* Posts by Robert Helpmann??

1004 posts • joined 31 May 2011

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Google forced to – wah! – OBEY the LAW with privacy policy tweaks

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Privacy Policies are getting harder to read.

If people cared about privacy policies then people would be flocking away from Google for other services with "better privacy", but that isn't happening.

So, if it a choice between A) a steaming pile of semi-functional code that allows for perfectly secure searches that do not return anything of value and B) Google which returns an arguably great set of results but which also plays fast and loose with personal privacy, people will always choose A?

Additional incentives might be needed such as cranking up the per instance tax on searches to mirror the ever-increasing tobacco tax. While I agree that education is a critical part of security, I don't believe that cigarette usage makes for a good comparison.

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Snowden reveals LEVITATION technique of Canada’s spies

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I hate to say I told you so...

...but I told you so. On the plus side, the grudging admiration this effort has garnered must sting the NSA more than a bit.

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The new Falcon Heavy: MOST POWERFUL ROCKET since the Apollo moonshots

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Re: Or in English

I wonder what you would do with 12.619 kiloJubs in low earth orbit?

I am not entirely sure, but it sound like a lot of fun!

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YouTube flushes Flash for future flicks

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Re: nice one

Adobe, you've been producing cack for years, soon you'll be gone.

Photoshop users might agree with your premise, but I doubt many will follow along to your conclusion!

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US looks at plan to hand over world's DNS – and screams blue murder

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Re: The simplest and best solution

What makes a republic a particularly good idea?

It isn't, but it's better than the alternatives.

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Charlotte, NC thinks it has won the Google Fiber lottery

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Hmmm... can we re-think the goodness of Google fibre?

Sorry, that should have been "foreign-based companies."

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Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Hmmm... can we re-think the goodness of Google fibre?

Canada, for one.

That's a very short list and not exactly a repudiation of my points, alas. Also, you allude to one of the more complicated issues of our time: how data is handled by entities that are outside the borders of a given country. We have seen quite a bit lately how different governments get around privacy laws by setting up mutual spying agreements to monitor each other's citizens in ways that are not legal to do internally. I think that this sort of end run will continue to be one of the biggest challenges to democracies. There will always be tensions over opposing goals in the way our governments work, but it looks to me (and to many, many people if comment sections of my non-random sample of sites is any indication) as though there is a distinct lack of balance when it comes to the issue of security versus privacy.

Of course, all this is quite apart from the data being gathered and handled by foreign-based countries. A supervillain's monolog couldn't cover all that. I will note, though, that I don't see products being sold as privacy tools flying off the virtual shelves, though there seem to be an increasing number of them available. Perhaps there is hope that better privacy will be available for those who want it, assuming they are even aware by that point that they should.

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Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Hmmm... can we re-think the goodness of Google fibre?

Name one telecoms, software, hardware or internet company in the USA that wouldn't do the same...

Trevor, your statement assumes there ever was an era in which there was true privacy. But don't stop there. Name all of the national governments that don't pull in everything they can. I suspect that you would be wrong on quite a number on your list, while the rest are most likely trying to do so but haven't worked out how or simply don't have the infrastructure to make it worthwhile. As far as businesses are concerned, anywhere you have the ability to make money off this, there will be the temptation to do so. Big Business just wants to follow in Big Brother's footsteps is all.

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Boffin finds formula for four-year-five-nines disk arrays

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Not terribly surprising

Hardware and software usually contribute less to the cost of ownership of a system than the support staff to maintain it, at least in my experience. I would have liked to see a broader sample of disks for comparison, though, as altering variables just a little bit might result in much different outcomes. For example, HDD reliability varies greatly by manufacturer and SDDs are missing entirely from this study. Also, much of the reliability data made available by drive vendors does not count failed drives that are replaced by warranty, which is perhaps why Backblaze's data was the only set used.

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Humanity can defeat SkyNet with BOOKS, says IT think tank

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Re: more titles

Have an upvote for 'Robot and Frank.' I think that, to carry the '1984' example a bit further, it is worth keeping in mind the examples given by the various dystopian works. Blade Runner (DADoES) gets my vote for that.

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Jellybean upgrade too hard for Choc Factory, but not for YOU

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Re: Technical or financial

I would guess that the fact that updates have to be pushed out by the various telcos and ISPs might have a bit to do with it, as well. If Google ran updates where the devices phoned home (see what I did there?) to Mountain View for updates rather than having to depend the mobile service their respective owners use, it might be a different story. Take Verizon, for example. If you go to its Android FAQ page, most of newer versions have a note to older phone owners that reads like this:

XXX is only available on select Android devices. Some newly released Android devices will ship with XXX preloaded. If your device is running an older Android version, you can regularly check the Advanced Devices Software Updates page to see if the XXX update is available for your device.

Of course, you can keep checking until the cows come home, but you are never going to update. As much as I hate to condone Google's current strategy on this issue, I cannot imagine it would be worth while to put in the effort needed to patch this flaw only to have most of the mobile carriers not bother with it. On the other hand, Google could change the update model to work more like Chrome, but that has its own set of risks.

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P0wning for the fjords: Malware turns drones into DEAD PARROT

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Headmaster

,More, Commas, Please,,,

The Citrix engineer developed what he said was the first malware dubbed Maldrone which exploited a new backdoor in the drones.

There's other software out there also named Maldrone and but not exploiting a backdoor to drone control systems? It's a pretty cool exploit, though. Let's hope Amazon does a better job with security than the Parrot people when they go forward using them for deliveries. Perhaps this might mean a job opportunity for Sasi.

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Secret Service on alert after drone CRASHES into White House

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Re: And I thought

At least we know now where colony collapse disorder originated.

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Brits need chutzpah to copy Israeli cyberspies' tech creche – ex-spooks

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Apples to Apples?

Former soldiers at Israel’s Intelligence Corps have set up perhaps hundreds of infosec start-ups. In contrast, tech firms hiring ex-NSA or GCHQ staffers remain something of a rarity.

I know the bulk of the article focused on the UK side of the comparison, but in the US, there are other government entities that generate tech start-ups. A quick search of our national labs and DARPA should provide some backup for this assertion.

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Cubans defy government's home internet ban with secret home-made network

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Joke

Cuban officials blame the US

The difference between them and everyone else is that they were doing it before Snowden.

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Preserve the concinnity of English, caterwauls American university

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Re: I'd settle...

Don't be too hard on people who make mistakes! We all do because English is tough stuff.

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BOT AN ABOMINATION: Mechanical DRONE VAMPIRE spreads wings

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Re: So now we've got...

I was thinking more along the lines of military applications. Mimicking nature would help blend in more than something that looks obviously man made. I think it is cool to take a natural form as inspiration, but the solution that DropBear linked to would seem to be more practical if the goal was simply to go from land to air.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chickpea stew à la Bureau des Projets Spéciaux

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It's a Crock (Pot)

Looks like great slow-cooker fare. I will have to give it a try next weekend. Thanks!

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Panicked teen hanged himself after receiving ransomware scam email

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Re: This is sad.

What ever happened to the PSAs on (US) TV; or the after-school specials?

This would be really nice to see. Perhaps we could start a petition of Disney-ABC to bring back School House Rock. There was, after all, a series of Computer Rock songs as a part of it that addressed basics like hardware and software, and number crunching. Suggested new titles could range from "Malware Blues" to "Fishy Phishing." My favorite would be "What Do We Do With a Spammer?" Fun for the entire family.

Ahhh! Now I have the lyrics of these non-existent songs stuck in my head!

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Snoopy Fujitsu tech KNOWS you'll click that link – before YOU do

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Old School

This needs to have an apparatus tied to it that ends in a ruler. Every time the user tries to click on a suspect link, WHACK! right on the knuckles. Same with spam. Revenues for these kinds of scams would dry up overnight, malware would be drastically reduced, and network traffic would drop to 1980's levels. Well, maybe two out of three...

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Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

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Re: Bad movies? I LOVE BAD MOVIES!

Then go check out Lair of the White Worm. You should love it. I know I sure didn't. It's got bad acting despite having some decent actors which I suppose indicates bad direction; bad dialog; and really, really bad special effects. It ranks right down there with almost everything The Cruiser* made.

*Tom Cruise

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SPACE the FINAL FRONTIER: These are the images of COMET PROBE ROSETTA

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It's with my other camera

The remaining regions haven't been light enough to snap since Rosetta arrived last year.

Perhaps they should have paid extra for the camera with the built-in flash. Yes, I know, weight constraints and all that, but everyone knows from Hollywood that pretty pictures trump real science and engineering every day.

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Beam me up, Scotty, And VAPORIZE me in the process

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Re: Really?

So this is essentially a one time streaming service based on a real-time scan and print of the product, right? Of course, no-one has ever figured out how to capture a stream. Leaving aside the issue of transcription and transmission errors, both fairly serious in this context, it seems like a lot of effort wasted on something that could be handled by current tech. After all, if the person on the other end is going to steal it, you will be handing them the only copy in existence. On the other hand, if the issue is with the person sending the widget, they will have physical possession of it before the start and will be able to do whatever they want before it is sent. Better to have the recipient sign a non-disclosure clause or license as they will be a lot easier to enforce than preventing unauthorized copying with this tech. This is a gimmick in search of a use.

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NASA probe snaps increasingly detailed shots of MOIST DWARF goddess

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Re: So-

...cleared out all the space around the object of smaller objects (fail).

I think that's a pretty sad classification as defining something like a planet in terms of things in its environment like this doesn't seem to work very well. Cleared surrounding space of smaller objects? For what distance? For what period of time? What about moons? Rings? Is orbiting a star a requirement? If we introduce a bunch of asteroids in a planet's orbital path through some cosmic event, would the planet get kicked out of the the big planet's club until it cleaned up its act?

It's a stupid, made-up controversy!

Stars are classified based on their physical characteristics (spectral make up, size, et cetera). If we are going to say that Pluto is a dwarf planet and call it that, why persist in calling both Mercury and Jupiter simply by the name planet? They are sufficiently different enough to merit separate classifications, too.

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FDA draws line between wearable health gizmos and proper medical gear

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Too much of a good thing

I listened to several interviews with doctors concerning this subject. One of the more interesting points they made was that what these devices do very well is generate data, which really doesn't help the physician diagnose what ails their patients. The phrase "drowning in data" comes to mind.

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Latest menace to internet economy: Gators EATING all the PUSSIES

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Re: "alligator had been living illegally in the home since the 1970s"

"<pedant mode> Surely keeping the alligator there was the offence; the alligator is not a person that can be prosecuted."

Oddly enough, due to the much-abused law allowing the seizure of assets purported to be used in a crime, there are quite a few cases in the US that have names along the lines of US Government v a huge pile of cash.

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Nice SECURITY, 'Lizard Squad'. Your DDoS-for-hire service LEAKS

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Re: Script Kiddies

Why would anyone be surprised when this or any pay-for-hire malware is crap at security? After all, the writers are purportedly good at breaking security, not implementing it. Sounds like they followed the three steps to becoming a script kiddy:

1) Cut

2) Paste

3) Hope

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US drug squad cops: We snooped on innocent Americans' phone calls too!

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Re: This is not news

As opposed to that minor back road, I-20? As far as your explanation being the only explanation, not really. Yes, I am sure that local and state police forces get tips from the feds, but I doubt every drug bust flows down from information gathered outside their respective departments (legal or otherwise).

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Just WHY is the FBI so sure North Korea hacked Sony? NSA: *BLUSH*

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Re: Lie after lie after lie...

How about "An Orchestrated Litany of Fearmongering" instead?

Not bad, but it could use a little something. Perhaps "legitimately inelegant explanations" instead? Oh, wait...

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Dongle bingle makes two MEELLION cars open to exploit

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Oh No, Flo!

It does no validation or signing of firmware updates, no secure boot, no cellular authentication, no secure communications or encryption, no data execution prevention or attack mitigation technologies ... basically it uses no security technologies whatsoever.

Best. Review. Ever. There is nothing I can add to that. It is simply perfect.

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Siri? Are you seeing another man?

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Re: If you want bandwidth ...

You could just as well stand behind a person with a phone and use a device to convert your voice to extremely high pitched sounds with the person you are talking to similarly lurking on the other end of the line with a decoder. It would be similarly practical but way more cool. It wouldn't even require a jailbroken phone.

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Twitter complies with Turkey's 'national security' blackout demand – BLOCKS newspaper's tweets

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Menace to Society

From the original quoted article: The Turkish PM described the protesters as "extremists" who were attending "organised" events led by the country's main opposition, the Republican People's Party, known as the CHP. In his world, society is best served by a single party with him in charge and no opportunity to voice disagreement of any sort. I can think of few, presumably including Mr Erdogan, who would want to be on the receiving end of that government. I certainly would not.

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Snowden doc leak 'confirms' China stole F-35 data

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Re: This is probably very bad..

I can for certain tell you that those outrageously blatant copied cars have no superior features, except of course, much reduced price.

That might be enough in this context. Consider the example of the German Panzer versus the American Sherman tank. Sure, the Panzers were better, but the US produced Shermans at a rate of somewhere around 8 to 1. Additionally, knowing the capabilities of your opponents in a conflict makes planning a lot easier. That's one of the many reasons military tech tends to be classified.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: 1.5 MILLION SCOVILLE masala omelette

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Re: @ Colin Miller (was: Sympathy...)

It's not water soluble at all. All water does is spread it around.

Water can in fact be useful. Take about a half-mouthful of ice water into your mouth and let it sit on your tongue for a short while and then spit. Do not swish it around! This will allow a good portion of the oils that are burning your mouth-hole to float off. Follow that up with a rinse of the above listed dairy products and life will improve somewhat.

Shax, don't let it get you down. You can do it, no matter what the ER doctor said!

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Lazy FTSE 350 firms think lawyers can fight off cyber-security worries

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Re: insurance

What would you suggest? The company fires everybody not directly involved in security - since any spending on anything other than security is obviously not "doing all they can"

I would suggest using insurance as it is meant to be. Companies should fall back on it after having done everything they reasonably could to prevent the loss and things still went south. It should not be an either-or choice between prevention and insurance.

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Boffins: It's EASY to make you GRASS YOURSELF UP for crimes you never did

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Trickcyclists Indeed

There's some unanswered questions in this...

Isn't that one of the hallmarks of good science? Mark 85, while I realize you were simply asking for data which should presumably be included in the published article, at least in aggregate, more pertinent questions would expand on the researchers' conclusion that it is possible to manipulate memories as described. Under what circumstances? To what extent? By whom?

University students are the human equivalent of white rats. As many schools have participation requirements, a lot of research gets done using them as subjects.

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David Cameron: I'm off to the US to get my bro Barack to ban crypto – report

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Putting locks on your doors to be banned

Careful there! Someone might latch onto this and try to get it passed into law.

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Sony hack was good news for INSURERS and INVESTORS

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Fact Check!

If Sony were JPMorganChase or another large financial institution... those assets [would have been] squirrelled away deep within digital vaults, air-gapped against any possible network intrusion, access strictly limited on a need-to-use basis.

Not so much. Not to comment on JPMorgan Chase's recent hack attack, but the norm seems to be to devote effort to equine retention after the team has left. The only good thing about the recent spate of hacks has been that they are getting media coverage. I am convinced that the frequency with which they occur in all sectors is much the same as it has been in the past. I have hope, however, that the additional attention the issue is getting will induce otherwise reluctant management to devote resources to mitigating risk rather than to damage control.

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Don't use Charlie Hebdo to justify Big Brother data-slurp – Data protection MEP

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Re: Quote this

Instead of creating an ineffective dragnet on all air passengers, security authorities should have been exchanging the data they already had on these suspects.

Rather than back off, I have heard calls to double down in order to create an effective dragnet. Surveillance is manpower-intensive, so obviously more money is needed in the budget in order to have more people pouring over the information gathered on everyone... I think we can figure out why this might not be a good plan.

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'F*** you', exclaims Google Translate app, politely

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Re: To be fair

Microsoft also demoed that "extremely well and clearly spoken German to English"-Mode as well as the "English to Gibberisch"-Mode.

Yes, but was it Authentic Frontier Gibberish?

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Google unleashes build-it-yourself 'Ara' SLABLET phones (in Puerto Rico)

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Re: No way, no how

The instant someone figures out how to assemble the parts to do something it wasn't intended to do, more easily and cheaper than the 'proper' paid for solution, it's toast!

I would think rather the opposite, especially if it becomes becomes a hit for the competitors of the dominant phone services.

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PlayStation-processor-powered plutonium probe prepares Pluto pics

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Routers... in Space!

That also cuts down on bandwidth, and at this far out, the best data speed possible is about 700 bits per second.

It has struck me that the issue of phoning home almost always is mentioned in articles of this nature. I know it is not as interesting to talk about as beautiful pics sent from far-off worlds, but if we are going to explore, colonize, or make use of the resources elsewhere in the solar system, shouldn't we be at least thinking about putting up some infrastructure? Yes, communication satellites would be expensive with no immediate return, but they would, I hope, have some long term benefits. I found a number of proposed solutions online, but nothing actually being planned. Anybody else?

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AMD plugs firmware holes that allowed command injection

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A Little More Than 90 Days

It took roughly a year to fix the flaws in an exchange he described as "responsible and helpful".

What, no sample exploit code? This stands in stark contrast to the way Google approaches disclosure.

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Ross Ulbricht trial Day One: 'I DID invent Silk Road ... but I'm innocent'

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I guess he will find out if they serve mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwiches in the pokey.

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Are you running a Telnet server on Windows? Oh thank God. THANK GOD

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Re: Please help a penguin

Powershell has changed that somewhat, but it doesn't use telnet - it has its own remote connection methods (called "remoting" IIRC) that create an authenticated secure tunnel to the target machine, more like SSH (except predictably more fiddly and less useful).

PowerShell uses the Windows Remote Management service to manage communication and authentication. One of its benefits is that it provides a single, consistent(ish) framework from which to work as opposed to the collection of third part tools many of us who do a lot of Windows scripting have built up over the years. It is a pain to have to relearn command line scripting, though. As far as your comparison with SSH, your mileage may vary, but I haven't had problems with either.

Here's a link to a decent article concerning PowerShell Remoting.

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Fujitsu: Slide your fingertip through our ring piece and show mice the finger

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Ring-a-ding-ding

The device can replace a mouse – waving your finger while wearing the ring can move a pointer on a monitor or heads-up display – and it can be used to write text by drawing letters with your digit.

So, it is basically a wearable stylus, then? It sounds interesting, but not a real game changer. It certainly won't replace a keyboard or keyboards would already be a thing of the past. While non-alphabet languages might do better with something like this, I cannot imagine this would speed up input for someone in comparison. Better speech recognition might.

Now, if it could give us the giant holographic screens that magically interpret the motions of users based on intent that we see in so many Hollywood-style works, then we would be cooking with gas.

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Insert 'Skeleton Key', unlock Microsoft Active Directory. Simples – hackers

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Re: Needs domain admin and can allow you to impersonate any user.

PSEXEC requires you know the password of the user you intend to impersonate, as do many other Windows commands (i.e. Run As), or to have rights to run as the system account which would still how up in the system log, if only until the default purge. This malware does not, so it is not quite the same thing. As far as creating an account with admin privileges and giving it some hard to detect name or AD container, some of us monitor stuff like that. My guess is the point of this malware is that it can be used to target shops that have a high level of paranoia and security procedures to match. It would be very difficult to track it back to its origin even if its fingerprints were found. It could be used to create a significant amount of chaos in highly secure environments by setting different individuals up as bad actors. It's not that these things cannot be accomplished by other means, it's just that this way will be much more effective.

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Windows 7 MARKED for DEATH by Microsoft as of NOW

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Re: 711

MS Please stop fucking about radically with the interface and everything will be hunky dory, Desktops are desktops, tablets are tablets, phones are phones...

You dare suggest form should follow function? What's wrong with you?

Microsoft put out an add-on pack for Windows 95 called MS Plus (hmm, sounds like something requiring penicillin to cure). It offered a lot of tweaks for the desktop and people really liked it. Rather than forcing consumers to pick from the one UI they offer, I can't understand why they don't extend the idea of desktop themes to the entire UI, allowing home users to set things up however they want and BOFHs to define every aspect of the UI in corporate environments.

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Attackers planting banking Trojans in industrial systems

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It doesn't look good

...if, for example, someone deployed a Cryptolocker-based attack against the control system, it would be rendered unusable.

Unless, of course, the systems were redundant and consistently backed up and there was a disaster recovery plan in place and... what am I talking about? If an industrial control system was in a position to be compromised by someone deploying ransomware, none of these things are likely to be in place or set up correctly if they were.

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Remember Corel? It's just entered .DLL hell

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Re: All 5 remaining users sure to be saddened

I don't know about the rest of their user base, but I used to work support for a shop that used their products, but honestly thought the company had folded a long time ago. In fact, this article was a bit of a surprise for me because of that.

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