* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

803 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

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OnePlus 2: The smartie that's trying to outsmart Google's Android

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: can I add SD card?

Hardware buddy Oppo makes the high-end version with the high-end price. On those, one slot of the dual SIM tray may hold a microSD card.

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Kevin McMurtrie
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Service pack

As much as I distrust Microsoft, having them help fund Cyanogen is probably the best way to wrestle OS control away from carriers that have no intention of updating phones. Cyanogenmod is lacking stability and usability in many ways, but at least it's always making progress.

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John McAfee: Ashley Madison hack may ‘destabilise society’

Kevin McMurtrie
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That's a hack too

Yes, that social engineering is still a hack. There should not be any kind of password sharing - EVER. Secure systems exclusively use personal authentication and privileges. That makes "never give your password to anyone" rules easy to follow. It funnels the creation of new authentication and privileges through people or teams that know how to go about it securely.

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

Kevin McMurtrie
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Law not a problem

So how do you take down drones? Ram them over with an aircraft so heavily loaded that it's barely airborne? No. Firing a shotgun over a evacuees and teams of firefighters? No. Jamming radios? No. Maybe starch fiber grenades to tangle small propellers?

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Google robo-car in rear-end smash – but cack-handed human blamed

Kevin McMurtrie
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Holmes

Irony

The company making self-driving cars happens to employ the largest pool of people who don't know how, and don't care how, to drive. It's amazing that swarms of motorcycle cops don't hang out there. I don't know if Google and LinkedIn make "donations" to the police, but 50 traffic violations per minute per intersection sounds like a lot of money.

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Neil Young yanks music from streaming services: 'Worst audio in history'

Kevin McMurtrie
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Old ears

I admit that I have a few MP3s from Amazon with squeals and a few AACs from iTunes with fuzziness, but saying that's worse than 8-track, AM, FM, or cassette is ludicrous.

8-track : Like telephone hold music but in stereo, a complex tape path designed to add fluttering effects, and CLICK-THUMP right in the middle of a song.

Cassette : Full frequency response range if your head azimuth exactly matches the recording head azimuth, choice of bad SNR (Dolby off) or bad fluttering (Dolby on), and increasing fluttering with age.

FM : Pretty good frequency response, massive dynamic range compression, dynamic range limiting to keep receiver IF and DEMUX PLLs working, amplitude pumping, and dropouts.

AM : WTF

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Content delivery network CloudFlare's court order count soars

Kevin McMurtrie
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Holmes

Re: Nice to see....

Andrew's article is more correct. CloudFlare states that they won't take down sites until a court order demands it. My personal experience with them backs that up. That makes them a popular edge cache and anonymizer for online criminals. As others do, I occasionally post lists of CloudFlare's criminal customers to their Facebook page. CloudFlare was creepy enough to e-mail my wife multiple times, telling her that I should stop posting.

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Epic Games, Epic Fail: Forumers' info blown into dust by hack

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Sigh

Security is straightforward and no more complex than the system it's on. Lots of web pages say how to do it.

The hard part is justifying the time for it. The simple setup of a good firewall and strong LAN passwords is an impenetrable barrier only until somebody opens a well crafted e-mail on their workstation.

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Apple's chip'n'firmware security demands behind HomeKit delays

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Worst Case Scenario, Really?

Somebody wasting their time hacking my WiFi and LAN all day would not be so bad. I'd probably notice it and power everything off before it finished. iCloud integration possibly enables silently hacking millions of devices at once and then selling access to anyone on demand. Just search the Internet for "icloud hacked" if you're not worried yet. At the very least, iCloud seems easy to knock offline.

I don't recommend anyone enter my house using a brick. The dog won't like it.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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Stop

Apple's landfill chip

This all sounded good until the iCloud part. That's an unacceptable instability, unacceptable risk of leaked personal information, unacceptable planned obsolescence, and unacceptable single point of attack for all HomeKit devices. The irony is that entirely depending on iCloud makes them exactly the opposite of cloud devices. This is classic client-server pairing with a proprietary protocol. There will come a day when Apple says your HomeKit devices are no longer supported - maybe before the warranties are up.

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Google says its AI will jetwash all traces of malodorous spam from your box

Kevin McMurtrie
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Flame

GOOD NEWS from jdavid000@she.com

How about all the 419 scammers, phishers, and counterfeit product spammers using Google for some kind of hosting? Microsoft has done an excellent job of kicking them off their network and Yahoo is mostly dead so that leaves Google as the easily exploitable online service with no functional abuse contact.

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Facebook casts a hex with self-referential IPv6

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Why isn't theregister available over IPv6?

CloudFlare is self-proclaimed bulletproof service provider. That really puts a dent in connectivity and reliability rankings.

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How a Cali court ruling could force a complete rethink of search results

Kevin McMurtrie
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Have you got anything without spam?

Amazon and Netflix not only offer alternative products to a search that returned no results, but return related searches that also produce only alternative products. Search for "WaffleWidget" and it returns results for "SpamWidget" plus a recommendation to search for "WaffleWidget Deluxe." Right, the deluxe one is it. Of course the search for "WaffleWidget Deluxe" returns results for "SpamWidget Spam Spam Deux" plus a similarly futile suggestion to search for "WaffleWidget 2016." I can definitely see companies getting just as irritated as customers about the brand mixing.

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'I am so TIRED of your bullsh*t...' Sprint boss flips lid at T-Mobile US CEO

Kevin McMurtrie
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Nobody is forcing anyone to use T-Mobile. There's no contract.

Hey, Sprint. You owe me $2000 for that two year contract where you sold me a defective Galaxy S2, put me on a "4G" WiMax band that didn't work, and then said there was nothing you could do about the phone crashing or the 4G being somewhere between zero and 16 Kbps. I'll start believing you when the check arrives in the mail.

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This box beams cafes' Wi-Fi over 4kms so you can surf in obscurity

Kevin McMurtrie
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HD on!

If you're in the heart of Silicon Valley, this might be your key freeing yourself from Comcast "up to" speeds and AT&T "don't care" speeds. Maybe it's fast enough to stream a movie.

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Apple gets around to fixing those 77 security holes in OS X Yosemite

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: for Mac Pro owners

I could say "Apple should support their computers longer" but that's not the real issue. Those 10.6 Macs are really old. It's that MacOS gets progressively slower with each release and the hardware hasn't made any great leaps in performance. It makes a 3000+ USD hardware upgrade difficult to justify.

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Google takes latest self-driving buggies to the streets

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: 25 MPH?

It's 50% under the posted speed during 9-to-5 commutes and 25% over otherwise. Along the border of those two states is lots of honking, swerving, finger waving, and bumping.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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25 MPH?

Urban expressways like shown are 35 to 50 MPH. I'm guessing that photo is a 35 MPH zone of San Antonio Rd passing over Central Expressway and Caltrain. Only a handful of downtown and residential streets are 25 MPH or less. Urban expressways forbid parking during business hours so that bicycle commuters traveling at 15 to 22 MPH rarely need to mix with traffic. I don't think a 25 MPH car is going to make many friends.

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Subaru Outback Lineartronic: The thinking person’s 4x4

Kevin McMurtrie
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Terminator

Stereo optical control?

Just how smart is this system? Can simple 3D tricks like lenticular prints fool it into slamming on the brakes?

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Yahoo! displaces Ask in Oracle's Java update crapware parade

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Who the hell uses Java nowadays?

Java is still used heavily for server software, software development tools, and mobile apps. It's an excellent language when used properly.

I suspect that Yahoo is targeting the 4 or 5 people who install the the browser Applet plugin because some porn malware asked them to. Bundling this junk with the bare runtime or JDK tools would hasten the death of Oracle too.

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Google to take another shot at a free Wi-Fi business

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

Been there

I never witnessed any city-scale free WiFi working, including Google's free WiFi in their hometown of Mountain View. You can't throw a bunch of repeaters on lamp posts and call it done. Too many laptops are infected with malware that will saturate the network. While Google loves calling out 0day exploits in other products, they're deaf to reports of their own products being abused.

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This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

Kevin McMurtrie
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TO-92!!!!

I can think of no nightmare worse than hand-wiring 14000 of the TO-92 transistors pictured. They wiggle around unless you bend the leads, and bending the leads causes solder bridges. After all that, you'll find that one is in backwards and the slightly bent leads have anchored it down with such incredible strength that molten solder spatters everywhere when you pull it out.

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Denon delivers low-cost DTS:X AV kit. Finally Dolby Atmos gets some competition

Kevin McMurtrie
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Eh?

Much like supercars, people who can afford these are often too old to fully enjoy their performance. Even if the amp doesn't cost too much, buying a quality speaker set breaks the bank.

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Graphene sheaths could boost processor signal speeds by 30 per cent

Kevin McMurtrie
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Cell phones

You can buy adhesive "Pyrolytic Graphite" sheets for large sums of money. It's a flexible, lightweight, graphene-like material that conducts heat incredibly well. Cellphones sometimes have a strip of it down the back so the CPU and GPU chips don't burn your hand. Ultra-compact switching power supplies use it to cool components that are spaced closer together than normally possible.

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INTERNET of BOOBS: Scorching French lass reveals networked bikini

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

Zooming in closer, closer, closer

Is that Pascal?

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United Airlines accounts open to mass lock-outs

Kevin McMurtrie
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Nothing new

Lots of banks have this stupid issue too. Enter e-mail address and bad password about 5 times and your victim is locked out.

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China's hackers stole files on 4 MEELLION US govt staff? Bu shi, says China

Kevin McMurtrie
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Devil

Pleading ignorance

CHINANET hasn't had a working abuse contact in something like 16 years, so of course China would know nothing of the non-stop attacks coming from that government network.

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Private cloud is NOT dead – and for one good reason: Control of data

Kevin McMurtrie
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Sick because of connectivity

Everyone who needs to be online in a significant way should have their own private cloud. It's cheaper for baseline loads and easier to maintain. The big downside is trying to get fiber optic links in the US. There's no public infrastructure so you're hiring a telco to dig a trench through the streets just for you. Want a new telco? That's another trench. Maybe you can get point-to-point wireless if you're the tallest building.

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What an eyeful: Apple's cut price 27in iMac with Retina Display

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Good idea

Fortunately, my washing machine has never refused to wash new clothes without an upgrade. There are definitely people who like tinkering with their appliances. If you're on a budget or like retro styling, and like to tinker, upgrading aging AV equipment is for you.

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Google puts Android on a diet, names it after the first thing it sees under the sink ... yes, Brillo

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Single point of disaster

I see "cloud" in there and stop reading. There are so many reasons to never connect a home and personal devices to one big corporate owned "cloud."

One good hacker and one good bug can cause widespread physical damage - fires, floods, appliance damage, burglary assistance, stalking, etc.

It's a single point of failure when the corporation has a problem.

It's a single point of obsolescence when the corporation decides that you're not worth bug fixes anymore.

Finally, it's really about collecting personal information and using it to manipulate how you spend money.

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Bluetooth privacy is mostly ignored, so you're beaming yourself to the world

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

But fun

Bored in the passenger seat during bad traffic? Set your phone's Bluetooth machine name to something ominous and start firing off pairing requests to anything in range.

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Web tracking puts lead in your saddlebags, finds Mozilla study

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

Don't blame the ads. It's because you're not using SPDY or HTTP 2 that has been optimized for extremely, um, detailed cookies.

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HP: you know we said we were done with cost cutting...

Kevin McMurtrie
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Number one HP product going strong

Abandoned buildings, that is. The campus they built for Palm is quite nice. Hopefully the next ones are not in Silicon Valley - there are way too many empty office buildings here.

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Singapore to trial 10Gbps home broadband

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: and still slow

The NSA helped kick-start a revolution where the rest of the world will stop caring about US Internet. Cheap access to 10Gbps means that the next big online service could be invented by pretty much anybody. The Internet can become more distributed, like it should be.

US home Internet is pretty much for checking mail and surfing the web. Some lucky people can even use it to watch a movie. Innovate with it? No.

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Apple announces 'Home' iOS 9 app to run the Internet of Stuff

Kevin McMurtrie
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Money money money

This is about collecting marketing data, sending you marketing, and collecting a monthly subscription. I don't buy the argument about appliances calling in their own repairs. Come on, how many appliance makers even honour their warranty without taking them to court? It's not about integrating your home life. We're decades away from homes structures being built to accommodate fancy electronics. It's not for cars either, as neither car makers nor Apple are interested in supporting electronics for as long as a car lasts.

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Robocalling Americans? That'll cost you $1.7 MEEELLION

Kevin McMurtrie
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There's the problem - this is revenue for phone companies, scammers, and the FTC. They perpetuate a system where these calls are completely untraceable. That $50000 from the FTC was a feel-good prize wasted on Nomorobo rather than real solutions., like a two-way call handshake to validate Caller-ID. My telco/ISP added Nomorobo and I didn't even notice because scammers were already spoofing random local numbers.

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Turkey president: Nuts to 4G networks, we're cutting straight to 5G

Kevin McMurtrie
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We have the roadmap

I remember all the US telcos saying over a decade ago they'd skip consumer copper upgrades and go straight to fiber optics. Well, half of that plan was implemented flawlessly.

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Back to the Future: the internet of things as imagined in 1985

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Saw hole, stuff in IoT, fill gaps with silicone

I'd like to see big names come out with standards for modular and easily replaceable devices. Putting Cat6 in a house means drilling holes and crawling in spaces so tight that it's best to bring a small shovel or axe. Why do houses still not have conduits for easily snaking new low voltage wiring? How about getting the IoT into your car? Or maybe upgrade that Bose to something that doesn't sound like an old AM radio tabletop? That requires sawing, hammering, some complicated fiberglass work, electronic signal adaptors, rewiring, and not minding that there will be inoperative digital gadgets everywhere. What happened to CAN bus standards, line audio level standards, and DIN size units?

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NSA spying is illegal? Then let's make it law, say Republicans

Kevin McMurtrie
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"we cannot stop this determined enemy from launching attacks"

No kidding. The courts finally rule that the spying is illegal and Congress regroups to attack their citizens again.

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Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Down

Re: Problem is simple: You cannot sell pre-made custom solutions

Simper than that. Most of these devices are absolute garbage and nobody wants to be locked in with a $2000+ contract with them. Johnson is partnering with Comcast. Enough said.

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Apple MacBook 2015: Twelve inches of slim and shiny fanboi joy

Kevin McMurtrie
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Sleek laptop in a bulky bag

The problem with these laptops is that they stop being sleek and portable the moment you realize that they need a pile of accessory gadgets to go with them. If you're taking it to meetings you need an HDMI adaptor and power cable. If you're taking to a hotel you need power and an Ethernet adaptor. A road trip might need a USB-C adaptor, 12 inverter, and a cell modem. Eventually you realize that a bigger laptop would actually be more portable.

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Macroviruses are BACK and are the future of malware, says Microsoft

Kevin McMurtrie
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Windows

Looks like the problem stays well contained within the Microsoft ecosystem.

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FBI alert: Get these motherf'king hackers off this motherf'king plane

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

- Witness aircraft commands traveling to passenger seat

- Don't interfere with flight

- Land safely

- Joke about poor security

- Get arrested?

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NASA guy to White House: Be really careful with that HTTPS stuff

Kevin McMurtrie
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No middle road to stop the man in the middle

What the Internet really needs is widely supported digital signature standards. Most content is not private - you just don't want anyone altering the content during transport. A really, really simple way to do this for HTTP 1.1 content would be to add a digest field to chunked encoding headers. You'd get backwards compatibility, streaming support, and an insignificant protocol overhead.

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FCC hit with SEVENTH net neutrality lawsuit

Kevin McMurtrie
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Arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and a violation of federal law

Sounds like the service from a telco.

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Sysadmins, patch now: HTTP 'pings of death' are spewing across web to kill Windows servers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

How is this suddenly a vulnerability? I tried implementing the Range header on my home server and got nothing but crap from the Internet. Since both numbers are not unusual, file length and the maximum value of a signed 64 bit integer, it's amazing that IIS servers weren't crashing 20 times a day from it.

Lost in the noise?

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Googley TENTACLES reach towards YOUR email

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Opt Out?

But you didn't opt-out of the new data sharing options created each month afterwards.

[X] Share my data with premium partnerships

[X] Subscribe to new Features magazine

[X] Share my story with other customers

[X] Something something rabid marketing something something

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Purple strain? Purple gain: WD doubles cam count for spy drives

Kevin McMurtrie
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I used to like WD, but recently it seems like they continue to sell drives even while they are known to have severe issues. It shows up clearly in online reviews when sorting by date. When people report that the power saving parameters are corrupted in a way that damages the drive, STOP SELLING THEM. When people report that a Red drive causes data loss on RAID systems in the compatibility list, STOP SELLING THEM. Rebuilding a RAID with new drives, having them fail, shipping them back, buying new ones, and rebuilding the RAID again costs more time than I'm willing to gamble.

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Strange radio telescope signals came from microwave ovens

Kevin McMurtrie
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Should probably fix that

Good ovens turn off the magnetron when the door latch is released, which is one step before the door can open. That burst of leakage might not hurt humans but 2.4 GHz WiFi, Bluetooth, and cell phone radios don't last long with that going on nearby.

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Cisco and Level 3 team up to squash brute force server hijackers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Too many bad networks for a Cisco product

This is for everybody owning a Cisco small business firewall that only supports 50 rules.

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