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* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

672 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

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Twelve million hit as Korea suffers ANOTHER massive data breach

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

So Korean ISPs ignoring years of complaints about their hosting of spammers, hackers, crime gangs, and fake KRNIC records is going along just fine without issue.

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New FBI boss says cyber crime, not terrorism, is top of Feds' todo list

Kevin McMurtrie
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Big Brother

Sharpened USB stick

So can we go back to metal detectors and a gentle pat-down of baggy clothes at the airport?

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'G-WIZ like' object doing 40,000 MPH CRASHES on the MOON

Kevin McMurtrie
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Childcatcher

You-screwed

Porn spammers have posted a lot of videos with the same title to YouTube. There are lots of NSFW recommendations at the end.

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Sony enlists Michael Jackson's GHOST to flog Xperia Z2

Kevin McMurtrie
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RIP Z

Being associated with the psychopaths at Sony Music will be the death of the phone, and there's no better way to start the slaughter than to have Michael Jackson promote it. They might as well give them away for free with Sony TVs.

It's a shame. The Z1 is a very nice phone once the shoveware is disabled and the plastic is pulled off the front glass.

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How many mobile apps collect data on users? Oh ... nearly all of them

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

And first on the list...

To get that report on which apps are collecting risky information, I need to give Appthority my name, e-mail, phone number, job title, employer, employer industry, number of employees, employer revenue, and employer location.

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Birds Eye releases 'mashtags' social spud snacks

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Today's menu

Meet C001D00D outside the 000FF1CE and head the the place where CAFEBABE with B16B00B5 works. FEEDFACE and drink 1CEDC0FE but don't get a D15EA5E from eating BAADF00D or DEADBEEF. Post a 5E11F1EE of yourself next to the 1CEB00DA to FACEB00C. Then get back to work, crank up the headphones to max DEC1BE11, and write BAADC0DE for AD0BEC57.

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Free space optics gets shiny new snake-oil paint job

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

Multi Colocation, Regional Datacenters, Webscale, ...

Doesn't "The Cloud" v1 solve these problems of regional latency? (Not "The Could" v2, which seems to mean only that you're not using your own server.)

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How NOT to evaluate hard disk reliability: Backblaze vs world+dog

Kevin McMurtrie
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Curse of the bad model

Should Seagate be penalized for a bad model of disks? After suffering through some bad models of disks myself, I say "YES!" A bad model happens to every manufacturer and they deserve some shame when it happens. The losses to downtime, swapping disks, restoring backups, and sending the drive in for a warranty replacement is huge. To make matters worse, the replacements are brand new drives with exactly the same problem. Any drive manufacturer wanting top reviews will need to test their hardware more and halt production sooner when there's a high failure rate. Otherwise, they'll have to suffer periods of "Never buy XXXXX" for a while like everybody else.

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Reports pump fuel into iCar gossip: Apple in 'talks' with Tesla

Kevin McMurtrie
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Disposable car

First, Apple has really sucked when it has come to partnerships with other big name brands. It's not their strong point and it usually ends up being a black hole for money. AT&T and Verizon may be the only big brand names to have their logo next to Apple's and come out winners. Telsa and Apple may have too much ego for each other. (Labels for hire like "Bose" don't count.)

Second, Apple doesn't release engineering specifications for obsolete hardware. What happens when your car is four years old and the console keeps crashing from a defective component? Would Apple release proprietary FPGA and ROM code so that a third party could provide maintenance? How about their customized ARM SOCs? I doubt it.

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Rotten to the core: Apple’s 10 greatest FAILS

Kevin McMurtrie
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"the TAM was ahead of its time"

The TAM was only ahead in looks. At heart it was a sluggish PPC 603e budget Mac with a blue-screen trick to overlay NTSC video onto the screen. The kinds of fanatics who'd pay top dollar for a fancy Mac also knew which architectures to avoid. Too many people also know that "Bose" symbolizes an idiot and his money parting.

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Apple pushes back release date for 'dustbin chic' Mac Pro

Kevin McMurtrie
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Who's waiting?

I don't know anyone who's trying to buy this confusing little cylinder of excess and deficiency. It sounds like a hardware problem is limiting yields.

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Netflix speed index shows further decline in Verizon quality

Kevin McMurtrie
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Sucking is in the contract

The one reason that I don't have Comcast is their contract. You need to buy "Comcast Business" to get unfiltered internet service. It's a 2+ year contract clearly stating that there is no minimum level of performance. They could saturate their network until it's 1.2 KB/sec and I'd still be paying that $150/month for at least two years.

I already made that mistake with Sprint cellular service. I won't do it again with Comcast.

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Mars Orbiter spots FRESH IMPACT CRATER

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

"the fresh crater appears blue in the enhanced colour of the image"

Translation: We clicked the "Auto White Balance" button.

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Verizon: Us throttling AWS and Netflix? Not likely

Kevin McMurtrie
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Holmes

"perhaps a peering dispute"

A peering dispute is how telcos were sneaking around net neutrality. They'd claim that competing service X was using too much bandwidth and must pay money for upgraded peering. Never mind that the traffic was requested by the telco's paying customers. Telcos, cable companies, and studios have merged into monsters that are very experienced in the game charging fees to everyone in sight. If only the infrastructure could get as much money as the lawyers and negotiators.

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FCC doubles school broadband fund with $2bn boost

Kevin McMurtrie
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Childcatcher

Once they graduate they'll have to chose from one of two internet service providers offering high rates, confusing and rapidly changing service bundles, modem rental fees, restricted uses, no privacy, route throttling, poor customer service, and an overall quality of service that makes graduates wonder if they should move overseas. They'll have withdrawal.

Hah, what I am thinking. The money will evaporate into corrupt teclos and contractors again.

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Duracell powers into cloud storage market

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

Low bat

Maybe the catch is that the drives don't come with an AC adaptor.

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El Reg BuzzFelch: 10 Electrical Connectors You CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!

Kevin McMurtrie
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Happy

Soldering iron

Makes everything fit and the cheap ones are orange.

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Want a touch-friendly solar-powered laptop? Apple just patented it

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Has anyone done the energy budget calculations?

60W outdoors, with luck. More like 0.1W indoors. I've tried several 22% efficient solar cells indoors and the power that you get from LED and CCFLs lamps can barely overcome the few micro-watts of internal leakage. They run at maybe 5% on direct sunlight coming through windows with energy efficient coatings. The amount of power collected by a laptop covered with solar cells indoors might not even overcome self-discharge of the battery and internal leakage in the solar cells.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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Transparent aluminum

Apple's sapphire investments could make this happen. The problem I see is sunbathing laptops getting stolen. Energy efficient lighting and window coatings produces indoor light without the broad spectrum of energy needed to get usable power from solar cells. The visible spectrum is a tiny sliver of what solar cells absorb. Charging would only work outdoors, though it would still look cool indoors.

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Sony on the ropes after Moody's downgrade to junk

Kevin McMurtrie
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Go to jail

The rootkit is not over. Maybe you missed later news that Sony helped pass laws in Japan to throw people in jail for downloading their music. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19767970 They tried the same in other countries too but couldn't get it to pass. Or maybe you missed all the times they've lost their customer databases to hackers from negligent security. Sony can't make consumer devices anymore because it would enrage their rabid anti-consumer studio division. They're now a sad, conservative, and conflicted company that builds mediocracy and abuses their customers. I would not bet on their survival as they exist now. Japan invests heavily in their own corporations so it might be possible for Sony to break up and thrive as independents. S. Korea definitely needs a strong competitor to free people from Samsung's "you can make it work by buying the next model" attitude.

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CEO Marissa Mayer puts on brave face as Yahoo! shows another loss

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

X-Spam-Detected: 98.138.233.79

I get about one spam a day that takes advantage of various Yahoo vulnerabilities. When I send a complaint to abuse@yahoo-inc.com, their mail server successfully recognizes Yahoo URLs as spam and refuses it. That is one of the hundreds of moments when Yahoo should have realized that their days of being functional are long gone and closed the doors, yet they continue like a rotting corpse turned zombie.

Oh wait, the animated logo totally fixes it all. Sorry for ranting.

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Apple declares war on PAYPAL: Pay-by-bonk + iTunes = profit, right?

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

iFail

Telling people they need iTunes integration to spend money is nothing but stupid. iTunes is a bloated dumping ground for features that were never properly integrated elsewhere. It hangs, it crashes, most of its UI stopped making sense years ago, and playing music has become a minor feature. It has grown into a clumsy secondary operating system for iPhones, Apple TV, music, movies, books, "the cloud", storefronts, contacts, parental controls, remote devices, etc., etc. Micropayment integration with the iTunes system will probably be the point where Apple's remaining customers say, "I give up. Bye." If history repeats itself again, Apple will be nearly dead before they stop being so stubborn.

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Cryptocurrencies now being pooped out by cartoon cat

Kevin McMurtrie
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Security by straightjacket

The Nyancoin crypto should be based on playing the Nyan Cat music at high volume into a room, quantizing the reverb and distortion with a microphone, and then seeding the encryption with those parameters. For this to be perfect, the encryption technique needs just enough mathematical flaws that Nyancoin miners will go absolutely insane attempting to model and reproduce them.

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Sweet work, fellas: Boffins build high-density battery powered by sugar

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Energy density

cm2 seems to be translated incorrectly from "cm" and a "-2" footnote marker. Of course, now it's missing two dimensions instead of one.

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Survey: Yoof too COOL for Ferraris, want state-sponsored hybrids

Kevin McMurtrie
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Hybrid bike

The obvious answer seems to be electric assist bicycles. They could be very geeky high tech, very efficient, good for the environment, and an excellent way to travel in areas with good weather. I've seen many attempts at making them but they're still burdened with obsolete tech that doesn't excite anyone enough to make the purchase. They need to lose the cheap heavy batteries, lose the bulky clamps and adaptors, they need variable regenerative braking, they need some vibration dampening, they need detachable storage, and they need theft protection. Public specifications would be a big help too so people can do their own hacks. Not only is that easy geek cred and comfort to buyers, but it's getting free R&D from the public.

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Java bug burns Borg

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

I think I see the problem

It could be that these vulnerabilities are CAUSED BY HAVING RMI ON A SECURITY SYSTEM. Seriously, why would you do that? That's like trying to create a safe and secure zone inside a forrest.

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Someone stole your phone? Now they'll have your STARBUCKS password – the horror!

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

There's a better way to do it wrong

Run the plain text password through a one-way hash, base64 encode it, store that as your login, and modify the servers to do the same.

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Boeing bent over for new probe as 787 batteries vent fluid, start to MELT

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Alternatives exist

NiMH is extremely difficult to simultaneously charge and use. Unless you have perfectly smooth and uninterrupted charging, the only sure indicator of the batteries being charged is that they get hot or vent hydrogen. The only sure indicator of them being low is that power stops coming out. The next best thing is integrating current flow and guessing the state of charge.

Lithium batteries can be simultaneously charged and used for buffering high loads, at least for some range of charge state. The odd thing is why they chose a fragile lithium cobalt oxide battery. LiFePO4 is more stable, durable, and the energy density isn't too bad.

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ZyXEL router attack: HUNDREDS of Brit biz bods knocked offline

Kevin McMurtrie
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Flame

Targeting?

What makes anyone think that this was a targeted attack? It sounds like normal Chinese traffic and the ZyXEL products are crashing from their lack of robustness.

I have a weekly task to add more of China to my firewall. They're a non-stop source of vulnerability scans and they make it a habit of providing fake network contact information. I have an American ISP with no throughput to spare for all of that garbage.

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FCC honcho: Shifting our crusty phone network to IP packets starts now

Kevin McMurtrie
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They said "IP packets," and then put down their gold monocles

The move to IP is needed but the telcos are doing as an opportunity to restore their monopoly power. The problem with using phone wires is that Bell competitors can offer inexpensive services over them. Getting rid of the wires puts the Bells back in complete monopolistic control over customers. The government could mandate net neutrality but I doubt that enough politicians can resist bribery from AT&T and Verizon.

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Pesky protesters FORCE GOOGLE STAFF INTO THE SEA

Kevin McMurtrie
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Windows

Wah

When I was house hunting a few years back, I would be trying to negotiate down a price on a house that had obvious undeclared structural damage. It would be major issues like beams of sunlight coming through the roof, a wall buckling from termites, or DIY remodeling gone horribly wrong. Young couples wearing Google T-shirts would then approach the owners and demand to buy on the spot for 15% over asking. One could be angry, or one could feel that the Googlers were getting what they deserved.

There's nothing left to protest if Google has started paying the city for bus stop maintenance. Stop whining and figure out how to take their money.

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Slurp away, NSA: Mass phone data collection IS legal, rules federal judge

Kevin McMurtrie
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Big Brother

Pervs supporting the NSA

Whenever I see a judge or politician make an irrational decision in support of the NSA, I figure that the NSA has photos and recordings of that person doing awful things that would enrage or horrify the public.

I hope the NSA never releases anything about their big buddy, DiFi. I don't want to know.

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Get lost, fanbois: Nokia pulls HERE Maps from Apple's App Store

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

The other phone

I can see how working with Apple is a non-stop pain in the ass. I'd never write an iPhone app unless it had extremely high margins to cover the hassle. My question is why doesn't Nokia sell an Android version? Google Maps is becoming so intrusive about realtime information gathering that it malfunctions on typical cell signals and it runs crippled without a login. The market for other Android map apps is young so even the paid apps are still awfully unrefined. Here's Nokia's chance to make a comeback with a product that they still have. (Don't blow it)

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.3: the Apple G4 Cube

Kevin McMurtrie
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Meh

Make it shiny

Apple does a great job of misinterpreting the requirements of professionals. Imagine construction workers asking for a better pickup truck: 350HP, tough brakes with traction control, and a very strong suspension. Apple would deliver those specifications in sports car made of glass. It would be a beautiful and powerful machine that's too expensive and totally unsuited for use. As the Mac Cube comes from an era of crippled bus speeds, Trash Can Mac has crippled expansion. Thunderbolt is fast but it's still slower and far more expensive than the internal expansion ports it's replacing.

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Samsung: Men, our Gear smartwatch will make you a hit with the sexy ladies

Kevin McMurtrie
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Unhappy

Just a momentary problem... I'll have the Samsung up in no time. I swear this never happens. Let me try it without the gloves... Yeah, yeah, yeah.... No! It just sits there limp and stupid. Maybe it's cold and needs to be warmed up. Rebooting... Hey, where are you going?

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Mozilla: Native code? No, it's JavaScript, only it's BLAZING FAST

Kevin McMurtrie
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Happy

This is cool. You can make Java and C++ run very fast by eliminating design patterns that are wasteful or difficult for the compiler to optimize. (Java's "Enterprise" coding style is the ultimate in slow, unreadable, bloated, crap.) That hasn't been the case with JavaScript. You can try very hard, but JavaScript still has ambiguous meanings in simple code that can't be statically optimized. Targeting Asm.js with a high power optimizer could open up a lot of possibilities.

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Relax, Obama! Former Microsoft exec tapped to save sick healthcare.gov

Kevin McMurtrie
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Windows

Good luck. Even a seasoned MS Exec may find the burden of government processes overwhelming. I bet right now he has a stack of papers on his desk that needs to be photocopied in triplicate then sent by mix of certified mail and fax to a dozen places, just to determine which office will be handling his future paperwork.

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Drobo tarts up storage boxen: Now they're APP SERVER platforms

Kevin McMurtrie
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Brand name

What the Drobo has going for it is the brand name and reputation. They've been very good about doing exactly what they claim their drives do without any fuss. The performance specs are accurate, they alert you to problems, compatibility is good, rebuilds are fast, drives don't rattle loose, and I haven't yet had a situation where one of them gets too confused to function. Unlike many other brands of NAS, I haven't lost any weekends to fixing them or upgrading them. That justifies their high cost for some uses.

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Look behind you, T-Mobile US: Sprint wants to GOBBLE you – allegedly

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

Just a small deposit to start the process

Sprint is dying because their network remains slow as dialup even after applying all the 4G buzzwords. Somehow upgrading went well for other telcos. It also doesn't help they sold a lot of Sprint-branded defective phones on contracts and told their customers that they're SOL. (Thanks for that defective Galaxy S2, Sprint)

I don't think the US Government would allow Sprint to kill the best candidate to challenge Verizon and AT&T. Despite this, I'm sure T-Mobile wouldn't mind starting the paperwork for a small, non-refundable, $4 billion deposit.

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China's answer to AIRPOCALYPSE: Fire up the supercomputer

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

The building is driven by 10 megawatts of solar power, of course.

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'Don't hate on me for my job!' Googlers caught up in SF rent protest ruckus

Kevin McMurtrie
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Public? Gimme! Gimme!

Though partially nonsense, the protest does bring up a good point about Google using public infrastructure for private use. The commuter busses, WiFi, TV whitespace, and Moffett Field are some examples. As much as I don't like excessive regulation, it's clear that these uses aren't scalable. Public WiFi is already clogged with commercial HotSpots (AT&T, Comcast, Google, etc.). Big tech companies borrowing public bus stops isn't going to work either.

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Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year

Kevin McMurtrie
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Electronic governor

Spring powered devices have been around for years and there's no mechanical governor wasting energy. A switching power supply is used with an inverted feedback loop. When there's too much output power, the switching power supply increases the output more. This burdens the spring/weight so that it slows down and produces less energy. When the output is low, it decreases the load and the spring/weight speeds up. Of course it's not very stable but one more layer of power conditioning is trivial when you're in the milliwatt range.

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I thought I was being DDOSed. Turns out I'm not that important...

Kevin McMurtrie
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Just another day

Expect many thousands of intrusion attempts a day for an address with a domain name. The worst bot armies are smart enough to evade adaptive firewalls by having hundreds of bots attempt only four or five attacks each per day.

Your best bet for a tiny server is to determine which networks have the most bots and hackers then block them. My small business router pretends that nobody's home when Taiwan, China, or S. Korea calls because they'd otherwise saturate my computer and bandwidth. Anything mentioning "yahoo" to my mail server gets rejected so there's no need for a trip to a Spamhaus to confirm that it's junk. I occasionally sift through what remains and send out abuse complaints when it gets bad. An invalid network abuse contact gets the network in the firewall.

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Apple snubs discounts, sprays Black Friday zombies with gift cards

Kevin McMurtrie
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Big Brother

Censorship

Where did the article go about Apple being listed in Spamhaus?

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Google, please DRILL through Great Firewall of China with your HTTPS LANCE

Kevin McMurtrie
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Big Brother

Money

Google will do whatever makes it the most money. That means no HTTPS for the Chinese. HTTPS is only turned on elsewhere because Google spends a lot of effort collecting your most personal data and they don't want to share it for free.

China will do whatever makes it the most money. That means jailing dissidents, stealing software, blocking foreign Internet services, and hosting as many hackers as they can cram into their IPv4 address space.

Good luck to GreatFire.

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Haitian snapper humbles photo giants AFP, Getty Images in $1.2m copyright victory

Kevin McMurtrie
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No jail time?

What ever happened to jail time for massive copyright theft with massive distribution? It's what the big guys have been asking for, and they should get it.

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FCC: How we'll RIP 'n' REPLACE OLD phone system for new IP tech

Kevin McMurtrie
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Money for nothing and your chicks for free

This is what the telcos have been trying to get done with the FCC as their bitch. The plan is definitely to rip old copper wires out but you'll find no mention of replacement. They'd rather force everyone onto cell towers, which is highly profitable because they're easily made into a scarce resource. Do nothing and make more money - it's the telco way. Check out Verizon's "Voice Link" solution to Hurricane Sandy victims.

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Salesforce boss Benioff foretells grim, unrelenting hyper-capitalist future

Kevin McMurtrie
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It's not in my world

I don't want satisfaction surveys, I don't want telemarketing, I don't want more bulk for the recycling bin, I don't want text messages coupons, I don't want e-mails of new product catalogs, and I don't want creepy product recommendations made by AI systems covertly analyzing my personal habits. I don't read billboards, I skip TV commercials, and the radio is turned off at the first advertisement. I do want a product that does what it claims to do, and does it well. I do want the product to come with a URL that leads to a well-designed web site showing me what other solutions are available for purchase. I do have money to spend.

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Who wants 10TB of FREE cloud storage? Hands down if China is a deal breaker?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Down

Here is price list you requested

All I've ever seen from Tencent is phishing-like spam for Chinese parts suppliers. It would be awfully hard to use may free 10TB when they're firewalled.

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Obamacare website 'either hacked or will be soon', warns infosec expert

Kevin McMurtrie
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Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--

Does SQL injection still count as an attack or is it like breaking into a room by turning the door's knob?

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