* Posts by Alan W. Rateliff, II

769 posts • joined 21 Nov 2007

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Tesla share crash amid Republican bid to kill off electric car tax break

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Fallacious logic applied to taxation

"any cuts have to be met with additional tax income."

This presumes the money spent was the government's money to spend in the first place. The natural tendency of government is to take, whether it be money, rights, liberties, property, freedoms (some of these being inextricably interlinked to each other) or whatever else is naturally owned by an individual.

But more specifically, cutting the corporate tax rate means businesses will do more business in the United States. Companies which have moved operations or manufacturing out of the country will have more incentive to return or businesses to build anew, which invariably increases revenue by displacing the losses by moving off-shore.

This does not get into even a little bit of the differences made when government stops taking money from citizens for failed programs, absolutely certain that throwing more and more money at a problem will solve it -- not at all limited to party, either.

Party notwithstanding, if you truly believe the government has a better idea of what to do with your money than you do, whether as an individual or a community, then you are the one still stuck in "more of the same" which has historically failed over and over and over.

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Slashing regulations literally more important than saving American lives to Donald Trump

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Thumb Down

This is bait.

How did I know who wrote this article before clicking on it?

How about this headline:

"Government regulations literally more important than security to tech writer.

- Savings lives paper-tiger as mechanisms employ technology open to abuse."

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4

BOFH: Do I smell burning toes, I mean burning toast?

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Pint

Good on ya, PFY

Good to see the young man taking more initiative.

Yeah, a lot of recognizable decision making code-word in this one. Any time management walks into a room and starts "surveying," "assessing," or anything which implies making a plan one must realize there is no plan there is only do. The decision to move forward on an idea was made before the idea was even fully formulated, inspired by a half-read blog post or magazine article. Half-read and quit before the section on caveats and pitfalls, which is always at the end, anyway, since the person writing in the first place lead with the meat to make the idea seem good or practical, putting all the realistic reasons why it will not work way in the back knowing eyes will have glazed over by then.

Like those news stories, "Is your cat plotting to kill you? We'll tell you why at 10." The foregone conclusion is in the headline and you should immediately suspect the opposite is true.

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Release the KRACKen patches: The good, the bad, and the ugly on this WPA2 Wi-Fi drama

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

hrmmmm Perhaps we can convince El Reg to use an icon of a troll instead of Guy Fawkes for ACs.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Your post is informative to those who do not know otherwise, but... that was the joke.

Honestly, I completely discount this "backward compatibility" nonsense argument for why equipment still includes WEP (non-)encryption.

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Commodore 64 makes a half-sized comeback

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Stop

It will be useless and crap.

A lot of promises here. I am tired of people taking the "retro" community for granted and for a ride. Anyone who has access to a real C64 and hardware (that is, anyone with access to eBay or Craigslist) already has what they need to have a good old time with the machine. The HDMI port might be the only useful thing about The64, in particular since so many of the cheap S-Video/Composite-to-HDMI adapters cannot sync to the 240p signal output by the VIC-II and other chips of the era including those in the TI-99/4-series and Atari 8-bits. There are a few which do but it is a crap-shoot, though I over-came with a shiny Onkyo TX-NR656 which does a fairly good job with up-scaling the old systems, including Sega Genesis and original NES.

Disks are not an issue, either. If you have a PC and one of the many models of XU-1541 then you can use a real drive and real disks. Or pick up one of the SD2IEC variants and put your disk images on an SD card. Grab the TOSEC for Commodore 64 via Archive.org, as well as a number of really awesome new games available around the webs.

Or, as another has stated, grab Vice and run a nicely-equipped Commodore 64 (or 128, or VIC-20, etc.) on virtually any platform. Frodo is another which works well for cross-platform emulation -- anyone still run PalmOS or WebOS?

Point being, the Commodore community at large, IMNSHO, will pan this (actually, there are plenty of threads around in which this has already been panned, some with amazing vitriol.) I do not see the names of anyone recognized as modern pioneers on this project, at the very least Jeri Ellsworth who was responsible for the D64TV. Anyone with genuine interest, like those I have met at places like Vintage Computer Fest, will want their hands on the Real Deal(tm) and will get them.

This is hipster fodder. I call shenanigans on this whole damn page.

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Vibrating walls shafted servers at a time the SUN couldn't shine

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: VMS documentation

Nowadays, you have to check the box in case you accidentally threw out the CD.

Around a decade ago I was setting up a device for a customer. I cannot recall whether it was a network firewall or some USB device, this particular detail has long escaped me and is not important. What is important, however, is the instructions came on a CD.

I kid you not, the only file on the CD was a shortcut to the manufacturer's support website.

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Patch alert! Easy-to-exploit flaw in Linux kernel rated 'high risk'

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Pint

Re: Let the games begin...

BSD on an Amiga 2000 with Blizzard 2060 FTW :)

(Or the native Apache and PHP builds from Aminet. Whichever.)

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Stand up who HASN'T been hit in the Equifax mega-hack – whoa, whoa, sit down everyone

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Flame

Forced to use them, irrespective of how we want to live

Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union all enjoy a captive user base. If you do anything in life your information flows through at least one of these companies. Need car insurance, a bank account, to get an apartment, to rent a car or moving truck, to rent storage, to buy a house, cellular, home phone, or cable TV services? Any one of those and more require that your information travel through these services which have proven time and again they lack security prowess.

But, here is where I think we as consumers must accept some culpability: from my recollection all of these breaches have occurred via pathways of convenience, that is, some Internet portal which has access to a back-end rich with data which we can access on a whim via web browser or app. While, yes, we expect that companies will keep our information safe, whether we want them to have it or not, we should also expect a severe increase in risk for having conveniences like web access to such data.

(Of course, we hear about data breaches so much I think we have on the whole developed a fatigue, complacency, and even ambivalence toward personal data collection

But where does the problem really fall? Is it our requirement for instant and unfettered access to information, the entities which fulfill this requirement, or the fact these entities are able to collect this information in the first place? Maybe somewhere else?

It aggravates me no matter how much I personally avoid (or at least try to avoid) situations in which I would be forced to give personal or private information to someone or something, others are quickly handing that information over, anyway. I avoid using Google products, but calling or sending a text message to an Android phone or email to a Gmail account exposes me. Even Some Business and its associated domain is not safe because it uses Google Apps for email, or Office 365, or its records are stored in Azure or Amazon cloud.

I do not use social media, but my family or friends post everything about their lives on it, and by extension when I participate in their lives they post mine, as well, giving me the only recourse of becoming anti-social. FFS, even some of my customers do it!

In order to survive this increasingly connected world I have to accept that my life may no longer be private, at least to some degree, and as such these entities which broker in information have to accept their place as responsible custodians of said information.

11
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Sony remembers it once made a great little phone

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

How well does "predictive capture" work?

The camera boasts "predictive capture", a fairly common trick nowadays with the phone snapping shots continuously and discarding those just before the moment the shutter was pressed.

On my CyberShot phones I use BestPic. I found many times I hit the shutter a split second early in anticipation but most times I hit the shutter a split second too late. BestPic's ability to capture several frames before and after the shutter (four before, one at, and four after) is very handy to capture the single event and also to catch stages of the event in various frames.

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New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Thumb Down

Re: WTF?

Yup yup yup. I was heading right in this direction. All issues with the selection aside, Microsoft has to take some responsibility in its own demise. I was going to ask if a company can be so blind to its bullshit, but the obvious answer is, yes. It plays this never-ending game with its users and devotees screwing them at every corner, including this path of constant obsolescence, pretending users are okay with it and actually want more.

Microsoft has tuned its Reality Distortion Field to work on itself, but its nowhere near as capable as Jobs' in regards to customers. At least in the case of translating frustration from the desktop to the mobile phone market. Microsoft may be King of the Desktop, but that has nothing to do with the goodness of the product and treating mobile phones like a desktop just is not going to bring market share.

In short, Microsoft does not have its shit together.

Now, I know very little about iPhones as I neither own or use one. However, I recently came across an iPhone user with an iPhone 5 running everything a newer device can. That is a five year-old phone running iOS 10 and all the accoutrements therein. That seems pretty impressive to my non-iPhone-using self. Yet here we have Windows smart phones purchased in 2016, applications which cannot run in 10 in 2017, which would only be supported until 2019.

Big WTF here, Microsoft.

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

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Go Samsung!

Eh, blame GoogleTube? Maybe so for TVs but I can still stream YouTube to my Sony Ericsson phone, though the audio and video tend to go out of sync.

Technology sucks.

If it didn't, people like me would starve.

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Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook

Alan W. Rateliff, II

As opposed to an admin who thinks he's above user preference?

Who are you to dictate file extensions? What if he didn't want to use them at all? What if he had never heard of those particular extensions. What if another program used the same extensions?

Okay, I'll bite. Your last assertion seems valid, but cannot validate the rest of the shenanigans in your post. If a user wants to name paper files which exist in a complete vacuum relative to standards, that is how someone wants to file their papers is generally an arbitrary choice, then that is fine. However, if users want to maintain data in an environment which consists of standards then it most certainly is the admin's responsibility to ensure the users stay withing those standards, or at least in most cases it should be safe to assume those standards are valid and followed.

Of course, we know how assumptions work, so it is also the responsibility of the admin the event that valid data is affected by such automated processes. As a matter of policy I do not delete data in customer use areas and leave that up to the users, even in times when space is low and I have to guide the user through the process I stay away from the liability.

I will agree that if the admin acts maliciously in a this-will-teach-them approach, without ever having taken the time to advise or guide the user, said admin is not meeting his responsibility, but certainly, yes, standards trump the user's preferences, especially for forward usability.

You remind me of the admin who blindly deleted someones file called "penis" that contained biological research data.

He didn't get away with it. I'm surprised that you did.

This is not even close to the same thing. If someone wants to put the name "penis" in their files, then so be it, even more so in a biological research environment. Stipulation this is a real even in the first place and your retelling of the tale is a 100% true representation of the event, the admin who did this sounds like a penis, himself.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

If he needed an old email, he'd just go search in the deleted items.

I have asked users before, "would you keep your lunch in the trash can?" Then I spent some time showing them how to use mailbox folders or archives.

I never really liked the archives because they were always stored in the local Application Data (or %localappdata%) directory which is not subject to roaming profiles or folder redirection. If the user moved to a new computer the archive PST would have to be moved manually, or worse if the computer tanked it was lost. Storing the PST in "My Documents" is not much better because Outlook has the habit of continuing to run after its GUI is closed, thus holding open PSTs which would wreak havoc with roaming profiles in particular since users have the habit of logging off or shutting down without closing programs.

It rather amuses me how Outlook now likes to use the "Outlook files" folder in "My Documents" and Microsoft encourages the use of redirected folders, considering Microsoft also warns against using PST files over the network. (Unfortunately, the blog post link in that article is no longer a direct link but can be found in plenty of other resources. GFI has a really nice write-up on this.)

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Commentard Quizwall experiment ends with more quizzing than commenting

Alan W. Rateliff, II

80% of them are simply a habitat for trolls, ideologues and credulous chumps.

Are you describing the comments section or Kieren McCarthy's articles?

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Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Stop

Misconceptions, misinterpretations, fallacites, and flat-out fabrications

How about we see this "manifesto" broken down by a clinical expert (and academic) and spoken of directly from the horse's mouth?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEDuVF7kiPU

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Autonomous driving in a city? We're '95% of the way there'

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: LIDAR vs Snow

Right! Reminds me of the rant from some car maker working on autonomous driving, complaining about the lack of uniformity in traffic lights and signs around various locales. Once the autonomous vehicles left the sterile testing environments or the familiar local area they suddenly failed to recognize important traffic control cues.

Seems to me if the computer cannot adjust to disparate environments it is not a very good replacement for the human system.

Unless, of course, we change everything to suit the machines. At which point they will have won.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Will we ever reach the real level of human-like driving?

Robotic road rage would be awesome.

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It’s 2017 and Hayes AT modem commands can hack luxury cars

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Physical access

I suppose one thing would be the next take-down of half the Internet could be done by cars instead of IP cameras.

But, imagine if you will, suddenly making a bunch of cars of a particular model shut down at the same time, or they activate the braking system all at once on various Interstates. Obviously that all depends upon what additional systems can be accessed, but if car designers take the TJX or Target approach that nothing bad can happen inside a protected network, well, there are all sorts of shenanigans which can ensue.

While the espionage angle of killing a journalist of political staffer without traces of foul play may sound outlandish, maybe taking that a little further in realizing in its most useful mode car is a ton and a-half missile. And I am not talking about the back seat on a hill top. Since we are becoming more and more dependent upon technologies like lane keeping, blind-spot monitoring, object avoidance and, eventually, self-driving, the uses for taking over a system using the defects in a modem are pretty evident.

For that matter, I wonder what happens if we start sending malformed GPS signals to cars with built-in navigation. Even the car I am driving right now (not while typing this, mind you) without navigation can use the built-in GPS to set the clock, and when paired with my phone it can place an emergency call including my GPS coordinates in the event of an incapacitating accident. So, what about mishandling malformed GPS input when the unit is receiving an updated almanac?

Anyway, that is just thinking about another vector into a potentially unprotected system, but gaining access to a car's systems, even "non-critical" ones like oil pressure or temperature sensing, speed indication, hood release, and so on could cause a great deal of mischief.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: I missed something

That is left to the imagination of the reader or anyone with the motivation to try it.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: "In IT terms a 2009 product is close to end-of-life" - Does not compute!

You've worked on products with a intended operational life measured in decades - but most businesses now work with hardware with an intended operational life measured in single-digit numbers of years.. The key word in each case is "intended."

Okay, sure, but the keyword is "IT".

The general IT reference cannot be limited to just within the past decade. Not that long ago I found an old 2400 bps modem in one of those street-side billboards. Within the past few years I had been working with a company to install new radios with built-in IP routers for ACARS uplinks which were being handled by 9600 bps lease-circuit modems and radios which my grandfather might have sold when he was a teen.

I suspect these new radios will not get a couple of decades of service while still providing the same intended purposes of the original radio and computer stack.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: The Hayes modem command set.

From what I can tell from some SonyEricsson developer guides the AT command set is also used between phones and Bluetooth devices to set up indicator updates (charge, signal strength, etc.) even pop-up a notice on your phone when a device's battery is going flat, among other things like currently playing media file information.

I have also read documentation on SMS sending devices which use AT commands, hell even 802.11 "wifi" modems communicate with the host computer via AT commands and the chips are being used to make wireless interfaces for old computers like the Commodore 64. Have to wonder if these would be susceptible to the old "+++ATH0" trick we used to knock people off-line in the old dial-up days*: imagine including a reference to http://theregister.com/+++ath0.jpg in a web page.

Considering that my old SE phone works with the latest 2017 in-car media computers, none of this surprises me but is rather interesting. Makes me wonder if there are any other devices which use the AT command set which may be vulnerable to buffer mishandling of commands or results (AIO and fax machines, in-car computers over Bluetooth, computer fax modems, regular old modems, alarm systems or critical monitoring systems with cellular modems, and so on.)

* that is, against modems which did not implement the Hayes standard escape wait time before entering command mode.

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Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

Alan W. Rateliff, II

It's Google's fault, blah blah blah

While NOT arguing against Google "Do No Evil" (or whatever) aggressiveness for a second, I feel it incumbent upon me to point out that a big enemy of Firefox is Firefox. I see this when I look back through articles about changes being made which users do not particular like but trudge along because there is nothing better.

Well, Chrome is here. May not be better than Firefox, but it does seem to be far less aggravating for users.

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Google Chrome's HTTPS ban-hammer drops on WoSign, StartCom in two months

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Meh

Re: A further attempt to reach an authorized StartCom spokesperson brought no response.

I got a response from support several weeks ago about this issue and how my secure sites to which I direct some of my customers were starting so show as insecure in Chrome. I was hoping this mess would be sorted by now, but apparently what I have to do is purchase a certificate which will have all of my certificates combined and signed by what is and will continue to be a trusted root, then they will re-issue all of my affected certificates once the root distrust issue is resolved.

Well, damn.

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Male escort says he gave up IT to do something more meaningful

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: i did this when i was younger

Yeah. Back in my 20s I developed a theory on why I should become a male escort. Never did the research, however.

All you have to do is dress nicely, groom up presentably, and just look the part of a gentleman. Smile a lot, speak when spoken to, laugh at horrible or stupid jokes, pretend to take interest in whatever inanity spills forth from her mouth, be gracious when introduced as whatever (including going with whatever story she decides to tell, if at all as at some events this sort of thing is expected and accepted,) and so on.

Be her best friend, a caring companion, whatever she may need for those few hours. Remembering certain details of your conversations can be a bonus for repeat customers, sometimes worth a little extra tip.

Rather than having to pay for the evening's events, though if you do for appearances you can agree to be reimbursed, you get paid and have much better odds at a happy ending for the evening. You may never see her again, or if you do it's on a customer-provider basis so you get to set your availability with no hurt feelings.

In my past I've gone on "dates" with lady friends so they wouldn't be alone: weddings, birthday parties, movie nights, even funerals. I never got any money for any of those but I realized I could given the right situation.

Also, it doesn't have to stop at "middle age." Sites like "Our Time" are becoming a thing. There is a market in the 40 and 50 year-old range, and a lot of these ladies are very nice looking, good-natured, and fun. If you are in your 40s and have aged well, there is a chance for you to make the occupation change or take it on as a weekend job.

That's the theory, anyway.

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America throws down gauntlet: Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Facepalm

Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

"It might take a generation or two, but if the United States gets out of all the counties we should not even be in in the first place, world peace might break out."

While I may agree with you there are some places where we should not be involved, and it is likely we will not agree upon those places, your assertion that removing ourselves from any area of the world would ultimately bring about peace is utter foolishness.

You seem to imply terrorism is solely an American-made problem and the concern of terrorism is unique to America, please do be so kind as to look at a map of the world, noting the countries in which jihadist terror attacks have been occurring, and enlighten us as to the countries where these affected countries are involved and from which they should withdraw to stop further attacks.

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Smart burglars will ride the surf of inter-connected hackability

Alan W. Rateliff, II

No "Ice Pirates" reference

No big deal, but I am disappointed I was unable to find a video clip of the robotic trash can from "Ice Pirates."

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Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Methane can be made on Mars

Sounds like they'd be better off sending a branch of Chipotle rather than a Pizza Hut.

Does it matter which?

http://greatideas.people.com/2015/02/18/chipotle-menu-items-calories-fat-unhealthy/

But then, from where would Chipotle obtain its locally-sourced ingredients? With the market cornered on bugallo, the Wongs would likely cause Chipotle to be out of the price range of the average worker.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Joke

Re: Carbon

I don't know if you heard, but Musk is pretty big on carbon reduction. No doubt he has a plan to compensate.

The purchase of carbon credits alone would jump-start the global economy.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Coat

Pizza on Mars... yeah, yeah, that's cool. What about a fry shop on Venus?

0
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Fighter pilot shot down laptops with a flick of his copper-plated wrist

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Mushroom

The one that gets me is when users always try to tell you the results of their own diagnoses, rather than the symptoms (which is what I need to know).

THIS THIS THIS THIS a million friggen times THIS.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Random PC reboots

Two bits fairly recently. First, a computer shut off and could not be turned back on, nor its monitors. All are plugged into a UPS but it will not turn on. Okay, easy fix: replace the UPS.

That might have fixed it, but I found the circuit breaker on the UPS was tripped. Pushed it back in, everything came back on no problem. User was gone for the day so I left her a note to let me know if it happened again, and to make note of any devices she might have plugged in.

Next day, sure enough, it happened again. This time I made it round while she was there and found a portable space heater plugged into the UPS. She was instructed on the difference between equipment and appliances, that the heater is an appliance, and the two cannot coincide.

Next problem was related to a UPS, as well. This time the report was the UPS would shriek and the computer would reboot. Asked about any power fluctuations in the office and confirmed with the server's UPS software that nothing seemed amiss. Again, the though was the UPS or its battery when she suddenly offered that she could make it happen. How? By printing. Every time she would try to print this would happen.

Instructed user to move the laser printer power cord from the "battery" side of the UPS to the "surge only" side of the UPS and all was well in the universe, again.

Fun times.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Pirate

Re: not necessarily

A while ago I had to visit the urgent care clinic over the weekend for severe ear pain which decided it would not wait until Monday to see my primary care physician.

At this clinic worked a rather attractive young woman assigned the task of showing patients to the exam rooms and taking vitals. Upon seeing her I immediately felt a change in my physiology. Infer what you will, but said changes included elevated heart rate, flushed cheeks, and sudden slight perspiration.

OF COURSE when she took my blood pressure it was rather high. She says to me, a bit nonplussed, "have you done anything today which would make your blood pressure go up?"

I responded, "nope, this is completely involuntary."

8
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.Science and .study: Domains of the bookish? More like domains of the JERKS!

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Block all email from vanity TLD's

Yup... I was just about to post the same thing. I have yet to see a single legitimate email come from any of these TLDs to any of my customers.

3
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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Shame

All music will be rated EC-10 and media burned, anyway.

A while back I ripped all of my CDs to FLAC, and do as I obtain new ones. Then I can mass convert FLAC into whatever format I need, which right now is medium-quality AAC in M4A so I can play from my phone over Bluetooth. Might not be "high fidelity" but it does sound far better than the MP3s from way back in the day, at any bit-rate setting.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Pirate

Re: MP3

Screw MP3. You will have to pry Fibonacci-Delta compressed IFFs from my cold dead hands.

Long live 8SVX.

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TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Oh you optimist

I am happily ignorant to change with a new 1080p projector to give me any size screen I want, a $40 OTA DVR with HDMI output, and an Intel NUC. All-in cost under $1,000, including the going-out-of-business sale HDMI switching receiver.

DVDs and BluRays play on the NUC but most are already ripped to the NAS (with the exception of some ornery ones which refuse to be ripped.)

0
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Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Improvements?

As for Older hardware, I've got a Mac SE that's still going strong ~30 years on. It's quite a while since I felt the need for more speed from a PC and I'm only running an i5 2500k. If I want it to go fasterer, I'll overclock it.

Right, as an Amiga user running AmigaOS 3.9 on a 50MHz 68060 I understand the argument against the need for speed. However, the browser and many other programs I use cannot handle TLS 1.2 easily. (Though an update to AmiSSL was recently released which seems to have eased this quite a bit.)

A Mac SE would support OS7.5, maybe 8, correct? Out of curiosity, what kind of development has happened in this sphere to help these operating systems keep up with modern Internet security and performance requirements? Has yours been upgraded beyond the 68000? I know my 7MHz 68000 Amigas were damn near useless for browsing even in the late 90s and it took an upgrade to a 40MHz EC030 to moderately mediate the issue.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: And yet another MS stuff up

I completely fail to understand why Microsoft, once again, has elected to go to desperate lengths to exclude portions of its customer base and what the possible legitimate benefit could be.

The same crap happened with Server 2003 and Windows XP x64. As XP x64 and Server 2003 were built on the same kernel, they both had the same support road-map which extended one year beyond 32-bit XP's expiration date. Then almost last minute Microsoft decided XP x64 would die at the same time as its cousin. Indeed, Windows Updates failed to indicate available updates for XP x64, however if you manually download and installed Server 2003 x64 updates all was well.

Windows 7 has an extended support road-map expiration of 2020, still three years out. While many systems built on older Intel and AMD CPUs can feasibly last that long, Microsoft is for all intents and purposes reducing its promise on supporting what remains a viable alternative to its Lastest-and-Greatest(tm).

Likely, though, it will not make a difference to Intel, AMD, or Microsoft in the forward march of progress. The Gigabyte motherboard and Gen7 Intel CPU I wanted did not come with Windows 7 drivers (I am told by a reliable source this situation was demanded by Microsoft,) but it was demonstrably possible to load Gen6 drivers during OS installation. Since I was moving an existing installation with no easy way to know up-front if I could get the drivers going I wound up sticking with a Gen6 setup. Did Intel notice this lost sale of new product? Nope.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Holmes

Re: If you are forced into Windows 10

(Warning, some browsers won't like the certificate here.)

Not for nothing, but since free secure certificates are available these days, is a self-signed certificate even partially forgivable?

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TCP/IP headers leak info about what you're watching on Netflix

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Happy

Re: So.....

Crowd-sourced research.

1
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Douglas Coupland: The average IQ is now 103 and the present is melting into the future

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: IQ tests

Absolutely, I see that as a huge benefit in training, in particular when you need to absorb a skill as quickly as possible and you can learn incidentals and out-of-the-box scenarios on-the-job. I do not, however, see a place for this type of training in primary education, if only for two reasons: the minds being taught are different at the ages indicated and a majority of students cannot think and remember effectively when taught to the test, and the expected results of the education at these two points are different whereas one is expected to lay the groundwork for skills and knowledge which can be broadly applied and the other is meant to be very focused on a particular function.

As a case in point, while a student in education I observed two grade levels preparing for the FCAT. First, I would note that a number of these students were absolute emotional wrecks with the weight of the school on their shoulders, these being the lower-performers who could "bring the school down." But more importantly, they were missing particular aspects of each subject being taught. I worked with one student trying to grasp the area of a rectangle, the formula for which is L x W. But when presented a square he stumbled on the notion of which was the length and which was the width, because both were equal. Yes, from our perspective this is a non-issue, but, again, these were not necessarily the high-performers with whom I was working.

Now, right there on the same page as the L x W formula was the S x S formula for squares. I remember being taught this, not necessarily that squares were different than rectangles, but that the formula was more suited to the square as every side is equal. I pointed that out to the student and he informed me that he had not been taught that formula. I inquired of the teacher and she told me the formula was not in the school's curriculum because it was not on the FCAT.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: IQ tests

That pretty much sums up my thoughts on cheating, or for that matter "targeted studying" for any test.

For instance, the UCF business school cheating incident† in which a number of students studied from sample questions available on-line. These students studied 700 sample questions for a 50 question mid-term. Why not just, I dunno, learn the material, instead?

As for targeted studying, I have a physical reaction to students asking "what's going to be on the test?" So far as I am concerned everything in the text and lectures up to now is fair-game, kind-of like life.

Brings me as an aside to standardized testing and how schools have been "teaching to the test." When I was in elementary we had these standardized tests, as well. The one I took was called the ITBS: the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Our preparation for the test consisted of "Tuesday next week make sure you have a number-two pencil and an eraser" and I recall we did quite well. The whole point, as the name implied, was to test your basic skills, how you were applying the things being taught in regular lessons.

† There is some additional reading which makes this incident a little controversial in its construct but does not affect my over-all point about studying questions rather than material.

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Microsoft cloud TITSUP: Skype, Outlook, Xbox, OneDrive, Hotmail down

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Happy

Re: Sorry, my fault...

And for all that cancer...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP3X0dSV9kI

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Facepalm

You tossers have it all wrong: just delete system32. Duh!

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Amazon S3-izure cause: Half the web vanished because an AWS bod fat-fingered a command

Alan W. Rateliff, II

-Confirm:$false

Now always your friend.

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81's 99 in 17: Still a lotta love for the TI‑99/4A – TI's forgotten classic

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: What no Geneve?

Likely because the Geneve out-right replaces the 99/4A as a much more capable machine. It is compatible to a large degree being able to run pretty much everything from the old console, including "ripping" cartridges, and use the same hardware expansions. The Geneve is like the SuperCPU of the TI world, but a little easier to find, and I just picked up one at last year's Chicago TI Users Group Faire but like with all things time is my worst enemy.

While a massive upgrade for the 99/4A, almost all of the major development in the forum is directed solely at the 4A console, even down to the bare-bones 256 bytes of CPU RAM and 9918A, only -- no 32k, etc. This is changing, though, to require 32k now that the nanoPEB and 32k sidecar expansions are pretty prevalent. Games and demos by Rasmus and a few others all require 32k, as do numerous Extended BASIC (following tradition of the Old Days when XB and 32k went pretty much hand-in-hand.)

Maybe a future article could delve into the Geneve world and the salivating anticipation for the FPGA-based Geneve II. There are several experts on and developers for the Geneve around to help with that.

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Google Chrome 56's crypto tweak 'borked thousands of computers' using Blue Coat security

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Coat

Re: The curse of "Blue" security

Like the Blue Duck!

(Oh, Gawd, I just saw it next to the Twitter bird and now I feel sad. And a little dirty.)

I fail to see the need for all the dick-measuring over this. Forgetting for a second that Google is arrogant and everything Google is in perpetual beta, and Symantec does have a reputation for ruining everything useful, both are implementing a standard which is still in draft. These are the kinds of things we should expect to happen on occasion and instead of childish mud-slinging and disparagement, the cooperative spirit of the Internet should emerge.

Try to read that with a straight face.

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'First ever' SHA-1 hash collision calculated. All it took were five clever brains... and 6,610 years of processor time

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: "Why does the size have to be identical? "

Just a few thoughts.

PDFs are compressed containers, right? That being the case, you can change quite a lot of the payload and all you have to do is ensure the compressed output of your manipulated file has the same size and hash. Being that the input to the hash generator is essentially already manipulated in a manner which essentially obfuscates the source document.

Of course, that is a narrow application but still seems practical. Going a similar route, look at any compressed file you might download: .zip, .7z, .tgz, etc. For full confidence a check for all parts should be applied, not just the download but the individual hashes of each and every part. For instance, the hash of the archive, the hash of all parts combined, the hash of each individual file, hunk, etc. Doing so gets heavy and resource expensive rather quickly.

More broadly, think of the Open Document formats which are zipped containers, among others.

But what of TLS sessions? Consider that a spook or nefarious agency (arguably one in the same) has a packet capture of a TLS-encrypted session signed with a SHA-1 certificate. We already know sessions signed by a certificate generated with poor entropy (the debacle from a few years back) can be undone. $130k is nothing to throw at this for such agencies, maybe even enough to get the GPU calculation requirements down to something more reasonable than a year (how much was paid for the San Bernadino iPhone hack?) Whatever was in that session is at risk, be it an email, web search, forum posting, or penis-enhancement purchase confirmation page.

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Did you know? The FBI investigated Gamergate. Now you can read the agents' thrilling dossier

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Humanity fail.

I have more general issues to address here than the "Gamergate" situation.

"Only about 1 in 3 rapes are ever investigated, and less than 1 in a hundred are prosecuted."

This is misleading on a several points. First is the assumption that all rapes reported actually occured, and second due to the ever-changing and broadening definition of rape which in some surveys include feeling guilty afterward, while intoxicated, or other ambiguous or dubious terms, including the bureau of justice statistics were "attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape" and sexual assault "also includes verbal threats."

Your "1 in 100" prosecuted should actually be your "1 in 3," but even so the number of prosecutions is misleading because, again, we have to take into account what constitutes rape as well as mistakes by investigators, retractions of false allegations, presence of exculpatory and necessary inculpatory evidence for prosecution, and the fact that majority of criminal cases get plead-out or settled before ever making it to prosecution.

"...the FBI's criminal statistics division... is a voluntary program, and for obvious political reasons, most police departments want to downplay the instances of violent crime in their precincts. As a result, rape is severely under-reported."

This is also misleading and calling upon the presumption of an "obvious political" slant on the part of law enforcement. The UCR is voluntary but strongly suggested, and law enforcement agencies which do not participate are generally smaller forces and most often covered by some sort of state open-records law. The under-reporting of crime happens /before/ law enforcement is contacted.

"rape is severely under-reported. Most women don't even bother reporting it because they know -- from their friends and family -- that it is largely futile."

What exactly do they know? They know how a woman's allegations alone are treated as fact? How the current approach of "the seriousness of the allegation is most important" has ruined careers and lives even after a claim has been proven false?

"dismissed by authorities and the -- male -- public"

Yet analysis of these instances show that women are more likely to be dismissive than men.

"what you are matters a lot when it comes to criminal investigations, public sympathy, and credibility."

In the public eye rape, harassment, and violence are taken very seriously and given great credibility even when not deserved due to being inaccurate or blatantly false. What you are matters when you are telling the truth, when you are fabricating, and when you are lying.

"The statistics are so depressing it makes me hate the very concept of numbers. Just look down and to the right of this post at the number of thumbs down"

I infer, then, the negative reaction to a post spewing anecdotal account of numbers or alluding to statistics which are proven to be misleading or inflated, is enough to prove the post in the first place.

"Most women have bigger balls than you'll ever have. It takes guts to walk out the door, every day, and endure this with a smile, to never let it show that it bothers you. It takes courage that most men cannot comprehend, and it is shameful that men have allowed themselves to become this weak and pathetic that they won't stand up for others."

Men have a higher likelihood of being assaulted and "bullied" than women do, including on-line where analysis shows that over half of the on-line harassment women experience are from other women.

Even the FBI's uniform crime reports statistics historically dismisses male rape and sexual abuse. Sexual assaults on men are ridiculed and joked about as "you can't rape the willing" implying that men are just walking erections looking for a hole. Men who complain about assault and battery are derided as wimps, pussy, not man enough, etc. So do not for one second think that women own the market on rape, assault, and harassment in the dark figure of crime.

"no different than being upset with muslims because some of them are terrorists. Why won't you do more, you ask. It's a muslim problem, so it's okay to discriminate because they haven't done a good enough job policing their community."

Here we are given a false equivalency: the assumption that men are inherently indiscriminately violent and mysoginst, compared to a religion which within its scriptures and doctrine preaches the death of those who will not submit and the destruction of other cultures and has never, unlike others, undergone reformations called for by prominent figures.

There is a problem in this world with a religion which teaches world domination as a tenant which outsiders have no power to correct; there is not a problem in this world in which men are taught from day one to hate and disrespect women. At the very least the "bad guys" in the religion are instructed to hide their true nature during their march toward domination, while the "bad guys" in both genders actually stick out like sore thumbs.

Men are, as a whole, well-adjusted and taught to respect and love women, both by the very nature of their mothers and by a well-adjusted father. We are taught to be protective and defensive of women as we would of our own mothers and sisters, and most of us will take a beat-down or a bullet to do so.

"Well men... what are you doing to police yours?"

We police our community quite well, thank you, including putting a beat-down on those who are disrespectful and abusive to women. Otherwise there would be no stories of men coming out to take on another man abusing a women in public, or the long walks in the woods or behind the shed given to men who are secretly abusive, or the beat-downs put on other men for transgressions against women. For that matter, ask any pedophile or rapist how well they fare in prison.

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