* Posts by ma1010

84 posts • joined 30 Nov 2012

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BOFH: An architect and his own entirely avoidable downfall

ma1010
Trollface

There are some things man was not meant to know

Things like how the Halon system got hooked up to the ventilation system for the boardroom. And how this happened, by some amazing "storm of the century" coincidence, at the same, exact time all the doors in the boardroom were jammed shut. Right after that unfortunate decision to replace the windows with unbreakable polycarbonate. And just when the building telephone's system went out-of-order.

While we all deeply feel the pain of the loss of our leadership, we will somehow find the inner strength to carry on the firm's business. In our individual offices.

17
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What Ashley Madison did and did NOT delete if you paid $19 – and why it may cost it $5m+

ma1010
Holmes

They have a point

"Defendants were aware or should have been aware of the need to secure users' information, especially in light of the recent rise of massive security breaches on the Internet and the fact that the information contained on its servers is particularly sensitive."

Kind of hard to argue with that, IMHO.

29
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Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

ma1010
Happy

I remember Windows 95, too

The music video was Edie Brickell and New Bohemians singing Good Times. I remember it, too, and the folks gathering around to watch it on my new PC - I was the first one with Windows 95 in the office then. Yes, Windows 95 was a major improvement in computing experience, especially for normal (non-geek) people, and that's why Microsoft got so rich. In the Linux world, Mint is focusing on this same sort of thing, and having pretty good success at it.

Want success? Take something that people need to do (such as use PCs) that was complicated for most people and make it easy. MS need to think about that.

4
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Spotify now officially even worse than the NSA

ma1010
Mushroom

Bin It

This is obviously ridiculous, and everyone should dump Spotify right away. It's "vote with your wallet" time. Hopefully enough people will dump it that their bottom line will be affected. I've always been leery of them.

I love to listen to music a lot, as well, but I use Rok Mobile which, although it has its own problems, doesn't seem to be as intrusive.

2
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Yet another Android app security bug: This time 'everything is affected'

ma1010
Thumb Up

Re: how about...

Cap'n Queeg, you beat me to it. Have an upvote.

1
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BOFH: Why, I LOVE work courses. Please tell me more, o wise one!

ma1010
Mushroom

Brings back memories

I favour the way-way-back-in-the-rear strategy, where accurate artillery shelling and friendly fire are just descriptions of the same thing.

Reminds me of a manager I worked for once. Perfect description.

Thanks for the memory, Simon! Now that it is a memory and not a current reality, I can laugh.

4
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Two weeks of Windows 10: Just how is Microsoft doing?

ma1010
Windows

A longtime Windows user..

...after using Windows since the days of Windows 386 and reading lots of articles about MS and Windows X, I decided to go with the clean install option. Using Linux Mint.

13
1

Want Edward Snowden pardoned? You're in the minority, say pollsters

ma1010
Boffin

What if they had had polls in 1776?

I sort of suspect the numbers against the rebels in 1776 would have looked similar to today's numbers against Snowden. Most folks would likely have been opposed to "those so-called patriots" who wanted to rebel against their rightful king and against those troublemakers in "that self-styled Continental Congress."

However, at times issues aren't settled by voting with one's mouth or pen. In some situations, people vote with their actions, possibly even putting their lives on the line. There were a lot of loyalists in America back then, but most of them didn't feel strongly enough to fight for their beliefs, whereas enough of the rebels felt strongly enough to go "all in" for what they believed and brought about the American Revolution. Snowden certainly went "all in" for what he believed and, as a result, has become most likely a permanent exile. It can be costly to make a stand, and most of us just don't have what it takes (I include myself in this number).

I'm morally sure that the seriously dedicated rebels who founded this country were a minority of the total population of America. Most folks probably just wanted all the commotion to end and things to get back to normal. They probably wished those rebels would just stop all their trouble-making. But Americans have a lot to thank those troublemakers for. I think we have a lot to thank Snowden for and should respect him. Yes, he's a lawbreaker. So were all the leaders of the American Revolution.

37
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FAIL: Windows 10 bulk patch produces INFINITE CRASH LOOP

ma1010
FAIL

How to kill a brand

Last night I installed Linux Mint on my PC. Once I get it configured nicely, Virtualbox comes next for a few "Windows Only" programs, where I'll put my legal copy of Windows 7, which will have NO Internet access.

Sorry, MS, your unnecessary snooping and forced updates have finally run me off of Windows, which I've used since the days of Windows 386.

17
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Boffins: The universe is DOOMED and there's nothing to be done

ma1010
WTF?

ASIMOV?

What's all this about Asimov? The story referenced is "The Nine Billion Names of God" by Arthur C. Clarke.

http://downlode.org/Etext/nine_billion_names_of_god.html

1
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Windows 10 is FORCING ITSELF onto domain happy Windows 7 PCs

ma1010
Linux

Time to work on that exit strategy

Like many others on El Reg forums, I've been planning to switch to Linux and run Windows 7 in Virtualbox for those few "must have" Windows programs. But I was planning to take my time - after all Windows 7 is good for a few more years. Now it looks like I'll need to move faster on this to protect my Windows 7 install from the Windows 10 DOWNgrade.

9
1

Virtually no one is using Apple Music even though it is utterly free

ma1010
Thumb Up

ROK Works

Here in the US I use Rok Mobile. The concept is brilliant - add phone service and music together into one package. The streaming is fairly horrible, but they allow you to use WiFi to download albums to your phone which are stored in a DRM'd format but sound (to me, anyhow) as good as a CD. The app needs work. It does a lot more "phoning home" than it should and has a propensity to stop playing at odd times, but the music selection is amazing and the quality of downloaded music is excellent. While the ROK music app leaves a lot to be desired compared to Poweramp, I'm hoping they will improve the app in future editions and eliminate the odd halts and maybe cut down on the "phoning home."

The price is also quite reasonable - you get unlimited calling, texting and data ( data is 5 GB a month over the phone network at LTE speed, after which you get 3G speed) for $50 a month. If they can fix the bugs in the app and add a few features to make it more usable, they will have a total killer phone/music service.

0
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Google robo-car in rear-end smash – but cack-handed human blamed

ma1010
FAIL

Re: "and they never get tired, irritable or distracted".

Thanks for this. You've convinced me to keep driving my '87 Toyota. The throttle in that vehicle is controlled ONLY by my foot on the pedal. Brakes, too. Just the way I like it. Guess I'll drive old cars until I stop driving.

2
1

Router cockup grounds United Airlines flights WORLDWIDE

ma1010
Windows

Days of glory past

United used to be a great airline which I enjoyed traveling on - about 30 years ago. Nowadays, not so much. If you want to see more of the horror stories, go to untied.com (no spelling error).

0
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KILLER! Adobe Flash, Windows zero-day vulns leak from Hacking Team raid

ma1010
Mushroom

Burn It

As El Reg stated a couple of weeks ago, Flash is the "The Internet's screen door." Uninstall it. Burn it. Nuke it from orbit. I'm sick of "OMG, You gotta patch RIGHT NOW" zero day Flash vulnerabilities that we seem to hear about weekly.

And you web site maintainers, if you're using Flash (I'm looking at YOU, El Reg), STOP IT. Just get rid of it. There are alternatives, and none of them could possibly be as buggy as that pile of fetid waste known as Flash. Just flush it away.

20
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WHY did NASA probe go suddenly SILENT - JUST as it was about to send pics of remote ice-world?

ma1010
Facepalm

Bloody Civilians

"Sir, we just picked up a transport leaving the mine on Charon. It's entered the interdicted zone."

"What? Bloody hell! Stop the probe from transmitting! Put a shield around it -- NOW!

"Done, Sir."

"And Get that ship's captain on comm."

"Ready, Sir."

"Yes, Navy? What's going on?" the transport's captain asks.

"Didn't you get the word? NO take-offs from Pluto's system until AFTER the probe goes by and is too far away to see anything! Those orders have been posted for months! Now turn around and land that thing back on Charon or I'll bloody vaporize you, I swear I will! And tell them at the mine that the next ship they launch before the all-clear will be vaporized without warning. I have the authority to do that and I bloody WILL use that authority next time, do you hear me?"

"Yes, I understand, Navy, loud and clear. We're decelerating now and will land back on Charon ASAP."

"See that you do! Comm Off."

"Comm off, Sir."

"Engineering, I've got a job for you.."

"Aye, Sir, over to the probe and make sure there's no record of all this in its transmissions."

"You've got it."

"Running all the way, Sir. Think I can just erase a bit, reboot the computer, and the Earth folk will be none the wiser."

"Good man. The things we have to deal with. Bloody civilians!"

2
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Giant FLYING SPACE ROCKS could KILL US ALL, warns Brian May

ma1010
Mushroom

Exit plan?

Hopefully we'll develop a system to detect (and somehow deal with) anything threatening to collide with Earth.

But the human race still needs an exit plan. We might figure out, someday, a practical way to defend ourselves against massive flying rocks, but what about things like supervolcanos and climates that vary from snowball earths to boiling Cretaceous periods? Planets are just too dangerous to live on. Our future, if we have one, will be in space habitats. Otherwise, someday there will be another real disaster like the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, and the human race will be just another layer of interesting fossils for some future life form to dig up.

3
4

RBS sticks it to customers once again as IT woes continue

ma1010
Mushroom

Re: Should be shutting down soon

YEP, a run on the bank that totally destroys it - that's EXACTLY what should happen to RBS. May it happen, and let this be a warning to other "financial institutions" -- screw up like this and you're next. This is the modern business equivalent of putting them to the wall and shooting them.

As anyone who reads El Reg knows, these days most everyone's wealth, all the stuff we work hard for, is represented by bookkeeping in little ones and zeros in computer systems. Banks are essentially IT clearing houses.

If they can't do their job correctly where their customers' wealth and financial transactions are concerned, then they need to find another line of work. The RBS folks should look for something more in their line of competence, like fast food. Certainly not anything in IT.

If a nasty example were made of RBS, perhaps the next time someone tells management they need to upgrade systems or risk a major crash, they might listen.

2
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ma1010
Flame

Should be shutting down soon

Frankly, after their last major cock-up, I'm surprised they have any customers left to get caught up in this current snafu.

My advice to anyone with an RBS account:

1) Take your next paycheck to a bank that has a clue and open an account there

2) Wait for any pending transactions to clear at RBS (which may be a while, of course)

3) Withdraw everything in the RBS account as soon as possible

Think of this as an intelligence test. After this latest episode, anyone who stays with RBS fails the test. I haven't had any problems with my banking in over 30 years.

5
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Super Cali goes ballistic – Uber says it's bogus (even though its contract is something quite atrocious)

ma1010
Holmes

The repurcussions could be major

There are all sorts of issues at stake here including health insurance and, even worse, taxes. Uber could become liable for every cent of state and federal income taxes and the employee's portion (as well as employer's portion) of their Social Security tax payments not made in the past. Generally speaking, under US Federal law, if an employer fails to withhold taxes from an employee as required, the employer becomes liable for paying the taxes.

I'm sure Uber will be getting their lawyers going on this one.

4
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All right, who guessed 'street mapping' for those mystery Apple vans? Congratulations

ma1010
Trollface

It's about time

Considering how well the previous incarnation of Apple Maps worked, perhaps they've decided to gather some accurate data this time around.

13
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Nude celeb iCloud hack: Feds seize Chicago man's computers

ma1010
Pirate

Someone else?

We don't have enough information yet to form an opinion, really. Perhaps it was a third party using an unprotected wi-fi link or some other way of subverting Huerrera's Internet connection.

I know of one case where an innocent person's house was raided and computers seized due to child porn allegations. The cops had the right IP number, but there was nothing on the seized computers. It turned out the culprit was his neighbor who used the victim's unsecured wi-fi to download the porn.

6
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Brit plods' post-TETRA radio omnishambles comes home to roost

ma1010
Facepalm

WTF?

I'm not of the opinion that "we always do it better in the USA" than everyone else, but in this case I have to wonder what they were thinking over there. Over here we don't have a lot of problems with police communications. In urban areas, police use 800 MHz trunked systems, the newer of which have full encryption. And even without encryption not a lot of people have correctly programmed trunk tracker radios that can listen in.

Smaller forces generally use radios at about 155 MHz which offer good coverage. If terrain is more difficult, 55 MHz radios are still used (such as by the California Highway Patrol in more mountainous parts of the state). They all work pretty well - certainly more reliably than the cell phone network does.

You're really looking to have trouble if there is a widespread emergency as cell phone networks are famous for getting overloaded when that happens. Last summer, there was a fire along the freeway (motorway for those across the pond), and a lot of idiots were taking pictures of the smoke and emailing them to their friends. This traffic overloaded the network to the point where people with actual emergencies could not get through. I'm sure they will set up special channels for police use only to help prevent that, but I suspect they're still going to have issues sharing a network with the public.

There are a lot of really good radio solutions available for law enforcement that don't involve using cell towers. I hope your police over there will look into those before they commit to something that really does sound like a total omnishambles.

5
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ISIS command post obliterated after 'moron' jihadi snaps a selfie, says US Air Force

ma1010
Thumb Up

Re: Well, maybe

Quite possible. I know that during WW II the UK War Cabinet didn't take action using ULTRA decodes unless they could come up with some plausible alternative source for the RSHA to blame the leak on. This could well be that sort of disinformation.

1
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New US bill aims to zap patent trolls with transparency demands

ma1010
Holmes

Big step in the right direction

There's only one key thing I'd add to it, which is forbidding suing end-users EVER unless they continued using the technology AFTER the suit had been adjudicated in the plaintiff's favor and end users given notice. Otherwise, the end users should have no liability. I mean, is everyone expected to do weeks worth of patent research before they buy or lease a piece of equipment? What planet are these trolls from?

This reminds me of an old case. Back in the cameras-all-used-film days, Kodak came out with a camera that used self-developing film. It turned out that infringed on Polaroid's patents -- Polaroid sued and won. Nobody tried to sue end users. In fact, Kodak offered them some cash back or a new camera. That's how it should be.

5
1

Ed Snowden should be pardoned, thunders Amnesty Int'l

ma1010

Re: Sometimes it helps to be old

Yes, I know about McCarthy and the insanity of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. But after him came folks like Earl Warren and John and Bobby Kennedy, who all fought for civil rights and freedom.

I'm hoping someone in power will stand up for Snowden -- not to mention our rights against government snooping. At present, we have some folks that are at least talking that way in Washington. We'll have to wait until after the next elections to see how that goes, if they get elected and then if they actually keep any of those campaign promises. It happens sometimes.

11
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ma1010
Thumb Up

Sometimes it helps to be old

It's amazing how the world has changed during my life. When I was young, I well remember the Cold War and that many Soviet block and Chinese defectors who escaped the communist regimes there came to America because here they were free. They could speak out against the horrors of those regimes which had no regard for human rights, much less privacy.

Nowadays we've got an American who caught his own government acting like the KGB or Stasi, and when he told people what they were doing, had to flee to RUSSIA for his own safety.

My irony meter is pegging.

And worse, I have to ask what's gone wrong with people over here that they think Snowden should be punished for revealing illegal and immoral behavior by the US Government. To me, what he did was just as brave and praiseworthy as signing the Declaration of Independence. He stood up against wrongful practices of his government. Yes, he broke the law by doing so. So did John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, et al., but we honor those men for taking a stand for what was right. I hope that someday people here will honor Snowden for what he did. He's a much braver man than I am.

61
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AT&T: We'll play nice with net neutrality, just let us gobble DirecTV

ma1010
FAIL

You gotta love the arrogance

AT&T says "We'll obey the law -- IF you let us do what we want"

Only an already-too-large corporation could say that with a straight face. And let ANY of the rest of us try that line with a cop and see what happens.

9
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What a Zuckin' drag! 'Frisco queens protest outside Facebook HQ over 'real names' policy

ma1010
Devil

Re: Honestly, some people.

No, they go home and call the cops because their neighbors kids were playing outside in the neighbor's own front yard. Then they spend the rest of the day peeping out the window to see if that girl down the street is going to have her boyfriend spend the night again. etc., etc. It's an important job standing guard to protect the neighborhood, be it real or virtual!

7
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Stranded Brussels airport passengers told to check Facebook

ma1010
Facepalm

Errrr..

Single point of failure? This is leading the world?

1
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Door keys are an option. It's just a matter of time

ma1010
Facepalm

Solution looking for a problem

So many of these (id)IOT devices are a solution looking for a problem. For example, I bought a new garage door opener and was advised that I could also purchase an extra device to allow me to attach my garage door to my home network. Why? So I could open the garage door with my phone. I thought that's what the little button thingie was for. It is? Well, then, why would I want to expose my garage door controls and history (read: when I go to work and home) to hackers/thieves when I don't need to? Oh, just because it's COOL to be able to use my phone to open the garage door?

No, thanks. I don't feel the slightest desire to connect my garage door, front door, light bulbs, refrigerator, bed or toilet to the Internet.

20
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HORDES OF CLING-ONS menace UK.gov IT estate as special WinXP support ends

ma1010
Gimp

Re: err, what?

Well, as long as none of the flayrods have gone out of skew on the treadle, that's okay.

3
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Netflix wipes blood of Comcast/TWC from its blade, charges toward AT&T/DirecTV

ma1010
Flame

No!

<rant>Combining AT&T and Direc TV would be sort of like merging two criminal gangs into one new super-gang. It would NOT be a benefit to anyone except, possibly, the gangsters. For years I was stuck with AT&T and had to pay them every month for "long distance" that I never used. (I'm not talking about the government-mandated charge, but a separate charge.) They also provide some of the slowest Internet access around here.

Their business people don't even know what they're doing. They keep mailing me flyers for a fiber service, but their engineers say there is no fiber here and no plans to run fiber here.</rant>

Sorry. I'll get my coat now and go home quietly.

8
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iPhone case uses phone's OWN SIGNAL to charge it (forever, presumably)

ma1010
Joke

Thinkfluence in action

It's just like that new electric car they're working on. Going to blow Tesla away. While it has electric motors hooked to two of the wheels, it's got electric generators hooked to the other two, so it recharges itself while you drive!

I'm sure Lord Bong is involved in both these projects somewhere.

5
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Meet the man who inspired Elon Musk’s fear of the robot uprising

ma1010
Coat

Ninety minutes from New York to Paris

A just machine to make big decisions,

Programmed by fellows with compassion and vision.

We'll be clean when their work is done.

We'll be eternally free, yes, and eternally young.

--Donald Fagan

0
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ROBOT telescope discovers ENORMOUS planetary neighbours

ma1010
Childcatcher

G&T

But the issue is the machines get confused! Did you mean the "Sivolvian ‘chinanto/mnigs, which is ordinary water served just above room temperature" or possibly the "Gagrakackan 'tzjin-anthony-ks’ which kills cows at a hundred paces"? Or one of the many, many other variations of drinks that go by a similar-sounding name on 85% of known worlds?

Whichever it is for you, don't forget to raise one to the shade of Douglas Adams.

5
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Judge denies retrial for 'Dread Pirate' Ulbricht in Silk Road drugs case

ma1010
Trollface

Re: Valid delay?

Well, isn't that what you should expect when you hire your attorney from an ad on a bus bench?

3
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SUPERVOLCANIC MAGMA reservoir BUBBLING under Yellowstone Park

ma1010
Mushroom

Time to develop a good exit strategy

"Estimations whether such an eruption would be an extinction event are difficult to make before such an eruption occurred."

SO, if anyone is left alive in the rubble afterwards, we'll know it wasn't QUITE an extinction event, and if it was, then nobody will be around to discuss it afterwards.

Folks, we NEED to develop spaceflight and space habitats. Planets are just too dangerous to live on.

11
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Russian space geckos caught on film playing with jeweled collar

ma1010
Alien

Just playing?

"...because “play” is a pretty advanced behaviour to be exhibited by a mere gecko."

Obviously the radiation in space has mutated them. Let me be the first to welcome our new gecko overlords upon their return to Earth.

2
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The Internet of things is great until it blows up your house

ma1010
Devil

"...but when the manufacturer offers ‘Electric blanket-as-a-service™’ - free for the first year, and at a modest annual fee thereafter - it becomes very appealing appalling."

There, fixed it for you.

2
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Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning

ma1010
Flame

Re: so when is witches' turn?

You beat me to it. As one of her "constituents," I know far more than I want to about her, and I assure you, she weighs the same as a duck. Where is Sir Bedevere when you need him?

0
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Tennessee sues FCC: Giving cities free rein to provide their own broadband is 'unlawful'

ma1010
Mushroom

Total bollocks

In the U.S., the Federal Government (through the FCC) has total control of electromagnetic spectrum. The FCC "ownership" of the spectrum preempts anything state and local government might want to say on the matter. As an amateur radio operator, I've had experience of this, and it's generally much more of a benefit than a curse.

Since this suit pertains to wifi emissions which the FCC certainly controls, I can't see how this suit can get any traction. In the U.S., state and local governments have no business telling anyone who can and can not transmit on radio spectrum.

5
1

BOFH: The ONE-NINE uptime solution

ma1010
Coffee/keyboard

Excellent!

"I've got 5 quid on it being a coal-powered 386 running in the craphouse of a minicab office in Cairo."

And other excellent quotes.

I agree -- this is the best BOFH in a long time. Thank you, Simon! I'll be expecting my new keyboard shortly.

5
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Dish, the FCC, and a sly trick to leave American taxpayers $3bn short

ma1010
Thumb Up

Re: Spectrum Auctions...

You are absolutely right! That is how FCC broadcast licenses are handled. They have to be renewed every so often, and if you misuse the privilege of broadcasting, the license will not be renewed, or, in the event of serious abuse, can be revoked at any time.

0
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Your gran and her cronies are 'embracing online banking' – study

ma1010
Go

Re: May not be what it seems

EXACTLY! I did my mother's banking for the last 10 years of her life. She wouldn't have known how to turn a computer on (and couldn't care less), but my 90+ year old mother's accounts were all handled via online banking. So I would say the statistics here are likely dodgy.

2
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Ross Ulbricht trial Day One: 'I DID invent Silk Road ... but I'm innocent'

ma1010
Headmaster

Re: Innocent until PROVEN guilty!

On this side of the pond if any testifying witness lies, he/she can be prosecuted for perjury, which in this state is good for 5 years in prison. On the other hand, anything the prosecutor or defense attorney says, particularly in opening statements or closing arguments, is not subject to perjury because it is not sworn testimony.

0
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Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'

ma1010
FAIL

Cells for Emergencies?

With the ability to boot "non-emergency" users off the cell system, it might work although, as was pointed out, some of those "non-emergency" users might be victims or other civilians in a position to give useful information to police. Here where I live, emergency services use a trunked radio system with several channels, and it works quite well. When we need a "group" (say all those involved in working a particular incident), users can all simply switch to a particular channel and use that channel exclusively. The technology is fairly old, but works great.

At the same time, police do use cell phones quite a bit. We had a nut job shoot an officer and take off for what turned out to be a long pursuit. The cell system got so jammed that the county was preparing to call out amateur radio operators to add network capacity between specific points. The only reason they didn't is that two cell providers were able to switch on some backup capacity and limit it to official use. That alleviated the problem.

But, considering how spotty cell coverage can be and the frequent poor quality of calls, the thought of tossing the radios away and going to a straight cellular system -- well, I'm sure glad nobody around here is contemplating doing that. The county radios work a lot more reliably than cell phones.

1
0

Makers of Snowden movie Citizenfour sued by ex-oil exec

ma1010
Stop

Not really "Only in America"

Any idiot can file a lawsuit alleging anything he wants to in most every civilized country. Just because the suit was filed does not mean the allegations are true or even remotely so. The plaintiff has the burden of proving his/her charges in court. As for this suit, I hope it gets tossed on a demurrer.

1
2

FCC: A few (680,000) net neutrality comments lost in 'XML gaffe'

ma1010
Big Brother

Data recovery, no problem

As others have mentioned, they likely don't care anyhow, but the one part of the government that listens could help, I'm sure. Surely the NSA could retrieve the lost comments along with information on the posters, name, email and postal addresses, details of their love lives, diet, bathroom habits, etc.

2
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The Shock of the New: The Register redesign update 4

ma1010
Thumb Up

Much Improved!

Site looks a lot better. Is El Reg applying the BOFH principle wherein you give users something totally crap to the point where getting back what they had before looks like an upgrade, "Like Windows 8 and Vista"?

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