* Posts by Voland's right hand

2359 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

Second Dell backdoor root cert found

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Re: Next time I have a hardware procurement choice....

I do not quite see your point. The problem is not Dell (or Lenovo) hardware. It is the complete and utter incompetence in bundled software. That is common across the board in most hardware manufacturers. They "Do Not Get It". It does not matter what you do in software - you may walk on water, feed the hungry, etc, a geezer in the hardware department which has managed to reduce the number of capacitors on the board by one will get a bigger bonus and more kudos than you.

So rather unsurprisingly, they suck bricks in software (something which makes me wonder about the wonderful EMC deal as storage == 90% + software).

The solution to this is not to blacklist their hardware. It is to wipe their software and install from retail media. C'est la vie - it is something you have to budget for when buying a PC if you want it to work well.

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Dell computers bundled with backdoor that blurts hardware fingerprint to websites

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You missed the point

It is exactly what Mbeki from the Dell Service Department in Lagos needs. He also needs your credit card number and the CVV code, but that is something he will get via a minimum amount of social engineering.

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Suck it, Elon – Jeff Bezos' New Shepard space rocket blasts off, lands in one piece

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Re: Lacking context here

It is monetized. The engine design has been purchased by the United Launch Alliance. Effectively the usual suspects - Boeing, etc have conceded that Besos has done a better engine design than them.

We will see on the actual landing mechanics - I suspect that will be monetized as well. The rocket showed some very impressive stabilization capabilities.

The difference between Bezos and Elon is that Bezos as a habit monetizes by component not e2e - every single piece of the Amazon puzzle can stand on its own starting from the backend (which is now AWS) and to the logistics. This is no different - it is being monetized by component.

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Homebrew crypto in Telegram hangout app full of holes, say security pros

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Re: The "attack" described is not on the messaging, it is on initial authentication

Well, where else do you get 'em if not at the initial authentication? That's how you MITM everything AFAIK.

Initial authentication in the Telegram case is same as ssh - recognize other party's key and cache it. That allows MITM with any system (ssh, OTR2, etc). For that, it does not look any better or worse than any system which does not rely on x509 certificates (again, ssh or OTR2 are examples).

The more interesting MITM would have been a MITM on sessions. Now that would have been an encryption failure.

While Moxie is generally right, he sets the bar too high. There should be encryption for the masses and this looks like a reasonably good implementation of a mass market encryption product. Not as good as the top of the line stuff, but miles ahead of what you get out of the box.

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The "attack" described is not on the messaging, it is on initial authentication

El-reg should read the referred articles before repeating unsubstantiated opinions.

1. The attack described is not on the messaging which is DH with a 2048 bit followed by AES. That so far is not broken.

It is on the "usability" feature in authentication which visualizes the public key based on fingerprint same as f.e. SSH, etc - you do not see the full key, you see only X bits on first connection.

That attack works only for initial authentication. Once the two parties have authenticated for private chat, the full 2048 bit keys are used. In most cases, for the "unpleasant" type of characters using Telegram that authentication will be performed the moment the phone is handed in to the new recruit. So the window of opportunity for a MIM is rather slim (and not much different than for example SSH).

2. Making identity == phone. So what? A user can go in and get a phone with Pay-As-You Go SIM in most of the world with next to nothing identity checks. Then they use it for authentication of the initial setup during training and then it is game over - you cannot snoop on the channel.

The only weakness I can see is the fact that Telegram pinches your address-book and metadata and maps it to contacts. Even this is not particularly relevant if the phone is used as a dedicated device _ONLY_ for encrypted communication. If it is used normally as the user you can pick out the "interesting" ones based on their subscriptions and their contact book.

All in all - if this is used purely for encrypted IM and nothing else, it looks OK.

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Europe didn't catch the pox from Christopher Columbus – scientists

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It was around before that

This is not the first finding, though this one is probably the best preserved one. I have seen various articles on this as far back as 20 years ago.

Syphilis was around before Columbus, but not as prevalent as during the 16-17th century for a completely different reason. A lot of late stage 2 and stage 3 syphilis symptoms are similar to the symptoms for leprosy. As result in the early middle ages most syphilitics ended up in the leprosy hospices. These were run by the church (Dominicans if memory serves me right).

A pope edict closed down the church run leprosy hospices shortly before the first expedition by Christopher Columbus. As a result along with leprosy stage 2 and stage 3 syphilis sufferers were thrown out onto the streets to fend for themselves including resorting to the "oldest profession". The rest as they say is history.

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ICO fines PPI claims firm £80,000 over 1.3m spam SMS deluge

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Re: Good

The fine can be any size. Company folds, no fine is paid, director starts another company, rinse, repeat.

As long as the fines are not personal and the penalties are not criminal this will not stop.

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Blocking out the Sun won't fix climate change – but it could buy us time

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Re: Key Homo Sapience species trait

Er, people aren't starving because they're fussy eaters.

Nothing to do with eating, to do with growing. My dad, grandad, grandgrandad, ... has grown ALMONDS. I SHALL GROW ALMONDS TOO. Oh, shit no water around, that is a problem, how about growing wheat or barley? NO I SHALL GROW ALMONDS and I shall call my congresscritter/congress of people's deputies rep/Grand theocrat/whatever to ensure that my ALMONDS GROWING interests are not impinged on.

Depending on the region, search and replace ALMONDS with rice, potatoes, olives, grain, etc - you name it.

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Re: Key Homo Sapience species trait

Hoping that we suddenly evolve the ability to be able to breath under water

Even 200 m rise will be less than fraction of a percent from the dry land. So you will only need to breath under water if you refuse to adapt and move elsewhere. Yeah, sure, there are whole countries that have an issue with moving elsewhere, but once again these are less than fraction of a percent of the overall population. So that is clearly a case of forfeiting adaptability. Just this time it is in the name of politics.

The parts that are 50C today will be 50C tomorrow - that is 5%+ of the world surface. While the various projections for Sahara expansion may look fugly on a map they once again affect a fraction of a percent of the world population.

Global warming does not pose a threat to the survival of the human species.

It poses significant threats to the preservation of the current political and socio-economic status quo. F.E. Europe will not be the same if most of Holland and half of its capitals end up under water. We will have to deal with mass North-African/Middle East migration and a lesser migration out of Polynesia. Though, once again - the migration rate per year we have organized today by meddling in their politics is of an order of magnitude above what would have been a climate induced one. Also, if we take the cynical view, at this rate, there will be none left to migrate from Global Warming as they would have migrated out of the war zone anyway.

It also poses significant threat to biodiversity, though even the worst projections are nowhere near what the Earth has endured in any of the large extinction events like the Late Devonian mass extinction or the Permian mass extinction. In fact, compared to the big 5 mass extinction events (http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/extinction_events) it will not even register on the paleontological "radar".

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Voland's right hand
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Key Homo Sapience species trait

Key trait of Homo Sapiens as species is adaptability.

How about actually using it? Yes I know, it is sacrilegious to consider the possibility that Chinese and Far East will eat spuds instead of rice, people of Middle Eastern origin (regardless of their religion) may have to eat pig and we, westerners, may have to eat guinea pigs or horses or dogs for that matter. Flexibility and adaptability are the key trait that has enabled human survival as species over time.

Those who have chosen to forfeit that trait for religious, societal and other reasons - well, you need to check the dictionary definition of Darwin Award.

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OpenBSD's native hypervisor emerges

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Re: what's stopping me

I think you missed the point (and so did the article).

This is a kvm replacement for OpeBSD. Even if it runs just Open/Free/NetBSD and Linux initially as guests that is still quite valuable for environments where you want a bomb-proof hypervisor.

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Yahoo! Mail! is! still! a! thing!, tries! blocking! Adblock! users!

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Re: One less now...

Well, if you're using an adblocker they aren't making any money from you.

They are - by trawling your email, building a martketing (not just advertising) profile and selling it to someone else. The fact that they are selling somewhat damaged goods and the profile is not usable by the advertiser because of APro in that case is not so relevant. It can be used by other means - it will now change the selection of what is "related" offered on various e-commerse sites, etc. All stuff marketeer scum loves.

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How NSA continued to spy on American citizens' email traffic – from overseas

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Re: Haven't a clue

As soon as you start with bounties, [bad guy warlord supporter] will hand over [insert rival warlord], get some hard currency to carry on their work while you do their dirty work.

That is fine - the process reduces the number of warlords over time. A few rounds and they are down to:

1. A much lower number than now.

We presently have several _THOUSANDS_ of terrorist organizations and groupings in North Africa, Middle East and Afghanistan/Pakistan competing to get the world's attention. That is the biggest problem and the rationale for the surveilance - they are so many that we can no longer target them via humint and track them.

2. The survivors will be well known. No more obscure Al-clusterf** of the day from village in the middle of nowhere (insert your rural backwater salafist community of choice).

Now terminate the remaining ones by conventional means (Expendables, Soldiers of Fortune working for the bounty or just a hellfire missile through the window).

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Re: Haven't a clue

+1.

For the same amount of money you could have purchased the necessary humint for targeting and sent teams of "Expendables" for each "interesting" target (or purchase a "soldier for fortune" style termination) 20 times over. People are corrupt. If the amount of money wasted on anti-terrorist surveilance was used on bounties instead, there would have been a grand total of zero surviving ISIS, Taleban and Al Qaeda "key personnel".

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Roundworm infection increases female fertility

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Re: This one is a known "immune system modifier"

Time to scour this worms waste products for antihistamine compounds and/or hormonal stimulants/depressors, methinks.

They are being scored. Off the top of my head there is at least one guy in Oxford Uni who is working on that. There are a few places elsewhere too.

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This one is a known "immune system modifier"

If memory serves me right, the same nematode has the interesting property of drastically decreasing the acuteness of asthma and allergies in infected people. The mechanism is still unclear - probably both production of antihistamines and adjustments to the host immune system. While having a few 40cm worms in you may seem to be a cure that is worse than the disease a lot of asthmatics will probably beg to differ.

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Tech firms fight anti-encryption demands after Paris murders

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Re: WRONG

Why fake? Full body burka and any female ID card with a middle-eastern sounding name will do.

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Technology will not help when the problem is on the human side.

1. Suspects (at least the key ones) were known to the police. Data was available, humint in both Belgium and France failed to draw the lines between the dots.

2. Technology has failed to spot fake passports issued to same individual. It is laughable that Greece which pretends to be in Shengen did not spot a duplicate passport and Serbians picked up the fake Ahmad Almohammad(s) without having access to the Shengen database.

So for starters - remove Greece from Shengen until it sorts out its human + technological side to Shengen requirements. In fact, I do not see how they were admitted in the first place without having an electronic birth certificate register till 2 years ago (something which the supposedly backwater Bulgaria and Romania has had since the early 1970-es). As a side effect this will force full reprocessing and readmittance of all refugees including checks of documents as they should be done to the Shengen standard.

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US 'swatting' Bill will jail crank callers for five years to life

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Spot the difference

Police agencies across Australia have told this reporter swatting is not an issue Down Under, however anecdotal rumour of it happening exist.

Obvious reason. Everywhere except USA the police does not get to buy surplus military equipment and the SWAT squad (if any) is not the local police department's private army. It does not have armored personnel carriers, automatic weapons, autocannons and god knows what else. It is just a scruffy van +/- riot shield on the windscreen and a few cops authorised to carry weapons. There is no fun in coax calling this.

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DS5: Vive la différence ... oh, and throw away the Citroën badge

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Not the obvious place for the window controls but it looks snazzy enough

That is the traditional french place for them. If memory serves me right, the 25 year old Clio RT Mk1 which I handed down to my mom has them in the same place along with the central locking (I think they moved it to the doors on the later models).

It is still running by the way (makes an excellent Pensioner Utility Vehicle). The secret of longetivity for French cars which every 3(+)rd world mechanic will tell you is to flush the radiator regularly and change it once it is 12-14 years old. If you do that, you can reach 300k+ miles on an old French petrol rust bucket with ease. If you do not, they will blow the main gasket ~ 12-15 years of age. By the way - you will not find that in the Haynes book.

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ISIS operates a crypto help desk – report

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Intelligence services are once again coming under correctly-directed fire

Not quite. They should come under fire that they had all the data needed and failed to connect the dots.

The biggest problem of intelligence today is not the lack of information, it is the information flood. The final links in the chain - the humans that are supposed to evaluate the processed information and make decisions are overwhelmed.

Banning or backdooring encryption will not help this one in the slightest. In fact, just the opposite. If they cannot handle the flood today, how the f*** are they going to handle the deluge in that case?

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Re: "university education"

Depreciation in university education is your answer. It is not a "sieve" which separates the grain from the chaff any more.

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Next-gen killer hurricane hunter to be armed with Nvidia graphics chips

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Is it the resolution or the model itself?

Increased resolution is not necessarily the answer.

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Badware in the firmware all over the place

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Re: You get what you pay for

Nothing to do with that. The picture is typical of embedded programming.

Updates? What updates. OS and 3rd party components are used at base versions and never updated. In fact there is no way to update them. There is nobody in the company keeping track of security issues with them either. No security awareness, no defensive programming, no... This is for _BOTH_ onshore and offshore. It comes with the territory.

However, the whole thing is proudly embedded (I have wished many times to embed the keyboard of one of these jockeys in his skull).

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Conficker is back – and it's infecting police body cams

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Mushroom

Re: Your equipment is supplied by the lowest bidder.

Close but no cigar. Realtime Embedditis. Your equipment is built by an embedded engineer. Being lowest bidder has nothing to do with it.

1. OS is used with base build. No updates

2. No means to update it without breaking everything

3. Security means "PASSword" as password - no measures in terms of network security or threat mitigation.

4. You cannot add any extra protection as an afterthought because the app built by the person suffering from Realtime Embedditis takes on the CPU in single handed combat and owns it. It is proudly realtime though.

This is the type of people who build SCADA, smart metering and industrial automation today. These will be the people who will build the brave new world of connected everything and IOT tomorrow.

As you could have guessed I have worked with this type of individuals more than once. Every fecking time I wanted to embed the keyboard in their skull. They never learn. This is just one more example of that.

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Seagate offers California Uni genome data storage K-drives

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In other news

Seagate no longer has outstanding inventory problems.

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Brussels paws Android map apps to see if they displace Euro rivals – report

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They have moved

f the EU gps companies ei Tom Tom etc don't want to lose business let them move into the modern world and produce a better product

They have. Tom Tom maps are licensed to Sygic which on Android beats Google Maps hands down. I have clocked in excess of 18K miles around Europe using it and compared to it Google Maps are still (till this day) a joke. Tom tom also has its own app for Apple if memory serves me right.

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Facebook! You've got 48 hours to stop tracking people

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You get the cookie if you click

You get the cookie if you click as well as if FB CDN displays anything on your machine. Logging in is unnecessary.

You also get it if you are served that "in-your-face" "people like it" dump which some websites hit you with.

In either case there has been no request of consent to track as required by Eu directive so FB is going to find itself on the wrong side of the Eu data protection.

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Re: Five years

You know the answer to that - 5 years x 365 days x 250000 ~ half a billion Euros (with interest).

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How much do containers thrash VMs in power usage? Thiiiis much

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Re: ERR.. NO...

But you're ignoring the central issue that containers are not a replacement for virtualisation in most scenarios

Container IS a replacement for Vmware in most scenarios in a Linux shop. The sole reason you are virtualizing is because the Vendor and or IT OPS are incompetent to package something correctly so you cannot run the apps on a shared platform and you need to reuse servers for multiple apps for cost reasons.

This use case does not require IO isolation, different kernels, etc. All you need is to application isolation and some level of resource management which containers are perfectly capable to deliver. Even the most basic container environments like LXC can manage IO limits, memory limits and if you know what you are doing you can manage network limits and network QoS on the platform.

Typical example - 7 slightly different build environments for 7 releases/branches of an app using something broken that refuses to play ball to share its toys like java/maven + OSGI. Sure - you can VM it. That is both stupid and incompetent as all it needs is 7 containers. Web apps - even more obvious example. Databases - same story. And so on. It is only when you reach the point where you need to run the company firewall in a VM where you need VM level of isolation.

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ERR.. NO...

It is not pointless. I actually pointed the same thing a while back in an el-reg.

When you do Full Virtualization regardless of it being Type 1 or Type 2 you _ALWAYS_ trade low power cost IO operations such as DMA for high power cost memory operations such as memory copying or page descriptor changes or tlb manipulation. The sole exemption is if you have low level hardware virtualization support such as SR-IOV.

If you do Lightweight Virtualization (LXC/Docker/BSD Jail/etc) you namespace a particular device into your container. As a result you usually continue to use DMA which is low power cost. Additionally, you can leverage the overall power saving methodologies in the system such as dynamic frequency scaling, tickless idle, etc 100%. This provides additional power savings on top which you do not get in heavy virtualization environments.

Mentioning this particular distinction between classic virtualization and container based technologies is not pointless because it is never taken into account when doing the cost/benefit and economic cases for virtualization. I have not seen a single time when someone has done this math in the last 15 years. So mentioning it is not pointless - it actually makes people finally start doing this math as well.

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Coding with dad on the Dragon 32

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Basic for Children

Dracula? Garlic, to under 16-teens?

The historical aspect is definitely interesting, but the Basic part alone would have made me skip the idea altogether. As far as languages for beginners go, Apple 2 clones had one very interesting option - GraphFort. You could write a functional (and fast enough - something impossible in Basic) game in a couple of hours. It also taught you to think differently, recursion, stacks, etc.

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How to build a city fit for 50℃ heatwaves

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Re: I would build down not up.

Second thought.

For the same cost as building under the ground you can build under the Gulf/Indian Ocean/Red Sea/etc. That does not get hotter than 30C even in a 50C heatwave

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Re: I would build down not up.

Close but no cigar.

It is extremely expensive and not particularly functional.

Stealing a few pages from the Middle-East Medieval Builder CookBook (especially as Russians used to define it - all the way to Kirgizstan/Tukrmenistan) is a better idea.

One neat trick is having two walls and a walkspace on the south side of all buildings (ala US condo). The inner wall is the normal apartment/house wall. The outer wall is not solid - it is a stone mesh. So you get 2m of shaded space between your house and the sun which is naturally ventilated by wind and convection. This alone gives you 10 degree drop (at least) in mid summer. There are other things like - the shiny glazing tiles on the outer walls are not just for decoration. They are functional too - reflect the sun. And so on.

Instead of that, the region is being overbuild with glass monsters which are clearly not fit for that climate. But they look kewl... Which is what is important in a regional culture ruled by "shopping show-off"

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TalkTalk claims 157,000 customers were victims of security breach

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Re: She's still there

Why specifically Talk-Talk - most UK PLCs are not any different.

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Are you sure?

https://image-store.slidesharecdn.com/1f11cc86-c2d9-4299-9a14-edfe61bf5239-medium.jpeg

Note the VCR and the Windows 9x behind her. That is their "innovation center" apparently.

Are you sure you would invest in that? I would not.

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Goodfella's attack smacks Slack chap for whack crack? It's a fact, Jack

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That is not verbal evisceration

That is "I do not know who the F*** you are, but you are not even worthy of a proper verbal evisceration".

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Scarface's explosive 'Little Friend' goes under the hammer

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Re: Probable Cause

It's a prop.

It used to work. Al Pacino burned his hand on the barrel when filming.

So it definitely could shoot blanks when Scarface was being filmed.

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Linus Torvalds targeted by honeytraps, claims Eric S. Raymond

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Bwahahahaha

Right...

Linus... "sexually" doing whatever to someone? I would really not like to be in his place coming back home after that. Tove Torwalds was like only 6? times Finland karate champion?

ESR should shut up and do some code. He has not produced any code since the early days of fetchmail. And Wesnoth script is not code (if you look at his more recent contributions, you are more likely to find them in the wesnoth 10.0 data folder). He has been producing conspiracy theories by the bucket though.

In any case, ever since Sarah quit the USB 3.0 subsystem has finally stabilized (including backports and fixes to older stable kernels used by distros). I now can finally plug a device into the USB 3.0 socket on my Linux desktop without one of the other devices deciding to stop running... just... because. She has failed in her job as a maintainer by allowing crap code to be merged in. Now, how she was made to leave was not nice, but frankly, she should have taken the hint that things are not working and left earlier.

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7 million Apple Watches just buried the competition – Canalys

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Web blurb is meaningless

The web site is all marketing and no substance, but it looks like it carries some sensors in addition to the notifications part.

There are two gadgets that look like fashionable take on fit bands and a relatively conventional Fossil watch.

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Lithium-air: A battery breakthrough explained

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No boom today

No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow. What? Look, somebody's got to have some damn perspective around here! Boom. Sooner or later. BOOM!

Lithium Peroxide? In my pocket? No thanks.

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UK cyber-spy law takes Snowden's revelations of mass surveillance – and sets them in stone

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Probably for the better

If they could arrest for the contents of minds I would spend the rest of my days in jail.

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Google gets all lawyered up for ‘ambiguous’ EU anti-trust case

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Search - maybe

Search ~ maybe

OS == No. That is not a contestable monopoly. This has been proven in multiple court cases - Microsoft, IBM, etc.

OS + Search == Definitely No

OS + Search + Browser == Hell No

OS + Search + Browser + IM + Social + Payment + Office == Lucipher on a snowplough clearing the runway for the Porcine Attack Squadrons for it to be a contestable monopoly. You will need the GDP of a Top-7 economy to even consider it.

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Volkswagen: 800,000 of our cars may have cheated in CO2 tests

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Nah, MOTs typically don't measure for specific, type approved figures on CO2/NO2 etc - just 'safe margins' IIRC.

Mots check for implementation of mandatory recalls and fixes. This would be the first time it applies to emissions though. This has been used so far only for things like seat belt failures on the mid-1990es Nissans, etc.

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Music lovers move to block Phil Collins' rebirth

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Am I reading the mash?

For a moment, I thought I am reading The Daily Mash. Good one anyway.

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Is the world ready for a bare-metal OS/2 rebirth?

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Re: Going out on a leg here, but...

32 - yes. 64 - I doubt it.

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Now VW air-pollution cheatware 'found in Audis and Porsches'

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Wrong

Even in pure EGR designs like Isuzu the real life emissions are not far from the lab. BMW, Daimler, etc have all managed emissions in real life which correspond to real life reasonably well (less than 3 times difference). There is only one other manufacturer which has an order of magnitude difference between lab and road.

I am going to venture a guess why. This is a natural result of a company which has elevated Branding to and above the level of Engineering in a business that is by its nature engineering driven. VW is the only car company which has an EVP solely in charge of branding and at the same (or higher) level as the director of engineering.

It is also a company which does not follow the best R&D practices where you develop something, push it out in small quantities to a particular (and usually well known) pilot brand and promote to your main stock only if it works in the field. It originally set-up Skoda/Audi this way and by sequential orders of Branding and Marketing over the years rolled back that division to the point where VW separates solely on the basis of what trim and how plasticy is your car trim. There is _NO_ pilot series and no natural "promotion to mass manufacturing" any more. Branding and Marketing also put the stake through the original idea of Skoda being the testbed for new tech from 12 years ago (that lasted as long as Fabia Mk1 and Octavia Mk1).

As a result, any major changes as needed for example to comply with new emissions regs, end up as extremely high risk as they are not tested properly in small series on the road first. This, in addition to shiny-shiny being given higher priority than actual engineering results in a natural tendency to cheat. Nothing surprising here.

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Re: Pumping excess air into exhaust and petrol catalytic converters

You'd need the turbocharger to supply 40 times the amount of air, use just a little of it for burn and then exhaust all of it. Basically, I've just described a turbofan engine.

There is no way in hell you can comply with the noise portion of the regs at that point. 40:1 is an abominable bypass ratio too. The highest bypass turbofans do ~ 12:1. In either case, you can move the car on airflow alone - at that rate using any form of conventional transmission to spin the wheels becomes an auxiliary drive.

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Chinese fire up world's 'most powerful' drone brain

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Happy

Re: I think it is time to start mounting erlicones on the house corners

Thanks for the correction. I meant the particular Oerlikon goods which supposedly neutral Switherland shipped to all warring parties in WW2. Namely this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oerlikon_20_mm_cannon. While it is not the best in class today (that title goes to the Soviet/Russian ZPU), you can pretend that it is an antique garden ornament commemorating Swiss neutrality in WW2.

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