* Posts by David Webb

924 posts • joined 16 May 2007

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A draft US law to secure election computers that isn't braindead. Well, I'm stunned! I gotta lie down

David Webb

Re: Safeguard elections from hacking

You just know that if .gov put out a tender for a pencil, it would go to one of the big defence firms who would charge £1,500 per pencil, but to get the pencil sharpened you would have to send it to a special facility in Washington State who would charge £400 to sharpen it and ensure it continues to meet current standards for pencils. Of course, it would require special tamper proof paper too at £75 per sheet.

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Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

David Webb

Re: common::sense .... what???

And here I am stuck in the middle with you. Sorry, just that last line gave me a song in my head, now I can't get it out of my head, boy it's more than I care to think about.

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

David Webb

Re: What does it do...

I use an Asus Vivosmart... thing. Core i5, 100Gb SSD + 2Tb platter, 8Gb RAM, plugged into the back via USB is a TV card which supports HD so can get all the freeview HD channels, also there is a Windows Media Remote thing, all running on LibreOS (Kodi OS basically).

Sure, it's no where near as cheap as the Roku, but with a Roku you can't dual boot into Linux/Windows and play games from your Steam Library, nor do other stuff. It's also totally silent. If you really wanted cheap and quiet though you can just get a Pi and stick LibreOS onto that which is a lot cheaper than the Roku and if you can get used to Kodi it's very focused on what it doesl

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FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'

David Webb

Re: DVB-T2

It's always been different? PAL vs NTSC (probably why Japan tried to get HD asap). As for why, no idea, but wouldn't it bring the same problem this article points out? DVB-T2 is not American so would have zero backwards compatibility with anything the Americans have, requiring a brand new set top box.

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Unloved Microsoft Edge is much improved – but will anyone use it?

David Webb

Re: I was prepared to give it a try when I first installed Win10...

Whilst the idea of Edge being gung ho on ad's may seem reasonable, it's quite terrible. Websites that rely on adverts to pay the bills (i.e. most of them) would simply block Edge with a "we don't support Edge, please use Chrome....". It would therefore be a massive step backwards.

Maybe a deal with Facebook with a "we notice you're using [browser], why not try Edge?" and pay FB a few million to keep it going. Facebook loves money after all.

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Top tip, hacker newbs: Don't use the same Skype ID for IoT bot herding and job ads

David Webb

Re: Hmmmm

I think if you look at his ID in the article, a BJ is half right.

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Crypto-busters reverse nearly 320 MEELLION hashed passwords

David Webb

Re: Not really correct

From my long term storage memory, I seem to recall it works like this (using MD5, yes, really long term storage....)

Website asks "what do you want your password to be?"

You input "password"

Server gets "password", adds some salt, then hashes it into MD5. It then stores the MD5 and salt in a database (except where the salt is hard coded), so now your password is b305cadbb3bce54f3aa59c64fec00dea (passwordsalt).

You visit the website the next day, it asks "what is your password?"

You input "password", the server adds the salt and hashes the password then checks the result.

If the result is b305cadbb3bce54f3aa59c64fec00dea then you enter, if the result is not b305cadbb3bce54f3aa59c64fec00dea then "password incorrect", this way the website never knows your password.

Now, imagine that saltpassword produced the same hash as passwordsalt (it doesn't, but imagine), if you go to the website and put in saltpassword, the server doesn't know it's the wrong password, all it knows is the result of the hash, the result causes a collision and the password is accepted.

Also, yes, 1,000 years is an underestimate, the possible number of combinations for a 15 letter Upper/lower/numeric password is 62^15 =768,909,704,948,766,668,552,634,368. In 2012 a rig could brute force 348 billion passwords per second so to guess that password would take 70,063,123 years, roughly.

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David Webb

Not really correct

the hash gets stored in the database, and it's supposed to be impossible to get the password from the hash.

It's never been impossible to get the password from the hash, it's always been impractical. You could always brute force the hash to get the password, as long as you had several thousand years to spare.

Is the password a - no

Is the password b - no

..... (several thousand years later)

is the password U^7cw==1jjJWvna@~!("jlskInsertSaltHereM:;m089lk,mjL:KJH-0u9 - yes

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Don’t buy that Surface, plead Surface cloners

David Webb

I think the sub £500 is being sewn up by little known Chinese brands, they are pretty good at making budget clones which actually are workable (using Intel x86), though Xiaomi is a pretty good brand when it comes to phones (premium product at "how is it so cheap?" prices)

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Couple fires sueball at Amazon over faulty solar eclipse-viewing goggles

David Webb

Re: Get out the popcorn

You go after Amazon because your contract (the purchase) is with them so it is up to them to ensure their products are fit for purpose. The manufacturer for instance will not be able to give you a refund, because you didn't buy it from them, you bought it from Amazon who are the company you deal with.

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For fork's sake! Bitcoin Core braces for another cryptocurrency split

David Webb

Re: Where does the money come from?

I don't mean where does the value of the bitcoin come from, I mean where does the cash come from.

We have the original bitcoin which is (probably) backed up with real world cash. Along comes the split and a new bitcoin is formed at about 10% of the value of the original. The original is backed up with real cash, so if you use that bitcoin to buy a Fiat the dealer can get the cash, if you used the forked bitcoin, where is the cash to pay the dealer? Where is the cash coming from?

As far as I can tell, when the fork happened it was "okay, you now have bitcoins with a real world value of 10 million" without removing the cash from original bitcoin into forked bitcoin, they just said "here it is, spend it however you like"

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David Webb

Where does the money come from?

Serious question, where does the actual money come from?

A has a value of £1,000, a fork is made and B comes along with a value of £100. A still has a value of £1,000 and B gives people who hold A, the same amount of coins in B. So customer now holds £1,000A and £100B. Then C comes along with a value of £500. Where does the extra £600 come from? If I split a £10 note, I would still only have £10, not £10+split.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

David Webb

At over 2,000 years old I think the Doctor went through the male menopause several centuries ago, so no worries there. On the bright side, we won't have some barmy, love sick teenage girl wanting to bang a man old enough to be the origin of her species.

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David Webb

Re: Haters are going to hate

So you risk getting a plethora of downvotes for going against the grain even in the slighest way

Or maybe it was downvoted because it wasn't funny, which, as far as I can tell, is a pre-requisite of a joke.

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Hot news! Combustible Galaxy Note 7 to return as 'Galaxy Note FE'

David Webb

Free Explosions, not an optional extra

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Final Fantasy XIV

David Webb

Final Fantasy XIV

A gaming sub forum, awesome, can complain about SE without getting a forum ban! Not that I complain, I can't, they banned me for it.

So. Today SE announced that because they are incompetent and can't figure out how to disconnect players who are AFK they are going with the "lets boot everyone" method, once a day every single person will get kicked off the servers. Let's not get bogged down with how stupid it is to punish paying customers by booting them once a day because of people who won't notice because they are, you know, not playing, lets discuss how we, as people with an interest in IT would have sorted the problem.

To circumvent being booted whilst AFK some players will talk to an NPC or craft, this prevents the method SE uses from taking effect (they use a logout command, the logout command won't work if you're busy with an NPC or crafting or whatever).

My solution to this would be, if a person is detected as AFK for 30 minutes, instead of /logout, the system drops the network connection to their world server which forces the person back to the lobby server. What would your solution be?

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Ad 'urgently' seeks company to build national e-ID system

David Webb

Oh dear, now we Cu Ba puns.

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Uncle Sam bungs rich tech giants quarter of a billion bucks for exascale super R&D

David Webb

Re: Big impressive numbers in the headline

I don't think the 1/4bil is for making the machine itself, it seems to be (if I read correctly) for them to work on the tech needed to run Crysis at 144fps@8k resolution, I might have read it wrong though.

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Congressman drafts COVFEFE Act to preserve Trump's Twitter tantrums

David Webb

Re: the COVFEFE bill

Just what us Brits need, another bloody vote! Count me out, I'm going to get a covfefe instead.

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DUP site crashes after UK general election

David Webb

I somehow doubt the party's policies have changed in the last few days

Most likely haven't changed in the past 100 years, never mind waybackmachine, a time machine would let you read their current manifesto, wrote on freshly cut pterodactyl skin by Ugg and Thugg.

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David Webb

Next few months? And people thought I was crazy for investing in the company that produces ballot papers.

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David Webb

Problem is we're going into brexit talks, May decided that Pride was with her but that has led to a Fall, she should play Fallout 4 and visit Hubris Comics. With a weak government, any divisions between them and their DUP partners may get voted down by the opposition parties ganging up to give May a MayNot.

If Conservatives can't form up with DUP and get assent to power, Corbyn may come in which would put us into an even worse position, every policy could get voted down by Conservatives and whoever else decides to turn up to claim their travel allowance of £1,520 per mile.

On the bright side, if Corbie does get into power he'll probably block Trumps visit and put him on the watch list so he can never visit again, he can declare that hair a clear and present danger.

Expect another election in the next couple of years, wake me up when it's over.

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White House sicko sent down for 20 years after sexting underage girls

David Webb

Re: What's the betting...

The thing is werdsmith, when punishment is out of proportion for the crime, the criminals say "fuck it, if I'm going to get 20 years just for sending a dick pic, I may as well actually......."

Case in point, great train robbery. They didn't use any guns in the robbery but still got a stiff sentence (no pun intended), a sentence that they would have got if they had used guns, so if you're going to get a sentence that you would get if you took a gun, you may as well take a gun.

What the article doesn't make clear is if the agent was black, if he was then 20 years seems par for the course in the American "justice" system.

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Chelsea Manning leaves prison, heads straight for booze and pizza

David Webb

Re: @DavidW

But, and this is a big but, Assange would need to go via the UK to escape, unless Ecuador send in a stealth helicopter to whisk him away. He's basically trapped in a prison in the UK until he leaves the prison and enters the UK where he will be arrested and sent to prison (and then probably America afterwards)

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David Webb

Chelsea Manning now walks free. An epic victory for which many good people fought--including Chelsea herself. I can't wait to meet her.

Oddly, can't see that happening, Chelsea is unable to come to the UK (criminal record) and Assange is unable to enter the UK (he's a wanted criminal, jumping bail and all that), but if Mr Assange wants to visit the US to see Chelsea, I'm sure Trump will arrange a free air ticket (fuck it, I'll pay just to get the policing bill down).

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Train station's giant screens showed web smut at peak hour

David Webb

Re: Does it have to be a train station?

Ohh, you know Dave too? Dude told me about how the Japanese get around it with software that removes the pixels. Can't see why they would do that though when they can just go to the local train station and get the good stuff.

Unless the good stuff was posted up by one of them trolls who will now send DCMA notices to the train companies and demand $100,000,000 per viewer of their illegally obtained porn.

Dave says hi.

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David Webb

Re: Does it have to be a train station?

No, it came with pixels on the privates, if you're going to display porn in public at least display the uncensored stuff! I mean, I've heard Japanese porn is censored and has pixels on the privates, umm, so I was told by err, the next person who posted in this specific thread.

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Why Microsoft's Windows game plan makes us WannaCry

David Webb

Re: @David Webb

@Red Bren - except the nurses/doctors/porters/technicians/etc. won't really get a say in which OS the managers pick.

Yes, in an ideal world we'll have a standard UI with a standard library, where it's totally agnostic and doesn't give a damn what OS you're running on. But we don't live in an ideal world. Have you been to the job centre recently, or whatever it's called now? Their software is bespoke.... for hotels, it was re-purposed for their use and the UI is pre Windows 95.

I think we live in a world of "make the best of" rather than "make the best", especially when it comes to the public purse, I guess we can always get BAE to design some software for hospitals, would totally help with their eventual budget (and make undertakers retire filthy rich)

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David Webb

Ease of use is for the lowest common denominator, the User, sure, us as IT people could easily hop from OS to OS, but a 50 year old nurse who is "bloody brilliant" at being a nurse but "the internet, you mean that blue e?" when it comes to tech, you really want her to have to faffle with many systems just to get the results of the tests?

You can train the nurse to use Windows XP (which she has used for 10 years now), then you suddenly expect her to jump to Linux, OSX and Windows 10? That would cause issues at a hospital, where every job a nurse does is mission critical (btw, I love nurses, they have saved my life a fair few times now).

Though, should we really be blaming MS? I know it's fun to (not as fun as blaming Apple though), but isn't it down to the contractors who built the apps that require Windows XP to run and won't run on 7+ and the NHS that won't pay to update the apps because "it works on XP". We can't blame MS because the NSA didn't disclose the vuln, IT tech's didn't update the OS or patch, scumbags released the vun, then more scumbags used the vuln, that's like blaming Volvo because the car whose driver never bothered fixing the brakes hit me.

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David Webb

Would you really want a hospital where the many different machines ran many different OS's? You can google the tradeoff triangle, security, functionality, ease of use, in a hospital you want maximum security, maximum functionality and maximum ease of use, but you can't because each trades off against another.

Ease of use naturally has to be one of the highest priority, the people who use the machines will have basic training, if the complexity is too high or there any many disparate systems, ease of use drops which reduces safety for the patient.

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

David Webb

VOIP

I guess around a year ago I killed my copper line and went pure VOIP (FTTP so no copper), since then we've not had a single "support" call, so quite obviously the trick they use to spoof their number gets flagged up by Vonage and we never get the evil calls. So the question is, why can't BT do that?

By the way, you win against the scammers if they call you a mother [bleep] before they hang up.

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Attention, Asus RT wireless router owners: Patch your gear now to squash web hijack bugs

David Webb

Re: Get patching

I've used the N66 for a few years now, looks good. As for firmware, it's Asuswrt-Merlin.

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DSL inventor's latest science project: terabit speeds over copper

David Webb

Re: Don't tell BT...

They tend not to do FTTP anyhow, mostly FTTC. FTTP is a major pain in the arse anyhow, the BT guy comes out and sticks the modem on the wall, then sticks on a battery backup for Fibre Phone which doesn't exist, but they stick the battery on anyhow and then nag at you when the battery backup breaks and they have to come out and replace it. "But you don't need it, so why replace it?" "you stick it in, you replace it if it breaks".

Then there is the ISP's that support FTTP, is it 4 or 5? And then they only give you FTTC speeds anyhow, the only bonus being you actually get the full fat 80Mb.

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Apple fanbois are officially sheeple. Yes, you heard. Deal with it

David Webb

Re: More Apple ClickBait

Yeah, El Reg been doing this for years, having a crack at pretty much any IT company you can think of from HP to Intel to Microsoft to BAE. Guess which companies still advertise on El Reg though? Yes, the ones that get slammed by articles on this site, except Apple which bans them from any Apple gathering, press release or anything to do with the company. Vultures might eat dead sheeple.

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New satellites could cause catastrophic space junk collisions

David Webb

The thing is, it doesn't need lots of sat's smashing into each other to cause a problem. One sat getting wrecked by a missile (see China) puts up lots of small debris into orbit, that lil bit of space junk hits another sat at high speed and causes that to go KABOOM and puts even more debris into orbit, which in turn hits another sat..........

Eventually we will have the problem of small bits of junk flying around the Earth at very fast speeds, lots and lots of small bits of junk, so when we try to send up some new sat into orbit it will get hit by the debris and we will forever be trapped on this tiny planet because any launch into space becomes impossible because the amount of debris floating around means anything launched will get destroyed.

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Android beats Windows as most popular OS for interwebz – by 0.02%

David Webb

I'm pretty sure I'm using a PC to type this and not my android tablet or phone (or my windows tablet or phone). I'm also pretty sure I use my PC to play games, or pretend I know what I'm doing with photoshop. Out of interest, how many android developers develop their apps exclusively on their android tablet/phones? None? But you just said it's the world's first-choice platform..........

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Reg now behind invisible HTML5 Bitcoin paywall

David Webb

Being rickrolled totally sucks, it sucks so bad I had to replay the video a few times because you know the rules and so do I, so I just want to tell you how I'm feeling, got to make you understand.

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New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

David Webb

Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

Not only would you need a telescope, you would need to figure out a new way to win the bloody game. It would take 45 minutes just to get from half way line to the goal line (using GPS so you don't get lost along the way), so by the time you got there the whistle would blow for half time and you'd be back where you started.

This would really, really suck for England as every match would end in penalties. Germany WC winners forever.

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After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages

David Webb

Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

Yes it did. go and expand your history. Try to look further back than your own adolescence.

I looked back only 15 years ago and found out that in the UK people were being blown up due to religion, this was (in part) funded by Irish-Americans, but after the Americans got hit with a major terrorist attack on their own soil it became apparent that funding terrorists isn't actually a good thing.

Before 9/11 your typical IRA supporting Irish-American would happily state (s)he paid money to the IRA, after 9/11 that same person would deny ever paying for or supporting terrorism in any way, shape or form.

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Kodi-pocalypse Now? Actually, it's not quite here yet

David Webb

Re: "too old to use the site"

Re : Zero is hard mode, though I'm sure there is a cross over out there. The anime that got me into anime are the 90's stuff though, Akira, GITS, legend of the over fiend (okay, I didn't know what hentai was at the time....). Back then C4 was actually airing anime, they did the 4 dragon brother kings one, the one where the prisoners had exploding neck things on so they had to go solve crimes, 3x3 eyes.

Worst things with youngsters is that they cannot appreciate the original sailor moon series.

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David Webb

Re: Get it right

As it is my crunchyroll sub doesn't give me access to everything they have because - geographical licensing restrictions.

And with Crunchyroll they don't region lock their posts stating which new content is available, so you start to read and go "ohh, that looks good" then they list regions "US & Canada"... carry on scrolling down "omg, they got that, I so want to watch that!" "US & Canada". Doesn't help even if you go via .co.uk they still show you bloody shows you can't watch.

Still, $19.99/3mth is a good enough bargain just for Konosuba.

/edit - then you get some toe rag idiot who uses their parents credit card to pay for their sub to tell you you're too old to use the site in the first place. It's good to vent.

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Uber loses court fight over London drivers' English language tests

David Webb

Re: Fluent in English?

Pity the EU can't do something useful like standardizing the actual level of a driving test across the union

As a motorbikerist, I can tell you that the EU has a standard test for motorbikerists, in fact it is so standard it is stupid. Mod 1 of the test you take off road and have to travel at a minimum speed of 31mph, not 30mph, 31. This brings it in line with the rest of the EU who use KPH so the minimum speed is actually 50kph which we can't do so we do 31mph.

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All of Blighty's attack submarines are out of action – report

David Webb

Buying ships off the open market would seriously piss off the SNP, we build boats we don't really need (and can't afford) in Scotland to keep the skills there and keep money going there, the SNP would be the first to slam Westminster if they shopped in Germany. #indyref2

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Samsung battery factory bursts into flame in touching Note 7 tribute

David Webb

Re: Confused

You can explain Tony in one word made from the letters of his surname, Liar. Though I did laugh at Number6's comment, I may be obtaining a sense of humour.

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David Webb

Confused

Is this an actual case of Irony which can be explained to Americans?

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President Trump tweets from insecure Android, security boffins roll eyes

David Webb

Re: His Russians friends promised not to hack it....

The Chinese have a curse "may you live in interesting times".

Thanks China..........

(insert obligatory "thanks Obama meme here with Obama swapped for Xi Jinping")

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Could YOU survive a zombie apocalypse? Uni eggheads say you'd last just 100 days

David Webb

Re: What an incredibly simplistic mathematical model.

But it seems to me that zombies can only walk and there are a large number of inhabited islands on the planet.

But there is also a large amount of people currently in the air and the ocean, planes and boats. One person on a large ship with lots of people could infect quite a lot before people realise "zombies!" and take action, your first thought when you see someone staggering down the road in a strange way is "pub o'clock time, sweet" not "KILL THE BUGGER!" - unless you're in the less friendly areas of Newquay.

Best bet for survival is an island fortress where you can plant veg, fish freely and bring in livestock but once the human population reaches a small amount (is it 40 odd k?) the chance of survival into the future is zero because of eventual interbreeding due to a lack of people to impregnate.

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Routes taken by UK prosecutors over supply of modified TV set-top boxes

David Webb

Re: Thanks for the heads up

Finally found the previous reg article on the subject

Discussing legality of the box

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Apple's CEO Tim Cook declines invitation to discuss EU tax ruling with Irish parliament

David Webb

The Register has attempted to contact Apple, but received no response.

In other news, the pope is Catholic and bears do indeed defecate in the woods.

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Sneaky chat app Signal deploys decoy domains to deny despots

David Webb
Big Brother

As a dictator

I've played enough Tropico to be an awesome dictator (and if anyone disagrees, come visit me at my special pub down town with no customers). So as an awesome dictator, why wouldn't I just block HTTPS requests being sent out by default? We're not exactly talking about regimes that would be happy that their peoples are encrypting traffic so the best solution is to block HTTPS and blame it on western capitalists. El Presidente agrees with this post.

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