* Posts by Ogi

293 posts • joined 13 Nov 2009

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NASA agent faces heat for 'degrading' moon rock sting during which grandmother wet herself

Ogi
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Re: Why does the US care if people own bits of the Moon?

> Of course, if Apple manage to land on the moon, they'll retroactively patent it anyway, and call it iMoon. Then sue everyone who's ever looked at it.

I am not sure, I think it is more Apple's style to patent the "Look and feel" of the moon, and sue anyone who owns something that is round and mildly reflective. :-)

Sorry. Mines the dull non rounded one on the hook.

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No more IP addresses for countries that shut down internet access

Ogi
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Would it be applied equally?

I mean, the UK government has the power to shut down the internet too.

The Civil Contingencies Act and the 2003 Communications Act can both be used to suspend internet services, either by ordering internet service providers (ISPs) to shut down their operations or by closing internet exchanges. Under the protocol of the Communications Act, the switch-flicking would be done by the Culture Secretary.

(From: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/could-the-uk-government-shut-down-the-web-2235116.html ).

So the government haven't done it yet, but the law is on the books, and they can do it if they want. However if the UK government decides to do this, would they really blackhole the whole UK from the rest of the internet, like they say they would do to some African country? What about places like the USA, where you can't technically blackhole them (because so much backhaul goes through the country).

This seems like an ill thought out solution to the problem of governments denying access to global communication to their citizens.

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Parcel bods Hermes become latest London drone delivery droogs

Ogi
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Re: Seriously?

These things have cameras, so I suspect they'll post their theft to Youtube while they can (ergo, subverting these things is but a jammer away).

True, but seeing as quite a few youths actually film themselves doing crimes (and post it on fb/youtube) I doubt they would bother with the jammer. Half the kick they get seems to be from the fact they end up a minor online celebrity in a video for doing something. Like that "happy slapping" craze a few years ago, or even now where someone pinches something, then posts a selfie with the hot goods to fb.

People who do these kind of things don't usually plan ahead and think things through in the first place, let alone consider the wisdom of posting evidence online.

Those who are criminally minded and organised/smart, probably wouldn't bother with these things in the first place anyway, so they are not much of a concern.

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Ogi
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Seriously?

Hermes.... The one company that holds the unique position of being a courier company that not only fails to deliver parcels to my door in a consistent manner (around 95% failure rate), but is also the only courier company I ever used that failed to *pick up* a parcel I had tried to ship with them.

Getting hold of a human was tough, and never managed to get a decent answer out of them, so bit the bullet, ate the loss on money I paid Hermes to deliver the parcel, and just sent it via RoyalMail instead (who, despite all the complaints people have, generally seem to be the best at actually delivering parcels where they need to go, for a decent price). Turns out you really do get what you pay for when it comes to the "cheap" option, and they are not that cheap any more as it stands anyway.

Needless to say, I never use Hermes, and if I find out the seller/shop uses them, I seek out to buy from whichever of their competition uses someone else.

Now, Hermes wants to use self driving robots for deliveries? I guess they really want to hit 100% failure rate with me :-)

In seriousness though, what stops people picking up the robot and its contents, shoving it into a bag and making off with it. Looking at the size of the thing, it will be even easier then pinching peoples pets (and that happens surprisingly often). What about vandalising them? Trying to steal their contents? Or just the local yobs after a few pints who decide it would be funny to throw it into the nearest canal/river/sewer/garbagecan just for fun?

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Software dev cuffed for 'nicking proprietary financial trading code'

Ogi
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> I do wonder if there is a non-draconian way to mitigate for that risk.

Code reviews.

Specifically doing code review before deployment to production. For such an attack to work, you would have to have the reviewer and the developer working together. It goes from a "lone wolf" type attack, to one where you need a conspiracy amongst multiple people in the chain for it to be possible. It increases the chances or slip ups/detection or someone pulling out and exposing the others involved.

Plus, in addition to spotting backdoors, code reviews can sometimes aid in detecting bugs the other dev didn't notice/see/test for, and can be a good idea to do anyway when doing dev work.

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So my ISP can now sell my browsing history – what can I do?

Ogi
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Re: I would take another route

Sounds like what you want is a big distributed VPN. Essentially what the internet is already, but fully encrypted.

the i2p project is what I looked into: https://geti2p.net/

Sounds very much like what would be the solution. The only problem is that unless you have a gateway to the wider internet, you are stuck to what services are run on the I2P network. However you (and your mates) can host whatever you want on it, including IM, web, etc... and you go from there.

I might have another look it, however the other problem is if all my traffic becomes encrypted, that will just single me out as someone that the powers should "pay close attention to".

Atm, not sure if wiser to secure yourself, or attempt to get lost in the noise. For now running a yacy search engine spider on my machines. That way the bot is constantly spidering the web so we get an open source P2P search engine that is usable with an up to date index, and my browsing hopefully gets lost in the noise.

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UK Home Sec: Give us a snoop-around for WhatApp encryption. Don't worry, we won't go into the cloud

Ogi
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> incidentally, how the actual fuck do we know matey boy used WhatsApp before the attack? a copper went nudge nudge wink wink to a tame journo? they've got his phone and WhatsApp installed?

A far more interesting question, that few have asked so far. I asked myself the same question. From what I have gathered, the arrests in Birmingham happened directly because the attacker sent two whats-app messages to contacts at those addresses before he did his deed.

This leads me to think that they probably had the "metadata" (i.e. they were doing real time scanning of the whatsapp network to see who is messaging who), but are unable to decipher the messages themselves.

So now they want to decrypt the messages to find out if the people they arrested were in on the attack, or just unfortunate people who he texted last (maybe to say good bye or something).

Unless they knew in advance an attack was going to happen, I can only assume they are constantly monitoring who is talking to who on whatsapp, and (for the moment at least) it seems they can't actually read the message contents. Facebook can provide them with access to the network, but the enctyption is still client side "end-to-end".

Perhaps a future version of whatsapp will be crippled by fb, not unlike how MS crippled Skype after they purchased it.

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

Ogi
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Re: Good advice but

> Some of the advice is borderline farcical, not because the advice is wrong but because the language allows those things to be written in the first place.

Any language flexible enough to give you full and total control over the machine is powerful enough to blow your foot off if used incorrectly.

The concept of C (and C++ presumably) is that the language is your servant. You tell it exactly what to do, and it does it (as long as it is a valid instruction). It doesn't advise you, it doesn't question you, and it doesn't deny you the ability to do something.

Of course, whether it does what you intended it to do, or goes off and kills a puppy, is an issue of programming ability and/or understanding the problem set you are trying to solve (and the constraints of the environment).

Like most tools, there is a time and place for it. I am not going to whip up a quick C program to parse a text file, but likewise I am not going to write a kernel (or embedded code) in Python or Bash.

I think it is a good thing that CERT has done this, like a "best practices" if you want to write more secure, less exploitable code. It is up to the end user whether to follow it, or whether they really need to access unallocated memory for some particular reason.

No comment on Rust, because I haven't had a look at it myself, but have heard good things from people.

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'Sorry, I've forgotten my decryption password' is contempt of court, pal – US appeal judges

Ogi
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Re: Valid excuse for the more elderly of us

Not just the elderly. My twenties and teenage years were littered with lots of encrypted files I cannot the remember the passwords to.

Some of them were just my attempts at hiding porn from my parents, others were attempts at encryption, some are my personal files backed up to be stored remotely , etc...

I still keep the files in the hope that one day I will just remember what the password was like a bolt from the blue (it has happened), but if you asked me to remember them right now I probably couldn't.

Hell, if you threatened me with prison time and demanded I unlock something right now in front of police officers, I probably would be so nervous/stressed that I could not actually remember the password, even if I typed it in earlier that day. Being under massive stress can make you forgetful, this is well known.

And I am not alone, just yesterday I had to bruteforce a friends password protected word document because back in 2012 she encrypted it (has all her bank account info in there) and has forgotten the password.

Forgetting passwords is so common that people invented password managers, so you only have to recall one single master password.

The court is essentially saying that forgetting is a crime here (whether the guy really forgot or is blocking is irrelevant, as we have no way of being sure which it is), which I find mind boggling, but then again, a lot that has been happening in the world is mind boggling to me, so a bit more should not surprise me anymore.

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Everspin's new gig: a gig or two of non-volatile RAM on PCIe

Ogi
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> The first of the new “nvNITRO E” range will be a half-height, half-length PCIe card that can operate as an NVMe solid state disk, or as memory mapped IO (MMIO).

How is this different to other NVMe setups? I have a PCIe NVM card (120GB) in my server. It cost me £70 all in, and is rated at 6Gb/s bulk transfer and some stupidly high IOPS that I can't remember right now.

I can use it as swap (in which case it just becomes allocatable memory, and the OS handles all the paged MMAPing), or I can use it as a file store, and MMAP files directly on it for the same effect.

I don't see what is special about this startup, except their NVMe offerings are really low capacity? The 120GB SSD is running as swap and it actually works pretty well. I have used ~105GB of swap on the 32GB RAM machine, and it was still usable and churned out data at an acceptable rate (this was for peak loading, most of the time 32GB is enough, I just didn't want the machine to die when the peaks come in, and couldn't justify the cost of 256GB of RAM for it ).

> Everspin asserts its product is rather faster than Intel's 10 µs and, critically, that you can read and write to it all you like without the prospect of the medium degrading.

That will depend on the cost. When my SSD eventually wears out, I will just buy another one (as they would most likely have gotten cheaper by then) and carry on.

It might be cheaper to just treat the SSD as consumable, and replace when they wear out. Each time you replace you will get a newer/faster/cheaper/higher capacity version due to the march of technology.

> The cards claim 1,500,000 IOPS with six microsecond end-to-end latency, making them rather useful in scenarios like high-frequency trading where the odd microsecond can be the difference between profitability and purgatory.

HFT shops have long since moved away into FPGAs with local RAM, computers have been relegated to babysitting the FPGAs and monitoring/restarting them as and when needed. You don't need uber low latency memory for that.

They do mention merging their memory with FPGAs, and that might prove an useful niche for the technology, but that hasn't been done yet, and no idea if it is a worthwhile and profitable niche (FPGAs do need to store some data, but not much, most of HFT is simple arb strategies just done stupidly fast based on data in/out of the network port)

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MAC randomization: A massive failure that leaves iPhones, Android mobes open to tracking

Ogi
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Re: Since the phone can be tracked anyway, why bother?

> Whoah, that's never been my experience, so I'm curious as to what accounts for that. Could it be a a matter of your environment i.e your phone has a clear view to the sky, so uses less juice to listen for the satellites?

Well, I am in London, so mostly buildings in the way, and generally poor GPS signal.

> I usually drive a small van with metal sides, so my phone can only see 180º of horizon through glass (whereas most cars would offer mostly glass through 360º.) I don't know if this could account for a high battery drain.

I don't see how tbh. The GPS does not transmit anything, so all it has to do is sit idly and wait for a satellite to come into view. This might use some CPU and memory, but not a noticeable amount. How much it uses shouldn't be affected by whether it has a lock or is still searching for satellites, because even when it has a lock, it is still constantly looking for more satellites, so that if one drops out of view, it can carry on seamlessly.

One thing might be is that I use Samsung phones, which can use both NAVSTAR and GLONASS systems, so generally I can always get enough satellites for a lock, even through cars (Although admittedly have not tried with a van). In comparison when I use my dedicated NAVSTAR bluetooth GPS device, I don't get as good a lock, if I get a lock at all.

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Ogi
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Re: Since the phone can be tracked anyway, why bother?

> The answer is to turn WIFI off until and unless you intend to use it right then and there.

Indeed, there was a nice open source Android app on f-droid which would use your GPS location to decide whether to turn on the wifi or not. That way I could tell it to turn on wifi only when I am at my home, or a friends place, otherwise it just turns off.

Having pure GPS on was not that much a battery drain. It is also passive so nobody can track you with it, and my Android phone was a custom ROM without any Google stuff, so they were not tracking me either.

However, I am noticing that it is getting harder and harder to get decent working custom ROMs for phones, especially after Cyanogenmod got sold. Lots of half hearted buggy attempts though, usually by a single dev who gives up shortly after the first couple of versions, when bugs are actually raised.

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Germany to roll out €100bn gigabit internet network

Ogi
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Re: oooo

> i live in rural France my average speed is wait for it, wait fir it... 0.47mb

Depends on where. A friend in rural France (Near the Pyrenees) has 30mbit/s ADSL, and apparently the village is earmarked for a new fibre backbone connection (along with electricity upgrade to underground cables), so soon he will have a faster internet connection than I do in central London :-/ (apparently he will get 100mbit/s).

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Road accident nuisance callers fined £270,000 for being absolute sh*tbags

Ogi
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Consent, really?!

> People using those websites had agreed to their details being shared with "third parties whose offers we think might interest you".

BULL-SHIT. I am sorry, but I never click to consent for my data to be shared with third parties. Secondly, I don't put my phone number down unless I actually have to (so, insurance primarily, and a select few sites for sensitive/secure stuff).

Yes somehow they keep calling me about my "recent accident" on my mobile, despite the fact I never had an accident in my life, nor claimed on my insurance.

They just dial random numbers and play their automated crap. At one point I would get 3-5 of these calls a day, and it is really frustrating, especially if I am waiting for an important call.

The worst part is if they get busted, they just go "oh, we thought these people consented when we bought the list", when the "list" of every single number they could think of was bought from a shell company most likely owned by these turds in the first place, and then conveniently dissolved so the trail goes cold.

Thanks to voip, I also get "PPI Insurance" recordings from apparently local landline numbers, so I can't even filter them out any more. Also loved the "UK number" call where it was an actual Indian call centre woman who called me about my "recent accident", and actually had an argument with me over the fact I never had an accident. Quickly became apparent she had no idea about UK law or even how the insurance system works here, at which point I hung up.

> Media Tactics has also been given a legal notice compelling it to stop making unlawful calls. Failure to comply with this could result in court action.

Maybe this is why for the last few weeks the calls had stopped. Good riddance. However I know they will just form another company with the existing lists, and carry on again for a few years before that one gets shut down as well, and so on so forth.

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Anti-TV Licensing petition gets May date for Parliament debate

Ogi
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Re: Good going cobber - Pollution reasons

> BTW a 1.6 petrol Zafira A (also in my interesting stable of vehicles) is good for best part of 50mpg at 50mph, but this is already dropping off by 56 and is noticeably less by 60, by the time you take it on an autobahn 'flat out' (about 100mph) you are down to 15mpg or less.

This is an interesting topic. I always believed cars fuel efficiency was based on a combination of gearbox ratios, final drive ratio, engine tuning and engine type. The cars I have driven seem to have engines tuned to be most fuel efficient around the 3000 rpm mark ( except the VW Turbodiesel, around 3000 rpm the turbo would start running and your mpg drops like a rock).

Now, what speed you are at varies by which gear you are in. In top gear at 3k rpm one of my cars seems happy around 75 mph, and the other around 85mph. However I wonder if in lower gears this would match up with the 56mph mentioned above.

I would like to test this out, however 56mph is a bit of an odd number to reach. It is too slow to go on the motorway (where I can set the cruise control on the car, and see what mpg I get over a period), and too fast to do the same on A roads (with traffic, lights, pedestrians, etc... impacting mpg). What I might do is see if 56mpg corresponds to 3k in a particular gear, but that would not prove it is the most efficient place to drive at for fuel efficiency.

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Fancy that – the sharing economy lobby doesn't speak for the sharers

Ogi
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> My threshold's just gone up by a pound.

> And again.

> And again.

Alas, that only works if everyone else who can do that job does the same :-) .

Otherwise they will just replace you with another cog willing to work for cheaper and carry on.

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Ogi
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> Then you'll have no other place to go, and they're free to fix the pay as low as they like.

I believe in those situations collusions/pricefixing/market failure, people tended to band together into Unions, and collectively deny their labour to the company until an agreement is reached.

Although not sure how that would work in the era of automation. The minimum wage hikes in the USA seems to have resulted in more people being laid off and replaced with automated machines (e.g. fast food servers replaced by computerised "order kiosks", checkout staff replaced by "self-serve" checkouts).

If automation becomes an actual like for like replacement for unskilled/semi-skilled labour (minus the initial capital cost), then unionising and collective bargaining will not work as intended. Then the capitalists (Those that own the capital, i.e. assets) are pretty much in total control.

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Ogi
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On a related note. I actually did some reading on the "Luddites". Despite being portrayed as uneducated numpties that smashed machines because they were against technical progress, it turns out they had some legitimate grievances.

The machines were owned by a few wealthy men, who reaped most of the rewards from mechanisation of the cotton industry. Before, people worked in cottage industries, they were their own boss, worked on their own time, and had a good work life balance. The skills earned would result in a decent income for them, and could be passed down the generations. They themselves were not against progress, having (and developing themselves) quite a few machines to improve their productivity and increase production.

However when rich men got wind of these machines, they had the money to pay specialists (e.g. clockmakers) to build even more advanced and fancy versions, on a much grander scale. As a result the machines became too expensive for normal people to afford, and many could not compete.

These people then became wage slaves. No longer able to work and take breaks when they wanted, the people were shunted into long gruelling days and nights of shift work, where their injury (or even their death) was not a concern to the owners. The wages were so small that many had to move out of the countryside farms/cottages and live in factory provided slum houses that were disease and filth ridden.

The price of one machine was far beyond what they could afford, so only those with money could buy them, and then make even more money on the backs of others.

It was due to this that the Luddites revolted, not some anti-technology bent. They were reduced and dehumanised to nothing more than meat cogs in a machine. Indeed it was due to this revolt and the rumblings of further violence that the government actually stepped in and started defining things like safe working practices, employee rights, a minimum wage and other things we now take for granted.

Looking at this modern "sharing economy", and automation, I can't help but see some repeating patterns. if we manage to develop robots who are a direct replacement for humans, most of which will again be owned by rich corporations, we reduce most of humanity to being zero hours "temp workers" struggling to make ends meet, it will cause some serious upheaval.

The upheaval will be delayed as long as we have the state to provide welfare (if nothing else than a soft cot and three squares a day), but I don't think having masses of people basically living off the state in slums and a few very wealthy people/corporations owning and running everything else will function as a long term societal structure.

Even in the times of kings and peasants, the elites had to protect themselves. Those castles you see, were as much to protect the royal family (and their supporters) from their subjects as it was to protect against foreign invaders. Despite this in the end it still wasn't sustainable (hence the revolutions in France and Imperial Russia, and the reformation of other monarchies into modern day states).

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Ogi
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> They are quite happy to make money from the labour of others, but not so happy to adequately emburse those who actually do the work and generate the wealth.

A previous boss of mine once told me quite honestly (when I asked for a raise) that the company "pays the employees one pound over the threshold where people would just resign".

It is a fact of life that a company/client/whatever will pay the minimum they can get away with. It is your job (as provider/employee) to demand as much as you can.

The company will give you a price for your labour which it thinks is what the labour is worth. If you think your labour is worth more, you are free to entertain offers from others. Otherwise you take the best offer you can get. That way the market sets the price of your labour. Whether it is "fair" or not doesn't really play into it.

In my case, at that point in time, I was unable to get a better offer for my skills (and didn't get the raise), no matter whether I found the wage unfair for the skills I was providing. So I put in the effort to upskill and left the job a year or so later for more pay.

It did teach me however to take a very mercenary approach to work. Your client/company is not your friend, or your family (despite this rather modern desire to make me feel like they are. I find it a bit creepy tbh).

They will not hesitate to get rid of you when you are no longer of any use to them. Loyalty is for chumps in their eyes. So now I do the same, if I get a better offer from someone else, I will go for it.

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Tesla 'API crashes' after update, angry rich bods complain

Ogi
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Re: Electric Cars and Cloudy Apps...

> And you still have to turn them off and on again to make them work.

> Welcome to the bleeding edge of 2017.

I know!

It is like people looked at the state of their computers and mobile phones, and said "You know, I would really like my watch, my car, my fridge, my TV and everything else to be just as much an insecure, buggy, spyware infused, headache inducing PITA as this is".

I for one try to keep the amount of technology I use to a bare minimum to get the job done efficiently, but apparently I am an outlier, and people want their lives to be really complicated and unreliable (which they then moan at me about, because I am a "Tech guy" who can fix it all with a magic wand)

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That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

Ogi
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Devil

Re: Where's Linux?

> I didn't see Linux in that set of bullet points. Is it secure or are you still reading about all the exploits they have for it? Enquiring minds are anxious to know.

I am still reading through the data, but based on what I have read (and wikileaks actual press release: https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/ ) Linux is a target and has been compromised.

Just an example quote from the press release link:

"HIVE is a multi-platform CIA malware suite and its associated control software. The project provides customizable implants for Windows, Solaris, MikroTik (used in internet routers) and Linux platforms and a Listening Post (LP)/Command and Control (C2) infrastructure to communicate with these implants."

No mention of the BSDs so far though (hence the Icon).

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Cybercrooks charging more than the price of a new car for undetectable Mac malware

Ogi
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> But I brought 40 Bitcoins last year for only $250 a coin. It's a bargain for those who thought ahead!!!!

Indeed, I at one point had 500 of the damn things, but sold almost all of them when they were £15 each. If I had only known....

Saying that, the 40 bitcoins they are asking depends on whether who is buying can make a profit. If someone thinks they can make more than 40 BTC of profit utilising the software, they will go for it and write off the cost against revenue (not unlike any other business). Any haggling to lower the price is just a benefit (and I am sure they would try).

Also, limiting access to the software means that very few whitehats will have a chance to reverse engineer and work on defeating it.

In some ways, it might actually be a scam. Claim to have amazing uber undetectable malware. Advertise it for $stupidly_high_price, perhaps claim you have sold a few licences already, and see if you can get the white hats to stomp up the dosh to buy a copy just to see what the threat is (especially if they haven't detected it in the wild, so might actually be "undetectable"). After purchase they find out it is useless (the malware equivalent of "Hello world" perhaps), and the seller is 40BTC richer for little effort.

Sure once the white hats publish their critique of the malware and say it is no threat and/or develop defences against it, no more sales will come, but still, it earned something initially. It isn't like you can ask for a refund if the software isn't fit for purpose, and I doubt it has a warranty attached to it.

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Iconic Land Rover Defender may make a comeback by 2019

Ogi
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Re: Which market segment will they go for?

> parking problems of a Unimog.

What parking problems? You can make your own parking space with a beast like that =)

Friend had a custom Chevy suburban ( Suburban body with Humvee bottom end and mil spec tyres) in London for a while. The wheels were too big for clamps and the beast too heavy to be towed, so he could park it literally wherever he wanted. It also took up 1 and a half road widths, so driving through London rush hour traffic was really interesting.

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Has your spouse stayed on after Mobile World Congress? This sex doll brothel might be why

Ogi
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Re: Nothing for the wimmin?

> I came here expecting to hear about male dolls.

Most women who are into using inanimate objects seem to only really need one part of the male anatomy for their pleasure. Also, it is far easier for women to get a man for a night than vice versa, so a woman who wants animated anatomy plus its life support system can find one relatively easy.

Saying that, perhaps in time that will be the case as well, but they figured "Lonely desperate men" are a market segment not to be ignored (Of course, not all men who would be interested in this are lonely and desperate, but a subset will be, and they can be a decent source of start up income).

Also, I suspect the women would want the dolls to actually, you know, move (in and out, if nothing else). So once they get the inanimate bit down pat and find whether it is a viable business model, they can look into animated dolls and upgrades in order to increase market penetration and broaden its exposure.

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Ogi
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Re: I'll leave this here.

> "I asked my wife if she’d mind me having sex with a robot that looked exactly like the actor Gemma Chan and for some reason she said that she would mind that."

Why would she? You are in the end screwing an inanimate object (*1). Except that just being a fake boob or fake orifice of some sort, the bits come together ready assembled in humanoid form.

If an inanimate object can rival your partner for company and enjoyment of life, then you already have massive relationship issues. For people in happy relationships, it would not be seen as a threat (any more than those women who use all those electric toys from time to time).

(1) Not that I would be that interested or keen in screwing inanimate objects, but each to their own.

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Ogi
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Coat

Re: I really wouldn't want to be...

> Easy enough to have it done by a robot.

But who would clean the robot cleaning robot then?

" It's robots all the way down! " :-)

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Two-thirds of TV Licensing prosecutions at one London court targeted women

Ogi
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>>"Because most courts refuse to accept that it's possible for a woman to rape a man.

>The legal definition of rape is "penetration of the v*g*n*by the p*n*s". So, legally speaking, it really is impossible for a woman to rape a man (asterisked to avoid the draconian Internet filter where I work).

Yes, I seem to remember hearing about similar (my ex was a lawyer). Due to the definition, a lot of female/female rapes are not classed as rape but sexual assault, even if forced penetration occured.

> 98% convicted rapists are men.

It does make me wonder though, if women are incapable of rape due to missing the required equipment to rape (by legal definition), what on earth did the 2% non-men do to be convicted of rape? Or does that refer to those of a different "gender identity" in a male body?

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IBM UK: Oh, remote workers. We want to be colocated with you again

Ogi
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Re: This is just a way to get rid of people

> Laying people off is expensive - redundancy payments etc. It's far cheaper to ratchet up the everyday shitiness level a bit and hope attrition takes care of the situation for you.

I am curious as to how that will work. So you refuse to leave by the deadline, and refuse to quit as well. What can they do? Not sure about the US (where apparently you can be fired for any reason what so ever) but it would be harder to do that in the UK.

Presumably that is why here they didn't set a deadline for you to have to start coming into the office. Which makes me ask the question, what if you just keep delaying? How long could you keep working from home, if there is no deadline to move, and you have no intention of moving. Maybe just keep pushing the "potential timeframe" further and further out.

If you are good the local manager may tolerate it, or if they allow you to come in once a month or something for a general meeting. It might work.

Thing is, those more competent employees are the ones most likely to resist this, or leave. They would have little trouble to find another job, so are more likely to just quit and go elsewhere.

It is the ones with poor competence who will stay, as they are unlikely to find a better job, and consider the hassle of relocating/commuting easier than trying to blag their way into an equivalently paying job somewhere else.

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The Psion returns! Meet Gemini, the 21st century pocket computer

Ogi
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Re: predantry

> I don't call it "GNU/Linux" because only 10% of the software on a typical Linux box originated with GNU

Well, generally in the context of operating systems, the "userland" is all the software that you need to build a bare usable OS. That does not include "end user applications" which can be anything, even proprietary. Doesn't change the userland, which is primarily the work of the FSF's "GNU project".

I am sure <20% of the apps on my phone originate with Android as well, but we still call the userland "Android" because of all the libraries, systems, services and utilities on top of Linux which make the OS what it is.

Even if we accept your premise that all software and applications running on Linux is the "userland", most of that software still uses the GNU GPL, making it "GNU" software in that sense (or at least GNU related). GNU is not a company with a trademark, it is more of a philosophy around software development and licensing.

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Ogi
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Re: Oh Yes!

It is also fitting that this article comes up shortly after that poll of "Which device would you like to see come back from the past", where the Psion won :-)

Almost... as if, it was a total set up :-P

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Ogi
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Thumb Up

Oh Yes!

Finally! I have been using an old Jornada 720 with Linux on it for a small terminal server that I can carry in my pocket, but it is quite old now (still, has rs232 connection, for a quick datacenter serial terminal). I have also missed the power of a full OS in my pocket (like my old Nokia N900).

This sounds really nice. Bigger than a phone, smaller than a tablet, with decently sized keyboard for actual typing. I would not mind one of these, If it can run Linux, it will eventually run one of the BSDs, and that will be nice for me!

These specs seal the deal for me:

* Dual USB-C connectors to connect to keyboards, external screens, mice, charging cables as needed and many more.

* SD card slot (covered)

* Two weeks of stand-by time / 12 hours of talk time

* Fully tactile keyboard - recognised as the smallest keyboard for finger touch typing

* Removable Li-Ion 8000mAh battery

That is pretty much what I want out of such a device. the 10 core processor sounds like overkill, but if it can handle two weeks of standby time, then I won't mind the power.

The idea that I can use it like a computer by plugging in USB devices is also really nice. It was a feature I really liked in the old Nokia N810's.

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Ogi
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Re: predantry

For full pendant points, Linux is "GNU/Linux", and Android is "Android/Linux", "GNU" and "Android" are the userlands, and "Linux" is the kernel.

Linux was originally called "GNU/Linux", but as there never was a real big alternative to "GNU" for the userland, people just called the whole stack "Linux" (much to RMS'es annoyance at the time).

However now with Android out there, it is getting a bit confusing, as both are "Linux", but with different, incompatible userlands. Hence to distinguish between the two, the prefixes can be used (I've started doing that when you have to clarify "which Linux" you are referring to).

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Alcatel wants to be Android, but different – and another crack at the Windows market

Ogi
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Coat

Re: "energetic young consumers",

> I was going to say wankers.

Seems the more obvious choice. Some of their techniques can be very energetic, especially after many years of practice :-) .

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New UK laws address driverless cars insurance and liability

Ogi
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Re: "unauthorised alterations" eh?

> Maybe they don't see them as handcuffs?

> I have a car to get from A to B. I couldn't give a stuff about how it does it as long as it does so safely and in a timely fashion. I'm "willing" to accept all sorts of "handcuffs" that make those decisions for me. In extremis, I'm even willing to get on a train whereupon I've abdicated pretty much all responsibility for any travel-related decisions and amazingly I don't feel in the least bit emasculated or enslaved when I do so.

Fair enough, I guess. I have to admit I cannot understand that point of view at all. I might as well try to understand an Alien. It just seems so wrong in my head.

However people are so varied that there is not a one size fits all policy. There are people who like their lives controlled and managed by others, and those that don't (and of course, an overlap between them). As long as one side does not coerce the other into their way of living, I don't see a problem with it. I am happy for you to use autonomous cars till the end of time, as long as you are happy to let me control my own car as I go about my business. Ditto for other such things as well.

I didn't deal with the emasculation bit, because to be honest I don't see how much of a man you feel has anything to do with this.

For me it is a matter of control. I guess if they developed an autonomous car that was fully under my control, open hardware/software, and not in some way connected to some net or grid, I would be more keen on them. Not as a replacement for my cars, but as an addition for those times I don't wish to drive.

> Now if the government starts saying I can't travel to B today I might be a bit miffed, but they can already do that by closing the road and it turns out that they aren't much interested in doing so. Driverless cars change nothing in this regard.

Except that you can decide to ignore the "road closed" sign and go there anyway. You can't do that with a car that is not under your control.

You are at their mercy. Also, they may not be much interested in doing it now, but they may be more interested in future.

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Ogi
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Re: "unauthorised alterations" eh?

> Who wants to bet that there will be a hack that makes the car think it is driving when in reality you are?

But that would be an "unauthorized modification", rendering your insurance void, and seeing as these cars would be essentially tracking systems on wheels, it will be very hard to hide that you hacked it. In the event of the crash, they may well notice the tacked on steering wheel and pedals :P

> As cars become more automated they will become something else in the same way that horseless carriages became something unlike a carriage without horses. What do you think, Pods, (trans)Porters, Autos? I like the latter as it emphasizes the auto in automobile as re-uses part of an obsolete name as the aforementioned horseless carriages became car.

People would probably not own them anymore. Why would you own a car when you can hail one like any old taxi, especially when you are forbidden from making any modifications to said car?

I imagine integrated with something like Uber, where you click on an app button and a pod arrives to take you to where you want to go, charged by the mile/minute/whatever, and now because you have nothing to do in the pod, you can sit and watch adverts in-between some sort of entertainment. Of course to prevent vandalism or illegal activities, all pods will have internal cameras and microphones, for your protection of course (like you see on buses nowadays).

Because it doesn't make sense to own them anymore, most of these things will probably be standardised, maybe have some sort of advertising on the outside so they are like mobile billboards. Essentially it would be the reduction of the car to the most utilitarian concept, a vehicle for getting from A to B. What it looks like, how it goes, etc.. becomes moot.

> At some point obtaining a drivers license will be a preserve of the military, emergency services or the very rich.

That reminds me of an Anime: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89X-Driver

The premise of still requiring people who can drive non autonomous cars is not unsound (just like we still need people who can shoe and ride horses), even if the storyline is a bit far fetched. Especially the military would not allow something so insecure and easily disabled to be used in wartime, if the enemy can just wipe out all your vehicles in one swoop with a hack/virus/emp.

And cars were originally the preserve of the very rich, and it seems they try very hard to make it so again. The sudden liberty of the serfs to do what they want, move around how they like without higher oversight, and generally be free seems to have been just an aberration in social structure, most likely due to the Industrial (and cheap energy) revolution.

It seems we are going back to the days when most people don't wander too far from their home village (except now it is more a really dense urban area), leaving most of the world as a playground for the very rich.

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Ogi
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"unauthorised alterations" eh?

Presumably disabling any tracking and/or recording systems in the car would count? Or over riding the default government approved "allowed routes" eh?

Sure, that is not what will be the case now, but one day, in the future, when the ability of people to themselves direct where they want to go is fully taken away from them, I am sure the screws will start tightening. Nothing better than forbidding people from modifying and creating things themselves, they should just be perpetual "consumers", ideally on credit.

I don't understand how some people can so willingly accept handcuffs, even if they are virtual. It is like they don't want any personal power, but have "someone else" take care of everything for them. At what point is someone else living your life for you exactly?

I sure won't be using any such driverless technology for as long as I am capable of resisting. I don't mind sharing the roads with those who wish to be driven autonomously, but not at the expense of my ability to drive myself and control where I go.

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Omg, that is, like, sooo 2007... Retromania set to grip this year's MWC

Ogi
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Re: 3210 and 3310 were *the* milllennial phones!

The 3210 was my first ever phone, given as a present for my 14th Birthday.

It also came with multiple covers you could switch around, and you could go down the local corner shop and buy any one of the covers in all kinds of wild designs and colours. Although I was a boring nerd that never got invited to parties, so just kept the original grey with "Vodafone" at the bottom.

Aaaah, memories *sniff*

Saying that, I would possibly be interested in something like that again. I am tending away from smartphones, and thinking more a dumbphone with good connectivity which I can tether to my laptop, or a tablet, when I need apps or something fancier. Something with long battery life, solid build, simple (and secure) firmware, and no apps (that I can use the tablet for).

Next time I am in the market for a phone, I may look at the "featurephones". If it has a removable battery, voice/SMS and fast bluetooth for tethering, then it will be good enough for me.

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Ogi
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"Having a reliable 50Mbps to 100Mbps up and down connection is a game changer. Yes, we'll get all the old jokes about burning through your data bundle in a blink of an eye. But it's about getting that high bandwidth connection quickly."

50-100Mbps? Yeah, if you the the only person on that cell tower, and you have strong signal, and nothing is in the way to scatter. Not to mention, how long will your battery last when doing transmit/receive at those rates? 4G already uses more than 3G, that uses more than 2G, etc...

I can see 50-100Mbps in laboratory conditions, but I would be amazed if you could get that in heavily congested urban spots with walls and other obstacles reflecting everywhere.

Hell, my home wifi can apparently do "200Mbps" but it was transferring files this morning at a pedestrian 13mbit/s, and that is an in an apartment block (loads of other APs around) and one drywall away (so a big of signal degradation). Sure, in ideal/lab conditions I could imagine seeing close to 100-200Mbps, but in the real world it just doesn't happen.

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Ad men hope blocking has stalled as sites guilt users into switching off

Ogi
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Can they detect when ad blocker blockers are disabled?

I ask, because I noticed that some sites will block you when they detect an ad blocker, but if you block javascript as well, they have no way of knowing, and show you the data.

I actually found this out accidentally because I routinely block ads and js on a particular site, and only when I enabled js for said site, did I find myself suddently locked out of the content with one of those full screen pop ups. Before that I didn't even know they had ad-blocker-blockers.

Therefore, in those situations I would not show up as using an ad-blocker on their site, would I? Presumably their metrics for ad-blocker detection are based on javascript (i.e. run js code to check if certain elements have loaded, and if not, show annoying pop up that takes up page).

So maybe they are seeing a flat-lining of ad-blocker usage because people (or ad blocker programmers) have cottoned on to how to disable their detection of ad-blockers (an ad-blocker blocker blocker?), rather than people actually disabling said ad-blockers.

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Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

Ogi
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Run your own search engine?

Yacy is a peer-to-peer search engine, everyone partakes in spidering and indexing sites for search.

The more and more I see search engine companies move from helping me find information I want to controlling what information I see, the more I have been looking into running my own node:

http://yacy.net/en/index.html

I can't think of a way for them to control the flow of information to you, if you have a copy of the index yourself. Plus the more people join in, the better the index gets.

Plus it helps randomise the sites you visit, as the spidering tool goes constantly to random URLs, so some noise generation to reduce the SNR now that everywhere you visit is logged, yet which actually has some benefit to the community as well :-P

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Is your child a hacker? Liverpudlian parents get warning signs checklist

Ogi
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Being a criminal has little to do with the list as given.

Simply because all those things listed can also indicate someone who is gifted with computers.

The difference is to do with intent. Just like a hammer can be used to drive in a nail, or crack someone's skull. In such cases "Shows proficiency and to use a hammer and an interest in using it" does not mean you have a killer/criminal in your midst.

I find the list particularly concerning, because if I was a kid nowadays, I would fit most of that profile. That would have been grounds for an "intervention" to put me back on "the right path", and I would not have the skills and abilities now which allow me to earn a decent living.

My hacking around my PC, learning the ins and outs, reading sites online and generally socialising with (very smart, usually older) people on IRC taught me magnitudes more than any IT or CompSci course I have ever taken in a UK institution. Especially in school, where my exposure to this source of information allowed me to improve myself beyond what the courses in school taught me and beyond my peers in ability. Most of my abilities were self-taught, and these kinds of recommendations will stunt development of future generations at best, and result in kids getting into serious trouble because of misconstrued intent (OMG you got TOR installed, hacker! ) in the worst case.

I fully expect if this advice got rolled out and enforced, in a generation or so those people in government will be sitting around and scratching their heads, wondering why the UK population seems to completely lack "cybersecurity experts" while other countries run rings around a populace generally ignorant of how computers work.

And I like how TOR is described as solely a tool for illicit activities, because there is no legitimate reason to have TOR installed in the UK, especially after recent legislation to do with snooping, eh?

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Vinyl, filofaxes – why not us too, pleads Nokia

Ogi
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Re: External antenna! (Aerial)

> I see the 3310 has a socket for an external antenna. That would be extremely useful in a home with external insulation using foil wrapped foam and steel mesh tracking. Bring it on!

When I was in a particular office in the last place I worked, there was virtually no signal. I found out that Samsung S and Note phones still had the external antenna connector when most other phones long got rid of it. Used one of those with an external antenna and was the only guy in the office with signal.

I still buy Samsungs partly for this reason, although I don't know if the new ones still have it. I stopped looking at them when they made the battery fixed, I suspect you can't get the back off of them either anymore.

( Just checked, and my Samsung S4 still has the external antenna connectors. )

If it was up to me, I would love the N900 back, or a Nokia communicator type phone. However I don't think that is likely.

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Connected car in the second-hand lot? Don't buy it if you're not hack-savvy

Ogi
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Re: Now ask me why ...

>I love old cars too (especially the 60s models because they're just mad) but there is no way anything older than approx 10 years is as good environmentally as what is produced today. I suspect even VW will now be OK for a while.

Fun fact, when I take my 1981 manufactured sports car to the MOT, not only does it fly past the emissions tests for the year of manufacture, they told me it easily beats 85% of modern cars in emissions output.

Admittedly that is because most people drive a car until it stops working, then patch it up and continue, so cars are always at the near extreme of failure, and usually are barely passable in the emissions tests (not including the dodgy diesels which would be a MOT failure in any respectable garage, yet are still on the road).

The big improvement in emissions came with ECUs, fuel injection and ignition control, which replaced the carbs of old, starting in the late 70s/early 80s. Since then it has been mostly minor refining in emissions.

Most of the changes were in engine sizes (small engines with forced induction vs larger NA engines), making cars a lot bigger and heavier, lots of added safety airs, and seemingly making them far harder to drive (e.g. reducing visibility due to really thick pillars, especially at the rear).

> While the environmental output of the engine isn't anywhere near as good on classic vehicles, not building a new car is even more environmentally friendly!

Very true, someone did a full "Total cost analysis" on electric and hybrid cars vs keeping your old car, and it turns out that it it was more environmentally unfriendly to buy the electric/hybrid car vs keeping your old one (Especially the electric, due to the apparently really environmentally destructive mining of lithium for the batteries).

Apparently you also had to do a stupidly high number of miles a year (for a decade or more) in order to break even on environmental footprint for the.

I cannot for the life of me find the report now, but it was very interesting reading.

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Hutchison's 3UK and Google push 3.5 GHz on both sides of the pond

Ogi
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Re: 3.5GHz

> but I cannot get away from the thought that this "demand" is little more than an addict's craving for their next fix rather than anything really essential.

That is most likely exactly what it is. Turns out however, that charging addicts for their fix is really really profitable. Coupled with ever increasing population density in urban areas, it makes sense they would want a shorter range, higher bandwidth spectrum. Just the kind of thing if many people want to get their fix at the same time from the same base station, yet within a small distance of each other.

Might also be good for point to point backhaul links.

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Finally, a use for your mobile phone: Snapping ALIEN signal blurts

Ogi
Bronze badge

> Hmmm, so finally we could find a use for all the Netgear routers with gaping security holes - commandeer them to search for FRBs.

Interesting idea, if of questionable ethics. You would still need some distributed scientific project to submit your FRBs to.

Made me wonder if anyone built a botnet of compromised machines that churned through distributed scientific projects like Boinc/seti/folding@home...

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Co-op Bank up for sale while customers still feel effects of its creaking IT

Ogi
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Re: Working in banking sector IT

> Not for me thanks. Must be a job with extreme pressure and high stress levels.

It is, hence they the pay tends to be better than outside of the financial sector.

Or at least, it used to be. Tech companies have upped their game, and offer similar pay and benefits, without the stress. One of the reasons I moved out of Finance for my latest job.

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Biggest Kodi sweep: Brit cops nab five, bag some dodgy sticks

Ogi
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This concerns me....

Not so much because I want to watch subscription TV, but the sheer grey area that this is.

I mean:

* Kodi is legal

* The plugins are legal

* Streaming TV off the internet is legal (as evidenced with Sky Vs that pub that streamed football matches from another EU country to avoid Sky subscription fees, where the pub won AFAIK)

* Selling a computer with Kodi installed is legal

However selling a machine with kodi + plugins + hardware becomes illegal... why? Maybe I am missing something here (I haven't been following that closely) but it sounds like they have criminalised not an item, or a piece of software, but a particular software configuration, which just seems mental.

Yet I keep hearing about people being raided and some getting quite harsh prison sentences due to selling what is basically a computer that can stream video.

I also dread to think what kind of precedent this sets. If a particular configuration of software can be criminalised, in future you can be raided for selling a computer that has I2P or Tor installed and configured? Or for one that maybe uses an unapproved configuration for the OS?

Future dystopian scenario of a configuration that disables a government mandated backdoor by default? Reminds me of China and their Linux distro attempts, which is not a path I would like this country to go down on.

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Conviction by computer is go, confirms UK Ministry of Justice

Ogi
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What about the consequences of admitting guilt?

I mean, unlike parking tickets, where you can pay the pound of flesh and go on your merry way, my understanding is this deals with criminal convictions.

So in theory, if you click "guilty" online, you now have to tick the "Have you been convicted of a crime in the last 5 years" checkbox on job applications, which 95% of the time fast tracks your application to the cylindrical filing cabinet. Not to mention other things (like car insurance) which want the same information, and I never clicked "yes", but I don't think it does your insurability any good to do so.

Sounds like there would be more reason to appeal and refuse the "one-click convict" system being proposed here. I think anyone would want to have this heard by an actual person. There is more at stake than just paying the penalty here.

This seems really ill thought out as concept. Besides, I thought Amazon has the patent on "one-click" online shit. Would love to see the arguments with reference to this.

Also worries me what the background thinking is behind this.. something along the lines of "Soon we are going to turn so many people into criminals with our law changes, we are going to need an automated one-click justice system to be able to handle the load"?

On the other hand, black hats will ply a busy consulting trade, hacking the system to minimise the penalties or otherwise mess with the justice system to the benefit of their clients.

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