* Posts by Cheshire Cat

113 posts • joined 8 Nov 2007


Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Cheshire Cat

Another little-known fact

- In the North of England, Water Otters are colloquially referred to as 'kettles'

$24m in fun bux stolen from crypto-mogul. Now he fires off huge fraud charge. Like, RICO, say?

Cheshire Cat

AT&T security fail

I have some sympathy with him suing AT&T - their incompetence in not properly verifying his identity before making such a big change as porting his number is pretty clear.

Though, I wouldn't ever advise securing $million assets with nothing but an SMS for 2FA.

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

Cheshire Cat

We are legion! Fear us

Wizarding World of Harry Potter awaits Microsoft Office exam winners

Cheshire Cat

Re: Wizarding World of Harry Potter....

Well, if people want to watch/read it, then why not...

I think Ms Rowling (officially the richest woman in the UK?) actually gives much of her excess money away to worthy charities. Certainly a greater fraction than the majority of people in the 1% do, so good luck to her.

Dying! Yahoo! loses! fight! to! lock! dead! man's! dead! account!

Cheshire Cat

Re: No need to rule on terms of service

They've probably already lost the email, and atr trying to get out of admitting it...

US government sued by 11 pissed-off travellers over computer searches

Cheshire Cat

Happened to me as well

A few years ago, I was travelling to the US. The security goons demanded I start up my laptop, log in -- and then they took it away for 20 min without a word. I assume they were cloning the hard drive. Then they brought it back without a word, and sent me on to the frisking and shoe-xraying. Not a word of explanation, not a word of thanks.

Were I bringing in anything dodgy, I'd have encrypted it and hidden it on a website somewhere for late download; so the whole things was intrusive and pointless.

Of course, I am an Evil Foreigner (albeit white and non-beardy) so presumably I'm fair game.

Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired

Cheshire Cat

Looks like Europe only

I have a Samsung out here in NZ,and it is (fortunately) not affected.

Telegram chat app founder claims Feds offered backdoor bribe

Cheshire Cat

Re: Secure Chats

> The gazebo prances fluffy in the moonlight.

I attack the gazebo with my +1 sword!

... how many xp do I get?

When can real-world laws invade augmented reality fantasies? A trial in Milwaukee will decide

Cheshire Cat

Wont somebody think of the flowers?

So - this county wants to ban AR games, because someone irresponsible might walk on their flower beds while playing them.

However I bet they don't want to ban sales of assault rifles because someone might use them to commit murder.

Ever visited a land now under Islamic State rule? And you want to see America? Hand over that Facebook, Twitter, pal

Cheshire Cat

What if...

What if you don't have a twitter account? Will you not be allowed in until you make one?

Two-thirds of TV Licensing prosecutions at one London court targeted women

Cheshire Cat
Thumb Up

Seems a good deal to me

Those of us outside the UK are wondering why UK people complain about paying only $145/year for access to the whole of the BBC. I would gladly pay so little for such a huge number of advertising-free decent programs.

Try living in Au/NZ for a bit with only Sky at 50 quid/month that is 40% advertising by time.

Mars isn't the garbage wasteworld you think it is: Swirling polar ice cap photographed

Cheshire Cat

Re: Deteriorating cognitive function?

Re: Send the politicians

And, as a bonus, we don't need to bother about bringing them back.

And the spaceship can be named the "B Ark".

Apple again late to another market others pioneered. Or is it?

Cheshire Cat

The all-new Apple iCar!

Of course, the iCar can only be fuelled by a special, proprietary fuel nozzle (adaptor hoses available for US$139 each).

You can also only use Apple Maps to navigate, and require an Apple Driving license ... and any time they want, they can cause your car to lock you out and drive itself back to the Apple office.

How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript

Cheshire Cat

Looks like everyone is being a dick

Well, from reading the email exchanges made public and so on, it looks like everyone involved is coming off as a dick.

Koçulu seems to be less than professional and not particularly polite in his responses. The Kik people seem to have opened by threats of legal action if they didnt get what they wanted. When they offered compensation, Koçulu asked for $30K, and there was no negotiation on either side.

It would have been easier for Kik to have opened with "we'd like to take over the name, because trademark, and offer $10k in compensation". Even paying the asked $30k would have been so much easier and amicable all round. And, Koçulu should have responded a bit more professionally to the initial contacts, and not throw his toys out of the pram so soon - though I doubt anyone could have predicted how much would break from his removing the code.

When asked 'What's a .CNT file?' there's a polite way to answer

Cheshire Cat

Re: Computer User Not Technical

Error 13: Insufficient User IQ detected

Sneaky Microsoft renamed its data slurper before sticking it back in Windows 10

Cheshire Cat

Re: If someone can show me

Steam runs natively on Linux.

Also, I found that using the vendor-supplied graphics card drivers (NVidea Geforce) made a huge difference in game framerate for games like Minecraft, though X seems to run fine using either.

Drones are dropping drugs into prisons and the US govt just doesn't know what to do

Cheshire Cat

Use tanglers

String wires over the courtyard at a distance of about 3m apart.

Tie to the wires a large number of 1m long plastic strips that will blow in the wind.

Then, any drone coming past will tangle its rotors in the strips and get hung up.

Of course, if the drone then drops its package, this might be an issue, though you should have the wires at least 5m up in the air so anything dropped is likely to break.

Hack a garage and the car inside with a child's toy and a few chips

Cheshire Cat

Re: Well...

"Don't all garage door openers use rolling codes now?"

Some do, some don't. I know ours does, because I can't use a cheap record-and-replay replacement key but need to buy a special one and program the system to accept it (rather than the other way around). However cheaper ones (such as the ones used to secure stargates) do use fixed codes.

Intel doubles its bounty for women and ethnic minorities

Cheshire Cat

Surely any prejudiced company should darwinate itself

In the current climate of there never being enough competent tech workers, surely any company that uses any criteria other than technical competence when selecting a new employee will eventually darwinate itself out of existence. I know my employer is desperate to find competent IT people, regardless of any other criteria.

There are fewer women working in IT because there are fewer studying IT at uni and fewer playing with IT at high school. If you want more in tech roles, concentrate on getting more into the market. This is the same reason for there being fewer men in teaching or nursing - less of them study for the profession at uni. If you want to balance these out, remove the social disincentives of these career choices at high school and college; quotas at hiring time will not help as the candidates are simply not there.

GOOGLE GMAIL ATE MY LINUX: Gobbled email enrages Torvalds

Cheshire Cat


DMARC is massively broken, because it mandates an SPF test on the From header, even if a Sender header is present. What it should do is to test the Sender if present, else the From, but it doesn't.

Most mailing lists work completely RFC-compliant by adding a Sender header (known as the 'secretary scenario'). However, to get past DMARC tests, they have to violate the RFC and rewrite the From header instead, concealing the originator of the mail.

Kiwi company posts job ad for Windows support scammers

Cheshire Cat

Looks like a joke advert

Pretty sure this is a fake joke advert.

"If willing and compromise ethics = make money, then you fit in well."

I can't imagine anyone would say this in a real ad, plus the poor english is a bit of a giveaway - and the real scammers only recruit in India anyways....

Mega fatcat Kim Dotcom in deportation drama over SPEEDING ticket

Cheshire Cat

He's a jerk, but...

It goes without saying that he's a total jerk, and most people in NZ wish he'd never bribed his way into... err, I mean, 'been granted' residency.

However, the US (and by association, the NZ) governments are out to destroy him any way they can.

Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid

Cheshire Cat

I'd happily pay the license fee to access BBC from New Zealand

I - and many ex-pats - would be quite happy to pay the BBC license fee, if it meant being able to legally access the UK broadcast channels on demand. Sadly it is not possible to do this.

People who complain that their license fee is used to fund Eastenders, Top Gear and other tat, while applauding the occasional documentary and drama series, should be aware that it is in fact the Eastenders viewers subsidising the documentaries and dramas. If everything were funded proportional to the number of people watching them, Eastenders and Top Gear is all you'd have. The TV License funding model is why the BBC can risk funding on less popular or new series, dramas and documentaries. If funding were proportional to the number of viewers, then it would soon be goodbye to anything innovative or highbrow, and you'd have TV like they get in the US...

To Russia With Love: Snowden's pole-dancer girlfriend is living with him in Moscow

Cheshire Cat

Re: "worked as an occasional exotic dancer"

"For your next furneral, why not hire one of our exotic dancers!"

You think this is a joke -- but in Taiwan, this genuinely happens. Regularly. Seen it myself...

Girl gamers sexism row: Top e-sports federation finds reverse gear

Cheshire Cat
Thumb Down

Doesnt look like equality to me.

Playing computer games is not dependent on your physical strength, and so there should be no difference between the capabilities of male or female players. So why have separate tournaments? Fewer females win because fewer enter. Fewer enter because fewer are interested. Making a separate tournament for females is highly patronising and implies they are less capable of winning than a male player. Having a 'female only' tournament without a separate 'male only' is even more patronising, in addition to being by definition sexual discrimination.

By having two competitions, they are keeping female playes out of the 'real' tournament, decreasing the liklihood of a female reaching the finals, and propping up the myth that gender has anything to do with an ability to push buttons on a gamepad.

'Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World!' says email guru

Cheshire Cat

DKIM abuse

So, further investigation reveals that what they've done is to (a) use a DKIM signature that includes the Subject, Reply-To and Received headers, meaning that the moment it passes through a mailing list or redirector the DKIM signature becomes invalid, and (b) use a DMARC record which specifies that 100% of messages failing DKIM should be dropped into the bitbucket. They also implemented this straight off without gradual implementation or warning.

In addition, they've set up their own mail servers to bounce any imcoming dkim-failed messages, which means that any mailing lists to which a yahoo.com address has subscribed will receive a bounce message, and will then auto-unsubscribe said user...

Mail admin FAIL I think.

NZ bloke's drunken poker bet ends in 99-letter name

Cheshire Cat

Re: Well

If my Mandarin is still working, then "Beauty Blossom" would be rendered as "Mei Hua" in Beijing. A perfectly valid name not expected to raise eyebrows (but then, "Y Pong" is also a valid girl's name in Mandarin, so...)

Our kids' Mandarin names are "Joy of dawn's first light" and "Harmonious intra-personal relationships". They're more snappy in Mandarin, though.

French youth faces court for illegal drone flight

Cheshire Cat

Prosecution seems a bit of overkill

This would seem to be to be a case where it would have been better for the gendarmerie to have a quiet word with him that this sort of thing is illegal - no matter how well-produced his film is - and that he should refrain from doing it again. Only if he then gets awkward should they start to arrest him and charge him. Otherwise, how is it in the public interest to wreck his future with a police record?

Of course, maybe that's actually what happened, and he only got charged because the quiet word resulted in an attitude.

Hell is other people ... Thousands play same Pokemon game on TV. Mayhem ensues

Cheshire Cat

Instead of simply passing all commands on as button presses, I would have coded it to look at all commands attempted within a certain heartbeat interval (eg, 0.2sec) and then pass on the most common command, resorting to random choice in the event of a tie. That would seem to be a better way to get optimal playing...

Imprisoned Norwegian mass murderer says PlayStation 2 is 'KILLING HIM'

Cheshire Cat

Re: He previously complained bitterly about the lack of hand lotion.

"Which is another way of saying you wouldn't have the balls to take revenge against your murdered child. That says a lot about your sort."

You appear to think that murdering someone for revenge is a brave and praiseworthy act, and that it somehow makes you better than the person you killed.

You are incorrect. It does, however, explain a lot about the sorry state of the USA at the moment (but please correct me if I am wrong about you be from that country)

China's censors censor press censorship report

Cheshire Cat

Hoorway for the Kiwis

New Zealand, homeland of the BoFH, is in at 9th. Take that, Sweden.

Yes, the BBC still uses FTP. And yes, a Russian crook hacked the server

Cheshire Cat

Re: If it's not broke...

The problem with the "If its not broke, don't fit it" attitude is that, when it infects management, it is used as an excuse to deny or delay all preventative maintenance, patching, and so on. Resulting in, eventually, system failures and security breaches due to outdated, bugged, and vulnerable versions of software or sub-optimal configuration. Management would often prefer to have failures they can blame on software bugs or attackers to having a failed modification or patch being blamed on their own department.

Yes, FTP is a relatively lightweight and efficient protocol, but you still need to keep up with the patching and improve security (such as switching to sFTP or FTPS as you mentioned).

MPs: Ancient UK Border Force systems let gangsters into country

Cheshire Cat

Having emigrated out to NZ ten years ago, and made a few trips back to the UK since, I can confirm that the NZ Customs/Immigration are vastly more efficient than those of the UK. A far shorter wait here, despite there having to be more checks for biosecurity. Priority lines for people with small kids who find queueing difficult, and working ePassport gates. Not to mention that the airport terminals themselves are cleaner, less crowded, more efficient, and more spacious - and the public toilets are not vandalised.

When I occasionally return to the UK, everything there now seems so shoddy. Still, you have the BBC and cheap internet, so some benefits I suppose. I think I'll stay here, though...!

British spooks seize tech from Snowden journo's boyfriend at airport

Cheshire Cat

Re: Care? Do something!

Actually, certain header lines (including Subject, To and From DO get included as part of the S/MIME signature on a digitally signed email, specifically to prevent this sort of thing.

They don't recognise us as HUMAN: Disability groups want CAPTCHAs killed

Cheshire Cat

Although I hate using catchas....

Although I hate having to enter captchas, as a support forum admin I have to implement them.

Before I had captcha on the registration process, the forum was being spammed into oblivion every day. Having email confirmation was next to useless as the spambots could automate it; they would hit the board with hundreds of spams in less than an hour.

It reached the point where I disabled the board entirely, before enabling a rather vicious captcha. Spam still gets in, thanks to the cheap-labour issue mentioned before, but a mere fraction of what used to hit.

I can understand that it makes life difficult for people with visual impairment etc, but the fact is that without it, there would be no forum at all for people to register on as I could not contain the levels of spam. Until something appears that works as well (or better) without the disadvantages, then this is the only option.

Using encryption? That means the US spooks have you on file

Cheshire Cat
Big Brother

Re: Steganography?

I think you're referring to the old UseNet "NSA Line Eater" trick of adding "food for the line eater" as your first post line. The original reason was to circumvent a bug in netnews that deleted the first line of a posting; later it was changed to put words like "russia", "nukes" or "kibo" into the line to trigger grepping routines.

BB because...

MI5 test for Mandarin-speaking snoops 'just too easy'

Cheshire Cat

Re: Voice recognition + Google translate?

@Inachu -- "Your arse is bad"? At least, that's what I make it out to be. Not that my Mandarin is much better than that of my 6yr old daughter, from whom I have obtained most of my more interesting vocabulary... Pi hua! Ni zai shi da bun dan!

Any storm in a port

Cheshire Cat

Reversible USB exists

Just use cables from these people: http://reversibleusb.com/

Costs more but if its too much trouble for you to flip the plug over...

China 'enhances' Great Firewall, teaches it to choke off VPNs

Cheshire Cat

Tunnelling over 443 wont work...

They most likely kill tcp/443 connections after a few seconds, on the grounds that anything generating a large amount of data on that port is most likely a VPN. SImilarly, all other SSL service ports can also be limited. Known VPN ports blocked, other ports checked for VPN protocols in the initial packets on connection. As long as you have the resources available to you that the PRC do then this would be feasible...

Actually, I had wondered how long it would take for them to start blocking VPNs.

Outlook 2013 spurns your old Word and Excel documents

Cheshire Cat

Re: Outlook kitchensink. Also, Question S/MIME

Oh great, yet more smime issues with outlook.

Bad enough that it already apparently randomly chooses to use its ms-tnef format which breaks the ability to read the clear-signed messages in non-smime-capable Android clients. Now they want to break things yet again. ANyone would think that they don't like having support for an open encryption standard...

Won't follow Apple Store rules? How 'bout an iTASER TREAT!

Cheshire Cat


Her name is 'Xiaojie Li'? This is 'Miss Li' in Chinese ('xiao jie' is 'young female'), not her actual name.

The Lord of the Rings saga lies hidden deep in your Mac

Cheshire Cat

Oldtimer alert!

I remember the online manual page for 'tunefs' (file system performance tuning utility) used to have in the 'bugs' section the text "You can tune a filesystem, but you cant tuna fish". Also, in the NROFF comments of the raw manual file, was an addition comment "If you remove this, a UNIX daemon will dog your steps until the time_ts wrap over".

The entry was still present in AIX3, but by AIX4 it had gone. Is no longer present in linux either (probably never inherited that documentation...). It may still be in OSX is that has tunefs...

I also remember that in the message description file (this was OS/400!) error 13 was "Insufficient user IQ" with recommended action "Upgrade keyboard/chain interface module". Error 1701 was "The engines canna take it" with solution "Reverse polarity of the dilithium matrix". I wonder if these are still in production somewhere.

Pirate cops bust LITTLE GIRL, take her Winnie-the-Pooh laptop

Cheshire Cat
Black Helicopters

The most disturbing part

The most disturbing part is not so much the demands for E600 for a failed download, as their demands for agreement to secrecy. After all, if they had thought their actions were honourable, they'd have no need for this.

I wonder how many people cave in to the threats?

Watchdog halts Toyota Grand Theft Auto-esque advert

Cheshire Cat

They've cut it down

The version on the Toyota channel is now cut down, with all the GTA bits removed.

The full version is still on YouTube though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLThzvsPCkI and this still has the police helicopters etc.

I don't see what all the fuss was about, myself.

El Reg acquires wildly dangerous laser cannon (with lightsabre option)

Cheshire Cat

Re: Lovely.

Same here in New Zealand, due to numerous brainless jerks thinking it is fun to target aircraft on their final approach and dazzle the pilots. Probably a good thing restricting them, considering the potential for disaster caused by mindless loons.

Facebook trial: Tell everyone where you are, have a Wi-Fi peanut

Cheshire Cat

Wouldnt work here

All the places in Auckland I've used free Wifi require you to get the day's password at the till after purchase... also, the new "3 strikes and you're disconnected" rule Hollywood have paid^H^H^Hlobbied the NZ government to implement has made places less willing to offer free wifi, since they will now be held liable for anything done using it.

JK Rowling's adult novel arrives on ebook full of FAIL

Cheshire Cat
Thumb Down

My ebook...

I have written a book (not quite as popular as those by JKR though) and sell it as both physical and ebook. The ebook sells for half the price of the physical, has no delivery costs, and I get exactly the same commission from both.

However ebook sales make up <2% of total sales. Barely worth the effort of providing it in that format.

Personally, I would always pay a few $ more to get a physical book, and would never pay as much or more to get an ebook. Far better to have something solid you can hold, share, and (if necessary) resell.

Kim Dotcom mounts freedom campaign

Cheshire Cat

I was surprised..

I was surprised at the extent to which the local police kissed USA bum and descended on him with armed SWAT and all - massively overacted on insufficient evidence (according to local judiciary).

I'd have more sympathy with him, though, if he wasn't such an egomaniac jerk.

Scottish council muzzles 9-year-old school dinner photo blogger

Cheshire Cat

Gone viral...

Seems to have gone viral; donations now over ukp80,000 and rising.

Of course the idiot who set the policy to silence criticisms like this will get off scott free, as usual. However, the council now look even stupider than usual.

Hitchhiker shot while researching 'Kindness of America'

Cheshire Cat

Man goes to research Kindness in America...

Research complete. Now to draw conclusions!

Every country has its morons. Its just that, in the US, they are armed...


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