* Posts by Androgynous Cupboard

300 posts • joined 7 Mar 2012

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High on bath salts, alleged Norse god attempts tree love

Androgynous Cupboard
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Re: WHY, exactly, did these deceased people refuse to listen to an authority figure?

> I am not blaming the deceased, nor the cops. I'm blaming society.

I'm blaming the cop. Society didn't look at the guy running way, realised he posed no threat, decided to ignore his training and shoot him in the back anyway.

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WikiLeaks reveals searchable trove of Sony Pictures documents

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Hmm

Am I the only one slightly uncomfortable about this?

Governments answer to the people and so (most) leaks there are justifiable I think, and much of the other stuff on Wikileaks (the UBS Caymans stuff a while back) was from whistleblowers who believed there was something illegal going on.

But much as I dislike many of Sony's practices, this isn't from a whistleblower or evidence they've done something illegal - it's just a generic shitload of stolen data with no purpose behind it. The "all transparency is good" argument clearly doesn't fly otherwise they'd have no problem publishing stolen health records. So what's the justification for this one?

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

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Re: Raise your hand...

Ironically Windows boxes weren't vulnerable to the ping of death, but they could send one. I ran the site on it.

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National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society

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Re: Pebble Bed Reactors (was White Pylon)

I understood that there were still a bunch of issues with the pebble bed design that came to light in the german AVR reactor, and that it's not quite the panacea that it's been made out to be...

Only source I can find is this slashdot comment.

Edit: found a few more authorititive links:

http://www.neimagazine.com/features/featurepbr-safety-revisited/

http://www.fz-juelich.de/portal/EN/AboutUs/self-conception/responsibility/avr/avr-expertengruppe/report-avr-expert-group_summary.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

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Aluminum bendy battery is boffins' answer to EXPLODING Li-ion menace

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Re: Aluminium? @cray74

Nice work!

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Popular crypto app uses single-byte XOR and nowt else, hacker says

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Re: It’s XOR I feel sorry for

XOR is also wonderful for compression - just XOR a file with itself before compression, the results are rather impressive.

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Idiot thieves walk free after stolen iPad uploads pics of them with loot

Androgynous Cupboard
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Re: Strike 1 of three?

Jesus Chris, it's 25 fucking years. Yes, he was in the wrong, yes he's a repeat offender and in no way does this warrant him spending a quarter of your life inside - even discounting the personal tragedy (he was 27, not too old to turn his life around), the benefit to society from locking him up is vastly, vastly outweighed by the cost of his incarceration.

The word you want is "proportionality" and it's kind of important in my opinion (ingrained in European Law, it became a key aspect of the UK Human Rights Act, which is why I don't get the Daily Mail hatred for the legislation). It's the same concept that means you don't just shoot trespassers, vagrants and... oh, wait, I forget my audience. You're probably American aren't you? Sorry, carry on as you were.

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To defend offshore finance bods looting developing countries of their tax cash

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Re: Must be like Quantum Mechanics

I'm sorry, but in my naive world - where a company pays it's workers in the country they're employed and pays it's corporation tax in the country where the value is obtained - then I can't see how company pulling minerals out of the ground is going to underinvest because of corporation tax.

If there is a pile of unobtanium in the Congo and Company X wants it then they will pay to extract it, and if that cost includes corporation tax then they will pay that too. If it becomes available elsewhere and cheaper to extract, they will shift production. I think we'd agree on that at least, and if corporation tax was undodgeable then this would be a good system.

However in our world where profits can be shifted about, now suddenly your argument holds water - Company X can move production to Country B because in Country B they can fuck over the government more effectively and not pay any tax. The race to the bottom is won, and the worker is shafted. Your defence of this only works because your argument is circular.

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'Bar Mitzvah attack' should see off ancient and crocked RC4 algo

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Very interesting

I know and like RC4 and while I was aware of the weak-keying issue, that can be mitigated when choosing the initialization vector (or if using the algorithm as a proper stream cipher, rather than a block cipher as it was in WEP).

The "L shaped pattern" described in the PDF is a new one on me, even though it was apparently described in the same paper 13 years ago. Not sure it's a home run however, it still relies on a (larger) class of weak key, and (if I've read that paper right) the best case is those are only 1 in 2^16 of sessions. So an individual RC4 encryption is likely still fine, it's only when there are millions of them that one becomes statistically likely to fail. The odds of that one having a password, credit card or whatever are still low.

So I'm not going to panic just yet.

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VMware sued, accused of ripping off Linux kernel source code

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Re: Case..

"You only need to provide the code to the part of your system that uses the GPL code."

I appreciate the need for semantic accuracy on this topic, but my use of "entire codebase" here was intended to mean "the entire codebase (of everything that is linked to the GPL code)". I'm aware of the subtleties, but they're better covered elsewhere in depth. My back-of-envelope description is accurate enough, and certainly more accurate than Streaky's take on it, which is what I was getting at.

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Androgynous Cupboard
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Re: Case..

As somebody who regularly licenses stuff under BSD and GPLv2 from my perspective it's fairly nonsense.

Hey Streaky, you might want to re-read the GPL, or you could well be the next one in court.

To sum up, if you include GPL source code in your work then your entire codebase becomes subject to the GPL, which means you have to make the source code available. So if they did copy something, no source from vmWare = GPL violation.

There can't be an IT company on the planet that isn't aware of this by now, we're always being asked to warrant we're GPL-clean to our customers.

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Quantum computers have failed. So now for the science

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Re: is it just me?

Just as well, or you'd need to have a quiet word with Lewis.

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Shove off, ugly folk, says site for people who love themselves

Androgynous Cupboard
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Re: How about a dating website called

My favourite is still going strong I see: http://richorbeautiful.com. I, of course, am accepted there on both counts.

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Would you trust 'spyproof' mobes made in Putin's Russia?

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Re: Neil Barnes Switching off phones does not disable built-in GPS functionality

A GPS does not "wake itself or stay continually on in the background" - the "fast GPS lock" you're describing is called "hot start" and is a result of the GPS not having to download the almanac (of satellite location) when powered up, which takes several minutes.

A battery backup on the GPS isn't used to wake the GPS, it's simply to keep the almanac in memory. That's why the draw when in this standby mode is in the nanoamps. I don't have first hand knowledge of the GPS chip inside smartphones, but I'd be surprised if they didn't work this way simply because there's no need for them to - Apple will be buying commodity GPS chips, and this is how they're usually(*) designed.

There's an easy way to check - turn off your phone, take a plane flight to the other side of the world and turn it on. If it gets a GPS lock within a few seconds, it's been surreptitiously powering itself up to track its location. If it takes a few minutes, as I expect it will, then the GPS has found its almanac no longer applies and has downloaded a new one.

However, Matt, you/re right that the GPS is not a power hungry device, again it's a few tens of milliamps normally.

(*) putting my neck out here, but I've yet to see one that isn't.

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Androgynous Cupboard
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Re: Switching off phones does not disable built-in GPS functionality

Seconded, this sentence makes no sense to me. Turning the phone off most certainly disables it.

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Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

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Re: They're not TVs anymore.

Ah, but on what proportion of your media content does the DLNA support actually work as advertised?

I've been burned too many times to even investigate the various add-ons in consumer electronics devices from Sony, Samsung and whatever - having to browse 1000 films alphabetically, 8.3 filenames, disks formatted in FAT16, MP3 support meaning "plays MP3 files from root directory of CD only" - the list goes on. Give me a screen or an amplifier with digital in, I'll supply the content thank you.

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Vint Cerf: Everything we do will be ERASED! You can't even find last 2 times I said this

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That's what PDF/A is designed for

If it's digital you're going to need hardware and software to decode it of course but once you get past that "bootstrap" problem PDF/A is designed to be completely self-contained.

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REVEALED: TEN MEEELLION pinched passwords and usernames

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Re: "the dump stepped on the edge of ethical practise"

Garbage. I'm obliged to him and off to download it to see which, if any, of mine are there.

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Swedish National Font marches to the sound of whalesong

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Re: They can re-badge themselves all they want, but....

Yes, damn you Sweden, you bastion of neo-republicanism and unilateral military action you!

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Breaking news: BBC FINALLY spots millions of mugshots on cop database

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Re: Some Things

Nice to have someone with a bit more of an inside knowledge on this comment, cheers. Interesting that the facial recognition can only be run on the local database.

There were a whole lot of facts conflated in that interview but the key one for me is that innocent people's mugshots are being kept at all. I'm not worried about facial recognition or national databases of faces so long as it's only convicted criminals on there.

I note Mr Plod - busily defending his following the letter of the law, if not the spirit - when asked directly about "how many people on that database have not been convicted of a crime" was unable to say, despite that fact that this was arguably the key point that the interview revolved around.

We've got your assertion that it's a "very small number", well I'd like to know what that number is myself. Perhaps you could run SELECT COUNT(*) FROM IMAGE OUTER JOIN PERSON WHERE IMAGE.PERSON=PERSON.ID AND PERSON.PORRIDGE IS NULL when you get a minute and let us know the result?

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Bluetooth-enabled miracle washing orbs? Are you kidding?

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Re: Crystals

Basically you told the plant what you wanted it to do.

I tried that, it didn't work. Last time I hire an intern.

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Microsoft takes lid off .Net Common Language Runtime sauce

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Re: Copying Java 15 years too late

You're conflating Java the language and Java that thing wot runs applets. Applets are dead, they've been dead so long they smell funny. The only thing that surprises me about this is that some people haven't noticed.

There are bugs in Java, I've filed a half dozen reports over the last five years or so, but they're largely all edge cases.

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Crackdown on eBay sellers 'failing to display' VAT numbers

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The funny thing is if you're aiding and abetting software piracy in the UK, the government will go after you with a stick. However if you're aiding and abetting VAT fraud, like eBay and Amazon do, you get - what, not even a slap on the wrist?

There are a bunch of decent ways for this to be prevented, some listed in this very comments section and all requiring these sellers to take the cost. I don't have a problem with that myself. Government, break out thy stick.

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Why Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi 2? Upton: 'I drank the Kool-Aid'

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Re: Security???

A quick search shows that you are wrong. Most of them were Linux OS compromises. See www.zone-h.org/news/id/4737

That's a four-year-old article. Got any recent truthiness to cite?

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Turbocharged quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 unleashed, global geekgasm likely

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Yes, they've certainly struck a chord or two, it might even form a whole new segment. But I'm going off on a tangent here. l'll sin off.

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Androgynous Cupboard
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Re: *Really* Open Source now ?

I've said it before with the Beaglebone - nothing wrong with the hardware, it's superb and still better than the Pi2 in some respects. However the OS is, or at least was, appalling. The Pi foundation claim they have "the most stable single board computer in the world" and I would certainly agree with that.

So it's not TI that need to respond, it's the beagleboard team, and they just don't have the same resources (including goodwill) that the Pi foundation have acquired to achieve this.

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Wham, bam... premium rate scam: Grindr users hit with fun-killing charges

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Re: Are we talking about a parallel universe I'd like to live in?

There's an old story from years ago: adverts appear in porn magazines for a catalogue catering for all sorts of acquired tastes. Cheques are posted, but publication slips and apology letters sent. A month later the same. Finally an apology is sent "we're sorry, due to events beyond our control" etc. and a refund cheque issued: in the form of a giant pink cheque with "Felchers guide to Sexual Deviancy" (along those lines - I'll be damned if I'm googling for it) written in large letters on the top. Unsurprisingly not many of these were cashed.

My point is, this sort of scam has form.

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Canonical goes all Internet of Stuff with Ubuntu for DRONES

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600MB RAM and 4GB disk?

Not exactly slim is is?

I regularlly roll VMs with less than that using regular Ubuntu, so I'm not sure I see what the fuss is about.

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Buggy? Angry? LET IT ALL OUT says Linus Torvalds

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Re: No need to be a dick.

Who do you want building your kernel? Someone who eats, breathes and sleeps it and will trample over anyone and anything to do so, or someone that's aware of the "wider picture", the business case for delayed releases, the internal policitcs of large organisations?

There is room in this world for single-minded, borderline autistic obsessives - I want them building my kernels, my braking systems and my parachutes.

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What will happen to the oil price? Look to the PC for clues

Androgynous Cupboard
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Re: I'm more interested in the geopolitics of it

Water, we have - last I looked we were storing most of it on the surface of Somerset :-) But we now import 80% of our coal, not ideal as it's still the largest single component of our electricity generation.

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Preserve the concinnity of English, caterwauls American university

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Re: Sesquipedalian Bollocks.

You had me at bloviating.

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Snowden leaks lack context says security studies professor

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Re: Cable tapping is easy

Alright, fair cop on the cable-tapping - that Atlantic article was a good one.

And the AC above who has first hand knowledge of this - wowzers. Shame about that NDA - how long was your "holiday"? Our governments can be very generous with their accommodation when it suits them...

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Androgynous Cupboard
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Disagree

There's definitely something to this.

Snowden was a system administrator, not a spook - he walked away with a huge number of files but almost certainly doesn't have the knowledge to put any of them into context. Imagine pulling random files off your work DMS and trying to put them into context, it's an impossibly task in most businesses, and it's going to cover plans that were shelved, revised, or just plan wrong, like it would in any business.

Second, some of the claims are ludicrous. Tapping fibre at the bottom of the sea? With robots or in scuba gear, through an armoured cable, and all without being noticed? And they didn't fuck up once and get caught? Nope, I don't think so. It seems odd that we apply a healthy (and necessary) dose of skepticism to everything that comes out of the government except these leaks.

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Elite: Dangerous 'billionaire' gamers are being 'antisocial', moan players

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Re: Just like real life then?

Good, I'll hire one to kill an errant apostrophe.

I wonder if he'll eat, shoot and leave?

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Islamic script kiddies aim killer blow - at Bristol bus timetable website

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Vowels (generally) aren't explicitly written in arabic, so you get mohammed/mahmud, osama/usama, all of which are valid transliterations. And, because I suspect I have to spell it out for you, "Muslim" is an arabic word.

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Brit iPad sellers feel the pain of VAT-free imports

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Re: Amazon are a pain

eBay are just as bad, and worse they don't indicate which sellers are VAT registered. If you're buying for a business it makes a big difference, but frankly it's a crapshoot as to whether you get a VAT receipt or not.

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Sony Pictures hack is Hollywood's 'Snowden moment' say infosec bods

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Re: Alternative hypothesis

No two factor auth, for sysadmins, on a Fortune 100? Wow. This one was always coming, it was just a matter of time.

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Dr. Dobb's Journal sails into the sunset - yet again

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DDJ was a gem

I remember reading it as a kid in the 80s, including Verity Stob of course - and well done to El Reg for offering him/her an outlet for his/her fevered ramblings. Even ordered my Dad a CD with 20 years of back-issues a few years ago, flicking through that was like a trip down memory lane.

It's a shame it's going, the content was always good even if the delivery method was always archaic.

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'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

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Re: What? Have these people learned nothing?

Where are the Geothermal power stations? They're in the same place as all the geothermal activity of course - New Zealand and Iceland for starters.

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QEMU, FFMPEG guru unleashes JPEG-slaying graphics compressor

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JPEG2000

JPEG2000 supports just about everything. It's f***ing nightmare of options - from memory there are about 16 different types of ColorSpace, although only about 8 in baseline. It's patented up the wazoo too. To make matters worse, the only public Java implementation (which has been repackaged several times) is the single worst piece of Java code I have ever had the misfortune to wade into. Some of the many reasons it didn't take off.

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USB Forum submits itself to electrical probing

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100W ?!?!?

Er, how? Not at 5V I hope, or we're going to have cables the size of our fingers to deal with...

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Which country has 2nd largest social welfare system in the world?

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Re: Sorta

"It's not really the billing" - no, it's that the goal of health-care in the US is to turn a profit first, and cure the sick second. This means more unnecessary procedures, more expensive procedures, more prescriptions over therapy, and of course more insurance to cover the litigation when this massive industry collides with the other US profit-centre, the legal system.

(Aside - anyone remember who said there were no poor in the US, just temporarily disadvantaged millionaires - that's why they keep voting republican?)

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How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

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Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

Ha. Last time I flew in west Africa the woman next to me had a microwave oven on her lap. Times really have changed...

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E-cigarettes fingered as source of NASTY VIRUS

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Re: Let's sum it up

I would be gobsmacked if the cigarette firms pushing these e-Cigs hadn't engineered them to be as addictive as possible. That's the point of them, isn't it? It's not like they don't have form here.

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systemd row ends with Debian getting forked

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Re: What is systemd

Please cite one "essential part of the system" that systemd has "steamrollered into their monster

Really? There's quite a long list. Or do you not thing logging, DHCP, network interface management, automount etc. are essential system services?

Of course, if they're not then the bigger question is what they doing in PID 1...

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Androgynous Cupboard
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Re: What is systemd

> It is the manner of the systemd project which is bad, not systemd itself.

Exactly. Where's the spec? What are the project goals? In fact, what are the project limits?

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Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart

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Re: colour me cynical - lead in petrol

Wrong on most counts.

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Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...

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Nothing on C&C

The reports don't mention anything about command & control, which is annoying - the Symantec one says that the compromised machine can initiate contact with the attacker so presumably they've seen evidence of this, but doesn't mention how or where this is done. An IP address? An IRC channel? I'm still frustrated by the lack of detail here.

(edit - found it elsewhere: http://blogs.cisco.com/security/talos/regin-campaign. Four IP addresses listed, one in Taiwan, two in India and one in Belgium)

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El Reg reanimates Cash'n'Carrion merchandising tentacle

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Re: "Must be regional since DPD are the best couriers IMHO"

So long as we all agree that CityLink are troupe of inebriated, juggling clowns masquerading as couriers I'm happy.

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