* Posts by Robert Carnegie

2614 posts • joined 30 Sep 2009

Wanna motivate staff to be more secure? Don't bother bribing 'em

Robert Carnegie
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Leaving aside the harassment question, you could continue personalising the "remember to log out" message with names of the IT office team, for variety.

Our building tests the fire alarm at 3pm every Friday. I don't know who actually runs around the building checking that it can be heard, if that's what they mean, but they must be fast. Anyway, it comes as a shock when it rings... even though on Friday the receptionist's desk usually has a big red-printed sign saying "The fire alarm will be tested today". I've thought it would be better with flashing lights on it. Or... an e-mail at 2.55pm to remind us.

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Drone crashes after operator failed to spot extra building site crane

Robert Carnegie
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Not sure going straight up is safer.

The drone pilot intends in future to make his drone start by flying straight upward.

If it goes seriously wrong - likely to show up early in the flight - then it will go straight downward. And land on his head.

Okay... I suppose he can stand it on the ground and then retreat a safe distance before starting it.

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Of course Uber allegedly had a tool to remotely destroy evidence

Robert Carnegie
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Meanwhile

There are still actual taxis and hire cars. Although sometimes feuds between cabmen get rough too. Apparently, prank calling your competitor for fake rides or silent calls is common. Conversely, I have called for a car, drawn breath before speaking, and they hung up on me.

As for Uber, do you think that perhaps an organised system of prostitution, drug dealing, and demanding money with menaces is operated from their address to disguise the fact that they're also responsible for the Uber car thing? After all, people -like- drug dealers.

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Heart of darkness: Inside the Osówka underground city

Robert Carnegie
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Joke

Mystery solved?

"Hitler's Bitcoin Factory"

...Too soon how?

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Russia claims it repelled home-grown drone swarm in Syria

Robert Carnegie
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Unclear to me whether this is ISIS or the brave democratic resistance to the dreadful tyrant Assad (with or without assistance from CIA). Russia is on the side of the d.t. Assad. We are on the side of the b.d. resistance. For now. The d.t. Assad having been elected is one of the little problems with all this. My actual interpretation is that Christian countries (U.S., Canada Europe, United Kingdom) saw a way to wreck a Muslim country and slaughter the population, and in those terms it's gone very well.

Also, I rather think that dropping bombs on military bases doesn't count as "terrorism". Fighting wars is what military bases are for. Granted, the article doesn't say that it is terrorism, it says it was done by terrorists, which is different. It's possibly true because that is who would be particularly good at doing that sort of thing, if "good" is the right word.

another way to look at it is that war is a kind of terrorism, but people don't like you saying so, the same as when you say that humans are a kind of monkey. Which I think is mainly offensive if you only say that a particular set of humans are monkeys. That isn't true. It's all of us.

So really when you say "terrorism" you mean "terrorism that isn't in a war". And this is in a war.

By the way, don't only totally evil countries now have cluster munitions? Including the U.S. and Russia themselves as you say.

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Watt? You thought the wireless charging war was over? It ain't even begun

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Efficiency?

Plugs and sockets wear out, so that's one advantage of plugless charging. The socket on a device also is vulnerable to water penetration, so it's worth either sealing it or not having a socket at all.

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Parliamentary 'puters made 30k tries to procure pr0nz last year

Robert Carnegie
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Re: yes, but

Someone can send you an e-mail that includes references to pictures from $NAUGHTYPLACE. Depending on configuration choices, that's liable to make you desktop computer "visit' $NAUGHTYPLACE.

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Now that's sticker shock: Sticky labels make image-recog AI go bananas for toasters

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Still no laughing matter

"And the sticker seems to be similar to the dazzle pattern used to disguise ships in the early 19th century."

1914-1918 is the 20th century.

Does the image here represent the actual sticker used, or did someone read the story and then photograph a toaster then go nuts with Instagram filters? Should I see a toaster when I look at the sticker?

If you paste a picture of a toaster into a photograph of a banana, should AI not see a toaster in the picture?

What about the "door security" scene in [The Fifth Element]?

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Bug-finders' scheme: Tick-tock, this tech's tested by flaws.. but who the heck do you tell?

Robert Carnegie
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But

For a web site, isn't this just mailto:webmaster@web-site-name.tld ?

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Engineer named Jason told to re-write the calendar

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Can't we get rid of May?

I assumed - though I seem to be wrong - that the message meant there was no present of money in the "sorry about your new job" card.

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Ex-cop who 'kept private copies of data' fingers Cabinet Office minister in pr0nz at work claims

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Why now?

It was dealt with at the time, by which I mean it was ignored.

While I'm at it, I'd suppose that files on the computer disk are labelled as belonging to dgreen or to dgreensecretary so you would be able to tell who did it, including the web cache.

As for what's legal or illegal porn, it may be only a few pixels difference but I expect that forensic investigators have file checksums to identify commonly available smut. Images may also include the publisher's name e.g. Playboy which you would expect to be legal.

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User dialled his PC into a permanent state of 'Brown Alert'

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Acronym alert...POS = Point Of Sale or Piece Of Shit

Thanks for prompting me to look up an explanation of why the policeman wizard (!) in Ben Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London" novel series ends up mostly driving a "Ford Asbo".

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Citrix cracks Windows Store's monopoly on Windows 10 S apps

Robert Carnegie
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But

Does your Windows S licence entitle you to run Grown Ups Windows programs on your Window S screen? Or do you need an extra Windows licence to do it legally? Because that happens.

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High-freq trade biz sues transatlantic ISP for alleged spiteful cable cut

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Frankly I'm astonished you can "HFT" from across the atlantic due to signal delay.

I think the idea is to HFT in two or more exchanges simultaneously, which are geographically separated. So, toilet paper futures go up microscopically in Frankfurt, you instantly buy shares in a laxative company in New York. Or sell. I'm not an expert.

For best results, you may also have to have an undersea base in mid Atlantic to do the trading from. This may be in a James Bond film soon (and blow up), or one made already, I haven't quite kept up.

But I find it distasteful that so much effort is put into playing on the stock markets as casinos instead of in actually running businesses well.

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Facebook, Google, IBM, Red Hat give GPL code scofflaws 60 days to behave – or else

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Translation please

Software copyright is one thing, a business trademark is another. It's how you're recognised and your reputation, and it's mostly up to you to defend your right to be known by it - by chasing others off it. That includes deliberate fakes, coincidental duplications, and people who think your name is clever and so make up a similar one, and it includes near exact duplicates and distant suggestions - but in the latter case, the chasing off may only consist of a lawyer's letter in harsh language but no further enforcement action.

I think the incident of the Software Freedom Law Center goes further, into officially acknowledged or registered trademarks. I'm not a lawyer but I think a "registered trademark" is presumed to be legitimate until it isn't, so if someone applies to registers a trademark that resembles yours, then you'd better speak up.

To me, "Software Freedom Law Center" sounds generic anyway. They should maybe have put an "Acme" in there somewhere. Or, I dunno, "Spartacus". Something that just distinguishes it from alternatives.

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Boss made dirt list of minions' mistakes, kept his own rampage off it

Robert Carnegie
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Re: BRS

Microwaves - just guessing that the idea is, if the stuff on the turntable bumps into a wall or something and stops turning, then it should auto reverse. So it always reverses. That will also allow the reversing action to be tested.

Microwaves also shouldn't be run with nothing inside to be heated, but AIUI this isn't prevented?

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Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Nursing Acronyms

Phil Hammond the comedy doctor has stated that funny descriptions of patients become less funny when you are explaining their meanings during a court case.

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Mm, sacrilicious: Greggs advent calendar features sausage roll in a manger

Robert Carnegie
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Re: And....

Yeah, I was thinking your digestion will be spurlocked after (less than) thirty days of pies.

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Teensy weensy space shuttle flies and lands

Robert Carnegie
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Re: How teensie weensie exactly?

The picture in Reg is not actual size? Aww.

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Pixel-style display woes on your shiny new X? Perfectly normal, says Apple

Robert Carnegie
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"If you'd like to "learn what to do" if you type the letter "i" and it autocorrects to an "A" with a symbol, click here."

Have you tried walking into the sea. http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1912

(Or, turning it off and on again. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_IT_Crowd )

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Landlubber northern council shores up against boat-tipping

Robert Carnegie
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Re: One of these days...

It probably costs you more than £2.50 to drive to the council dumping facility. You're making a big objection to a small charge on what presumably ends up being expensive and unecological landfill somewhere.

Come Brexit we shall need to produce more food inland anyway, so, stuff your landscaping, and Dig For Victory and potatoes.

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Don't be a turkey: Help Linus Torvalds finish Linux 4.14 before it ruins Thanksgiving

Robert Carnegie
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Surely too late?

Perhaps I misunderstand, but isn't it a question of how many bugs are left in release candidate 7? If none to speak of, then an rc8 won't be needed - but if bugs are there then they ought to be found and fixed, and not included in a final release. So it's your duty to spoil Linus's Thanksgiving if you can by finding those bugs.

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Spare me the confected 'Innovation Theatre' that is hackfests and their ilk

Robert Carnegie
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Too. Much. Information.

about your series of tubes.

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Reaper IoT botnet ain't so scary, contains fewer than 20,000 drones

Robert Carnegie
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I thought you meant a botnet of flying drones...

And now nobody knows where they are...

Resting on my roof and brute-forcing my wi-fi...

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Humble civil servant: Name public electric car chargers after me

Robert Carnegie
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There was a johnny in the street and I parked next to it.

That would be slang for "a gentleman's prophylactic contraceptive".

I don't remember whether "john" is UK or US slang for a prostitute's client. That would be who had left the prophylactic in the street.

Worth cruising around for? It depends whether you get a charge out of it.

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Uber's revolting sexism, the movie

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Could have been worse ...

Uber does limos but I can't testify to the actual quality of UberLUX (Limousine Unbelievably Expensive).

The title is real, the interpretation may not be.

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HMRC's switch to AWS killed a small UK cloud business

Robert Carnegie
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Joke

Curiously,

HMRC now seems never to have heard of my "Glamazonian Women" model agency, which is pretty convenient :-)

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Sarahah anonymous feedback app told: 'You're riddled with web app flaws'

Robert Carnegie
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Re: While I'm here - Sarahah?

They are privacy focussed so you cannot get in touch with them.

In the bible, Abraham was told by an angel of God that he and his wife would bear children. They were in their nineties and she laughed so hard that her false teeth came out. Then she said, "Wasn't me", but it was, so God changed her name to Sarahah.

Some of this actually is in the bible, some I made up.

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Google slides text message 2FA a little closer to the door

Robert Carnegie
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I think 2FA by text works by sending a random code as a message to your mobile number. You must input this code in your process of logging in, but you don't have to send a text back?

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You can't find tech staff – wah, wah, wah. Start with your ridiculous job spec

Robert Carnegie
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Re: "Gambler's Fallacy"

This is Bayesian, yes? But the probability that your five-heads coin is crooked depends on the prior probability of you obtaining - accidentally no doubt - such a crooked coin. If they are very rare then you are probably just looking at luck and a fair coin.

I expect without checking that it's physically difficult anyway to make a coin which favours heads over tails, except of course by printing heads on both sides of the coin which is rather a giveaway. Of course, making sure that when the referee inspects the coin, they aren't inspecting the one with two heads, is just a matter of dexterity.

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Full-fibre ISP Hyperoptic clocked over mock doc schlock shock

Robert Carnegie
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Sending out a fake contract document looks like possibly more than just advertising naughtily. I'd send PC World around to sort them out.

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Oz military megahack: When crappy defence contractor cybersecurity 'isn't uncommon', surely alarm bells ring?

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Relax ..

One civilian newswatcher's impression from a series of wars where the U.S. had allies is that U.S. forces early on test the commitment of said allies by shooting some of them dead. If that is put up with, and it usually is, then so will a lot more be, e.g. Abu Ghraib (until the photos get out).

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Robert Carnegie
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"Isn't uncommon"

The hypothetical Star Trek fan web site I run from my bedroom may have lax security like that (so does Starship Enterprise evidently, see "takeover of the week", at least it means that Kirk, Spock, Uhura and Chekov can break in themselves and take it back).

A real-world security industry resource should be held to a higher standard. So I hope this incompetence is, so, uncommon in this sector. Unless we declare war on Australia - then I hope they're all idiots of "Three Stooges" level.

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'Open sesame'... Subaru key fobs vulnerable, says engineer

Robert Carnegie
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Re: This won't be addressed

It's fairly easy to attach a small package of electronics to a car to do mischief on its own. Spider-Man would do it using his special spider web that lasts for an hour. Indeed he's been using electronic "spider-tracers" on people as well as vehicles for decades - the device makes his secret spider-sense buzz.

Oddly though he tends to ride on the outside of buses, trains, and private motor vehicles to get around, when he isn't swinging on web-lines around town like an urban Tarzan with lianas.

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Grant Shapps of coup shame fame stands by 'broadbad' research

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Coup shame fame?

One evening I tuned into Russell Brand's show on Radio 2 - mostly an easy listening music station - and he was chatting to guests about Plato and the school of Socrates. However, politics is difficult, and telling people not to vote, as a protest, really doesn't help. Come to think, Socrates got poisoned by government decree, so, bit of a blind spot there as well.

I was told that Boris Johnson isn't as stupid as he seems but I wasn't given supporting evidence, and obviously there's an awful lot of room between "as stupid as he seems" and even "traffic warden". There is however a kind of moral stupidity about where and how to ride a bicycle, which women to sleep with, and how to coordinate a party line with the prime minister, that he seems to have a lot of. I think he intentionally shams being intellectually deficient to disguise his full awareness of being a horrible manipulative bully, and enjoying it.

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Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

Robert Carnegie
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Re: I wonder...

"Personal attention" from someone with a track record of twisting things the wrong way around, requires careful consideration.

I suppose you could put a large arrow and "THIS WAY" on it.

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Apple's iOS password prompts prime punters for phishing: Too easy now for apps to swipe secrets, dev warns

Robert Carnegie
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Re: One way ...

For this solution on iOS, you wouldn't need to protect against web hacking the secret image that the system uses in its own dialogs, because it isn't being transmitted over a network.

You might need to protect it from the phone's camera seeing a reflective surface in your room where the secret image can be picked up, but that's a different challenge. Maybe turn off the camera when the password dialog is displayed.

Also, of course, there's the touchscreen / accelerometer problem.

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RDX removable disk has ransomware protection begging to be bypassed

Robert Carnegie
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Re: There was something newsworthy there

I suspect the selling point of this product is that the disc write-protect setting itself is also write-once read many - once you make a disc read-only, it stays read-only. But I don't know this. If it is, then I recommend buying the deluxe edition of the software, that includes the "Are you sure?" prompt. :-)

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It's 4PM on Friday, almost time to log off and, oh look, Disqus says it's been hacked

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Announcement not particularly clear

We know that Disqus lets you use an account with Facebook, Twitter, or Google to log in to Disqus. I think in fact you may or may not also have a password, because I think I got the process wrong and set my Google password as the password for Disqus too, which isn't the same thing. I've now pre-emptively changed both of them to a formula of Leters78 which I've then forgotten, but I wrote it down in my diary of secrets.

So:

If you log in to Disqus with a password then it may have been leaked, although protected with salted SHA1, and you have to change it.

If you log in to Disqus using Facebook or whatever, then the leak includes your Facebook name (plain?) but not any password.

Or it may be both. If you see what I mean.

At https://haveibeenpwned.com/ you can input an e-mail address (plain disqus login) or user name and see where it has been leaked from, not counting what you just did :-) At the moment this may be showing all of Disqus's users and not only as of 2012, since people are claiming that they joined later and are being shown as included in this leak.

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Hey, IoT vendors. When a paediatric nurse tells you to fix security, you definitely screwed up

Robert Carnegie
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Are we sneering at pediatric nurses? If we are doing that, then why?

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Legacy clearout? Not all at once, surely. Keeping tech up to snuff in an SMB

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Drink the Cloud coolaid

Register's readership may love the idea of pulling in consultants to advise on this sort of thing, but if there already are in-house staff, they probably already spent a lot of time thinking about how to do this stuff - and they are committed to the organisation like consultants aren't. In Dilbert cartoons, for instance - which is not the SMB case - the consultant, usually "Dogbert", either tells very client to buy the same thing, or finds out what in-house staff think is needed, and pitches that. But they get believed by mnagement because they're the consultant.

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Vibrating walls shafted servers at a time the SUN couldn't shine

Robert Carnegie
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Joke

Re: Tivoli blues

Now I've skimmed Wikipedia's article in English about the Copenhagen fair which indeed says that "In Norwegian and Swedish, the word tivoli has become synonymous with any amusement park", although the generic term in Denmark is "disneyland". :-)

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Robert Carnegie
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Re: Tivoli blues

I think "Tivoli" means a fun-fair / "amusement park" but not in English? Machines to entertain people riding on or in them, driven by electricity. Basically similar to the problem of the lifts, but dynamically more complicated.

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US yanks staff from Cuban embassy over sonic death ray fears

Robert Carnegie
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Snopes says it's unlikely.

http://www.snopes.com/do-sonic-weapons-explain-the-health-diplomats-cuba/

A virus going around maybe?

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IKEA flat-packs TaskRabbit to crack assembly code

Robert Carnegie
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Some furniture makers assemble their product before it's sold, and probably do it better than the owner ever could. Cars... I don't know if a self-assembly automobile or "kit car" is even legal now.

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Congress battles Silicon Valley over upcoming US sex trafficking law

Robert Carnegie
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Re: "Two wrongs don't make a right." tl;dr.

I look forward to a law that forces Donald Trump to stop tweeting and maybe also deports his wife, not particularly because justice would be served but only because it would be funny to hear about.

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AI slurps, learns millions of passwords to work out which ones you may use next

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Password Creation Rules

Random non-repeated consonants, a couple of digits, a symbol if some idiot system insists. Then convert your consonants to a phrase to remember. For instance Gchqnsa04 - "God can hear quiet nuns saying Angelus." (No, A isn't a consonant.)

A class of password that maybe does need to be reset is the shared one. You may have ceased to employ somebody who knows a lot of your important system passwords, whether they were supposed to know them or not. Just routinely changing these passwords protects against this.

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Google India launches payment service that sends money as sound

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Is sound really the best way?

I think "audio QR" is an incorrect or novel term. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code doesn't mention a version in sound, and Google of "audio QR" initially produces web pages about "how tu put an audio file on the Internet and then make a QR code that finds that file and plays it".

As I understand it, QR is specifically a format for a two-dimensional image which contains an encoded data file. You scan the image, decode it, and you have the file. Very commonly, the file contains a URL which is the address of further data. My weekly bus ticket now is a QR code on paper; it may or may not be a signed data file which represents a valid ticket for the current week - also presumably there's some tracking to prevent me selling photocopies of it to friends: if more than one person seeming to be using the same ticket then you get stopped. Having said that, I probably shouldn't flash it around at other times in case someone photographs it. Of course a criminal could just steal my actual ticket...

"audio QR" evidently is an ultrasonic data standard which similarly transmits a file, and it may not even have a proper name in English (one that isn't embarrassing). It needs electronic audio equipment to send and receive it but it doesn't need a visual display or printer or camera, so maybe that works better in India. It's probably pretty fast, and, being ultrasonic, it won't easily be recorded by a third party or send over actual phone lines, which filter down to spoken-word frequencies. And tapping it may do you no good anyway if it's like my bus ticket but only actually valid during the split-second that it's transmitted.

My basic impression of India from many many miles away, but watching it on television, is that it's d--- noisy - from (not) watching films like "Gandhi" and even before you consider the background music as well. On the other hand, slightly more reflection tells me, accurately or not, that lots of India is miles and miles from anywhere. No doubt the developers of the "Tez" dispenser have both of these situations in mind.

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BoJo, don't misuse stats then blurt disclaimers when you get rumbled

Robert Carnegie
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@HmmmYes

A slush fund / insurance for farmers, the EU may be. Let me inquire: do you eat food?

Even producing a product that everyone needs, farming isn't a great way to make money when your production is at the mercy of weather, pestilence, and the Berkeley Hunts literally riding roughshod over your goods in production in pursuit of what is now theoretically an imaginary fox. Pokemon Go with added horse crap.

Subsidy uses tax to keep farms running to put food in our supermarkets whether each individual farm has a good or a bad year this year, which sounds smart to me.

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Robert Carnegie
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Technically right?

Maybe I misread: I thought this wasn't Register saying that Boris is "technically right", it is Boris saying that Boris is "technically right". And he isn't.

The sticker price of British membership of the EU is/was, let's say, £350 million a week. At the same time, the EU spends money on benefits to British activities such as agriculture, so the money comes back to Britain.

That isn't the "rebate". The rebate is that we got a perpetual discount on the membership price, theoretically "thanks" to Mrs Thatcher but let's face it she probably spent the money on wars and abolishing British industry.

So there isn't a £350 million cheque being written to the EU in the first place. It's £275 million, which is still handy money but a lot less.

You can see why a careless or stupid person would think that the EU costs Britain £350 million that's the price tag. But it's not what we pay. Why a more intelligent and better informed person would keep saying that it's £350 million, is, clearly, that they expect to benefit by lying. For instance, by keeping up the lie, some people may believe, or may choose to pretend to believe, that it's the truth after all. Although it isn't. And then there's the "appearing to be careless and stupid" thing, that you acknowledge if you admit the mistake

I say Boris Johnson isn't as stupid as he seems, and that's rather frightening.

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