* Posts by Josh 14

39 posts • joined 4 Aug 2009

FCC accused of colluding with Big Cable to game 5G legal challenge

Josh 14

I'd love to see anything come of this, but highly suspect that the FCC will ignore this investigation, much like they've been doing with just about anything else that could shed light on their doings in recent years.

Six lawsuits against FCC's 5G idiocy – that $2bn windfall for telcos – is bundled into one appeals court sueball

Josh 14

Re: It ain't all about poor cities and states

Unfortunately, Washington seems to have forgotten that we're not on the right coast, and has started tolls on things.

Carpool lane? yeah, pay a toll, and any old idiot can go flying down it. Of course, they then randomly jack the price up if there's a traffic jam. (Don't ask where the money goes, they aren't telling...)

Oh, you want another bridge over the Puget Sound, and the existing one was paid off and the toll booths closed down and legally not allowed to be re-opened? Yeah, we'll make that a one way bridge, and toll the new bridge going the other way! (No sunset clause in it's financing, and again, no telling where the money is going...)

All that money going *somewhere* and they have still been regularly making noise about raising taxes on things to pay for the roads and transit projects.

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere

Josh 14

Re: I've seen a definite uptick in these

I've been seeing a few of these as well, but the password that they were claiming to have was one that I had used in the past on sites that I didn't care about.

Checking if the email that they came in on was in the Have I Been Pwned (https://haveibeenpwned.com/) lists, it turned out that it was in three of the databases that were hacked in the past, ~10 years back.

The sad part about it is, when I inspected the blockchain activity for the wallets of the 12 different attempted extortion emails, most of them had suckers pay up, though likely a very small percentage of the recipients of the messages.

You could see the activity for most of them had seen between $2-5K worth of BTC deposited, and then transferred out.

One still had ~$8K in the wallet, but there were a few that were never paid in the list as well.

Edit: I just checked the spam folder on that account, and found that I now have 15 such emails, with demands varying from $480 to $4000 depending on the email, and I may have missed some, as I was just checking the obvious ones that I supposedly sent to myself.

BOFH: But I did log in to the portal, Dave

Josh 14

Re: We all recognise HP there...

Back when Whitehouse.com was an interesting porn site to find, when on a official use computer looking for whitehouse.gov?

Boffins pull off quantum leap in true random number generation

Josh 14

Re: Sooooo...

What about the RNG a few years back that had an Americium source from an ionization smoke detector firing into a webcam ccd, and used the excitation spots and traces as a random source seed?

I did a quick search and found this project building one:

http://www.inventgeek.com/alpha-radiation-visualizer/

Three in hospital after NSA cops open fire on campus ram-raid SUV

Josh 14

Re: really?

I was about to say the same thing, if the injuries weren't gunshot related, the shooters need some remedial range time!

I remember how some of my fellow basic trainees spent significant amounts of time on the range, learning how to be less awful with a rifle.

I would expect that guards at a relatively high profile installation would be more competent than raw trainees, who could at a minimum reliably hit a man sized target 32/40 rounds, and that was at ranges from 50 to 300 meters.

Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!

Josh 14

When I was working Air Force aviation maintenance, we would (RARELY!) sign off a job as "R2 stick actuator, op check good" = Replaced the stick actuator (pilot), operation check tested normal.

Needless to say, it was typically not a welcome sign off when maintenance supervision found those, and you had better have a good reason for blaming the officer who reported the problem. Poor thing might get his feelings hurt by being called out for being a useless git, you know.

Mohawks fling patent infringement sueball at Microsoft and Amazon

Josh 14

Did you see the most recent of Derek Lowe's posts, reporting on Allergan having 6 of their patents thrown out, and the judge stating: “. . .sovereign immunity should not be treated as a monetizable commodity that can be purchased by private entities as part of a scheme to evade their legal responsibilities. It is not an inexhaustible asset that can be sold to any party that might find it convenient to purchase immunity from suit.”

Good reading:

http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2017/10/17/allergan-brings-the-roof-down-on-its-head

Linux kernel long term support extended from two to six years

Josh 14

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

I bought a Nexus phone, primarily for the LTS and clean, non cluttered experience.

I upgraded from the N5 to a N6 due to joining Project Fi, and then found that the new phones have ~2 year supported life, and they quit pushing the monthly security patches to the phone 7 months before the declared "end of support" that was declared for this month.

Now, what was the point of buying this Android phone, directly from the manufacturer and OS designer?

I still like the clean UI and lack of carrier added clutter, but the claim in the article about seeking LTS does not reflect my experiences with Google.

Google to kill Chrome autoplay madness

Josh 14

So....

Time to consider moving to another mobile browser more seriously?

As much as I don't like saying it, Chrome is the simplest to use on my Android device.

Firefox takes a good bit to load, and the other offerings that I've tried were barely worth a glance before they were uninstalled, either due to missing functionality, poor behavior, or just poor UI.

Old Firefox add-ons get 'dead man walking' call

Josh 14

Re: unfortunate

You're not the only one looking at a sea of "legacy" tags.

I just checked my Add-ons list, and all but one add-on was tagged!

Like others here have said, things like no-script, ad-block, and even session manager are daily use add-ons. I regularly also use image manipulation add-ons like SEVI, and have yet to find any of the niche add-ons being updated to the new standard.

The ONLY add-on that I have in use un-tagged is privacy badger, and while I appreciate and use it, it stops short of the direct visible effect on the browsing experience that Ad-Block or uBlock Origin provide, in reduction of the clutter and harassment of the "modern" advertisers efforts.

Sadly, I honestly expect that the available pool add-ons is going to suffer, and likely many of the developers will just wash their hands of Mozilla with this change in standards.

No longer are they updating or patching the tools that they have offered for the users out here, but will have to go back to the drawing board to reinvent the wheel.

When most are not making a dime from the projects, what's there to prompt any willingness to put in the effort after years of maintenance to keep up with Mozilla's little changes breaking compatibility?

Las Vegas locks down ahead of DEF CON hacking conference

Josh 14

Re: Temporary Security Measures

The workarounds and/or reprisals should be amusing, at least!

Uber loses court fight over London drivers' English language tests

Josh 14

Re: And other English-speakers too

That's just because you made mistake to go to New York city... Most Americans can't understand them either!

Possible reprieve for the venerable A-10 Warthog

Josh 14

One of my USAF maintenance school instructors had worked with an A-10 unit during some combat simulations, pitting a wing of F-16s against a group of MC-130s with A-10s providing cover.

There is something to be said for low and slow, when you take into account that they are also highly maneuverable.

In this mock dogfight, the defending force dirtied up the aerodynamics and pancaked down to the tree line, ending up flying low enough that they found a few small limbs from trees stuck in the landing gear afterward. The A-10s then porpoised up and painted the aggressor squadron, with the laser designator simulated 30mm cannons.

From her telling of the post flight, the F-16 pilots (including their squadron commander who was flying in the mission) were much less cocky afterward, an abrupt turn around from the pre-game attitude.

You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

Josh 14

I still remember being a bit miffed when I learned that one of my old employers wouldn't allow reuse of old drives, and instead drilled holes through the drive platters before further mechanical mutilation.

A friend worked for a Redmond IT company who actually requires mechanical shredding of all drives pulled out of equipment in certain areas.

Either of those make content recovery a much more difficult prospect!

Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware storms live TV weather forecast

Josh 14

Re: Oh, yeah...

And a solid reason is given, once again, to move away from MS.

I do understand that many things are tied to Windows, but enough of this can only aid in pushing customers, and their suppliers away from a software environment which is turning more and more malicious.

Not only do we have to secure against malware slinging idiots and the click on anything users, but now we have to defend against the OS manufacturer as well?

A few machines used for gaming are running Win7 or 10 at my home, but my personal machines are now running various flavors of *nix, and a few people I help are starting to consider the expense of Apple products just to avoid the MS idiocy.

T-Mobile US gobbles up another 2.2m customers

Josh 14

Re: They have an easy path to follow.

Been there and done that as well.

The only thing that I liked on Verizon was that the tower hand-off when traveling was generally seamless, and I often was able to maintain a call over the 30 mile route from work to home. (Using hands-free equipment, not driving like a raging idiot with my phone stuck to my ear and waving my other hand wildly...)

I saved a third of my bill when I switched to T-Mobile, but found that it was a bit bug ridden in the tower behavior.

With T-Mo or Sprint, I've noticed that there are a few repeat offending bad hand-off points, as well as places where the phone will stick on one tower even to the point of having no signal, even when not in a call. I confirmed with other Sprint users, and had it happen with T-Mo on my old phone, prior to switching to Fi.

Now I've switched to Google's Project Fi, and like it well enough, but it's main saving grace is the price point. Using T-Mo as well as Sprint, and trying it locked in either carrier's service or roaming between each, about the same, though T-Mo's data service is more reliable in general than Sprint's.

Want to slash your phone bill? Go to jail. Go directly to jail

Josh 14

When an uncle was in prison, (not drug related, he earned it...) we would occasionally get the automated calls asking if we would accept charges for a call from an inmate at *name of prison here*.

I never heard what the pricing was, but it was always a collect call.

ebook price-fixing saga: Apple rids self of court-appointed watchdog

Josh 14

And in next weeks news...

How long before Apple is found to be back to their old games?

Any takers on next week? The week following?

US military personnel investigated for splashing $96,576 on strippers

Josh 14

Re: Corporate Expenses 101

The second note about using the expenses as an opportunity to establish personal credit are well made, if you are working for a corporation that allows it, but the US military specifically frowns on doing so. They want to be able to directly track, and pay, any officially authorized expenses on the issued card.

Yes, the paperwork for explaining it is still required, and yes, it's a royal pain in the rear. Especially when they get confused and try to say that you're not on orders to be somewhere that the expenses are authorized, or forget to process the payments to the card while you are there, and you end up hitting the limit.

I've even seen this happen to senior officers while deployed and the finance clerk does something screwy. The next thing you know, the officer is getting nasty calls or emails while *still* working in some rat infested part of the world, often then hitting the limit of the card as well. But heaven help you if you pull out your personal card to cover the gap until the Finance people pull their heads out of their rears...

Josh 14

Re: Misleading

I was in the US Army when the GTC (government travel card) was first rolled out, and as others have already said, there were numerous briefings about the coming cards being issued, and that they were to ONLY be used for authorized military expenses. Travel, lodging, food, etc... They even had briefings about where you couldn't use the cards for normally authorized expenses, since the coding on the business would throw up flags on the billing statement, such as getting dinner at a bar. Even if you were only buying food, it was a drinking establishment, and you couldn't use the GTC in one.

That said, my barracks roommate was immediately talking about how he was going to buy himself a new computer using the card, so who knows how brilliant many of the young crowd are...

More recently, I was relocated along with a number of other part time military members to support a mission. While we were away from home, we were authorized housing expenses, but with understandable restrictions.

A few years later everyone who was on the trip was being investigated because at least one person had been billing for a luxury condo in the area while we were there, and ended up being charged for embezzlement and from what I eventually heard, and one spent some time in prison for his efforts.

US watchdog POKES STICK at Google's Android over rival-blocking allegations

Josh 14

Re: Stop MS spying on you

I typically run under option 3, at least at home.

At work, I'm constrained by the corporate IT policies, and can't do squat other than run FireFox with No-Script, ABP, Privacy Badger, etc...

Josh 14

I'm still trying to figure out what app one of the competitors has that I would truly WANT to run and am being prevented from using.

MS can keep Bing for all I care, I get enough spying from Google searches, and from Windows itself, I don't care to let MS know what I'm searching for when I'm away from my work windows machines.

Amazon has an app store, but it's more of a marketing platform for their sales site than an app store, since the new "Underground" update recently.

Firefox for Android runs a bit slow, but it's ok, I suppose... Oh, and it's not blocked either. Nor are Opera, or any number of other browsers.

Also noteworthy is how little restriction there is on just what kinds of apps can be found on the Play store, unlike on Apple's App Store. Never mind how few even bother to program for the MS apps marketplace.

All in all, sounds like sour grapes from competitors that aren't competitive.

Boffins tell sleep-talking Android apps to SHUT UP

Josh 14

Re: No release yet

The GitHub link now has a banner saying that the product is not yet an app at all, it's implemented inside the Android Framework, and that they will release an app version soon.

That said, there is a link under the Public Activity tab that points to an app named eStar, located here:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobileenerlytics.estar

I don't know anything further , as I haven't gotten to dig through the information yet.

(Edit: Reading further, this is just an energy drain tracking app to see what is wasting your battery power. It's apparently part of what MIT they used to develop the statistics for their protoApp.)

SOHOpeless Realtek driver vuln hits Wi-Fi routers

Josh 14

Re: At some point a vendor will just go ...

Now the question is, is OpenWRT (or DD-WRT, Tomato, etc...) using the same core binary that has the vulnerability as well?

'Use 1 capital' password prompts make them too predictable – study

Josh 14

I get annoyed when some of the sites require exactly the mix of letters, numbers, symbols, and caps that the specify, and will not allow anything more.

I don't know how many times I've run into one that wants exactly eight characters, with one being caps, one a number, and a certain subset of symbols (which it does not state, until it rejects an attempted password...)

Europe could be drowned in 'worthless pop culture' thanks to EU copyright plans

Josh 14
Trollface

Trouble in Frog-land?

I have to wonder how long after this hypothetically passes to law before the "Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys " (cough, cough, French...) get up in arms defending the sanctity of the language and try to ban all content that is not written, recorded, filmed, or otherwise somehow available in their oh so special language, like they seem to be doing over book sellers currently.

Err, not holy, not noble history (since they so proudly executed the nobility!)... WTF do they defend the language so adamantly for? And French Canadians too! An odd bunch, the lot of 'em!

So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

Josh 14

Re: the fire rises

One thing I noted when looking at the list of affected models, there is a lack of any of the business class models on that list.

Personally, the only Lenovo laptops that are/were worth buying are the business class machines in the first place. My own preference is for the T series laptops, which I've had a couple of, and numerous friends own and use them as well.

Once you get beyond that, or downgrade to the Ideapads (shudder) you are away from the original durable and reliable IP that they bought the whole brand from IBM for.

If cities want to run their own broadband, let 'em do it, Prez Obama tells FCC

Josh 14

Who knows why not in Seattle or Redmond, but I do know that Tacoma, WA has a city network, known as Click! Network. It's typically a bit undersubscribed, and so has a surprisingly high throughput.

The city manages the actual hardware of the network, and three different operators provide the actual end user connection as the ISP. I will say that the three ISP's are nothing special and have VERY short business hours, weekdays only, but the price and performance made me a little sad to move outside the city limits.

Apple's Cook: We have never allowed g-men access to Apple servers

Josh 14
Trollface

Re: "Well you'd expect him to say that ..." - MRD

"missing is “Apple has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge such an order if served on us.”

I'm assuming that they have such a friendly working relationship with the various intelligence agencies of the US and allied powers that they have never needed to be officially requested, but rather were asked over tea or a pint of bitter if there was anything interesting that they'd like to share...

Josh 14
Black Helicopters

Redefine "G" men

Since this is Apple that we are talking about, I'm assuming that they redefined this to iMen, and trademarked it retroactively.

They also are working constantly with their embedded iMen to better the data snooping user experience and facilitate a smoother data extraction, and to ensure that the interface has sufficient number of curves in its implementation.

YouTube will nuke indie music videos in DAYS, says Google exec

Josh 14
Devil

Costs of hosting?

I'm not sure of the whole story here, but isn't part of this about covering the costs of hosting all this mindless drivel that the consumers are watching?

Google now owns YouTube, and paid unholy amounts of money to do so. They also pay for server upkeep, server overhead, bandwidth, etc... Now the various music labels are getting effectively free hosting of their promo footage in the form of music videos that only a few years ago you would have had to pay to see on M-TV or the like, on top of paying for cable TV, possibly a premium cable package to boot.

Please explain why it's wrong to expect that those who are making money off of the screen time shouldn't be expected to possibly share a bit of the load, or at least a bit of the profits coming from the effectively 'free' hosting?

I know that most of the lol-cat crowd are not paying anything or gaining any revenue, though some do through their advertising links, but the businesses whose entire revenue model is centered on internet video just might need to keep in mind that bandwidth intensive video streaming does cost someone, and that they might just end up getting stuck with part of the expense.

All in all, just my looking at this as the Devil's Advocate...

iOS upgrade cocks up iPad USB connections

Josh 14
WTF?

Re: @Apple Haters

The problem with your defense of Apple nerfing the "USB interface without claiming compatibility" connector is that by claiming that it has a "USB" interface, it needs to toe the line for the USB standard.

In this case, we're addressing the stated industry standard on the power available to be drawn on a USB port.

USB isn't an Apple protocol, a PC protocol, a Linux, or even a Sun, Intel, MS, or your grandma's protocol. It's an industry standard to prevent just this sort of idiotic hardware incompatibilities.

For the actual specs, wander over to USB.org and take a look around. Among the 677 member companies listed in the directory, Apple is on the second page, so there is even some evidence that they understand it's a Universal Serial Bus, not the Uniquely-theirs Serial Bus.

Apple knows all to well how to make proprietary connectors, as they've shown as recently as the iPod connector, and the extra recessed headphone connectors on the earlier iPhones.

If they wanted it to be a iCamera only connector, they know how to make it something other than USB. By changing the game mid stride like this, either they didn't do the basic tests to see what it was going to do to the power regulation on the port, or they are playing godlings and peons again, with the consumer base being peed on, again.

Nothing against any fan-boi in specific, and I have a few Apple devices in my possession as well, but I dislike this kind of behavior from any company or fan base. The nose in the air from the company, and the accompanying head in the sand from the fans is hard to tolerate.

Rumbustious Rambus rampaging rebarbatively, again

Josh 14
Grenade

1377345 / digits

Eh, I doubt anyone's going to bother buying Rambus. It's a useless company other than trolling, much like SCO and a few other "IP clearinghouses" that are making a lot of noise with so little content.

Personally, I'd like there to be a clause in the patent law to dissolve IP clearing houses that keep wasting the court's time like this. Or at least stick them with the full legal costs, like I've heard that the UK system does to those who're too happy bringing lawsuits...

Grenade for the 'complaint' I'd like to file with their complaint's departments.

Trojan-ridden warning system implicated in Spanair crash

Josh 14
Black Helicopters

Re: before you blame windows

I've also seen a trend of the management doing anything and everything to avoid making it look like a pilot has screwed up, if at all possible.

As an aircraft maintainer, I see numerous examples of pilot idiocy in small things, and sometimes not so small things, and get reamed out if I write up the crew idiocy in the maintenance logs, rather than something generic and bland about how the fault went away after testing it (for the 47th time, even when the recurring fault is expressly caused by crew doing something stupid...)

The reporting of malware as the cause of a crash seems to be a LARGE stretch to me, considering just how redundant the systems are on these planes.

I haven't worked a MD-82, but still, for it to have passed FAA airframe certification as a commercial aircraft, as well as whatever the EU certifying authority requires, I can't imagine that it's running anything that would have any flavor of Windows on it, nor that there weren't indications and warnings available to them.

More likely, I suspect that there were faults with the warning system, and it was disabled, or just ignored due to repeated false alerts, even when it was reporting critical info at that point.

It wouldn't be the first time such has happened, and likely not the last either.

Helicopter for the obvious attempt at sweeping the whole mess under the carpet and shuffling a couple of easy patsies off to pave the way...

Microsoft ends Office lovers' employee discount program

Josh 14
WTF?

get over it?

I really don't understand the moaning going on over this...

While I don't generally like MS products in the first place, when I looked at the option of getting a copy of MS Office through EPP or HUP in the past years, the HUP option always seemed the cheaper route in the first place. $10 for a license key and a download, or $20 for a key with media.

If I understand that correctly, that comes out to something like 7£ for you Brits. A couple of drinks at the pub, maybe only one, if you have expensive tastes.

Personally, I use Open Office, but I keep a license of MS Office on hand for the few idiotic companies that can't seem to get over demanding MS formatted files.

Steel-woven wallet pledges to keep RFID credit cards safe

Josh 14
WTF?

RFID for the idiocy of it all...

Not really missing the point, as much as not wanting to play the game that the card issuers are trying to force down all of our throats.

I'm not big on the tinfoil hat paranoia, but I can see not wanting to have my banking info easily sniffed, or any other random info that some card issuer decides they want to make RF accessible.

If I need to use a RFID card for a banking transaction (if they ever manage to get rid of the swipe all together?) then I'll pull the silly thing out, and hope that some ambitious crook hasn't gotten to the area of the reader for a physical monitoring hack at the most likely target location...

Hmm, I think I may stick to cash at that point, if it ever comes to that...

WTF for the idiocy in trying to force an insecure system into critical information fields, be it national security, people tracking, or banking.

Keep it for inventory theft tracking and leave the rest well enough alone.

Sony widens its e-bookshelf

Josh 14

@ WIFI lacking...

I might be in the minority in this, but I personally am thankful that the PRS 505 that I have doesn't have any form of wireless, for a couple of reasons.

For one, there's no way that sony can pull an Amazon, er, would that be an Orwell? No way for them to yank media out from under my finger tips while I'm reading it...

Battery life. No wireless sucking juice makes for a simpler and smaller device.

I can also use a non WIFI device at work, whereas we get grouched at otherwise. So the 505 get's carried in a pocket and used whenever there's slow time waiting for something to break, or in transit between jobs.

As for the complaints about the Google books that are only available for those of us in the USA, try just getting them from Google directly, or even from Project Gutenberg. The Sony readers aren't picky as to the format, for the most part. Unlike the Kindle, you can read TXT, PDF, and RTF without requiring conversion to the LRF format which Sony offers it's own books in.

That being said, LRF allows a little easier embedding of images in books, as well as indexing them, but with a bookmark set wherever you're currently at in the book, it's not a deal breaker to read the other formats, just harder to search them.

Finally, if you like Sci-fi, check out Baen.com for their free library and cheap ebooks from the associated authors there. Lots of good works, and even the new books are running at fractions of hardback prices, with older books dropping down into the $2-$5 range, if not to free.

Also, as Andy Baird mentioned, the PRS700's screen was fuzzy compared with both of the 500 and 505's screens, due to the touch screen overlay. I looked at a co-worker's after initially drooling over the idea of it, but was quite happy to have 'missed out' once I actually saw one.

FCC barks at Apple for silencing Google Voice

Josh 14

Clear, the confused broadband provider

Despite thinking that Clear would embrace VOIP since they don't have a phone carrier affiliation, they seem to do their best to choke all VOIP clients bandwidth through filtering.

As far as the debates that I've seen have been able to figure out, it's due to the high bandwidth requirements if all the users were well *using* VOIP. They would be required to have enough infrastructure and bandwidth to support it, rather than having enough to sell a service and hope that everyone doesn't try to use it at the speed that they sold it, simultaneously.

That being said, I have a Clear modem, and it's nice for a no-install fee service wherever, as long as you're in the coverage area.

If I were staying put more, cable modem all the way. (And I do have one, at home, where the clear modem never used due to lack of speed.)

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