Re: Re stu 18
And post the execution on YouTube as an example and warning to other patent trolls...
1599 posts • joined 10 May 2011
And post the execution on YouTube as an example and warning to other patent trolls...
Everything has to be connected to "the cloud" these days. In the wake of the Snowden revelations there are very many valid reasons why cloud storage should never be trusted. Nor is the possibility of spying, monitoring and profiling the only concern; "cloud" also brings with it the Ransom-as-a-Service business model, where have have to keep paying every month or lose your data.
And for those who say "but it's only $5 a month!" - yes, it's only $5 a month now, while you're sucking everyone in, but what will it rise to once millions of people are dependent on your service and the beancounters start leaning, knowing the service has become indispensable?
Not only that, so your service is only $5 a month, but so is John's, and so is Harry's, and so is Tom's, and before you know it you're paying out $300 a month in nickel-and-dime bills for all the little must-haves that society expects you to use to get by in daily life.
Back to the toy: I realise that the little Raspberry-pi type board in this doll isn't capable of parsing a kid's spoken commands. But a decently-powered desktop PC is, so why can't we have some software supplied with the doll that we can install on our desktops to receive the wi-fi signals from it and parse them in the home, without the need for any data to go outside the house?
No monthly milking, no monitoring, no profiling, no using psychological trickery to get inside our heads and find ever better ways of extracting another dollar, just a single good old-fashioned honest fucking trade, where I give you money once and you give me a product once, and then we fuck off out of each others' lives.
Mortein is what we have to use around here to kill the local invertebrate wildlife, since what you Europeans and Yanks conventionally think of as "fly spray" isn't effective against the sort of fauna we have here.
You haven't heard of it because we don't export it, and we don't export it because we don't want to contravene UN chemical-warfare treaties!
"so far each and every loving patch they do try to slip through has had a full description attached detailing what it's collecting in the online kb entry."
Identically labelling every update as "This update resolves issues in Windows" is not what I would call "candour." I don't have time to go online and individually check the entries for 3 dozen updates every week, nor should I have to. They should, at a minimum, state right in the update description: "This update remedies a security vulnerability" or "This update collects [x] data and transmits it to Microsoft for [y] reasons."
That I would consider candour, because then I can decide if I want the update on the spot without having to click around on the internet. But of course MS will NEVER do that because then everyone would reject all the "telemetry" updates!
'B' ark, hold 17.
Agreed. We seriously need a 'B' ark for this planet. The only difference I'd apply is that instead of repeating the Golgafrinchans' mistake in programming it to crash-land on a life-supporting planet, I'd suggest using it in one of Disaster Area's sundive spectaculars.
" It will take a major security breach to wake people up."
No it won't. J. Q. Public isn't concerned about security other than protecting their credit card numbers.
What WILL wake people up is Microsoft's Ransom-as-a-Service rentism business model. When people suddenly become aware that it's costing them a bomb to run their comuters each month and wonder where all the money's going, that's when they'll wake up and realise they've been diddled.
I don't think an exodus to Linux will happen straight away. But I think it will gradually gather momentum once the rentism kicks in and people start looking for ways to cut costs and get their files back without having to pay the monthly ransom to continue working with them.
Of course they'll win.
If they're big enough to repeatedly buy endless world-wide copyright-term extensions to protect their rights to the Rat, a case like this would be a minor blip in their pocket change.
"More to the point, at what point did "scantily clad women" become pornography? Talk about scope creep..."
Welcome to the wonderful world of modern mass-media feminism and its "sexually-objectifying women" and "male gaze" mantras. These days, any picture of a woman showing more skin than face, wrists and ankles and/or wearing anything more revealing or form-fitting than army fatigues, is classed as objectification, therefore pornography.
"Hackers" erased the logs and altered timestamps? Who'd o' thunkit? Every bloody wannabe script kiddie that ever watched a Hollywood hacker movie from War Games to Swordfish knows you erase the logs and adjust the timestamps when you hack into a system. Are they saying it took an expert security team to figure out the "hackers" were actually doing that?
While our governments are using the Paris attacks to strip away what few freedoms we have left in the name of keeping us safe, I'd like to ask them three questions:
How many people died in the Paris attacks? How many people have died in car crashes since the attacks happened?
And how does stripping away our freedoms keep us safe when we're so much more likely to die in a car crash than be murdered by terrorists?
"We need to get off our addiction to free content"
The problem is, suppose sites do move to a subscription model? Many already have - Murdoch's rags in particular - but how long once it becomes the norm will it be before the bean-counters start pointing at the extra money they could be making with subscriptions AND advertising?
This is exactly what happened on cable TV here in Australia. When cable first became available, it was fantastic - finally you could watch TV with no ads. Then they began putting in little ad breaks just to let you know about upcoming shows. Then the charities snuck in. And finally the money talks and the commercial ads get started. In the end, adverts on cable got about as bad as on free-to-air, except you get to pay a minimum $50 a month for the "privilege." $120 a month if you want Game of Thrones and its ilk.
So I'd bet a penny to a pound of shit that if the ad-free site subscription model took off, once it became the norm and there were no viable alternatives, you'd start seeing the whole adverts - adblockers - adblocker-blockers cycle start all over again. The greedy bastards are simply insatiable.
"Of course, cell phone numbers are just as discardable and anonymous as email addresses"
Not in Australia they're not. In order to buy a phone with service and a number assigned to it here, even if it's a pre-pay service, you have to produce photo ID, such as a driver's licence. No phone shop will sell you one without it. Of course you can buy a phone with no SIM card without ID, but that of course is useless.
So discardable, maybe. Anonymous? Nope. Not unless you can pull fake ID, and in this country that's opening yourself up to a world of hurt if you get caught.
Why not just let the extra seconds accumulate until they amount to an hour, then we just knock an hour off or add it to the time as required, like we do with Daylight Savings?
If the slowing of the Earth's rotation is proceeding at a constant rate, then that hour should be predictable enough to be able to program it into timekeeping systems, the way our computers recognise Daylight Savings and adjust the time automatically when it occurs.
Given that the rate of slowing is also very slight, we'd only need to do this every couple of decades or so in any event.
I'm sure there's scientific reasons for doing it as we do, relating to the timing of events and phenomena, but for that we could use a clock based on, say, seconds elapsed since the Big Bang, without worrying about other time periods like days or months or years.
OK, we don't know the age of the universe to that level of precision, but we could allocate an arbitrary value to run with until we do. We currently reckon the age of the universe at 13.82 billion years, based on observations by the Planck spacecraft.
For example, we could say this is the year 13,820,002,015 After Big Bang (ABB), at epoch 2000 AD there were 31,558,149.504 seconds per year, so Jan 1 2015 AD translates to 436,133,689,734,951,250.56 seconds ABB. Then scientists can take their time on that basis without having to worry about the slowing rotation of the Earth or other orbital anomalies.
Obviously, as our observation of the age of the universe becomes more precise, we can then update the scientific calendar as required.
Meanwhile the rest of the world, which functions on hours, days, months and years more than it does seconds, can live in peace with only an hour's adjustment every couple of decades or so.
"Perhaps a genius will emerge who can, in fact, determine a way to make everyone happy, but I'm not holding my breath."
Such a genius would have to find a way to execute every
politician traitor currently exploiting terrorism to demand weaker encryption and greater surveillance. The despots themselves wouldn't be happy, but they'd be dead, so that wouldn't matter, and then everyone else would be happy.
Any politician who sinks to the level of exploiting these tragic events to justify eroding civil liberties is every bit as vile as the terrorists they claim to oppose.
The world these megalomaniac bastards want to create is exactly what the terrorists want them to create. So there is no ethical difference between a terrorist and a politician who exploits terrorist acts to create a culture of fear.
I feel for you mate, the light pollution from a huge city like Tokyo must be absolutely staggering. It's amazing you can even see 20 stars from such a place.
I live in Adelaide, Australia, which is a city of a million people, but compared to a megalopolis like Tokyo it would be little more than an outback village. Yet I've looked up at the night sky from Victoria Square in the centre of the city and the light pollution there kills off all but the brightest stars too.
But Adelaide is also fairly compact; about half an hour's drive from the city and you're out in the Barossa Valley or the Mt Lofty Ranges, where the light pollution disappears, and the night sky from there is absolutely incredible. Here in the Southern Hemisphere we can't see the Plough or Polaris, but here the centre of the galaxy rides high overhead and the dust lanes of the Milky Way obscuring Sag A stand out in razor-sharp detail to the naked eye. You can clearly see the central bulge and the sky-spanning spiral arms stretching off to either side. And the Magellanic Clouds, our satellite galaxies, are also amazing to see - the Tarantula Nebula is an easy naked-eye object despite being 110,000 light years off.
Perhaps you can find a spot where you can see the night sky. I haven't been to Japan myself, but I have spent many an intriguing hour hopping around it on Google Earth, and I noticed there's a hiking trail to the top of Mt Fuji. You can even follow it on Street View since someone's gone up to the summit with a backpack pano camera.
Perhaps on your next time off you might take a little trip up to the summit there and see what the night sky looks like. At that altitude much of the atmosphere would be below you, which would not only make the stars clearer but would also eliminate much of the scattering that causes light pollution to be such a problem in your part of the world.
(Interestingly, I noticed that Mt Fuji is on the same longitude as Adelaide. My house is only 15 km west of the longitude line that runs through Mt Fuji, albeit thousands of kilometres south of it!)
Yes, the concept of looking into the past as you look into the night sky is truly wonderful. One way I often put it into perspective when pointing out objects in the sky to friends and family is to relate it to my ancestors.
So when I point out, for instance, Rigel in Orion (900 l.y. away) I ask, who was my direct-line ancestor living 900 years ago? My dad's dad's dad's...dad. Who was he? What did he do with his life? How did the events of the world at the time affect him? Because if someone is orbiting Rigel and looking back at the Earth with a humungous telescope, that's who they're seeing, not me!
I never fail to find that a sobering concept.
You also need a good grasp of Euclidean geometry if you want to get into any of these fields: game design, 3D modelling, graphic design, architecture, or photography (think projecting 360° panoramas etc) among others. So for one thing all those budding wannabe game developers better have their 3D trigonometry down pat if they hope to get anywhere in that field.
It still amazes me how dismissive some people are of geometry. They don't realise how much they use it in everyday life without even thinking about it: things like deciding whether it's worth driving to the shop or walking to the corner store, figuring out the best route to take to a friend's place, finding north without a compass, working out if your car will fit into that parking space - all this entails a near-instinctive use of geometry.
As far as I'm concerned, if you can't even guesstimate the diagonal distance between two points given their x and y coordinates by the time you finish high school, you haven't finished school and you sure as hell aren't ready for any skilled position.
Isn't that something of an oxymoron? As I understand the term "bricked", it means the device has lopped the twig, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible, and thus is suitable only for use a brick. "Doorstop" was another one that I recall from the 80s and 90s.
So if it's only temporarily out of commission, it can't have been "bricked," as using it in such a role would be a waste of a device that can be got working again. A device is only used as a brick when it has become permanently useless for any other purpose.
The only situation I can think of in which something could possibly be said to be "temporarily bricked", is if it actually WOULD 'voom' if you put four million volts through it...
when they promoted and then deep-sixed Wave, Buzz and iGoogle. They've demonstrated a clear track record of offering services one tends to come to rely on and then pulling the plug. Never again will I allow myself to depend on or rely on a Google service other than basic search (and even then only on the rare occasions DuckDuckGo doesn't give me what I'm after.)
Yes! I finally meet someone else who has read the Saga of the Exiles (and hopefully the counterpoint Galactic Milieu series as well!)
Every time I've tried to talk about those books in sci-fi forums, I inevitably get responses of "What saga is that?" and "Who the fuck is Julian May?" I can't believe that such brilliant books - that are supposed to be bestsellers to boot - seem be so unfamiliar to so many sci-fi fans.
I second your suggestion that it could be the Duat galaxy, since it is a barred spiral. Although Duat was supposed to be 240 million light years away, and I think this one is a bit further than that.
Anyway, thumbs up for the reference!
"And then Eadon got kicked, to the tune of very many very small violins, I am sure."
That was a truly sad day for the El Reg community. Eadon's shitposting was pure Reg gold; I had to replace a container's worth of keyboards because of him. Only Webster Phreaky ever surpassed him, but he seemed to have vanished before Eadon took over. Perhaps they were one and the same entity, and perhaps his ghost haunts the El Reg comments threads even to this day...
It is not Cloudflare's business to vet and make political decisions about the sites it hosts - any more than it is the business of the postal service to open people's letters to check for illegal content, or telcos to monitor phone calls. The moment we make carriage services liable for the content they transport we open a very dangerous and undesirable can of worms.
I also stand very strongly for the right of freedom of speech, in fact standing for freedom is my highest ideal. But a line has to be drawn, and for me that line exists where one's speech advocates or enables taking freedom away from someone else. I hold that the right of free speech does not carry with it the right to take it away from others - or even to advocate taking it away. Freedom for one must by definition be freedom for all otherwise the entire concept becomes nonsensical.
So sites that recruit or promote the cause of any group whose stated purpose is to impose violent control of others - and ISIS and its ilk very definitely fall into that category - are not, or should not be, "protected speech."
However it is the role of law enforcement and and the judiciary to determine if a law has been broken, not carriage providers. Cloudflare have every right to host any site, no matter what its content, right up until the moment it is told to remove the site by a duly appointed and empowered legal authority that has followed due process to determine that the site breaks the law. And once that happens, only then should they remove it.
"I suspect this increasing stream of reports in the press will be followed by banning them entirely."
That's already happened in Australia. Several years ago the government banned all laser pointers over 1 mW, except for members of registered astronomy clubs. You have to prove membership in such a club to be able to import a >1 mW laser pointer, and there's a safety training course you have to complete to be qualified to use one.
Essentially the safety course warns about never pointing them at aircraft, always checking to see if there are any aircraft in the vicinity you're aiming at before operating the pointer, and being aware of high-altitude ice scattering the beam in ways that aren't always visible from the ground, etc.
They're classed as Category A firearms, which I thought was actually quite cool - I'd been waiting since I was a kid for the sci-fi moment when laser guns would be recognised officially as weapons!
But of course that means that if you are caught in possession of one without an astronomy-club exemption you get charged with possession of an illegal and unregistered firearm - which in this country is a serious and imprisonable offence.
I hope that attitude doesn't extend to me though. I say this because, while that AC is not me, I know I've posted some pretty vitriolic death-wishes on scamming scumbags myself in my years here - all on the same account I signed up here with in about 2007 or somewhere thereabouts. Compared to some of the things I've posted I'd like to do to scammers, that AC is actually pretty tame. The main difference is I put my name to my rantings when discussing such matters.
Perhaps that AC has had multiple troll accounts and has posted far worse things using them, and perhaps that's what prompted your response. I don't have your mod's-eye view of the commentards here, so I can't judge that. But I think also that you journalists write these things to stir up strong emotions, because that's how you get views and comments. So why do you act so surprised when people express strong emotions to stories you've written specifically to elicit just such a response?
There's a reason we in the El Reg reader community refer to ourselves as "commentards." The word in itself is a humourously self-deprecating statement about the readership you've garnered with your particular style of reporting. I know, because I am one!
When I saw the words "Ransomware" and "as-a-service" I thought you were talking about Windows 10 and Microsoft's new business model.
It's God's final message to His creation.
Decrypted, it reads: "WE APOLOGISE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE"
After much research involving sufficient quantities of alcohol I was able to deduce that the CMB is actually the number 42 repeated over and over, encoded using conventional Vogon accounting enumeration, XORed with standard Galactic Eezeereed.
Even better, report it to Spamhaus.
"Um, what's the point of offering ownership rights if it's not got sovereignty?"
My thought is it's along the line of an exclusive-importation rights deal. Suppose MegaMining Corp lays claim to Apophis, and goes out there with some mining equipment, and then ChinaMiner Corp sends their own guys and gear out there, MegaMining Corp is the only one allowed to sell material mined from Apophis, or any item manufactured from said material, in the USA. Such a law would then make it not worthwhile for ChinaMiner to go and mine Apophis since they wouldn't be allowed to sell anything made from the ore in the USA.
So while neither corporation "owns" Apophis per se, only MegaMining could expect to get any ROI from going out there since they have exclusive importation rights.
Although it would be interesting to see how they'd police and enforce sourcing, given the difficulties we have now of preventing things like conflict diamonds and warlord-funding tantalum from leaking into the world market.
"Forcing people to do something always initiates a negative emotional reaction in people."
Which is exactly why I never embraced it. That and Google's dismal track record in pulling the plug on useful services after people get used to using them. The loss of the iGoogle portal page with its neat little widgets, which had been my startup page for ages, convinced me never to let myself become reliant on Google services again.
I thought trains had several mechanisms in place to prevent them being driven over and above just a key. Further, starting a train isn't like starting a car, just turn the key and go. You have to lap the brakes and pressurise the lines, back up to de-stress the couplings, and a number of other procedures before the train will go.
As I understood it, each driver also has his own brake handle which he attaches to the brake post when he starts up, and without which the train won't move. Then there's the deadman device, which is usually a pedal or button that has to be pressed every minute or so, otherwise the train assumes the driver is incapacitated and automatically applies the brakes.
So these guys not only broke the lock, they must have got a brake handle or something that could function as one from somewhere, and also known about the deadman device, in addition to knowing the rest of the starting procedures. They knew enough about trains to figure all that out, but didn't know about the signalling system or ATPS (which is what would have derailed the train.)
I'd suspect someone who either knows a train driver or someone who wanted to be one but failed the qualifications.
the more I realise my problem is not so much about my data being private, but with analytics and prediction based on it. Just as I have no problem with cameras or people taking pictures of me, but I do have a problem with things like facial-recognition software.
It's not the possession of the data that is so much the issue as the assumptions and judgements that people make based on it. If I knew that my data would just sit unexamined in some secured (and safely air-gapped) government archive and only examined when it is needed in connection with a crime that has been committed I'd have a lot less problem with it.
But when authorities start using predictive software and analytics on my data to try to second-guess whether or not I'm going do something wrong, that I have a big fucking problem with. Minority Report style "pre-crime" methodologies are NEVER acceptable in any free society. You cannot make accurate judgements about my identity or behaviour based on analysis of my past actions, because any such judgement is invariably based on statistics and worse, stereotypes. It does not take into account the unique experiences of my life, my personality, and why I choose to do or say the things I do.
We need to outlaw the use of identifying analytics and predictive algorithms on retained data, and insert requirements to keep such data out of reach unless it can be shown before a judge or magistrate that that particular data has some relation to an already committed crime. Otherwise we abrogate any right to call ourselves a free society.
I would rather die than buy an Apple product in any event!
Hmmm, I didn't see any advert.
I'm not sure which component of my internet armamentarium is responsible for shielding me from that one, although I rather suspect Ghostery is behind stopping YouTube ads more than AdBlock Edge, BetterPrivacy, RemoveItPermanently, uBlock Origin, Self-Destructing Cookies, Disconnect or NoScript.
So all I can suggest is installing all of the above and hope that one of them does the job - if you don't mind cruising around the information superhighway in what amounts to an Abrams tank!
May I suggest to the person who disagrees with me, that you should pay a visit to Australia sometime, and spend a week or two around the farms during grain harvest. I think the experience would make you rather less defensive of our little rodent friends!
"Only someone who's never had a problem with rodent vermin would want to own one as a pet..."
Damn straight. I have two cats for precisely that reason!
"But what if they transfer their ill-gotten gains directly to charity?"
Well, firstly for some reason I doubt they do. Second, even if they did, it doesn't excuse blackmailing people with ransomware. To argue a charitable cause as a justification for such vile behaviour is treading perilously close to ends justifying means.
"wanting humans dissected for public entertainment is beyond sociopathic and into psychopathic land."
Or the product of a mind that has been reading too many George R.R. Martin novels lately... ;)
Time to bring back public gibbetings and perhaps introduce live human dissections posted to YouTube. These fucking worthless sociopathic parasites serve no good use to humanity whatsoever. They can't be redeemed or rehabilitated. They are vermin, and they should be exterminated, like vermin.
"That said, bitcoin is very traceable, far less anonymous than cash."
If that's the case then why are there no stories about people hunting these ransomware scammers down for the purpose of peeling their fingernails off one by one?
" I worked at the Pit but not underground as a mechanic. This was regarded as a big step up."
When I whur a lad I 'ad to git oop at 11 o'clock at night 'alf an hour afore I went to bed...
Until the buggers build in IR scanning and DNA sampling to verify that a real live human is attached to the thing.
"Sorry, but I just can't take anybody who uses the phrase "SJW" unironically seriously."
That's most likely because you are one, in which case going by the the majority of comments and upvote/downvote ratios in this thread, not many people would take you seriously either.
Actually their academic pretzel-think is very simple; once you strip away the political game-playing, weaselling and manipulative bullshit, it really all just boils down to, "If you're male, you're wrong and deserve to be punished because you're to blame for every nasty thing men have ever done to women."
GitMeMyShootinIrons, meet Captain Jean-Luc Picard:
"I don't know how to communicate this, or even if it is possible. But the question of justice has concerned me greatly of late, and I say to any creature who may be listening, there can be no justice so long as laws are absolute. Even life itself is an exercise in exceptions."
I'd be more than happy to toss some of my hard-earned in their general direction, and I'm sure a lot of other science geeks would as well.
Fortensplibe's reaction likely has little to do with the fact that they are women and more to do with them both being greedy power-grubbing politicians - and in my view even more so for people hiding them behind the gender card to shield them from criticism.
"...but it's nice to think that someone's on the ball."
No it's not. What we need is for these incompetent buffoons to run around like chooks with their heads cut off, passing the buck from department to department, until the entire damnable metadata retention scheme blows out costs and problems like Krakatoa and comes down around their bloody ears!
These days basic civil liberties ride on ensuring the politicians are so busy tying each other up in knots that nothing ever gets done and the people get left alone. That's exactly why in every election I always vote for opposing parties in the Upper and Lower Houses (Liberal Senate, Labor Parliament or vice versa) - precisely so that any new bills proposed by the Lower House are more likely to get blocked by a hostile Senate, thus leaving things as they are and preserving what few fucking freedoms we have left!
Yep. This is the real tragedy of technology.
When I was younger I used to fantasise about full-immersion VR. The worlds I'd create! I'd be like Reginald Barclay from Star Trek - I'd never come out of the holodeck! I'd be willing to spend my whole life in there, building my perfect world.
Now? No fucking way. Not with the way the likes of Google or Microsoft or Facebook will implement it, every thought, every action monitored and profiled and fed through analytics software in order to milk every last possible penny out of me, or to "treat my illness" if my fantasies stray too far from normative ideals.
It was a beautiful dream, as usual ruined by human greed and opportunism.
That's part of Melbourne Cup culture - the women all compete to see who can front up in the most elaborate and outlandish headgear!
"Yep. That's definitely paranoia."
Yep. That's definitely arrogance.