* Posts by heyrick

3103 posts • joined 20 Dec 2009

Hackers could turn your smart meter into a bomb and blow your family to smithereens – new claim

heyrick
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Re: Explode is not interesting

"We did have a national outage in the UK back in the 40s IIRC (or could have been later than that, can't find any references online)."

Circa 2010(ish), something (a bridge?) in Germany caused a cascade effect that took out a huge chunk of Western Europe. We went out (Brittany) for several hours.

So, yeah, I think screwing with the grid in calculated ways could have a tremendous effect. Remember - if they're into the meter with that degree of control, it's probably trivial to read out how much load is actually present (so can turn on and off the greatest loads for the greatest impact). Remember also, night time is when cheaper rate appliances kick in and people are going to be less likely to notice a washing machine being repeatly power cycled until it (or the meter) fails in unpleasant ways.

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The Register's Top 20 Most-Commented Stories in 2016

heyrick
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Re: I'd love to see a top 20...

"I always post as anonymous because that helps to avoid people's prejudgements based on your username."

Not really. I tend to avoid anonymous posts as if a person isn't willing to put their "name" to what they write...

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Did EU ruling invalidate the UK's bonkers Snoopers' Charter?

heyrick
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Re: "access to retained traffic and location data is extremely useful to the police"

"Basically, they don't want to know about you unless they need to know about you."

Which is exactly as it should be. Let the law enforcement concentrate on the known bad guys instead of messing around with "ooh shiny" levels of data collection, because they can.

Oh look. The murderous dick-in-a-truck in Germany was "known to the authorities" and "slipped off the radar". Again. And again. And again.

If we want to have any pretence of safety, the authorities need to be better funded so they can do a better job with the intelligence they have now, not given new toys and wholly unnecessary new powers that can only serve to make the job that much harder thanks to the signal to noise ratio falling off a cliff.

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Around 1.4 million people have sub-10Mbps speeds - Ofcom

heyrick
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Re: Shoot those web page designers

"One web page I visited a week or so back linked to 146 other sites"

Good grief. The worst I've seen is 18 different sites. Can you provide the URL (even in munged form), I'd just like to see how abysmal a ~146 site web page actually is (god, think of the round trip on all those DNS lookups).

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OpenStreetView? You are no longer hostage to Google's car-driven vision

heyrick
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FAIL

Re: Privacy?

I see this on Google Street View.

Don't you think it is mightily suspicious that a property on a road is blurred? What doesn't the owner want noticed? It's a bit like the Streisand Effect in that had they simply not bothered, it just would have been yet another unremarkable house in an unremarkable street full of such unremarkable houses.

In other words, your desire for "privacy" is actually more likely to be highlighting you as something to look at a little closer.

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Playtime's over: Internet-connected kids toys 'fail miserably' at privacy

heyrick
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Just pull a string in the back, it talks, then wets itself - happy child.

Wait - are we talking about the doll or the child?

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'Toyota dealer stole my wife's saucy snaps from phone, emailed them to a swingers website'

heyrick
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PS - Streisand effect

Now the world knows Tim Gautreaux has impure thoughts. Repeat after me: forgive me father for I have sinned...

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heyrick
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"Even so, it still irritates me when people say 'don't take selfies in the first place'. Why not? Just because someone CAN go though your phone and wank to anything they find suitable, doesn't mean that they should."

And here we reach the crux of the matter. You are quite entitled to take pervy (or not) pictures with a wiling partner. You also are entitled to expect that random strangers won't go through your phone ransacking the data.

However what expectation of privacy can you expect if you voluntarily hand over said phone for somebody else to try to find something held on it, and then let it go out of your sight? The good pastor would not have given the dealer his house keys and said "go rummage around and find the papers yourself", would he?

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Sysadmin figures out dating agency worker lied in his profile

heyrick
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Re: Bad UX? Crap customer service? Let's blame the user!

"Likewise, I wonder how many of you would be able to lock your front doors without asking for help if you moved to France."

Eh? French doors use keys. It isn't some weird three-seashell process. It's a key. Quite a big one in my case, but still recognisable as a key. It goes in the lock. It turns. Locked. To unlock, turn the other way. Some of the older locks permit the key to turn twice, so if unlocking is not achieved, try turning the key some more. But this is no different to the British deadlock.

The key to the supplies locker at work is a flat stick with notches drilled into it, like a three dimensional thing. But guess what, it slides into the lock and...turns!

What did you have in mind?

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heyrick
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Mushroom

Re: Well...

"For the love of Azathoth, we are talking about a mere eight and a half seconds here."

Exactly. I've put up with people taking much longer to find each key, and then going full on panic when they get something wrong, leading to them deleting everything and starting again from the beginning because they aren't capable of understanding deleting only the incorrect letter.

Icon, because although I smile and remain patient, that's what I'm thinking.

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UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

heyrick
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How long until

The EU wakes up and shuns British based Internet services?

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100k+ petition: MPs must consider debating Snoopers' Charter again

heyrick
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"a bit like when someone writes 'bare with me' ... it sounds the same but it's just wrong!"

Rather depends who is asking...

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How-to terror manuals still being sold by Apple, Amazon, Waterstones

heyrick
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Headmaster

Re: FTFY...

I believe Americans put the punctuation inside the quotes, while British usually put the punctuation outside. The British method is better not because am British but because it is logical - punctuation should be within quotes if it is a part of that which is being quoted, like maybe "Stop!". Putting the sentence ending punctuation inside something quoted is, frankly, bizarre.

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heyrick
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Is this any sort of "solution"?

When I was young and the world was screwed up differently, I downloaded and read the entire Jolly Roger cookbook. Having done well in GCSE science I understood the chemical aspects, but generally considered making nitro glycerine in the kitchen as being an excellent way to self-cleanse the gene pool. It's an utterly ludicrous idea.

Worth that in mind, I'm not sure trying to stamp out these sorts of books is going to serve any useful purpose. Information can be passed around in many other ways. Maybe it's better to try to deal with the causes of radicalisation instead of deluding ourselves that removing some books will make the problems go away?

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Reg man 0: Japanese electronic toilet 1

heyrick
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The labels were entirely in Japanese.

Too hard to fire up Google translate on a mobile and point the camera at the wiggly squiggles?

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No super-kinky web smut please, we're British

heyrick
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Spanking or caning that leaves a visible mark is out, as well as anything involving urination

So, what, that weird film "Secretary" would be banned in the UK?

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Kids' Hour of Code turns into a giant corporate infomercial for kids

heyrick
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Duh

Nobody could figure this out by looking at the list of sponsors?

You don't need Microsoft and Apple to start to teach coding. You need a teacher capable of explaining what a problem is, how to get from A to B, and how to break that into clearly defined steps. Then, and only then, should one think of touching a computer.

As you can see, it can be a skill applicable to more than just writing software.

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Pythons Idle and Cleese pen anti-selfie screed

heyrick
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the same look at me, my life is better than yours culture that social media engenders

Until you take a step backwards and realise that your life is pathetic and stupid, just like the lives of everybody who "follows" you. Why? Because it's all so very...ordinary.

You know, I once saw some people - I think it was some weirdo challenge thing Richard Branson was doing, anyway they were flying over the sea suspended from helicopters by bungee ropes. That was cool. You can be forgiven for wanting to take a selfie if you do that. But going to a festival or concept with ten thousand other people? Hardly unique.

I've come across some pages... I don't recall if it is blogger or WordPress, it's the one that wants to show you everything all at once with no concept of bite-sized chunks. Anyways, plenty of girls taking lots of photos of themselves wearing outfits they bought at "thrift shops" (American version of the charity shop?). Kind of funny since they're gushing about how wonderful it looks and you just know your GRANNY would have called that outfit old fashioned.

That and endless photos of people eating food. WTF? Fine. Well, today I bought a double pack of Marie 3 cheese pizza. Didn't have space in the freezer compartment, so I put one face down on top of the other and stuck them into the microwave for ten minutes (didn't feel like farting around with the oven). Then I ate them like a giant round calzione. Or maybe a pizza sandwich. Should I upload a dozen photos of me eating it? Why? Or, wait, a better question - why would anybody want to look at said photos? Maybe a photo of the pizza-mess itself (photo or it didn't happen, right?), but a photo of ME eating it? So not necessary. If somebody is going to put photos of themselves eating, I want them eating wichetty grubs. Or raw Jalapeño peppers. Or knocking back Tabasco straight from the bottle...

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heyrick
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Re: Selfies are the symptoms of a much deeper disturbance

Just look at yourself.

That's exactly it. If you go to see something, take a photo of IT. You know you were there, you've got the fucking photo. It doesn't need an ugly mug grinning in the front of the image.

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Angry user demands three site visits to fix email address typos

heyrick
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Re: Moving from XP to Win7

"If your PC is a tool of the job, surely it is in your own self interests to know how to use your tools?"

They do. Until somebody comes along and changes everything "because".

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heyrick
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If it is education, shouldn't it be kiddie porn, to cause a complete meltdown?

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Top of the bots: This AI isn't a cold, cruel killing machine – it's a pop music hit machine

heyrick
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Pirate

It has to learn by examples, so the team analysed the chords in 100 hours of pop music to learn about common patterns of notes and melodies.

Sleazy lawyers will be purchasing new toner cartridges for the avalanche of infringement letters that are about to follow. Those two notes played together like that was stolen from ... (insert whoever is supposedly popular today)

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Japanese cops arrest serial 'foot licker'

heyrick
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"by letting some of the acid (concentrated) produced from foot odour free to wander the halls."

What? It, like, evolved and wandered around by itself? I'd get the hell out of there too...

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Browsers nix add-on after Web of Trust is caught selling users' browsing histories

heyrick
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Re: the appropriate measures to regain the trust of our users

Apologies for the !s. Weird quirk in iOS that often changes , to ! and was not noticed until this morning when it was way too late to change it...

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heyrick
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FAIL

the appropriate measures to regain the trust of our users

A big friendly "Delete me" button?

You had trust. You sold yourself on trust. You cocked it up. The end. Except, maybe, for the sort of people who are still with TalkTalk.

I tried WoT several years ago and I found its "trust" to be somewhat erratic. Much better online to simply have no trust! run as few scripts as possible! and assume everybody is out to pilfer your information....a point that this story kind of proves.

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No spin zone: Samsung recalls 3M EXPLODING washing machines

heyrick
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I don't own a Samsung machine, so I don't know how rigid/delicate they are, but isn't it generally a bit precarious to put something bulky (like a duvet, or towels) in a washing machine and then fast spin it? Our ancient Zanussi (so old the super fast spin is a massive 800rpm!) gets scary wobbly on normal spin with towels if they clump together, I'd not want to kick it up to fast spin in case the thing breaks.

Maybe, maybe what these machines need is a cheap little G-force sensor on the processor board. If the readings indicate the machine is thrashing, then just step back the spin speed until it calms down. And if it doesn't, stop the drum and blink some sort of "oh poop" indicator. That would probably add a $ or two to the build cost, and help prevent the sort of rapid unscheduled disassemblies that make clickbait headlines.

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Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

heyrick
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Megaphone

Re: Treason of UK governments and the UK judiciary.

"so all spurious delays are frankly treason!"

Oh FFS.

Okay, okay. I'll tell you what. As a person who would have voted Remain had I had the option to do so (and you can go fuck your perverted concept of "democracy" for that alone), I will happily concede and even support the advertising bumph that states that the government will enact the wishes of the people...

...and in return I would like you brexiteers to keep to your promise and provide exactly £350M per week to the NHS. This is in addition to all of the other things you will quickly discover need to be funded. All that rural development, farming, roads, etc etc. I don't know where you think you're going to get the money from, and frankly Farage admitting "that figure was a mistake" on the very day the result was known simply won't wash. The leave campaign PROMISED it, Boris drove around in a bus advertising it in massive clearly visible digits. Now deliver on your promises.

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heyrick
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Mushroom

Re: Democracy? My arse.

"majority actually living in Europe as European citizens"

As one of them, you have no idea how pissed I am that a bunch of stupid people voted to drag the UK into this mess because they believed the lies of Nigel and Boris and The Express...

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Cheap, lousy tablets are killing the whole market says IDC

heyrick
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Coffee/keyboard

You, sir, owe me a keyboard.

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heyrick
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Will it run MXPlayer? Can it cope with 720P? Can it play MP3s and streaming radio? Can it run Firefox?

That's more or less what I'd be using a tablet for. Sure, there are the odd unusual uses (telnet to an ANSI BBS) or use the gyro thingy as a spirit level...but I don't do that so much.

So why buy an expensive model when a cheaper one will do the job? Better yet, less risk of heart attack of it gets dropped.

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What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

heyrick
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How about a B52 squadron?

A bit unwieldy, sure, but imagine seeing those painted bright red and shaking up the sky!

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Today the web was broken by countless hacked devices – your 60-second summary

heyrick
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Re: Maybe..

"(I await the botnet running on (mandated) "smart" energy meters with interest...)"

Here in France there is a somewhat hated new smart meter called "Linky". It is not legal to refuse to accept it, and if you persist then EDF will back down and just bill €€€€s call out charge for each time the meter is read.

I don't know how it talks to the mothership, but it'll be interesting if they think it is going to talk to my wifi. I can use my crappy IP camera as a good reason to say "either I audit the source code of this thing or you find some other method of communication".

As an aside - a newspaper article quotes EDF as saying that the Linky does not catch fire. It's just incorrectly installed. Wait, remind me, exactly who installs meters? I also await with interest the first time this thing gets hit with lightning. We have overhead three phase to the house. It gets directly hit once every two or three years, and proximity hit several times a year. Our old meter predates me but takes this stuff in its stride. Is it optimistic or just silly to expect the Linky to be as reliable? What's worse - if there is a really bad storm, I can throw the breakers and turn everything off. Well, you can't take the meter out of circuit. Hmm.

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heyrick
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Re: Maybe..

"With the legal stick being that if the customer doesn't fix or disconnect the offending device in a reasonable period (say a couple of months) then they get cut off until they do."

Aaaaand.... how long until somebody goes running to their lawyer because the compromise that did the damage in the first place came from.... yup, you guessed it. The Internet. Provided by the same ISP now making "fix it or else" threats.

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heyrick
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Re: Maybe..

"Disable uPNP on your firewall / router."

That was the second thing I did (after changing the router's default password). I spotted the uPNP requests in wireshark. As for uPNP itself - horrendous idea. Anything that needs to receive incoming data can fail nicely and/or ask for permission.

But letting IoT devices grant themselves authorisations? Ain't gonna happen.

[Bootnote: Orange sets the Livebox do support uPNP by default. People can buy stuff, plug it in, and "it just works". I wonder how many even understand what this process entails?]

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heyrick
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Stop

Re: Maybe..

"And then make it illegal to run a vulnerable device if it's connected to the net."

Another fine law to make criminals out of ordinary people.

I have an IPCAM. I wanted it mostly as a toy, but it is useful for keeping an eye on things when I'm not around. See what the cat is up to, etc.

Out of the box, it uses uPNP to punch a hole in the router for itself. It announces its presence to several foreign servers, and it has a default telnet login of root/123456.

I've hacked the startup script (luckily writeable) to replace the hosts file numerous times at boot to direct all of the domains that the camera uses to localhost (obtained by connecting the camera to network sharing on my PC and wiresharking what happened during boot). The uPNP failed as I've disabled that on the router. There's a STUN to an IP address that I can't do anything about (my router is an Orange Livebox so it doesn't do fancy things like blocking individual IP addresses). The default password cannot be changed. I can use chpasswd but the next time the thing is rebooted, the firmware writes a new passwd file with the root/123456 combination. I also very much doubt the online firmware upgrade is in any way secure. I will, some day, make a binary hack to the main program file to replace the firmware cgi filename with gibberish (to disabled that) and change the baked in password to something else. I tried a sleep 60 in the boot script, but the thing overwrote it with the default. It's of lower importance as you'd need to be in my local network to access it.

I'm a nerd. I could play with this and fiddle with it. I'm sure many people will just buy the device, plug it in, and expect it to work with "the app". If that's all it takes to be a criminal, there's no hope.

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Search engine results increasingly poisoned with malicious links

heyrick
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It's as if they don't care any more

A site directed me to something via an AdFly link. Avast! freaked out and caught two attempts to push malware at me. I had granted AdFly script permissions as it doesn't work otherwise. Great. I will run the next attempt with web console open, see if I can figure out how to get at the link directly.

Cue an article by Andrew on advertisers pissing and moaning about how nobody likes them...

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And so we enter day seven of King's College London major IT outage

heyrick
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"Among the many services affected are telephony, internal websites, shared drives, room booking, payroll, student records, purchasing, catering services bookings and more."

Isn't this a bit...putting all the eggs in one basket?

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Microsoft: We're hiking UK cloud prices 22%. Stop whining – it's the Brexit

heyrick
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"we should be rallying around each other more than ever"

Why? Half the country may well have messed up my life in slow motion.

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heyrick
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Re: £

"First check the current financial positions of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy" - that's hardly news, they have been in die straits for many years.

"We also have Deutsche Bank" - yes, that is a concern, but the euro is more than just one back.

"Two signatures instead of 27 - it's a no--brainer." - repeat for every country. Make custom modifications for every single country. Keep it all up to date and... I can see this might be much easier to set up but a potential compliance nightmare for companies.

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Banks don’t give a 2FA

heyrick
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More problems than that

My bank (a French one, as that's where I live) took away my password (that was a suitably long foreign word) and replaced it with a five digit number for the braindead retards my security.

Also, when I purchase online things from France I get an SMS asking me to confirm the transaction. Buying a Pi Zero from the UK? Transaction accepted with no hitches. Now won't fraud likely be from another country? {facepalm}

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Coming soon to smart home devices? Best Before labels – with patch cut-off dates

heyrick
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Re: My Toaster...

Upvote for the link to the FM xtal set. It's a work of art!

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heyrick
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Happy

Re: My Toaster...

I think the lie was that since CD players and the like deal with digital signals which are converted to rough approximations of analogue signals, you really need special "digital" compatible headphones in order to hear it the best.

And paint the edges of your CDs green.

And...

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‘Alan Turing law’ to give posthumous pardons to 59,000 men for 'gross indecency'

heyrick
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WTF?

a wonderful thing that we have been able to build on the pardon granted to Alan Turing

No. It is not wonderful. The man was harassed, treated like shit, and that's how he died. What the hell is the point of pardoning him NOW? To try to make yourselves feel better? It doesn't help him or the many others who died as "criminals".

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NHS patients must be taught to share their data, says EU lobby group

heyrick
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including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca

Thank you for that. I trust you even less now. You're a consortium with plenty of backing, sponging off EU cash, to tell us why it's such a sorrowful thing that we don't want to share...

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RRS Sir David Attenborough construction goes full-steam ahead

heyrick
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Happy

But WTF?

Well, isn't "Brexit" the go-to excuse/reason/justification for pretty much everything right now?

Oh, wait... you didn't take the comment seriously did you?

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heyrick
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Despite the public’s strong favour for Boaty McBoatface Brexit...

Hmm.

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Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works

heyrick
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I'm not paid a lot

I work in a factory. Traded stress for less pay, I'm financially poorer but happier.

Anyway - I'm not alone. There are loads of low wage workers in the western world. The obvious question is that if a basic income from the government covers the necessities of life...well...what exactly then is our incentive to even bother going to work?

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The answer to Internet of Things madness? Open source, of course!

heyrick
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How open is open?

I have a several devices claiming to be open source. Only one of them is actually capable of having firmware built (and that is including a number of binary blobs for talking to the hardware).

If one cannot build their own firmware to install, then any pretence of "open" is simply useless marketing bull.

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Orange blows up French govt website in terrorism censorship snafu

heyrick
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I think the government needs to feel like it is doing something. Not so long ago the British government did much the same thing regarding kiddie porn. I guess if their technically illiterate selves can no longer directly see the bad stuff, they can pretend that it has been dealt with.

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Mozilla users >50% HTTPS

heyrick
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mobile sites are already using the https version since ~Friday afternoon

?

Going to https://m.theregister.co.uk/ quietly redirects me to the non SSL version.

Firefox, Android 5.something.

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