* Posts by Ants V

17 posts • joined 23 May 2012

File-NUKING Cryptolocker PC malware MENACES 'TENS of MILLIONS' in UK

Ants V

Re: Easily avoided

Exactly. I think most email servers are set up to reject emails containing executables from the outside - the only ones I have seen that users receive are executables inside a zip file.

I advised my customers to look at the file extension (which is displayed by default in Outlook) and if it says .exe or .zip at the end, don't click. If it looks legit, forward me it for advice. I even sent them screenshots of what a bad 'un would look like.

Users do stupid things, often believe they're too busy or don't understand or its our (IT's) problem to follow advice and good practice. But when the best practice doesn't take much effort to follow and its easy to communicate why the threat is such a big deal (in this case it translates to hard currency), the results are good.

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Bitcoin gets a $100 haircut on rollercoaster trading run

Ants V

Similarities with Ponzi, similarities with property, new stat-ups, tech...

There is one clear similarity with a Ponzi scheme. Mining for bitcoins gets harder as time goes on, to enforce scarcity. When it first kicked off, you wouldn't have to spend so much money on electricity and hardware to get a higher amount of bitcoin out.

Providing you didn't spend the bitcoins your assets earned you, you would now have a pretty penny as the value of the bitcoins has appreciated as demand has increased for the scarce currency.

So in that way, yes, early investors clearly benefit over new entrants and this can be similar to a Ponzi scheme which benefits those at the top of the tree. But everything is like this - if you invest early on in something that becomes successful/appreciates in value, you win - be it a house in a desirable area, Apple shares in the 90s, whatever.

So I don't think it's fair to call something like this a scam without applying it to all speculation.

FWIW a year or two ago when I looked into mining, it was patently obvious that it was not worth mining. Although the "difficulty" of mining had greatly increased, the value of the bitcoin hadn't sufficiently risen to match the resources required to break even. Maybe now that has changed. But what I was left thinking was that if scarcity doesn't match the rate of technological progress, there will always be distinct peaks and troughs with this currency, making it highly volatile. But I must admit, I didn't read that much further into it, but perhaps it's time for a re-appraisal.

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Prosecutor seeks sports-bodies guidance on troll-hunting rulebook

Ants V

Perhaps now that we're jailing people for saying stuff we find unsavoury we'll lay off other countries who jail people for saying things they find unsavoury (blasphemy, lese-majeste, etc).

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Incompatible IT systems blamed for bank sale collapse

Ants V

Oh dear. RBS haven't been able to sell a part of their business they didn't want to sell in the first place because of "IT problems"? Colour me surprised.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

Ants V

Different formats of phone should be encouraged

This phone is too big for some people - but it's great to see variety. People have different needs, after all, but mobile tech seems to be forever trying to squeeze consumers into one-size-fits-all solutions (the ubiquity of laptops with wide format, glossy, and lousy resolutions is a common years-old complaint with few alternatives).

Personally, an X One/S3/5s-sized phone with double the thickness to support an over-sized battery would be great for me - because personally battery life is something very important and I find it lacking in present gen smart phones. But it isn't made (excluding the cheap aftermarket "solutions" for the S3) because I suppose the market isn't thought to be big enough and the present products should be good enough for everyone's needs.

Which means I like the idea behind the Note, and welcome its second version. And if it has even more success maybe other manufacturers will go out on a limb and try different things.

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Guardian's Robin Hood plan: Steal from everyone to give to us

Ants V

Royal Mail letters volumes down year on year...

Maybe Royal Mail should benefit from a levy.

Bricks and mortar retail are surely overdue a boost also.

And surely, the real losers are the advertising agencies. As stated, online advertising revenues aren't worth nearly as much, so they are taking a massive hit.

So maybe a 100% levy on home and business broadband would do it.

I mean, as Charlie Brooker observed on Twitter, the newspaper industry has been keeping alive the town crier industry for decades. Seems reasonable.

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Key evidence in Assange case dissolves

Ants V

Re: aid@logic.org.uk

"If you are having sex and they fall asleep it doesnt mean you have to stop."

I probably would though, I'd be terribly disappointed.

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Ants V
Stop

Re: aid@logic.org.uk

"you have sex, you are sleeping in the same bed, future sex is assumed and must be explicitly countermanded."

It's not about being officious and taking a softly-softly approach. I'll spell out what the problem is here.

The women consented to sex with a condom. Assange thought it perfectly acceptable to slip in without a condom while she was unconscious. If she was conscious, and knew what he was doing, then fair game. Deciding to going bareback after a condom was used earlier in the evening is something I would certainly discuss with a partner beforehand, wouldn't you? Why didn't Assange? Why did he think a condom was a necessary part of their festivities earlier which can now be done away with?

Subsequently, yes, she granted consent. But giving consent for sex without a condom after the guy is already inside you is a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted with regards to protecting yourself from something nasty except pregnancy (and hell, even that is possible, with the leftovers from an earlier encounter unless the guy has dredged his sea monster).

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Ants V

Re: aid@logic.org.uk

Providing they are conscious, you mean?

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Ants V

Re: aid@logic.org.uk

"So she consented then. Both before by having sex with him in bed and after by letting him continue. How is there even a case here?"

Giving consent once does not issue a license for future fornication, willy nilly. Each liaison must be considered on its own merits, much like how each extradition case must be considered on its own merits.

Letting him continue doesn't help the no consent argument, granted. But your reasoning that previous consent in any way grants consent for future jubilation is wrong.

And in this case the main complaint was that Assange refused to be tested afterwards, anyway.

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UK.gov blacklists Fujitsu from future contracts - report

Ants V

@PassiveSmoking

Guildford Four?

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Mars rover will.i.am 'cast: A depressing day for space and technology

Ants V

Re: In this article...

@Platelet - Yeah, I know.

But, and I'm guessing here, people who have no awareness of science often just can't fathom how amazing achievements in all sorts of areas are, just because they feel they have no hope of understanding the basics and are bombarded with "breakthroughs" all the time.

I think it's why the area of a supertanker is often described in terms of "number of football pitches" rather than m^2.

Or why many people really can't wrap their head around the loss of life when some unfortunate disaster/incident strikes - simply because they can't imagine thousands of individual people.

If there were some sort of vague survey comparing if the average punter on the street was more impressed by the fact some guys landed on the moon almost 50 years ago or the latest basic voice recognition tat they were just shown on a smart phone for the first time, I don't think I'd like to see the results.

Which is why pointless stunts like this for certain - and quite likely large sections of the population - may well be a good thing. It's a bit more real; much more simple in comparison to the real deal, but easy to wrap your head around.

I like this clip from the comedian Lois CK observing the average person's ability to take for granted how awesome technology is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpUNA2nutbk <-- Likely not safe for work - not sure, since I haven't previewed it. But there are likely naughty words.

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Ants V

In this article...

... Lewis Page grumbles that a publicity stunt designed to generate more interest in the mission from children is not serious enough. How dare such important work be complimented with frivolity.

It immediately reminded me of an experience of 19th century-born Russian-American writer/trouble-maker Emma Goldman detailed in her autobiography:

At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha, a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade, he whispered to me that it did not behoove an agitator to dance. Certainly not with such reckless abandon, anyway. It was undignified for one who was on the way to become a force in the anarchist movement. My frivolity would only hurt the Cause.

From what I've read of his writing, I wouldn't realistically expect Lewis to be amongst the "most untiring and gayest" at the dance, but even so, let others have their fun, no?

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British Minister likens Anonymous to fascists and racists

Ants V

FFS

If nothing else, this whole "Assange offered to be interviewed in London" thing pisses me off the most.

Oh, that's alright. Let's just allow the person being accused of a serious offence dictate how the investigation is conducted, hell even 'Women Against Rape' fell for that one - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/women-against-rape-julian-assange

"I'm terribly sorry officer, but I can't reasonably help you with your enquiries right now as I'm off to work. Perhaps you can nip round to my home this evening? I'll put the kettle on and you can ask me all about this armed robbery. Ta-ta for now!".

Bollocks.

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Steve Jobs was top of the flops, says Apple's Tim Cook

Ants V

"It's not the voice recognition, it's the understanding, it's the AI."

All well and good if you don't mind putting on an American accent every time you want to use the feature.

I know (and understand) that pandering to those with regional accents is a secondary concern compared to getting it working for the bulk of the market, but they could do a hell of a lot better with the voice recognition.

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Google warns against ISPs hard on web filth

Ants V

Re: TalkTalk's Heaney

@Tom 13: products to filter content on computers have been available and widely advertised by their vendors since before most people in the UK had probably heard of the internet, and easy-to-use parental controls have come bundled with many of the off-the-shelf "Internet Security" products such as Norton, McAfee, F-Secure for as long as I can care to remember, which if you aren't terribly computer literate you should have installed anyway.

@Ralph, I appreciate your point about collective responsibility, and I agree that there is certainly some - especially in meatspace, but also online. But parents taking an active interest in what their kids are doing on-line is the best source of defence against unpleasantness. I actually think that many parents (especially non-techie ones) may pay less attention to what their kids are doing with either network or client-level filtering, which would be dangerous.

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Ants V

TalkTalk's Heaney

Quote: He countered against Hughes' concerns about censorship by saying that it "seemed odd that people are advocating not protecting children".

It seems odd to me that people are advocating that "protecting" children from "filth" is the responsibility of someone other than their parents.

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