* Posts by Robert Helpmann??

1271 posts • joined 31 May 2011

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Skype hauled into court after refusing to hand call records to cops

Robert Helpmann??
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Trollface

Red Letter Day

I find myself cheering for Microsoft? My, how the world has changed!

Well, even a broken watch* is right two times a day.

* Analog, of course, not Apple.

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First production car powered by Android Auto rolls out – and it's a Hyundai

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My Car Is Not a Phone

"Android Auto aligns with Hyundai's core interior design principles of safety, intuitiveness and simplicity

This only works with Android 5.0 or better and is billed as a safety feature. It's more a marketing gimmick than anything else. A true safety feature would not be tied to a specific 3rd party vendor's product and would instead be interoperable with a reasonable range of them. Why not set it up as a Bluetooth or USB device that you could download an app for from either Google, Apple, or MS, or even RIM if they decided to invest the time and effort?

Setting it up where a driver's phone automatically goes into a vehicle-safe mode during operation of said vehicle is a wonderful idea, but tying its implementation to a particular phone system is like linking the ability to use seat belts to the owner's political affiliation, as tempting as that might be for some.

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Do svidaniya Roscosmos. By the way, any idea where that 92 BEEELLION rubles went?

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I can't see this ending well

I can't see it ending at all. The most important function of a position of power is maintaining that position.

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Geofencing: The ultra-low power frontier for the Internet of Things

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Re: Why does this stuff need to update ?

Also, would it be too much to ask for this IoT crap to be IPv6 compliant from day one? I want to be able to get on the Internet, for any purpose, without finding I've been NATed back to the stone age because all the IPv4 addresses are in use by lawnmowers!

I think it would be better to have IoT devices run a non-routable protocol. It would seem to make more sense to have them all report to a local control device or server than to have to open a port in your home firewall (as if consumers are going to grasp this concept) for every stereophonic light bulb and smart toilet in our personal chateaus. Yes, this may provide a single point of failure for at least a class of devices in our homes, perhaps assuming that devices involving security are controlled by separate systems than entertainment and similar, but also provides for a much smaller attack surface.

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Boffins silently track train commuters without tripping Android checks

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Re: Why not prompt for accelerometer?

Unless you killed the program once you're done with it, how do you know it isn't still grabbing your accelerometer data when you go to work tomorrow?

Even if you kill it, you don't, under the assumption that you are concerned with reducing the risk of it being malware. If there are examples in the wild of malware that keeps your phone running when you try to turn it off, then one that lets you think you have killed a process when you actually have not shouldn't be a surprise.

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Unicode wonks are bringing home the BACON, as an emoji

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In a Pickle

Cucumber, they note, “could also be used to represent a pickle”; El Reg will refrain from expanding on that suggestion to any greater degree.

No, but you went there, didn't you? Yes, you did.

8€

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Maserati Ghibli S: Who cares what Joe Walsh thinks?

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Re: The Anti-Maserati

So, is there enough room in a Sienna for a young girl to hide from the family...?

Maybe. I think we misplaced one a while back and there have been noises coming from the rear of the van...

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Robert Helpmann??
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The Anti-Maserati

I don’t know what it says about my friends and their view of Italian society, but every one of them who looked into the 500-litre boot said “you could get a body in there”

I had to laugh at that as I had a similar experience, though decidedly not with a Maserati (alas). We got a Sienna (Toyota van). It has storage compartments everywhere - it has them where other cars don't even have places. Almost everyone who got in it made a comment to the effect that we would have plenty of places to hide guns.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bog-standard boxty

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Boys and Girls

any boy* they are interested will be unsuitable.

A friend of mine pointed out that he had to worry about three boys (his own) while I had to worry about 3 million (I have three girls). Add to your to-do list finding a good place for the bodies and several reliable people who can attest to your whereabouts at any time without prompting.

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Is your career lacking growth? Become a porn inspector! Hint: It sucks

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Re: HR Intensive

x 7, the outsourcing reference was a bit of a joke. However, my points about efficiency were not. I understand about labor being plentiful and cheap in China, but if the government's goal is to bring the overall economy up, creating a bunch of low-paying jobs won't get them there. Adding efficiencies frees people up to do more and make more for a company. The jobs under discussion are government jobs, though, so making money is not the point. I would think that these are likely to be as important to the Chinese government as many military positions as keeping their populace in line seems to be as important to them as competing with other countries.

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Robert Helpmann??
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HR Intensive

This sounds like a real waste of time. Sure, there are lots of people that the Chinese government can throw at any problem, but why would they want to set up a system in which there are nothing but a bunch of low paying jobs (I am assuming these are - I can only compare with the job market I am familiar with). Even if they pay reasonably well, it would still be much more efficient to develop machine recognition with human auditors. Better still would be to crowd source this out to a variety of Westerners. They would do it for free and be just as dedicated to verifying the material.

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SAVE THE PLANKTON: So much more than whale food

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Coat

Re: "a fabulous, three year voyage around the world in a schooner"

If you really want adventure, you might consider heading South. Here, you can borrow my coat. You'll need it.

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Hacker launches ransomware rescue kit

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Re: New OS approach needed

And yes, you need to backup offsite to tapes, or you really don't care about your data *enough*...

Or at least off-site. Using tape for backups is more of a corporate approach, but many people being targeted by this malware are home users. There are plenty of free and commercial options available for regular folks, so it is still good advice.

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WHOOPSIE! Vast US health insurer CareFirst plundered of 1.1 MEELLION records

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Re: Once again.......

Here's an idea to end this : 1] Require, by law...

Here's an example of an unintended consequence: companies now have an incentive to put their competition out of business by hiring third parties to commit online attacks against them. For any such law to be worthwhile, it should target those companies that are guilty of neglect. If a company is hacked despite every reasonable attempt to secure data in its possession, it should not be penalized.

Having passed a law with this proviso, we would then have a situation in which either non-technical politicians, judges or jury members will have to decide things like what constitutes best practices for data security. While this is not the best of all worlds, it still might nudge things in a desirable direction from the point of view of consumers victims.

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Huawei announces tiny 10 KB IoT kernel

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Re: 10KB for the OS?

Flash is cheap in embedded devices, RAM is the expensive thing. Your microcontroller may have anything from 256 bytes to 256 kilobytes and anything beyond will need external RAM which makes is so expensive you can just as well add 16 Megabytes with no additional cost and run Linux

As far as I can tell, this page gives memory requirements for LiteOS

http://wiki.oiotc.cc/index.php?title=Os%E5%86%85%E5%AD%98%E5%8D%A0%E7%94%A8%E6%83%85%E5%86%B5

Google Translate does not seem to be up to the task of rendering the appropriate table into a reasonable English format, or French for that matter. Would someone who can read Chinese care to take a stab at this? I am also not sure from looking through the Googlized web page whether the network stack is part of the kernel. I hope not as something like that could bring us the IoT PoD (though that does have a nice ring to it).

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Driverless cars deal DEATH to Detroit, says Barclays

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Yes/no

First, I would imagine the greatest cost for replacements will be for tires and batteries, assuming electric cars. Second, old cars will not be removed from the road due to compatibility issues for a very long time as the onus will be on the incoming models to conform to what is already in place. It will take the better part of a human lifetime before that happens.

As for ride sharing arrangements instead of ownership, some people will go for it, especially in densely populated urban areas, but I agree more with the author's 10% figure rather than Barclays' much larger guess at least - for the next several decades. I really want my personal chauffeured limo, but I am not so sure I want to share it with random people who may leave gifts for me to find on my commute home from work.

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Hacker data dumps scrape to make huge grey marketing database

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Big Brother

Re: Ethical or not?

I would imagine that it's legal and was probably accomplished with a simple script; it really would not be too hard. As far as the ethics of it all, we are talking about marketing so it's not a big deal. Yay! The last vestiges of our privacy have taken another hit! We weren't using it any way.

Icon, because marketing seems to have become government's little brother.

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Milking cow shot dead by police 'while trying to escape'

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Where's My Cow?

The manager of the Rising Sun Farm, which witnesses thought was the source of the hoofed escapologists, contacted the Chronicle to say that the farm did not own any cows.

Does your cow bite?

No.

OK. HRUUUGH! OW!!! I thought you said your cow does not bite!

That's not my cow.

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US Air Force reveals what's inside its top-secret space plane, this time

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Penguins In Space!

It'll be hacked already by the Russians and/or Chinese.

So predictable, you might imagine it might be a honeypot? Probably not. From NASA's description of the mission:

"A further payload being carried for the Naval Academy is the USS Langley, or Unix Space Server Langley. A three-unit CubeSat, Langley is indented to demonstrate the use of off-the-shelf components to operate a Linux-based web server in space. This will be connected to the internet via the satellite’s ground stations."

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Russia will fork Sailfish OS to shut out pesky Western spooks

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Re: What about the toolchain?

> Do you rely on the MD5 checksum?

No, I rely on ths SHA256 checksum specifically because MD5 is subvertible.

> Do you recompile all of the libraries going into GCC/etc. from source?>

All of which arguably misses the point. If you have to go through this much trouble to mod a piece of consumer electronics before you are comfortable using it, the situation is FUBARed. You can perhaps make your stuff secure. You still have not addressed the communications channels you will have to use for your phone and you definitely have not addressed issues with the phones of everyone else you contact with yours (or for sites you visit online, for that matter). While I think more secure tech is worth pursuing for a number of reasons, there is no tech solution to this.

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ALIBABA Vs AMAZON: Let the Global Tat Bazaar war begin

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Re: THERE !! Fixed that for you.

I think you've got it right, Mark 85. What any group considers "high-quality" is based on what they have had access to and will be subject to change once exposed to something better, whether home grown or imported. It will be interesting to see if Alibaba will be able to open the gates to the market in China or if they will be hampered by the current protectionist system.

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Screech! Grand Theft Auto V malware mods warning

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Re: Mods on steam

It's better to have a gaming setup separate from the computer you use for online banking and similar, which helps to mitigate both the issue of flaws within Steam and any malware that might come with whatever mods you download. Even if it is something as simple as a swappable HD rather than an entire dedicated machine, this would seem to be a reasonable step to take.

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High-level, state-sponsored Naikon hackers exposed

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Re: an executable file with a double extension.

How much effort would it take to train people about this?

It isn't so much an issue of how much effort it takes to train people It's more accurately the amount of effort needed to get people to consistently follow the training. This seems to be the social equivalent to a physical object achieving the speed of light. You can put more and more energy into it and get closer and closer to the goal, but never get there.

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Crude scammer targets Brit oil brokers

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Re: Amish spearphish

...I would be grateful if you would send by return email the usernames and passwords...

And here's the thing: that works! As sad as it may sound, this is exactly how many phishing attacks work, just with more words.

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Viagra makes it HARD for malaria, bug-boffins discover

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Re: The Law of Unintended Consequences....?

Drug companies are about drug R&D, the Gates foundation is not a drug company.

No, but they are obviously willing to do the research if it helps meet their stated goals. This sort of study is fairly common as it is much easier to get approval to test an existing drug to do something it was not original intended to do that to develop and whole new drug for a specific purpose. The up-front costs of R&D are already paid and it has been approved for use. In fact, the drug was originally intended for treatment of hypertension. All they have to do is find out how effective it is against the target disease. It also may have the pleasant result for the drug company of expanding their market. This is a smart way of getting the job done.

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Californians get first chance to be RUN OVER by a GOOGLE ROBOT

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Re: No need to worry

I'm assuming an autonomous car will be significantly cheaper to hire than a taxi because the autonomous car doesn't need to cover the cost of a human taxi-driver.

That is an assumption that I have seen used by a number of sources, and may perhaps be a reasonable one to make for a commuter vehicle, but I am not so sure it will be the case and, even if it is, will really drive down private ownership of vehicles. First, many areas that have significant numbers of taxi drivers are sensitive to job loss and may take a protectionist stance on the use of driverless cars as for-rent vehicles, especially in cases of individuals leasing them out during the day. Look for example at where Uber has had legal challenges.

Second, the time when someone is most likely to need a car for rent is going to be during peek driving hours which includes the owner who used it to drive in to work. There will be a smaller demand for these vehicles as rentals than there will be supply, which does tend to drive down prices, but...

Third, while the cost of renting one of these has a good chance of being cheaper than a regular cab, assuming there are no price controls, they will still be more expensive than ownership by necessity. No-one is going to rent at or below cost especially as there is going to be some serious liability issues - who is going to want to risk their personal ride home on making a quick $10 for an unsupervised and potentially un-trackable transaction - will you really want to know what sticky mess on the back seat is when you get your car back in the evening?

I did a quick lookup of the number of cabs in different areas. There are now over 20,000 licensed vehicles on London's roads while New York has over 13,237 cabs and more than 40,000 other for-hire vehicles. On the other hand, there are 2.6 million privately owned cars registered to London residents while around 48% of New Yorkers own cars which puts the number of cars there at over 4 million. Uber has more than 14,000 cars operating in New York and 7,000 in London (Uber claims this will grow to 42,000 by next year), so there is clearly demand, but I would guess that there will be strong pushback in areas where there are established taxi services, precisely where there will be a confluence of available cars for hire and people who might hire them.

I am sure some folks will try this, but that it will turn out to be more hassle than it is worth. My guess is that if you want to make money off self-driving vehicles, then your best bet is to sell the security devices that people will want to install in their cars before handing them over to a stranger site unseen.

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Astroboffins perplexed by QUADRUPLE QUASAR CLUSTER find

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Re: "... but more research is needed"

They say, "more research." You say "more grants." I say "road trip." Properly conjugated.

I am not sure if you mean that the researchers should work for free or that basic science has no value, but I disagree with both statements.

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Lightbulbs of the future will come with wireless extenders and speakers

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The one problem...

...we can see with this bulb is that you may not have a lightsocket pointing in the right direction for what you want to achieve.

This would seem to be a problem with all their products as light fixtures and lamps aren't currently designed with these features in mind. I would not imagine these will have much take-up in private homes, but there could be interest in the commercial sector as they could offer relatively low cost drop-in upgrades to amenities. Too, hotels and convention centers are not concerned with the security of their networks. I didn't see any mention as to any sort of built-in security these will support (the bit about the missing APIs, at least in part), which makes them on par with the rest of the IoT. Who knows? Perhaps Sengled will become an innovator in IoT security and capture a big share of the market by doing so, but judging from their solution in search of a problem approach, I suspect not.

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Adjustments will be needed to manage the Macs piling up in your business

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Re: Who pays for this support?

A lot of what "enterprise" should mean boils down to standardization. That's where businesses can save money through the economies of scale. I've worked in many mixed environments - the first sysadmin job I had was for an art college that ran Windows, Mac and Amiga desktops and Novel servers - and have helped support a few others. Sure, it is possible to maintain and support multiple machine types and images, but at a certain point, you end up multiplying the costs associated with doing so by the total number of images. Assuming you have the tools to get the job done, there is not much difference in maintaining 2K and 3K Windows workstations - the tools involved should scale fairly well. Likewise with Macs, though I am making an educated guess as I have not worked in a shop that had that many Macs. However, if you go from say 1K Windows boxes to adding on 1K Macs, you end up having to buy or write new tools and hire a whole new group of people to maintain them. While a lot of experience transfers between administering different OSes, there is enough overhead added that most enterprises have good reason to go one way or the other, but not both.

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NASA snaps first full family photo of Pluto and its five moons

Robert Helpmann??
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What happened to Charon?

Charon was missing, or at least was unlabeled, in the linked GIF file. I wonder why it is being shy about having its picture taken. It is in the closest orbit around Pluto, so it ought to show up. Maybe if I squint...

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Google to extend rogue Chrome add-on ban to OS X

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Cost-Benefit Analysis

Stealing a page from Apple? The move looks good in terms of bringing malware to heel, but will Google also ban extensions involving ad blocking, anonymization or anything they perceive might interfere with their collecting a buck from advertising? For Google, this is a good deal. For people who use their product, it will probably work out to be more of a mixed bag.

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Attack of the possibly-Nazi clone parakeet invaders

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Boffin

Re: Speaking of Pigeons...

Parakeets usually live in tropical climes...

There used to be Carolina parakeets in the US, but they are now, alas, extinct. Pigeons, on the other hand, are non-native to this range, so if these southern parakeets push them out, I look at it as restoring the natural order.

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Jamie Oliver's ministry of malware served slops AGAIN

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Low-hanging Fruit

Not really a stretch for black hats: attacking a WordPress site already known well publicized to be poorly maintained by its owners in order to distribute malware to Windows machines. What will they think of next? Sending email to victims in hopes that they will install the payloads themselves? Come on, bad guys! At last act like you're putting some effort into it.

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Trans Pacific Partnership 'fast-track' bill dumped

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Re: Thank f#ck for that

... the fact it was voted down at least restores some faith that elected representatives actually represent the people who vote for them, not the people who pay them.

The bill failed to get a super-majority though it did have a simple majority. It didn't even fail on the merits of the issues that I feel strongly about (see the note concerning copyright). To me, at least, this is more a case that a small number of elected officials' interests happened to align with those of some of their constituents... Well, perhaps that is how a representative democracy works after all.

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Swedish Supreme Court keeps AssangeTM in Little Ecuador

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Re: Statute of Limitations

While I am not sure how the statute of limitations would be applied under Swedish law, I am curious as to whether he could be charged and tried in absentia. At least in a generic sense, the limitation is on the time between the crime and a person being charged with it. If he has been charged, I would think there would no longer be a ticking clock in that sense.

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Massive police 'heavy equipment' robot drags out suspect who hid inside television

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Community Support

I especially liked the bit in the linked article that said "the police department is thankful to 'all the neighbors and citizens in the area who showed patience and restraint.” I am not not sure if they mean that they are happy the neighbors didn't start firing on the suspect's residence, that they didn't cross the police barricade for a better look at the action, that they were filming the police the whole time, or some combination of the three.

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Cyber-scum deface Nazi concentration camp memorial website

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Re: Yes they are beyond douchy but..

So enlighten me, what are these other two "hate crimes" you speak of?

I suspect the reference was to the millions of people killed under Stalin and Mao, 23 and 78 million respectively versus 17 million under Hitler's regime.

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Small WordPress sites leaking like sieves

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Joke

Re: Get patching. ®

But how can they patch when it's an unknown Vuln...

By migrating away from WordPress?

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Automation eases the pain of software patching

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Re: OK... teased us with the scenario and methods..

Teased? Downright misled! This is what the source article states:

"Over 85% of the cyber intrusions ASD responds to could be prevented by following the Top 4 mitigation strategies..."

And this is what the paraphrasing gave us:

"The Australian Government Department of Defence found that operating system and application patching could have stopped 85 per cent of all security incidents it experienced,"

A cyber intrusion is a subset of security incident. Patching will do little or nothing to address insider threats, poor system management practices, or sloppy handling of sensitive materials on the part of employees. Patching is important and can be difficult, but it is not 85% of the puzzle pieces needed to make up the whole picture.

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All-Russian 'Elbrus' PCs and servers go on sale

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Re: @ Stuart Longland

Today, not so sure. I would not be surprised to see a mandatory school and education use mandate. That is a few million units on its own.

They have created the Volga of the computing world. It only "works" if you have a captive market. Perhaps they should code name the next chipset in development Чёрная Молния (Black Lightning).

It's also said to be capable of x86 emulation, and to run Linux natively, after one performs binary translation.

Sorry, the first thing that got stuck in my head was "What? They need to be rewritten using Cyrillic?"

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Cuy Chactado – Deep-fried guinea pig

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Re: Off to the pet store!!

If you've got a hammer, there's no need for a knife....

In my experience, it's a lot easier to skin an animal with a knife. To each their own, I suppose.

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Building the Internet of Things with Raspberry Pi et al, DIY-style

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Collective Nouns

'Internet' is now the collective noun for things

Yes! Like a cluster of computers, a tangle of cables, a bank an elephant of RAM or a spaghetti of code.

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Traumatised Reg SPB team barely survives movie unwatchablathon

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Re: Needs more Cloverfield

...thankfully they've resisted the urge to make such a travesty of a movie...

I felt the same about the recent Hobbit videogame movies. I really wanted not to watch it after the LotR's missing the Scouring of the Shire from its ending, but was forced into attending a marathon viewing which sadly did not involve alcohol. Why anyone would take a kid's story and turn it into a torture device for kids is... well.. brilliant, but I still wish I could forget the hours I wasted watching this trilogy.

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Tough admin forces hacker to STRIP to PANTS, LEAP to his DEATH

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Re: Slow "news" day?

See the bit in the article concerning the "new profession of in-game journalist" and understand that there is enough interest to make a living from reporting in-game activity. Welcome to the new normal.

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Malfunctioning Russian supply podule EXPLODES above Pacific

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Re: @Remy

Something I would love to see and nobody will be able to compute the outcome of.

I would think this is exactly the sort of thing anyone contemplating the creation of such a structure would want to work out. As well, they would want to create contingency plans based on the modelling of such a catastrophe.

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Get ready: 'Critical' Adobe Reader patches coming on Tuesday 12 May

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Re: Too late

Acrobat Reader is but a memory

I am quite happy to have done the same some time back. Anecdotally, many home users have too, at least among my friends and family. I suspect that this mostly affects business and government organizations, so it is still likely to have a large impact.

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NSA spying is illegal? Then let's make it law, say Republicans

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Re: Where did he learn his use of analogies?

You also have the option of not signing up for the discount card or simply shopping somewhere else. How exactly does one opt out of the NSA's program?

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Metasploit maker Rapid7 gobbles web app security testing firm

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Re: Inappropriate image in more than one sense

Would you mind explaining the connection between web security and the picture you have chosen to accompany the article[?]

I don't like the banners at all, no matter how appropriate, but consider the phrase "web app security" and compare its likely existence to that of the "unicorn" in the image... I'm only guessing, but I think that might be the direction we are meant to head.

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Security bods gagged using DMCA on eve of wireless key vuln reveal

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Trumped Up

I suspect the laws on whistleblowing trump the DCMA,

The problem in this is that in order to make that determination the case would still have to go through the legal system which costs money even for the wrongly-accused.

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Windows 10 bombshell: Microsoft to KILL OFF Patch Tuesday

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Clipboard Firewall

I was hoping for a bigger jump in security, with a greater range of tools for corporate admins. This bit is like MS took a look at a Qubes whitepaper and had a single takeaway. Too, the manageability of updates is a big concern, so it is nice to see tweaks to that. Of course, the OS is still in testing, but I would be a lot more impressed if they had built-in white-listing tools for apps or device control or any number of security measures that currently require a complex set of third party tools. In fact, what I really want is for them to build a robust security framework first and then put all the rest together around it.

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