* Posts by Robert Helpmann??

1355 posts • joined 31 May 2011

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bacon and egg sushi

Robert Helpmann??
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Up Your Game

Lester, it looks as though you are having a lot of rice-fueled fun. You should get yourself a bamboo rolling mat for your maki rather than that press. They aren't difficult to use and I suspect you will get better results (e.g. link).

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Sysadmin jailed for a decade after slurping US military docs

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Re: Professional expectation

Government logic... yes, we gave you the password and it's one of those areas you manage.. but you aren't supposed to look at anything.

I am not so sure about that. Those who have access to re-enable the ability to write to disk should not also have access to the documents of the nature Mr Glenn was attempting to steal. In environments such as this, administrative duties are supposed to be split between individuals and groups to prevent exactly this sort of thing.

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Are users undermining your mobile security efforts?

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Re: Mobile management is easy to achieve

These are for business, not personal use.

And this is where things go horribly wrong.

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'White hats don't want to work for us' moans understaffed FBI

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FAIL

IQ Optional

I have to challenge your 50% under 100 claim.

Challenge accepted. Pulling memories from $years ago when I studied this in grad school, the way IQ is defined involves forcing the normative data into a bell curve. By definition, 100 is the median with 50% above and below.

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BAD things happen to GOOD robots in America: hitchBot DECAPITATED

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Re: Next year - CarJackBot

Seriously though, can anyone seriously expect benevolent, non-violent AI when humans act like this?

And it's for exactly that reason we need it.

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World-beating TWO-QUADRILLION-WATT LASER fired by boffins

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Re: We're gonna need

It's turtles all the way down!*

*You will have to click through to get the joke.**

**No, I won't ruin it by explaining it.

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Don't want Windows 10 FILTH on the company network? Step this way

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Re: Silly admins. Power users don't bother joining domains

why on earth would I want to let the backwards, process driven clods in IT tell me what I can run, or have any access to my system for that matter?

Depending on where you work, the answer might simply be "Because it's not your machine and violation of the acceptable use policy will have you run out the door." In your mind you might be the greatest sysadmin ever, but if you work in a corporate environment you share the risk of any problem you introduce with everyone around you and vice versa. Assuming you in fact are as great as your ego would have us believe, it is unlikely that all of your coworkers are of similar stature, but those "process driven clods in IT" would be forced to let even the janitors to do whatever they wanted in as much as you are allowed. That is typically the way corporate policy works, after all.

As far as you personally are concerned, are you maintaining your machine and software on your own time or are you charging your employers for for it when you are supposed to be doing something else while they are paying an IT group to handle system administration? Sounds like the wild west to me, partner. Yipee-yo-ki-yay... you can fill in the rest.

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Flash deserves to live, says Cisco security man

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Re: Draining the swamp or backing the favourite number?

Trouble is, as outsiders we don't have enough insight...

On the contrary, I feel comfortable judging by results. I have a rather nice situation in that I am paid in part to patch Flash at work while enjoying a considerably greater amount of security by doing without on my personal machines.

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This is TRUE science: Harvard boffins fire up sizzling BACON LASER

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Coat

Self-cooking Bacon

"I couldn't help wondering if this technique could be contrived so as to convince the bacon to cook itself. Fantasy, I know, but a man can dream."

That's called "a wife". Google it sometime :-)

Your wife is made of bacon?!? And she cooks herself? How awesome is that?

Mine's the one with pork laser totin' shark infested pockets.

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Ubuntu defibrillates 14.10 for one LAST patch

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Re: Why on earth?

The next release is going to be a "warewolf."

"Wily Werewolf" which is just a shade better than "Werewolf's Willy" but nowhere near as cool as "Wascally Wabbit."

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Pakistan bans BlackBerry Enterprise Server

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Re: Ah, yes!

A sure fire way to make the world safe from... Uh, what exactly? Freedom?

Terrorists! They are still new to the game, so they haven't had time to work in a "think of the children" rationale, but give them time...

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Invisible app ads slug smartmobes with 2GB of daily downloads

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Re: The poor advertisers...

As use of this technique does not a a virus make, it might better be labeled as a PUP. Still, you would think that people in the anti-malware market would at least think to warn their customers about high network data usage, especially if the app was not active. This would seem like a simple catch for heuristic analysis, but my guess is that the folks in the anti-malware business are still writing for desktops and have yet to get their heads around the implications of mobile devices.

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Choc Factory research shows users just don't get security

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Re: Rubberhose Cryptanalysis

Security experts may be able to remember a couple dozen different passwords, and claim that's a good security practice, but it is impractical for the average person.

Perhaps that's why password managers are on the list, too, which for personal use is not such a bad idea. I have yet to work anywhere that provided or approved of a password manager for professional use, though.

I would love to see an expanded list of "expert recommended tools," because the top five is certainly not enough. There's nothing on there about mobile apps, which are the de facto way most people interact with the internet these days rather than a browser on their home PC. Also, the recommendation I would make more than the use of any of these is customer/user education. The fact that there is such a big misalignment in professional and lay opinions indicate where efforts in the security community ought to be focused.

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America's tweaks to weapons trade pact 'will make web less secure'

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Re: I doubt it's accidental

Well, I'm not trying to brush aside your concerns, but I think we were both talking around the issue (at least as I see it): results matter more than intentions. Regardless of whether the result is due to bad actors or endemic mediocrity, it can still be plenty bad. I happen to believe there is room for both; I know I have experienced the worthlessness that an entrenched bureaucracy can produce. It wasn't a case of spite so much as not being capable of giving a damn.

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Robert Helpmann??
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Re: I doubt it's accidental

Hanlon's Razor does not apply to the US government ...

Trevor, I respectfully disagree based on personal experience; I have seen plenty of times where simple incompetence was sufficient to carry the day. Of course, I do not deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which I know you so love to do (for a non-positive value of love), so I can understand why you might feel otherwise.

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Robert Helpmann??
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Re: I doubt it's accidental

I seriously doubt it was "loosely written" or accidental in any way.

I feel the need to invoke Hanlon's Razor*. I think it far more likely that things will be screwed up as a result of unintended consequences rather than anyone actually attempting to get something done.

* Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

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Catch 'em while you can! Presenting Druva's virtual open door detector

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Re: No Access to Encrypted Data

I went to the product site and found little in the way of description as to how it works or even the specifics of what it does. When I click on the "View Product Demo" link, I am encouraged to register in order to view said demo. So right now, what I get from this is that this product is marketed to management based on buzzwords rather than to technical staff based on spec.

Still, I'll give you a softball question: does the product prevent exfiltration of data or simply report transfer of data based on an applied rule set? If it does seek to prevent exfiltration, what vectors can it block (email, USB, etc.) and how does it do so?

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Report links alleged US, Israeli cybercrims with JPMorgan MEGAHACK

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Re: running an unlicensed Internet Bitcoin exchange???

So if you accept that bitcoin is a currency.....

Another legal theory is that the operators of the exchange are offering a product for sale (Bitcoin), thus acting as a business without a license or paying tax on sales, et cetera. Either way, none of that is likely needed to prove either money laundering or fraud, but it will likely be icing on the cake as far as prosecutors are concerned.

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Disaster-gawping cam drones to be blasted out of the sky in California

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Re: Law not a problem

So how do you take down drones?

Actually, there is at least one company selling a device designed to net drones out of the air, but if they are low enough to interfere with firefighters, then my guess would be with a blast from a fire hose. That is unless they are equipped to fire back.

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North Korea's Red Star Linux inserts sneaky serial content tracker

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Re: Downside

On the plus side, once NK has been rehabilitated and rejoins the rest of the world, we know that at least some of its citizens will have marketable skills that will transfer into the security sector outside the country. So it could be worse, right? Right?

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Feel like you're being herded onto Windows 10? Well, you should

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Because of all the things you didn't mention.

...never mind running Word 2013.

I will endeavor to avoid it. I have come to loathe Office 2013 starting immediately upon migration from the previous version. What's up with MS? Are they letting unpaid design school interns handle all decisions having to do with program and OS interfaces? I have managed to avoid the complete cluster that is Windows 8, barring one minor incident with an in-law's new tablet, but have had Office 2013 forced on me by my employer. It's an inconsistent dog with a menu system that takes up way more of the screen than is reasonable while doubling that amount of resources used (on the same hardware, in my case). As with many things the devil is in the details and the redesigned color scheme that makes it so very easy to confuse Word and Outlook is just one of many that make its use frustrating even after a few months of practice.

The new versions of Windows and Office be technically much better than the previous efforts, but they are apt to be the best thing anyone ever did for Linux and Libre Office.

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2015 Fiat 500 fashionista, complete with facelift

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Stealth Mode

Show of hands: who thinks that making a vehicle difficult to see ('Camouflage' skin) constitutes a safety feature?

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Science sub spots lost Revolutionary-era SHIPWRECK

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Re: I was hoping...

The "fat kid" is Jeff Cohen who seems to have slimmed down a bit in the last 30 years. The movie the pic was pulled from is Goonies. The bit in the caption about One-Eyed Willy was also a hint. I gather you've never heard of it? Next you'll be saying you've haven't watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

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NASA boffins peer at Pluto: Could it be ... is that ... OATMEAL?

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Re: Oatmeal?

No oatmeal for you!

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FEMALE BLOOD-SUCKERS zero in on human prey by smelling our BREATH

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Re: Here's my idea

Now, get some nerdie techo-boffin to rig up a CO2 source (should ber self-sustaining, no electricity needed)

You mean something like a TiO2 coating? Perhaps a magnifying glass and a lump of charcoal would work better.

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Happy NukeDay to you! 70 years in the shadow of the bomb post-Trinity

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Re: No Joke

Are you sure he didn't mean Las Vegas, New Mexico?

Yes, on that point I am sure. I was going to NMHU at the time, which is in Las Vegas, NM, and he was specific about that. As to the rest... well, I wasn't there and the man told a good story, but a lot of the stuff he said that I would have put down to being tall tales I got independent verification on, so I am inclined to believe him. He might have left out a detail or two, but on the whole I take what he said at face value.

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Robert Helpmann??
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No Joke

...the detonation was heard hundreds of mile away.

One of my landlords while I was in grad school in NM worked at Los Alamos during the war. He was a construction worker then. He said when the people running the show got ready to test, they gave him and everyone he worked with some spending money and then sent them off to Las Vegas, NV. That's a little under 700 miles from where the bomb was detonated. He said they all heard it go off.

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Lawyer brands client 'small penis asshole' before challenging him to a DUEL

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Re: Something fishy here...

A lawyer with something approaching a sense of humour? Isn't there some law against that?

Nah, but his ex-client ought to take him up on the challenge and demand to resolve the dispute in some absurd manner. The lawyer did offer him his choice of "the time, place and manner." I recommend Springfield Township, PA (there are two), 6:00 (don't specify AM or PM) on February 29 to square off for a competitive round of frog gigging. Hunting for frogs in Pennsylvania during the winter seems like a fair way to resolve the issue.

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Microsoft sprints to finish, emits possible Windows 10 RC build

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Re: So on the 30th...

Windows Mobile 10. So that the code name for Windows 10 SP1?

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Horrifying MOCK BACON ABOMINATION grown in BUBBLING VATS as ALGAE

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Re: It is universally known by even people who have not had your bacon,

We have also noticed that many Americans appear to have an unnerving ability to find crap food wherever they are in the UK, and having driven across the states, their service stations generally aren't much to shout about either.

There's both bad and good food to be had all over the world, it's just that some folks have unfortunate luck, bad aim or plain bad taste. You pick. However, I must ask why anyone would think that food bought at a service station was going to be all that good.

As far as finding good food while on the road in the States, there are review sites to help you out if you are planning to be traveling and there are probably mobile apps that try to do the same (I haven't looked, but there is always "an app for that"). There are TV and radio shows devoted to road trip dining. You ought to be able to find something tasty without too much fuss... or you can take my approach and just head to the first non-chain restaurant you happen to see when you start to get hungry. No-one in my family likes to hear the phrase "that looks interesting" when we are heading cross country.

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Java jockeys join Flash fans in the 0-day exploit club

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What, again?

Trend Micro has issued predictable-but-sensible advice that Java should be switched off, because there's a zero-day being exploited in the wild.

So just turn it off and leave it that way from now on? Works for me, but perhaps not so much for the developers who depend on it.

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Police investigate strange case of doughnut-licking pop singer Ariana Grande

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Doughnut? Or, donut?

Krapfen!

Because it is so much more fun to say.

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Microsoft again offers free certification exams to failures

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Re: I'm sorry, but...

If there is no tie-in with a license as with other professions such as engineers, physicians and lawyers, it is mostly there for recruiters to use as a check box when shuffling through resumes/CVs. I happen to work in an area that requires a number of certs, but my experience is that there is little correlation between being able to obtain one and being able to do the job. Alas, I will have to obtain two more in the near future.

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PLUTO SPACE WHALE starts to give up its secrets

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Re: Call me simple

Strictly speaking, as it was not in a stable orbit it wasn't even a planet.

I went back and had another look at the IAU's definition (from https://www.iau.org/public/themes/pluto/):

"[The IAU's] members voted that the resolution B5 on the definition of a planet in the Solar System would be as follows: A celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit."

So, stability of orbit is not a qualifier, just that it orbits the Sun. This definition is only intended for planets in our system which begs the question of why create one for a class of objects based on such a tiny subset.

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Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Call me simple

It has not cleared its direct orbital neighbourhood of debris and is thus NOT a planet.

This is the part of the new definition that bothers me most. Following this reasoning, Jupiter was not a planet while it was busy hoovering up everything in its path and moving toward the sun and didn't become one until Saturn pulled it back from the brink and helped it to settle into its current orbit. While it was doing all of this, Jupiter was a "dwarf planet."

Two of the criteria of planethood are tied to their relationship to other bodies in their systems (clearing the neighbourhood and orbits the sun) while only one takes into consideration what it is (round-ish from gravitational forces).

It makes sense to create classifications for things in as much as they are useful as descriptions. How much information does "dwarf planet" convey? In the example of Jupiter above, it would seem that it actually misinforms. On the other hand, there is a complex classification system for stars that identifies them using several criteria. It seems to me that the current classification system for planets does not give enough detail as to what a planet is and would benefit from the addition of information about size and makeup at the very least.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chopstick-collapsing Spam musubi

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Re: Spam spam spam spam egg

I wonder if that would work with Bacon...

You asked for it, so I'm going to let you have it.

Number Three Daughter has been after me to make this since I mentioned I was writing El Reg with the suggestion for adding it to the PPNNF series; I guess it's on for tomorrow night. I swear it's the first time I have ever passed along Spam of any sort through email, though.

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Cool-headed boffins overcome sticky issue: Graphene-based film could turn heat down

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Re: If the LEDs were highly efficient...

Though presumably the Graphene needs to be on the rear of the chip.

Not necessarily graphene is fairly transparent, absorbing about 2% light per layer. The addition of APTES to the mix shouldn't make that much difference as its transparency is due to it being so thin. It might make sense to coat the majority of an LED if the loss of efficiency from covering the business end was more than offset by gains from heat dispersion, especially if it is easier to manufacture them that way compared to only coating a smaller area.

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Robot SHOOTS into the air with hot gas from its soft round behind

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Re: Cool invention

It is literally hoist by its own petard, but not figuratively so at all.

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China wants to build a 200km-long undersea tunnel to America

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Re: america to china on train

If it was way cheaper than flight, could be great for vacation

Passenger rail in the US is almost never cheaper than air travel for many reasons. However, for something like this which will require dedicated infrastructure, it may be possible to bring costs down to a reasonable level.

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Wow, another NSA leak: Network security code appears on GitHub

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Re: Is it just me?

Are Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 and 7.1 compromised?

I would guess those two versions are listed because they are what are authorized for use on DoD networks. As the article pointed out, the tool was developed for in-house use so it would surprise me if there were another Linux version given.

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Kobo Glo HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Which one's best?

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Library Management

We have several Kindles in my household as the missus got them at a deeply discounted price. My view of them is that they are - even the newer model - more like 1st gen products. Amazon went for the proprietary format route when they could have allowed for other formats which I find annoying, but not terrible. Where they really fall down is in the their ability to manage your collection on the device or from an outside interface. I haven't found anything that really gets the job done. Sure, for loading a few books and taking it on vacation, they are OK, but for loading a bunch of books and keeping them organized (there is tons of room on these things - why not use it?), they don't deal well.

I have not had a chance to play with the Kobo, but don't get why anyone would think that being able to read comics or similar formats on a small, black and white screen is a good idea. Perhaps we will see a workable color version of e-ink and perhaps tablets will become cheaper, but I think the next thing I will buy for reading is a large tablet. At this point, all the choices have significant trade-offs with none of them really what I would consider ideal: an affordable device about as large as a magazine with good readability, color, and low power consumption. It needs to handle pretty much any e-book format and have a good library/collection management system. If anyone has spotted such a creature in the wild, please share.

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Boffin: Will I soon be able to CLONE a WOOLLY MAMMOTH? YES. Should I? Hell NO

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Re: Let 'em loose in Russia

No, all that would achieve is blanket media coverage of a topless Putin hunting them....

Or riding them.

Or riding one bareback while hunting an entire heard with his bare hands.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Uitsmijter

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Why No Fry?

I note with some trepidation that only the eggs get to see the inside of a frying pan. There's something dreadfully wrong with this! Please put it back in the skillet and cook until done. And get rid of the tomatoes.

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US police to throw big balls in criminals' faces

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Cost Comparison

I wonder how much a flash grenade costs in comparison.

Cost of Explorer Tactical: $2,495

Cost of flash bang grenade: up to $2.6 million

Seems like a pretty good deal all around. Even so, this is hardly a new concept with other models costing substantially less. Having stated that, I would prefer to use the i-Ball which makes up for its name by allowing users to fire it from a grenade launcher.

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Audit finds new flaw at US Office of Personnel Management

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Stop the Madness

...one response may be for the US government to issue fewer clearances.

Not likely given that clearances are linked to positions and the information employees and contractors are allowed to handle. A more realistic response might be to extend the time between the periodic background checks required to maintain a clearance or to change the way follow-up investigations are run. Of course that might lessen the effectiveness of the process, so not necessarily a great idea either. Perhaps it would be better for the government to get a realistic grasp on the concept of total cost of ownership instead of massaging the data to win elections. Now why don't we have a flying pig icon?

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Hide the HUD, say boffins, they're bad for driver safety

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Move Along. Nothing to See Here.

I looked through the linked article - really just an abstract. If I understand it correctly, it indicates that an unpredictable event will interfere with the performance of an ongoing task. The analogy drawn to using a HUD while driving would seem to be that if something odd or different happens on the road while you are driving, you will most likely be distracted from paying attention to your instrument panel. So far, this seems to be good basic science followed by an odd inference: that a HUD (the primary task) might distract from something out of the ordinary on the road (the secondary task) and not the other way around. Perhaps I am interpreting the article incorrectly, but it is fairly well documented that we really have a fairly narrow amount of bandwidth to use when we focus our attention. If there is something odd going on when we are driving, we are likely to be distracted by it, both for good (e.g. another vehicle swerving near us) and for bad (e.g. a police stop on the opposite side of a divided highway).

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Ransomware slinging exploit kit targets Flash remote code execution

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Re: $100,000 per month? Really?

The researchers say the Magnitude author, thought to be a single Russian, could make up to $3 million a year.

Hmm... Reads like an online personals posting or the intro line for a new reality TV show. Should we look forward to the premiere of Most Eligible Hacker this Fall?

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Australian government demands signoff on telco network designs

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Re: "Notify security agencies of any changes…"

It's a government agency, not some local store. The reporting requirement will be spelled out as to format and frequency and will not be discretionary. Also, there might be no requirement on the government's part to actually look at the data. My experience with US government entities (none with Australian, though) is that they thrive on collecting data, so killing them with kindness will have the opposite of the intended result.

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LG's six-sided battery to take smart watches into new timezones

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Can Be Costly

LG has both square and round smart watches; this is probably about making life easier for the designers of future versions of their round watches. If it costs more to make these batteries, they will probably recoup the loss from their customers, from time savings in design, or both. If they are really lucky, the new battery will be adopted by other companies which will bring them some licensing money and drive down manufacturing costs, too.

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We need to know about the Internet of Things, say US Senators

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Whether or Not

...what agencies have IoT plans or strategies...

The plan is to never allow any of it on government property if anyone in the security community has a say in it. The US government has had its data stolen many times, but there ought to be a sporting challenge to doing so.

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