* Posts by h4rm0ny

4573 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

Ashley Madison spam starts, as leak linked to first suicide

h4rm0ny
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Stealing a rival company's customer list and then spamming all of them with sales pitches is not, imho, "something positive".

Anyway, whilst I'm posting I might as well add my own voice to the Trustify are scum crowd. Troy Hunt (in the article) set up a system whereby you could search for your details but it would only confirm by sending the results to the registered email address. THAT is responsible. Trustify are not.

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Windows 10 market share growth slows to just ten per cent

h4rm0ny
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Re: not cause for celebration

"Pushed" is one word for it. 'Rammed' might be a better one. It took me three goes to finally get rid of ads for Windows 10 popping up in my 8.1. installation. Tried uninstalling the update - it just comes back. Tried uninstalling and blocking the update - no way to block them on the Pro version. Well there is, but this one is excluded from the ones you can block. Tried a registry edit I found online - no effect. Found the GWX service buried in a list of services, disabled that AND applied a different registry edit I found, finally seems to have stop shoving ads in my face.

Very unimpressed.

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Ashley Madison hack – Tory MP Green denies registering account

h4rm0ny
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Excellent.

I love our politicians being judged on the basis of their sex lives. It's such an important part of their jobs, you see. That's how we got rid of Clinton and kept Bush, for example.

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Spotify now officially even worse than the NSA

h4rm0ny
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Yeah, a bit like airport security 'ask you' to "step this way".

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Spotify climbs down on new terms and conditions

h4rm0ny
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Re: peer-to-peer

Wow. That one needs a little more publicizing - I had no idea it did that. That could be especially bad in a work context but either way is not in. Maybe they should be paying their users instead of the other way around, given all we're finding out about them.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: but I don't *want* to

>>I don't know if Deezer is any better, but I am going to give it a go.

http://www.deezer.com/legal/personal-datas

Hard to say whether they're actually good in practice without trying the software, but they at least appear to allow a choice in the matter.

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h4rm0ny
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I used to have a paid Spotify account - "Premier" or whatever it was called. I cancelled it when they started really pushing Facebook-integration and playlist sharing.

If they want to advertise to free users, that's up to them. But they don't get to treat my data as some sort of bonus on top of my subscription payments. So goodbye to them. I find it hard to imagine they make more money from advertisers per user than the subscription fee so their loss. These days I just buy the MP3's and on-balance, I think I actually save money that way with the range of music I listen to.

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Second Ashley Madison dump prompts more inside-job speculation

h4rm0ny
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Re: Really?

>>"The hubris of these people is astonishing. Surely they can't survive as a going concern after this."

As pointed out multiple times by people, it is very, very hard to guard against attacks from the inside. Your technical safeguards can be as good as you like but ask Snowden how much that hindered him.

But yes, the witch hunt is on. One quote in the media I saw on this was from someone saying "they couldn't find their husband's email address on the list so they must have used a fake email account then". My other favourite is someone who is complaining about the leak because they signed up to AM to try and catch their husband cheating on them and now she's on the list and he is not - and she's blaming AM for it. I'm not saying AM are without fault here - I simply don't know and I doubt anyone outside the investigating people (and the hacker) actually can say. I'm just pointing out that a lot of the finger-pointing going on here isn't reasonable. Yes, you can score a few cheap upvotes by expressing disbelief at someone's hubris/stupidity/credulity/whatever - you always can because the Internet mob is addicted to seeing people have flaws pointed out. They love it more than chips. But that doesn't necessarily make it so.

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US military says it will discipline Ashley Madison users

h4rm0ny
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What's it got to so with them?

See subject. If the US army can kill hundreds of thousands of people in an invasion for oil and some soldiers looking for sex is what brings disgrace, then there's something deeply wrong here.

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Ashley Madison wide open to UK privacy lawsuits, claim lawyers

h4rm0ny
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Re: Wait a minute

>>"Class action Lawsuit's already started, led by a widower:"

He says that he signed up after his wife died and wants $7.5m dollars in damages. That's a lot of money.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Might not be as easy as that...

>>"Yes, But... A company that refused to delete sensitive information, even when paid to do just that?"

Did they actually do that, though? I know it's been alleged but not sure there's any evidence. They still have the 'please close my account' ones in there, as expected. But do they have the paid for complete data removal ones. When is the dump from? A removal request could be after the time of the theft.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Might not be as easy as that...

>>"3. You would have to prove AM failed to implement suitable security measures (i.e. the mere fact the breach occurred is not sufficient). This could be difficult if this is in fact an inside job."

Which looks very, very likely. The "blackmail" aspect doesn't hold up - pretty much everything points to this being someone with privileged access and a major, major grudge against AM. Maybe they got cheated on and blame AM for it, maybe it's something else. But this doesn't look like some random hacking team exploiting a SQL injection in order to make money. Which means they might be able to start from a shortlist of suspects and there's a very good chance, imo, that we might find out who did this. In which case they are in some very deep trouble.

But anyway, the point is as it looks like an inside job that is very, very hard to guard against. I work with companies that have excellent technical security but could be floored by one rogue employee. Can you sue someone for having lax security in this area? When even the most secure organizations are susceptible to betrayal from the inside?

If you disagree, consider the name "Snowden".

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Now Ashley Madison hackers reveal 'CEO's emails and source code'

h4rm0ny
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Re: Internal Emails

>>"Should be fun to find out exactly what the Company thinks of it's client base."

Doesn't really matter. With a sufficient volume of emails and the ability to present them selectively, you can make ANY company look like angels or devils according to which you wish to prove.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: "No, that data dump is totally fa" *SMACK*

>>"AM is still advertising on TV in Sydney Australia. I guess they're hoping no-one has heard what's happened"

I don't know but would guess, that TV ads aren't sold and organized the week before they air on a "let's buy an ad slot before tomorrow's Coronation Street, I'm feeling like it". I also don't know but would guess, that calling up a TV station and saying "we've changed our mind about that ad slot on Tuesday can we have our money back please?" doesn't get you a full refund.

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Microsoft will explain only 'significant' Windows 10 updates

h4rm0ny
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Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

>>"Guess again., If none of Microsoft's Win 10 shenanigans up to this point haven't gotten you to actually move to Linux then there's no reason why this particular shenanigan should be the deciding factor."

Incorrect. Things accumulate and eventually people get pissed off enough to do something. I have a lot of GNU/Linux skills - it's where I started out. I moved over to Windows mid-cycle of Windows 7 because I found it was a good OS and I liked a lot of what they were doing. It was a new era for MS, it seemed. I'm on Windows 8 currently and MS's recent change in direction (and constant ads for Windows 10 they inserted against my wishes into my Windows 8 installation), have recently made me re-evaluate switching my primary back of to GNU/Linux. Haven't yet - am still considering. But right now they're losing my trust so back to GNU/Linux is looking more and more probable with every story like this I read.

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Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health England

h4rm0ny
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Re: Why should they ban them?

>>"If you are personally offended by then, you can personally piss off.

And that was exactly the attitude of the American guy in the pub - didn't care whether he was bothering anyone else, just a smug sense of moral superiority that other people would have to deal with it and he didn't have to show any consideration.

He didn't stop until staff had to actually tell him to.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: "Almost certainly"

>>"No one believes or cares whether vaping is 'safe.' Vaping is SAFER. That's all that counts"

Obviously it's safer than traditional cigarettes - by far. The question of whether it's "safe", which lets face it nothing really is, matters because if it becomes accepted as harmless it will be promoted widely by Big Pharma who stand to make a fortune out of something that is still essentially a highly addictive drug. It's not even a fun one, really. Just something you keep needing. Being able to sell addictive cigarettes but without being damned as cancer-causing devils? Every big pharma company's dream. The new Prrozac.

So the question of whether it is "safe" matters very much.

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h4rm0ny
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"No worse than cheap perfume in my view"

I wouldn't like it if someone kept inhaling and blowing cheap perfume at me, either.

Point is, it's not suddenly a way for smokers to disregard others around them like the old days when smoking in restaurants was normal.

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h4rm0ny
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Still unpleasant to smell though. Was in a restaurant in London a while back and some American guy (vapourizers weren't as known over here then) pulled out his e-cig and started puffing clouds of the stuff over to our table. Seemed to think that because it wasn't actually a cigarette it was suddenly fine to use indoors in a place filled with non-smokers.

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You CAN'T jail online pirates for 10 years, legal eagles tell UK govt

h4rm0ny
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Re: Of course it will work...

>>"The link clearly states he was prosecuted for sharing files (i.e. distribution), not for downloading."

Jammie Thomas is a woman, actually. But you are correct, she was prosecuted for distributing the content, not for downloading it. Other important things to note are that this was American trial and the point was to find any cases in British law which is what we're actually discussing, and that contrary to what was claimed by the OP, the initial fine was $5,000 dollars, not $250,000. It grew over the intervening years during which court cases were dragged out and turned over again and again during which she claimed that: she'd never distributed copyrighted material, that distributing the files had been fair use, and that there was no financial harm from distributing the material. There was also the fact she bought a new hard drive and tried to fake load it with data to swap it into evidence in place of the actual harddrive from her computer. Or my personal favourite - hiring a professor of computer science from a local university to testify that the files could have been shared by someone on the same local loop as her spoofing her MAC address.

But like I say, not British law so not that relevant to this amendment. The OP will not be able to find cases of people receiving big prison sentences for downloading music in British law because there aren't any. To be honest, I'd be surprised if they managed to find cases of even tiny prison sentences for it. Maybe a couple of cases with special circumstances around them. Like I said elsewhere, what you get for small scale domestic piracy - in the rare case you get anything - is a fine. Even in this American case, that's what she initially got before she dragged it through a three-year court battle of escalating costs and outright perjury.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: I'm sorry

>>The person who downvoted that comment

>>"So downloading a bunch of films is worth more than a kids life."

>>is a fucking idiot

I downvoted it. And did so because it's factually inaccurate and phrased to try and make this sound like something it isn't. You don't get two years for "downloading a bunch of films" nor will this amendment mean that you start to. And the maximum sentence for "Causing Death by Dangerous Driving" is 14 years. The poster is trying to make it sound like home piracy is treated more seriously than running someone over which is not the case. They either don't understand the law or, more likely, they're willing to misrepresent things with short sound-bites in order to bolster their preferred view. I bet they don't like it when politicians do that but they seem happy to do it themself.

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h4rm0ny
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And that's a fine thing to do. It's all the people who say movies / music / software is crap and not worth paying for and then torrent the Hell out of them that are the problem.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: There is another way

>>"If harmonising the maximum penalties for both the online and offline versions of the crime is necessary and raising the 2 years to 10 is seen as undesirable, why has no-one considered dropping the 10 years to 2. Obvious solution is obvious."

Because example cases where multi-year sentences have actually been handed out are for things like trading in $20million of pirated software, channelling £50,000 advertising revenue per month through Latvian banks to South American-registered companies, etc. So reducing everything down would put all this substantially lower than comparable crimes where you charged someone for the same thing under Fraud laws, etc. Do you also want to treat people more leniently for ripping off millions via fraud? Because otherwise your suggestion leads to two people committing equally damaging acts but one being treated wildly differently. And then if you're making fraud less of a crime, that's going to lead on to others in turn.

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h4rm0ny
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>>"It begs the question is Mr Weatherly a responsible person ? Besides go digging on Mr Weatherly and just how tied in he is with the copyright mafia."

No, it doesn't. Someone marrying a woman who used to be a prostitute does not indicate they are morally flawed. That kind of Righteous Superiority says a lot more about your own tendency to throw around puritan judgements than it does about her or him. Honestly, I find that kind of temperament disgusting.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: I'm sorry

>>"The discretion between the treatment of the director of a bank rigging LIBOR and a black teen shoplifiting?"

Yes. If one person downloads a movie and another sells millions of dollars of pirated software, you don't want the law to allow no differentiation between how you treat both of them. That's obvious and that's why you have the concept of a maximum sentence and a minimum sentence (in this case let off with a warning, fine or suspended sentence) and not some fixed penalty. I can't help thinking that whilst illustrating my point you somehow think you're disagreeing with me.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Not silly at all

>>"This reasoning is worthless. I'd much prefer having a grand stolen online from my bank account than being assaulted the ATM. Physical theft is a lot worse."

In which case you are now comparing theft to theft + assault. Would it make any difference to you if you were assaulted and then had the money stolen online as well? Suppose someone stole the physical money without assaulting you, would you want someone to be treated less severely because they used a computer to do it?

We spend half our time complaining about how the law and patent system applies a double-standard just because something was "done with a computer". Well now the law is catching up.

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h4rm0ny
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So what if she was? Were the Daily Mail forums full?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: I'm sorry

>>"The politicians say that I must go to jail for 10 years if I download a movie "

No, they don't. The inability of some people here to grasp the basics of UK law is depressing; viz. that it allows a range of sentences so that discretion can be allowed and you can differentiate between someone who sells $20m dollars worth of software and someone who torrents half a dozen movies at home to watch.

Also the inability to differentiate between mode, median and arithmetic mean.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: I'm sorry

>>"So downloading a bunch of films is worth more than a kids life."

No it isn't and you wont get ten years in prison for "downloading a bunch of files". You might get several years for conducting a large, for profit piracy operation however which are the actual examples you'll find of people having been given multi-year prison sentences for piracy. And the maximum sentence for "Causing Death by Dangerous Driving" which is what the actual charge is in the UK, is 14 years. That is since you're so fond of making comparisons based around absolute worst case scenarios.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Of course it will work...

Actually, it's really immaterial the state of the prisons because this isn't about stuffing lots of home downloaders in prison. They (when actually caught and prosecuted which is rare) get fines. The prison sentences handed out have been for large-scale profiting operations. One of the biggest was 7.5 years for someone who was selling pirated software (traded about $20m worth), another person got 4.5 years and they were routing their profits to a bank in Belize via a bank in Latvia - not exactly your typical teenage downloader. Even that guy who the Guardian got so indignant about being extradited to America to be charged with copyright infringement had made $230,000 in advertising revenue from his site. (And he still wasn't sentenced to prison).

The reason for the harmonization is because it's silly to have different laws for the same thing done online as done offline when the effects are the same. It's not going to lead to swarms of people being sent to prison. Copyright infringers who get prison sentences are a tiny, tiny proportion of the total.

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Adulterers antsy as 'entire' Ashley Madison databases leak online

h4rm0ny
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Re: Karma?

>>"I'm all for the "duty of society" and so on, but parents (and given the >90% figure it will be the fathers) have duties and responsibilities too. If the consequences of their actions hurt their loved ones, well, perhaps they shouldn't have done it in the first place."

When something happens it is a product of all the people who made it happen, not just one of them. If someone cheated on their partner using this site, that is one requirement to be on this list (well, actually can be on it without that but anyway...). But there is also a requirement for these hackers to have publicized the list to make the problem much worse. It seems biased to respond to criticism of these hackers by trying to make being on this public list solely the fault of one party - clearly it is the product of both. It suggests to me you have a desire to blame the one party.

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h4rm0ny
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>>"Sure, the same "freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities" are there for the single reason to cheat on their other halves... It is "lawful" after all."

Leaving aside all the people who may have signed up just looking for no strings attached sex without actually having a partner to cheat on or before they met someone; and leaving aside all those who may have signed up with their partner's awareness or together; and leaving aside those who signed on just to look at the profiles for solitary gratification or fantasy; and leaving aside all those who thought about it and then didn't go through with it... Well anyway, leaving aside all those people your comment wouldn't apply to but who will still suffer through this, there's the simple fact that two wrongs don't make a right.

An affair can be painful and damaging enough. What these hackers have done has been to make it far worse for many, many people. Imagine your partner has had an affair. You might deal with that in a variety of ways but very few of them are made better by having your co-workers see your partner's name on a database and announce it. Marriages (or any equivalent) are complicated enough without clear black and whites in many cases. It wasn't these hacker's privilege to get to spread deeply personal information around the world and it's certainly not your position to judge people whose circumstances you don't know for being on this list. This remains a criminal act AND an immoral one on the part of the hackers and they should be caught and dealt with appropriately.

All other sentiments belong in the Daily Mail.

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Would YOU make 400 people homeless for an extra $16m? Decision time in Silicon Valley

h4rm0ny
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>>"The way this is phrased makes it a loaded question. Alternatively stated, would be would you make effectively a $16m donation to keep people in their homes, and personally I think that is too much to ask."

Well there are reasons why it's phrased the way it is. This isn't an exact parallel to someone suddenly being asked one day if they'd like to donate $16m to help house people. It's actually his decision and responsibility. You could go round dozens of rich people in your version asking each but in this case he owns their homes and the profit he stands to make is from selling those people's homes. It's not a passive act, he has to make an active decision as to whether he's going to get a huge amount of money and let people keep their homes, or get 140% a huge amount of money by kicking them out of their homes. When the money is coming from you selling where people live, that's different to just being asked for money for people who have nothing to do with you.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: TAKE THE MONEY

>>"I have no sympathy for people who are close to my age and NEVER SAVED ANY MONEY. I worked my BUTT off literally and figuratively to get what I have today. I have NO sympathy for people who were grasshoppers not ants."

Or alternatively prioritized raising families, lower-paying careers they cared about such as teaching, or had more dependents than you, or etc.

Incidentally, your caps key appears to be broken.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: I hope...

The RSPB lost their way quite some time ago, unfortunately. I used to be a financial supporter of theirs until I found where much of my money was actually going. They put as much effort into promoting wind-farms and killing birds (to prevent species interbreeding - essentially a Genetic Purity effort) as they do actually looking after birds anymore.

Better off supporting smaller independent conservation projects than the RSPB. They're there if you look for them and they actually, you know, protect birds and habitats.

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h4rm0ny
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Yeah, the way you'd feel with £25m and calling yourself a good person beats how you'd feel with £39m and doubting it. And you're going to be free to relax and do what you want either way.

Plus the world could sorely use some examples of putting compassion ahead of profit. That has a knock on effect on people's lives too.

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Kaspersky: Freemasons coded fake malware in the Bermuda Triangle

h4rm0ny
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I'm inclined to trust Kapersky on this one, if I were to pick. Aside from the sheer dodginess of Reuter's "evidence" (and the fact it doesn't make a lot of sense), there was also that Bloomberg hit piece a while ago which was speculative trash. Kapersky seems to have a few enemies in the higher-up American power structures. Which given they cracked the Equation Group (NSA), is not that surprising. They were also targeted not long ago with one of the most sophisticated hacking operations we've ever seen - absolutely state-sponsored - so they provably have some very highly-placed and well-resourced enemies.

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Assange™ is 'upset' that he WON'T be prosecuted for rape, giggles lawyer

h4rm0ny
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Re: WTF?

>>"No, that ego-stroking myth has already been thoroughly discredited"

By the fact that the USA has never abducted the people it wants even from European countries? By the fact they wouldn't love to get their hands on him? By the fact that Sweden doesn't have an extradition treaty with the USA?

Because it has, they would and it does. Just saying.

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'Cops KNOW WHO I AM and I don't believe their hearts were truly in the shootout'

h4rm0ny
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Re: Wouldn't it be fun

"Carly Fiorina"

The actress from Mystery Men????

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h4rm0ny
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Thumb Up

Everybody's crazy.

At least John McAfee knows it.

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Dead Steve Jobs' life and times are being turned into an OPERA

h4rm0ny
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Re: Hmmm...

I don't know, but I have a perfect mental image of Elmer Fudd as Steve Jobs singing:

"Kiiiiiillll the Wozzzzzzzzzniak"

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Microsoft vacates moral high ground for the data slurpers' cesspit

h4rm0ny
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Re: Cortana

>>"It really hasn't occurred to them that a lot of people like myself really DON'T WANT a digital assistant."

I would be fine with it if I could choose the aspects that I want. It would be nice to use it for appointment's management. But MS want consent to scan my txts and emails. I'm perfectly happy to accept a compromise and not have it auto adding things because it found an email from an airline in my inbox. But compromises don't seem to be on offer. There might be a setting to turn it off but as far as I can see you can't even get to that part without first going through the consent agreement part.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Yep.

>>"To be honest, this concept of privacy is almost recent. Only a two hundred years ago, you wouldn't have dreamt of hiding your secrets from your neighbors. People mostly lived in small towns, and had no anonymity, and not much privacy either."

Actually, I'm pretty sure people hid their information going back as far as there were those with power and those without. Every village hid information from the visiting taxmen. And if you think there weren't secrets in even small communities then you've never lived in one. In short, you're talking bollocks.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Whilst I do not disagree with the criticisms of the privacy issues regarding Win 10............

>>"..........I would have been much more supportive of this line had you and other authors been a touch more critical at a significantly earlier stage in the context of Google/Apple etc with regard to precisely this issue given the comprehensive hosing you are now giving Redmond"

How about me? I think I have a reputation on these forums of being an MS fan. At least I've been called it repeatedly and had to endure endless accusations of bias.

And I find MS's direction right now pretty poor (and yes, I've criticized Google for the same thing in the past). I'm happy to pay for software and I liked MS when they sold it and I gave them money in return. Now they seem to think they can have their cake and eat it and I'm not very happy about that.

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McAfee tells El Reg: 'My shootout with the police was highly exaggerated'

h4rm0ny
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Re: The legend that is...

I think you'll find that when you look at someone's head angled from above, it's hard to see their eyeballs. At least unless something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

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Wait, what? TrueCrypt 'decrypted' by FBI to nail doc-stealing sysadmin

h4rm0ny
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Re: GnuPG

>>"And if the backdoor was introduced in an early version of GnuC?"

Then it would have long since been found and weeded out because it is not some unbroken chain of compilation. You would have to keep compromising the vendors of the software over and over and over.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: id10t

What are the ways to beat a keylogger?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: GnuPG

There's always someone who brings up compiler backdoors and the answer is no, you don't really have to worry about these. In some circumstances you might, but those are exceptions. The reason is that a binary compiled with a backdoor will be different to a binary compiled without. The overwhelming majority of OSS comes precompiled. You download it and check the hash and you're good to go. IF some bad actor wanted to subvert that then they'd have to compromise all of the servers compiling that binary and get away with it. Even getting away with it on one would be a big stretch. And even if you were using a distro that wasn't pre-compiled, you'll still be using a pre-compiled compiler from somewhere that you will check the hash of.

Compiler backdoors in OSS are possible. Viable is a whole other matter. The point stands that whilst closed source software (e.g. Windows) can be just as secure against outside threats as OSS, one of the big advantages of OSS is that you can check it against internal threats by the vendor. That's an undeniable plus.

Now Microsoft actually open their source code to large purchasers for inspection against such things so how much of a risk deliberate subversion there is we do not know (really depends on whether China et al. could be persuaded to collude with the USA on some group backdoor scheme which is shaky) and MS would suffer a massive blow if they were shown to have deliberate backdoors in there for the government so I don't think they would risk it as the company they are today. And it's increasingly unnecessary as the useful stuff can be obtained by spying on traffic and cloud-stored data. But it can't be denied that ability to trust the vendor is a major positive with OSS. It's one of it's chief advantages.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Pretty obvious - a keylogger was installed

That's very interesting. Are you able to say where the compiled data is stored so a user could erase it?

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Vodafone adopts hydrogen fuel cells to dodge African outages

h4rm0ny
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Re: but with an eye to CO2 emissions Vodafone is keen to reduce the use of diesel.

>>"Not to mention the need for some sort of vehicle to distribute the fuel cells, which would obviously need fuel itself. Surely if they were being totally green, they'd have gone for Solar power? It's not as if South Africa lacks sunlight."

Solar panels would have to be transported by vehicle as well, you know. Besides, hydrogen is only produced from fossil fuels because it's cheaper to do it that way - much like it's cheaper than batteries and wind power. The nice thing with hydrogen is that you can ALSO produce it cleanly if you wish. It's not a fuel SOURCE, it's an energy STORE. Whether you store energy from a clean source or otherwise, that's no different to whether you charged a battery from a clean source or not.

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