* Posts by Old Handle

1192 posts • joined 4 Mar 2011

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FORKING BitcoinXT: Is it really a coup or just more crypto-FUD?

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Re: @ nuclearstar Unsurprisingly, it seems someone has

Assuming the blockchain is duplicated in each online wallet and assuming it hits 1TB at some point then an online repository with 1000 users would require 1PB storage.

Sure, but there would be no need for that. If we're talking about general purpose "cloud" hosting being used for bitcoin, than I guess it would work out like you said (unless they used dedupe). But a purpose built bitcoin service would certainly not work that way. A "wallet" is really just a collection of private keys used to prove ownership of an address when spending coins from it. Mine weighs in at 96kb. Since the blockchain is the same for everybody, all the users could share one copy.

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Associated Press sues FBI for impersonating its site to install spyware

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I donno, as federal spyware goes this is about as benign as it gets. I can't say I'd be particularly happy they chose my company for the scheme, but I think they had a legitimate reason to make it as realistic as possible. I a non-working link would have potentially make him suspicious, and I'm sure they wanted to grab him before he realized he'd been identified.

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Google tells iOS 9 app devs: Switch off HTTPS if you want that sweet sweet ad money from us

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There's nothing "unsafe" about embedding HTTP content in an HTTPS page (at least compared to a pure HTTP page) but in another shining example of their stupidity, some browsers don't allow it. You hear that, Mozilla (and anyone else doing this crap)? Your silly decision is actually stopping websites from using encryption.

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Vote now: Who can solve a problem like Ashley Madison?

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Name Calling

I don't think it's fair to call Ashley Madison Tinder-for-cheaters. Tinder has female users.

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Cisco's RAT-catchers spot sysadmin-targeted phish

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It seems to me it would be simpler to report this as "malware (or RAT) written in AutoIt.", since they ran it as an interpreter, I guess technically accurate to say the malware used AutoIt... but it's not like they tricked or hacked it. They simply wrote a nasty program in that language and used it normally.

The most annoying thing about all this is it can easily result in useful harmless programs getting flagged as viruses. This has happened before.

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The most tragic thing about the Ashley Madison hack? It was really 1% actual women

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Re: How Many Men Actually used AM?

How about what percent of male accounts were paid?

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The Onion Router is being cut up and making security pros cry

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Re: Makes sense

Depends on the type of business and how bad you want a shot at another million or so users. Facebook evidently decided it was worth it.

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Court rules FTC can prosecute companies over lax online security

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Re: "Reasonable"

I'm sure they're bring in expert witnesses to argue that point, but the really it doesn't require too much technical understanding. The fact that they were hacked at least twice using the same method is enough information to say they didn't take reasonable precautions. If your customers get robbed because you left a certain door unlocked, it's reasonable to lock that door so it won't again, isn't it?

I'm not saying "get hacked twice and it's automatically your fault", but when you allow exactly the same thing to happen again, yeah I'd say that's unreasonable.

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What's Russia smoking? Kremlin bans Wikipedia for dopey article

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Re: You what?

I could be wrong, but I would assume most of Wikipedia's million+ Russian articles were written by Russians. It wouldn't surprise me if it has a somewhat Western slant, but if you want to learn a few quick facts about something uncontroversial like frogs or the rings of Saturn I'm sure it's a very useful resource just like the English version.

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Even 'super hackers' leave entries in logs, so prepare to drown in data

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Joke

Re: Super hackers might leave entries in logs

But don't the super hackers have a nifty trace tracker utility that lets them log off just in time before you find their location?

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

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Windows

One detail overlooked in the question of why people accepted the new interface in Windows 95 is that Windows 95 actually came with Program Manager. I think it even persisted into early versions of Windows XP. It wasn't particularly publicized, but it was there if you looked for it. And nobody did. I'm guessing that's, because the Start Menu system was actually better.

I remember when I found progman.exe I got a little nostalgic, but had very little temptation to actually use it for anything. If Windows 8 had a startmenu.exe, do you think the reaction would have been the same?

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Ashley Madison hack – Tory MP Green denies registering account

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Only if he paid. I imagine lots of people sign up but decide the site isn't worth spending money on.

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Old Handle
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Re: Optional

As I mentioned in a previous AM thread, someone recently signed up for a match.com account using my email address. As far as I could tell it was a legitimate mistake, but my attempts to unsubscribe using the link in the messages had little if any effect. So yeah, it was an easy way to be an annoying bastard.

Though in this case I feel kind of bad for him. I finally had to access the account using password reset and close it down. Somewhere a middle aged divorced guy with two kids and the same first initial and last name as me is wondering why his dating site account doesn't work anymore.

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Now Ashley Madison hackers reveal 'CEO's emails and source code'

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I wonder, do their databases contain any information on how "successful" users were? I would think they would at least have records of which users exchanged messages, and quite possibly their content as well. If so, there's probably have enough dirt to keep tabloids busy for the test of the year at minimum.

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Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health England

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Re: Ban them!! Ban them all!!!

Don't forget coffee and tea, those are recreational drugs too.

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Ashley Madison keeps calm, carries on after hackers expose lives of millions of its users

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Re: I feel sorry for one or two women on there.

By my math that would be 3.6 million women... or "women" at least. I won't hazard to guess what fraction of accounts are real.

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Boffins raise five-week-old fetal human brain in the lab for experimentation

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Re: This is just wrong

It's somewhat confusing, since it's already 15 weeks old, but apparently grew slower than normal, being only as large as the brain of a 5-week-old fetus. So yeah, I think they only meant grow it to the size of a 12 weeks gestation fetal brain, but it did say "possibly longer" which leaves the door open for getting into creepy territory.

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OpenOffice project 'all but dead upstream' argues prominent user

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Re: That Weird Sound You Hear

While I'm sure they love to see infighting in the open source world, I don't think MS has much to laugh about on this one. LibreOffice is has been one of the most successful open source projects in terms of replacing proprietary software on ordinary users' desktops. Second only to Firefox, I would guess.

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Adulterers antsy as 'entire' Ashley Madison databases leak online

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Re: True - but unlikely

Oddly enough, just yesterday I got a whole bunch of emails from match.com (not quite as scandalous, I know), which I definitely never signed up for.I unsubscribed right away, but I suppose that didn't actually delete the account. So if they ever get hacked my email will be in there.

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Anti-botnet initiatives USELESS in sea of patch-hating pirates

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Maybe if Microsoft didn't push out DRM disguised as security updates this wouldn't happen. It's sort of a tricky issue though. Even I wouldn't argue that Microsoft has any duty to support pirate copies of Windows, but on the other hand, if pirates kept their systems up to date it would keep legitimate users safer as well.

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Mozilla-Microsoft spat latest: Firefox yanks Cortana away from Bing

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That's what you call ironic

Mozilla talks about protecting user choice while plotting to take away user choice when it comes to installing browser extensions.

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Indian carriers forced to send TXT for every 10 megabyte download

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This would be a whole lot more reasonable if they made 10MB the default warning level but allowed customers to easily change it (by sending a text, of course). I'll trust the government knows what they're doing enough that for the majority of mobile users there, 10MB is a large amount, but surely this doesn't apply to everyone. I mean parts of India do have 4G service.

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IWF shares 'hash list' with web giants to flush out child sex abuse images online

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Hashes

The MD5 and SHA-1 hashes will be totally useless if the image is changed, but the PhotoDNA version is apparently designed to resist this. Of course that kind of fuzzy matching will necessarily have a greater chance of false positives.

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Facebook unleashes mighty data trove to learn how you laugh

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Vaguely Apropos

My father, the only Facebook user I associate with, recently mentioned that he'd received the message "Ha!" from another user... and Facebook offered to translate it. Looks like their laugh detector needs work.

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Borg blacklist assimilates Cryptolocker domain name generators

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False Positive Rate

So to clarify, based on the Cisco article linked above, they're not looking for domains made out of random words, but rather domains that aren't made of words. Apparently the false positive rate (out of the Alexa top 10,000) was 0.42% (42 domains). These include some that a human would have been able to recognice as non-random, such as plsdrct2, xxeronetxx, adstrckr, 1c-bitrix, isif-life and vecteezy. Others appear to be genuine nonsense or perhaps transliterated foreign words.

So all in all, not too bad. Although it seems inevitable that if people start blocking nonsense domains, malware makers will just start making domains out of random words instead, e.g. correcthorsebatterystaple.com (which incidentally is a massage training program, how odd). And detecting that will be much harder.

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A close shave: How to destroy your hard drives without burning down the data centre

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Boffin

It does seem like he could have pursued degaussing options. I'm thinking perhaps the kind of electromagnet people use to shrink coins, only bigger. If you could do the same thing to the platters, I think it'd be pretty safe to say the data is irrecoverable.

Though the "safe for a data center" criterion might become an issue again.

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Clueless do-gooders make Africa's conflict mineral mines even more dangerous

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Just to play devil's advocate, doesn't the fact that warlords have turned to looting prove this is working, in a way? One could argue that although it caused more violence in the short term, if they've lost a stable source of funding, in the long run it will inevitably weaken them, which is a good thing.

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McAfee tells El Reg: 'My shootout with the police was highly exaggerated'

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Re: The Donald Trump of the AV world

He should run for president. He may not quite have the name recognition (though "his" AV software is known and feared world wide), but he's certainly has the crazy.

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W3C's bright idea turned your battery into a SNITCH for websites

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Not to imply this was ever a good idea, but in Firefox at least you can turn it off by going to about:config. The setting is "dom.battery.enabled".

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Old Handle
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I miss the blink tag

The good news is blink, and even marquee can be recreated using CSS animations. Plus even more annoying things like text that spins upside down.

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Old Handle
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Re: Solution?

I was going to suggest three levels: "Good" (mains power or battery nearly full), "Poor" (less than 30% or one hour remaining) and "Average" for all other cases. But however you slice it, they clearly don't need nearly as much information as this thing gives them. I can't seriously imagine any website using that much detail for the intended purpose. In fact, given how much they love to shove crap in your face nowadays skeptical that any sites would use it for the intended purpose, at all, ever.

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Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes

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Re: The Start Menu is the LEAST of Windows 10's problems!

You have to manually opt in to being reported to the government?

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Obsolescence of food is complete: Soylent now comes in bottles

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Re: How well does it mix with...

Apparently.

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What balls! India blocks 0.00008 per cent of web in anti-pr0n move

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So this could be great news for the smaller porn sites.

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UK.gov wants to stop teenagers looking at tits online. No, really

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Re: "Voluntary"

I'm not sure about "most sites", but honestly there are loads that give it away for free (with ads) including a number of large sites with "porn" and/or "tube" in their name.

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Re: Thanks, Internet

Hey, hey, wait a minute! Whose country banned spanking videos again?

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

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Re: Scary efor small business

Or you could jump keep using Windows 7 forever since it already does what you need.

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Old Handle
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Re: No Control of Updating

What if it's a small building and has only one?

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Amazon comes up with delivery-drone zones after watching Fifth Element all night

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All I can say is I think something like this is inevitable. So if Amazon is serious about their drone delivery plans (I've always had my doubts) pressing for a framework like that is a good strategy. Whether they'll get anywhere with it in the short term remains to be seen though.

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NSA: We'll move your metadata into /dev/null when you stop suing us

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Re: Sigh, I so hate to have to do this.

That excuse might work for people who have a history of caring about the law.

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Happy 30th anniversary, Tengen! Your anti-DRM NES chip fought the law, and the law won

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Unhappy

So that's where it all went wrong huh? I sure wish I lived the the alternate reality where the court had agreed proto-DRM was anticompetitive.

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

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Shooting them down doesn't strike me as a real good idea, due to the various potential accidents it could cause. Ideally some kind of "drones, stay away" beacon could be used, but obviously that would have to be standardized so it's a ways down the line. But in the mean time I think jamming would be viable. My understanding is that many drones are already programed to return to the take-off position and land in the event the lose contact, so it should be a safe and effective way to clear them out of the air.

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Security tool bod's hell: People think I wrote code for Hacking Team!

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Re: Easy...

You could, but than it wouldn't be "free software" and open source projects might not want to use it. So there's a definite down side.

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Google dumps ISP email support. Virgin Media takes ball, stomps home

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Who designs this crap?

They claim the new layout is "simple" but at the same time it requires a cutting edge browser. Ugh! Web mail interfaces are some of the worst web sites I've ever had the misfortune to use. At least gmail is actually able to fall back on a simple, usable interface when confronted with an older browser.

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STARS SNUFFED in massive galactic whodunit

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Personally I suspect "dark matter" isn't just one thing. It's a catch-all term for any kind for any matter we can't currently identify, so if/when we do start to identify it, it'll be more like hey X looks like it could account for 45% of the extra mass! ...now the universe is only 15% dark mater. Etc.

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eBay flogs off eBay chunk for $925m as 'uncoupling' gets closer

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Re: A good thing for all one hopes.

If so I'll be willing to start using eBay again. I know I'm not alone in wanting nothing to do with PayPal, but I don't know if there are enough would-be eBayers who feel that way to help their bottom line much, but it's something.

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Neil Young yanks music from streaming services: 'Worst audio in history'

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Joke

To be fair, he didn't mention bit depth or sampling rate in any of the direct quotes. He basically just said "streaming sounds terrible". So perhaps he simply has a bad internet connection and doesn't like all the pauses for buffering.

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Microsoft to Windows 10 consumers: You'll get updates LIKE IT or NOT

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Deal breaker

Well, to be honest I probably wasn't going to install Windows 10 anyway, though I've certainly considered it, since a no-cost upgrade is theoretically a sweet deal. But that settles it. No thanks. I might try getting it running in a VM or something, but there's no way I'm handing complete control over my computer to Microsoft, which is exactly what mandatory automatic updates does.

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Sixty-five THOUSAND Range Rovers recalled over DOOR software glitch

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Call me a Luddite, but I'm glad my car still uses conventional hardware-based doors.

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

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Re: Rule one of user interface design

No, you design one of those horrible modern interfaces where everything is represented by inexplicable Tetris icons.

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