* Posts by Suricou Raven

1282 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Page:

Uni student cuffed for 'hacking professor's PC to change his grades'

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: It might not have been War Games...

My preferred explanation is that they let him go for reasons of cover-up. A trial, prosecution and imprisonment would have meant risking the world finding out how close they came to WW3, and the embarrassment of national security being compromised by a teenager. So they let him go, with the warning that if the government ever catches him trying to pull a stunt like that again he won't get a trial, he'll just join the list of unsolved murder cases.

2
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Idiot.

Changing a grade from a B to an A, or a C to a B, might go unnoticed. Might. It's a big risk, because there's a good chance the professor will look at it and recall that isn't the grade he gave, and it won't match up with paper records. That's even if they don't have electronic audit.

But F to an A? You're going to get caught.

6
0

If we can't fix this printer tonight, the bank's core app will stop working

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

There's an old hack.

Don't know if it's work on something from the mainframe days, but the old Centronics parallel ports could be tricked by poking a wire in the right holes so that the source's 'ready' is fed straight back into 'acknowledge.' The source sees a printer attached, and keeps on sending. The data is lost, of course, but it's handy if you just want to test some program that produces printer output without wasting paper.

2
0

TRUMP: ICANN'T EVEN! America won't hand over internet control to Russia on my watch

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: I honestly don't know who'd be worse

I am confident that Hillary will not be responsible for instigating nuclear war.

I cannot say that about Trump.

13
2

AT&T tries broadband over power lines again

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

This looks familiar.

This is Tesla tech. Signal transmission using a conductive solid waveguide, and the signal propagating through the surrounding space coupled to a surface wave. Tesla developed that, though using a different shape antenna (A horn, with the wire passing through the middle).

It doesn't look entirely practical. You'd have to fit the rather expensive equipment to the top of every single pole along the path, and a fault with even one of those devices would render all of the downstream network inaccessible.

1
0

HP Inc's rinky-dink ink stink: Unofficial cartridges, official refills spurned by printer DRM

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: @ Dr. Sytax

Gillette are usually (if only half-correctly) credited with inventing the business model. They patented an easy-swap razor blade. Sold the handle and a first blade, but because only they could manufacture new blades their customers were then locked into them as a supplier of consumables that had a substantial profit margin.

It's a common myth that Gillette sold the handle at a very low price, or even at a loss, but that part isn't true. There were fears about devaluing the brand. Their real genius was in advertising 'no honing' razors, which spared the user the time-consuming and fiddly process of resharpening the blades - while also greatly increasing the number of blades they would need. In the modern printer world, this is like fitting a printer with mechanisms to prevent refilling the cartridge.

Gillette didn't sell handles at cost, but some of their competitors did the moment their patent expired in an attempt to lure Gillette customers away. Why buy a pricy pack of Gillette blades when Ever-Ready are selling a new handle and some blades at a lower cost?

4
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

The surest sign of scumminess.

Why the time delay?

I can only think of one reason: They knew it would be resisted. If they just released a firmware update then it would hit sites like the Register and Slashdot within a day, and administrators all over the world would hasten to disable automatic firmware update.

But then some executive with HP (Who I like to imagine in a top hat, cape, and very wide moustache) realises the solution: Time delay! By the time anyone realises that the new firmware is not in their best interests, it'll be too late - every printer will have it!

8
0

EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Don't blame Pirates.

If it hadn't been copyright, it would have been child abuse. If it hadn't been that, it would have been terrorism.

5
1
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Meh

A small business is not capable of managing identity verification for transient customers affordably. The usual solution is to just contract the role to a company that specialises in running public hotpots and can do just that.

7
1

VW Dieselgate engineer sings like a canary: Entire design team was in on it – not just a few bad apples, allegedly

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: They couldn't —but they did

It's a balance.

Fast.

Clean.

Efficient.

Pick any two.

They have it run fast+efficient on the road, and clean+efficient in the test room. By greatly reducing power output.

9
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: If the government had better tests...

Or the cheats might just have to be more creative. Perhaps give the firmware a list of known government testing facilities and have it go slow-and-eco when the GPS picks it up as near one.

8
1

Google-funded group mad that US Copyright Office hasn't abolished copyright yet

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: "Individual property rights"

The UK extended the copyright term for music recently. From fifty years to seventy. Got to make sure the Beatles keep making new music somehow.

1
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Lack of respect for a law.

People have no respect for copyright law any more. Or a lot of other laws too, but let's focus on copyright. Why is this the case, and what can be done to fix it?

Firstly, people won't respect any law that they see being violated with great frequency and little risk of enforcement action. But copyright is practically impossible to enforce online - this has been the case ever since the introduction and immediate explosive growth of Napster.

Secondly, people won't respect a law that they see as being crafted to benefit a particular group that they are not a part of. That's not how copyright was intended, or how it used to be, but as copyright terms grow so respect for the law lessens. It is hard to believe that copyright law exists to give creators an economic incentive to create and the chance to make a living from doing so when the copyright term is seventy years after the creator is dead. While it's true that every person is technically able to benefit from copyright protection, few actually have need to do so.

There are some ways to fix this, but they are legally difficult. The first one isn't a policy issue, it's a cultural issue. Culture carves its own course, subject only to a little direction via forceful nudges by those trying to steer it. There's no hope of effective copyright enforcement on an individual level, but there are other routes. Apple, Amazon and Netflix have gone some way towards this by providing a means of legally getting access to desired content that is every bit as convenient as piracy yet also easily affordable. In the end though, I think it just has to be accepted that casual copyright infringement is and will remain rampant.

You could try education campaigns, but these have a poor history. Such things as Don't Copy That Floppy, Knock-Off Nigel and You-wouldn't-steal-a-car have provided rich fuel for satire, but they haven't actually achieved their objective at all. People are stupid, but they are not complete idiots - they can recognise blatant attempts to manipulate them.

The second part is easier though: Shorten the copyright term. A lot. If you did that then you might see fewer people decrying copyright as corporate welfare. This is unlikely to happen though - it would require international negotiations, while being fought by some of the world's most skilled and well-funded lobbyists. You might also consider looking to the French model, rather than American, which puts more focus on the non-commercial rights of individual creators (Attribution is very important) rather than viewing copyright as purely a source of profit and economic incentive. Very few people are going to make a significant amount of money off of works they have created personally, but anyone who has doodled a crude sketch and uploaded it to DeviantArt will be able to take pride in their creation.

0
0

Petulant Facebook claims it can't tell the difference between child abuse and war photography

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Money isn't the problem - it's network effect. A social network is useless if none of your friends are on it, and they are in the same position. Look at how Google Plus turned out: It has the backing of one of the biggest giants in technology, is also free, yet remains a fraction of the size and influence of Facebook.

1
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Why is this surprising?

We all know what's happened here.

Someone ticked report. That resulted in the image getting shown before one of Facebook's content inspectors - probably someone fresh out of school in Bangladesh where wages are low, who has a very simple task: Take these photos, and this list. Tick the appropriate boxes.

They look at the list. Somewhere on the list is an entry that says 'images of children with genitalia exposed.' Yep, the image fits, tick the box. Job done. Facebook doesn't want their inspectors making subjective judgements, because that would result in inconsistency.

Then there is a bit of upset about the 'censorship' - enough to get noticed by someone higher up Facebook's chain of command, who spots what's happened and ticks the 'special dispensation' override box as well. Problem solved. At least for this image.

You're going to see this sort of thing in any large organisation. Consistent behaviour demands clear procedures, and these clear procedures cannot handle every situation - the best they can do is allow for escalation to someone who is authorised to deviate from the procedure.

3
0

Intel's makeshift Kaby Lake Cores hope to lure punters from tired PCs

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Thunderbolt & USB

It's very desirable if you seek to get your hands on the encryption keys for that DRM.

6
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: DRM is evil

The expiration of copyright is barely applicable - very few things produced in your lifetime will be public domain before your death. The only way it can happen is if an author dies while you are young, and you get to see the copyright expire seventy years later.

1
1

Mozilla breathes petition-of-fire at EU copyright laws

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Mickey Mouse Protection Act

If you believe the account of the bible, they are inspired by God. As the copyright term fit an individually authored work in most countries starts ticking down upon the death of the author, that means they would be still under copyright.

However, the books themselves include explicit permission to reproduce and share freely. There's a very strongly-worded clause near the very end of Revelation forbidding alteration though.

0
0

Quake-hit Italy: Open up Wi-Fi

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: That's daft

They just lost some funding: One of their offices just kicked out a volunteer who wandered in and just say around praying publically, so now a 'wah, wah, persecution' story is running in the right-wing American media and a boycott movement is forming.

0
0

Watch the world's biggest 'flying bum' go arse over tit in a crash

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Bah!

The main aim of this design is to solve that problem. It's not a purely helium-lift - it has ducted fans too. Without those it's actually just a little heavier than air. The fans can respond very quickly in order to maintain attitude.

That's the idea, anyway. Looks like they still need to work a few bugs out.

0
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Almost impossible to create?

Helium production by that means would be ridiculously expensive. Helium currently produced is a byproduct of natural gas production - over geological time enough has accumulated from captured alpha particles that it can be (just barely) profitable to purify and ship it.

1
0

A USB stick as a file server? We've done it!

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Idea.

Could it, with a bit of firmware hacking, be adapted as a piratebox?

1
0

Google 'Solitaire' ... Just do it

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

TTT.

Tic-tac-toe is a solved game: It's easy to create a computer program that will win or draw, every time, no exceptions.

If you have any chance of beating the program, it's because the programmer lets you win.

4
0

Tesla touts battery that turns a Model S into 'third fastest ever' car

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: @AC Tesla's progress is amazing

Handy rule on solar: It doesn't matter what size panel you are buying, once you get beyond the toy-phone-charger scale they all cost about the same. Currently, approximately £1/watt of capacity.

50W panel? £50.

100W panel? £100.

You get the idea.

If you want to actually see this output you need an MPPT controller, a rather expensive device that is only used on large setups, so add £100 for that. You only get about 80% of the output power without one, but on small-scale solar it's cheaper to just add a bit more panel area than it would be to add an MPPT unit.

0
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: I'll wait until...

No reason Clarkson can't use a knock-off character, so long as it's different enough to satisfy the lawyers.

0
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Batteries have a maximum current rating too - usually 'a lot.' Exceeding this rating will cause internal damage.

This is why a car battery and a UPS battery are not interchangable, even though both are 12V lead-acids. The car battery is designed for lots-o-amps to run the starter motor, but would be killed by prolonged discharge. The UPS battery can handle discharge, but would likely catch fire if you tried to run the starter motor off of it, if it worked at all. Li-ion have a similar issue, though in their case the chemical problem is more due to heat buildup and electrolyte breakdown - which still translates into 'battery go boom' if you overload it.

0
0

Breaker, breaker: LTE is coming to America's CB radio frequencies

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Bubba Band is no more?

Right now, Cooter isn't costing anyone important a lot of money.

If Cooter is causing a telecoms company to lose millions in revenue by knocking out service, you can be sure enforcement will become more of a priority.

But there seems to be some confusion if this is in conflict with CB at all - CB frequencies are far, far too low for high-speed data. Someone might have misinterpreted 'Citizen's Broadband' or mixed up CB and Amateur radio.

6
1

Sex ban IT man loses appeal – but judge labels order 'unpoliceable'

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: While I agree

Political accountability. If he can convince the public in general that he is the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice then that creates the possibility for political intervention - perhaps even an investigation into the police department or the judge to determine if their actions were appropriate.

It's risky though, because the accusations against him are of a sexual nature. The public really loves a good sex scandal - their first reaction is always to hate on the dirty pervert, even before they have assessed the full facts of the situation.

2
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: 24 hours notice?

Probably so they can contact the partner and scare them away with stories of how the man will rape and murder them.

2
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: They might be painful to remember they exist

Have you seen the new RoboCop remake though?

It's not *bad*, but... it's just not RoboCop.

1
0

UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Giving the police

This is one reason police departments go bad so easily. Sooner or later, police are going to come across someone who they are personally quite sure is guilty (they may even be right) but can't convict for one reason or another. This leads to police offers who got into the profession for the cause of justice, and now see justice going unfulfilled. The temptation to correct this is immediate, which leads to them either going on a fishing expedition (Everyone is guilty of something if you look hard enough!) or abusing the legal process to ensure the perceived-guilty is punished.

7
0

The curious case of a wearables cynic and his enduring fat bastardry

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Two words

Eat food.

Mostly plants.

Not too much.

0
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Fat chance

BMI is a poor measure, but it's beloved of scientists and policymakers because it's really easy to measure. When you are doing studies on a sample of a thousand people or more, all of which need measuring multiple times, that's a very important gain. It's just not practical to get them hooked up to the room full of expansive instruments for an hour-long physical.

1
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Fat chance

The Ancient Traditions of Tailoring dictate that women's clothing must have small pockets, or no pockets at all. I do not know why this is, but I suspect it might be related to the other strange social convention that says women are allowed to carry handbags, while a man carrying a bag of similar size would draw his sexuality into question.

1
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Do you even lift?

That sounds a lot like snacking.

0
0

Samsung is now shipping a 15TB whopper of an SSD. Farewell, spinning rust

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Can PCIe PCMe handle 48 drives in an enclosure connected by one cable, though?

(Really, I'm asking. I have no idea.)

0
0

Your 'intimate personal massager' – cough – is spying on you

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Maybe I'm being naive (again!)

Unfortunately the word for this has already been invented: Teledildonics. I'm not making that one up.

11
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

It's not hard to get data to back this up: https://www.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=porn

Top states searching for 'porn' are Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Kentucky. Not exactly known for their liberal social views.

0
1

Privacy warriors drag GCHQ into Euro human rights court over blanket spying, hacking

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Get lost

It's the same court that ruled that prisoners have voting rights. Ten years ago. We've ignored them entirely, even after they reached the same ruling on three more cases. They have no enforcement powers - if the UK governments decides to simply pretend they don't exist, there's nothing stopping them.

4
0

US military's fake chips battle

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

I see where this is going.

The military will be obliged to set up elaborate tracking systems whereby components are monitored from factory to end use, with checking of the packaging at multiple points and a chain of custody maintained by elaborate paperwork signed in triplicate. It's the only way to be sure that none of the parts were switched for fakes, or fakes inserted to pad-out an undersized order.

And then, in a few years, some congressman is going to ask why the military has to spend $250 to buy a component he can find online for ten bucks.

9
0

Give .gay to the gays, roars exiting ombudsman

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: www.trump.so.very.gay

There's a good point to new top domains:

1. You have to pay ICANN an absurd amount of money for them to even consider making a new TLD, regardless of if they eventually approve it.

2. If they do approve it, you have to pay ICANN an obscene amount of money plus renewal fees to get it.

It's a money-spinning scheme. ICANN brings in a heap of cash, and whichever registrar manages to afford the domain then tries to make it back by selling subdomains.

1
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

This is a terrible idea.

It'll let Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar, Egypt et al very easily block the entire domain. A lot simpler than having to constantly identify new pro-gay-rights sites on .com.

6
1

The return of (drone) robot wars: Beware of low-flying freezers

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Can't wait...

Those aren't water heaters. Those are heat exchangers, or heat stores. The heater is a separate component.

0
0

What's long, hard and full of seamen? The USS Harvey Milk

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

He has become a very polarising figure. Those in the political left in the US have idolised him to the point of inventing a martyr, while those on the right have invented conspiracy theories in which he committed all manner of awful sex crimes which went unreported due to a cover-up operation by the state government and the media.

2
2

Starbucks bans XXX Wi-Fi

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Pointless.

Just had to return to the comments to mock this quote:

"Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, called filtering public Wi-Fi a “necessity” in a statement commending McDonald’s new policy.

“Pornography is linked to decreased brain matter, compulsive use disorders, and sexual aggression. In light of the technical capabilities, it has become socially irresponsible for any corporation, public library, or public school to leave its Wi-Fi unfiltered,” she said."

The NCSE was formerly known as Morality in Media. They rebranded.

0
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Depends on context

"I'd have an entirely different view on a hotel carrying out this type of filtering however."

Many hotels make money off PPV porn. Internet filtering might be a way to preserve what's left of that profit stream. It's so dismal now though that some of the biggest chains have announced to great fanfare that they are no longer offering PPV porn services out of respect for marriage, family, and apple pie.

0
0

Nintendo to investors: Pokémon Go won't make money come

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

There was a small scandal about the My Little Pony game doing that - completing the game without paying was possible, but required more grinding than any sane player would ever be prepared to do, and as the game was mostly played by children this resulted in more than a few upset parents discovering an unexpected bill. Hasbro had to reduce prices in order to avoid bad publicity.

3
0

Star Trek Beyond: An unwatchable steaming pile of tribble dung

Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Nahh, the old Star Trek was for nerds...

There have been many, many, many pokemon movies.

Which can only mean one thing, I think.

BIG BUDGET REBOOT TIME!

6
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

Re: Nahh, the old Star Trek was for nerds...

No. If anyone in Star Trek is to be seen making a load of profit by selling overpriced tat to gullible fools, then his name shall be Mudd.

10
0
Suricou Raven
Silver badge

I, Robot did have many good moments - but they served mostly to illustrate all the ways in which the rest of the movie was so poor.

There was one good twist revelation at the end, but overall I think the writers were too unwilling to take risks and deviate from the tried-and-tested cliches. Killer robots and computers bent on world domination are tried-and-tested plot elements that usually get a good audience reaction. But they are so overdone all you really get is a very generic action movie.

It's made all the worse for having read the book - which was focused on subverting those very cliches. The final chapter is set as a dinner conversation, as a board of engineers discover that the robots are conspiring to overthrow human government. Then they take a look at what human government has achieved, realise that the robots are obliged by their design to act always in the best interests of those governed and incapable of doing otherwise, and decide to just keep quiet about the matter and let the robots win.

20
1

Page:

Forums