* Posts by Stoneshop

2805 posts • joined 8 Oct 2009

What's the biggest danger to the power grid? Hackers? Terrorists? Er, squirrels

Stoneshop
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Boffin

I thought hospitals all had generators?

Not all life-supporting equipment is in hospitals.

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Stoneshop
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Facepalm

Re: re: when you REALLY need it?

or having the whole IT infrastructure hooked up the generator, but not the air handling plants...

[X] Supply for computer room via UPS, [X} supply for computer room cooling via UPS, [ ] cooling for UPS itself ...

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Stoneshop
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Re: Treasonous Squirrels

I think you mean moles.

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Just give up: 123456 is still the world's most popular password

Stoneshop
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Facepalm

Re: Don't Just Blame Users

That's assuming they OWN a PC? What if the ONLY PCs they use are communal?

Keep the password vault on an USB stick.

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Stoneshop
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Mushroom

Re: Don't Just Blame Users

but that's not either since it ridiculously easy to create a question the answer to which even you can't remember.

"What... is the capital of Assyria? "

"I don't know that!"

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Apple vs. Samsung goes back to court, again, to re-assess the value of a rounded corner

Stoneshop
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Re: Best award

If Samsung truly violated a valid patent, I would say the proper award is $1.

I'd say US$0.785398163397 per corner.

Stress concentration at sharp corners was discovered after 4 De Havilland Comets broke up in mid-air because of fatigue failure (early 1950's).

Just two (G-ALYP and G-ALYY). A third (G-ALYU) was destructively tested to find out the exact failure mode, and the G-ALYV suffered a wing spar failure

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Mr Angry pays taxman with five wheelbarrows worth of loose change

Stoneshop
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Facepalm

the wheels of bureaucracy

You mean those squarish things that slide/scrape across the floor when you try to move it?

(and then some conslutant comes along and 'improves' those things into being triangular, so you'll encounter less bumps per rotation)

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Trump's cyber-guru Giuliani runs ancient 'easily hackable website'

Stoneshop
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Devil

Re: "this Circus of Buffoons providing hilarious entertainment until impeachment. "

Trump is what the American people asked for.

The popular vote numbers suggest that's not quite the case.

But f**k me sideways it's cold day in Hell when the best the only 2 parties with a serious shot at holding the Oval Office can spew up is Hilary and Donald.

Why choose the lesser of two evils? Chtulhu for President: let Putin try to manipulate HIM.

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: The real issue

After all, he said many times in 2016 that he's more intelligent than almost all of the dweebs who elected him.

Not that hard to achieve. If his voters have a median IQ of 95 with a maximum spread of 10, then an IQ of 106 will fully satisfy that condition.

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This'll be the next thing Trump crows about: Apple assembling servers on American soil

Stoneshop
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Thumb Up

Re: Tax Dodge once more

declare Steve Job a CEO again as it is more tax efficient to have a dead one?

It's just a step up from spending a year dead for tax reasons.

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Renault goes open source with next-gen electric buggy you might generously call 'a car'

Stoneshop
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Trollface

In its harness, attached to the front towing eyebolt.

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Top cop: Strap Wi-Fi jammers to teen web crims as punishment

Stoneshop
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Coat

echo $crime | tr [:lower:] [:upper:]

Sorted.

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CES 2017 roundup: The good, the bad, and the frankly bonkers

Stoneshop
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Boffin

Tea

"things like kettles probably won’t be able to use it, so you can't even make a cup of tea with it"

Well, for brewing a cup of brown joy you actually need a remote controlled socket into which the kettle is plugged, a robot arm for pouring the water from the kettle into the pot and adding the tea, then removing the tea container again after sufficient steeping. In the meantime you have to get home from wherever you are to actually enjoy the cuppa at its optimal temperature. One may additionally need a electrical valve fitted to the tap, also controlled remotely, in case the kettle is empty.

Most of this functionality is offered by the venerable Teasmade.

A simple Push-It isn't going to do that job. Not even a dozen of them.

And for pushing the Any key in the middle* of the nightly backup job, that was solved four decades ago already with a clockwork alarm, a few bits of Meccano and two Lego pieces. The Meccano was made into a hinged arm, poised vertically, with the alarm to go off a reasonable time after the prompt usually appeared, pulling on the arm via a piece of string. Arm drops, Lego 'finger', fitted to the arm, hits the Any key, backup proceeds. After hitting the key the finger snaps in two, so that it doesn't hold the key down.

* just an annoying "Press Any Key To Continue"., not a request for acknowledging that the next tape was loaded or something

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Stoneshop
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Headmaster

Re: You missed out the

If it's someone/something else taking the picture, it's not a 'selfie'.

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Hackers could turn your smart meter into a bomb and blow your family to smithereens – new claim

Stoneshop
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Re: Ahem

Blow a (500mA?) fuse, the meter never turns on, no power delivered to the house.

Only if the meter incorporates a circuit breaker, which is not universally the case. And if there's a crowbar circuit in the supply for the meter electronics it should be autonomous, not controllable from the circuit it's trying to protect. Same with the voltage regulator(s), so good luck trying to get that part of the circuit to go poof under software control.

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Stoneshop
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Pint

Re: the guy who tore into that "explode" nonsense

Would you please pass on my thanks to the questioner

Ack. Will offer him a BioLimo, as he doesn't do beer or other alcoholics.

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Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: Physical security?

What? It's on the outside of the house in a non-locking enclosure.

Maybe yours is, but mine is most definitely not.

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Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: All his has at least one advantage ..

and if they want to do a whole area then a few well placed explosives under pylons should sort that without any fannying around hacking into things.

Explosively disassembling a few pylons is not something you can do sitting at your computer in Outer Elbonia, at least not without some prior onsite preparation..

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: Ahem

Someone in the audience, someone with knowledge of the engineering, challenged the presenter on "blowing up meters by remote control". Answer: bluster.

I know the guy who tore into that "explode" nonsense (guessed who it was before I opened the video, and indeed). Worked for a company building, testing and certifying electricity meters and related gear until recently, and knows his stuff. Ran into him yesterday, so I got an accurate and first-hand description of the way the presenter was full of it.

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Drones will be able to carry 120GB footage of you in the shower if Seagate has its way

Stoneshop
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Re: Huh?

Trials are being run, using video footage from a quadcopter as a way to do a primary inspection of railway bridges, as that can be done without taking the tracks out of service. That would only be necessary if something is spotted warranting further inspection. Though in the case of this trial they used a live HD video feed, so that the operator could close in on particular features in real time.

Recording onboard the 'copter versus transmission has its pros and cons such as weight, link reliability and power usage.

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NASA eyes up supermassive black holes, neutron stars

Stoneshop
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anisotropies

Anyone know how they taste?

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Internet of Sh*t has an early 2017 winner – a 'smart' Wi-Fi hairbrush

Stoneshop
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Coat

Re: Fixed &c.

Obvious advertising opportunity#2 is for third parties - hairdressers.

Who will then get alerted through their Internet of (curling) Tongs.

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Stoneshop
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Devil

Re: Fantastic!

Now you need to tell people to put out their hairbrushes and god knows what else out of the room too their misery.

Reprogramming, axe, the usual process.

Or will the act of vigorously brushing your hair charge it up, not unlike those emergency torches?

If your hair is too dry it'll charge that way.

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Apple sued by parents of girl killed by driver 'distracted by FaceTime'

Stoneshop
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Re: Didn't they see..

Those rules go out the window in a gridlock because everyone will be cramming for every inch of space. Leave that much space and someone will move into it.

Getting rear-ended by a car at speed in a traffic jam logically means you're the rearmost car in your lane, and only the rearmost car in the other lane may be wanting to move into the gap, so not very much cramming at all. But even with space ahead to move into, sufficiently mitigating the impact from another car doing 65mph is as good as impossible if you're at or near standstill..

When on a motorcycle I'll try to move between the lanes in such a way that at least I'm not the rearmost vehicle. Not having a crumple zone tends to make one aware of how to keep not getting crumpled.

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Uh-oh. LG to use AI to push home appliances to 'another dimension'

Stoneshop
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WTF?

Pushing ... its robotic vacuum cleaner

They're supposed to be self-propelled, aren't they?

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Stoneshop
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Mushroom

Re: I want a beer...

The last thing I want is my beer being held hostage by a ransomware infected fridge...

"There is no problem that can't be solved with the judicious use of high explosives"

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Flight simulator sets fire to airport

Stoneshop
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Flame

Re: "The cause of the incident was likely a technical fault"

it could have been arson.

Well then, just undo it.

$ arsoff: command not found

$ arson -off: command not found

Bugger.

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Ham-fisted: Chap's radio app killed remotely after posting bad review

Stoneshop
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Headmaster

Re: I remember when ...

wrapping them in paper and insulting tape

Was that just common invective or military grade?

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This is your captain speaking ... or is it?

Stoneshop
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Re: Whoa, hang on

not realizing that "physical one-way link" are actually bog-standard two-way links

A physical one-way link is one where you have an optical link with only a transmitter on the secure side

I want you to demonstrate how to get data from the insecure side to the secure side.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Whoa, hang on

Hell, at [redacted] we implemented an exchange between secure and nonsecure parts of the ground network where the nonsecure part would ask for new data using an SNMP packet, and the secure part would eject the data as needed. It's not rocket science!

Tsk. Just blast the data every $num seconds over a physical one-way link. And if you really need event-driven data collection, create a specific link whose binary state signals whether new data is wanted.

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London's Winter Wonderland URGENTLY seeks Windows 10 desk support

Stoneshop
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Linux

Re: Just...

Why the joke icon?

Because you would actually want to re-purpose perfectly good, and probably recent, hardware, and throwing it in the Serpentine would probably be in violation of e-waste directives and all that.

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Sysadmin 'fixed' PC by hiding it on a bookshelf for a few weeks

Stoneshop
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Pirate

I know of a burglar alarm which is nothing more than a flashing LED in an anonymous box.

Well, that box probably looked like The Internet, and if you don't want to break The Internet you don't want to tamper with that box.

(Warning: contains vengeful hackers)

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Bluetooth-enabled safe lock popped after attackers win PINs

Stoneshop
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Re: Bluetooth lock reasons...

Or try one of those bank 'night safe' type drawers - do they still use those?

Insofar as there are still banks with a physical presence: yes. The same kind of mechanism is often used on underground rubbish containers, so that people can insert one (1) Standard Bin Bag of Rubbish into a cylinder through a slot, which then rotates and drops the bag into a much larger bin when you close the lid. This is so that you can't put random Very Large Stuff in, and they can even be equipped with a reader for an access token, so that only Authorised Neighbourhood Waste Dumpers can put their waste in.

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: Bluetooth lock reasons...

All of which could be achieved more simply with a standard hasp lock which you leave unlocked so the delivery person can open it, put stuff in and then lock it.

Bit of a bother if you expect to have more than one delivery the same day, or when some joker either locks the box before any delivery is made or nicks the lock.

A remotely controlled latch wired to a Pi or something would be what I'd start with.

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Stoneshop
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Facepalm

Re: Why??

Bluetooth as a communication channel to run some proper crypto over is not a particularly bad idea. Same with WiFi, NFC or other forms of wireless. But in implementations like this one it's the 'proper' that's sorely lacking, with predictable results.

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Stoneshop
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Holmes

Physical keys

One would assume that the reasons for opening a safe include putting things in it or taking things out, both of which require physical presence at the safe door.

The (perceived) downside of physical keys is that they each add a certain weight and volume to your keychain, where an implementation using an item you're already carrying anyway (smartphone) doesn't. Of course, as you're already at the safe door, the better solution would be a keypad, a display and a challenge/response system if some random fixed long unlock code stored in your phone's vault is too boring, but hey. Wireless! Smart (err, not)! Shiny!

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Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason

Stoneshop
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Holmes

Other OSes exist

Nineteen up votes for something that should not happen on a Unix like system?

And why exactly do you think that's the case? In a lot of situations, including Harold's, there's all kinds of links with other systems, such as redacted, redacted and redacted. Those links may be based on user IDs, named tokens, user-associated keys, you name (harhar) it.

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Stoneshop
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Devil

Re: funny thing about these requests

That's why they have the stack of Name Change forms. And if 2IC needs to be renamed - well, that's an opportunity.

"Sorry, we're all out of names except for Daft Lackwit. It's yours now."

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For God's sake, stop trying to make Microsoft Bob a thing. It's over

Stoneshop
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Re: "Exciting new experiences"

I suppose it could be used for site visits without having to go to the site but that would take an horrendous amount of mapping.

For site visits you want some sort of telepresence as you usually want to see the situation as it is at this moment, not at however many months in the past the mapping was done.

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HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

Stoneshop
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WTF?

Are they going

to sue every* sodding met office in the world too, as well as amateur meteorologists and almanac publishers and writers?

* not applicable to those in the tropics, and the lower latitudes of the subtropics. Void where prohibited. May contain allergenes. Certainly contains nuts.

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HMS Illustrious sets sail for scrapyard after last-ditch bid fails

Stoneshop
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Thumb Up

Re: I am enough of a naval history buff...

We're a small country who has one of the longest coastlines in europe.

Just 20% of that of Norway, though.

Blame Slartibartfast

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Robotics is coming on leaps and bounds – literally: Bushbaby bot most vertically agile yet

Stoneshop
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Facepalm

Saeco or Jura

Even processes like walking up stairs or making a cup of coffee require a major effort.

Just use one of those fully automatic coffee makers.

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Going underground: The Royal Mail's great London train squeeze

Stoneshop
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Re: Fifty trains shifted 30,000 items each 22-hour day?

1 item == 1 postal bag, I take it.

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BAE Systems' autonomous research aircraft flies itself to Scotland

Stoneshop
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WTF?

Re: Maybe this is me being dumb...

"Introducing computers at the command stage – deciding where the aircraft should go as well as the precise mechanics of how it gets there" .

So, once these systems are introduced on commercial flights, you can suddenly find yourself on Svalbard because the computer decided it wanted to view the northern lights, instead of your planned Mediterranean holiday?

And your luggage will end up somewhere else entirely, but that's nothing new.

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Really weird quantum phenomenon spied lurking near neutron star

Stoneshop
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Headmaster

Re: Cant help thinking that a magnetic field that strong

It's certainly strong enough to have mis-aligned the apostrophe in "can't'".

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What's the first emotion you'd give an AI that might kill you? Yes, fear

Stoneshop
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Re: Deep Reinforcement Learning ...

"I shall zap straight off to your major data banks and reprogram you with a very large axe, got that?"

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Stoneshop
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Headmaster

shakesphere

An extremely rotund 16th century playwright and poet?

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CERN concern: Particle boffins join backlash against Euro Patent Office's King Battistelli

Stoneshop
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Go

When it comes to firing

it would be CERN being the most capable, I think. Although it would be a few atoms at a time.

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GET pwned: Web CCTV cams can be hijacked by single HTTP request

Stoneshop
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Coat

Re: "Titathink Babelens"

So, instead of images of Maroesja Lacunes, you get those of her grandkids

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Stoneshop
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Re: It's 2016 and buffers are still overflowing...

Some cases, like when using pointers in copying operations, can be handled and made safe(ish) by the compiler: it can determine the size of the target structure (because at some point it has been allocated, and if not it's error time already), and limit the pointer frobbing to that allocated area.

I managed to stay away from that kind of problems (without compiler support) 30 years ago already; it just takes a few minutes of thinking, coding and testing, but you have to realise there's a potential problem in the first place.

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