* Posts by Robert Carnegie

2475 posts • joined 30 Sep 2009

Dell kills botched BIOS update that murdered punters' PCs

Robert Carnegie
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Better ask them.

Find out what update is liable to be installed and whether you want it to be. It says they aren't distributing this one any more, but that may not help when you've already downloaded the file.

Presumably if the bad software killed every machine it touches then they wouldn't have released it... but it may be Russian Roulette.

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Huawei spied, US federal jury finds

Robert Carnegie
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Who remembers tamagotchi?

A toy, an LCD electronic pet that you had to "feed" and play with to maintain its wellbeing.

In case you didn't have the time, someone invented a machine that pressed the buttons for you.

Many years before this Tappy, I think.

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No laptop ban on Euro flights to US... yet

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Pertaining to WTF

Apparently Donald Trump doesn't drink: this is him sober. A sobering thought.

I believe he isn't quite as stupid as he seems - not far off though, but a bit more cunning than you think he is. That's how he survived in business (except when he didn't) and got to where he is now.

Is he up to his job? Well, Republicans apparently like very stupid presidents. The list is long. But if he's really crossed Mossad, that can be a bit fatal.

Presidents in general seem to like a vice-president who is a far worse proposition, and who willingly goes along with creating this impression; in this case Mike "Handmaid's Tale" Pence. But I think he may be insufficiently awful to save Trump's tamales.

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Payroll-for-contractors company named at centre of AU$165m tax scam scheme

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Not surprised...

They may have been caught but they had a bloody good time first. Except for the wine that they hadn't drunk yet.

As the poet declares:

There was a young fellow named Sidney,

Who drank 'til he ruined his kidney;

It shriveled and shrank

While he sat there and drank,

But he had a good time of it, didney?

Change it to "a fellow FROM Sydney" and we are about there.

http://www.montypython.net/scripts/austwine.php

"its taste, and its lingering afterburn"

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Samsung Galaxy S8+: Seriously. What were they thinking?

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Private key

*zip, click* Talk about flash photography...

Also, heaven knows what you'll have to explain being smeared on the fingerprint sensor...

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Robert Carnegie
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Perhaps -

If I was designing a login-by-camera routine, I would make it able to tell whether the camera was looking at a bitmap JPEG instead of a face - this doesn't? No? Well then - let it be https://www.etsy.com/market/mustache_on_a_stick . ;-)

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HP Inc wireless mouse can be spoofed

Robert Carnegie
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Re: "They note that the attack isn't operating-system specific"

A Linux desktop has things to click on. If necessary, the hacker can select text characters elsewhere on the screen, one at a time, and copy-and-paste text commands, like composing a ransom note from cut newspaper.

Have we decided that they can't crack this wireless keyboard anyway, or, has someone else done that so that credit can't be claimed? The victim probably has this keyboard as well as this mouse, and they're probably sharing one USB plug-in adapter.

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Chrome on Windows has credential theft bug

Robert Carnegie
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Apparently, Chrome downloads an executable file without scanning it for threats. Anyway, they're going to fix it.

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Good news, OpenVPN fans: Your software's only a little bit buggy

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Those are bugs?

I think the article means "NOW there's a buffer library API that handles dynamically allocated memory safely", etc.

So, this is strictly not a list of bugs found, but a list of the fixes put in for the bugs that were found.

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PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC

Robert Carnegie
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I say don't waste your time.

You may enjoy wasting their time, but is it more valuable than yours?

Tell them that your husband / wife (same sex as you) uses the computer, and hang up.

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Could US appeals court save us all from 10 years of net neutrality yelling?

Robert Carnegie
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Unfortunately, this government

I might have misunderstood the story, but the point seems to be that the conduct of internet companies is to be either regulated by Pai, with a very friendly light touch, or else regulated by nobody.

Either way, net neutrality will disappear, you may have to pay separately to your ISP for each distinct web site or service that you want to use if they even permit it - note, cable television companies won't want to let you see video that isn't theirs, including DVD rental by mail - and the next constitutional amendment you can expect will begin with the words "Wee On The People". I think there won't be a video of that, either.

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Android O-mg. Google won't kill screen hijack nasties on Android 6, 7 until the summer

Robert Carnegie
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Safari problem

That Safari thing sounds like what was described here - in July 2015 - and elsewhere.

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/stop-ios-crash-popup-scam,news-21354.html

You seem to be on top of it, up to a point. Stated preventions include disabling popups in Safari and/or disabling JavaScript. I'd also suggest "don't use web sites that do this" and maybe "press the Escape key or Ctrl Alt Delete" :-)

If it's in advertisements in web pages - if you have narrow interests, you may get the same advertisement over and over again, and this is the one......

So the remedy is to use Facebook...... then the internet knows everything about you......

Or block the ads? All the cool kids are doing this.

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Opposable thumbs make tablets more useful says Microsoft Research

Robert Carnegie
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Thumbs are not new, thumb + hand may be.

Windows tablets for some time have had an option to produce an on-screen keyboard in two halves, bottom left and bottom right corners of the screen. So they''ve already exploited thumbs.

See here: https://www.groovypost.com/howto/windows-10-split-on-screen-keyboard/

I think one previous version included a sort of dial arrangement of keys in the corners, instead of the regular touch keyboard sawn in half.

I prefer the alternate touch keyboard FITALY, leveraged with a macro script that repeatedly located it on top of the Windows task bar - right side or bottom of screen - so that it isn't imposed over an application window. Used with finger touch / swipe or stylus.

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What is this bullsh*t, Google? Nexus phones starved of security fixes after just three years

Robert Carnegie
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What about "Stagefright"?

A malicious MMS or a web page containing an MP4 file can execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable Android device, probably as a "system" level process. (Detected and fixed in 2015, or never, depending on which phone you have.)

Who's using it? I dunno. Ask WikiLeaks.

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Red alert! Intel patches remote execution hole that's been hidden in chips since 2010

Robert Carnegie
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Presumably,

Any desktop vulnerability that allows arbitrary code execution as the local user, can use this facility to escalate to the access level of, uh, Intel themselves?

Or maybe it can be invoked straight from Javascript?

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Post Unity 8 Ubuntu shock? Relax, Linux has been here before

Robert Carnegie
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"It's highly likely Canonical will more or less abandon its desktop product to the community"

That needs some unpicking. It seems unlikely to me that Ubuntu can persist without providing desktop applications - they may not be distinctively different from other Linux flavours, but isn't the desktop presence what Ubuntu is for? Who chooses Ubuntu for servers only?

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

Robert Carnegie
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Consensus on calories

This may be trademarked but I think it represents agreement on calories and all that: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

The problems are that sausages and cakes taste nice and also that you can't get on TV with a book called "Don't Eat Too Much" especially if that is all that it says. So they invent things with names like "The 4-4-2 Diet" or "No, Not The Face".

There are other factors worth attending to: I think I was referred for colonoscopy and worse basically because I've spent 50 years eating not enough "fibre" and my intestines are baggy and elderly and slightly bleedy. Blood could mean cancer, but in this case it seems to be "diverticulitis", which I have just described.

There also is an alarming catalogue of foods containing "purines" which may have a sudden agonising and crippling effect, the famous comedy illness called gout. This is well worth avoiding if you like being able to walk. Following the "Don't Eat Too Much" diet probably controls the risk sufficiently for most of the foods in question, especially the "Mostly Plants" part, but if that's a bit difficult then look more closely at the category-red items.

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Robert Carnegie
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Re: Why not

On reflection, I could have said, "They don't like you landing ON the supermarket", but it does solve some of the problems about parking, electricity and phone lines, etc.

That just leaves getting down, and getting back up with your shopping, and the supermarket roof not collapsing under the weight, although that would also solve the getting down and getting back up parts.

I cycle. I have panniers.

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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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Reg reader offered £999,998 train ticket from Cambridge to Horley

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Cambridge to Horley

Apparently £999,998 was the price in 2011.

I don't know the details but I presume that these are cases where data has been input either with the correct price not available - so replaced with 999999 or whatever - or never to be used for some reason, e.g. the rail service is freight only, so, the out-of-range value should ensure that this data is never offered as the price of a passenger ticket. Except when it is.

There also are the secretive so-called modern day "Parliamentary trains" which they do not want people to use. Or at least they don't encourage it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_train

Some of these do not run as trains (and possibly couldn't) but as either so-called "replacement bus service" or, if I remember rightly from a BBC radio programme, if you want to go then they call (and they pay for) a taxi for you.

In a different circumstance, an accidental line closure when I wanted to travel recently, the masses of passengers in one direction got buses booked hastily, and I was one of a few passengers going in the opposite direction for whom a shared taxi ride was provided. Nice!

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Don't stop me! Why Microsoft's inevitable browser irrelevance isn't

Robert Carnegie
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Hacking.

Microsoft products, including the browser, are still the primary target for hackers, because they're used by default by people without technical knowledge.

I have technical knowledge, but I don't want to spend my day deciding whether each interaction with the internet is an attempt to hack or social-engineer me.

Although, yes, professional hackers are quite likely to include support for hacking Chrome or Firefox or whatever in their toolkit. But the volume is less.

Microsoft products also have (semi-)secret access to Windows internal functions, which means that more damage can be done by hacking than with a third-party browser or e-mail product.

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Spotify seeks hardware boffins

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Let's get Spotify to address a huge issue

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but, do you actually have 9000 favourite pieces of music, and, how difficult is it to listen on Spotify to something that isn't in that set of tracks?

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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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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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