* Posts by Brian Miller

749 posts • joined 3 Jul 2007

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Terry Jones has dementia

Brian Miller
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Medical applications of small computers

This is the thing that I always thought that IoT should really do: take care of people in states like this. Something small to help someone along in the day, etc.

Disorders of the brain are one of things that are so unnerving. Your brain itself goes into a state of decay, and there's nothing to be done for it.

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Do AI chat bots need a personality bypass – or will we only trust gabber 'droids with character?

Brian Miller
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Anybody remember Sirius Cybernetics?

There's been a lot of speculative fiction about bots with personalities. I think all of Asimov's androids essentially had personalities, and of course Douglas Adams posited a misguided corporation that produced far too many things that really shouldn't have had personalities at all.

I can see bots with personalities as being quite interesting as NPCs in various games. There's also the comic, Nonplayer, that's exploring the ramifications of having full AI in an online game world.

A chat bot in a support role doesn't need personality, but it might be nice. Doesn't matter, really, as most of the time you're just reading the manual to somebody. But you could program it with a sexy, alluring voice, though. Or spiff up the jive filter.

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Malware figures out it's running on VMs and refuses to execute

Brian Miller
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Hide, hide, hide ...

Behind paranoid eyes.

Yes, the wondrous cat-and-mouse game! Remember when the malware would just look in the registry to figure out if it was running on a virtual machine? Now it's using limited heuristics. Anybody want to guess when malware will be coming in phases, a part A and B?

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Moron is late for flight, calls in bomb threat

Brian Miller
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Trollface

Missed the flight, but ...

He won't miss the prison bus! I imagine that prison is a familiar place for him, since he was also carrying some hard drugs. Howells' attorney opined that Howells' addiction "clouded his appreciation of the consequences" of his actions. Yeah it did, Howells was actually flying high at the time!

Troll icon, for the Dunning-Kruger effect.

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She cannae take it, Captain Kirk! USS Zumwalt breaks down

Brian Miller
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Re: That's what happen when you have a Kirk...

"Bridge to Captain Kirk" plus sound effects. When I was in the Army, we (Signal) had the intercom in our hands in short order. I'm sure the Navy lads won't leave it alone!

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Brian Miller
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Linux

Re: Is it running windows?

It's running Linux. And it's various flavors, too.

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Citrix swats Sweet32 bug by just turning off old ciphers

Brian Miller
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Just because the bugs are fixed...

doesn't mean that the deployed systems aren't vulnerable. There are so many systems out there that will never be fixed that it's just hideous. And some companies don't apply patches because that would just take effort...

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Hackers hijack Tesla Model S from afar, while the cars are moving

Brian Miller
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Re: Makes me long for the days...

You do know that old cars are still around, fixable, and drivable? Just ask the Motortrend Road Kill guys.

Oh, wait ...

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Official: Cloud computing is now mainstream

Brian Miller
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Re: What a load

It makes sense if you can't run your own datacenter, or someone else does it far better than you. That's the sad fact in a lot of companies. Amazon got into "cloud computing" when they realized they had a lot of extra capacity that was going to waste on a regular basis. It only made sense for them to rent out their spare computing cycles.

If you can effectively manage your own center, then renting someone else's machines doesn't make sense.

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2,000 year old man found dead near 2,000 year old computer

Brian Miller
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Re: Any black oil attacks being reported yet?

"Aliens made it!"

As if aliens, who have journeyed from another star system, would bother making a bunch of lame gears for some semi-evolved simian.

Hero of Alexandria invented the vending machine 150 years before the computer was made. So, really, is the Antikythera mechanism really that astounding? What's really astounding is none of this did that much to move their society forward. Hero also invented the aeolipile, a type of steam turbine. Did he rig it up to do any work, or did he just do a demo?

Perhaps the state of metallurgy was too primitive for general-purpose steam engines. Hard to say.

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Rise of the Machines at Sea: The British firm building robot boats

Brian Miller
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Re: "ASV is working steadily towards true artificial intelligence (AI) on its boats"

I'm not sure that anything boat-sized can avoid radar detection when they're actively looking for you. In WW-II, the U-Boat periscopes could be detected with radar (RAF Mk II Airborne Interception radar, and later the H2S radar). Radar has only gotten better since then.

The only advantage would be that being an unmanned vessel, the smugglers would not be at risk at high sea. They would only be picked up when the vessel got to its destination, tracked by the Coast Guard and the Navy.

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BOFH: The case of the suspicious red icon

Brian Miller
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1B vs 2B

Here's where 2B is worse: 2B will do things. Not only that, you have to spend time a: cleaning up, b: "discussing issues" with 2B, c: both. And it's not an uplifting experience.

These people never understand that they are wasting other people's time. Yeah, it's the Dunning-Kruger study, always repeated in real life, globally.

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

Brian Miller
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Re: They couldn't —but they did

In 1975, a 1959 Opel got 376.59MPG, with its stock 4-cyl engine. Yes, they modded the rest of it like crazy, and drove it at a steady 30MPH, but that's still a rather significant achievement.

So: Clean. Efficient. And, um, that's pretty much it.

Yeah. 1975, 376+ MPG.

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Sysadmins: Poor capacity planning is not our fault

Brian Miller
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Re: "get senior management to take the issues seriously"

As an IT guy who's also in senior management (founder), I'd like to add that plenty of IT people expect the business to understand their side, while doing very little to explain the problem in business terms, or trying to understand what the business as a whole is facing and where they fit in.

Here's a problem: the business people don't understand the system, and neither do the IT people! Imagine a system that's running on an old release of Linux, and there's no real plan to replace it. Imagine that I had to explain to a developer, who'd been with the company 18 years, the difference between a C preprocessor macro and a function. Imagine that none of the developers know how to use a debugger. Imagine that two years ago, one of the developers hit the system with a load test equivalent of a large fuzzy Q-tip. The system fell over immediately, but nothing was done about it.

And of course, imagine that the business people are blithely selling the product like it can be a fabulous solution to handle bazillions of users. Which it can't. And that's been explained to them. Repeatedly.

At some point, "engineering" really means, "the work of designing and creating large structures (such as roads and bridges) or new products or systems by using scientific methods."

Scientific methods, what a concept. Designing. Planning. Estimating. Testing. There is nothing that the minion on the bottom can do to get managers off their ass and do something competent, when the managers are fully incompetent, and of course never had the training in the first place.

When does senior management take the issues seriously? Bankruptcy. "You have no money. Now go home, pack your stuff, and live in a cardboard box on the sidewalk." Then they'll take notice.

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IPv4 wealth redistributed

Brian Miller
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Remember an IPv6 numer? And not use DNS?

I thought that these computers were supposed to be looked up by name! What is the point of DNS when everybody tries to refer to a number? (I run into this at work all the time. "What's the server?" "It's blah.blah.com." "But what's the address?" "We have DNS. Use it." So they do a query on the command line, and then use the IP address...)

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Still got a floppy drive? Here's a solution for when 1.44MB isn't enough

Brian Miller
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Can't add USB?

This has to have an extremely limited market! These only make sense if the system can't take a USB card. The don't make sense if the system can take a USB card. (There may not be ISA USB cards available any more, but I haven't checked.)

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UK nuke warhead builders shift IT gear into public cloud

Brian Miller
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Atomic Weapons Establishment moves to public mushroom cloud

That was the title I expected.

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Exploding phablet phears phorce Samsung Galaxy Note 7 delay

Brian Miller
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Joke

Requires 440VAC for charging

The actual problem with the phone is that its charging specifications are incorrect. It actually needs 440VAC at 200A, otherwise there's too much amperage coming in through that little 5V connector.

Never mind Moore's law, it's Ohm's law here!

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Height of stupidity: Heathrow airliner buzzed by drone at 7,000ft

Brian Miller
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Re: Am I wrong in thinking that if ..

Yeah, drone + engine = horrific catastrophe.

No explosives required, just some additional metal mass in the engine, and ... boom! Adding any kind of projectile weapon to the plane wouldn't do anything good. You also have to account for where those bullets land. However, the airplanes could be outfitted with emergency jamming devices to drop the drone out of the air.

From what it sounds like, though, is that the pilots are not aware at all until it's way too late. You can't do anything when you see the drone within 100ft of the cockpit.

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FBI: Look out – hackers are breaking into US election board systems

Brian Miller
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Laundry to the rescue!

What we need to guard against, is the dead rising to vote, so the job of security must go to the Laundry! (What was Charles Stross' US equivalent? I can't remember.)

Anyways, remember to register your full name with punctuation.

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Google breaks heart, White Knight falls off horse

Brian Miller
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Bad service? Sue them!

If the service you receive isn't what's advertised, sue them! Moping over it won't fix a thing. Do what it takes to grab them by the profits, and either get what the terms said you'd get.

It just doesn't make sense to let all those pitchforks and torches go to waste.

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Brian Miller
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Mushroom

Slow broadband - so what?

Screw this garbage! I started with "broadband" when modems had acoustic couplers and uucp was the norm. Yes, I have used Teletype machines. My first modem ran at a blazing 300 baud. Some of the others around here also have a bit of perspective on this.

High-speed data links are not available everywhere. They can't be. If someone has a need for speed, they have to move where the pipes are available. That's really all there is to it. Yes, there is unused capacity in the ground. No, it doesn't belong to you. Somebody else owns that, and if you want the use of someone else's property, you have to pay for it.

There's really not that much information out there. Most of the slow data is stupid ads and tracking servers. Yes, it sucks that not every place has good service, but you can speed up your own connection by using JavaScript and ad blockers. If you must have the highest speeds available, you have no choice but to move. If the neighborhood where you're at doesn't have what you want, you have to move.

Complaining about slow Internet, or the Internet divide, is just useless whining. So Google has wised up about one of its projects. Whoopee.

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Half of AT&T's networks are controlled by open-source SDN code

Brian Miller
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Re: Cloud code

You ensure that the code doesn't get compromised just like you ensure other code doesn't get compromised: cross your fingers, hope for the best, and review and test and analyze like mad.

"Cloud" just means "somebody else's computers." In the case of Amazon, they give you their spare CPU cycles they aren't using.

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What wedding cake would an engineer make? A LEGO one

Brian Miller
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But it's supposed to be edible!

He should have made it out of edible flavored gelatin: robotic tentacle cake! Make tentacle molds, pour in edible gelatin, Raspberry Pi for the controller, then you'd have a Cthulhu cake with candy jaws and ...

OK, so the guests are supposed to eat the cake, and not the other way around. Picky!

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Windows Update borks PowerShell – Microsoft won't fix it for a week

Brian Miller
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No testing, Redmond?

Gee, they let all of their testers go, and ...

this is an improvement?

Ok, I'll admit that there was a lot of dead weight in the test section. A. Lot. But testing does have to be done. How do you motivate devs to get their act together, especially with a lack of people testing the software? Arrogance and hubris is an understatement to what I saw there. I called it "blue badge disease." You got a blue badge, and then your brains went to sh**. Sort of a variation of Alzheimer's or JKD.

Supposedly, an organization learns from its mistakes. But this stuff just keeps getting repeated, no break in that loop. Oh, yeah: "Goto Considered Harmful." Back in 1968.

Stupid:;

goto Stupid;

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Microsoft's maps lost Melbourne because it used bad Wikipedia data

Brian Miller
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Re: Absolute proof

What other data is wrong on Wikipedia?

Uh, no, this means it's a great time to hack Bing maps! Nobody really checks what's on Wikipedia anyways, so it should be fun to fudge the locations of everything.

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Fujitsu: Why we chose 64-bit ARM over SPARC for our exascale super

Brian Miller
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And the next version of the Raspberry Pi...

WOW! 512-bit SIMD! Oh, to have such toys! Isn't it nice when you can say, "meh, we'll just design our own processor, thanks."

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New science: Pathetic humans can't bring themselves to fire lovable klutz-bots

Brian Miller
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Share and enjoy...

Sirius Cybernetics Corp. did this, and Arthur Dent threw a cup at the Nutrimatic drinks dispenser, inspiring the people of Brontitall to rise up against "the blight of the robot" and exile all of their robots.

So just because they like us doesn't mean we have to like them back!

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Tech support scammers mess with hacker's mother, so he retaliated with ransomware

Brian Miller
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Re: Oh man...

Unfortunately, there really isn't a "he needed killin'" defense. Not today, at any rate.

There is an old saying about a victim in a murder case who had bad or violent character.

It goes like this: "He needed killin'." In essence, it was a justification for murder in the old days in Texas that the victim had horrible or violent character. You cannot argue he needed killing in Texas courts but in limited circumstances the defense may introduce evidence of prior acts of violent misconduct or threats of violence by the deceased which illustrate his violent character, Gutierrez v. State, 764 S.W.2d 796, 798 (Tex.Crim.App. 1989).

There was a case in Kentucky in the 1870s about self defense, but nothing about the need to go out and proactively shoot somebody dead because it just had to be done.

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Revealed: How a weather forecast in 1967 stopped nuclear war

Brian Miller
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Right, there's the case of the USSR officer who stopped a near-launch, the nuke that dropped from a bomber and didn't go off because of a 50-cent switch holding everything back, several cases of "oops" with nuclear reactors, etc.

Of course, if we did have an "oops" moment, if nukes launched we'd have over 90% mortality in one year. The electrical grid would go down, and then it wouldn't be rebuild for a very, very long time. Probably long enough that nations could rise and fall.

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

Brian Miller
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Milk is used when the product is wretched!

The use of milk means that the main beverage of choice is wretched to begin with. Both coffee and tea should be had without milk. The milk is for killing the "flavor" of a wretched tea or coffee.

I roast my own coffee at home, and I grind it, then brew it and drink it black. Good coffee has an inherent sweetness to it. It isn't grossly bitter, and it gently rests on the palate. It's a nice, gentle pick-me-up,

The person who brewed tea in milk in that beast of a pot you have has never had good tea or coffee.

Tea bags, indeed!

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Church organist nabbed for playing glory hole in excelsis

Brian Miller
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Right tool for the right job

“shoved his penis through the divider wall and waited”.

Vise-grips. Then no chasing required...

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Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

Brian Miller
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Pirate

Popcorn time

Never mind the tin foil hat, it's time for a big bowl of popcorn, and hope that fur flies. And badly!

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Iraqi government finally bans debunked bomb-finding dowsing rods

Brian Miller
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The problem is that dowsing isn't reliable. Finding modern plastic ordinance is difficult enough for good metal detectors, never mind tromping around on top of what you're looking for.

I've seen dowsing work, but that was for water dowsing shallow wells, not sweeping a mine field.

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Revealed: How Dell can afford $67bn for EMC – by selling $650k laptops

Brian Miller
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Childcatcher

"No Reg Label"

Sorry, what?? No red vulture on the lappy? How dare you, Mr. Dell! For that kind of money, I want that label!

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Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Brian Miller
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Re: Ahem. Actual real user here....

Gee, I'm a real user, too. Fact is, I'm also a developer. And I'm fluent with multiple OSes, blah blah bloody well blah.

A couple of years ago I bought a new laptop with Windows 8.1. Great hardware, frustrating OS. It made me use Linux as my main box. Then the "upgrade" came along. At that time, I had quite a bit on the laptop, so I chose the "upgrade" option. And the GUI randomly locked up! So I finally realized what a problem it was, backed stuff up, and did a full reset on the machine to its factory install. Upgrade. GUI lockup with the newest incarnation of the BSOD. Then I reset the machine again, killed off all of the factory crapware, and tried the upgrade again. BSOD. Then I tried a full reinstall from a USB stick. What does Windows 10 immediately want? A driver for something. Unknown, unnamed, God almighty only knows what, and it won't continue until it gets its driver. So then I burned a DVD and installed from that. But of course I had to remove ALL of the partitions first, because Windows can't handle its own 64-bit GPT partitions.

And now it's operating, but I haven't yet installed my applications and really begun to use it.

Honestly, I've never experienced anything like that with any *nix OS. Ever. Only Windows. If Windows 10 GUI locks up on me, even with a completely clean install, I'm loading Linux on it and taking back my machine.

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We're not looking for MH370 in the wrong place say investigators

Brian Miller
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They're almost done..

Let's see, 110,000 out of 120,000 square miles, so it's almost done. Will they find it? Well, since by definition it's in the last place they look, then it must be behind the couch, or maybe even under the cushions.

Really, the reliance on technology like it's some sort of oracle is just ridiculous. Plane crashes in the ocean, and everybody thinks it should be bobbing around like a cork. Steve Fossett crashed in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and was discovered purely by accident about a year later. Every day the search was active, they discovered a new wreck.

It's been two years. All of the relatives know their loved ones are dead. Time to move on.

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DDoS trends: Bigger, badder but not longer

Brian Miller
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Terminator

"Bigger, badder," like, duh!

How to mitigate DDoS attacks: move the whole network back to dial-up. Once those pesky speeds are reduced to 300 baud, then all of these problems will be a thing of the past.

Right?

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Blighty's Coastguard goes into battle against waterborne Pokemon

Brian Miller
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Don't mess with evolution!

We can't evolve if we all survive. There must be those who will server as a warning to others, "don't do that!" So we must, in fact, have Pokemon in all sorts of places where the forces of evolution shall meet the forces of physics. Yes, please chase the creatures onto the rails, off of docks, the tops of high voltage towers, war zones, Rockall, etc.

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Meet Riffle, the next-gen anonymity network that hopes to trounce Tor

Brian Miller
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Reference implementation?

I can't find a reference implementation. Where did they hide the code for this?

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Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation

Brian Miller
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Re: Only one thing left to do...

You forgot to put in a station wagon!

"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway."

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Google broke its own cloud again

Brian Miller
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Re: The Cloud...

Right, it's your responsibility to spend more money on them for more redundancy in their network when they trip over the cable.

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Pimp your ride with new Linux for cars and an rPi under the hood

Brian Miller
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Driving on crontab

Since self-driving cars are becoming interesting, does this mean that messing up a crontab entry will make you late for work because you missed your car?

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Newly spotted distant dwarf planet orbits the Sun every 700 years

Brian Miller
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Re: A name

Who needs mythology when we have so many good open source names? Xinu could be good.

(Yes, I'm guessing that some form of *nix is going to be around as long as humans have computers.) (And yes, I know the original Xinu wasn't open source. Still, though...)

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Teen thugs lure, rob Pokemon Go gamers

Brian Miller
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Change the software...

Good idea: gaming kids should meet somewhere safe.

Bad idea: gaming kids should meet, ah, wherever someone pins something on a map...

First, there was the story about the dead body in the river. Well, the developers kind of can't help that. But maybe they can help with where people choose to advertise for imaginary Pokemon critters.

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Blighty will have a whopping 24 F-35B jets by 2023 – MoD minister

Brian Miller
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Re: bad move.

Yeah, and the AI was running on a Raspberry Pi, not an IBM Watson. So the next fighter aircraft will be sourced from independent private companies, and the military will just need to add ammo and warheads on the supplied missiles.

It makes sense, really. The official defense programs will be bankrupt, and all that will be left will be private suppliers accepting cash.

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Cafe killer remote code execution affects 140 million MIUI Androids

Brian Miller
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CyanogenMod, the most popular strictly third-party ROM, has about 50 million users and supports about 200 devices.

Affected users should upgrade to version 7.2, released as an over-the-air update.

But that's for a third-party open source ROM! That's not coming from Xiaomi. If it's left up to the manufacturers, we'll never see a fix for this.

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Bloke 'lobbed molotov cocktails' at Street View car because Google was 'watching him'

Brian Miller
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"I always feel like..."

Google's watching me!

And I see a Google car!!

Next in the news: exhibitionist doesn't complain about Google's surveillance...

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Microsoft: Give us better staff

Brian Miller
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Microsoft doesn't actually want better staff. Better staff means that they will be critical of the managers, and may even stage some sort of "revolt" against them. Not like The Crimson Permanent Assurance, which would be absolutely excellent, but something like that.

I myself have worked at Microsoft as a temp. The last time I worked there, I was bawled out over code that I didn't even write. Upon pointing out to my manager that I didn't write it, and the author of said code was seated next to him, he then proceeded to bawl me out over things that he had never mentioned he wanted done. Yep, that's Microsoft! Repeatedly the worst place I've ever worked. If you really do have serious skills, Microsoft is not the place for you.

No, Microsoft needs to have a CEO from the outside. Clean out the idiots, and fire the managers who hired them. If a CEO has the balls to play Styx's Renegade at the company meeting and follow through, that's the fellow they need.

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NVMe SSDs tormented for months in some kind of sick review game

Brian Miller
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Use a benchmark or compile a large project

Want to know disk performance? Either use a disk benchmark program, or else compile a large project. For instance, see how fast Gentoo will compile itself on your system. Copying a bunch of files using Windows Explorer is ... just not good.

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