* Posts by Old Handle

1024 posts • joined 4 Mar 2011

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FCC to smack Sprint with $105m fine over 'cramming' – report

Old Handle
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Re: jail time

Ban the entire corporation from doing any type of business for the same length of time a natural person would have gone to jail.

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Can't stop Home Depot-style card pwning, but suppliers will feel PCI regulation pain

Old Handle
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Re: Self Assessment is the problem

I'm really starting to think that having each transaction digitally signed by the payer is the only system that makes sense. Yeah, like bitcoin. But it could still be done with centralized authorities (i.e. banks).

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Identity thieves slurp Sony Pictures staff info – as CEO sends 'don't sue me, bro' memo

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Holmes

Re: Mandiant job order: item one ...

More likely related to the name on the email, Kevin Mandia; perhaps suggesting the "cybersecurity firm" is just one guy. ;)

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Sacre block! French publishers to sue Adblock maker – report

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WTF?

Is this true?

If AdBlock Plus is really charging money to get on their whitelist that seems like a conflict of interest and unethical. I don't know about illegal, but it wouldn't surprise me. Does anyone have more details about this claim?

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Google kills CAPTCHAs: Are we human or are we spammer?

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Re: Numbers.

It probably doesn't hurt google, but at least we're not helping them take over the world.

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Pebble: The brilliant stealth wearable Apple's Watch doesn't see coming

Old Handle
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Re: Bluetooth and planes...

Don't think so. Different airlines may have their own rules, but regardless it's not going to hurt the plane and they're not going to notice if you don't.

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Legendary Brit physicist Stephen Hawking gets full Intel comms refresh

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I hadn't realized he was that bad off. I thought he could still click a little button or something. I wonder if it's realistic to hope some kind of practical brain-based interface will become available in his lifetime. Still, doubling his WPM is an achievement. Good show, Intel.

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Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'

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Sounds Horrible

Menus that rearrange themselves based on what you've used recently are bad enough, and now they want to add an extra layer of unpredictability by taking the time of day into account? Not that having to launch things by trying to scribble with your finger was ever a good idea to start with.

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Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'

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It's semantics, but I don't know if I could really agree the first sentence. As I understand it, gravity is the only thing holding it in place. I mean, it bounced and came back down. That sounds like a landing to me. But I do of course agree that the situation is precarious. Doing anything rash could easily make it "jump" and even if it didn't achieve escape velocity (estimated to be 1 m/s) it might not be so lucky to land mostly right-side-up next time.

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Hacker Hammond's laptop protected by pet password

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Re: Not much of a deal was it?

Presumably they were threatening him with a dozen more charges for a total of 7854 years or something of the sort. That's that's their usual tactic.

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Virgin Media CUTS OFF weekend 'net surfers after embarrassing smut-filtering snafu

Old Handle
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Re: So, (from down here in the antipodes)

Only by default. But from what I understand (I'm not in the UK either) some companies, especially mobile providers, are determined to make opting out as inconvenient and annoying as possible.

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Disney wins Mickey Mouse patent for torrent-excluding search engine

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Facepalm

Did anyone catch this?

piracy websites, child pornography websites, and/or the like

I think Disney just said piracy is equivalent to child pornography. Seriously? Even if we could all agree those are both "bad" (which is in doubt), they are bad in completely different ways. Only the most fanatic free-marketeer would suggest that the main problem with child pornography is that the performers aren't bring properly compensated. In fact I think most people would agree that when it comes to CP, authenticity is directly correlated with "bad".

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Facebook lifts Tor ban, touts encrypted onion access point

Old Handle
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Re: Serious question

It does seem strangely at odds with the real name policy (although they claim they've relaxed that as well). But I guess one use case is that you post under your real name, but need to protect your location. Alternatively, Tor can also be used to bypass censorship, so people in countries where Facebook is banned might possibly find it useful.

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Re: custom .onion address?

It's a little scary actually. But yeah they brute forced the whole thing. I doubt they were specifically aiming for the corewwwi part though. More likely what they did was generate tons of these, and filter for facebook<words>.onion and then have a human look over the results to pick one that kinda made sense.

Still, it's an impressive achievement, and it probably means the 16 character addresses won't be good enough all that much longer.

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The NO-NAME vuln: wget mess patched without a fancy brand

Old Handle
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Let me see if I understand that right. The bug is it could create symlinks and then follow those symlinks so it would actually be writing outside the intended target directory. Is that accurate?

Also, it doesn't sound like it's exactly fixed. All they did was turn off creating symlinks by default. So if you ever actually needed that and turned it on you'd still be vulnerable.

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Samaritans 'suicide Twitter-sniffer' BACKFIRES over privacy concerns

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Re: I thought April 1st came early

All they're doing is scanning public tweets. I don't see how it could be illegal. It's just creepy as heck.

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Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road

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Re: Love the article

If you only run a relay node (not an exit node) the chance of getting a knock at your door is pretty much zero. It has never happened as far as I'm aware. (Obviously I'm assuming you don't live in China, that wouldn't be a a different situation.)

You do risk getting blocked from certain websites though, since apparently they can't be bothered to distinguish between exit and relay nodes despite the Tor Project publishing a list of which is which.

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Old Handle
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Re: huh?

I don't think the author is particularly well informed, especially with regard to terminology. Starting with the (admittedly trivial) fact that Tor is a name, and properly capitalized as such, despite its acronymic origins.

But more importantly, exit node has a specific meaning, and it most definitely doesn't refer to "every user". It's also 100% incorrect that everyone using Tor automatically shares bandwidth, either as an exit node (i.e. a gateway to the normal internet) or otherwise. You have to specifically turn on sharing if you want to help out.

The article seems confused about the JS exploit incident too. The exploit was specifically inserted in hidden service websites hosted by Freedom Hosting (which incidentally included legitimate sites like webmail service). So I'm not sure in what sense it could be "not aimed at Freedom Hosting". And then in the second paragraph down it starts talking about exit nodes again, when hidden services like these don't use exit nodes.

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Tor exit node mashes malware into downloads

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Re: Never ever trusted TOR enough to use it

You can also use https to theoretically get protection for the last step, but of course that has been proven repeatedly to be imperfect.

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Hello, Ello. Still no ads and no features to sell. What do? Bag $5.5m

Old Handle
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It's not that having ads is so terrible. I don't feel like a product when I visit The Register, for instance. The key words are "ad-driven". There's a difference between making a great site and displaying ads, and making a great site for displaying ads.

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Are there sounds on Mars? NASA launches audio athenaeum

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"You can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong's 'one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind' every time you get a phone call," the agency said.

Did they really? I thought they still maintained he said the more logical "for a man", even if you can't hear it.

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NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code

Old Handle
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Re: Could this be sent over email?

Yes it's possible to install a .apk sent through email (if you turn off the restriction to install only for Google). But it doesn't sound like just clicking on the image would do anything, although it wasn't totally clear. It sounds like you need a "helper" evil app already installed for the code embedded in the image to do anything.

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Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers

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While it's a legitimate problem, I'd really like to hear how they define it. It would be very easy to write this in a way that covers non-malicious actions. If someone sends you an explicit selfie and you share without permission, that's inconsiderate and uncouth, but it doesn't on its own mean you're trying to get revenge. You might just think it's a nice picture.

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MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less

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Go

Re: Looking the wrong way...

I do remember hearing it put forward that sending fat astronauts was actually the most logical choice. Basically what you do is put them on a diet after liftoff. The amount of food they're not eating during the mission more than makes up for their weight at the start because fat is a more efficient way to store energy than food.

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Whisper tracks its users. So we tracked down its LA office. This is what happened next

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Re: Honestly confused

Because Whisper pushes itself as a privacy app. Duh.

You won't hear people complaining that Whisper's search function is crappy (Is it? Does it even have one? I have no idea. It's just an example.) But if Google suddenly stopped being able to find relevant content it would be a pretty big deal.

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The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?

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Pirate

Compulsion

Others thought that compulsion would put people off. Others challenged this, saying that you could make that argument against teaching anything.

That doesn't prove it's wrong.

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Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt

Old Handle
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Re: Good idea, but how well does it hold up in practice?

You're making the assumption that the people who post passwords on pastebin are making any effort to hide them at all. I don't think that's generally the case. If they wanted it to stay secret they wouldn't put it on pastebin in the first place.

Rather they probably fall into one of two categories:

People who people who stole passwords for the lulz, dubious glory, or to give a certain company a black eye and wish to publicly display their trophy.

More serious cybercriminals who steal a bunch of passwords and post a fraction to prove they've got the goods before trying to sell the rest.

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FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones

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Devil

Devil's Advocate

To some extent it's probably true the the FBI does go through the proper court channels when they want access to something, they are after all law enforcement, not a spy agency. But if their job has become harder it's only as a result of the misdeeds of their friends at the NSA. So here's an idea, FBI guys: Why don't you investigate the NSA? Get their unconstitutional bulk surveillance programs shut down and people will presumably relax about security again.

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US government fines Intel's Wind River over crypto exports

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Two thoughts

1. I thought this BS ended like a decade ago.

2. Open source your crypto. Sell your product with whatever weak encryption the government allows but design it to accept strong encryption as a plug-in

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€2 BILLION: Steelie Neelie wants US to pay for her Big Data splurge

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Facepalm

Wait, why does she want my country to... oh.

I was briefly confused until I realized that was a just shouty "us" not "U.S."

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Right, suits off: Windows 10 preview Internet Explorer is here

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Trollface

Uh-oh

Since they skipped Win9, won't that make this IE13?

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You can ring my #bellogate. EMAIL STORM hits 29,000 hapless UCL students

Old Handle
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Headmaster

A Beautiful War

I wondered what it was supposed to mean. It could just be a misspelling of bellow, but apparently it could also mean "beautiful" or "war", depending on what language they're speaking. All of the above seem strangely apt.

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Adobe spies on reading habits over unencrypted web because your 'privacy is important'

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Facepalm

I'm not at all convinced one vague paragraph in the EULA covers that level of spying. It only it says "communicate with Adobe", it doesn't say anything about the content of that communication. Or even hint that it collects or reports data on your reading habits. I think a reasonable person would understand that paragraph to mean it only sends as much information as needed for one of the purposes mentioned. So reporting individual pages or reading time is totally unexpected behavior except in the (highly unlikely) event the particular book you're reading had a license where that mattered. And it shouldn't report anything at all on DRM-free eBooks.

And that's without getting into the allegations that it sends data on books you're not even reading with it or fact that sending it unencrypted is inexcusable. You'd think even from an evil corporate perspective they'd want this encrypted in transit.

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Revenge smut bullies who send 'grossly offensive' messages WILL be prosecuted

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'Indecent'

That 1988 law actually sounds fairly suitable. Revenge porn is indecent and has intent to cause distress. But if anything, the 2003 law tends to undermine that by banning all 'indecent' messages. If Alice sends Bob a naked selfie, either that's a crime, or it's not a crime when Bob posts it online. It sounds like they're trying for some wiggle room by talkijg about considering the "whole message", but if the photo is simply passed on with minimal commentary, I don't see how that will help.

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Doctor Who becomes an illogical, unscientific, silly soap opera in Kill The Moon

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Boffin

1.3 billion tonnes

Sounds like alot, but the moon already weighs 50 billion times that much. I doubt we'd even notice. No one expects real science in typical sci-fi, but this is the kind of detail they could have so easily looked up, like I just did. It shows a total lack of caring.

Another way to put that figure in perspective (of some strange sort) is that Earth itself has lost more mass than that due to escaping hydrogen since dogs were domesticated.

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What’s the KEYBOARD SHORTCUT for Delete?! Look in a contextual menu, fool!

Old Handle
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Facepalm

Speaking of keyboard "shortcuts", it amazes me how many people pick up the mouse to click "Go", "Search" or whatever after typing a query instead of just pressing Enter. Even on URL bars where the button is tiny little thing the UI designers obviously weren't expecting to see much use.

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Vanished blog posts? Enterprise gaps? Welcome to Windows 10

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Devil

That does sound notably less horrible. Perhaps the biggest remaining problem is that if TIFKAM apps are supposed to be so great, there needs to be a way to install them without going through Microsoft or begging for their permission and still having to do a bunch of intentionally user-unfriendly fiddling.

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EFF: Cops' spyware for parents is insecure – and a fat waste of money

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Holmes

Didn't the FBI just arrest a a guy for selling something very similar?

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Take THAT, hated food! It's OVER, tedious chewing! Soylent strikes back with version 1.1

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Facepalm

Still got the fish oil, though? I'll pass.

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US Attorney Gen latest to roast Apple, Google mobe encryption

Old Handle
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Even if they could be trusted to obey the law, what he's saying is totally unreasonable. "law enforcement needs to be able to take every legally available step". In other words, if it's legal, we must also make it possible. Would it be legal to remotely disable a suspected kidnapper's car? I'm sure it would. Therefore every car must have a remote killswitch.

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Big Brother

GACACSAO

What is this? I've never heard of it before. Nor can I find anything on the web to suggest it's a real organization. It sounds like something that was made up solely for the purpose of advancing the anti-privacy agenda.

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Atlas plugged: Facebook hooks ads to profiles, smears 'em over the web

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Trollface

Re: Separate Browsers

For even better protection, I don't use Facebook on a any browser or on any mobile device.

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Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER

Old Handle
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That would be a total disaster for bitcoin. But people have good reason to think it won't happen. Even worse, and possibly more likely since it's newer technology would be someone finding a way to break the epileptic curve encryption used to prove ownership of each address.

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Payment security vastly improved when you DON'T ENTER your BANK DETAILS

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Re: My token of choice is bitcoin thanks.

I don't think Bitcoin is necessarily the answer, but it does offer something no other popular payment system has. It requires each transaction, including the amount and the payee to be digitally signed by the payer. It seems to me something similar is the ultimate goal we should be working towards for secure payment. There also needs to be a way to make sure a transaction signature can't be used twice. Bitcoins handles that with the blockchain, but it could also be done with either a random number that must be unique, or even a sequential number like checks (cheques) have. A time stamp or expiration date (again, like checks have) would also be a good idea. All of that should be cryptographically signed by the payer.

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Icahn and I DID: eBay volte-faces, spins PayPal into separate biz

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If eBay does away with the near obligation to use PayPal I will actually consider shopping there again.

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My TIGHT PANTS made my HUGE iPHONE go all BENDY!

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Devil

@cray74

You just want to see fanbois getting poisoned by their phones, don't you?

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Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp

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Devil

All I need to know:

If they have to coerce, trick or bribe people to use it, it must not be very tempting in its own right.

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Oh God the RUBBER on my SHAFT has gone wrong and is STICKING to things

Old Handle
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Re: Cheap rubber

Probably because it's actually expensive rubber. Cheap products are happy the leave the finish in ordinary plastic. But high end products use some kind of fancy rubber, which, I must admit, feels very nice to hold when it's new.

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Old Handle
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Re: Heat Shrink Tubinng

Or in keeping with the theme of this article, perhaps bondage tape would do the job.

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