* Posts by Paul Hovnanian

1106 posts • joined 16 Mar 2008

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'Say hello to my little vacuum cleaner!' US drug squad puts spycams in cleaner's kit

Paul Hovnanian
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Simple countermeasure

You just stroll through the facility while making the deal. And see if a shop-vac is following you.

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Funnily enough, China fuming, senator cheering after Huawei CFO cuffed by Canadian cops at Uncle Sam's request

Paul Hovnanian
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The upside to this

... may be that the validity of the Iran sanctions might get their day in court. Most of the rest of the world 's intelligence apparatus* is convinced that Iran is abiding by their commitments not to develop nuclear weapons and materials. Once this evidence is put on the table, China may have grounds for a WTO complaint. That these sanctions are an economic blockade to protect our oil-producing friends (Exxon, Saudi Arabia, Russia) from the consequences of Iranian supplies hitting the market.

*And expose how our intelligence is basically Saudi Arabia and Israel telling us what to think.

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NASA has Mars InSight as latest lander due to arrive today

Paul Hovnanian
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I eagerly await ...

... new of the landing.

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Laptop search unravels scheme to fake death for insurance cash

Paul Hovnanian
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Lesson learned

Next time Irina, actually plant that sucker in the ground.

I was in a gardening shop just the other day. One of their items was a selection of garden crop row marking stakes. Rather decorative, labeled as "Peas", "Beans", "Carrots", "Husbands", ....

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A little phishing knowledge may be a dangerous thing

Paul Hovnanian
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Post-attack survey

"And among the subset of students who responded to the post-attack survey (482), 70 per cent had clicked on a phishing link."

So it's already a biased sample. What about the people who didn't respond because they thought the survey was a phishing attack?

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As if connected toys weren't creepy enough, kids' data could be used against them in future

Paul Hovnanian
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Kid's data used against them?

Well, there goes your chance for an appointment to the Supreme Court.

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30 spies dead after Iran cracked CIA comms network with, er, Google search – new claim

Paul Hovnanian
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It's a tradeoff

Between providing good encryption/anonymity for everyone (allowing our spies to blend into the crowd) and law enforcement's need to monitor sites and users for various violations.

We may have lost some valuable overseas operatives. But Mickey Mouse is still safe.

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Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

Paul Hovnanian
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Measure stupidity?

In megawhats?

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Bomb squad descends on suspicious package to find something much more dangerous – a Journey cassette

Paul Hovnanian
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Harmless

Upon closer inspection, the tape was judged to be harmless. As no one was able to locate a compatible player.

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Watch closely as NASA deploys the world's biggest parachute at supersonic speeds

Paul Hovnanian
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Practice Jumps

Not always a good idea?

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Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere

Paul Hovnanian
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Blackmail Me?

I might just have to use the Sukarno defense.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Boffin

I don't get so many

I suppose it's due to my habit of using user@mouse-potato.com as my throwaway address.

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UK.gov should spend more on AI, bleat VCs and consultants. Oh? Why's that then?

Paul Hovnanian
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I don't know ...

... who this Al guy is. But a lot of people are throwing money at him.

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Cops called after pair enter Canadian home and give it a good clean

Paul Hovnanian
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Right

I think I saw something about this a while ago.

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That 'Surface will die in 2019' prediction is still a goer, says soothsayer

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: So the logic is

"Where do you meet these people?"

You could fit all the Windows Phone owners in a phone booth. Which just happens to be where they make their calls from.

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Yale Weds: Just some system maintenance, nothing to worry about. Yale Thurs: Nobody's smart alarm app works

Paul Hovnanian
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I think I saw ...

... that commercial.

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AI trained to sniff out fake news online may itself be fake news: Bot has mixed results in classifying legit titles

Paul Hovnanian
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Need to test this ...

... by piping the output of 'spew' to its stdin.

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Python lovers, here's a library that will help you master AI as a newbie

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Yet another opportunity

So sad!

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Maths

"why their super-duper AI doesn’t want to give mortgages or jobs or whatever to black people"

Or runs over them.

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That scary old system with 'do not touch' on it? Your boss very much wants you to touch it. Now what do you do?

Paul Hovnanian
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"Growing more complex in design"?

That implies someone is fiddling with them. And contrary to the stated position of the IT group responsible for them, someone still has the documentation/knowledge to make these changes. It might not be in the official company library, but a dog-eared notebook stashed somewhere. Or it's just been passed around as oral tradition. When the analysts responsible for systems migration show up "nobody really knows" how the old beast works. But when new regulatory requirements or functions need to be added to the old code base, magically the support staff seem to know how to get it done.

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

Paul Hovnanian
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The guy who set up that rack

should be taken out and shot. Lesson #1: All cords to hinged or sliding equipment need to be secured. Most rack mount keyboard/display units have a hinged or flexible arm just for this.

I did work for an electric utility where rack mounted relays had to be slid out for calibration. Before s substation had been commissioned, the relay techs found that the leads to the racks had been made too short by the electricians. They proceeded to take side cutters and lop off every cable to every racked relay. Then called the electricians to come back and try it again. Correctly this time.

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Deliveroo to bike food to hungry fanbois queuing to buy iPhones

Paul Hovnanian
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Homeless guy

Fell asleep in the doorway of an Apple store. Hipsters queued up behind him, figuring he was first in line for a new Apple product release.

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'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

Paul Hovnanian
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As an old guy ...

"female and older men" excluded from these ads. I guess you young guys will all have to work together while I get a job alongside all the women.

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Automated Weather Source didn't see this cloud coming: Amazon snatches up AWS.com

Paul Hovnanian
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Now redirects to ...

https://www.earthnetworks.com/

Weather or not this was a hostile takeover, it appears that the whether service is still in business. And Amazon is making the transition go smoothly. I hope they were paid well for their domain.

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A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Bad managers are like knotweed

"I'd be interested if anyone has a notion to explain this ...."

I'd suggest reading a couple of books on management written by one of your fellow Brits, C. Northcote Parkinson.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Not me, but ...

... I used to work at an electrical utility. Our division, way out in the boondocks, included a substation manager who was a real pack-rat. Meanwhile, we had an old station which was built in the 1950s as a temporary installation. Transformers and breakers were sitting on wood cribbing, which, 30 years later, was rotting away. And transformers weighing several tons each were threatening to tip over.

It turns out that this guy had enough spares to build a new station. So he sent the crews out over the course of a few months to pour concrete slabs, move in the 'new' equipment and switch the service over. All pretty much out of the petty cash budget. He got called on the carpet for that little stunt by corporate. And they sent out some people to clean out his parts stash. It turns out that he deprived some VPs of the coke and hookers that go with new equipment purchases and construction contracts.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: HMSO

"How does one automate a PHB anyway?"

Like this?

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Russia: The hole in the ISS Soyuz lifeboat – was it the crew wot dunnit?

Paul Hovnanian
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Drilled by an astronaut?

While in space? I sort of doubt it. I'll bet sound carries pretty well throughout the ISS. And given the mission planning involved with practically everything, "Who's running a power drill now?" would warrant some investigation.

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Article 13 pits Big Tech and bots against European creatives

Paul Hovnanian
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Oi

Ave you got a loicense to post dat?

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Y'know what? VoIP can also be free from pesky regulation – US judges

Paul Hovnanian
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If you can call me ...

... on my POTS line, you must be using a regulated telecommunications service. I don't care if it's a cell phone or VoIP. If its a phone call, it should be regulated as such.

On the other hand, free up the telecoms to use whatever technology serves a particular area the best. VoIP/fiber*, copper or cellular. The regulatory requirements need to be supported. Operation during power outages for primary residential phone lines for example. My FiOS network interface and VoIP telephone circuit has a battery backup.

The only difference between some of my neighbors' POTS service and mine is that their phone call comes in to a box at the street corner on IP over a fiber link and then switches to a copper loop for the last few hundred yards. My IP/fiber comes into my house and then is converted in exactly the same way to copper, but only for twenty feet or so to the same old telephone set.

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Paul Hovnanian
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"If the web counts as an information service"

Because web sites provide information that they have generated. Telecommunications services move my information from point A to B. Pretty clear distinction.

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

Paul Hovnanian
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Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus

The rest are just rocky debris.

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AI biz borks US election spending data by using underpaid Amazon Mechanical Turks

Paul Hovnanian
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Mechanical Turk workers

"about a quarter of whom typically are located outside the US, at an estimated average cost of $2.44 an hour"

That's 170 Rubles at current exchange rates.

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Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: A certain movie and an Artillery piece...

"Does anybody remember its name, by any chance?"

1941

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Paul Hovnanian
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Devil

"human blood"

But some software demands the judicious application of goat's blood. Don't forget the pentagram and candles.

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Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

Paul Hovnanian
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"It must frustrate the North American and European governments that their voting public won’t also allow them to do this."

As if the three-letter-agencies give a hoot about the law or voting public. The only time this becomes an issue is if they need to build a court case based on the collected evidence. At this point, a court issued search warrant and possible serial 14 month jail terms for non compliance should be enough.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Pirate

Actual motive

"prevent uploading of illicit content"

Our intelligence services acting as rent-a-cops for Disney and the MPAA. Society will not suffer greatly if someone makes illegal copies of Mickey Mouse.

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Space station springs a leak while astronauts are asleep (but don't panic)

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Then they're hurt or killed

Wait - I thought that was Australia?

I thought it was California.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Boffin

Pedantic Alert

"It’s capable of retaining its stickiness in temperatures ranging from −269 to +400 Celsius"

It's actually not the Kapton tape that is sticky. It's the adhesive (which shall toil on in anonymity).

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Quit that job and earn $185k... cleaning up San Francisco's notoriously crappy sidewalks

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: That's some seriously hard of thinking

"A good proportion of the homeless, it turns out, happen to have mental health issues"

This is true. And it's a major part of the reason why they can't be expected to look out for themselves. We ended civil commitment programs in the 1960s. We closed the institutions and tried setting up outpatient facilities. The end result of trusting people with mental health problems to look out after themselves was that they'd just walk out the front door looking for a drink or a fix and never come back.

"that's the only thing that gets them through the abuse, the beatings, the cold nights, the discomfort, and the perpetual hopelessness of their situation."

We have people with at least as hopeless situations as these. They waded across the Rio Grande with nothing but the clothes on their back. Many of them are picking up odd jobs in front of the local hardware store. Others are picking fruit in the orchards. In ten years, they will have a pickup truck, a lawnmower and a landscaping business. Their children may very well go to college.

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Paul Hovnanian
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This is a high-tech center

Poo-cleaning AI robots when?

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: That's some seriously hard of thinking

"Homeless shelters, affordable housing, help with giving up drugs"

They don't want to give up drugs. Shelters don't work because they often have rules. Like 'No drugs'. And in dormitory-like shelters, the people who most want to avoid heroin addicts are other heroin addicts. They steal from each other and get into bum fights.

Tiny housing works to a point if it's what's known as 'wet housing'. But most neighborhoods don't want that nearby.

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Paul Hovnanian
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"Swift experience"

And Agile as well (so as not to step in it).

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Everyone screams patch ASAP – but it takes most organizations a month to update their networks

Paul Hovnanian
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Is it a patch?

Or are you trying to shove Windows 10 onto my machine?

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'Oh sh..' – the moment an infosec bod realized he was tracking a cop car's movements by its leaky cellular gateway

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Stingray list?

"One assumes that the admin port on Stingrays is a bit more secure"

Not really. Many of these units are loaned to local police departments by the Feds or larger state police forces. With equipment moving back and forth, managing actual unique and secure passwords would be problematic. Never mind switching to non default TCP/IP ports.

And it appears that the location data is available without needing to log in. Just port scan the appropriate IP blocks, find an Internet-facing cellular gateway and the login page has the latitude/longitude.

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Microsoft's Chinese chatbot inspired by images to write poetry

Paul Hovnanian
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There once was a man from Nantucket

.... etc, etc.

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Surprise, surprise. Here comes Big Cable to slay another rule that helps small ISPs compete

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: So I lay the cable

"allow my competitors to use it"

Allow my competitors to purchase bandwidth on it, to be precise. At the same price as my own Internet service division. So I'd better see to it that the services I provide are competitive with those of the companies who share the cable. Rather than sitting on my a*s, rent-seeking based on regulatory manipulation of the market.

If the cable infrastructure is that valuable, then the wholesale rental of capacity to other ISPs should bring in healthy profits. If not, then perhaps other ISPs can create more value once they can reach customers.

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Pleasant programming playground paves popular Python path

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Excellent

Python is actually a good platform for teaching coding. Thanks to it's varied interpretation of whitespace, it messes up attempts by students to cut and paste from Stackoverflow without having the code blow up on them in mysterious ways.

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Top tip? Sprinkle bugs into your code to throw off robo-vuln scanners

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: I see now

Microsoft actually tried this. And failed miserably when the result was an O/S with no bugs.

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Ever seen printer malware in action? Install this HP Ink patch – or you may find out

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Home network

"but its not connected to wife"

Damned autocorrect!

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