* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

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It's not encrypted...

...its just random numbers. I have no idea what it is.

In the USA, we can exercise our 5th amendment privilege, thankfully.

As for not revealing TCN's, one can every day say "We haven't seen any TCN's", and when they stop, we can draw conclusions.

Apple co-founder and former CEO has the most expensive John Hancock on the planet

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My (younger) sister had the autographs of all four of the Beatles. Complete with Aerogram written to her by Ed Sullivan himself. I wonder how much that would be worth today?

Alas, it was lost many decades ago, but it did exist! We should have had it framed properly, but I believe it was stuck in some Beatles album somewhere, and lost not much thereafter (*SIGH*).

He's not cracked RSA-1024 encryption, he's a very naughty Belarusian ransomware middleman

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Basically what he was doing. It has been done in several instances before. One instance, a programmer who was "contracted" to do a job, found someone else to do the job "cheaper". The contractor sat back and collected the difference (ElReg even reported this).

Entrepreneurial initiative at its best.

No, I do not condone it. The procedure is a very good example if "slime"

Why is my Windows 10 preview build ticking? Microsoft reminds users that previews have timebombs

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Then there are registry hacks...

...That might soon be published that get around such things. Give it some time, and they will appear. Sorry I don't do Microsoft, so I won't contribute, but "watch this space".

GCHQ pushes for 'virtual crocodile clips' on chat apps – the ability to silently slip into private encrypted comms

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Trading "liberty" for "security".

One once said that if you do that, you deserve neither.

I've got the Yo-Yo...

I've got the string...

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

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Have trained us humans to care for them pretty nicely.

The cat I had before I had the cat flappy door would jump on my bed then wander over to the sliding glass door and await my opening of it. The clawing of the screen door was the signal to be let back in. I was perfectly trained.

Hands up who isn't p!*$ed off about Amazon's new HQ in New York and Virginia?

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They probably...

Wouldn't have gotten such a "big deal" if they hadn't done the "competition". If they stated before hand we're doing HQ2 at ..., then there would be no incentive for the towns/states to give up anything.

Amazon needed something to bargain against. If you are the only one playing the game, then you are the "lowest bidder" no matter what you price yourselves at. Two bidders makes a contest.

They needed to "play the field" and they did it very well.

Our local sillycon valley mayor of San Jose, said "no thanks", and passed. He probably saw the writing on the wall and decided that any response wasn't worth the effort. Others took the bait, and went through the motions and got nothing for their effort. Oh, well.

Ethernet patent inventor given permission to question validity of his own patent

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Looks like to me...

That this is a case of trying to look in a mirror, and hoping you don't see yourself, then arguing that it isn't your image.

Oh, well. Be careful for what you ask for, you may just get it.

Bruce Schneier: You want real IoT security? Have Uncle Sam start putting boots to asses

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Lots of things are "long lived".

Most notably houses. They (here in the USA) have 30 year mortgages, which indicate that somebody thinks that they will last that long (the house I'm in is older than that!). The items that are installed in it (wiring, walls, etc.) have lasted that long, and I expect them to last longer.

Maybe the law should be: If you don't support it then you can't claim it is proprietary and its design is public domain for all to tinker with, including software! That might be a worthwhile ting to do.

Oh, if you DO support it, it must have security updates, or you aren't really supporting it!

Then again I live in a dream world.

We (may) now know the real reason for that IBM takeover. A distraction for Red Hat to axe KDE

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I've found that KDE is a much nicer desktop environment than the silly cashew. I hope that at least Fedora will keep it as an option. I've been using it for about 15 years. Yes, on Fedora as I type.

Then again, maybe IBM took it over to keep KDE. Sillier things have happened.

Supreme Court raises eyebrows at Google's cozy $8.5m legal deal

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If you want to fine Google, and benefit people...

How about making them not run ads for a certain period of time. How about a week or so.

To really make it stick in, make the lawyers for everyone watch the ads that were turned off.

Pirate radio = drug dealing and municipal broadband is anti-competitive censorship

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At least..

We here in the good 'ol USA have a First Amendment. Other countries aren't so lucky. Hopefully someone will read it correctly.

Pirate radio is another thing. Those who do it probably don't know what they might interfere with. The RF spectrum is much like a multi dimensional real-estate bonanza. I doubt that mobile phone users would like their usage interfered with (governments seem to be excluded in this regard though).

Life goes on.

Californian chap sets his folks' home on fire by successfully taking out spiders with blowtorch

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If you actually use one these days. Usually rolled up and used with great impact.

The Garfield comic strip usually has something about these at least once a month.

Ad blocking. All fun and games – until it gets political: Union websites banned by uBlock Origin

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Similar to Godwin's law.

Before something devolves to WW2 antagonists (I'm trying hard here), it first gets political in some respect.

I suspect that a mention of a current US President will also be in the chain as well, but that is not international in scope.

Be careful for what you ask for, you just might get it. As always, life goes on.

Apple to dump Intel CPUs from Macs for Arm – yup, the rumor that just won't die is back

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In further news....

Apple just announced that after the transition to ARM chips in 2020, they are thinking about switching to 68080 based chips in 2025. The new chips will be 64 bit compatible and run faster with many cores.

Yes, I am dreaming.

Sure, Europe. Here's our Android suite without Search, Chrome apps. Now pay the Google tax

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Be careful what you ask for...

You might just get it.

EU please take note. Some cases the "cure" is worse than the "disease". This may or may not be true, but the regulators need to be careful. Sometimes they just do things to justify their existence and say they are "helpful".

"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you" is a very dangerous phrase.

Of course Google is getting a bit big these days, but how do you stop it in a meaningful way that satisfies everyone? Good luck.

The mysterious life of Luc Esape, bug fixer extraordinaire. His big secret? He's not human

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Rise of the Machines...

Not much to add. Now if it can actually do my project from scratch AND make it "bug free", that would be something.

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

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Smokers, etc...

Long ago, in a galaxy far far away, I did some work with answering services. The "operators" there were mostly of the female persuasion and many smoked. We installed a system that had CRT terminals (yes, it was long ago), and sometimes we would come in for "servicing", and one of the things we would do is clean the face of the CRTs using Windex or some such.

The reaction we got was "boy this works MUCH better now" (or similar). Of course not much operationally changed, but the CRTs were MUCH cleaner.

As for answering service operators: It was almost a truism that the voice quality (of the operator) was the inverse of looks, and that weight was a factor as well. Yes, I know this is not politically correct, but more often than not it was true.

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

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Names are just weird...

I've been told that the surname of "English" is most likely an Irishman, and the surname of "Irish" is most likely from England. Go figure.

Then there is what I post by. It is more unique than the real alternative, and it was a name "given" to me when I was in University. Seems to have stuck.

One should always have a couple of identities when online. It just works out better that way.

Remember that lost memory stick from Heathrow Airport? The terrorist's wet dream? So does the ICO

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Makes me wonder...

What would happen if you left a USB stick lying around with "important" information. Probably some BOFH type information that might get the "boss" in hot water.

Of course, it would all be made up, but convincing.

Then wait for the after action and laugh very hard.

Project. HAL 9000?

Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth

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Information on "shunt trips".

There are special circuit breakers that exist that have an extra set of wires to allow remote tripping of the breaker for whatever reason. Usually there is some fire code involved. The power for this extra circuit is usually a separate circuit from the one that needs to be tripped.

In the case mentioned, I suspect that the wires in the ceiling were those intended to be wired to the "big red switch" somewhere. They will nicely read line voltage (USA: 120 volts) since the meter is of such high impedance. In fact this reading is probably through the extra coil on the "shunt trip" breaker. Fast forward to turning off the breaker for the circuit, then turning it on with the outlet in place of the "big red switch", and any load will impress enough current in the shunt trip breaker to let it do its job (turn off a nice (probably 3 phase) circuit that powers the rest of the floor.

So the projector took the place of said "big red switch" and killed power to the rest of the place.

In the end, somebody should have labeled the wires!

On the third day of Windows Microsoft gave to me: A file-munching run of DELTREE

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Welcome to....

...beta test.

California cracks down on Internet of Crap passwords with new law to stop the botnets

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But will they give out the "unique" password?

Let's say I have an older device that has been idle for a while, and I want to re-purpose it (or some other activity). The vendor has nicely provided a "factory reset" switch. I go through the process and connect y nice browser to the device in question. The nice online manual indicates that if I give a call center a nice multi character string, they will give out the factory password.

Ah, there is one problem. It has been a while, and they vendor no longer supports this model. They just don't have said password, or the algorithm to get it.

You have a brick. Have a nice day.

Yes, this happened to me. I lucked out in that the user (a friend) remembered the older password, and all was well again. But still......

What do Zuck, Sergey, @Jack and Bezos have in common? They don't want encryption broken

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A backdoor for one...

Is a backdoor for everyone. That type of secret won't last long in these modern times.

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

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Re: Electrifying

"Proves again BS1363 FTW"

Nah: NEMA 5-15 Even better FTW.

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MOSFETs and fill-up stations

Mosfets: In my PFY days, when attending university, I had occasion to work with mosfets (RCA 40468's) which were EXTREMELY static sensitive. In one experiment I had the device in a curve tracer and hit the "open base" (in this case gate), and walked back a few steps. With black comb in hand and using it to attack my hair, I could make the curve go from bottom to top of the trace by just moving the comb about 2 feet in front of me. It was very instructive.

Fill-up (gasoline/petrol) stations: Yes, Oregon makes "attendants" pump fuel. Every time I visit it is weird to have pump droids at Costco. As for the auto shut-off, sometimes they removed the mechanism that engages it (lever that latches from the back). Then I saw the "bug fix". It involved propping up the fuel lever with the filler cap. I subsequently used this "bug fix" and it was wonderful. I could scrub my windshield windscreen while the tank was being filled. Bliss renewed.

As usual, life goes on.

Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

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Hot water...

We here in parts of the USA have nice little devices near sinks that produce bloody hot water on demand. While it may not be exactly "boiling", it is HOT. Oh, they also get their funny kilowatts from a normal 15 amp/120 volt outlet with room to spare. No need to even get out a kettle or wait. It is very instant. Oh yes, it is bloody HOT.

Eat my shorts, watchdog tells every city mayor in the US – FCC approves $2bn 5G telco windfall

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Just an attempt...

To prevent the cities from extorting BIG BIG BUX from wireless operators.

Yes, it is BIG BIG BUX, and yes it is extortion.

'This is insane!' FCC commissioner tears into colleagues over failure to stop robocalls

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Need a couple of laws?


1) Make phony caller ID illegal.

2) Require a license for origination of ANY robo calls (there may be some, not many legitimate ones).

3) Add a new *xx code that says "I believe this is a robo call". If too many pile up with no license, haul them to jail. Lots of enforcement refunds from this.

4) If the call originates from overseas, kill it immediately. I don't need Windows/Mac/IRS calls.

5) Require audits against the "do not call list".

Got any more?

Linux kernel 'give me root, now' security hole sighted, dubbed 'Mutagen Astronomy'

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What version of the kernel has it "fixed"?

Why did Visual Studio Marketplace go down in the Great Azure TITSUP? Ask Azure DevOps

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Definition of "The Cloud"

Is: Someone else's computer that by the way you have little control over and might fail at ANY time with absolutely no recourse for your operations.

Or: "Good luck with that!".

NASA to celebrate 55th anniversary of first Moon landing by, er, deciding how to land humans on the Moon again

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Reminds me of...

Just take those old records off the shelf

I'll sit and listen to 'em by m'self

Today's music ain't got the same soul

I like that old time rock and roll


Still like that old time rock and roll

The kinda music just soothes the soul

I reminisce about the days of old

With that old time rock and roll


No disco for me!

Have I been pwned, Firefox? OK, let's ask its Have I Been Pwned tool

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The answer is obvious...


Nameless Right To Be Forgotten Google sueball man tries Court of Appeal – yet again

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Of course it might be interesting if.....

He posts here as an "anonymous coward".

I wonder if when he shows up in court, somebody just follows him out the door to where he lives, or the vehicle he drives. Sounds like a job for a bailiff or something.

Somehow I suspect that somebody does KNOW who he is.

You are Number 6. Who is number 1? You are[,] number 6. And so it goes.

Internet be nimble, internet be QUIC, Cloudflare shows off new networking shtick

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"Check one two"

Proves the maxim: Sound guys can only count to two. Then there are those that understand binary.....

Apple's dark-horse macOS Mojave is out (and it's already pwned)

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Wasn't there a "Windows Mojave"?

It was an ad ploy that was actually Vista, and all those who tried it "liked" it.

Explanation link here.

Of course, at least they are doing releases that actually work, something the boys in Redmond have difficulties at times.

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

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Console? What console..

Yes, sometimes your machine won't work if the system teletype (it was the 70's) is on the fritz. Luckly, we transported the inner workings of the ASR35 (EBCDIC) off to get fixed. On the way back from doing the transport, I thought a bit, and hooked up an idle computer (HP 2114) to take the place. A little software later (translation from EBCDIC to ASCII) and it worked. Good thing as well. The repair was to take a day, and ended up taking three as I remember it. When returned, it snapped back in, and all was well.

Of course things like this are hard to forget. I needed to a more urgent repair a year or so later, and took out the old hardware and slapped it together again. We had it that way for about 5 days as I recall. Somehow those "temporary" lashups have a life of their own.

Curiosity's computer silent on science, baffling boffins

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Why not call the nice "support lines" that land in India

They always offer to help, and the cost would minimal, like $299 for a three year unlimited service.

Of course, they might 'syskey' your computer, and take all the credit card info, but I digress.

You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

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Long for the days...

Of an 029 keypunch and a box-o-cards. They worked for a couple of decades, why not. Lacking that, we could move forward to an ASR33 and go from there.

Me? Yes, I've used both!

Man cuffed for testing fruit with bum cheek pre-purchase

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Maybe he wanted...

To make it more "Organic".

Of course "Organic" is a synonym for "more expensive and fancy sounding".

The Reg chats with Voyager Imaging Team member Dr Garry E Hunt

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Regards to "Golden Record"...

I am reminded that shortly after the launch of the spacecraft, there was an update on Saturday Night Live (Weekend Update).

This just in from space.....


Yes, Johnny B. Goode was on the record!

Me? I was in my PFY days helping out some on the Radioscience team. The PI was in an office upstairs.

Leeds hospital launches campaign to 'axe the fax'

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You might want to be careful here. Some scanners attempt to do OCR on the text to make things "better" and screw it up sometimes.

This was documented in a story a while ago (1-2 years?). I think the brand was Xerox, but I'm not sure.

Somehow the "paperless" office is a long way off.

I will admit that they are getting closer. My MD has a computer in the exam room to do all the silly stuff (record vitals, enter prescriptions). I get emails telling me to log in and read the "secure" messages. Still paper is a fact of life!

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

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Bowing to the "Professionaly Offended"

Seems to be an ongoing problem. Just about everything is offensive to SOMEONE, and people who want to make a name for themselves complain.

Names are names, and descriptive as well. The terms described are well known in the computer industry (I worked on a computer form the 60's that had such terms) and no civil rights people bothered to notice. Now on over 50 years later someone is offended. Give me a break!

Of course some names get changed for bad connotations:

When it started it was "NMR" (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), but given the bad vibes of the word "nuclear", it was changed to MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). In the end it is the same thing.

Sextortion scum armed with leaked credentials are persistent pests

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I've gotten a few...

But none have been with the password I use here on ElReg. I think that is a good thing, as (so far) ElReg hasn't had a breach. Might be an example for others to follow!

Yes, some have been "your password ()", which is kinda silly. Also I don't have a working web cam anyway.

Pluto is more alive than Mars, huff physicists who are still not over dwarf planet's demotion

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Earth a planet? With some thinking that it is all flat, it might not qualify.

Boggles the mind...

Dear America: Want secure elections? Stick to pen and paper for ballots, experts urge

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For over two centuries we existed with physical ballots, and had little problems. Seems like a proven technology.

Isn't there a saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!".

It's been 5 years already, let's gawp at Microsoft and Nokia's bloodbath

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Maybe those who get "away" from there are the ones that get things done. Maybe there is an example of that. What was his name? I think it started with 'L'.

Revealed: British Airways was in talks with IBM on outsourcing security just before hack

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Why couldn't they hack???

The prices of the tickets. That might make them a little bit more concerned.

Maybe "discount fares for all" might be a good marketing tactic. Or as someone (salesman in a company I worked at) confirmed as a good idea: "Lose a little on each one, but make it up in volume".

Archive.org's Wayback Machine is legit legal evidence, US appeals court judges rule

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Be careful...

The internet has a VERY good memory. Sometimes it can be a little bit too good. If you do put up a web site, be assured that someone will make a copy of it somewhere, and if you do bad things, it will come back to bite you in the a**.

Kinda like these comments we write for ElReg.

TSB goes TITSUP: Total Inability To Surprise Users, Probably

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In other news...

The bank I deal with gets a scandal just about every week these days, but somehow my money hasn't had any problems.

Go figure.

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