* Posts by James O'Shea

867 posts • joined 14 Jun 2007

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TorrentLocker ransomware pestilence plagues Europe, bags $500k

James O'Shea
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I don't get it

I have received dozens of 'this is the invoice' or 'this is the payroll file' or 'we have a package for you' emails with what are supposed to be DOCXs or PDFs or ZIPs in them... and given that I _know_ that I didn't order anything from anyone with that name, or engage an outside payroll service, and I'm not expecting a package and besides USPS, UPS, and FedEx don't send out that kind of message, I simply dump such emails into the trash and delete them. Sophos screams bloody murder about them about 40% of the time, anyway (Sophos detects inbound malware pretty much all the time in the ZIPs, not so much in the DOcXs or PDFs) so why, why, WHY would anyone open any of those things? Now, as i have multiple email accounts and have seen the exact same come-on show up in two or three accounts within minutes of each other, it might be more obvious that there's a problem. But anyone with even a modicum of sense should know if they have an outside payroll service, and what the email address of that service is, so that they can just look at the damn inbound mail and SEE that it's not from their guys.

I don't get it. Even when I was a newbie (more years ago than I like to admit) I _never_ just clicked on stuff in mail, I _always_ had a look at the headers to see who sent it... And, yes, the first thing I do on a WinBox (and, now, on a Mac, as Apple has caught the 'hide extensions' disease, too) is to turn 'hide extensions' OFF so that i can see that little .EXE at the end. Or that .DOCM or whatever. Why is it that umpti-ump _THOUSAND_ people simply don't _look_ at whatever it is _before_ being a happy clicker? WHY?

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Hold the front page: Spain's anti-Google lobbyists lobby for Google News return

James O'Shea
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Re: Translation:

I was under the impression that there are other search engines. (Bing. Yahoo... but I repeat myself. Duck-duck-go. Alta Vista. Assorted others.)

I was also under the impression that the Spaniards are upset about Google News providing free advertising for Spanish news sites and want Google to pay to provide the free advertising for Spanish sites. Presumably this should also apply to Yahoo or some other site providing free advertising to Spanish sites, same as Google, and if so we're likely to see Yahoo and the others bail, too.

Personally, I rarely use Google News, or Yahoo news, or any such site. And the few times I do use those sites, I don't care if I can't find anything from Spain on them. If Google and Yahoo and company dropped every Spanish link tomorrow I would neither know nor care. I rather suspect that the Spanish news sites would, but that's their problem. They should have thought before they pulled their little extortion scheme.

The Spanish sites, and the Spanish government, could always just create their own search engine and see if they can get the public to use it...

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James O'Shea
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That would appear to be it.

I don't think they're going to get any.

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James O'Shea
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oops

One wonders exactly how the Spanish government could possibly go about forcing Google to stay and be taxed. One really does.

I've got out a bowl of popcorn. This should be quite entertaining.

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Assange's WikiLeaks: Give generously this Xmas – for STATUE of our DEAR LEADER

James O'Shea
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Re: My Lord, I have a cunning plan

I think that you'll find that the Nigerians already tried the big packing case thing. Didn't work.

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James O'Shea
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Nah. They make a hollow _larger-than-life-sized_ Assange(tm) statue, roll it in for him to view, he jumps inside, and discovers that they neglected to make any air holes. And the ship carrying the statue to Australia for display has a bit of trouble in the Roaring Forties and the statue accidentally slips over the side in 2000 metres of water.

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Égalité, Fraternité - Oui, peut-etre. Liberté? NON, French speedcam Facebookers told

James O'Shea
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Re: Win Win

Nah, I live in Florida. Plenty of French-speaking madmen driving around here, mostly Quebecois snowbirds. And we have Cuban Cowboys and their sisters, Las Latinas Brava. There are _lots_ of low-flying idiots, though I'll admit that the Quebecois manage to scare even Las Latinas Brava, something not even a state trooper flashing blue lights in the rearview can to do.

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James O'Shea
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Send it to me. I'm on the far side of the Atlantic from France, and haven't driven in France for over a decade. They literally can't do a damn thing to me.

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Furious GTA V gamers seek similar ban on violent, misogynistic title: the Holy Bible

James O'Shea
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"The protestants don't own a whole country. They are tempered by their fellow citizens. But more than enough times they have pushed for unholy havoc to be wrought on their religious rivals."

Errm... Yes, the Prods _do_ own a whole country. Several, actually. With names like 'England', 'Norway', 'Sweden', 'the Netherlands', a whole bunch of others... Hint: HM Queen Lizzy is head of the Church of England. And there's actually currently enforced laws on the books in Britain which would make life rather interesting for any heir to the throne who actually dared to marry a Catholic.

You may be thinking of 'fundamentalists', not Protestants. And even there, well, things have cooled down over the last few centuries, but the CoE, the Lutherans, and the Calvinists were all pretty damn fundie in the past. Y'all might want to review your history. Or at least to have a look at some poetry from as late as the 19th century. http://www.poetrycat.com/alfred-tennyson/the-revenge

What, you thought that Muslims and fundie Xians had a monopoly on religious fervour? Read up on the life of, oh, Francis Drake.

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Wheels fall off bid to sue Apple over iTunes anti-piracy shenanigans

James O'Shea
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"How the hell would Apple know?"

If you go to sites like this one http://www.chipmunk.nl/klantenservice/applemodel.html you can enter your serial number and get back the basic info, including where and when it was manufactured. Apple _knows_ exactly when their kit was made, and exactly where. This means, for example, that they _know_ when the warranty expires on Device X. There are numerous sites around the internet which will tell Joe User and and all of that info, too. Apple doesn't make a secret of it. You could call Apple and ask them to tell you how to decode the serial number yourself, and they'll tell you. At least they told me. I assume that this is how the people behind the various sites figured out how to decrypt the serial number.

Apple has been doing this kind of thing for at least twenty years, probably as much as 30 years, possibly longer still. It's not a secret. I suspect that most other major vendors do something of the kind. I _know_ that Dell and HP do something similar, for sure. Yes, they _know_ when someone's telling porkies about how long they've had that device, as they _know_ when it shipped. And, if they get sales data back (which they should) they'll _know_ when it sold.

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James O'Shea
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Re: Only lawyers benefit from delay like this

They'll need to find plaintiffs who

1 bought an iPod during the period in question

2 got music from Real Networks and attempted to put it on their iPods

3 didn't de-DRM their RN music once they realised that there was a problem

4 still give a damn.

Just owning an iPod isn't enough. They'd have to show that they were 'injured'. And that means that they have to show that they also got RN music _and tried to use it on their iPods_. Proving that at this late date may be a tad difficult. It was possible to de-DRM RN music; those who seriously wanted to, could, and did. They would probably keep their mouths shut now, 'cause they'd be telling the world that they breached the DMCA if they spoke up. This means that the real hard core RN users will be absent. And, finally, given the passage of time... most users simply don't care anymore.

And, oh, yeah, given the current shenanigans, I'd say that the court will have a Very Close Look(tm) at any new plaintiffs. if, say, someone de-DRMed his RN music and still tried to claim 'injury', and the court finds out (and Apple will do their best to see that the court finds out) there might be Unexpected Results(tm). (How might Apple know? If the users were silly enough to use iTunes Match, for example, Apple would have a _very_ good idea as to what's in that music collection, when it got there, and where it came from. I use iTunes Match, but I really couldn't care less if Apple knows that I like Tina Turner songs. If a plaintiff claimed that he attempted to put RN music on his iPod but iTunes Match says that the track in question was first on the user's system in 2012, or that it was placed there during the time in question as a 256k MP3 which was generated by [insert name of popular ripping software here], someone will have to do a little explaining.)

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Crack open more champagne, Satya, XP's snowballing to HELL

James O'Shea
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Re: And?

it still works.

Assuming, that is, that it can accurately be said that any machine running XP is actually 'working'. The jury's still out on that.

And I'm not too sure about how well Mint 'works' on old XP hardware, either. On the other hand, Mint may very well work quite well on a G4. I have two ancient eMacs, fitted with G4s, which haven't been booted in about two years. Anyone who wants to try to put Mint on 'em is invited to come and haul 'em away, right now they're paperweights. (Literally.)

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James O'Shea
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Re: Meaningless statement by useless stats mangler - film at 11

I just downvoted you.

1 I don't own a Surface

2 i don't own a WinPhone (and haven't owned one since I got rid of my old Samsung Omni WinPhone 6 junkpile. and never will buy a WinPhone ever again, thanks to that thing.)

3 I am not particularly fond of Mickeysoft.

4 there are other reasons why you might get downvotes. Perhaps you can think of a few, if you try.

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James O'Shea
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Re: W7 is the winner

" the balls of Rocco Siffredi"

Does that make their customer base, ah, Kelly Stafford?

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Fort Lauderdale websites DDoSed after Anonymous threats over feeding ban

James O'Shea
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It's not just Ft Lauderdale

There's a church (yes, a gen-u-wine, all-the-way, full-blown, Baptist church) in West Palm Beach which insists on actually caring for the homeless by among other things, giving them a place to sleep. WPB city officials have been bombarding the church with fines and other assorted crap for _years_ to try to get them to stop, you know, Doing God's Work(tm). Last I heard the church was going to lose their land (and, therefore, the actual church building, and, more importantly, the place where the homeless guys could sleep) because they had refused to pay the fines. The city backed down, temporarily, after a wave of bad publicity.

The main reason for both FL and WPB's ire appears to be that a large proportion of the homeless are black. This is, after all, _South_ Florida. Have a look at the Florida state flag. Compare to the battle ensign of a certain military force which roamed Virginia, Maryland, and as far north as Pennsylvania about 150 years ago.

<exit, stage left, to the tune of 'Marching Through Georgia'.'>

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Bloke, 36, in the cooler for leaking ex's topless pics on Facebook

James O'Shea
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Re: Good, good

"How do we know the photo subject wasn't the one getting revenge by privately agreeing to the photo upload and then denying it afterwards?"

In this particular case, m'man used a fake ID which was traced back to him. Furthermore, m'man had been the subject of a restraining order since 2011. IOW, he's been at this for _years_ and he tried to cover his tracks.

He should have got a whole lot more time in the pokey. And some monetary damages, the better to make him pay attention. 'No' means 'no. 'Go away' means 'go away'. There's lots more girls,laddie, go find another one, preferably one who _doesn't_ hate your guts.

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Ten Mac freeware apps for your new Apple baby

James O'Shea
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Re: MSPaint equivalent?

You might also have a look at Graphic Converter.http://www.lemkesoft.de/en/products/graphicconverter/ It's primarily aimed at, well, converting graphic files from one format to another (duh...) but it is also quite a capable little mini-Photoshop. And if there's a graphic format it doesn't handle, wait a bit and Mr. Lemke will add it. I've used it for nearly 20 years now. It's beautiful, it actually does some things faster than Photoshop. And it's both try-before-you-buy shareware (remember that?) and cheap; when I first got it, it was $15-20 or so (it's been 20 years, I can't remember exactly) with an upgrade fee of around $10. The price has inched up to $40, $25 for upgrades. You only pay for _major_ upgrades, so I've shelled out the upgrade fee maybe three-four times. That means that I've paid less than two months worth of Creative Cloud (for which I will never, ever, pay, my copy of Creative Suite 5.5 still works and I have an older system carefully preserved to ensure that it I will have a machine to run it on for years to come) for 20 years of service. And Mr. Lemke provides excellent customer service, something I can't say about Adobe. I'm _happy_ to pay him so that he can keep his products available.

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James O'Shea
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Re: libreoffice

It's not quite that bad. You can round-trip documents which use only basic (and I mean _basic_) features. Use any features more advanced than, say, borders, and you're begging for trouble. Worse, LibreOffice (andOpenOffice) don't handle fonts the way MS Office does (or, in fact, the way the other free suite does). This means that if you have a long document there _will_ be differences in layout. It doesn't matter if you're just reviewing it, but if you're printing... oy, vey.

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Azure has put new life into Active Directory

James O'Shea
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so what you're saying is that Ye Olde Microsoft, the one which took three tries to get it right but when they got it right they really got it right, is back? Hmm. i may actually have a look at this one, then.

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Hacker dodges FOUR HUNDRED YEARS in cooler for SCANNING sites

James O'Shea
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Re: why ....

There are those who do exactly that.

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James O'Shea
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Re: Too subtle for me.

Here in deepest South Florida, should a homeowner discover someone at their door trying to get in illegally, said homeowner can, and has on multiple occasions in the past, shoot the miscreant dead, with no consequences beyond having to hire a cleaning service to get rid of the blood once the cops have been around and congratulated him on his aim.

Breaking and entering is liable to have harsh consequences. M'man tried, hard, to break into and enter a county site. You may disagree with the penalties, but you're not the prosecutor.

And, oh, please note that the 440 years is merely totaling the maximum possible sentences. In the first place, no matter what the prosecutor may or may not ask for, the judge might or might not hand down the maximum... and usually doesn't. In the second, most judges make the terms concurrent, so even if m'man got the max for each of the 44 he'd only be inside for the max, or 10. In the third, this is a non-violent first offence, so odds are that he'd just get probation. As the charges have been reduced to misdemeanors, that's a max of 366 days. (That's DAYS, not YEARS.) He'll probably get 'community service' (picking up the trash on the interstate for a few months) and a year of probation. A.k.a. a slap on the wrist.

On the other hand, it's a Federal case in Texas. which means that the judges and prosecutors are insane. back in the 1970s, when 'life' meant '60 years, with a chance at parole in 30' some Federal judges in Texas started handing out 99 year sentences instead of life. When defence attorneys objected, one judge went to 999 year sentences instead. The Mafia boys he was permanently parking into a supermax got some of their friends outside to blow him up (they put a bomb into his car) and his brother, also a Federal judge, requested transfer to Texas and continued the family tradition of 999 year sentences. Feds in Texas still trend towards packing in the years. If m'man had got the wrong judge, he really could have got 440 years in a supermax.

And, oh, yeah, he's not out of the woods yet. If the locals decide that the Feds were too soft, they could find a reason to charge him for something not covered by the Federal charges and haul him up to state courts. Timmy McVeigh was notoriously sentenced to death by the Feds for blowing up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and Oklahoma insisted on trying him separately and handing down their own death sentence just in case he survived the Feds. (He didn't.)

It's a whole new world on this side of the Atlantic. Especially in Texas.

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Whistling Google: PLEASE! Brussels can only hurt Europe, not us

James O'Shea
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Re: As long as Google de-facto controls "access" to the Internet...

I run Adblocker, Ghostery, NoScript, and Click2Flash. I'm pretty sure that between them they ID and block all scripts from _anyone_ unless I allow said scripts to run.

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James O'Shea
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Re: As long as Google de-facto controls "access" to the Internet...

Errm... Google does NOT have a monopoly over search. For example, I have Duck Duck Go set as my default search engine on every single device I own, from my cell phones to my desktops. The _only_ Google service I use is gmail... and I use that for throw-away accounts, and never, ever, use the web interface after I've set the account up for IMAP. This means that I never see any googleads. And, as I only use it for throwaways, the info that Google gets from those accounts is both limited and highly misleading.

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'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described

James O'Shea
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Re: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Ireland

"Who could be their common enemy? My money is on Lichtenstein"

Nah. It's the UK. The UK has a long, long, LONG history of operating against all of them. (Yes, including Mexico; look up 'Zimmerman Telegram'.)

My only question is 'How come Germany, France, China, and Japan aren't on the list?'

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Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

James O'Shea
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Re: I seem to remember

"If you can heat your home with 300W you're either living in a shoebox or in the tropics. Or it's BS, of course."

My money's on BS.

Let's do some math.

1 Solar constant (the average power density delivered by the Sun at 1 AU): approx 1360 watts per square meter. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_constant This is the power delivered _outside_ the atmosphere. A lot of that doesn't make it through 100 km of air. A lot of it is in forms which can't easily be converted into electricity. For purposes of argument, let's assume that 100% of that power gets through and 100% can be converted. This makes for an upper limit for solar powered whatever, photovoltaics, mirror-fed steam, whatever.

2 let me consider just the room I'm sitting in now. I have flourescent lamps in the ceiling, totaling 100 watts. (It's a big room.) I have three desktop computers, each with 650 W power supplies, and each with a monitor eating around 100-150 W. (I looked at the little sticker on the back and did P=IV.) I have a server which googles another 700 W. (No monitor, I remote into that machine.) Without adding in the assorted external hard drives, routers, switches, the two printers, or the share the room has of the power used by the central air (I'm in _Florida_. It gets hot, even in November. Though right now it's around 75 F outside.) that adds up to (650x3 + 120x3 + 100 + 700) or 3110 watts. That's around 2.3 square meters, _just for this room_. Then I need to double that, to have power to feed batteries (which are, of course, 100% efficient) so I can have light at night. That's 4.6 square meters. Then add an additional 50% to cover more batteries for cloudy days (yes, even in Florida there are cloudy days, though the Palm Beach County Tourist Board would probably hate me for pointing this out. Indeed, today _is_ a cloudy day; that's one reason why we're down to a mere 75 F. We're supposed to have thunderstorms later, and to have thunderstorms off and on until Wednesday next week. We'd better have enough battery power, and enough square meterage of PVs or whatever to feed the batteries, to hold on until next Wednesday while getting only limited inputs on a daily basis... (God help you boyz in London....)

3 now let's consider something a bit more realistic. At best somewhere between 300 and 500 watts per square meter gets through and is usable. Call it 500. At best PVs have 10-20% efficiency and the boys at PG&E once got 22% out of their mirror-fed steam unit. (Which was in the Mojave desert...) Westinghouse and TRW once got close to that from their solar heat engine off the coast of Hawaii. Hmmm. 22% of 500 is... 110 watts per square meter. How many square meters do I need just to power this room? Hmm. 28 square meters. And to have power at night, 56. And to cover for clouds, 84.

Eighty Four Square Meters. It can be done. it just won't be easy or cheap. So now we account for the rest of the building... If efficiencies go up, that figure comes down. if the range of the Sun's output which can be used goes up, that figure comes down. Don't count on either happening anytime soon.

We could, I suppose, turn off our machines to save power. Except that then there'd be no bloody reason for us to employ people in here. It'd certainly save power if I turfed all the guys (and gals) out and let 'em starve in the dark.

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You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES

James O'Shea
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well, that's a relief

If they knew where the DCs were, some twit politician would insist on micromanaging 'em. and would actually be able to check up to see that his idiotic orders were being followed. If they don't know where they are, they have no clue as to what's really going on there, which is A Good Thing(tm).

Hmmm. How can I get a contract to set up some nice DCs for HMGov?

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Fake antivirus scams: It's a $120m business – and alleged ringleaders have just been frozen

James O'Shea
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Re: I know them

See? Government money was involved. It's been Corruption County for a _long_ time.

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James O'Shea
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I know them

They're just down the way from me, in Boca Raton and Delray Beach. The Palm Beach Post had a quite amusing (if you're not employed there) story last week and a followup on Monday.

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/news/crime-law/ftc-police-raid-local-computer-tech-support-compan/nh6yC/#__federated=1

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/business/how-feds-say-delray-beach-firm-tricked-customers/nh8w7/

Some of the good ol' boyz were located in the T-rex complex at Congress and Yamato. (Yes, there's a major road in Palm Beach County, Florida, named for a Japanese battleship and/or 'the spiritual and cultural virtues of the Japanese people'. Long story. Money was involved. This _is_ Corruption County, Florida, after all.) T-rex used to be where IBM Boca Raton built IBM PCs/XTs/ATs/etc. Gotta love it.

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Quebec's latest bid to break away from Canada HALTED by a single dot

James O'Shea
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Send 'em all back to France

Not even Frenchmen deserve to be stuck with Quebecois, but Quebecois definitely deserve to be stuck with Frenchmen.

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Most convincing PHISHING pages hoodwink nearly half of you – Google

James O'Shea
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Re: Hardly surprising

My bank sends emails which _always_ contain:

my name (my correct name, not the version I hand out to places not needing to actually know this)

the last four of my account number

a note suggesting that I log in to their site normally, and that I never, ever, click on a link in any email supposedly coming from them, as such an email would not be one of theirs.

I have got email allegedly from them which did not contain the above three items. In every case a look at the headers suggests that the email actually originated in Russia, Germany, Hong Kong, and, once, Brazil. The Brazilian one was memorable because it actually did have my correct name... but not the last four or the 'don't click' warning. it looked really good, too. I was tempted to go and see how closely they'd copied the bank's site, but settled for just forwarding it to my bank's anti-fraud people.

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James O'Shea
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Re: Do they check if the data is legitimate?

Don't do that. Use

935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20535-0001

(202) 324-3000

or

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20530-0001

202-514-2000

or maybe

245 Murray Drive,

Building 410,

Washington, DC 20223

202-406-5708

instead. Have _fun_ with phishers.

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James O'Shea
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Phishing is Phun

My parents stuck me with no less than four saint's names. People who know me know which one I usually use (and no, it's not James). I can easily detect phishing attempts, and can have a good idea of where the phishers mined the initial info to make the attempt, based on which name (or the order of the names) I see in the phishing attempt. There would be a reason why I have multiple email accounts only a few of which have my actual preferred name.

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BOFH: Stop your tiers – when it comes to storage, LESS is MORE

James O'Shea
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Jaz drive

I _liked_ Jaz drives. They were much better behaved than Zip drives or (shudder) SyQuest drives.

And, yes, I liked Logitech Trackman Marbles, though not the FX which was too expensive.

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The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay

James O'Shea
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Re: This is going to kill their business

Around here, all the major supermarket chains have pharmacies in house. It's actually easier to get to my local Publix than to the nearest CVS. (Roughly two miles for either one, but it's one traffic light and a right turn to get to the Publix while it's two traffic lights, two left turns, and a right turn to get to the CVS.) Publix takes NFC and has not, so far as I know, taken action to block Apple Pay (or Google Wallet, for that matter). Better yet, the nearest Walgreens is literally across the road from the Publix; I have to pass it to get to the Publix when driving from my house. I only go near the CVS when there's something I need which isn't available at either Publix or Walgreens. Which means I haven't set foot in that CVS in the better part of a year. So I won't care if they block NFC.

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T-Mobile US chief SUCKS UP to Apple, gently ridicules rivals over SIM lockdown play

James O'Shea
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Re: Complicated ?

A new SIM is _free_. Apple doesn't make one penny 'cause AT&T are being dicks.

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Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T

James O'Shea
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"Sounds like a pretty bog-standard lock-in to me. Can't say it's anything horrific, but it's no surprise that Apple plays that kind of game anyway.

Can't even write an app for Apple without paying annual recurring subscriptions and having to buy one of their devices to do it legally."

Errm... you _are_ aware that it's AT&T doing the lock-in, not Apple, aren't you?

And as for the "Can't even write an app" part... I've never paid any kind of a 'subscription fee', not even once, much less a yearly one, and I have XCode and the latest SDKs for OS X and iOS. (There's even a big fat 'register for free' button on the downloads page...) I merely went to the ADC site https://developer.apple.com and downloaded 'em. https://developer.apple.com/devcenter/ios/index.action for iOS, https://developer.apple.com/devcenter/mac/index.action for OS X. I registered for free over a decade ago and have never, ever, been asked to pay anything. Not even once. And _of course_ you need Apple hardware to do it. How else were you planning to test the damn apps, using wishful thinking? I can and have installed XCode on a Hackintosh. I just don't trust that anything created on that device will run properly on Apple hardware, so I do actual work on a Mac.

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James O'Shea
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"An Apple customer service representative told Ars that Apple SIMs are available for free at Apple retail stores."

So... AT&T locks a SIM card, but you can get a replacement, for free, and it's trivial to remove and replace the locked card. So you have two: one for AT&T, one for Sprint and T-Mobile. Or three: the last one's for Verizon, who doesn't allow switching.

I wonder if anyone's designed an iPad case which has pockets for SIM cards yet? Better yet, I wonder if anyone has designed an iPad case which comes with pockets for SIM cards _and two or three cards_. The cards are _free_, after all...

If I were in the market for a new iPad (I'm not, my not-quite-a-year-old iPad Air works just fine, thanks) I'd just get a few spare SIMs at the Apple Store while I was buying my new iPad.

This might actually cause AT&T more trouble than it does Apple.

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Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers

James O'Shea
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They _are_ using the 'real names'. 'Baroness' is a title, not a name. Brinton is actually her name. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Brinton,_Baroness_Brinton. 'Lord' is a title. Marks is actually his name. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Marks,_Baron_Marks_of_Henley-on-Thames

And I really find it funny that someone who declines to use their real name is making a fuss about using 'real names'.

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Footie fracas: MYSTERY DRONE waves flag, incites Balkan brawl

James O'Shea
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Re: drones huh?

"Since the actual only common denominator in all these violent situations is the fact futbol is being played, perhaps it's time for "reasonable regulation" of fans, permits to attend games, and restrictions on high capacity stadiums?"

You ain't seen a cricket match between India and Pakistan, now have you? Or Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Or Pakistan and Bangladesh. see further http://www.mizozo.com/world/03/2009/02/sri-lankan-cricket-team-bus-attacked-in-pakistan.html and http://fwdshortleg.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/terrorism-cricket-and-pakistan/

No further comment at this time.

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ONE MILLION people already running Windows 10

James O'Shea
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Re: Figure doesnt mean 1 million users

I registered. I downloaded. I tried to install in a VM (Virtual Box). It wouldn't install. Three times. I must be Holding It Wrong. Sometime over the weekend I might/might not try again. Or I might repartition that 2TB disk I've got in one of the spare desktops and install there. Or I might just toss the ISO and the disc I burned from it out and ignore the whole thing.

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Apple's new 'iPad Air 2' sliced open, revealing (possible) A8X core

James O'Shea
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Errm... iOS 8 turned an iPad _Air_ into a 'stuttering and crashing mess'? I've got a 32GB Air and haven't noticed any stuttering or crashing. I haven't noticed much of anything wrong with it, actually. Well, other than the fact that wireless backups don't work anymore, but that's not stuttering or crashing, that's just a straight out glaring bug which should never have got past QA.

I suspect that 'tis not iOS 8, but rather the combination of iOS 8 and some other software she might have installed. Which would be another straight-out glaring bug which should never have got past QA. Apple's QA has been going downhill for a while now. iOS 8 appears to be particularly annoying in that respect.

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Revealed: Malware that forces weak ATMs to spit out 'ALL THE CASH'

James O'Shea
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"Obviously the most difficult part is getting physical access to the computer inside the ATM."

Not necessarily. Here in Deepest South Florida, Computer Crime Capital of the US, there is or was a nice simple scam going on:

1 one member of the gang goes to an ATM inside a connivence store or a pharmacy or some such; CVS pharmacies were apparently prime targets. He fiddles with the machine, then goes to the clerk and reports a problem with the ATM. The clerk says that there's nothing he can do, contact the bank which owns the ATM, usually Chase in a CVS. Gang member departs. One or more additional gang members might show up over the next day or two, and also report problems. They make sure to note who's on duty at particular shifts.

2 another gang member calls the store, using a phone rigged to display 'Chase Bank' or some such on its callerID. He identifies himself as being from Chase tech support, and says that they've got complaints about the ATM at the store. Can the clerk verify? When the clerk report that there have problems (he'd be one of those who was there when the previous gang members reported trouble, because the gang made sure of who was on duty when they called) the 'Chase' guy says that they're sending over a tech, naming the tech and giving an ID number. They ask the clerk to have the tech call in to a number they provide when the tech arrives.

3 another gang member shows up, with a Chase Support ID badge with the name and number mentioned on the phone. He asks to call in to the boss. The clerk lets him. The 'support' guy opens up the ATM and spends time fiddling inside. Because the gang has at least one member who actually used to be a Chase tech guy, they know what to do inside to drop their payload. They have complete and total physical access to the ATM right there in broad daylight in front of God and everyone and can do whatever they please. And do.

4 later on, some other members of the gang come around and milk the machine for whatever the traffic will bear.

Yes, it takes a bit of effort to set up, but once it has been set in motion, it is quick and easy money until someone at Chase notices that there's a problem. And as it's Chase, that usually takes a few days to a few weeks. Allegedly two gang members have been arrested holding onto a million and a half in 20s.

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Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

James O'Shea
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Re: Dangerous precedent

Son, it's Win OS X Yorkie...

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James O'Shea
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Re: Look out! Its the "Son of Clippy"

That's not Clippy. Clippy actually had some redeeming features. (I think.) That's Rover the dog from Microsoft Bob. People always forget Bob whenever lists of the Worst Thing Ever From Redmond come out. I remember Bob. I will never forget Bob. Bob is a major reason why I run Macs as my personal systems. Thank you, Microsoft, for Bob and making it quite, quite, QUITE clear that you lot were, one and all, complete idiots. (Although I must admit that not even Microsoft was silly enough to use Comic Sans in Bob, so even Bob has at least one redeeming feature.)

for further info on things Bob, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Bob

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Apple slaps a passcode lock on iOS 8 devices, but cops can still inhale your iCloud

James O'Shea
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Re: sigh

not here, not unless the cops really want to lose a very expensive 4th (and 5th) Amendment lawsuit. (Illegal search & seizure, that's 4th. Protection from self-incrimination, that's 5th.) No, I can't stop them violating the 4th by doing illegal sweeps and decrypting everything they find. I _can_ make 'em work for it, and, unlike in Blighty, they _can't_ force me to give up the passcode except in certain very limited circumstances, such as, oh, going through customs. And even then, what they can look for and how much time they can spend looking for it is limited. The cops (especially the customs and immigration cops) _can_ seize lots and lots of stuff, but then they have to figure out how to open it themselves. I do _not_ have to co-operate.

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James O'Shea
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sigh

I have an iPhone, a 5s. I will soon have a second one (probably a 5c). I keep my backups of my 5s (and my iPad) locally, and they're encrypted. And the volume they're on is encrypted with FileVault. Should some annoying cops send a warrant over to Apple, they can get my iTunes info; they will discover that, for example, I have every Queen album ever produced (yes, even that one...) and that the only complete U2 albums I have are 'Joshua Tree' and a certain 'gift'. I suspect that they will not care. They can find that I've bought a lot of Apple kit from the Apple Store (both online and physical), something which they could have discovered by checking my credit card info (and you _know_ that the bank's gonna give _that_ up so fast there'll be a sonic boom...) and they'll be able to get some location info as to where the phone's been (which they could have got from the telco, and _they'd_ give it up so fast that there'd be Cherenkov radiation involved). To get much of anything else they'd have to grab the phone (or iPad) itself or to access the drive I have the backups stored on. Both iOS devices are passcode protected with a 12-digit passcode; the drive is protected with an 18-digit passcode. (and no, the fingerprint thing is NOT turned on.) Yes, they can crack that if they really want to. They'll just have to put some effort into it. Which is as it should be.

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15 MEEELLION malware-infested mobiles worldwide – report

James O'Shea
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It's a cheap, low-end, no-name Chinese Android, a ZTE v768. You know, an example of the type of phone that Apple should make in order to rebuild its marketshare. Cost me US$50, and that was far too bloody much. Perhaps an expensive name-brand phone would be better, but I've cruised the various fora of several Android vendors (including, of course, Samsung) and have noted that a _lot_ of Android phones seem to freeze for no reason. Indeed, the very fact that there is a special way to unfreeze the things says quite a bit.

Basically, T-mobile support says (and numerous fora confirm) that when Android phones in general and my phone in particular run low on available RAM, they freeze. When they run low on space on their SSDs, they freeze. My phone is low on both RAM and storage, 'cause it's an older, cheaper, phone (it only runs Gingerbread and cannot be updated 'cause it doesn't have the RAM or storage, or, indeed, CPU, required) and unless I do things like clear files, down to logs, out of the storage and reboot the phone every ever so often, it'll freeze. It'll even tell me that it's going to freeze: I'll hear the little TM boing, and when I look at the phone it'll be rebooting spontaneously. Once it boots, I can't do anything with it. I can't get to the main screen. I can't send or receive calls. I can't do anything except pull the battery. Once I pull the battery and replace it, the phone works again. Until the next time.

I've seen reports of brand-new phones, such as S5s, doing the same thing. (See http://forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-s5/379912-s5-freezing-up.html, for example; note that that thread's been going on for _months_ and mentions numerous Samsung devices, all new, all doing the same thing) I really don't see any reason to pay a lot of money for a major brand Android and have the same problems again. I really don't.

Sorry if this offends the local fandroids, but that's how it is. The Android doesn't work properly. It just doesn't. The iPhone does. As a direct result of my bad experiences with the Android (and my checking around to see if I was alone; I wasn't) I won't be chancing another Android. It's that simple.

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James O'Shea
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I was, not too long ago, downvoted for mentioning that my Android device freezes repeatedly, and that this was not a problem with the particular device but was a design issue as I am currently on the third example and it still freezes repeatedly. Meanwhile my iPhone simply works. Which is why the Android will be replaced by an iPhone.

If the iPhone had exhibited the problems that the Android does, while the Android was as reliable as the iPhone, I'd be replacing the iPhone with an Android. However, the simple fact that I have found Android to be far less reliable than iPhone seems to get up some people's noses and choke them.

Note that I have never encountered malware or policy problems on my Android, no doubt because the damn thing can't continue to operate long enough for me to do anything which might get me in trouble. Yes, it freezes that fast and that often. The cure is to open the back and take out the battery and then put it back in, as it can't be turned off 'cause it's bloody frozen solid. It's a _good_ thing that the iPhone doesn't do this, as it doesn't have a removable battery. On the other hand... the iPhone doesn't freeze all the bloody time.

I _will_ have a replacement phone by the end of the month, and if it's not another iPhone it'll be a nice cheap flip-phone. It most definitely will NOT be an Android. Not unless one of the fandroids around here send me one for free... and maybe not even then. A free Android which gives this much trouble would cost too much in wasted time to be worth the bother.

Downvote away.

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Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC

James O'Shea
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Re: Dingo's kidneys

"deport said clueless politicos back to dear old Blighty in revenge for for certain - ahem - 'export policies' we had with regards to Australia in the past, and I can't say I'd blame them..."

Just deport 'em to Scotland when they arrive.

And spend some money rebuilding that wall thingie to ensure that they can't be sent back postage due.

<exit, stage left, to the sound of 'Cock o' the North'>

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James O'Shea
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Re: Sorry Tom

"if its unwritten how can that be enforceable?"

I'm pretty sure that he was being sarcastic. I know that I was.

Some of the commentards need to lighten up a little.

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