* Posts by heyrick

3172 posts • joined 20 Dec 2009

FCC kills plan to allow phone calls on planes – good idea or terrible?

heyrick
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Re: Thank goodness.

"It could be the spouse with a sudden medical condition you're worried about"

It could well be, but the chance of that actually being that truth, as opposed to some blowhard who uses the phone like on The Apprentice (held on palm, shouted at) is going to be vanishingly small.

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Machine vs. machine battle has begun to de-fraud the internet of lies

heyrick
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Who could possibly design a good fake news algorithm?

Brexit, that all the polls said would not happen...did.

Trump becoming President, that common sense says should not happen...did.

I'm beginning to wonder if the news is fake or if it is reality that is fake.

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Forget Mirai – Brickerbot malware will kill your crap IoT devices

heyrick
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Re: telnet??!!?

"you can connect to a web server's port 80 and, knowing the right sequences, pretend to be a simple web browser."

Back around turn of the millennium, I used to use telnet to log into my pop3 server to check mail. A few simple commands, and it was often quicker than starting up the email software.

Now? Thwarted by encrypted connections and no longer necessary since mobile phones and tablets can do mail checking as a background task.

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heyrick
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Re: @Doctor Syntax - make buyers more careful in future

"and many companies will buy them wholesale and brand them.

I am in the process of hacking my cheap IP camera and it seems that there are many "brands" that just take what I think is a Wancam and push in their own front end with branding - I've pretty much done that myself by changing the rubbish web UI to give me a 2K page instead of 160K with loads of pointless scripting such as ~90K of JQuery...

I wonder if the rebrand companies even have access to the source code, or is it a matter of patching in a few company specific details?

I dream that one day companies will be more open with regards the firmware (cough, isn't it basically hacked about bits of Linux with an even more hacked version of GoAhead baked in?, cough) but sadly I think that day will be a long time coming... so acceptable (if not outstanding) hardware will continue to be let down by half assed software that is barely touched beyond "it works enough to make an actual product".

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US border cops must get warrants to search citizens' gadgets – draft bipartisan law emerges

heyrick
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then they may pick somewhere else for their holidays.

Already done. There are several places in America I'd like to see. There are several other countries with a better outlook. Sorry, but one doesn't start a happy holiday by bending over.

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Europe supplants US as biggest source of child abuse hubs

heyrick
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Re: Hosted or placed on someone elses system

"and what the rest of the world sees based on their own subjectivity

Well, they could always publish their list of URLs so we can go make our own minds up...

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BOFH: The Boss, the floppy and the work 'experience'

heyrick
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Re: Being on a placement myself...

"has not only learned to make tea but also to drink it"

I almost always make my own tea. Biggest mistake in life[*] is to have somebody else make your tea. It's never exactly right.

* - some exaggeration, maybe

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Yee-hacked! Fired Texan sysadmin goes rogue, trashes boot business

heyrick
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Happy

"He was arrested shortly after the attack by the FBI"

Okay, I know what you meant to say, but really this would read so much better the other way around, like "The FBI arrested him shortly after his attack" or something. As it stands, it looks like the FBI performed the attack. Wait! Maybe they did? Maybe they're just using the admin as a fall guy?

...

div id="april_first_message" - cute!

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Reg now behind invisible HTML5 Bitcoin paywall

heyrick
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The problem with El Reg is that half of the stories could easily qualify as April Fools.

I mean, wasn't there one just the other day about a bunch of countries on this side of The Atlantic demanding secure encryption with a convenient back door? <sigh>

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PC survived lightning strike thanks to a good kicking

heyrick
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"There was an almighty thunderclap. I jumped out of my skin and kicked the case of the PC under the desk!"

Surely by the time the sound made it to his ears and caused a physical reaction, it'd be way too late for the computer if it was a direct strike?

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New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

heyrick
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Re: WTF?

"STOP PRESS; the world hasn't ended with A50." - I never said it did. I said that A50 would surely be of greater importance than whatever it is they make money out of.

"Have a cup of tea and then get on with the rest of your life." - as a Brit living in Europe, that'll require a lot of tea...

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heyrick
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WTF?

Given that article 50 was just handed to the EU, and May is still making threats she can't sensibly back up, don't people think that right now there are much more important issues of concern?

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Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

heyrick
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Re: Squirrels. Mice. Rats.

Last year, lights went really dim at home. I popped open the junction box under the meter and found that there was only around 100V instead of 220ish on two phases, and 80V on the other phase. Phone call to ESC AND in a few hours they turned up, verified that it wasn't us. With the house out of circuit (something they can do by measuring before the meter), they confirmed that one or was dead.

Took them all day to fix it. The scenario - a large bird across the medium voltage lines (what is that, 22kV or something?) shorted which caused an arc powerful enough to sever the wire, which then caused the step down transformer to fail trying to run off only two phases (prob when milking equipment kicked in in nearby farms).

An animal in the wrong place can cause all sorts of havoc.

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

heyrick
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"can and must do more,"

Exactly. But unlike blaming Google and social media, how about realising that the nutjob was, once again, "known" to the spooks and had already been linked to extremism?

How about, oh I dunno, instead of signing off on every idea to pillage citizen's privacy, the PM and HomeSec understand that the security agencies are clearly incapable of doing their job with their current level of staffing. Sort that out first.

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FYI anyone who codes outside work: GitHub has a contract to stop bosses snatching it all

heyrick
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"sign away the intellectual property rights to any work created while employed, even on personal time."

Who would sign such a contract in the first place?

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Why are creepy SS7 cellphone spying flaws still unfixed after years, ask Congresscritters

heyrick
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Re: replacing dangerous things

This presupposes that there are more capable politicians...

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Tech titan pals back up Google after 'foreign server data' FBI warrant ruling

heyrick
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"arguing that since the suspects' data would be "searched" on US soil, there would be no "extraterritoriality"

Somebody please mail a link to this article to the EU. This is about as much as the Americans consider or care about anybody else's laws.

Yes, the data could be ransacked on US soil, but it isn't there. What "could" or "would" counts for nothing. Only what is. And what is is, yet again, some minor ranking judge listening to the three-letters and then ruling that US law applies everywhere. Again.

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Naming computers endangers privacy, say 'Net standards boffins

heyrick
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Kiseki, Nozomi, Hiroko, Azumi...

Some of my device names. I can understand naming devices after the cast of Buffy, Lost, or whatever your favourite programme is...

...but naming it with it's descriptor after your own name, like "John's Fridge"? OMG.

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

heyrick
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Re: @bazza

"Still, I remain sceptical of this "GPS drains battery" meme.

Currently using a Samsung S7, but had similar behaviour with a Sony Xperia.

Using Google Maps navigation, I'm not sure if it is the GPS chip, constant chatter to the mothership, or a lot of graphics grunt, but the activity heated up the phones appreciably. In the case of the S7, I'd be tempted to say "dramatically". That much heat, you can imagine what that did to battery life...

So I use GPS only when needed and keep it off otherwise. Same with WiFi, that's only on when I'm at home. And Bluetooth is only on when required. It's common sense, surely?

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Brit ISP TalkTalk blocks control tool TeamViewer

heyrick
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Re: Re : I wonder where the scammers got hold of their client telephone numbers from.. India?

"Talk Talk should have at least made this block controllable via a switch/optional-domain-white-list in the user account,

Doesn't that imply that they might have a clue what they're doing instead of, you know, turning everything off at one time...

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Oops! 185,000-plus Wi-Fi cameras on the web with insecure admin panels

heyrick
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I have one of these cameras

I've managed to lock it down better by tweaking the startup file to write a new hosts file with stuff locked to localhost, iptables to nobble the UDP, and a new password pushed in after x seconds.

Not perfect but it's a start and anyway it is mostly a toy.

However - something to add to the disclosure. The service's DDNS lets the camera register itself so am address like abc1234@provider.com redirects to the camera. Well, it is configured with a cleartext HTTP request and the update password is banked into the camera's binary. I have used it to update arbitrary cameras (those marked as not being used) which means that it would be a doddle to hijack somebody else's camera.

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Video intercom firm Doorbird wants $80 for device password resets

heyrick
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Re: Roll your own garage door remote

"Never forget liability loopholes if you cook things up yourself..

Never forget the tiny print probably disclaims any and all liability for something somebody else cooked up, so are we any further forward?

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heyrick
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Because this process is attended to us with considerable effort,

Yeah. It's hard to click a few buttons on a form...

I'm surprised the default password isn't printed on it so a factory reset (which ought to be a local operation, like power up with a button held or something) will restore it. Needing to contact the mothership for that means... well, I'd toss the thing in the bin.

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Trump, Brexit, and Cambridge Analytica – not quite the dystopia you're looking for

heyrick
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Mushroom

Fuck Brexit

There. Analyse that.

I'll even include a pretty picture.

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Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

heyrick
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Re: There's more to it that that...

"WTF, we do not have to switch meters in France when we switch suppliers"

No, well, not at the moment maybe. But you'll soon get the Linky and you have no right of refusal (only the mayor for the entire commune, if (s)he's even aware).

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RadioShack bankruptcy savior to file for, you guessed it, bankruptcy

heyrick
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Unhappy

All this talk about what Radio Shack was...

You know it pretty much applies to Maplin as well. Long gone are the days of the information packed catalogues with the spaceships on the front.

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Java? Nah, I do JavaScript, man. Wise up, hipster, to the money

heyrick
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Meh

There should be a Meh! Icon.

What do you think this is? (except on mobile view) -------->

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Smart meter firm EDMI asked UK for £7m to change a single component

heyrick
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Beware the Linky

In France, consumption and pricing is by KW. Typical tariffs are 6KW, 9KW, 12KW...

The problem with the Linky is that it doesn't understand the start-up surge demands of equipment like electric motors. So you could have a 9KW tariff, be using half that, but when the spin cycle starts up on the washing machine there's a microsecond of higher demand and .... click. Darkness.

The "cure" is to upgrade to a higher rated tariff. Which costs more in the standing charge and also in the per unit charge.

They're also said to be extremely poor at coping with direct lightning strikes. As I have a mile of exposed conductor three phase coming to the house (very rural!), not only is my 230V really 218V (dropping to around 190V with the kettle and the heater on), the exposed wires are a lightning magnet. The current mechanical meter from 1964 sinks several direct hits per year. The usual result is the disjoncteur (A 650mA trip) cuts out. No equipment damage, living here I'm paranoid about this and unplug everything sensitive at the first signs of a storm. I have had exploding light bulbs, which pretty much justifies the paranoia.

Can't wait until they force a Linky on me (the law says we don't get to say no). The mechanical meter has been there for 53 years. I wonder if the Linky will survive 53 weeks? [I would say 53 days, but it's been fairly calm so far this year...]

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We found a hidden backdoor in Chinese Internet of Things devices – researchers

heyrick
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Happy

A backdoor in a toilet? The mind bo.... actually let's just not go there.

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heyrick
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Surprised?

Remind me - how many little IP cameras have an open telnet port with the baked in login root (or admin) and the password 123456 (or admin).

My cute little Verbatim media sharer has a baked in telnet with known password (it's a date).

I think this sort of thing is extremely widespread.

This is why we NEED to push for rejecting any IoT devices that aren't fully open source...

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Bring it BACK... with MODs! Psion 5 storms great tech revival poll

heyrick
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Happy

I never had an S5 but I had an S3A...

...and I used it loads. In fact, I'd probably still be making use of it today if it wasn't hamstrung by its unusual protocols.

Let's see:

* The word processor was a delight. Simple yet effective. There have been many times I've waited for dentists, doctors, trains, and such and just knocked off a document. The keyboard is small but ergonomic so typing things isn't a hassle. It isn't as capable as Google Docs, obviously, but it could run rings around every single feature phone word processor I've seen and even bested early versions of GDocs.

* The word processor can "print" to a file. I don't remember the specifics now (it's been a decade), but it was something like it could "print" to a LaserJet and write the results to a file. Imported to a PC and passed through Ghostscript, this created the smallest damn PDFs I've ever seen. It was great for times when you just wanted a text document with no frills (but basic formatting and effects).

* The spreadsheet was simplistic but capable enough for basic tasks, as was the database. But when these really came alive is when you learned a bit of OPL and could roll your own programs.

* OPL. A simple BASIC-like way to build applications for the organiser. I wrote my own bank account management software, it was actually not that hard. I also did some stuff like resistor colour code calculator, hex calculator, and the like. So when I wanted to know something, I could open my S3a and look it up. This is something desperately missing from Android phones. Sure, you can write fully fledged apps, with a complete SDK....but if you just want to put together something simple for your own use, it doesn't exist (that I know of).

* Battery life. Okay, it's a slightly sub-8MHz x86 clone on some custom silicon with aggressive power management techniques, but it was not only pretty impressive to have a hand-held device with the power of the early XT back then, but for it to run for weeks on two AAs? Whoa. I don't know about you, but I charge my smartphone every night...

* Stability. In normal use and not trying nutjob stuff in OPL to mess with the processes, the S3a NEVER crashed. I guess there might have been bugs, but I never had the word processor randomly did on me. I never had the thing inexplicably reboot itself or just shut down (it did, but that turned out to be a dodgy battery connector).

* About the only thing I could complain about was the weird flash memory card that would just append data to the end of the used space until the card was full. Then you'd need to copy the data off and reformat it. That said, it was possible to dump "constant" information and apps onto the flash and flip the write protect switch, using the internal memory or RAM pack as random access storage.

This, I should reiterate, is talking about the S3a. I can only imagine the S5 is all of that and more. They were really incredible machines and just imagine what could be possible if that mentality was applied to modern hardware? I think the thing that I miss most is that nothing at all really works entirely "out of the box" any more. Okay, it isn't difficult to go grab some app or other, but the point is that all these things are third party add-ons in varying degrees of usefulness and cloud-associativity.

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Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO

heyrick
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Re: Not a PC

"Never trust an electronics engineer who hasn't been trained in electrics to wire your kitchen."

Hey! I haven't been trained in domestic electrics but have wielded a soldering iron at the insides of a BBC Micro in my life.... But, you know, stupid is stupid and wiring lights to the cooker supply via a connector under the sink is... Stupid.

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Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

heyrick
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Hmmm...

Apart from the Apple and the Atari, I have all the rest. I ought to dig out some AAs and get it rolling again. Just...'cos.

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GitLab invokes the startup defence to explain data loss woes

heyrick
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Re: Lucky!!

"one job asked why I'd even say that in an interview, and I told them that I'm honest."

But... did you get hired?

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Soz telcos you're 'low priority' post-Brexit, says leaked gov doc

heyrick
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Re: hmm

Leaving the EU is not the same as bailing out of Europe entirely.

As for doing what the people vote for, didn't Herr May just reject any discussion regarding the 1.8M who "voted" for the government not to entertain the odious orange one...

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heyrick
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Re: hmm

"we do not have a plan, we have maybe a wish list."

Having read May's white paper (half a year in the making, god help us with the two year deadline after signing article 50), I don't think we even have a wish list. More a vague sort of fantasy.

I see you're still attracting downvotes. To quote a movie I saw a long time ago - you can't handle the truth. The government has no serious plan, there is no coherent strategy, just a white paper that should have arrived within six days (not six months), and sounding out other countries to see about the opportunities for arranging trade agreements because I think they might have realised that that white paper is such a piece of fantastical rubbish that the EU isn't even going to bother attempting to take it seriously. I hope those people downvoting this fully understand that a number of far flung countries consider the UK to be a gateway to the European market. This is largely how Japanese companies see the UK, and if the UK is going to walk away from the EU, then there's no gateway and hence no reason to bother with the UK.

You - the British - had a cherry position. In the EU but on the sidelines so less directly involved yet still an active voice. A gateway and a financial hub. And you're intent on fucking it all up for what, exactly? How about before you hit downvote, you instead hit reply and explain this to me in a way that isn't just some moronic drivel copied from the Express, Mail, or Telegraph...?

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Kids these days will never understand the value of money

heyrick
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The bank of mum and dad gave me pocket money

And it wasn't a lot. When I asked for more, they said go get a paper round.

Somehow I found that I appreciated the money I earned more. The given money is spend on stupid things, the earned money I'd save for something I wanted.

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heyrick
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A few years back

...one of my banks switched the statement to itemising by category rather than by date. Accordingly I do most of my transactions with the other bank that still lists activity by date... but then they're hassling for me to "go electronic" and choose to receive easily forgotten statements by email...

Remember, it's not in their interests for us to keep track of our money.

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Munich may dump Linux for Windows

heyrick
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The company I work for went through this

2013-2014, yay we're all moving to Linux, win!

By 2016 the company had moved back to Windows.

It wasn't a fault of Linux itself. It was that the apps were deplorable - whatever stock control system was in use routinely lost transactions between the factory floor and head office (so stock control was a joke and traceability worse) and I'm sure the standard "the source is on GitHub logic was invoked. Companies don't want to hire coders to fix half assed solutions, they want stuff that just works.

We all went back to Windows and there was something the stock control system didn't do. So some people from that company turned up, discussed the requirements, delivered the changes by the end of the week.

Sure, it had a cost and I'm sure all those Windows licences aren't cheap, but that's is a fixed known price. Trashing the very very important traceability and losing stock? Priceless, and potentially damaging. Linux simply didn't deliver what was needed, and the whole hacker ethos is quite at odds with the expectations of business.

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You want WHO?! Reg readers vote Tom Baker for Doctor 13. Of course

heyrick
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Re: Even for monkey shaggers

Thanks. That brightened up my day. And the best bit, it just rolled off his tongue without even a hint of corpsing, he actually sounded a bit bored while mercilessly mocking Symphony. Brilliant stuff.

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Hacker: I made 160,000 printers spew out ASCII art around the world

heyrick
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Re: Holy crap!

"What would you do with a manual today?"

Be able to write printer drivers for systems not officially supported, rather than this modern era NDA bullshit.

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heyrick
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Holy crap!

He was able to get 160,000 printers doing stuff?

I have enough trouble getting just one printer to do anything at all.

God, life was so much simpler when printers had moving pins and paper had detachable strips with holes in. The most we had to worry about was if you needed CRLF or just LF, and whether £ was £ or just #. These days printers are so much more capable...and accordingly so much more a pain in the ass.

So I take my hat of to him simply for getting results out of that many printers.

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Streetmap loses appeal against Google Maps dominance judgement

heyrick
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"even though its satellite imagery is often extremely out of date 10 years+ old"

Does Google make its own imagery? Ours, currently, is from last May. I can tell by the position of things and that it was taken in the two day period between the early harvest and the maize being sown...

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Vizio coughs up $2.2m after its smart TVs spied on millions of families

heyrick
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Fuck you

That's what this says to me.

How many people were spied upon? How much was paid? Doesn't that work out to be about $0.25 per person? My god, one could almost cost this into the business plan...

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Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord

heyrick
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Lumley

I think she'd make a great Dr. A sort of self assured no bull seen it all before kind of character.

Clarkson, by contrast, would be awful.

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Brexit White Paper published: Broad strokes, light on detail

heyrick
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Re: Words fail me

"I'm sorry but you're wrong. The Referendum was a sign that democracy worked."

I, living in Europe for "too long" and likely to be much more directly affected by what happens than many British citizens was denied the ability to even participate. So you can take your "democracy" bullshit and shove it up your ass. That's just a lie that the likes of the Mail keep repeating so you don't have to think too hard about what is really going on.

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Has President Trump’s executive order on 'Public Safety' killed off Privacy Shield?

heyrick
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Re: It's about time then to fix the U.S. Privacy Act 1974

Well, basically it is like this. There was an agreement regarding data transfer. It was torn up and thrown away as it was worthless.

So hastily a new agreement was hammered out. This stuck, despite likely being about as worthless as the last one.

Now that cockwomble of a failed hotel manager has signed an edict that basically says "fuck you" (twice if one is Muslim). So people are running around scrabbling for things that might be applicable to salvage the international data transfer agreements before the EU gets pissed and rules the whole lot illegal, as I very much hope they do.

Everybody will freak out for a while but soon Europe will come to realise it doesn't need to rely on American cloud solutions.

This isn't fake news. It's just your inability to join the dots.

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heyrick
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They just want to make America white again

Hate to break it to everybody, but true Americans are not white.

The whiteys are those damn gun-toting religious-nutjob immigrants...

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NHS reply-all meltdown swamped system with half a billion emails

heyrick
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Re: 'Ye Old Exchange 5.5 Bombing of 16GB limits

"Shame NHS won't move on from e-mail either and use chat-based apps"

Hmm. Is there one that works on all sorts of equipment, is easy to use, reliable, and doesn't store loads of shit off-site (and quite likely off country where it can be "analysed for marketing purposes")?

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heyrick
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Re: Email snafu

? Couldn't you just have telnetted into the POP3 server and done a DELE on the offending message? That's what I used to do, back in the dialup days, for much the ane reason.

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