* Posts by h4rm0ny

4539 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

Webmail password reset scam lays groundwork for serious aggro

h4rm0ny
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Re: Re:How stupid do you have to be?

>>"A good counterpoint, but infinity has been invoked. Infinity can undermine an otherwise good calculation. The rate IS time bounded, and the time slice can be labeled as "on any given day". The approximate birth rate is known, the W.C. rate, while loose, is known, and simple arithmetic gives an approximate quantity. Granted, ambiguities exist (people can learn, and "you can fool some..."), but all reserve quantities are expressed in rounded numbers and are reserves none the less."

All this is mathematically true, but we're talking economic theory which doesn't require mathematical proof. Oops, that came out wrong. ;)

Anyway, in mineral terms I believe the difference between a resource and a reserve is the former might be extractable for use, and the latter is extractable for use. But we should drop this or we run the risk of Tim Worstall appearing like Bloody Mary. He has the remarkable property of making me feel anti-capitalist, which I dislike because I am one.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: solution is not to avoid registering mobile phone number with webmail providers

>>"So what alternative is there to out-of-band authentication if you can't trust your mobile as the second factor?"

Bruce Schneier?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: How stupid do you have to be?

"According to Mr. Tim, a resource is unquantified. You have quantified it ("every few minutes"), and therefore it is a reserve."

An acute observation that shows insight! However it remains a resource because whilst the rate may be quantified, it is not time bounded. Unless we have an end time specified for human reproduction, it is still unquantified number of suckers.

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Microsoft to Linux users: Explain yourself

h4rm0ny
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Re: Just use Linux and be done with it!

>>"Relying exclusively on one company's technology has always been fraught with danger."

Weren't you the poster further up the thread demanding reasons why people should learn this and arguing that they should just stick with Linux?

>>They've decided to once again, re-invent the wheel and try to build their own monitoring system [...] Better integration of something like Nagios or other existing monitoring systems in Windows and Azure would have achieved the same goals

Well relying on one company's technology has always been fraught with danger. Besides, they can do things their own way by starting from scratch which may well work better. And this article is about them asking for what people would like. However, it is gratifying to see that you actually read my reply and now know that Nagios can be used with Windows rather than thinking it's an exclusively GNU/Linux tool and holding it up as an example of things you could do on GNU/Linux which you didn't think Windows had an equivalent for. You seem to have taken this new knowledge purely as a venicle to say that MS should be building on this rather than writing a new tool. Given that I use nagios and you don't, what is it makes you so confident that no-one can do a better job or shouldn't try?

>>"Instead, they went their own way, and wonder why the masses don't come running after them"

I don't think they do wonder that actually, since the new Powershell integration only released last month and this is primarily a call for feedback on what people would like to see. Or did you not read the article? Clearly a project is a failure if it hasn't turned the existing market on its head during the feature specification phase.

And Azure is doing very well, btw, climbing rapidly against the incumbent behemoth AWS, so it's doubly odd that you should be damming it for not being popular as this is just one feature of Azure being added.

>>"This was my point earlier, if they had gotten in 10 years ago, things may have been different, but they didn't, they're only starting now, and now is too late."

There's no such thing as "too big to fail", look at IBM if you need an example.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: A bit late, Microsoft

>>"Yes, but there's a time and place for that. Production networks is not one of them."

You asked why someone should learn this, I gave you a reason. You replied with the above. Clearly you think the only way to learn something is to deploy it immediately into production. I'm happy to inform you that this is not so. Though as you have again not seemed to realize that this is built in as a feature in Azure, your comment is really nonsensical in this context. The only part that needs to be added to the VM is a small bridge to the Azure functionality outside, for which source is available. I've looked at it, it's trivial.

>>… and if we're not using Azure?

Then one would wonder why you're busy posting in a story about an Azure tool complaining about how it doesn't offer something to those who don't use Azure.

>>"Windows of course, they need to provide these tools as it's difficult to get stats out of a Windows box otherwise.

This is a monitoring tool for GNU/Linux systems. It's not a tool for getting Windows stats. As regards "difficult to get stats out of a Windows box", what on Earth are you talking about? Why is that difficult? Do you genuinely not know that there are plenty of tools to do this and that Windows has pretty extensive logging capabilities?

>>"(I'm not sure if there's the equivalent of /proc/loadavg or df, you probably have to write your own using calls to DLLs.)"

What is especially depressing is that you wrote a paragraph about how GNU/Linux has nagios and that you'd "have to sit down and learn it one day" when Nagios actually works with Windows as well as *NIX systems. You can get disk usage, CPU load et al. out of Windows with the very tool you were holding up as an example of Linux tools. Amongst plenty of other monitoring tools and services as well. If you genuinely think that one of the world's largest server OSs lacks the ability to report on disk usage without "having to write your own calls to DLLs" then you're not only completely ignorant on the subject, but you lack even the basic ability to deduce that what you say is highly unlikely to be true in the first place. I can assure you that yes, you can monitor disk usage on Windows boxes. And not only do you not know Windows, but if you're custom writing scripts to call df on GNU/Linux, then I'm sorry to say that you don't know the GNU/Linux ecosystem very well, either.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: A bit late, Microsoft

>>"Tell us why we should spend time learning your system when we've already got solutions that have worked for over a decade."

Because:

(1) It's good to try new things.

(2) This is integrated with Azure which is a nice service so if you're using Azure, it makes sense to evaluate this.

(3) You have a funny definition of "worked for over a decade" given the endless headaches I see Sysadmins subject to routinely. Technology progresses and it's silly to take an attitude of refusing to look at new stuff because you're familiar with the old.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: They won't listen

>>"Then, as soon as the review bullet point is accomplished, everybody forgets this was ever done and nothing ever comes of it."

Apart from having just produced a big Linux monitoring package that they're asking for feedback on? And the Powershell integration for Linux management they released last month?

I swear sometimes people never notice anything that doesn't fit with what they've already decided.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: They won't listen

Microsoft are one of the big players in providing GNU/Linux infrastructure as a service. GNU/Linux has been an option in Azure for a long time. What's with all this paranoid nonsense that they don't simply want to compete with rival cloud / IaaS providers?

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Climate change alarmism is a religious belief – it's official

h4rm0ny
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Paris Hilton

Re: If we want less hot air in the world...

What does Tux have to do with banning religion, or are you saying Linux is your religion?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: In other words, "When to act"

>>"Since some form of worldwide climate change is now apparent, even to the denies"

Someone points out a strawman and rather than acknowledge it, you just up the ante with another one. Being a skeptic of AGW doesn't mean one thinks the climate never changes, it means one is not yet convinced that the primary factor is human-caused CO₂.

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British banks consider emoji as password replacement

h4rm0ny
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Re: Optional

>>Speaking of which... I'm by no means a security expert, but I know more than most people I know, but one thing which has been bugging me of late:

'Please enter the 3rd, 5th and 8th letters of your password [ _ ] [ _ ] [ _ ]'

I see this on some banking websites. Surely, if you can enter a selection of characters and have them validated against your password, that means the password can't be salted and hashed?

It implies symmetrical encryption. So the password in the database will be encrypted (I would hope!) but much like you keep a salt for your hashes, you keep a key for encryption/decryption. In either case, an attacker would need not only the records themselves but also the accompanying salt or key, respectively. However, this can happen and with a hash, they're essentially guessing at passwords and seeing if they match the hash, whereas with encryption they can actually reverse it, so yes - all else being equal the encryption method is less secure. (Caveat for completeness, using something like BCrypt takes longer than using say MD5 for hashes which slows down the speed at which one can match possible passwords against the hash / encrypted form).

Either that, or HSBC has decided to hash each letter of your password individually for extra security. ;) :D

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Optional

I know exactly which bank you're talking about. Would you mind if I named and shamed? They're moving away from MTA at a time when they absolutely shouldn't.

Actually, I respect not wanting to disclose personal banking information, but it's pretty vague and useless so I'm just going to go ahead and say that this is HSBC we're talking about. Their security has just taken a notable step backwards with this. Phone app and passeprd might be more convenient if you don't have the key fob on you, but it is NOT as secure.

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Google on Google: The carefully collated anti-trust truth

h4rm0ny
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>>"There is always an explaination of the dips... one is that the new entrant (Google) does a better job than the incumbents."

Possible, but one must show that the job they did was better because it was actually done better, not because it was riding on the back of their existing services. And when you have the West's most popular search engine and your results are appearing at the top of those search results, it is hard not to think this was not a very big factor.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: After a thorough, independent and hard-hitting investigation ...

Shades of The Hutton Report where it was neatly decided that whether or not the UK had a basis for going to war wasn't really relevant. Remember this tactic - if you can't avoid the answers to a question, change the question.

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Chancellor Merkel 'was patient zero' in German govt network hack

h4rm0ny
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Re: did not mention how Merkel herself may have been infected.

Yes, yes. She is German and therefore a Nazi. Hillarious. Hold on a moment, I think I have some Amritsar Massacre jokes about the British Empire around here. They're topical, too.

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Linus Torvalds asks kernel devs to take a break so he can too

h4rm0ny
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Joke

Also, Goddess knows what Poetterring might do whilst his back was turned!

"What happened to the kernel!?!???"

"It's part of systemd now."

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It's 2015 and Microsoft has figured out anything can break Windows

h4rm0ny
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>>"Linux is the most common operating system in the world - deal with it!"

You really are one of the worst types of zealot - little technical argument but constant, repeated assertions without support that something is better. If you really want to use the fallacy of appeal to popularity, then you'd also be arguing that Windows is a superior desktop OS because it's vastly more popular on the desktop than GNU/Linux. But in fact it has little actual bearing on whether or not this is true.

If you really want to make a case amongst technical people, then explain what technically makes GNU/Linux the better OS because spamming this and other stories (which you have been doing) with comments that Linux is more widely used and that people should "deal with it", just annoys people on the whole. The only remotely technical argument I recall you making is about Linux scaling to be used on super computers. That is true, but it doesn't mean it is better than Windows unless you're looking for an OS for your supercomputer - which 99.999% of the world are not. It's a great thing about GNU/Linux, but it's not a reason to spam comments in a story about malware on desktop and server machines.

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h4rm0ny
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>>"Good sys admins will provide insecure machines if the hardware and/or OS is insecure by design."

Yes, but are you arguing that Windows is insecure by design? Because otherwise the above is a hypothetical. The point I originally was making with this was that one cannot compare the whole of Windows security scene with the whole of the GNU/Linux security scene because whilst Windows has a user base that is made up of both IT experts and the tech-unaware, GNU/Linux overwhelmingly is used ONLY by the professionals and tech enthusiasts.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: So all it does...

>>"So what's to stop a malware from posing as an anti-malware, hooking into THE SAME APIs, and subverting them. "Who watches the watchers," IOW?"

This is the question you just asked and the answer is no different the second time: the same things that prevent it from pretending to be anti-malware software now.

"Hyper-V is a VM hypervisor. I'll grant you no one's been able to pull off a Red Pill to date, but since it's still software it can't be ruled out..."

This too is the same thing you said previously with an answer already given. But to be clear, the Device Guard feature is a separate, headerless instance of Windows running on the same machine and separate to the main instance. It checks the signatures of all packages on Windows and even if the main OS were compromised at a very low level, it would not be. That's an example of why I'm objecting to your repeated 'but it's software so it can be subverted'. It's one of those vague statements that is both too vague to be meaningful and seems to imply nothing is good enough for you, no matter how useful or clever, because one cannot guarantee 100% success forever into the future. It's a reasoning that suggests we should turn off all anti-malware because 'software can be subverted', just as your suggestion that someone could pretend to be an anti-malware package also suggests this. But plainly turning off our anti-malware software today is nonsense. You don't seem to recognize that the arguments you are making that something is not good enough / not worth doing are arguments that apply to all security software today, right now. And that if followed would lead to unprecedented levels of infection.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Just Use Linux

>>"It should be. But then it does not explain this"

Does it need to? Of course some systems get compromised, whether that is GNU/Linux or Windows. What I wrote that it is much harder to do this than with a non-professional end user who doesn't keep things up to date and doesn't understand security. Meaning that you can't simply compare the amount of malware or rate of infections between two different OSs across different environments. You can only fairly compare them within the same environment. The odd high-profile hack doesn't change that.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: So all it does...

>>>>But no, you as per usual have thought in your benighted wisdom that writing something which goes through a list of ones and noughts and checks them against a list of other ones and noughts is trivial and that therefore this is trivial. "

>>Because it IS trivial

You seem to have skipped over the preceding paragraph which explained that this does more than that. You haven't understood the point. Poster sees something that does X,Y and Z. Responds that it is rubbish because Z "is easy". I point out that it saying Z is trivial doesn't mean the project is trivial or useless. You respond, missing the point completely, saying "but Z IS trivial".

At least read what I have written, not just select out some part in isolation.

>>What's to stop a malware from altering the list so that its blacklist includes useful programs? AVs produce false positives by accident all the time; what's to stop them being done intentionally? As for the scanning process itself, it's still software, and software can be subverted.

The same things that stop malware from subverting anti-malware software today. This is an API that vendors like Kapersky can plug into. It enhances the range of their capabilities if they choose to use it. You seem to be taking an argumentative tack that if you can make some vague generalization such as "software can be subverted", it is good to dismiss these new features. Whereas I take the tack that giving anti-malware vendors more capabilities such as in-memory scanning and source-reputation scoring is a good thing.

If you're upset that the anti-malware software or OS, is "software", then perhaps you would be interested in the tool MS announced a couple of months ago that runs security from a separate Hyper-V instance that exists in parallel running directly from the hardware. There is not only one security measure in place. This is one part of a security in depth approach.

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h4rm0ny
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Alert

Well...

I think Eadon's back.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Just Use Linux

>>"I am saying that Microsoft should use Linux as the basis for Windows and if you really do not care what operating system you use then what is your problem?"

What are you suggesting, specifically. That Linux should form the kernel of Windows? That is a very big ask from an engineering point of view and I'm uncertain what the point would be.

What exactly do you think should be done and what do you imagine the benefit would be? Please give at least some detail in the answer because with something as massive a task as I think you may be suggesting, discussing it without specifics is meaningless.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Just Use Linux

>>"Yes. And Valve steam, apt / yum, ninite etc demonstrate that the update process for applications and windows update itself could be far more friendly and less fault-prone if Microsoft put effort into it; instead we have every company with their own second-rate update service, changing your home page in the process; scheduled to fight with each other at boot time."

Then prepare to be happy. MS are producing a full package manager for Windows with an API.

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h4rm0ny
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>>"How long before we see a generation of malware that actually makes use of this?"

I'm not quite sure how to parse your sentence but if you mean malware that exists solely in memory and propagates from there, it's already happened. Check out the recently uncovered attack on Kapersky by Israel whoever is behind Duqu and how they did it. How long before we see this done by none APT actors? Not sure.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Just Use Linux

Actually, Microsoft do sell GNU/Linux. You can pay for GNU/Linux instances on Azure and MS also provide some tools of their own to manage configuration of them. What they don't do, is publish their own distro which is probably sensible given that RedHat and others provide good enterprise-focused distros themselves.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Just Use Linux

>>"But the clever ones do it with Linux or through their phone. And remember the backend (the servers etc) of the online banking system will be running Linux too."

And maintained by professionals who know what they're doing. Here's something that is true - compromising a GNU/Linux system that is kept up to date by knowledgeable people who are unlikely to fall for common tricks or link their server up to disreputable websites, is hard to do. Here is something else that is true - compromising a current Windows system that is kept up to date by knowledgeable people who are unlikely to fall for common tricks or link their server up to disreputable websites, is hard to do

See the points of comparison? Now here is something else - compromising end user installations of Windows run by people who have no understanding of keeping software up to date, who connect it to disreputable sites, who download software from untrusted places and ignore bright yellow warnings and proceed to give it free reign to do what it wants to their OS, is much easier.

Notice the difference between these two scenarios is not the OS, but the environment it finds itself in.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Surely...

>>"Surely it would be easier to just start again and write a robust OS from the ground up?"

Like how Mozilla decided to throw out the Netscape code and do a clean slate approach to a browser - with near disastrous consequences and leading directly to IE6 being the dominant browser for so long? Because an OS isn't already several orders of magnitude more complex than a browser.

If there's one thing that modern software development has learned, it's that you don't start from scratch without a very good reason. But let's ignore that you put "easy" and "write a robust OS from the ground up" in the same sentence. What is it you would do differently in a new OS that current Windows doesn't do (or vice versa) which would make your new OS inherently more secure? I would like a genuine answer to that as I am curious.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: So all it does...

"All it does", "only", "just", people throw these words around so casually. This is useful and not trivial. And as machines increasingly exist as VMs which means they can be run without restarting from their point of view even if the underlying physical hardware is turned on and off again with the memory restoring, malware living only in memory is increasingly viable. The fact that OSs can now be patched in real time without actually restarting makes this even more viable.

Existing malware acts as a gatekeeper, attempting to stop it gaining access in the first place. But as we've seen with some recent malware, that is not enough. So the next logical stage is combatting actual running malware in memory.

Tell you what, if you think this is so "all it does," why don't you go away and come back with your own API standard that is vendor agnostic, supports file, memory and stream scanning with the same API calls, has URL/IP reputation checks for all of these and even lets you correlate different sessions so that malware vendors can take actions based on multiple different memory fragments to deal with more dynamic malware.

But no, you as per usual have thought in your benighted wisdom that writing something which goes through a list of ones and noughts and checks them against a list of other ones and noughts is trivial and that therefore this is trivial. As to how you twist having this capability to "sounds ilke a disaster" and open up "a whole new set of security vulnerabilities", I have no idea. You appear to be an idiot with no real understanding of what you're talking about.

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Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE

h4rm0ny
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Re: Eugh

I doubt covering your body in mud would work. But I know what would:

People refusing en masse to go to the festival unless the facial recognition and surveillance is removed. This would instantly end it at that festival. Not sure what the critical mass would need to be to achieve this. A third of people to a half would be my wild estimate. And it wont matter if the tickets are already sold or not, people walking away from it in large numbers would have this effect.

Rock / Alternative types fancy themselves misfits and rebels, do they not? They have a definite and real way they could stick it to the Man if they did this.

Or they can wander around knowing their every movement is being tracked and their faces scanned by cameras. Up to them.

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Using leather in 'leccy cars is 'unTesla', rages vegan shareholder

h4rm0ny
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Re: providing the world's population with the protein it needs to survive.

>>"Because obviously, as a vegetarian, you're appalled at utilising an animal (yourself, walking) as a mode of transportation. eh?"

No, not really.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: providing the world's population with the protein it needs to survive.

It would certainly be nice to have the choice as a vegetarian of a high-end car without leather seats being obligatory.

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Capita wins four out of five stars for 'good', 'inexpensive' service

h4rm0ny
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Thumb Up

I has been trolled

But I no mind. :D

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Bill Nye's bonkers LightSail spaceship unfurls solar sails at last

h4rm0ny
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Re: Talk to The Apples In Stereo

Well yes, but if you're going to use the conversion of energy into mass in order to make the article writer 'correct' then you also make a Hell of a lot of other statements correct.

"I had Energy for breakfast."

"I thought you had toast?"

"Mass = ev/c² . Don't try to correct me!"

Let's use the right terms, eh?

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'Stolen' art found on nearby shelf. Police keep looking anyway

h4rm0ny
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>>"My boss at the time said she got a reference request for him a few weeks later, from a security firm to monitor CCTV for theft, etc. I would love to know exactly what she wrote, but I have a pretty shrewd idea what kind of lines it would have gone down, even if there was no way she could write a direct accusation in it."

"Well," she might have replied, "set a thief to catch a thief."

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Head in the Cloud storage?

Actually, it sounds more like the desktop of someone I know the last time I got talked into helping them with their "computer stuff". There might have been a desktop wallpaper under there, I couldn't tell.

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Au-mazing! Cornwall sold GOLD to Ireland back in the Bronze Age

h4rm0ny
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Joke

>>"Have comparable provenance tests been made on gold objects found in Cornwall? The Morvah Hoard and the Rillaton Cup for example."

No, but a research team from Athens have done parallel tests on marble and found much of it in Britain was taken from Greece. British scientists currently dispute that however.

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h4rm0ny
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>>"As for going voluntarily......I don't think women had that sort of freedom of choice then. They were either slaves, captives or chattels"

Isn't this the pre-Christian Britain of warrior women and Queen Maeve as equal partner to her husband?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Before gold plating

>>"There were tin plated cables. They worked OK, but oxidation caused them to get jammed so you could not unplug your expensive kit without breaking it."

Tin plating for cables was later made the standard by the ancient Roman hardware manufacturer Sonyus Profitus for exactly this reason.

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A pause in global warming? What pause?There was no pause

h4rm0ny
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Re: What we really need

"If we don't lack terminology what term do we use to describe variations of temperature, precipitation, atmospheric & oceanic behaviour over the short periods up to a couple of centuries?"

Solar cycles?

*ducks and runs*

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h4rm0ny
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Re: This is why we can't have nice things!

>>"Some of us will be rational (those of us in the middle ground who feel there's too much BS on both sides) and then the Deniers and True Believers will do battle. Will that work?"

Um, I have been several times informed by proponents of AGW that those of us in the middle ARE deniers. I've been told in no uncertain terms that the time for debate is over and one is for us or against us. At least when I express doubts that's generally what I receive.

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Windows 8.1 market share grows, Windows 7 slips, Windows 10 lurks

h4rm0ny
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Re: Not just a service pack

>>"Minor updates to the UI don't mean there could be bigger updates to the OS itself. 8.1 was a much larger update than a service pack. You can call it as you like, but 8,1 was not a service pack"

I'm wiling to be persuaded but I'm not seeing any significant functional change:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8.1

They changed some bits of the UI, re-adding the Start button for example, and they changed some of the default apps (which isn't an OS change). The only thing I see significantly different is that they changed the way it connects to OneDrive and they added device encryption by default (which is just BitLocker which is already there). Obviously some of the code was optimized, but I don't see that means it's a new OS.

It's unhelpful to class them as separate in general terms because they are essentially the same and it confuses things like this where the rise in 8.1 is accompanied by a fall in 8 which is for most people not the distinction that is of interest. It's whether 8/8.1 is rising or falling that is the practical question, not shifts between the two.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Not just a service pack

I'm not aware that there has ever been an authoritative definition of what constitutes a Windows service pack. If it consists of minor updates and there's nothing radically different about it, I call that a Service Pack.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Perhaps people have realised...

What, precisely, did you find so difficult to accomplish on the laptop without touch? If I want to launch a program, I tap the Windows key and type the first couple of letters and return, it launches it faster that way that moving up and down a Start menu ever did. Even if you for some reason have an absolute aversion to using the keyboard, the Start Screen can easily hold around thirty tiles on even a laptop screen, grouped by function, so unless you're commonly using that many which I doubt, it's the same move to lower left (though again, I tap the Windows key) as you would with Windows 7 and then select the program you want. You don't even have to dig through sub-folders.

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h4rm0ny
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Is it not time to just track 8 and 8.1 together? 8.1 is essentially a service pack to 8 and they came out in a very narrow timescale between the two. Tracking them separately just misleads.

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Mad John McAfee: 'Can you live in a society that is more paranoid than I'm supposed to be?'

h4rm0ny
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Re: "... his left curiously busy in his trouser pocket"

>>"everything he stated is just plain obvious"

Maybe so, but we're living under a government that appears unable to see the obvious, so it's worth stating.

I like John McAfee. People should not mistake eccentric for unaware - he's a very smart person. And occasionally people tar him with the label paranoid, until they actually read more and find some of what he's actually been through. Someone rich yet still willing to fuck with the status quo, that's a rare combination and it leads to some surprising circumstances on occasion. El Reg should have linked to the video where he distances himself from the software which he actually left behind long ago - thar's hilarious.

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WikiLeaks offers $100k for copies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – big biz's secret govt pact

h4rm0ny
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That AC

Okay, I have read some drivel in the comments sections. Hell, I have written some drivel in the comments sections. But this idiot is taking crap posts to a whole new level of shit.

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Microsoft suffers worldwide Wi-Fi wardrobe malfunction

h4rm0ny
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That's okay, they're actually all in Seattle.

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