* Posts by Robert Carnegie

2454 posts • joined 30 Sep 2009

Lyrebird steals your voice to make you say things you didn't – and we hate this future

Robert Carnegie
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Recently on radio I heard about a woman who's losing her voice and she wants to have a close copy produced by machine if that's the best alternative. So that's an application.

In fact I lost my voice last week due to a severe cold, then realised it is quite difficult to get medical attention, especially in a remote consultation, without speaking. I don't know what people do in this situation’; I found an online text inquiry service, but it turns out that they charge quite a high fee, including for membership that isn't mentioned particularly prominently.

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Dark times for OmniOS – an Oracle-free open-source Solaris project

Robert Carnegie
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Javascript:

Getting It Wrong Since 19100

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(You can't) buy one now! The flying car makes its perennial return

Robert Carnegie
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Why not

Why is a helicopter not a flying car? The pilot licence thing, I suppose. And maybe requiring a flight plan and air traffic control. And expensive to buy and to run, and they don't like you landing at the supermarket. But still.

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That apple.com link you clicked on? Yeah, it's actually Russian

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Opera Windows 7 64

Current Opera is Chrome-related. The web address displays like "apple.com", and if the page wasn't constructed as a message which says that it isn't apple.com then we would be deceived.

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'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Aussie Judges

So this "default judgement" - do you win an law case when the other side doesn't show up? No matter how poor your argument is? That seems odd.

Maybe they were superficially plausible.

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Troll it your way: Burger King ad tries to hijack Google Home gadgets

Robert Carnegie
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Re: They made a slight mistake

The expression "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes" may ring a bell; if not, put it in Google, with the quote marks. Or in Bing.

It should be found footnoted with intimation of a vacancy in the editorial staff.

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TCP/IP headers leak info about what you're watching on Netflix

Robert Carnegie
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Re: So.....

http://dilbert.com/strip/1995-07-26 of course.

"stress-test our network by downloading from the busiest servers on the internet"

(not counting Dilbert.com and The Register)

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Law Commission pulls back on official secrets laws plans after Reg exposes flawed report

Robert Carnegie
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So if I rummage in this year's back issues of Private Eye, I will find that they had this story only after The Register did? I don't know if I should be uncertain about this, but it seems more their sort of thing than yours.

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Qualcommotion: Sueball return alleges Apple 'pay-to-play' deal

Robert Carnegie
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Re: er Bribery?

I could be absolutely misinformed, but I think Tesco and Premier Foods (Kipling), to name two, got into trouble by requiring suppliers to pay Tesco and Premier Foods a bonus for the privilege of selling goods to Tesco and Premier Foods. But not apparently trouble because it was illegal - just evil. I too don't understand how it isn't "bribery". Maybe because you can bribe a person but not a corporation.

So presumably Premier Foods had to pay this tax to Tesco.

All this may have stopped. Or not. Or started again when people stopped noticing.

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Eric S. Raymond says you probably fit one of eight tech archetypes

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Myers Briggs?

in my interpretation, you're Sorted to a House, not for what your nature is, but for what latent attributes you have that can be encouraged. And Hufflepuff is if there's basically nothing wrong with you.

Gryffindor, on the other hand - Hermione, Neville, and even Ron were Sorted into Gryffindor, not because they were little heroic rule-breakers, but because they weren't and they needed to be. And Harry Potter was offered a choice (Slytherin, to develop social skills). So was Hermione (Ravenclaw).

Those Houses encourage an eccentric type of behaviour, either because you aren't good at it and you need to be, or because it's the only thing that you are good at.

And look at Cedric Diggory - Hufflepuff. Capable, cheerful, well balanced, heroic. He wasn't in Gryffindor because he already had enough of Gryffindor in him.

"Castellan" seems to be from Game of Thrones; I was thinking of "Doctor Who". Of course, reading the manual is important but you shouldn't believe what you read. "Trust but verify."

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Lenovo's 2017 X1 Carbon is a mixed bag

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Dosh?

An SD reader for USB costs one pound, so, putting an full size SD slot in the PC isn't adding much value.

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Germany gives social networks 24 hours to delete criminal content

Robert Carnegie
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ExpireDitious.de - my idea for a news site that deletes EVERY story after 23 hours. I will, so to speak, clean up.

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Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Robert Carnegie
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First Bus has an "mTicket" app, with cheaper tickets, which "is not designed to work with Wi-Fi only devices such as tablets and iPods" - I haven't yet tried the app, for that reason (and because my phone is antique), but this sounds like it doesn't need Internet access when buying and "activating" a virtual ticket (it says it doesn't), it needs access at random.

(Or they're just covering their backside, possibly with varnish, or they think it will work but are not 100% sure. Althoughdthat probably goes for any app developer.)

And, yes, many of the buses do have Wi-Fi service.

As for using a cafe's app on a cafe's own Wi-Fi to buy the cafe's coffee - they want you to. Maybe you get the free twist of lemming (did anyone else want to ask about that?)

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Governments could introduce 'made by humans' tags - legal report

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Child labour?

Mining is a special case to use child labour, you can have smaller tunnels. You could use dwarfs if you have enough of them (i.e. seven).

Manufacturing electrical goods - not such a good case for child labour. e.g. your video player arrives from the factory with unwanted biscuits jammed in its orifices already. I think that's what we were talking about.

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Robert Carnegie
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Child labour?

That happens less nowadays, and often less than alleged in the day of 8 and 16 bit PCs: children aren't particularly effective or reliable workers. This is probably an important factor in not having child labour.

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Aviation regulator flies in face of UK.gov ban, says electronics should be stowed in cabin. Duh

Robert Carnegie
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Logic

"Not in the cabin" + "Not in the hold" = "Not on the plane at all".

For years, an important defence against aeroplane bombings - which would be a lot more common otherwise - is to ensure that a person's luggage goes on the plane only when the person also does. (this doesn't allow for suicide attackers but it seems that the Mad Mullahs etc. are running out of willing suicide people - it makes sense after all).

I wondered however about putting all the luggage on a separate plane, at least the hold stuff. Then if it does blow up then people probably lose their clothes and stuff but nobody dies, well, probably give the luggage plane pilot a parachute, in case. Or have that plane programmed automatically to follow the plane with people on, and yes I see that could go wrong as well sometimes.

Or send it by a totally different route. Which happens a lot anyway.

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Facebook's going to block revenge smut with AI. Or humans. Or both

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Not sure I get revenge porn

It's alien to me, but as far as I can see, "revenge porn" isn't just a form of aesthetic criticism, as you seem to have in mind. It is to embarrass and harass the victim. So you send pictures to his mother. To his boss. His work colleagues. And with his e-mail address or phone number or home address. And you have leaflets posted in his neighbourhood. And then people who apparently can think of nothing better to do with their time will do the harassing for you. A favour which you are expected to return by giving of your free time to harass other people's victims in the same way.

Mind you, if all you have to do this with is a picture of his penis, most people are going to say "It's no one I know".

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Robert Carnegie
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"Revenge Porn can kill"

I think that attitude is a big factor in this. First of all, I think there are at least two distinct dimensions of online "revenge" activity to consider, which can overlap; one is demeaning your victim on the internet to people who know them - or may meet them or harass them once you start the demeaning - and another is, as I say, pictures or video or audio of them with not enough clothes on, etc., that were meant to be private or to not exist at all, shown to everybody in the world.

This story is specifically about the latter case, and is where I think that a victim should reflect that the public domain is already full of other representations of other people with not enough clothes on who either are not significantly distinguished from the victim from the point of view of most of the people in the world who would look at that sort of thing, or, frankly, are better at it than the victim, having more experience and/or a professional work ethic, so probably only the victim's friends would want to see, anyway. Or something like that.

In at least one of the cases you specifically refer to, the victim and others involved are described as minors, meaning children, although the legal definition of that varies between jurisdictions and is often at odds with practice. Nevertheless, that's still 1000 times graver than "revenge" that merely embarrasses an adult person. Again, this particular story isn't about Facebook taking up a position against sexual images of children. I strongly suspect that's in the terms and conditions already.

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Robert Carnegie
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Re: "revenge"

I don't see a problem: revenge doesn't imply a justification.

I do see a problem with the proposal of "lynching" since it suggests the aggrieved party using Photoshop software to portray their victim getting lynched, which is more traumatic for everyone than "pictures of people with not enough clothes on which were meant to be private", which seems to be what we're actually discussing, as well as the other thing I just said perhaps.

I also see a problem distinguishing the particular offending pictures of people with not enough clothes on from very widely freely available pictures of other people with not enough clothes on, including people who may, coincidentally or otherwise, look very like the people who don't want their own pictures with not enough clothes on to be circulated, but are different, consenting people.

Well, I suppose that if I, an overweight fifty year old man, agree with you to pose for pictures on your Facebook in the guise of your ex-girlfriend with not enough clothes on, then it is liable to be humiliating to your ex-girlfriend, but I'm not sure exactly how illegal it should be. This is hypothetical: I'm not going to do it. No. Stop asking.

Just cheer yourself up with some pictures of Sophia Loren in "The Millionairess", the film which inspired the rather pointed comedy show title "Peter Sellers Is Dead" (they changed it but kept the theme tune).

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Startup remotely 'bricks' grumpy bloke's IoT car garage door – then hits reverse gear

Robert Carnegie
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Hang on. Someone steals your phone and your motorcycle, then they drive to your home and the garage automatically opens itself for them? Then they ride off on your precious lawnmower?

Well done, Anonymous of Symonds Yat, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, known to his neighbours as "Ali Baba with the motorcycle".

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Drive-by Wi-Fi i-Thing attack, oh my!

Robert Carnegie
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Re: "An attacker within range may be able to execute arbitrary code on the Wi-Fi chip"

If a hacker owns the Wi-Fi chip, then probably they can rewrite the entire internet before you see it? Including HTTPS without Extended Validation - their own "apple.com" will have a different certificate from the real one, but you may not be able to see that.

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It's 30 years ago: IBM's final battle with reality

Robert Carnegie
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Re: OS/2 and PS/2 Memories

Re off means off. Someone the other day mentioned a problem of using an externally powered USB hub peripheral that sends power back to the PC motherboard. If the motherboard also doesn't deal well with that, that could account for it not "resetting". Educated guess.

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Alabama man gets electrocuted after sleeping with iPhone

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

Death. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/electrocute?s=t

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Verizon utters solemn Oath: Yahoo! will remain Yahoo!

Robert Carnegie
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What

about OAuth? Name already taken.

Or indeed what about Initiative for Open Authentication (OATH)? (thank you Wikipedia)

Maybe U-Turn?

(Well, that's taken by "U-Turn Vending Machines", amongst others)

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Google's video recognition AI is trivially trollable

Robert Carnegie
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For advertisements

There are a lot of advertisement videos where the product that the ad actually is for only appears for a few frames of the video, if at all. Not necessarily with cars, ads tend to show the car driving around or sometimes unrealistically leaping like an acrobatic gazelle, but Google has probably decided that it is a car advert.

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BezosBux: Amazon gets into scrip game with Cash scheme

Robert Carnegie
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PayPal didn't like "those perky regulations" either.

I am pleasantly amused that they are perky.

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Robert Carnegie
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Unhappy

Re: No Paper Trail?

"Kill the kid and dissolve the body in the acid you've just bought online."

This gets six upvotes??

This isn't Reddit!

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Apple Store in Pennsylvania hit with discrimination complaint

Robert Carnegie
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How about admitting children by which school uniform they wear.

Yes or no?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-38065679

Tesco national supermarket chain, in Edinburgh, 2016 - allegedly.

This is about expensive school vs. free-entry school. It could also apply to religious schools. In Scotland, most schools with "Saint" in the name are Roman Catholic, except probably for place names like St Andrews - I could check.

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That sound you hear is Splunk leaking data

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Splunk

Yeah, seriously, what is it?

"We make machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone"

Accessible to everyone - doesn't sound good. "chmod 777" does that.

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US ATM fraud surges despite EMV

Robert Carnegie
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No functional magnetic stripe?

I may be out of touch, but I think the last that I heard, British and European bank cards were retaining the magnetic strip because it was part of the standards and contracts that govern banking services, and those weren't changing in a hurry.

Whether the magnetic strip still works after you leave a refrigerator magnet on it overnight, or go at it with a hole punch, is a different question.

(This is not necessarily wise - I have had a card's chip go non-functioning. The bank branch, in Scotland, was happy to swipe the strip to complete a transaction. Then I ordered a new card.)

Another concern is the very latest cards that telepathically transmit your bank account details to store clerks as you walk into or past the shop, to save time completing the transaction that they prophetically foresee. I'd use the hole punch to stop that but where do you put the hole? and what if they foresee you doing that, too?

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Head of US military kit-testing slams F-35, says it's scarcely fit to fly

Robert Carnegie
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Paging

"Dr Havilland"?

Maybe you were thinking of Dr Scholl - who also favoured construction from wood (or his foot stuff company did).

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WikiLeaks exposes CIA anti-forensics tool that makes Uncle Sam seem fluent in enemy tongues

Robert Carnegie
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Re: People with an axe to grind

I think we usually hear that the actual foreign-state hackers include complete patriotic propaganda messages in their work - and the specific up to date ones, too. Technically those still could appear in false-flag efforts, but it seems more likely that it's real enthusiasts for whichever nation is involved, maybe not even paid but just happily changing the U.N. web site to a Syrian flag or making the BBC tweet trash talk about Ukraine. The basic futility of such exercises in a situation where people are getting killed for wearing a hat that suggests the wrong political sympathy also supports a point of view that this isn't the CIA faking it. But it could be.

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Robert Carnegie
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Re: Funny that

Error message text is probably embedded in the C executable binary file. Some of it may be quite informal. I don't know if you also get variable names.

Across in, let's see, I think it was comments on this week's "On Call" article (lightning which damaged the PC in a novel way), were a couple of mentions of error code of such various sorts where amongst the debris of your data appeared the word "bollocks". This word is used in Britain to mean "Oh dear what a shame", so it would implicate British programmers.

The story suggests that this could be fake evidence created by the CIA with a reverse function provided to translate back to American English. So I wonder what the original American text may have been for "bollocks" and what it was changed back to. Perhaps "Oh Sunhat" in the original version, and more computer-istic "inoperative statement" afterwards. Actually that derives from the Nixon administration, where the White House was caught lying and issued a sort-of-correction on lines of "What we told you yesterday is now an inoperative statement. The operative statement (what we're now trying to get you to believe) is as follows." In other words, the inoperative statement is known to be bollocks - in the sense of "not what I like to swallow."

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New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

Robert Carnegie
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Re:What then? No banknotes?

Why not stick with the paper (cotton) bank notes we've had since, oh, the end of big white fivers I duppose, and AIUI nobody minded them? Unlike these plastic whore notes. Apparently.

I take the point that religious tolerance is difficult to extend to the religious practice of exterminating unbelievers. The answer seems to be to require the tolerated religious people to not exterminate unbelievers just right now.

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Robert Carnegie
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Re: best solution!

AIUI, ICBW, the Bank of England took very, very seriously people's complaints about the £5 note, and then decided to go on making them out of beef anyway. Or perhaps to keep the ones that were already made. After all, they are valuable plastic, and replacing them all could cost as much as £50 (not each, total).

I'm of the opinion that people's religious and moral feelings ought to be respected when they don't coincide with yours or are even quite stupid. That is simply what tolerance means.

And I voted for UK to leave the EU but that doesn't mean I like Boris Johnson. What is more, I have been told he's not as stupid as he seems. Frankly I then asked for evidence of that and didn't get any, but it still seems to me possible that he works hard at pretending to be incompetent rather than openly vicious.

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Robert Carnegie
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Liposuction from willing volunteers who want to be made of money. In a certain science fiction comedy they'd be known as The Dosh of the Day.

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Yee-hacked! Fired Texan sysadmin goes rogue, trashes boot business

Robert Carnegie
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Re: What a Muppet.

If people don't know that you will demolish the company's IT if you are fired, then how do your preparations keep you from being fired?

Maybe when he "became volatile" (was that the expression?) he was trying to explain what he could and would do if they went ahead and dispensed with his services.

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PC survived lightning strike thanks to a good kicking

Robert Carnegie
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Oh, I see!

Yes - the damage wasn't caused by lightning directly, entering the computer.

Damage was caused by lightning entering the atmosphere, makes loud bang, bang enters ears of the computer owner, stimulates bio-electrical activity in brain, bio-electricity travels down arms and legs and causes user's foot to kick the computer quite hard, causing fault.

At least I think that's the truth of the story.

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Robert Carnegie
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Re: Bluetooth probable issues

Not fully qualified to answer - Bluetooth wireless devices have to be "paired" and usually you have to click Yes on the PC (without using the new Bluetooth mouse), so messages shouldn't be accepted by the wrong PC. I suppose that one Bluetooth device might interfere with another's messages although they probably are supposed to be designed to not do that. The messages are in digital code, so if interfered with should just not work. However, if Vladimir Putin or just the local manager of Maplins wants to know what you're typing, it may be accessible.

Watch out if buying Microsoft - their "Bluetrack" products could be mistaken for Bluetooth if you're in a hurry. Some in fact are, some aren't. "Bluetrack" seems actually to mean that the device has a blue LED light in it, or on it. So, you could have a wireless Bluetrack mouse that requires a proprietary dongle.

Why isn't all this stuff Bluetooth, though? You can get a Bluetooth USB plug for the price of a good bar of chocolate.

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Recruiters considered really harmful: Devs on GitHub hit with booby-trapped fake job emails

Robert Carnegie
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Re: 'Your Qs can be answered by reading the linked-to blog post.'

I speculate you can expect at least the version number of the virus program to vary...

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Your internet history on sale to highest bidder: US Congress votes to shred ISP privacy rules

Robert Carnegie
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www'congresspersons-browser-histories.com (if only)

Typos and all. As humiliating as the internet sex things they do, would be how bad they are at spelling them. "Did you mean: French polefishing."

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Zombie hard disk

"Re: general rule that UI element can't be clicked when it just appeared."

"Eh, what? Do you realise that is going to piss nearly everyone off nearly every day to fix an infrequent problem of the few?

"How about a blanket OS rule that shit apps can't grab focus unless the last user command was to launch that app? How about shit devs go die in large holes rather than allowing elements to move after display, unless user directed?"

Punishing developers is attractive but sometimes I am one. A developer can't anticipate every circumstance where a program is used. On the other hand, sometimes the intruding message comes from the same application.

I say that a new prompt or dialog shouldn't accept input until a user has had time to read what the prompt says, textually or iconically. If that means waiting a little longer while you're working.... how often aren't you doing that with your computer?

Or how about this - a new dialog or whatever has to slide in quite slowly from the side of the screen to the centre, and until it gets there you are still typing in your original focus...

....or even, while you're typing, a new prompt isn't allowed to appear? Except by projecting noises at you.

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Robert Carnegie
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Zombie hard disk

I really must get diagnostics on my media library external USB hard disk - replacement purchased: the sick disk rattles while reading files, and sometimes just stops - file unreadable. And at this point, the remaining time (Windows 10) goes from minutes to days. Or it may be "more than one day". Eventually, an error message does appear.

Re dancing interface... I'd approve a general rule that a user interface element can't be clicked or keyed when it has only just appeared on the screen. I don't know if that could be done without rewriting the OS. Maybe with a third-party utility that spots the screen or the focus changing and then blocks inputs for a couple of seconds, beeps at you instead.

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UK digital minister Matt Hancock praises 'crucial role' of encryption

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Ruddy Hell

See "Private Eye" magazine - or more likely you already do.

I don't yet quite have the stamina to get through all the serious stuff as well as the jokes, but I'm working on it.

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Robert Carnegie
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Can do. But shouldn't?

It is possible, in the short term and up to a point. I think in any case "public key" encryption, yes I know that's something else, in practice uses a non-public-key encryption whose key is encrypted with the public key, because actually using the public key for all communications is very very slow.

So, what WhatsApp could have - and, as a selling point and mission statement, does not have - is the session key encrypted with the users' public keys, and then the same key encrypted with the government's super encryption public key, once for each government that demands the right to view all the private WhatsApp messages.

Of course, whenever any of the governments' special keys is broken or leaked or whatever, then all previous messages become readable by anybody. And one or all of the special keys has to be replaced

But, what you did is, you then sent your messages over SnapChat, so they have been deleted!

I'm not an encryption professional, so I may have some of the details wonky.

I wonder what Amber Rudd thinks would have been different if the government was immediately aware that one religious person in the Westminster area had just sent a message saying "Geronimo!"

These people say "God is great!" at least five times a day anyway. That makes it seem to me that someone suffers from insecurity, in a sense besides "reading secret messages" or "terrorist attack".

Anyway, here in Glasgow much the same thing happens when someone is drunk - although, to be fair, there is a fuss about it afterwards, too.

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Ubuntu 17.04 inches closer to production

Robert Carnegie
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missing word being "is" in between "inches" and "closer".

(PUERILE)

"Ubuntu 17.04 inches is closer to production"?

If 17.04 inches is a reference to membrum virile then that would be quite a boast for a male human being. But as you say it's probably an animal Stupendous Stallion, perhaps, or simply Titanic Tonker. (I'm not going to find out the size of a stallion's tonker... yet.)

And "production" I suppose means "reproduction". Or...... "market penetration".

(Fnar.)

However, I think the original response was meant to pretend to believe that this year's first new Ubuntu was in some sense a distance of 17.04 inches away from its... final release.

(Once again, Fnar.)

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Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Best traps

Agreed, glue is mean. Humanely catching and releasing is impractical and maybe illegal, as noted. Therefore the real humane option is a death trap, plus planning how to execute (humanely) a trapped animal that wasn't killed. I think I had in mind "crush its head flat with a brick", but it didn't arise.

I had mice. I'm not an unkind person, I think, but I decided that the only way to not have mice was to kill all the mice.

Dispose of bodies in little tied plastic bags, like dog poo. (although, not hung around tree branches in public parks. Although, would feed birds, of a certain kind, in winter.)

One mouse may have got away, perhaps mortally injured, since the last time a trap (rat size, guaranteed kill, I got two once) was tripped, there was no mouse and no bait but after that the traps, and also my food supplies, were not disturbed.

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We're 90 per cent sure the FCC's robocall kill plan won't have the slightest impact

Robert Carnegie
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Modest proposal

No details, but is there a presently legal way to use the methods of robocalling to -cost- the phone companies money? Which should encourage them to stop it.

For instance, either disable customers' service by some kind of robocall trick, leading to complaints and compensation (nb: probably very illegal); talk people into pressing some buttons to reconfigure or cancel the service from their end; or, sell customers a different company's telephone service, or Skype or something.

It may be illegal even to have these thoughts.

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Carnegie-Mellon Uni emits 'don't be stupid' list for C++ developers

Robert Carnegie
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The expert system should appear as an animated paperclip.

Then everyone will be careful to never, ever risk summoning it.

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Murder in space: NASA orders astronauts to KILL cripples – then fire bodies back to Earth

Robert Carnegie
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Re: WHy????!!!!!!

http://www.sectorgeneral.com/shortstories/theconspirators.html ?

In which laboratory mice in space become super intelligent - well, for mice. A little later, so does the ship's cat. They make peace. But they all know what Big Ones (that's us) do to laboratory mice...

Just in time, the Big Ones also become super intelligent, so the mice are saved. And the cat.

In the author's other stories, mammals in space, including us, generally don't become super intelligent, or at least not going by how the action goes.

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