* Posts by Robert Helpmann??

1715 posts • joined 31 May 2011

Smut shaming: Anonymous fights Islamic State... with porn

Robert Helpmann??
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Mushroom

Worth 1,000 Words

When dealing with a group of jihadists bent on inflicting themselves on everyone around, of course the correct response is to wage war against them using weaponized pr0n! It's a good start. I look forward to finding out what the "nuclear option" in this particular effort will be.

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Grim-faced 'naut Malenchenko prepares to return home

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: "you need to smile more!"

Choices are good. Perhaps your female peers might have offered one between a "young, perky grin" and a "classic smile."

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New periodic table names

Robert Helpmann??
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Trollface

It's fixed - can you please email corrections@theregister.co.uk if you spot anything wrong so we can fix things right away. Ta.

No, Ta stands for Tantalum.

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Robot lung probe wins licence from US authorities

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

A robot that wriggles and jiggles and tickles inside you? What will they do if it won't come back out?

I know an old lady who swallowed a droid,

How absoid to swallow a droid!

She swallowed the droid to catch the bot...

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McDonald's says bigger fonts cooked up improved profits

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Really? Fonts?

The next thing you know, some researcher will claim that customers and staff being able to understand each other at the drive in line will lead to a better experience for both. Blasphemy!

Caveat: I avoid McDonald's under the assumption that what is provided there is neither fast nor food.

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Boffins slap quantum dots on diamonds to create mutant nanomaterials

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Recursion?

So which it? Dots in diamonds? Or diamonds in dots? Or both?

It's quantum, so yes. Or neither.

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Scots denied Saltire emoji

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: @ Khaptain our national animal, the unicorn

Very confusing to those of us who have not studied Heraldry...

Well, it sure beats the one that goes "Gules, a fess or and three toads." Perhaps the College of Arms ought to request the various heraldic components be incorporated into Unicode and added as emojis. There are arguably plenty of worse things included already.

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So. Why don't people talk to invisible robots in public?

Robert Helpmann??
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Terminator

Re: Critical Question

Alternatively, create a "privacy mask" that includes a VR headset for augmented reality and you should have a winner. It would function both in the practical capacity of allowing users to be completely connected all of the time without having to make actual eye contact when talking with their respective assistants and as a fashion statement (we could make day-to-day living one big costume/fancy dress party).

Icon as example of possible choice of mask.

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Tidal?

Submerged turbines in tidal races are only just getting towards production.

Something I have wondered about is why I have not heard much about any efforts to submerge turbines in deep water where there are strong currents, tidal or otherwise. Besides maintenance issues, I would guess they would have fewer problems to overcome than other renewables. It would seem that they wouldn't pose more environmental issues than windmills, shouldn't get in the way of shipping, and would be a lot more reliable in terms of hours of production than wind or solar.

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The Fog of Cyberwar: Now theft and sabotage instead of just spying

Robert Helpmann??
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Meh

Re: Escalation in cyber BS race

And who exactly is Uncle Sam trying to pick a fight with ? They invaded Iraq instead of North Korea because everyone knows that the Norks have WMDs.

You should add "first" immediately after "Iraq" and change the reason to "because Saddam put a hit out on Bush I and Bush II couldn't let someone go after his daddy like that."

Are you suggesting the US is trying to pick on Russia now ?

They started it!

I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine on which points I am being facetious.

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Capitalize 'Internet'? AP says no – Vint Cerf says yes

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Guidelines? m'EH?

As for the BBC establishing guidelines for the rest of us to follow, well, the idea of guidelines seems to be rather loose with them.

To say the least! I just popped open my BBC Bbc ap and was faced with the horror of "Nato." That's no way to treat an acronym! At least I didn't have to work out the difference between NATO, "the Nato" and a theoretical group of natos, so it wasn't all bad.

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NASA 'naut to boldly enter pump-up space podule

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Mascot

May I remind you, Sgt. Pinback...

You have pointed the way to getting the podule back home: simply ride it down like a surf board. Let there be light!

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BOFH: What's your point, caller?

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: 48 hour SLA?

For the last two places I have worked, it was more like "SLAs? We've heard of those." I move on to the next big thing in a couple of weeks. ITIL certification was on the list of job requirements which probably means... Who am I kidding? It means an HR droid had a box to check and I will never have to worry about an SLA at the new place either.

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King Tut's iron dagger of extraterrestrial origin

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

But they didn't have enough sharks upon which to mount them. Perhaps they used crocodiles, instead. There's a thought to keep the underclass in line!

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Anti-phishing most critical defence against rife CEO email fraud

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Do NOT even read emails, never mind answer them

I agree with Jane that her next important eamil will be headed 'It is raining in Borneo'.

See, this secret squirrel stuff is why actual education is so important. If you think getting people to follow password security requirements is a chore, try implementing this "proposal."

Ongoing education and personal consequences for failing to follow policies are a much more reasonable and effective approach. This applies to both IT and accounting. Simply having a policy in place that no-one at any level may make expenditures above a certain amount without a defined set of individuals required for approval of the deal go a long way toward killing the effectiveness of phishing scams.

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Microsoft warns of worm ransomware, finds fix in Windows 10 upgrade

Robert Helpmann??
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Joke

Re: I wonder..

...pirate... sites [should be] avoided.

- Hear no evil.

The ZCrypt scumware is distributed through old but effective methods of phishing emails, Word document macros, and fake Adobe Flash installers.

- See no evil.

Macros should also be banished

- Say no evil

...and porn sites [should also be] avoided.

- Have no fun.

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EU wants open science publication by 2020

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

In some fields, it's almost de facto the case already.

This brings up my question which is why is this restricted to scientific articles? Wouldn't it make at least as much sense to stipulate this for all papers coming out of publicly funded academia?

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North Korea clones Facebook, forgot to change default creds

Robert Helpmann??
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Big Brother

Re: Low membership potential.

"Oh look! My neighbor changed his status from 'Starving' to 'Hungry'. I wonder what he did to merit... Hold on. Someone's at the door."

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SWIFT finally pushes two-factor auth in banks – it only took several multimillion-dollar thefts

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Given that this is often a inside job

It seems unlikely that more than one bank would be hit by insider attacks so close together. There even sems to be some evidence that the Norks are to blame, for whatever that's worth.

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Should space be a biz-free zone? Join us on June 22 to find out

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Business is the only decent part of modern civilization

The only point in going off-Earth is to enable additional goods, services, energy, materials, and profit.

While I disagree that it is the only reason to get off the planet (colonization, tourism and basic scientific research all come to mind as good reasons to escape the chains of our planet's surface), having a business reason to get into space will certainly help drive and inform efforts to do so.

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Swedish old timer pulls airsoft gun on broadband salesman

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Need more of this

I don't mind people trying to sell me something as long as they take my "no thanks" as intended. - I don't mind if someone takes the time to come round and talk. Its sales calls and spam that I hate.

But those bastards who won't take "fuck off" for what it is... Last time, ... I let them waffle on for about half an hour... Apparently it was my fault for wasting their time. - Simply saying goodbye and closing the door, hanging up or marking the address as spam tends to work for the decent sorts. Stringing them along should be reserved for those that don't behave properly. You are wasting their time, which in turn means you cost them some money if they are on commission. That is, after all, the point. It lets them know they have done the wrong thing, prevents them from inflicting themselves onto someone else, all while providing you with some entertainment.

Pro Tip: Alert cold callers that their call may be monitored for quality control purposes at the start of any sales pitch.

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ICSA Labs wants IoT industry to seek security certification

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Re: Good Luck

Security implementation in Windows systems was an afterthought but is a big deal today. The fact that these certs are being developed would seem to point the way for security professionals who wish to get ahead a bit. For people in information security, problem areas such as exist in the field of IoT present opportunities for continued gainful employment. Don't knock it!

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Google to kill passwords on Android, replace 'em with 'trust scores'

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Lack of Common Sense

Says Richard Lack (I would hold this up as a case of nominative determinism and upon careful consideration of his comments, I will), “The future lies in methods of authentication without passwords, which consumers clearly favour, both in terms of convenience and enhanced security...” which really means they want technology that is sophisticated enough to be magic. consumers want to be able to have their phones, financials and abodes only open to themselves and those they allow without having to do anything or know anything. That last might make a good metric of customer acceptance. If you would trust access to your house to a given technology after being made to understand the risks, benefits and operation, then it is probably OK to use to protect access to your phone which in turn allows access to your bank, credit cards, et cetera.

Mr Lack goes on to say, “Biometric authentication is a powerful enabler, allowing businesses smart enough to deploy it to significantly increase rates of registration, gaining data and insight about their customers, while also increasing customer security. This is a win/win scenario...” No, these are arguably mutually exclusive as the idea here is to allow the businesses in question to gather consumers' biometrics rather than to have a third party provider authenticate your identity based on your biometrics. A big win for big business, but not so much for individuals.

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Want a better password? Pretend you eat kale. We won't tell anyone

Robert Helpmann??
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Stop

Re: If only you could type commands and have each output to the next...

You don't have to outrun the robot swarm, you just have to outrun the first 10,000,000 users.

Sooo... The swarm of robot bears is after the infinite number of juicy, low-hanging monkeys that are pounding their passwords on internet typewriters? Is there an equivalent to Godwin's Law for non-Nazi-inspired analogies?

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Wayne Rooney razzles in X-Men: Apocalypse plug

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: The BAFTA's

And yet, like a moth the flame, I watch the second in the newest Star Trek series and will probably watch the new X-Men movie, too. Even though I have such low expectations, I hope and in doing so have opened myself to disappointment yet again. I will keep it up until I can take no more and my soul cries out, "KHAAANNNN!"

Oh, and I think Cumberbatch makes an excellent voice actor, but is nowhere near as enjoyable onscreen.

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Tesla 3 orders fall by 12,200

Robert Helpmann??
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Sold for the very low price of...

At a $35,000 base price...

The Model S has a base price of about $60K... for the 70D. If you desire the P90D, it can easily surpass $100K. Also, you might want to add the spiffy red brake calipers ($2300) that show through the custom wheels ($2500-$7600). I know the Model 3 is supposed to be a car for the masses, but I do not think I want to be an early adopter given Tesla's current pricing scheme.

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CIA says it 'accidentally' nuked torture report hard drive

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Yeah, sure, right...

A prosaic way of dealing with this would be to apply Napoleonic justice to all intelligence agencies: they will be assumed guilty until they can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are innocent. Come to think of it, we would have quite a shift in the way things are done in government if this was applied across the board.

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Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: ick, ethicists

It is interesting that the first work of fiction brought up in this forum is Young Frankenstein whereas I was reminded of Doctor Who. It explores, after all, the issue of regenerating bodies with memories intact but with different personalities in control. Fiction is a useful way to explore issues of this nature, especially science fiction. Also, many of the legal, ethical and moral issues concerning this have already been worked out, or at least the foundations have been laid, through cases that involve people who have suffered a brain injury or other issue that has fundamentally changes their physical and psychological selves. This seems more an extension of that than anything else (though I do not downplay the importance of this possible advance).

I think it is important to remember that no technology operates by itself. Yes, we are talking about a fairly large jump ahead in what can be accomplished through regenerative medicine. There have also been studies done on how to read memories and also how to alter them. In short, it would seem that there will come a time that a person can be backed up and restored at need, assuming all of these things can be made to work and to work in conjunction with each other. Still in the realm of science fiction, but it would seem there is the potential for this to become a reality. If you want to talk about an ethical issue, why not discuss whether vastly extended lifespans for people would be a good thing?

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Smartmobes in spaaace: NASA deploys Android nanosats

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Re: Spring?

Note the impressive and somewhat ACME-inspired ejection spring...

There even looks to be a flag furled on top that reads "SPROING!" ready to deploy when the cubesats are launched.

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IBM invents printer that checks for copyrights

Robert Helpmann??
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How Much Is Too Much?

...in UK schools, for example, there is a blanket licence to print limited extracts from copyrighted works...

It is that way here as well. It's called "fair use." As this is a very common exception in academic settings, I cannot imagine there would be much uptake there, even if IBM gave these printers away.

Where I can see this sort of tech might be of some actual benefit is in corporate settings as part of a document management system. If you have restricted the ability to copy files to USB drives and blocked sending them out via email, it would be pretty lame for someone to be able to simply print them out on paper and walk out the door with them in that form.

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Symantec antivirus bug allows utter exploitation of memory

Robert Helpmann??
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Coffee/keyboard

Hey! No editorializing!

I got to the description of how the exploit plays out in the Windows world and... thanks for that! Now I have to share the article with everyone in the office by way of explanation.

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It's all very well hacking ISIS, Barry, but what about your ISA?

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Curious

A lot of what chip and PIN does is to shift the risk back to the consumer as there is a stronger assumption that it is actually the consumer making fraud more difficult to accomplish. When there is actual fraud, it becomes harder for the consumer to prove as the initial assumption is more likely to be that the charge is legitimate than with older tech. As with all security measures, I expect crims to eventually defeat this challenge.

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'Knucklehead' Kansas bloke shoots self in foot

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Not sure what charges?

"The authorities are now pondering what charges the gun owner may face."

Really! Do I deduce that the USA has now reached such an extreme level of loonyness that discharging a firearm in a crowded building and injuring someone might not actually be a crime?

Hardly. This statement most likely reflects the "need" to figure out which set of charges to file against the loony in question will render the harshest of penalties in aggregate. Why stop with a single charge when you can collect the whole set?

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Banning computers makes students do better on exams – MIT

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: That needs to be retested for distraction on/off

A paper and pencil are passive. Whereas using computer is more interactive and things are happening asynchronously there, diverting your attention -- so there is likely to be a mental cost.

Basic learning theory states that the closer to the actual performance conditions the learning conditions are, the better the performance will be. If computers are used to take notes while retention is measured using only paper and pen or oral tests, it should be no surprise that students who use computers in class do worse than those who use more traditional note-taking methods.

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FBI director claims that videoing police is causing crime uptick

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

Civilians don't own attack helicopters and APCs. Police forces do.

And therein lies the rub. A modern police force should not function as a military organization. I know that we here in the US have a tendency to wage war on everything, including Crime. The problem with this is that in a war, there has to be an enemy and in this case there is little to differentiate combatants from non-combatants. Our criminal justice system has created massive incentives to incarcerate people and to take their stuff on the slimmest of pretexts. In other words, we have set up a system in which there are rewards for the police to act as de facto kidnappers and thieves. None of this is the way it should be done.

As far as citizens filming police while on duty, I have not heard a reason why there should be an expectation of privacy for a public official performing their job in a public venue. There is just no way around this. I understand there are a number of issues concerning body cams that still need to be worked out - costs, chains of custody, when they should be turned on, what can be released to the public and when, training... OK, more than a few issues, but none of these things are that much different from what has been dealt with during the introduction of similar tech, especially dash cams.

Concerning the FBI director's claims concerning crime: there are lies, damn lies and statistics. He admitted to a lack of statistics.

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First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

Robert Helpmann??
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Boffin

Re: Snake Oil

While you make some good points, there are some holes in your arguments. To address one:

"But the whole point of Hyperloop is that the pods in the cruise phase have very little drive (which makes it cheap), so it would also have very little braking power. So where does that 0.25G braking come from? Does the tube also have to act as a braking surface for friction pads? Does that wear out? Can it be used again afterwards?"

Why would anyone assume a maglev vehicle would use friction as its primary method of braking? As a backup method, it might make sense, but turning all that momentum back into electricity is a better approach. It is used in electric cars and - shocker - maglev trains.

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Italians rattle little tin for smartmobe mini lenses

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Or, you could just throw something together...

I ran across several DIY microscope builds for smart phones; I like this one best. I forwarded them on to a number of teacher friends and got nothing but happy feedback. Having their kids help with putting the parts together and then being able to take pictures home with them really engaged them in ways that simply looking through an eyepiece did not.

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Label your cables: A cautionary tale from the server room

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Labels

Keith Glass wrote, "Each end of the cable was labeled. Cables followed a specific color-code, maintained across the data-center. And there was a database, that not only listed each specific cable, but what rack, slot, and interface it went to, plus color and length, searchable by ANY of those parameters."

I had a similar setup at a place I worked a few years back. The problem there was more direct, though: our boss would come in and attack the switches like a howler monkey on amphetamines that had just seen its young threatened by the wiring closet. Every label now documented the way it used to be; we had no idea of the actual state of affairs as our boss updating documentation would have been too much like right. I left soon after I observed him pulling a clock down onto some fiber, breaking a handful off at the switch, and then walking away without letting anyone know things were about to go south.

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Android's security patch quagmire probed by US watchdogs

Robert Helpmann??
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Alien

Let the probing begin!

FTC and FCC stand over the supine body of ISP, strapped to the Good Ship Stagefright's probing table.

ISP: What..? What's going on?

FTC: We wanted to calibrate the equipment.

FCC: Yes, there seems to be a lot of variation between the models assigned to you and it is important to find out why.

ISP: But what does that have to do with me?

FTC: Well, it is you equipment, isn't it?

ISP: It is, but not as such. You see... <PROBE> ARRGH!

FCC: What do you think?

FTC: It doesn't look so good for tablets and I'm not getting a reading for phones. Probe again!

ISP: No! Wait! <PROBE> AHHHH!

FTC: Still nothing. Give it a few more jolts and maybe something will show up.

ISP: <PROBE> OHHHH! <PROBE> Please! No! No more! <PROBE> Don't touch me there!Only my girlfriend touches me there!<PROBE><PROBE> <PROBE><PROBE><PROBE>whimper....

FCC: Sigh. Really, this could have all been avoided if you would have kept your house in order to begin with. Have you learned your lesson?

ISP: sniff sniff sniffle *hic* yes.

FCC: Good. What do you think?

FTC: Dunno. Maybe a couple more just to be sure.

<PROBE>

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Docker lets security bug sniffer dogs off the leash at container images

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Security for Developers

The developer gets an alert that there is a security flaw in the code that needs to be rectified. The developer then checks a few boxes and deploys as is, regardless of the warning. There will be scant uptake by devs as this will be perceived as an annoying additional step in the development process.

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Russia poised to unleash 'Son of Satan' ICBM

Robert Helpmann??
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Mushroom

Two steps forward...

... 10,000km back. It's a good thing everyone agrees that nuclear weapons are a bad thing and are working toward drawing down their provisioning. The former USSR bankrupted itself in part because of the arms race. The relative size of the various players' economies have not changed in Russia's favor. What has changed to make the outcome different?

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Brit polar vessel christened RRS Sir David Attenborough

Robert Helpmann??
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Headmaster

My Friday Faux Pas

"...with this new polar research ship they will be able to go further and discover more than ever before."

Wouldn't any discovery at all be more than ever before? Perhaps a few more hours and a dose of weekend will improve my outlook. I look forward to seeing whatever wonders the crew of the Boaty McBoatface RRS Sir David Attenborough share with the world. Good luck to them all!

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Ex-HP boss Carly Fiorina sacked one week into new job

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Trump? Who's he?

Ok, at the risk of invoking Godwin's law, I'm pretty sure that is what they said when they elected Chancellor Schicklgruber in the 1930's

As a reminder, Godwin's Law only ends the argument if the comparison is unjustified.

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UK govt admits it pulled 10-year file-sharing jail sentence out of its arse

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Big Brother

Man Behind the Curtain

You guys don't need any American help in coming up with retarded laws.

However, if legislation is introduced to privatize your prison system this may bear closer scrutiny.

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The Lonely Pirate MEP's Holocaust copyright stunt backfires

Robert Helpmann??
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Pirate

Yo, ho, ho!

Authoritarian regimes hate copyright... For state socialist and fascist regimes [copyright] is an anathema: the state should decide... Pirates owe more to fascism than they are prepared to admit.

Saying pirates owe anything to anyone misses the point of piracy and implies they would feel inclined to give something back in exchange for their plundered booty. They are equally at home looting the state's galleons as those of a private company. Arrr!

What? Not those kind of pirates?

Oh, never mind.

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UK.gov wasted £20m telling you to 'be safe online, mmkay'

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Not Clear on the Concept

A lot of cash was invested in an online site devoted to educating the public concerning the dangers of being online. Isn't that a bit like having to call the phone company to let them know you are unable to make a call? It should be obvious that at-risk individuals in this case are going to be unlikely to go to a web site to improve themselves in this regard. How would they even know they are at risk or that there was anything they could do about it after those risks came home to roost?

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3-in-4 Android phones, slabs, gizmos menaced by fresh hijack flaws

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Eternal Optomist

Nexus users will get all of these patches installed automatically over-the-air shortly. If you don't have a Nexus device, you'll have to wait for your carrier and gadget manufacturer to approve the updates and push them out over the air – which make take a while, or not happen at all.

I would feel smug about this as a Nexus owner, but I know in my heart Google will eventually provide an update that will brick all Nexus devices.

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US intercepts Bermuda Triangle bubble podule

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

And the answer is...

I wonder how the US Coast Guards describe him. Presumably in terms that are not part of the official vocabulary.

Not to speak for the USCG as a whole, but I put your question to a blue-suiter. He said, "Wow! What a dummy! What a f*****g idiot!"

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US congresscritter's iPhone hacked (with, er, the cell networks' help)

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: within the grasp of powerful crime gangs and government agents

The only difference between a criminal gang and the government in the US is ...

The Government's doing it to "protect" you

Yeah, that's why it's called protection money... no, er... taxes! That's what I meant. I can see how an IRS audit might go: "That's a really nice 401K you have there. It would be a real shame if something were to happen to it. Capisce?"

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Google's 'fair use' mass slurping of books can continue – US Supremes snub writers' pleas

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

So in theory...

...the same can be done for music and movies? Didn't think so.. Maybe the book authors need a MIPAA type organization?

That's the capacity in which Google is forcing itself upon authors. Organizations such as the MIPAA exist to reap profits from the work of others and only protect that work in as much as it benefits them. Google is new, innovative and much more efficient in this regard, seemingly protecting works from being used to profit those who originally produced them.

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