* Posts by Paul Hovnanian

891 posts • joined 16 Mar 2008

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Forget sexy zero-days. Siemens medical scanners can be pwned by two-year-old-days

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Same impression here

"X-Windows and Motif, however, were a whole together different kettle of fish. Did the job, but buggy as hell, and highly idiosyncratic."

To an extent, yes. But with a bit of practice and attention to (poorly documented) details, it wasn't that difficult. I never had an opportunity to do much X/Motif development. But I have done some Perl/Tk interfaces. Not really all that difficult.

"If it weren't for the flakiness of that particular platform, I doubt that O'Reilly publishing would be the power house it is today."

If I recall my last peek at my O'Reilly manuals, they were little more than reprints of the X/Motif man pages. Back in my days at Boeing, we got a set of these shipped with every HP workstation. Most of them ended up in the dumpster, never unwrapped. So have got a complete set at home (somewhere).

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Same impression here

"For a long time, medical equipment chose Windows because you had many tools (development environments and libraries) to quickly write applications with a complex GUI, and print out or export results."

*NIX systems (and others) had had a GUI and supporting libraries since before Windows 1.0. What they did not have was a WYSISWG IDE for creating these GUIs.

Which turns out to be not much of an impediment. In practically every application which offers both a point and click as well as a keyboard input (like AutoCAD, for example), skilled users tend to rely on the keyboard input. Skilled users like the developers of complex medical imaging applications (I would hope). What the point-and-click or drag-and-drop environment does is impress management. Who don't have the same skill sets and extrapolate their ability to MS Paint a simple app to the output of their s/w deportment's productivity.

I've built a few enterprise web applications using vi. With management continually looking over my shoulder, asking if some web tool set would be faster. Given the amount of time I'd have to spend with a text editor, repairing broken HTML and filling in generated function stubs; Nope. Might as well just use a text editor from the start.

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A sarcasm detector bot? That sounds absolutely brilliant. Definitely

Paul Hovnanian
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Hmm. A sarcasm detector.

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

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WannaCry kill-switch hero Marcus Hutchins collared by FBI on way home from DEF CON

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: That damned sinkhole server

That server hosted the 'kill switch' for the underlying NSA toolkit upon which WannaCry was built. My guess is that it also inadvertently shut down a bunch of Five Eyes spyware as well.

Someone has to swing for the NSA's incompetence and it looks like it will be Hutchins.

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Welcome to the Rise of the Machine-to-Machine. Isn't it time to 'block off' some data ducts?

Paul Hovnanian
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Many years ago (in the last century) I wrote some M2M applications for a company Intranet that used oddball ports. Not initially for security reasons, but to keep various functions logically separated. The added benefit was that our Intranet was pretty well firewalled from the Evil Outside World. All the ports used were blocked, keeping script kiddies (but not internally infected machines) from probing our stuff.

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Fan of FBI cosplay? Enjoy freaking out your neighbors? Have we got the eBay auction for you

Paul Hovnanian
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FBI cosplay?

Had me thinking of J Edgar Hoover for a moment. Until I scrolled down and saw the Dodge.

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€100 'typewriter' turns out to be €45,000 Enigma machine

Paul Hovnanian
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Found this typewriter ...

... in my cellar. Must be defective, as it just produces gibberish when I type something in. Into the dustbin it goes.

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Bah Gawd! WWE left wrasslin' fans' privates on display online

Paul Hovnanian
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WWE?

Search engines still direct me to World Wrestling Entertainment sites when I enter 'WWF'. I thought Vince McMahon got smacked down by a panda.

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US Senators want Kaspersky shut out of military contracts

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: NSL

"and now cannot talk about whatever transpired"

Just see how many have carried empty canary cages out to the trash this week.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Linux

Or ...

... US Senators could push the military to switch to platforms less susceptible to virus attacks in the first place.

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In touching tribute to Samsung Note 7, fidget spinners burst in flames

Paul Hovnanian
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I prefer ...

... the classic, non IoT fidget toys.

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Privacy, consent laws under 'unprecedented strain'. We need a data-watcher watcher

Paul Hovnanian
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But who ...

... will watch the watcher watchers?

It's turtles all the way down.

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Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

Paul Hovnanian
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Notice to all data center employees

"All underwear must be removed when in the vicinity of the mainframe."

The sign painters have the work order.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Cats at 40,000 volts

Cats can be smart. Friend of mine was cleaning out his workshop and offered me some antique electronic test gear. A couple of General Radio units including a beautiful capacitance bridge in near mint condition. Sitting right next to them on his shelf was a piece of junk Fluke VTVM. His wife's cats had peed all over the Fluke, rusting it's innards beyond repair. But they left the GR equipment untouched.

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Don't panic, but Linux's Systemd can be pwned via an evil DNS query

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: VM and container users where they need to shutdown and reboot rapidly

"Are they running a reboot farm?"

No. They are running a Windows server farm. Where stopping/starting individual services with the /etc/init.d scripts is beyond their comprehension.

Yes, systemd makes for faster startups. In a world where every time you change anything you have to restart the O/S.

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Kaspersky Lab US staff grilled by Feds in nighttime swoop

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: "told them that they weren't under criminal investigation, "

But will they replace my dog?

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Paul Hovnanian
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"I haven't used McAfee software in maybe 15 years because IMO it's a POS."

And John McAfee agrees with you. He has a video out disavowing any association between himself and the current software. And an explanation of how to remove McAfee AV from a machine.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Equal probability

that the FBI is investigating Kaspersky Labs for espionage on behalf of Russian intelligence and that they are leaning on Kaspersky to ensure that their AV stuff doesn't rat out the NSA's spyware.

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Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Noise complaints...

We had a series of tests conducted in the USA in 1964 to evaluate the public acceptance of sonic booms in preparation for our SST program. The public was generally accepting of the noise levels of up to eight events per day. But there was an outcry when NASA, having originally agreed to pay for any damage, dismissed many claims. It turns out that people were turning in claims for glass and plaster cracked by thunder among other things. Politically powerful people were upset and triggered an anti sonic boom campaign.

If sonic booms are intolerable, most of the southern and midwest USA would be uninhabitable due to frequent lightning/thunder storms.

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The 'DUP' joins El Reg’s illustrious online standards converter

Paul Hovnanian
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Hmm

An article on units (monetary and otherwise) in a UK publication and all you can find in your sofa cushion is an American quarter?

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Heaps of Windows 10 internal builds, private source code leak online

Paul Hovnanian
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32TB?

How much is left if you skip all the #ifdef BUGS code?

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'OK, everyone. Stop typing, this software is DONE,' said no one ever

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: the reality of buying a shower

"..gravity. Now there is something that doesn't wear out over (my life) time."

Indeed. It seems to be more effective as time passes.

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Paul Hovnanian
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"Software is never done"

... until it can read e-mail. (Zawinski's Law)

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We're not saying we're living in a simulation but someone's simulated the universe in a computer

Paul Hovnanian
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Computers. Meh.

Playmobil recreation of the universe when?

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Human-free robo-cars on Washington streets after governor said the software is 'foolproof'

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Have you ever heard of a politician...

"Washington has a lawyer governor"

Who eventually will go back into private practice. Perhaps personal injury law. This could be his most cunning job security maneuver to date.

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Teen texted boyfriend to kill himself. It worked. Will the law change to deal with digital reality?

Paul Hovnanian
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What responsibility ...

... does the average member of the public (i.e. not trained in psychology) have to avoid triggering an unstable person to commit a crime?

This case may be over the top in that it was an ongoing effort on the part of Carter to get her boyfriend to commit suicide. But how many repeated contacts does it take? Can we hold Sarah Palin responsible for Loughner's attempted assassination? In Palin's case, she didn't contact Loughner and didn't even know him. But the public nature of her publicity (the crosshairs political ads) ensured that they were bound to fall on the ears of at least one person crazy enough to carry them out.

And can we apply the same standards to anyone who preaches "Kill all [insert name of demonized group]!" when someone actually drives a truck through them?

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Ex-MI5 boss: People ask, why didn't you follow all these people ... on your radar?

Paul Hovnanian
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Privacy versus Security

The security services need to protect their access with more jealousy. Reading our e-mails for the purpose of uncovering terrorist plots might be tolerated by a portion of society. Might.

But once granting these powers and they are used to see who might be looking at other people's naughty bits, we get the feeling that we were being lied to.

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IBM: ALL travel must be approved now, and shut up about the copter

Paul Hovnanian
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Bureaucracy

Where have I heard this before?

"Listen, this old system of yours could be on fire and I couldn't even turn on the kitchen tap without filling out a 27B/6... Bloody paperwork."

- H. Tuttle

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Cuffed: Govt contractor 'used work PC to leak' evidence of Russia's US election hacking

Paul Hovnanian
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Too many contractors

Perhaps more of this sort of work needs to be handled in-house. Contractors don't seem to have a good system in place for vetting their own people. Sadly, even the background checking for civilian employees and contractors has been outsourced.

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Pai guy not too privacy shy, says your caller ID can't block IP, so anons go bye

Paul Hovnanian
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"Regarding "Blue Alerts" probably 99% of the time cops would probably want the public to stay out and away from whatever is occurring,"

You see a car described in an Amber Alert and call it in. It's probably some jerk violating his child custody visitation rights.

You see a car described in a Blue Alert. It's someone crazy enough to kill a cop. And he sees you behind him phoning in his location. No thanks.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Phones and cars

"I'd be in a mind to have a dummy phone and give it a good fondle at the lights."

Sorry officer. Just adjusting my insulin pump.

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Whoops! Microsoft accidentally lets out a mobile-'bricking' OS update

Paul Hovnanian
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Joke

Windows phones bricked?

All three of them?

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BA IT systems failure: Uninterruptible Power Supply was interrupted

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: If it got interrupted...

"The Times suggests a big red button"

These exist in many date centers. But the are not intended for normal, sequenced shutdowns or to initiate failover to backups. They are usually placed near the exits and intended to be hit in the event of a serious problem like a fire. They trip off all sources _Right_Now_ and don't allow time for software to complete backups or mirroring functions.

*Usually for events that dictate personnel get out imediately.

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Event horizons around black holes do exist, say astroboffins

Paul Hovnanian
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"I've always been concerned about a singularity being totally unexplainable"

And possibly not even needed to explain black holes and even horizons. The common description of a black hole: A region of space where space-time is so curved by the total mass contained within such that that light cannot escape. That describes the closed version of our universe. That is, if you had binoculars powerful enough, you could stare off into space and see the back of your head as you stared off into space (billions of light years in the past, so be patient).

Given sufficient mass (dark matter, etc) we might be living in a black hole. With no singularity in sight.

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Plastic surgery patients face extortion in wake of clinic data breach

Paul Hovnanian
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Paris Hilton

A list of proud new owners of Bulgarian airbags? I can hardly wait.

Pics please.

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UK surveillance law raises concerns security researchers could be 'deputised' by the state

Paul Hovnanian
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Gimp

On this side of the pond they call them National Security Letters. If 'they' need your assistance to snoop on someone, or keep quiet about existing snooping you might have come across, you can be served with such an administrative warrant.

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New 'Beaver' web server has exactly ONE user outside China

Paul Hovnanian
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One User

... outside China. Let me guess: The British Airways reservation system.

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BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'

Paul Hovnanian
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Power Supply Issue

Someone tripped over the cord.

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74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Kill switch

"some current "operations" will be affected"

Perhaps. A couple of things come to mind related to this kill switch:

1) Can we put the 'magic' URL in our hosts files?

2) Many organizations with large intranets operate their own internal DNS. They can resolve URLs to (usually) internal IP addresses that can't be seen from the outside world. Many of these organizations have close ties to the NSA and other three letter gov't organizations. Just wondering out loud: Was this 'kill' URL distributed to such organizations in advance? So as to keep their intranets clean once the virus is released into the public?

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America 'will ban carry-on laptops on flights from UK, Europe to US'

Paul Hovnanian
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Works both ways

If the goal of Daesh is to get a bomb onboard a planeload of Americans, I'd expect all laptops to be banned from cabins leaving as well as entering the USA. Also on flights within the USA.

Al Shabab already demonstrated the ability to have ground personnel walk a bomb around security and hand it off to a passenger. Fortunately, the only fatality (on a Daallo Airline flight) was the bomber. But the USA has demonstrated it's complete inability to crack down on crooked ground personnel (although the merchandise usually heads in the opposite direction). So it would be trivially easy to recruit someone to carry a package into a secure area.

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Paul Hovnanian
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No problem

Vancouver International Airport is a quick hop across the border for me. From there, the EU is reachable with my laptop in hand.

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Fire fighters get grinding on London man’s trapped genitalia

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Bah!

Bloody typical, they've gone back to metric without telling us.

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Unpaid tech contractor: 'I have to support my family. I have no money for medicines'

Paul Hovnanian
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Contractors generally like the convenience ...

... perhaps.

But (in the states) practically everyone from the IRS (our federal tax collector) to unions will conspire to make your life hell if you try to contract yourself out. I like having a boss sit around and skim his cut off the top of my hourly fees just slightly more than the body cavity search that numerous gov't entities will perform should I try to make a living on my own. I'm not sure how things are in Australia. But I suspect somewhat similar.

You are an employee. Of someone. Unless you can jump through some pretty tight hoops to prove otherwise. Abraham Lincoln may have freed the slaves, but the authorities still aren't happy about seeing any of us walking around without a master.

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How would you pronounce 'Cyxtera'?

Paul Hovnanian
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Six-terra

So, not a hard 'C' like Cthulhu?

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Web celeb product whores told to put on the red light – or else

Paul Hovnanian
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I'm not sure the Kardashians are great spokespersons for any products. On the off chance that something they use might result in unchecked derriere growth, most people I know would steer clear.

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'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: So this patent dates from 1999 and is therefor 18 years old.

Algorithms (mathematical formulas) are not eligible for patent protection. Their implementation in software would be better protected by copyright.

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BDSM sex rocks Drupal world: Top dev banished for sci-fi hanky-panky

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: he was fired for ...

"one can be fired for liking Alien"

Of course unfortunate antics may ensue on 'Take your dog to work' day.

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Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

Paul Hovnanian
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Get your server room a mascot

A rat terrier.

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User jams up PC. Literally. No, we don't know which flavour

Paul Hovnanian
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Jammed Keyboard?

Replace it with a dishwasher safe keyboard.

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Barrister fined after idiot husband slings unencrypted client data onto the internet

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Why store them on a shared computer in the first place?

"Maybe hubby was asked to do the IT maintenance and organise backups etc."

I don't know how client confidentiality works in the legal profession or in the UK. But in my world of classified information, my wife has no more privileges than does the family of Russian spies living down the street.

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