* Posts by Richard 12

2726 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

Richard 12
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Said box is then the live receiving equipment

So if you own it, you need a TV licence.

And if someone else owns the box and streams onwards to you, they're breaching copyright.

If you want to watch TV, just get a licence.

If you don't, don't. It's very simple.

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Richard 12
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"Exactly the same way"

Meaning they don't exist either.

The simplest explanation is normally correct.

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Richard 12
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Re: Spy on the screen and loudspeakers

Ignoring the letters is just stupid.

Tick the box, post it back and they will not bother you again.

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Richard 12
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Re: Sir Amyas

And Carrier-Grade NAT.

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Richard 12
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I got exactly one letter.

In the years that I did not own a TV, I got one letter.

I ticked the box saying that I did not own a TV and sent it back.

I did not receive any more letters at all, and nobody came to knock on my door.

In other words, it worked exactly as it should.

Five or six years later I bought a TV and set up a TV licence Direct Debit. A bit of paper turned up with a licence number on it. TBH I've no idea where it is now.

So did you tick the box?

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Richard 12
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Once upon a time detector vans existed

They could listen for emissions from the CRT, and/or the intermediate frequencies used by TVs.

Then they realised they could just ask for your address when buying a TV.

Then they realised that almost everyone has a TV and they could just send a nastygram to every address that doesn't have a licence.

So detector vans do not exist and haven't for decades. Instead there is a team of people sending out letters and knocking on doors.

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How the HTTPS-snooping, email addy and SSN-raiding HEIST JavaScript code works

Richard 12
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Re: Question

No, as it's based on reusing the session cookie from the user's active login to $SENSITIVE_SITE.

The attack can be made while cookie survives, as the user does not need to reenter their password.

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F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

Richard 12
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Half the per-unit price

Need to buy four times as many

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Giant Musk-stick test-firing proves a rocket can rise twice

Richard 12
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Only the first if you ignore the Shuttle

The Space Shuttle main engines are first stage and each orbiter was refurbished and returned to actual orbit several times.

The refurbishment was rather more extensive than originally hoped of course.

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No need to panic, says SwiftKey, as email addresses, phone numbers appear on strangers' screens

Richard 12
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Re: I don't understand this service

Cloud is better because cloud.

Cloud!

The only possible reason I can think of is for MS to keyboard scrape everyone. There is no other possible purpose for doing this.

They could argue the mass keyboard scrap is to "improve" the predictions in some way, but it's still mass keyboard scraping.

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WhatsApp chats not deleted

Richard 12
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Why wouldn't you?

It needs a local store of the chats - who said what when - and contacts.

Something that databases are designed to do.

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My Microsoft Office 365 woes: Constant crashes, malware macros – and settings from Hell

Richard 12
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Re: Interesting quote on Google's mail client

Or the loudest, because nobody will stop MS from **ing messing about with the interface.

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Richard 12
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Re: @Doctor Syntax What's Wrong with Slurp?

In my experience MS Office can't open an Office document and keep the formatting.

Sometimes it even fails to do so within the same version.

At least LibreOffice still works when I have no Internet for a few days - as I currently suffer due to the incompetence of Virgin.

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IPv6 now faster than IPv4 when visiting 20% of top websites – and just as fast for the rest

Richard 12
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Re: Why is IPv6 faster?

BACNet/IP is becoming more common than the older variety, most modern BMS-enabled kit I've encountered only does the IP version.

(Which is a horrible protocol in fact)

RS232 is still the number one multi-manufacturer industrial interconnect - because it's dirt cheap and trivial to secure. It can easily be unidirectional (cut one wire), and nobody is getting in unless they have physical access.

Of course, managers then put an IP/RS232 bridge in and expose it to the Internet anyway.

RS485 is the final stage physical layer for millions networks around the world. It's better than IP due to topology - multidrop is often far more useful than star.

Often there is an IP to RS485 bridge, but the last mile (sometimes literally) is RS485.

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Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

Richard 12
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Re: Richard 12 Richard 12 TVU Scientists - just too "ethical"?

And no negotiators, because the EEC/EU did all that collectively since the 1970s - it's in the treaty.

As these departments have already said, several times.

Clearly you are very happy in your dream world and do not care how small its intersection with reality is.

I wish you good day, and hope you do not go bankrupt because that would hurt your suppliers.

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Richard 12
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Re: Richard 12 TVU Scientists - just too "ethical"?

Theno please point to the negotiators we have.

Name five.

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Richard 12
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Re: TVU Scientists - just too "ethical"?

Matt, in your own comments you have spent the entire UK contribution to the EU at least five times before I lost count.

There is no magical money tree.

Also, your own future probably does not exist any more as EU data protection rules currently require that all EU data is stored in the EU, so watch all those data centres you apparently build vanish.

The US "Safe Harbor" agreement took a long time to negotiate and turned out to be tosh, do you really think that a UK Safe Harbour could be done in under two years?

Along with the other negotiations with the EU and rest of the world, when we don't even have a professional negotiation team any more?

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Did Donald Trump really just ask Russia to hack the US govt? Yes, he did

Richard 12
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"Find"

So he wants them to go looking for them.

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Richard 12
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Re: Clinton got caught rigging the primary...

No they didn't.

A majority of people in the party don't want Bernie.

Bernie was still nominated and still came second by a relatively close margin.

Several of his policies have been adopted by Hillary, and will be enacted if she becomes President.

Not all, but 1,000,000% more than if Donald Trump gets to sit in the Oval Office, because he's going to reverse everything Bernie stands for.

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Microsoft blames dying Surface Pro 3 batteries on software bug

Richard 12
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Re: Wow

But that wouldn't be as amusing as thinking about the ramifications of GWh battery packs!

Not a very portable tablet - a 40GWh LiPo battery would weigh around 240kT...

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Gullible Essex Police are now using junk science lie detectors

Richard 12
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Re: What they need

They'll be rehabilitating using retro-phrenology next.

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Richard 12
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Goes back much further

At least to a sooty cock in a darkened room used to catch a thief.

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Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door

Richard 12
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Re: I don't believe it

You don't want to know.

That which has been seen, cannot be unseen.

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Tinder porn scam: Swipe right for NOOOOOO I paid for what?

Richard 12
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Re: That's the long play scam

In order to cancel your have to visit the porn site's complaints office in person and fill out the requisite forms in triplicate.

You'll find them on display in the lavatory, behind the door marked "Beware of the leopard"

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No, the VCR is not about to die. It died years ago. Now it's VHS/DVD combo boxes' turn

Richard 12
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Re: Actually VCRs still exist

I presume the actual limitation is decoder or HDD bandwidth.

The Humax ones I've used will happily record two channels while watching any third that's in the same mux as either of the others.

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Richard 12
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Re: Actually VCRs still exist

The VCRs in profrssional use were Beta though, never VHS.

And disappearing fast, as HDD based video archives are now so cheap that it's just not worth dealing with large numbers of tapes.

I don't think any UK broadcaster now uses Beta for new programming, though they probably still have a large library of tapes sat in storage.

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Richard 12
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Re: Stop making me feel old

Ah DAT. I used it for its intended purpose - 8-track audio (plus timecode).

Or rather 7-track audio because track 8 was the click track for the band.

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World religions stake out positions on Pokemon Go

Richard 12
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Re: Curious

The places one can "lure" are public attractions/landmarks like churches, shops and similar.

So there's no additional risk over existing "Come meet me by the church at midnight" comments.

The special locations with activity are all visible on the map from quite some distance, so to some extent it's a lesser risk as everyone playing the game can see that something is afoot.

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BOFH: Free as in free beer or... Oh. 'Free Upgrade'

Richard 12
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Re: in a HALaxy far far away

Old printers are probably best - as the drivers are so old that they're probably built into Windows and Linux distributions.

I'm very happy that my printer uses the built-in driver set.

The official driver installer from the manufacturer was both huge and included several completely pointless and annoying programs.

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OneDrive go for Pokemon Go

Richard 12
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Hmm...

There must be a charging model somewhere.

They've already done "Pay us or we delete things". Is the next one "Pay us or we won't delete things"?

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She wants it. She needs it. Shall I give it to her or keep doing it by myself?

Richard 12
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Re: Sham about the image

What, you mean you lied?

I trusted you Mr Dabbs, I trusted you so much and now it's gone. Gone, like my soul!

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Apple Watch craze over before it started: Wrist-puter drags market screaming off a cliff

Richard 12
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Re: @Bob Dole ... Could Also Be...

No, while the smart watch might know exactly what the time is, it can't give you that information very easily.

Mostly because the battery goes flat if they try.

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We're not looking for MH370 in the wrong place say investigators

Richard 12
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Re: No One Wants The Flight Found

You'd need the entire crew to be involved in such a conspiracy, or one of the cabin crew would pop to the "toilet" and hit the button on the emergency locator beacon.

There is no large conspiracy here. The plane suffered an event that incapacitated everyone on board, and it's computers kept it flying until they couldn't.

There are things to learn from this, and one of the big reasons for keeping looking is to find out what that initial event was, and why the pilots and crew did not communicate during or after it.

The aircraft itself did keep squawking, it just had nothing to say - so that's one obvious change to onboard systems.

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Richard 12
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Re: Comms?

Every aircraft has several Emergency Locator Beacon units, which have independent batteries.

- You might remember a fire in a parked 787-Dreamliner at Heathrow on 12th July 2013.

The ones built into the structure of the aircraft are all relatively simple for the crew manually trigger, precisely for this type of situation.

They work by satellite and are automatically activated in the event of a crash, so the fact no signals were received implies an impact that either destroyed them, or sank them very quickly.

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Microsoft to rip up P2P Skype, killing native Mac, Linux apps

Richard 12
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Re: 5 Steps to mobile freedom.

Some mobile phone operators have transparent "WiFi calling" that you can just turn on.

I found it hideously bad in places with poor signal strength as it'd try to use the even worse WiFi, and thus not work at all, however you might have better luck.

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GMB tests Uber 'self-employed drivers' claim at London tribunal

Richard 12
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Re: This is an extremely important case..

Not that important. It's one in a long line of cases against companies trying to claim that employees are contractors.

UK law uses Duck-Typing. If it looks like a duck, it is a duck.

If the person looks like an employee, they are.

And the employer (in this case Uber) are then immediately required to pay the taxes (NI etc) that they have evaded, as well as that which they owe to the employees.

They can also be held criminally liable for tax evasion.

HMRC will be looking on with great interest.

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Firefox to banish hidden Flash files – and kill off sneaky ad snoopers

Richard 12
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That graph is seriously dodgy

The trend line is way off!

It's already flat, according to that data they haven't notably reduced the base rate of crashes at all since YouTube lost Flash.

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Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Richard 12
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Re: Constitutional Right

The US Constitution has no legal standing outside of the USA.

If they want to sell in the EU, they have to follow EU rules.

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Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

Richard 12
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Re: Slow it down, speed it up

This is even a plot point in a few books.

For example the Venus Prime series has a murder perpetrated by flipping a remote control system from the expected "local" to a "satellite" route.

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IPO spews email addresses to hundreds of recipients. Twice

Richard 12
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Re: Why oh why...an even better solution

To 12 different companies?

How many external recipients at different domains would you be doing that with?

In some cases there might be multiple consultancy firms with overlapping responsibilities, though that usually indicates a project that is going to fail anyway.

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Security gurus get behind wheel of driverless car debate

Richard 12
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No it isn't

The manufacturer must publish the official guide to maintenance, and garages carry liability insurance against bad repairs.

Like they currently do.

For a rather large example in another industry, look at commercial aviation. Airframe and engine manufacturers can and have been held liable for incidents - whether anyone was actually hurt or not.

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Your next storage will be invisible (for a while)

Richard 12
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Re: An ogoing problem for over 30 years

Flash-based SSDs are interesting as they are fundamentally built of a large number of very small "disks" (pages) that the on-board firmware already retires as it fails.

Thus a "dead" SSD isn't all dead, and in theory at least, could keep being used as pages fail, by stepping down its apparent size.

The hard part is working out when to give up of course - down to 70% or 50% original capacity? Further?

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AT&T: We wanna be a drone company, not just a phone company

Richard 12
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Re: Tethered drones

"Cell on wings" requires tethered power, otherwise the loiter time would be way too short (electric) - or the aircraft far too large (infernal combustion)

Cell-on-Blimp would be far more sensible, as well as safer.

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Ad blockers responsible for rise in upfront TV ad sales, claims report

Richard 12
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Re: Subliminal ads

IIRC, there was never any evidence that they "worked", but there is plenty of evidence that flickering frames causes headaches and seizures.

All the good PVRs have "skip forward", which is much better for the viewer than fast-forward.

Sky boxes don't, but those are well known to be by far the worst PVRs on the market.

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Dear Tesla, stop calling it autopilot – and drivers are not your guinea pigs

Richard 12
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Re: scan their instrument panel to work out what ... and then start looking around

Alarms can be dangerous though.

A loud alarm is likely to make the driver look at the source of the sound - and not at the dangerous situation developing outside the vehicle.

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Ad viewability worsens

Richard 12
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Depends

If that's the money they spent on the adverts that are being totally ignored, then yes, they didn't get the service they purchased.

Wouldn't it be great if the ad brokers realised that people would look at unobtrusive adverts, and if they rejected the malware and flashy, noisy crap instantly, the remainder would be viewed.

Eventually. Because it's too late for most consumers, we've already installed an adblocker and we're unlikely to turn it off.

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If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

Richard 12
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Re: Pournelle's law, well one of them anyway...

Too vague to be useful.

A capacitor stores *charge*.

One could say that an inductor stores magnetism.

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White hat hacker AI bots prepare for DARPA's DEF CON cyber brawl

Richard 12
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Makes no real difference to the machine

After all, bytecode and machine code are not different to the source as far as the executable code paths are concerned.

The comments and variable names are extremely useful to humans, but not so much to machines unless anyone is trying for natural-language processing of reading the comments and variable names to infer the intended results and identify places where the code doesn't match the comments.

They only need the source code because they are supposed to create patches, and humans find it much easier to examine source code for correctness.

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Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

Richard 12
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Re: Bar & QR Codes suck for the blind.

I presume that touchscreen interfaces suck even harder.

Buttons you can't even tell exist

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Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation

Richard 12
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The rules mean they have to do this

Trademarks aren't like copyright.

If you don't defend a trademark, you lose it. So they have to send the "cease and desist" letter, even if they really don't care and even if they rather like the comparison.

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