* Posts by heyrick

3272 posts • joined 20 Dec 2009

Rock-a-byte, baby: IoT tot-monitoring camera lets miscreants watch 10,000s of kids online

heyrick
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This is hardly even newsworthy these days

Got a cheap pan & tilt camera at a supermarket end of stock sale. Image quality was okay, IR was impressive, and it worked reasonably well (didn't even need an ActiveX plug in!).

But one horribly fatal flaw. No, I don't mean the bit where the username and password are sent in every http GET request.

No, it's worse than that.

If you can make an http request without the initial '/' character (like a dozen lines of code), then you can request ANY file in the served directory COMPLETELY BYPASSING ALL SECURITY. The basic authentication is a bit rubbish, but omit the leading slash and you can walk right past it.

So no big deal right? It's just the web pages and junk that makes up the UI right?

Wrong. Try asking for "system.ini" (not "/system.ini") and you'll get back a binary file full of gibberish. Within that file, camera login names and passwords. Why stop there? WiFi AP name, MAC, password. Does the camera archive to an FTP server or send periodic messages to an email service? Guess what, names and passwords...

I contacted the company (months ago), mcl samar, and received no reply. I then asked them about the source code to the GPL parts of the device (it's a cut down Linux on one of those MIPS WiFi modules) and guess what, no reply.

The device info page has a current promotion on it, so either they aren't interested in supplying firmware updates, or they're still flogging this horrendously insecure piece of crap to people. http://www.mclsamar.com/ECOMMERCE_WEB/FR/PAGE_Produit.awp?P1=2936 (the more info link partway down the page gives lots of promo pictures, videos, etc - but no updated firmware!).

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Gemini is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

heyrick
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Re: Far from complete

"For example if I want to take a photograph and send it via e-mail, it's very hard to scale it down to some reasonable size."

What?

The Gallery thingy has an edit option that lets me resize, crop, and some other tweaks. I can't say I want to scale the image to an exact size, but I can shrink it down.

The standard email client, also, has resize options (large 70%, medium 30%, and small 10%). Oh, and since you can access the filesystem (unlike iOS ;) ) you can even use the email client as a quick and simple image resizer instead of faffing around with the image editor. Just attach the image to an email, resize it, pluck it out of /Download, then cancel the email.

So, no, not particularly hard...

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heyrick
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Re: Where Gemini's value really lies

"Admittedly a niche market"

Oh, I don't know. I'm writing this right now on an S7 with a Bluetooth keyboard because while swipe-to-type is useful, it's pretty rubbish for anybody who actually wants to write something (plus no swipe-type keyboard I've ever seen has a Tab key)...

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Use ad blockers? Mine some Monero to get access to news, says US site

heyrick
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"presumably they were not intentionally mining"

No, just a clueless person happily adding in random shiny-shiny to their pages. How many social media buttons were festooned on the site?

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Crunch time: Maplin in talks to sell the business

heyrick
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Re: It's done

"An ebay UK vat registered supplier under £3 and free 2nd Class RM."

You keep saying that. It's gotten to the point now where I'm starting to wonder if you are one of the outfits using eBay to sell counterfeit Arduinos...

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heyrick
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Re: But seeing in store

"But why do we feel the need to to that for washing machines, dishwashers etc?"

Definitely. Basic checklist (for top loader machines due to lack of space):

* Is the door latch a bugger that will snap your fingers off?

* Will the buttons fall off when the machine hits spin cycle?

* Will the soap dispenser tray last until the end of the warranty period?

* Is the evacuation pipe a decent width or will it clog up with anything more demanding than the outflow of an average pee? [tiny pipe loads the drain pump and makes it take forever to drain]

* Is the gunk filter easy to get at or is it like changing an oil filter where you basically play Twister with yourself?

* Poke prod and push. Is it flimsy? Does it look like fast spin with a couple of towels will cause pieces to fall off?

* Look at the screws and rivets. Does the build quality look good or will you be expecting a breakdown before the warranty period is up?

* Do you need specific features? Woollens cycle, boil-the-poop-laden-nappies cycle, done in thirty seconds minutes cycle, prewash, 8000rpm spin, variable weight sensing, extra large capacity, blah blah. Sure, you could probably find this part out online but you really can't imagine the difference between a 5kg capacity and an 8kg capacity when it's given in litres, cubic inches, or metres of oatmeal. You can visualise it when you pop open the lid/door (checking to see if it bites) and then stick your head inside.

And finally... Before buying, pull out your phone and check two sources to see what ratings the machine received. Read the 1* reviews in case there are any potential gotchas (washes amazingly but takes 2,000 litres per load, holy crap!) and then Google to see if there have been any recalls (badly placed wire rubbed against when on spin cycle, leading to self combustion). Check Which and Que Choisir (if you can read French).

Then when you're happy, buy! [and then realise that delivery is going to be a PITA......]

tl;dr: There are loads of reasons why it makes sense to go look at an actual physical white good such as a washing machine.

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Apple Macs, iThings, smart watches choke on tiny Indian delicacy

heyrick
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Re: OK it complex to render

"In an ideal world the font renderer wouldn't have crashed but would have displayed an error message."

Why? What possible sensible useful (to the end user) error message is there?

In an ideal world, the font renderer would not have crashed but instead would have noticed it got itself into a twist over that character, so it threw in the towel (or maybe the exception handler) and output a simple solitary question mark in place of the extremely complex glyph.

I think everybody would be happy with a '?' lurking amongst the characters because they can, at least, read all of the other spaghetti hoops instead of, you know, nothing at all.

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A computer file system shouldn't lose data, right? Tell that to Apple

heyrick
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Re: Error handling is hard - let's not do it!

"What about Windows 95, as I think it was called?"

From personal experience... XP SP3 is pretty good. My PC still runs that, but then I don't run the PC much these days so it's okay. ;) I did briefly try Vista but between complaining about everything and choking on drivers, I eventually gave in, formatted the drive, and put XP back on.

Win98SE wasn't bad for a Win32 era system (practically zero memory protection, process protection, or anything else to stop programs screwing each other up). It was pretty reliable for me, though I know some people had never ending BSODs with it? Maybe I was lucky and it liked my machine?

Win95. What a piece of shit. Okay, we could see where Windows was going and it was better than 3.11, but still, what a piece of shit. My two most memorable moments were it blue screening when trying to read from a CD-ROM that it had already ejected (slow handclap), and the time when I realised that everybody saying the standard way to fix Win95 was to format the harddisc and reinstall everything was completely serious and not taking the piss. During the W95 era I had two PCs. One was shiny and new and had W95, the other was a 486 box running WfWG. Guess which one I used? Hell, I'd even use Windows 3-something on the RiscPC's co-processor before I'd use W95...

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heyrick
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Re: its not a folder, it is a directory!

I think the technical difference is that a "directory" is always a filesystem object. MKDIR, RMDIR, and so on attest to the low lying structures on disc being, correctly, known as directories.

"Folders", however, are a user interface concept. While they generally map on to directories, they can appear in a completely different place - "My Documents" is a high level folder belying the obscure place the stuff is actually kept. However folders don't necessarily need to be filesystem objects at all - "My Computer" and "My Network Places" to give two examples, they're both there in the left hand side of Explorer as if part of some imaginary filesystem, but they aren't real, just an easy metaphor.

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heyrick
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Re: New file system

No major disasters? Maybe because the majority of people haven't filled their media up yet?

Even a filesystem that makes a complete mess of fragmenting files will appear "reliable" as long as there's sufficient space to hold a file without resorting to fragmentation...

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heyrick
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Meh

Re: Rotten apple

"From your definition of multitasking possibly not."

I'm still on iOS 7 (no access to an Apple shop and ~5GB download with rural broadband is a joke); however could somebody please explain why downloading a file with Dolphin and then using "open in" to push it to PDF reader, VLC, etc takes forever and risks losing the file or pieces of it in a way you can't fix (no filesystem access) if you should dare to switch to another app while the copy is happening?

I know nothing about how iOS works internally, but it's certainly behaving like "read a byte, page in destination task, write the byte, page in source task, read next byte, etc" with a lazy "to hell with it" approach to termination because it's concept of multitasking seems to be little more than "the music player can run in the background and once in a while it'll check for emails". So, yeah, not what I'd call multitasking (hell, the music playback could just hang off a "buffer needs data" event or a regular ticker interrupt)...

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Kentucky gov: Violent video games, not guns, to blame for Florida school massacre

heyrick
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Re: I know what trump will do

"School kids need to have more guns, there are not enough guns available to kids, we must give them more guns"

Isn't that what an NRA spokesperson said after Sandy Hook?

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Yes, Assange, we'll still nick you for skipping bail, rules court

heyrick
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"Are any professional highly paid IT pundits here suggesting that we shouldn't have been informed of the extent of surveillance?"

Just to throw something "out there"...

We got a glimpse of the extent of surveillance both from WikiLeaks and Snowden. We have seen stories about FISA and we all know about warrant canaries and we even know some of the stuff our government and security services have been doing for others...

AND?

It seems to me that this shit just keeps on happening, and rather than curtail the unwarranted surveillance, any and every excuse just leads to asking for more yet more (from encryption back doors to police with portable fingerprint scanners - all recent stories here on ElReg), while the general populace is being conditioned to blather loads of irrelevant shit about themselves to as many people as possible.

So, in short, what the hell did it matter the knowing of what is going on? It's not changing. It won't change. It's business as usual. So ultimately whether or not "we" know doesn't really change much. A few extra people might use VPN or TOR, but the majority don't care. They value convenience over security and will be easily led with trite statements such as "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear".

We know. They know we know. We know they know we know. And it's business as usual.

Where's the fucking grumpy cat icon?

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heyrick
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Re: the arrest warrant was not in the public interest and therefore ought to be scrapped

"Are you part of it?"

Yes. Because this isn't a lynch mob. Maybe you read the first line of my message and didn't bother reading the rest before you clicked the reply button?

It's not a lynch mob, it's a mob that simply wishes for an accused person to undergo the same judicial process as is applied to you or I.

That he thinks he can cry and whinge about the unfairness of it all is sickening. What about the supposed victims of the act that he has been accused of? Where do they get to make a big drama? Remember, nobody forced him into hiding, that was his own choice. Nobody forced him to staying all those years there, that was his own choice. The arrest warrant should not expire. It should be annulled by him being found innocent of the charges against him.

I don't want to see him dead (so sorry, no lynchings today). I just want to see him in front of a judge to answer his accusations. You know, like how it's supposed to be.

Clear enough for you?

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heyrick
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Re: Sheltering Criminals.

"Would you watch a thug beat an old lady unconscious and then pompously insisting that he's not a criminal until the court says so?"

Depends upon the context. The "thug" might be an undercover agent and the "old lady" about to make the Manchester bombing look like a mere rehearsal...

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heyrick
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the arrest warrant was not in the public interest and therefore ought to be scrapped

Sorry. This "public" wants the arrest warrant to terminate upon death, not before.

Otherwise it's sending a clear sign that the simplest way to avoid the law is to run into some random embassy with no extradition agreements, incarcerate yourself, then bitch and moan until everybody is like "oh poor you, let's forget about everything shall we?".

Screw that. If he's guilty he will be judged. If he is innocent he will be cleared. But hiding is neither, hiding is evading the process of law. It is not even remotely in any public interest to permit that to succeed.

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You can resurrect any deleted GitHub account name. And this is why we have trust issues

heyrick
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Re: Good.

"Never rely on someone else's repo always being there. That's just madness."

And even when it is there, never rely on it being what it is supposed to be.

This bloke had good intentions, to revive the repo and restore the code so his stuff worked (and others too). What if the person reviving the repo had a working copy that also punted malware or crypto mining? The question now (and one GitHub need to think about) is how many projects might unknowingly be affected by this because the developers put blind faith in the contents of a third party repository? [that's madness as well]

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From July, Chrome will name and shame insecure HTTP websites

heyrick
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Re: Fuck off Google

" haven't seen a public WiFi hotspot that required me to add a security certificate yet."

KFC Laval (France) when trying to access Google on an iPad. I understood what this was implying. I wonder how many other people just accepted the prompt without realising what it meant?

https://i.imgur.com/sVrpQXR.png

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heyrick
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Mushroom

Fuck off Google

A simple encryption certificate provides nothing that resembles "security". Fine, somebody can't snoop on your connection to my site, but what proves my site is legit, isn't harmful, isn't illegal? Oh, yeah, that's right - NOTHING.

Furthermore, the increasing prevalence of public WiFi access points that intentionally block HTTPS until you accept their certificate (for anti piracy, no doubt), leaving the user with two choices: don't use any HTTPS sites while connected to that AP, or piss away any pretence of security.

Furthermore2 (the sequel), my site is pretty much static pages assembled with some php and a comment form that has no requirement for the user to leave anything that resembles a real name. There's nothing whatsoever that demands secrecy, security, or any of this hoo-hah. If Google wishes to flag it as insecure, maybe they could begin by defining clearly what the benefit of the padlock is - because for the huge majority of sites, it seems to me that the padlock just means "your connection to this site is scrambled", nothing more.

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Apple's top-secret iBoot firmware source code spills onto GitHub for some insane reason

heyrick
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Re: Is it Legit?

"Heck, even has documentation for fuzzing!"

The amusing thing about all the freaking out and takedowns...

...the cat's truly out of the bag.

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Accused Brit hacker Lauri Love will NOT be extradited to America

heyrick
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Re: excellent news

"and the US goes to great lengths to circumvent the intent and purpose of the treaty"

You say that as if them doing so would be some highly unusual act of retribution.

Reality check: what you describe is situation normal. The special treaty is pretty much a one way street.

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Crypto-jackers slip Coinhive mining code into YouTube site ads

heyrick
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in favor of ones where you pay actual coin

Really? Nobody buys DVDs and such anymore?

Maybe the problem here is that dropping in some adverts is "easy" but creating content that a sufficient number of people will actually pay for is quite a bit harder?

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heyrick
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abuse that violates our policies

The problem here is that the advertisers, yet again, are using a platform that we are expected to "trust" to run random unvetted third party scripting in the course of supplying the advert. This is one of the many reasons why script blocking and advert blocking is the only safe option for modern browsing...

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Julian Assange to UK court: Put an end to my unwarranted Ecuadorean couch-surf

heyrick
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Re: Expensive

"So it should be obvious that this is not about justice."

Do you not think that if they let up on him for one miniscule little second, he won't be out the back door and out of the country before anybody can clap two hands together?

That won't be justice.

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Google can't innovate anymore, exiting programmer laments

heyrick
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"and now they're ditching it"

Yeah, but wait, isn't that basically Google's MO?

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Electronic voting box makers want kit stripped from eBay – and out of hackers' hands

heyrick
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Happy

Re: Referendum held on the future of e-voting

How do you define storage for seventeen and a third (ish) decillion? A long long long long?

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Job ad for designer proves its point with MS Paint shocker

heyrick
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Hmmm...

All I get when looking at the picture is a page with a little blue bird and nothing else.

I guess this means my rubbish blocker is working correctly. :)

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YouTube turns off cash tap for automatic video nasties

heyrick
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Re: youtube bullshit

"How the flying fuck do the changes"...

You're looking at it from the point of view of Google claiming to tidy up the crap.

You should be looking at it from the point of view of Google having just fucked you over to get your content "for free". It's a blatant grab.

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Hey Europe, your apathetic IT spending is ruining it for everyone

heyrick
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"Obviously that would not happen if everybody believed it was all going to collapse after Brexit."

Obviously? Not obvious at all. We're how many months along and still no idea what the hell is going to happen? So maybe the expenditure that is happening is because, you know, life goes on and stuff needs replacing/upgrading, etc.

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'Mummy, what's felching?' Tot gets smut served by Android app

heyrick
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Re: santa

I got "is water wet" as my suggestion.

Thanks Google. I've just lost faith in humanity...

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heyrick
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Re: Googe gif search nastiness

Are you sure you spelled it right when those weird images turned up?

Google informs me "A cortado is a Spanish-origin general term for a beverage consisting of either coffee or espresso mixed with a roughly equal amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity." and the pictures are exactly what you'd expect, loads of cups glasses of coffee.

BTW... I'm no connoisseur (I'm a Tetley man), but isn't that the same thing as a lattè?

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Max Schrems: The privacy bubble needs to start 'getting sh*t done'

heyrick
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and to see if I was a returning customer

So asking for contact information they don't need is so much better than just asking?

That said, I bet they have some sort of identification on credit/debit card tokens so they can follow the same "person" from visit to visit...

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Yahooooo! says! its! email! is! scrahoooo-ed!

heyrick
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Re: BT srew up, I think

Not BT, I don't think. My phone experienced trouble syncing to Yahoo! this afternoon. My ISP... Orange France.

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heyrick
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Re: Surprised...

I use Yahoo! - saves giving addresses I care about to sites I'm not sure if I can trust. Plus, the disposable account thingy means it is pretty simple to create an address <prefix>-<sitename>@yahoo.co.uk which makes it kind of obvious if the site passes on my information. The origin is right there in the address...

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That was fast... unlike old iPhones: Apple sued for slowing down mobes

heyrick
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"The battery itself is usually a custom shape for greater efficiency."

Not to mention the waterproofing. My S5 had a replaceable battery and the waterproofing was a little rubber seal on a clip on back panel. I used the phone in the rain but didn't really trust it around more water. The S7 has a fixed battery, and the waterproofing is considerably more solid.

That said, I'd be happy with a slightly thicker phone and a screw on back if I could change the battery. A fixed battery might make sense in a cheap little WiFi media sharer, but in a phone in the £500+ bracket it takes the piss somewhat - built in obsolescence...

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Hot chips crashed servers, but were still delicious

heyrick
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"The tale of the cleaner looking for a plug always sounds like an urban myth until it happens to you."

Place I worked in the '90s had red sockets and white sockets. Any damaged caused by unplugging a red socket would be invoiced to the person that unplugged the thing, and if nobody owned up the CCTV tapes would be used and it would get legal.

When people realised that "damage" included losses from system downtime calculated from the previous week's activity, and said losses would read like a list of phone numbers, the red sockets were left very well alone.

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Irony's lost on old Pope Francis: Pontiff decrees fake news a 'serious sin'

heyrick
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Ah, so there are copyright issues here, too, then?

Just give Disney a few more years of lobbying to the current protectionist president and the term of copyright will be measured in millennia.

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One more credit insurer abandons Maplin Electronics

heyrick
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Re: Last of it's kind?

"Or if your after that single, then you'd go to a real electronics supplier like Farnell, who does them for £0.35 each."

To be fair though, you pay your money in Maplin and walk out with the piece. As a private (non business) person, I can buy cheaper from Farnell France (as I live in France...) but you then have to factor in that stuff is sent by courier which can be eye wateringly expensive. They were kind enough to send me their catalogue (RS flatly refused as I'm not a business) and it came by UPS. I'd order stuff from Farnell if they'd use Colissimo (sort of same as Parcel Force) like most others, but a courier?...?

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5 reasons why America's Ctrl-Z on net neutrality rules is a GOOD thing

heyrick
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Re: @dan1980

"but then charge a premium surcharge for traffic on this new, miraculous, 'fast lane'"

Yes. It seems a lot of these comments seem to think that internet access is free. It isn't. It is something the subscriber pays for, and as far as I am concerned, a megabyte is a megabyte and a gigabyte is a gigabyte. I expect my payment to transport the data requested without artificial bias because it came from "here" rather than from "there".

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Australian central bank says 'speculative mania' and crime fuel Bitcoin

heyrick
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feels more like a speculative mania

Uh, wasn't that half the reason for the Banking Collapse of 2008?

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'Suspicious' BGP event routed big traffic sites through Russia

heyrick
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How many misroutings went through the USA or UK?

Maybe tin foil hat time, but a connection from France to the UK went pretty damn slowly on the day of 9/11, while France to Germany was fine. Unfortunately it was a kiosk box so I couldn't run a traceroute to see if the traffic was going via Langley...

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Oregon will let engineer refer to himself as an 'engineer'

heyrick
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Re: Real Engineers

"Canada is one of only a few countries where being able to call yourself an engineer requires formal acknowledgement and qualifications."

That may be so, but since when's Oregon been a part of Canada?

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Someone tell Thorpe Lane in Suffolk their internet sucks – they're still loading the page

heyrick
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Re: Progress?

"The toll calls [...] were flipping expensive."

Calling them toll calls, are you leftpondian? If so, you will have been saved the insane pricing tariffs of British Telecom when it took over from GPO. A set of tariffs that appeared to be based upon miles of copper travelled, a dice throw, and the phase of the moon. When I first got into BBSs and a bill for several hundred quid arrived, well let's just say that I believe that technically I should still be grounded. I seem to remember the phrase "until the day you bloody die" being used. Yeah, they were pissed. That was a pile of cash back then.

Kind of ironic I can connect to anywhere for "free" now. I think I might have been born prematurely...

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Creepy Cayla doll violates liberté publique, screams French data protection agency

heyrick
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"However in this case all I can picture is three screaming monkeys and two braying donkeys in a room thrashing it out on power point while a barking dog takes notes."

You've just described any every business meeting that ends up with:

1. Stupid idea.

2. ???

3. Profit!

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the failest mobe of all?

heyrick
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Crashes on iOS

I'm not a developer. I'm an Android user with an iPad who reads the crash logs from time to time.

It seems to me that iOS is really paranoid about system resources. If an app stalls on Android, you get the option to kill the app or wait. With iOS, GONE! To much memory? GONE!

So I wonder how much is app crashiness and how much is OS paranoia?

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UK.gov admits Investigatory Powers Act illegal under EU law

heyrick
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I'm sure they must have already planned for this

Events over the past year and a half make me wonder if they even know what planning is.

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The End of Abandondroid? Treble might rescue Google from OTA Hell

heyrick
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They don't regard the extra pennies on making a phone even a little bit future-proof as worth it

Ah, but this very site carries regular installments of "oh my god this is huge update your phones NOW", so the lack of updates will weigh into my choice of a new phone in the future.

For example, zero updates and baked in Facebook crap that couldn't be uninstalled are why I'll never buy another Sony phone...

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Thou shalt use our drone app, UK.gov to tell quadcopter pilots

heyrick
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Re: Common Sense or New Laws

"However, now it's easy for any idiot to spend a relatively small amount of money and fly a giant whirling maiming machine with no training or common sense."

Define "small amount" and "giant". My dinky little drone (cost around €60) measures maybe 12 inches from one corner to the other. The controller works at 2.4GHz, and I would guess the range is something in the order of 70 or so metres. If I used a freshly charged battery and hit the throttle to max, I very much doubt I'd get anywhere near 400ft. I'm not going to try it, as the controller chip isn't intelligent - if the control signal is lost, it'll just fall out of the sky (instead of doing something sensible like spinning the blades until the gyro detects a downwards movement, then keep at that rate for a slow descent). The "small amount of money" devices on sale everywhere are barely capable of being a threat to anything larger than a kitten. I can imagine, certainly, that dropping one on a busy road could cause a crash, but then so could dropping a brick - shall we regulate who is allowed to handle bricks? The sort of drones that allegedly buzz airplanes are going to be larger more capable devices, at which point we will be looking at idiots doing things intentionally, and no amount of legislation is going to stop that. After all, if these people are going to break laws by flying in restricted areas, in the vicinity of aircraft, potentially endangering the lives of hundreds, what's another law going to matter?

"'This is why we can't have nice things'."

Yeah, we always end up getting screwed by the lowest common denominator. :-(

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heyrick
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Permissions?

So when it is mandatory to use the app, will the app permissions become onerous? Just think - an app you must use, and easy access to your accounts, contacts, etc...

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Baaa-d moooo-ve: Debian Linux depicts intimate cow-sheep action in ASCII artwork

heyrick
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Happy

Re: Snowflake?

Pervy ASCII art? That's not upsetting, that's borderline funny.

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