* Posts by Valerion

481 posts • joined 12 Oct 2009

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Amazon Key door-entry flaw: No easy fix to stop rogue couriers burgling your place unseen

Valerion

Re: What if ...

All you need to do, as a delivery driver, is call your thief friend after you leave and say "Number 22 Acacia Avenue - lots of nice stuff, camera is on the shelf in the hallway on the left, nobody is home".

Said thief can then break into the house (which is generally not that difficult) and be sure of nobody being there, and would know where the camera is to avoid it/break it.

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Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

Valerion
Joke

Single seat?

This is going to really annoy the truckers. How are they going to pick up and murder hitch-hikers now?

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Remember CompuServe forums? They're still around! Also they're about to die

Valerion

113215,53 reporting in!

My first ever job was doing telephone tech support at Compuserve, helping people who couldn't get online. You'd normally change a few things and then ask them to try again. Of course, they'd have to hang up in order to do so, and then it became somebody else's problem. Unless you got one of those people who said "Oh no need to hang up, I've got a second line!" I hated those people.

Some good times there. The day they released the new CIS3.0 software (that was completely different to the old WinCim) without either telling us call centre monkeys, or actually training us (or, for that matter, even showing it to us even once before hand) was a fun day.

Incidentally, I think Compuserve also ran the X25 network that Visa used for their worldwide card processing.

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Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

Valerion

Housing problem

The problem in UBI is it can't be Universal. Housing costs vary so wildly from area to area that £200 per week UBI has you living in a 3-bed house in one place and in a cardboard box in another.

Also, a childless couple existing on UBI needs less space than a couple with 3 children.

Therefore there has to be an amount of Child and/or Housing Benefit for those who aren't working. And that will still have to be means tested, and removed when the recipient finds a job or has their children reach claimant age. Which kind of then negates the whole point of avoiding benefits and withdrawal of benefits when work is obtained.

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BOFH: But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

Valerion

Is this the dawn of...

The BBFH ?

10
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Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

Valerion

Hobbits vs Food

"If you're looking for the best second breakfast, look no further than the Prancing Pony. And if it's beer you're after - in here it comes in PINTS".

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OpenSSL patches, Apple bug fixes, Hilton's $700k hack bill, Kim Dotcom raid settlement, Signal desktop app, and more

Valerion

Hilton

Paid £700,000 to New York State.

But nothing to those whose cards were leaked, cloned and otherwise monkeyed with?

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Official Secrets Act alert went off after embassy hired local tech support

Valerion

Not quite the same distance

But once I had to fly from London to Edinburgh at the crack of sparrows, whilst quite phenomenally unwell, hire a car, and drive a couple of hours north in order to install some software. Said software ONLY worked on Windows 2000. Not XP, not ME, not Linux, only Windows 2000.

The customer had to get a new PC to run this, so I checked three times with them that they had got Windows 2000 on it. They assured me their local specialist had indeed installed Windows 2000.

After a lovely short flight that I spent puking in the plane bathroom, and then a very lovely drive through some very nice scenery, punctuated by more puking, I arrived. You already know it wasn't running 2000. Instead it was running ME because "it's basically the same thing, but cheaper".

So I turned around and went home again. By this time I'd finished puking so it wasn't all bad.

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Why are we disappointed with the best streaming media box on the market?

Valerion

Re: Which country?

I know of HBO from The Simpsons, when Bart and family are kidnapped by aliens and put on their spaceship

Kang: "And on this giant TV you can get any TV channel in the universe!"

Bart: "Does it get HBO?"

Kang: "No, that would cost extra."

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AI is worth learning and not too tricky – if you can get your head around key frameworks

Valerion

TensorFlow

Sorry, this sounds like a sanitary towel and as such I was unable to take the rest of the article seriously.

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Apple Cook's half-baked defense of the Mac Mini: This kit ain't a leftover

Valerion

The last Mac Mini was obsolete at launch

When the 2014s came out (which I had been waiting for), they removed all the quad-core processors, and stopped the RAM being upgradable.

So I picked a 1TB 2012 quad-core from the refurb store (I think it was clearance of old stock rather than a refurb), bought 16GB of aftermarket RAM, and a 256GB SSD to boot it from.

The fitting of the SSD was a real pain (by far the hardest and fiddliest computer surgery I've done in 20+ years of fiddling), but the result was a stonkingly good machine, but it's now a few years old. It's still running fine, but what do I do when it isn't? A current Mini is out of the question, and I won't buy an iMac as I don't like All In One devices. Sure, they look nice, but I don't want to chuck an entire PC away because the monitor broke. And, of course, they are expensive.

I want to stay with Mac because I like the OS, so my options are build my own Hackintosh, or ditch Mac altogether.

Sort it out Tim!

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Your data will get hacked anyway so you might as well give up protecting it

Valerion

Re: You'll be revived on mars, or worse...

You could "die" moderately well off and "wake up" outrageously rich.

Isn't that exactly what happened to Fry in Futurama?

8
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Apple's iOS password prompts prime punters for phishing: Too easy now for apps to swipe secrets, dev warns

Valerion

Oldest trick in the book

I remember back in the 90s when I were a lad, writing a VB program to mimic exactly the network logon screen on the RM Nimbus PCs we had at school.

Left it running on the computer the teacher normally sat it, told her I'd forgotten my password. In order to reset it, she logs onto my fake screen which gives her a cunningly programmed "Network error, please restart your computer" error and stores her details in a text file. I then handily remember my password, grab the text file from that computer, deleting it to cover my tracks, and then I had admin access over the whole school network.

I'm not such a l33t haxx0r any more, sadly.

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He's no good for you! Ofcom wants to give folk powers to dump subpar broadband contracts

Valerion

Wifi

Most people will measure their speed by running a speed test over wifi. This is just as dependent on their wifi speed rather than just the broadband speed.

You can deliver a constant 100Mbs to the modem, but if the wifi access point is in an area full of interference on a congested channel, and you are sitting 40 feet away through various brick walls and ceilings, you aren't gonna get it. And that isn't the fault of the ISP.

Not trying to excuse the ISPs from responsibility as they are generally lying shitbags, just sayin' that it's not always their fault.

I used to only get between 8-20Mbps upstairs from my 100Mb Virgin line (downstairs). I changed the router from an Apple Airport Express (I only use the Virgin one in modem mode) for a better Asus one and now get 100Mb everywhere.

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Dumb bug of the week: Apple's macOS reveals your encrypted drive's password in the hint box

Valerion

I reckon it was done on purpose

This smacks of a developer deliberately storing the password in the hint field on purpose, so that he (or she) can test it as she (or he) goes along and not worry have to worry about remembering the password.

The intention would have been to remove that bit before committing it, but (s)he forgot, and nobody noticed it in the pull request.

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Developers' timezone fail woke half of New Zealand

Valerion

I know how they feel

In the early hours of this morning the power went out in my house (ok, more accurately it came back on - I've no idea if it was out for 2 seconds or 4 hours).

Because the Amazon Echo that sits on my bedside table restarts quicker than the cable modem and router it kindly yelled "SORRY I'M HAVING TROUBLE CONNECTING TO THE INTERNET AT THE MOMENT" into my right ear'ole at a very loud volume at 4am.

Of course it wasn't alone. It yelled it simultaneously in the kitchen, the dining room, the living room and my son's bedroom (I seem to have accumulated quite a few Echos). A lovely morning chorus to be woken to.

To add insult to injury when the internet had come back online a few minutes later - as I was drifting off to sleep again - they all shouted "Hello".

9
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Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale

Valerion

First rule of simulation

Never, EVER, let the things you are simulating believe it's possible to run such a simulation.

8
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Commodore 64 makes a half-sized comeback

Valerion

Re: Can i play Speedball 2 on it

Pretty sure I saw that on the list of games.

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It's a real FAQ to ex-EDS staffers: You'll do what with our pensions, DXC?

Valerion

Don't worry

The government is solving the pensions problem by the simple act of continually increasing the retirement age, so that everyone dies before ever actually drawing a pension.

9
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Achievement unlocked: Tesla boosts batteries for Irma refugees

Valerion

Wasting battery capacity and holding it to ransom like that is a cheap trick. I'm amazed they do this.

I'm amazed anyone has a problem with it and can't see the actual situation.

Customers were after cheaper cars with a smaller range and smaller battery. Rather than develop the smaller battery, tool up to provide it, and then have to worry about 2 production lines, it is much cheaper and more efficient for them to provide the larger battery and not worry about the smaller one at all.

Customer pays for a 60kw car and they get one. Other customers pay for a 75kw car and they get one.

Added bonus (for Tesla) - they don't have to worry about adjusting production for demand.

Added bonus (for the customer) - they can unlock the rest of the range if they decide to pay extra, rather than having to buy an entire new car.

This is in pretty much the same way as how car manufacturers produce identical engines with different power outputs. My wife's car, for example, had 110BHP and 135BHP options (IIRC). The 135 is more expensive by a couple of grand, but the engines are identical - just tuned differently and with the ECU programmed differently.

Tesla are not ripping anyone off.

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We're not the 'world leader' in electric cars, Nissan insists

Valerion

Carlsberg

They had a similar issue. Probably.

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Trump-hating Iranian is the new Uber CEO

Valerion

$95m

So he got $95m to tie him there until 2020?

And now he's leaving in 2017.

Does he have to give it back?

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Virgin Media customers complain of outages across UK

Valerion

Con artists

Glad to see they are investing all the extra money from the latest inflation-busting price hike into network stability...

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London council 'failed to test' parking ticket app, exposed personal info

Valerion

Re: a 20% discount if the punter pays early

Here in NY if you try and use the Official Website to pay off your totally bogus fit-up job red light violation* you get charged a grubbing and usurious surcharge for making it easier for the state government.

I got a parking ticket on Long Island a couple of weeks ago. The only means of payment are via things like "certified check". As a tourist there is no way I could actually pay the thing - there's no go online and pay option*

So I'll have to wait for the fine to be doubled for not paying early, then be passed to the car rental firm, who will then pass it on to me, no doubt with a hefty admin fee added on. My only slim hope rests on the fact the car was a Canadian rental that I had bought over the border.

*Shouldn't be too surprised given even Chip and Pin is a recent phenomenon over there.

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Defra recruiting 1,400 policy wonks to pick up the pieces after Brexit

Valerion

Re: brexit cost

1. No

2. No

3. No

Any other questions? The answer will still probably be "No".

17
4

Vodafone customers moan about sluggish data abroad

Valerion

Canada

I'm on Vodafone, and whilst in Toronto last week, the Rogers network was almost unusable. Whilst around other parts of CA and also the USA on the same trip, I had no issues at all.

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US laptops-on-planes ban now applies to just one airport, ends soon

Valerion

The found lots of guns

I'm more concerned about how many they didn't find.

Someone I know quite well was part of the security implementation at Heathrow. They would frequently put things through as tests and not all were picked up by operators.

And that wasn't the TSA who by most accounts are really rather incompetent.

2
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€100 'typewriter' turns out to be €45,000 Enigma machine

Valerion

Re: The excuse note I typed on it came out all weird

THYGP XYWLK GHRNI QOPIY COVFE FETRU MPXPI

At least that's one mystery solved.

40
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McAfee settles McAfee lawsuit over McAfee name

Valerion

Re: Moral of the story...

Bill Gates' Software

Reminds me of a thing from many years back when some kid who went by the name of Mike Rowe set up a software company - Mike Rowe Soft.

He got cease-and-desisted pretty quickly IIRC.

2
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Male escort says he gave up IT to do something more meaningful

Valerion

SAAS

Studs As A Service

10
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Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES

Valerion

That was entirely normal behaviour for professional British officers. They didn't duck under enemy fire.

As proved by Lieutenant Colonel H. Jones in 1982.

And, indeed, one Corporal Jones, who refused to panic under any circumstance, and insisted - often loudly - that those in his presence also should not panic.

10
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Brit hacker admits he siphoned info from US military satellite network

Valerion

Re: Perhaps

They are also often NOT email addresses.

In a sensitive, secured system, the username should bear no relation to the public email address used by the user.

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Valerion

Perhaps

The cost has come from changing usernames for everyone. If they are a security-conscious organisation <cough> then if the usernames are exposed then that is potentially serious, as that's half of what you need in order to gain access. It's just the password left to crack. So the answer would be to invalidate the usernames to re-secure the system.

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We're not saying we're living in a simulation but someone's simulated the universe in a computer

Valerion

Sounds to me

Like they're playing a large game of Elite

0
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PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC

Valerion

Re: For the phone scammers ...

Same thing for the phony BT or whatever technicians, keep them on phone, while with us, they cannot scan a less suspecting person.

The same technique works for real BT sales people.

35
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Boffins gently wake the Large Hadron Collider from annual hibernation

Valerion

Super Proton Synchrotron

I don't know what that is, but I want one!

3
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It's paydaygeddon! NatWest account transfers 'disappearing' (not really)

Valerion

Doesn't help others

But it seems ok for me. App is a little slow but the transfers I've made today are all showing up correctly.

0
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Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

Valerion

Recovery

US tech firms hiked prices following the Brexit vote, citing the fall in the value of the pound versus the dollar – a move branded "Brexploitation" following the inevitable recovery, after which suppliers' prices did not fall again.

Sorry, which recovery was this? The £ still seems to be down at about $1.26 compared to $1.50 before the referendum, and between $1.5-$1.7 at many points during the previous few years.

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Cheap, flimsy, breakable and replaceable – yup, Ikea, you'll be right at home in the IoT world

Valerion

Re: Lightswitches...

I have had my kitchen, bathrooms and hallways wired for presence for 12 years now. It works. Saves money (both leccy and bulb runtime). Does not need an I Do IOT 85£ device from Ikea.

Quite a few years back, a place I used to work at had presence detecting lights in the men's toilets . The problem was the timeout was too short. If you were lucky enough to be left alone for a reasonable-sized shit, the lights would all go out. There were windows to the outside, but if it was 5pm on a January evening, you were stuck in the dark. The only options were to wait for someone to come in, or hike up your trousers, fumble about and unlock the door and make a quick dash out the cubicle to get the light on again, before scurrying back into hiding.

0
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Lloyds to outsource 2,000 staff in IBM deal

Valerion

Thanks for the heads up

I'll start the process of moving my savings account away from Lloyds shortly.

24
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Uber blackballs 'Greyball' tool it used to deny rides to regulators

Valerion

Re: Reward the little guy

Are you a paid Uber shill? You sound like one. I use taxis all the time all over North America & a lot of Asia. I've not encountered a cash only taxi in over a dozen years.

Try Dubai. I've yet to get into a taxi there that takes cards (last time I went was about a year ago). That said, I've never used Uber there because the taxis are very cheap anyway, even if the drivers are absolute lunatics. Like the driver who didn't want to sit in the queue of traffic so absolutely floored it down the wrong side of the road, missing by about an inch a car that was pulling out of a side road and not expecting a Toyota Camry to be appear round a bend at about 60mph on the wrong side of the road.

If Uber can create an app that lets you press a button to disable the accelerator of the driver then they'll make a fortune.

3
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Toxic Uber sued after driver allegedly tried to rape passenger in car

Valerion

Re: Not an Uber fan, but

Uber and Ola (an Indian competitor) drivers are currently on strike in India over low "wages", allegedly half that of taxi drivers.

If the wages are half that of a taxi driver, why not just become a taxi driver?

1
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UnBrex-pected move: Amazon raises UK workforce to 24,000

Valerion

Re: Picture is fake

On the other hand it has been left "securely delivered", on the front doorstep, in plain sight.

4
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Samsung battery factory bursts into flame in touching Note 7 tribute

Valerion

Re: Ironic - isn't

Love that Ed Byrne sketch. Saw him do it live back in the 90s.

My favourite:

"A traffic jam when you're already late"

"No, that's just annoying. It would only be ironic if you were a town planner, on your way to give a lecture on how you'd solved all the traffic problems in the city".

7
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Parents have no idea when kidz txt m8s 'KMS' or '99'

Valerion

My wife's aunt

Is another LOL/Lots of Love person, often used to hilarious affect on Facebook posts.

"Oh no your cat died? Lol"

"A divorce might seem bad but it's probably for the best, lol"

"Sorry to hear she had her appendix out and is in hospital, lol."

And so on.

2
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Streetmap loses appeal against Google Maps dominance judgement

Valerion

What Google could have done

Is just start using Streetmap for their mapping after all. Streetmap's servers would have melted within about 30 minutes of handling their level of traffic, and that's the problem solved.

1
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Protest against Trump's US travel ban leaves ‪PasswordsCon‬ in limbo

Valerion

Norwegians

Welcome anywhere.

Of course one of the worst terrorist atrocities afflicted on western society in recent times was done by a Norwegian (Anders Breivik) a few years ago.

But he was white, so it doesn't count.

14
8

Oracle sues its own star sales rep after she wins back $200k in pay fight

Valerion

Re: Oracle Corporation

Yes, I get that sales people are generally paid by commission; the issue is that the sale typically isn't all because of them.

100% this. At a previous job we had a salesman for our product who went to one of our existing customers (note - not HIS existing customer, they were a customer before he joined) for a meeting. They said "hey, it'd be cool if you had a thing that could do xyz". And he said "No problem!" and drew up a large invoice which they agreed to.

Of course, we had no such thing. So it fell to me - several months of single-handed massive effort - to develop the entire solution (hardware and software), with the sole contribution of the salesman to be to send me weekly emails asking why it was taking so damn long. He didn't even come to any of the meetings I ended up having with the customer.

At the end of it, he got a 5-figure commission, and I got a nomination for employee of the month. I didn't win.

20
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Chinese bloke cycles 500km to get home... in the wrong direction

Valerion

Sun

Surely the position of that should've been a clue?

2
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Is Kubernetes a little too terrifying? Platform9 has a safe space for you

Valerion

Not heard of it

Is it this week's new Cool Thing?

Anyone know what next week's is?

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