* Posts by Paul Hovnanian

933 posts • joined 16 Mar 2008

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FCC boss Ajit Pai emits his net neutrality extermination plan

Paul Hovnanian
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Devil

Meanwhile ...

... some Internet companies objecting to the end of net neutrality rules are looking into the possibility of throttling Ajit Pai's home broadband service. Just to give him a taste of what life might be like once rules prohibiting this sort of thing are eliminated.

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As Google clamps down, 'Droid developer warns 'breaking day' is coming

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: So, No Other Google News Today, Then?

Right.

Oops. The news aggregator site I used pulled in an old link. Here's another:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russia-finds-1000-times-normal-level-of-radioactive-isotope-after-nuclear-accident-claims/ar-BBFpSYE

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Paul Hovnanian
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Mushroom

Re: So, No Other Google News Today, Then?

"de-ranking stories from Russia Today and Sputnik News"

They are just trying to cover up news about the radiation cloud.

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Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

Paul Hovnanian
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Next step for welfare

The push for UBI as an 'income' appears to be coming from people currently living under the restrictions of welfare systems. We have programs to supplement or replace poor or no income. But these benefits are provided with conditions. EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer, a kind of debit card loaded by the state) comes with restrictions on what sorts of goods can be purchased with them. No booze. And in Washington State, no pot. And these rules are frequently being gamed by beneficiaries. For example: Buy large quantities of permitted commodity goods that can be traded around the corner for whatever.

Housing assistance often comes with rules. Shelter provided outright is often conditional upon restrictions against drugs, alcohol and disruptive behavior. Which is one reason many of these people just move back to tents under the freeway off-ramps.

Handing money to people as an 'income' removes these behavioral restrictions. And gives the recipients cash to use in the black markets (unlike EBT). If you really need to feed your kids, we have a system set up for that. If it's 'income', it may very well be spent on heroin and people will still end up sleeping in doorways if it doesn't make it t the end of the month.

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Brace yourselves, fanboys. Winter is coming. And the iPhone X can't handle the cold

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Make cool products. Period. Where did that go?

Too cool, in this case.

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Self-driving bus in crash just 2 hours after entering public service

Paul Hovnanian
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I say ...

... we need to start setting traps for autonomous vehicles. Before we are overrun by the vermin.

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That awkward moment when AWS charges you BEELLIONS for Lightsail

Paul Hovnanian
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Bezos: Worlds richest individual

And now we know why.

Of course, if it's all based on receivables .....

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Would insurance firms pay out if your driverless car got hacked?

Paul Hovnanian
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New Scam for Thieves

Just go online and probe for unpatched/vulnerable driverless cars currently parked. Upload instructions for them to deliver themselves to the nearest chop shop.

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Imagine the candles on its birthday cake: Astro-eggheads detect galaxy born in universe's first billion years

Paul Hovnanian
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Boffin

Re: Confused

"You have to go through a lot of data"

That's what graduate students are for.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Joke

Re: "The now-elderly galaxy"

"very probably long deceased".

I'm getting better!

You're not. You'll be stone dead in a few minutes.

I don't want to go on the cart.

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First iPhone X fondlers struggle to admit that Face ID sort of sucks

Paul Hovnanian
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Joke

Re: Sounds like my S8 and facial recognition

"iris recognition?"

Hello Mr. Yakamoto.

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F-35s grounded by spares shortage

Paul Hovnanian
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You could ...

... buy a few extra F-35s for spare parts.

-- Sincerely, Lockheed sales team

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Fresh bit o' Linux to spruce up that ancient Windows Vista box? Why not, we say...

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: How to install an application !!!

"10 Best Linux Desktop Environments"

01 - xfce

10 - fvwm

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Watership downtime: BadRabbit encrypts Russian media, Ukraine transport hub PCs

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Ransom demands in BitCoin again

"banning all cryptocurrency"

First, you'd have to define it in a legal sense. Write those rules to cast a broad net and you may end up banning things like SWIFT.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Ransom demands in BitCoin again

"Off shore banks *are* purely used for crime."

We are on opposite sides of the pond. Which one of us is 'off shore'?

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Ransom demands in BitCoin again

They have already criminalized large amounts of cash and other assets*. So extending this to BitCoin isn't much of a stretch, IMO. They won't actually shut BitCoin down. Because that would devalue the assets seized by law enforcement to zero.

*US civil forfeiture laws actually charge the cash or other assets with a crime, not the holder.

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AI bot rips off human eyes, easily cracks web CAPTCHA codes. Ouch

Paul Hovnanian
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Terminator

Re: Oh no not again

"Note test is called VK"

Voight-Kampff?

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What’s the real point of being a dev? It's saving management from themselves

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: er, wot?

"he clearly knew how to code quite well, with good style. Isn't that the *hard* part?"

Not really. Ever since public school, the greatest emphasis has been on how to study, where to find resources and how best to use them. Sure, speling and neatness counted for something. But there's no way we were going to have our heads filled with everything we needed for life by graduation day. And that goes doubly so for fields where new discoveries and developments are continuously being made.

So, I showed someone where CPAN was. What happens after I've been run over by a bus and the job is all his and he has to move beyond what is available there?

Even worse story: Another applicant claimed to be a Perl programmer. So I opened up one of the top level program files. To show him our programming style, comments, revision control metadata, etc. As he was staring at the first few lines of the file (right at line 1: '#! /usr/bin/perl') he asks, "What language is this?"

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: OO

"Only the code re-use remains elusive."

I'm not so sure about that. OO didn't enable re-use, although it does enforce modularity and structure needed to make it easier. But re-use been with us from the first #include directive. How many people here are going to sit down and roll their own printf() or Xlib functions?

Anecdote: Back when I did some software work for a Seattle area aviation company, we were interviewing candidates for a dev/admin position. One guy presented us with a code example in Perl of a program used to transfer some files between two servers that he had written. Good coding style, lots of useful comments. He obviously knew Perl. But it was about 6 pages long, forking off to launch an ftp child process and parsing the stdin, stderr responses. I asked him if he'd ever heard of CPAN. Nope. Well, here's a similar program I'd written. In 6 lines, the first being 'use Net::FTP;'. He was't so much of a code wizard after all.

I'm not so much a fan of OOP (programming) as I am the underlying OOA (analysis) part of the process. Identify the interfaces, use cases, etc. properly and I don't care if you write your stuff in C or Basic.

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Man prosecuted for posting a picture of his hobby on Facebook

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Proper weapons

"The 2nd amendment in no way protects the 1st amendment."

I never said it did.

"The 2nd amendment allows for the formation of a 'A well regulated Militia' to protect the US from the time before a significant US Army"

The USA formed a standing army before the 2nd Amendment was written. However, states are prohibited from arming 'militias' by our constitution. That is reserved to the US Congress (and implemented only in the form of National Guards). So the states were effectively banned from arming any sorts of police forces* until the second amendment fixed this by ensuring that they are free to employ armed members of the general population. The right to bear arms is attached to the people, not membership in any local government entity.

*Some states used to refer to their highway patrols as 'state militia'.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Proper weapons

"To put it mildly, open carry is douchebaggery at the greatest level."

Maybe. But I understand the point that is trying to be made. The anti-gun crowd's tactics include triggering terror in the general population in the presence of a gun. Carrying in plain sight is simply an attempt to counter this by acclimating the population to their presence.

Concealed carry is pretty common in my town. But most people don't know how to spot it (there are at least two persons other then myself carrying in the coffee shop this morning). So the thought that a weapon is present can still be depended upon to trigger emotional responses and garner political support for more restrictions.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Proper weapons

Open carry in many parts of the USA. It's not rare to see someone with a holstered pistol* on their belt or the occasional M-16 slung walking into the local supermarket.

*Personally, I think it's kind of stupid. If someone is up to no good, they will take out the obvious threats (armed citizens) first. Me? I'm just a harmless looking dweeb with a stupid looking oversized fanny pack.

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IBM broke its cloud by letting three domain names expire

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Pay peanuts, get monkeys!

"Domains do not have to be renewed every year."

This is true. On the other hand, my registrar had a requirement (or strongly suggested) that domain owners should check their Whois entries at least annually. One needs to keep contact information up to date in addition to making the occasional renewal. Smart companies will set up an e-mail account specific to the domain maintenance function (and NOT through the MX record attached to the domain in question) and assign the monitoring of this to whoever has the oversight of this resource.

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Russian spies used Kaspersky AV to hack NSA staffer, swipe exploit code – new claim

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Possible ???

"Am i being too naive in thinking it is easy to find this data ?"

No. Our last telecommunications act shifted the ownership of call records from the customers to the telecoms industry. Lots of good data to be mined there. Never mind cell phone locations, if I can get a list of people that call the company switchboard (calling in sick, etc.) I can get a list of employees. And much of this information has moved offshore, beyond the reach of US laws governing sensitive material. When I call the phone company's customer service line, I usually hear a thick Hindi accent.

Anecdote: Back before the Internet was invented by Al Gore, I worked for Boeing. Lots of gov't stuff going on there in addition to commercial aircraft. We had (paper) company phone books which were updated about once every three months. And quite a few people took one home, in case they were off sick and needed to call in. All approved by management. When the new phone books came out, the old ones were just tossed into the trash. At home or at work. Free for the dumpster divers. The phone books had names, company phone numbers and organization/project numbers. So anyone with a keypunch, old school mainframe and time on their hands could have easily reverse engineered the companies entire project assignment structure. Given that we had quite a few domain experts working for us (and the KGB had dossiers on them and their skills as well), it would be pretty easy to figure out if a new group was being assembled for a particular task. And get a good idea whet they were up to. Absolutely no clue as to security on both Boeing's as well as the Pentagon's part.

In a subsequent job, which did involve high level clearances, I was told not to reveal even the name of the company I worked for. My CV is just a black hole for that period.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Big Brother

Re: Let me see if I get this right..

The election and presidency are just show for the benefit of the electorate. An alleged attack on the deep government is serious stuff.

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NASA tests supersonic parachute, to help us land on Mars

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: They're looking at this now?

"used parachutes scattered all over the martian surface"

Couldn't get this out of my mind.

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Shock! Hackers for medieval caliphate are terrible coders

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Mock while you can.

"GPS metadata?"

A smart hack would be to spoof another location. The Chinese embassy in Belgrade, for example.

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Paul Hovnanian
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"chose "HIT" "LER" for the random enigma initialization setting"

The way I heard it was that Bletchley Park searched messages known to contain obligatory plaintext such as 'Heil Hitler'. Also weather reports, considered to be of lower importance by the Germans so they used repeating formatting and terminology.

So now, just assume an "Allahu Akbar" in each message.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: If they fail online, do they still get 72 virgins?

48h virgins.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Paris Hilton

Re: "I'm surprised they allow themselves to use computers. And phones."

"Any fule kno that all computerz are femail."

Explains why they never do what I want.

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Equifax fooled again! Blundering credit biz directs hack attack victims to parody site

Paul Hovnanian
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Why a new domain name?

Why not security.equifax.com? Or equifax.com/security?

The former is under the control of the owners of the equifax.com domain and the latter can be covered by the same https certificate as the parent site.

Oh yeah. These people are idiots. Asked and answered.

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Microsoft's AI is so good it steered Renault into bottom of the F1 league

Paul Hovnanian
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Boffin

New Drivers

Drivers are not supported for your system.

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The developers vs enterprise architects showdown: You shall know us by our trail of diagrams

Paul Hovnanian
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Enterprise Architects

When I worked for a large Seattle-area aviation concern, the position of EA was created to wrangle multiple development teams and internal customers into not using yet another host architecture, OS or tool suite. 15 minutes after the job was created, vendors* figured out that the EAs would be an excellent foot in the door to shill for their particular products.

*Being just across the lake from one of the biggest OS vendors, you can probably guess who had the biggest foot.

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Stack Overflow + Salary Calculator = your worth

Paul Hovnanian
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Boffin

All we need to know

Do you use tabs or spaces?

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Drones aren't evil and won't trigger the Rise of the Machines: MoD

Paul Hovnanian
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Alien

We are supposed to trust ...

... the Lizard People at the Mod?

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F-35 firmware patches to be rolled out 'like iPhone updates'

Paul Hovnanian
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Mushroom

As long as ...

... support for the headphone jack doesn't disappear.

By the way, what is error EIEIO?

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Surprising nobody, lawyers line up to sue the crap out of Equifax

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: @AC

"1) Pay $10 per credit bureau and 'freeze' your credit reporting. (Meaning no one can pull a credit report without your approval)"

This is done on a per agency basis. So you'll need to lock Equifax, Experian and TransUnion records individually. But then never unlock your Equifax account. If a bank or lender wants your credit info, tell them to use one of the other two. Or take your business elsewhere.

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Please, pleeeease let me ban Kaspersky Lab from US govt PCs – senator

Paul Hovnanian
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I would hope ...

... that the illustrious guardians of our government data (the NSA) would have some way of testing/vetting software allowed to be installed within security perimeters. Software (without the source code) is pretty much a black box. And there's no telling what might be going on in its innards whether it was written by Kaspersky or Microsoft. You've got to put it in a 'clean room' and watch it for a while. And then you've got to watch your perimeters once it has been installed for suspicious activity.

Personally, I'd worry more about trojans installed by Boeing, Lockheed and the like to get the jump on defense department bidding information.

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Vivaldi boss: It'd be cool if Google went back to the 'not evil' schtick

Paul Hovnanian
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Google: We'd go back ...

... to the good side, but the market for secret lairs in extinct volcanoes is a bit weak right now.

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Mazda and Toyota join forces on Linux-based connected car platform

Paul Hovnanian
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systemd

I tried to change my radio presets. The audio went dead, the battery caught fire, the tires went flat and the nav system directed me to the middle of the Australian outback.

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Kill animals and destroy property before hurting humans, Germany tells future self-driving cars

Paul Hovnanian
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Joke

Re: Do not let El Reg headline writers program cars

Too many software types here. Lets take it back to the top of the road, restart it and see if it does it again.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Statistics?

I wanted to review the relative death rates of car occupants vs bicycles, pedestrians, motorcycles, etc. So I Googled for some info. And I found (among other things) this article in The Guardian. Problem: The category 'other road users' seems to be the most variable between regions. In some regions, like S.E. Asia, car occupants are less (and motorcycles more) likely to perish probably due to the relative use of each type of vehicle. But a lot of the data appears to be hidden in this 'other' category. And it is not well explained. Perhaps it is bus plunges.

I was prepared to make some snide remarks about pedestrian deaths in Asian countries, after having seen quite a few gruesome surveillance cam posts and apparent lack of traffic/pedestrian control compared to Western countries. But the death rate in this area (according to the WHO data) appears to be lower. Perhaps the worst thing we do here in the West is to lull pedestrians (and cyclists) into a false sense of security by painting green boxes and crossings for them to use. And then we run over them. In Asia, there appears to be less of this. And the pedestrians (and bicycles) watch for the crazy drivers. And survive at a far greater rate.

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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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