splice mammoth genes into unsuspecting elephant

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Headmaster

Re: Animal made from ancient degraded DNA ...

Aren't they all?

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Aged 18-24? Don't care about voting? Got a phone? Oh dear...

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Trollface

Whoa

Not having ever heard of Weve before, I first thought it said they had employed Weev. That would have been more interesting.

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Google Glass DIED from TOO MUCH ATTENTION, Captain Moonshot admits

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Re: Step by step

I don't know about the general public, but for myself the fact that it was from Google didn't help matters. If Samsung, or some little company I'd never heard of had come out with a similar product it wouldn't have seemed so creepy.

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Fatally flawed RC4 should just die, shout angry securobods

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2^26 encryptions

Well I can sort of see how it might be possible to con a browser into sending the password 67 million times (though I expect it would take a while) but CipherSaber is probably still safe.

I admit I have a soft spot for the algorithm because it's so amazingly simple. But for heavy duty uses like browsers it does make sense to move on.

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Should online pirates get the same sentences as offline ones?

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Pirate

Re: The term "pirate" is a propaganda coup

I'm not so sure. Pirates are cool! The most famous torrent site even has "pirate" right in the name. Presumably this is why the MPAA et al are now trying to define it as just plain "theft".

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Lost WHITE CITY of the MONKEY GOD found after 500 years

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Alien

Re: Bah!

I don't know, some of those mummy-induced illnesses can be exceptionally nasty.

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Porn on Blogger – Google takes stiff action

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That's the only explanation that makes sense. It's another scheme to force people into Google's utter failure of a social media empire.

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

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Re: Hmm.... Interesting Case...

From what little we know about it, it's already clear that it has some mass surveillance aspects. It acts as a fake cell tower after all, so presumably any phone in the area would try to connect to it. It's possible (but in my view unlikely) that it's configured to record absolutely nothing besides connections from devices with specific IMEI numbers, but until they're willing to clarify these details I think it's quite right to treat it with suspicion.

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Tweak comms laws or Facebook 'n' Twitter folk will be treated like CRIMINALS

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Trollface

...or information which is false and known or believed to be false by the sender...

Hang on. They actually made it illegal to lie on the internet?

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Mozilla mulls Superfish torpedo

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Facepalm

Yeah, but it gets a little worse each time.

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Re: Antivirus collusion?

It's possible, especially since AV software is also frequently pre-installed on new PCs. But I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and guess that it's mainly about trying to strike balance between spotting threats and annoying the heck out of people. I mean if I were designing an anti-malware program it would flag Steam as "potentially unwanted", because I sure don't want DRM spyware on my computer. But I realize the average user doesn't see it that way. So basically they have to guess which malware is unexpected and invasive and which malware is there because the idiotuser tolerates it.

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Revenge porn kingpin Hunter Moore pleads guilty to basically being a total cyber-scumbag

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Facepalm

Re: Revenge Porn or something else?

Revenge porn wasn't illegal yet when he did it, so they had to make something else up.

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UN negotiations menaced by THOUSANDS of TOPLESS LADIES with MAYONNAISE

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Facepalm

I was kind of hoping this was something that really happened. But it's almost funnier that it didn't.

"What if there were bottomless men throwing ketchup?"

"What if there were nude children throwing mustard?"

You have to plan for everything.

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Tesla loses $100 million after Chinese problems

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Big numbers are funny. Coming up $100M short really bad. But their explanation of delays in delivering 1,400 cars sounds perfectly reasonable. And those cars have an MSRP of $70,000 which, sure enough works out to just about $100M.

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CAR? Check. DRIVER? Nope. OK, let's go, says British govt

Old Handle
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Re: Would you actually, really get in one?

I would, but only if it's equipped with a manual override.

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WHERE'S WALLY? He's in this algorithm, says developer

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Trollface

Can it find him in the one where he's in a world full of clones of himself and you can only tell which he is because the real Waldo has lost a shoe?

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Tom Wheeler flings off dressing gown, dons gloves for net neutrality RUMBLE

Old Handle
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Re: "Fearbeared"

Yes congrats on coining a new word. I googled it and got only two hits: this article and a forum post where someone had misspelled another user's name, Fearbeard.

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Google boffins PROVE security warnings don't ... LOOK! A funny cat!

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This is what I hate about these warnings. Against all logic, whoever designed them seems to think a self-signed certificate or an expired one is more dangerous than no certificate at all. Clearly that isn't true. In fact right now I'm about to submit a form over an unsecured connection, and Firefox won't say a thing.

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Anonymous: Snap on that Guy Fawkes mask, we're marching against child sex abuse

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Black Helicopters

Re: 'Operation Death Eaters'

I think the idea, rather, is to compare the the alleged cabal of powerful "paedosadists" to Voldemort's secret followers. The analogy is vaguely fitting, I suppose, although I remain skeptical that such a conspiracy really exists.

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'Revenge porn' bully told not to post people's nude pics online. That's it. That's his punishment

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WTF?

I'm a little skeptical of broad anti-revenge porn laws since the issue does touch on freedom of speech, but I thought this case was a slam-dunk. Surely the fact that he was asking for money to take pictures down makes it outright extortion/blackmail. I don't see how pretending to be two separate organizations changes this.

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Panicked teen hanged himself after receiving ransomware scam email

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WTF?

Regarding the policing aspect

What I don't understand is how these crooks can get away with using services like Ukash and GreenDot. Normally governments make a big freaking deal about preventing money laundering. I find it hard to believe that these payment methods are allowed to exist if governments can't track where the money goes.

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FIVE Things (NOT 10: these are REAL) from the WINDOWS 10 event

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Childcatcher

Re: Cortana Always Listening?

Microsoft has already banned children from using Cortana hasn't it?

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Prosecutors have 'EVISCERATED' my defense, cries Silk Road lawyer

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My problem with this isn't that I think that evidence should necessarily be allowed; I don't have the legal training to say whether that is reasonable or not. It's the the impression I get that the defense didn't have fair warning that this line of questioning wouldn't be allowed that bothers me. Almost as if they'd been set up just so the rug could be pulled out from under them later.

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Obama makes net neutrality pledge in State of the Union

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Childcatcher

I don't like the sound of this

That was a particularly strange use of the "Think of the Children!" trope, wasn't it? It seemed very arbitrary and tacked on, even by the low standards I've come to expect.

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Latest menace to internet economy: Gators EATING all the PUSSIES

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Re: "Of a suburban Los Angeles."

There are at least three Los Angeleses just in California. Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County and Los Angeles metropolitan area, each containing the former. There are Los Angeleses in other states and countries as well. I'm not quite sure how to judge which of these are suburban though.

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Canonical goes all Internet of Stuff with Ubuntu for DRONES

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Needing 600 Mhz (not mhz) makes a whole lot more sense than 600 MB RAM. But I don't understand how anyone could mix these two things up. Please tell me nobody working for El Reg was responsible. The 4GB requirement still seems excessive, although hardly prohibitive considering what flash memory costs nowadays.

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Alabama tops US teacher-pupil sex league

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Re: Oh, moon of Alabama

I think that version is fairly popular everywhere.

Don't forget most teachers are women.

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Old Handle
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Re: meh

I don't think these laws apply to higher education. Of course criminal and perv aren't the same thing...

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Boffins: It's EASY to make you GRASS YOURSELF UP for crimes you never did

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Re: Erm parents of students?

While it's true that some of the test subjects might have actually done illegal or dangerous things that weren't known, don't you think it's unlikely that 71% of them had done or experienced the same scenario the researchers invented?

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Old Handle
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It says university students, so presumably at least the majority would be at least 18.

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New York side-eyes California's hack attack laws: I'll have what she's having

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Stop

Wait, what?

Additionally, his draft law would require all businesses in New York State who handle such data to provide a set of basic security protections including employee training, and third-party audits to certify compliance.

So if my small tiny business, which doesn't even take credit cards decided to add a little forum to our website where people could discuss our products, we'd have to get a 3rd party audit to make sure the passwords were safe?

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Microsoft cracks personalisation without prying

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Terminator

Re: Before the usual MS bashing....

Microsoft all but killed Do Not Track by turning it on by default. There was never a possibility that advertisers would respect it unless it communicated an active choice made by the user.

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Terror bomb victims demanding Iran's .ir will appeal US ruling

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Alert

Re: Carp

No, the kind that used to eat you alive in Dwarf Fortress.

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DANGER: Is that 'hot babe' on Skype a sextortionist?

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Re: For the love of all that's precious!

I have enough familiarity with Skype to know about the random contacts from "women", although I'm not a regular user. But this article says "Someone posing as a woman called Cathy Wong befriended each of the victims on Facebook before asking them to Skype her."

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