* Posts by BillG

1320 posts • joined 29 Jan 2010

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Haven't updated your Adobe PDF software lately? Here's 85 new reasons to do it now

BillG
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Go

FoxIt Reader

I left Adobe Reader earlier this year and installed FoxIt Reader instead. WOW - what a difference - fast, easy to use, and FAST!

And FoxIt doesn't "helpfully" hook into the rest of my computer. No more does my CPU and hard drive churn when I just single-click on a PDF in Windows Explorer (I don't even open the damned PDF and Adobe still likes to get involved.)

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Judge: Georgia's e-vote machines are awful – but go ahead and use them

BillG
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WTF?

No Power Voting?

So what happens if a precinct uses electronic voting machines and there is a power outage on voting day?

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Trump shouldn't criticise the news media, says Amazon's Jeff Bezos

BillG
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Happy

Re: Poor Jeff is so right, nobody takes his leftist hate pamflet seriously anymore

"Come work for a 'socially conscious' company" = "We pay shit"

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Redis does a Python, crushes 'offensive' master, slave code terms

BillG
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Devil

DS9

Yes, this is silly.

Actually, instead of master/slave, I've seen Host/Device (capitalized)

Of course Host might be offensive to the Trills out there...

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BillG
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FAIL

Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

Unfortunately there is a generation of US students who do get offended.

And they need to understand that one can be offended and still be wrong.

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Do not adjust your set, er, browser: This is our new page-one design

BillG
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Re: Please stop thrusting the "news" at me

Too much white space. Other than that I'll get used to it.

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BillG
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Mushroom

LinkedIn?

It's a lot better than the disaster of a design LinkedIn groups pushed out this week. Their website finally jumped the shark.

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The Reg takes the US government's insider threat training course

BillG
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Angel

This Title is Blank

According to the course, 300,000,000 pages have been stolen since 2010...

...including 25,233,447 pages that say "This page left intentionally blank".

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Lenovo Thinkpad X280: Choosing a light luggable isn't so easy

BillG
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Mushroom

Re: The best part about ThinkPad X280?

Once you remove the annoying Microsoft bundle cruft - and I cannot believe such garbage is bundled in business machines in 2018

And it's important to remove all that bundled crud, adjust your privacy settings, uninstall all the telemetry updates, and install a privacy manager BEFORE first connecting it to the internet. Of course if the laptop has Windows 10 you have no privacy anyway.

Brand new Windows laptops are persistent in wanting to phone home to Microsoft, like mosquitoes banding up against a screen door.

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Yada yada, take my money: Firms do not scrutinise software support spend – report

BillG
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Headmaster

Re: Contract renewal

Someone needs to please grammar check this entire article, starting with the very first sentence:

Companies waste cash by failing to scrutinise software maintenance and support spend, with contract renewal seen as the line of least resistance, the Campaign for Clear Licensing has said.

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Give yourselves a pat on the back, top million websites, half of you now use HTTPS

BillG
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WTF?

Re: Let's Encrypt Certificates

@Tomato42 who the hell said they nickle and dime me? I've been with them for 20 years hosting more than a dozen sites off and on, and their hosting has been excellent - more importantly their tech support has been amazing. A choice of Windows and Linux hosting, SmarterMail and SmarterStats (much superior to Google Analytics), cloud services, and a lot more. I'm not going to pout and run off just because I'm charged for installing SSL certificates when technically they are absolutely perfect.

I'm not one of those people that throws a tantrum because I'm only satisfied 99 out of 100 times. People like that are never happy in life.

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BillG
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Re: Let's Encrypt Certificates

@Tomato42 that's fine if you own the server. But for those of us that pay for hosting that means we need to pay for installing a new certificate every 90 days.

If I can pay $29 for a one-year Commodo certificate, installed, that makes better financial sense.

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BillG
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Megaphone

Let's Encrypt Certificates

Let's Encrypt stats show 53.5 million active certificates issued, with an average of 600,000 more issued every day.

From what I've seen Let's Encrypt only offers free 90-day certificates. At the end of the 90-day period you have to have a new certificate issued. So the 600,000 issued daily includes some churn.

Does anyone offer a free 2-year SSL certificate for general public use (not privately signed)?

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VMware 'pressured' hotel to shut down tech event close to VMworld, IGEL sues resort giant

BillG
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Mushroom

Outboarding

I had a similar situation. 'Bout 15 years ago I was in charge of tech marketing for a fun mid-sized company and we were going to have a one-evening event to promo our technology in San Francisco in a hotel two miles away from a major trade show. We had everything set up when I got a call three days beforehand from the hotel manager telling us that the contract they had with major trade show prohibited them from holding our event and they were cancelling.

I mentioned that our lawyer was going to call him. Lawyer later called, told them that since this was his (the hotel manager's) decision that our action would be against not only the hotel, but also against the hotel manager, personally. Meanwhile I called the PR director for the major trade show, who was apologetic but she said in a semi-evil voice "this is how its done". Very politely I told her that we had about a dozen members of the press confirmed to attend, and when I called the press on the phone (not email) to tell them I was being forced to cancel our event should I give the press her name?

Well she stuttered like porky pig and said she'd get back to me. A few hours later I got calls from both the hotel manager & the PR person telling me my event was on. After that I invited our lawyer to each event with the promise of good food and a fun time.

If I was IGEL, I would have brought my lawyer just in case, and when their goons started tearing things down I'd have my lawyer, business card in hand, identify himself to the minimum-wage goons and ask to see their badges for guaranteed PERSONAL legal action.

Can't fight a big company, but you can take down their people one at a time.

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Russian volcanoes fingered for Earth's largest mass extinction

BillG
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Megaphone

Re: Trumpet

THE ERUPTIONS WERE HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!

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If you have to simulate a phishing attack on your org, at least try to get something useful from it

BillG
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Holmes

The secret of blind phishing simulation, then, is good blind phishing simulation, which means following a few rules. The first of these is that running the test should generate useful data, both for the testers but also the people being tested.

Or to quote Spock: "Before performing a test, decide what you will do if the results are positive or negative. If the answers are the same, don't perform the test."

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Huawei elbows aside Apple to claim number-two phone maker spot

BillG
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Holmes

Semi-Captive Chinese Market

I wonder what the numbers for Huawei are if you remove the Chinese market from everyone's sales?

China is a semi-captive market for Huawei.

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Experimental 'insult bot' gets out of hand during unsupervised weekend

BillG
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Devil

VAX/VMS Hacker Fun Times

VAX/VMS had so many holes, even with a non-admin account you could do some nasty things, such as reading coworker's emails (child's play). Or spoofing other users on PHONE.

This Reg comment is for those of us with a non-admin account that exploited holes in VAX so freakin' outrageous, that I/we won't post them here for fear the statute of limitations might be eternal. And/or, we never got caught and we are afraid old co-workers might be on El-Reg.

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Fire chief says Verizon throttled department's data in the middle of massive Cali wildfires

BillG
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Flame

Re: All Verizon need now is a fire...

"We made a mistake in how we communicated with our customer..."

"... we told them the truth."

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Gartner's Great Vanishing: Some of 2017's emerging techs just disappeared

BillG
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Happy

Re: What happened to "serverless"?

Remember "Thin Clients"? It was all the rage with college grads who bragged it would be the best thing since sliced bread.

Unfortunately us old farts had to remind them that it was another name for "mainframe".

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BillG
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Facepalm

Re: I wish Gartner would Vanish!

Edge Computing is alive and well.

Anyone remember Dataquest Dataguess? They reached peak entertainment value in the mid-90's when a map of the USA in one of their reports put Detroit squarely in Tennessee.

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Et tu, Brute? Then fail, Caesars: When it's hotel staff, not the hackers, invading folks' privacy

BillG
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FAIL

Re: Caesars have proven themselves incompetent

Minimum wage security people.

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What happens to your online accounts when you die?

BillG
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Joke

What About The Pron On Your Computer?

Clip from The Man Show - cleaning up after you die for the single guy:

The Rest Assured service - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_QA7M2vQBw

"Your family will remember you by what you've left behind... when you're gone, it's too late to hide any evidence of your hedonistic lifestyle (get that goat off the bed!)"

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Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

BillG
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Megaphone

Prime Complaints

Yes, Amazon will renege on their promise to you to deliver next day. They will also renege on their promise to deliver guaranteed two-day delivery in two days.

Each time Amazon breaks that promise YOU MUST CALL customer support and complain (don't chat, call them). You must call immediately after you notice a problem, as in the online delivery date disagrees with the delivery date in your confirmation email.

Don't let them B.S. you with "it's next day after factory processing". Be stubborn. Repeat after me, "I expect delivery two days after I place my order." Repeat it over and over. BE NICE! Be nice to the customer service rep, trust me, they can do a lot for you if they like you, like free next-day shipping, extending your Prime by a month (maximum three months), $20 credit for the inconvenience, and much more. Many of us have done telephone support, you know what that's like.

After the third time you complain your delivery problems will mysteriously disappear.

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US voting systems: Full of holes, loaded with pop music, and 'hacked' by an 11-year-old

BillG
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WTF?

Security by Design?

What does it take to put all external I/O ports under a secure, locked cover tied to an alarm? What does it take to make sure SSL certificates are up-to-date?

How do you allow voting machines with such easy security flaws to exist, unless they were meant to have these security flaws?

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Space, the final Trump-tier: America to beam up $8bn for Space Force

BillG
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Facepalm

Star Fleet

Actually, the problem being addressed here is that the USA already has a "space force" of sorts. The problem is that it is distributed over several armed services and government agencies with no central coordination. Anyone who's worked for a large company with different divisions doing the same thing knows how horribly inefficient and toxic that is.

All this Space Force does is provide one organization providing this central task. It's gonna create tech jobs and you gotta like that.

Russia and China already have (or are working on) systems that can destroy U.S. and U.K. satellites, including explosive-laden satellites already in orbit shadowing their satellite targets. With a single command they move towards their target much like a magnetic mine, and BOOM - no more HBO!

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Google Spectre whizz kicked out of Caesars, blocked from DEF CON over hack 'attack' tweet

BillG
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Mushroom

Re: It's to be hoped that the conference organizers vote with their dollars...

While somewhat off-colour, anyone with an ounce of security knowledge could see that this was a joke about how hackers attack the dumbest and easiest low-hanging fruit.

But unfortunately there are people out there without an ounce of brains that won't see that this is was a joke, and think the tweet is a call to action. They'll interpret the word "attack" in an unfortunate way, with results ranging from inconvenient to lethal.

In today's hostile online culture there are people tweeting calls for attacks, and the mentally-challenged are reading those tweets and taking them seriously.

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Revealed: El Reg blew lid off Meltdown CPU bug before Intel told US govt – and how bitter tech rivals teamed up

BillG
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Devil

Re: and?

The less PR departments are told the less that can issue canned bs statements.

And that's what's killing LinkedIn - canned BS statements from PR.

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Funnily enough, no, infosec bods aren't mad keen on W. Virginia's vote-by-phone-app plan

BillG
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WTF?

Re: Could I vote?

I'm reading this article and I'm shaking my head.

When Iraq first had free elections in 2005, voters had to overcome terrorists threats, suicide bombers, and gun violence, and they bravely went to the polls anyway.

Here in the USA we have lazy asses that will vote only if they don't have to put down their bag of potato chips and get off the couch. I'll bet these lazy asses will vote for whichever candidate pays them to stay on that couch.

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New age discrim row: Accenture, Facebook sued by sales boss for favoring 'new blood'

BillG
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FAIL

LinkedIn FAIL

If you want an example, look at LinkedIn. Since their Microsoft overlords took charge they've hired 20-something marketing managers to decide the features of the new impending website. Their solution is to make it act like Facebook. So far it's been a total technical and PR disaster.

From what LinkedIn is saying, the new website will be a spammer's paradise BECAUSE youngsters with limited experience do not understand "unintended consequences".

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BillG
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Holmes

Re: Difficult to stop

Last year, America's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 18,376 age discrimination complaints. That's down from a high of 24,582 in 2008, when a major financial crisis and recession began.

That number was 20,857 in 2016. But these numbers only reflect U.S. Federal complaints, not state or local.

https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/charges.cfm

In my experience age discrimination is rampant in tech. But what many companies do before letting someone 45+ go is give them a (false) poor performance report first to justify it. Makes it much more difficult to file a complaint.

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TSMC chip fab tools hit by virus, payment biz BGP hijacked, CCleaner gets weird – and more

BillG
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Boffin

Re: Off means I opt out

Nowadays a software upgrade isn't always a good thing. I've stayed on older versions of software & mobile apps because it's better than the latest version. That's why I'm still using CCleaner v5.27.

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Qualcomm demands blueprints to Intel chips used in Apple iPhones

BillG
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Happy

Videoconferencing

Qualcomm countered that testimony could be obtained from afar through the miracle of videoconferencing.

Percent of time during a videoconference spent paying attention to subject: 10%

Percent of time during a videoconference spent looking at yourself in the video adjusting your position on your chair, changing your facial expression, re-placing your hands, etc: 90%

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Ecuador's Prez talking to UK about Assange's six-year London Embassy stay – reports

BillG
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Mushroom

Re: So much hostility

What would happen if Assange® left the embassy and found that Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S.A. don't want him? Could his ego handle it? Would his head explode? Would he prance around Piccadilly Square with a sign saying "Please Arrest Me, I'm Important"?

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UK's Huawei handler dials back support for Chinese giant's kit in critical infrastructure

BillG
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Megaphone

Re: Obviously, all other vendors in our infrastructure are subject to the same scrutiny...

As someone in the industry, I can tell you that all vendors ARE subject to the same scrutiny.

Not only that but to get on the approved vendor list you must demonstrate a secure supply chain, dependable quality control, consistent manufacturing quality, alternate manufacturing facilities, and a whole lot more.The question here is if Huawei is failing all this now, how the hell did they get on the approved vendor list in the first place? (those of you that understand already know the answer to that question).

Repeat after me, @Nezumi: "This is industry standard" whether you are selling switches to the U.K. or voltage regulators to Ford. You don't just waltz into a major account and sell your kit based on charm and a smile, you must first run Purchasing and QC's gauntlet.

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Fukushima reactors lend exotic nuclear finish to California's wines

BillG
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Thumb Up

As someone once said, "Live in New York once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in SoCal once, but leave before it makes you glow in the dark."

And don't forget to wear sunscreen.

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Call records breach let users feel like Movistars (with everyone watching who they're talking to)

BillG
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Facepalm

Nobody is going to do that!

@Zippy, I saw the same thing.

I explained to a former employer how a similar issue could hack the corporate website and even bring it down. I got a very angry response of "Nobody is going to do that!" All traces of my complaint were erased.

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PayPal's pal Venmo spaffs your pals' payments – and yours

BillG
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Thumb Up

Re: Sharing is Caring

Default privacy settings should always be SHARE NOTHING. It should be a law. It should be in state, federal, confederate, federation, galactic constitutions.

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BillG
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Unhappy

Re: I guess we can add this to the 100 other reasons why Cashless is a bad idea....

A completely cashless society is the final nail in the coffin of personal privacy.

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Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

BillG
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Flame

Re: You can't fork Android

I only buy Android devices I can root. Once rooted I uninstall the bloatware, and install a strong firewall I like.

If I can't root it, I won't buy it.

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Scam alert: No, hackers don't have webcam vids of you enjoying p0rno. Don't give them any $$s

BillG
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IT Angle

I'm not a millennial, I'm paranoid

Yeah, I got one of those emails. I'm not a millennial, I'm a paranoidial, so my webcam is disabled in BIOS and has a piece of tape over it. They asked to be paid in Bitcoin. I just took it as a scam email & relegated it to my saved-spam folder for future reference.

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FBI for the Apple guy: Bloke accused of stealing robo-car tech

BillG
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Childcatcher

Re: Jobs is probably spinning in his grave at this...

Every company I ever worked for that did any kind of engineering/research, etc. had security guards

There's usually one weak security guard, like the guard that abandons his post to go to the can "just for a minute". Some are known for falling asleep.

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Up in arms! Arm kills off its anti-RISC-V smear site after own staff revolt

BillG
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Holmes

Re: Something will roll...

Simply speaking, the ARM (Arm?) architecture family is not one-size-fits-all, and there is a lot to like about RISC-V.

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Cops suspect Detroit fuel station was hacked before 10 drivers made off with 2.3k 'free' litres

BillG
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Facepalm

Re: Outrageous!

the clerk was unable to shut off a pump that dispensed free fuel for 90 minutes

What about putting one of those bright yellow bags that say "Out of Order" over the nozzle?

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They grow up so fast: Spam magnet Hotmail turned 22 today

BillG
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FAIL

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam...

Around ten years ago I signed up for a browser-based Hotmail account just to see if the spam rumors are true. My username was a random 10-character alphanumeric.

No less than ten minutes after I'd finished signing up did I receive my first spam email. After that I received about 20 to 50 spam emails a day even though I never used that Hotmail account. Never sent an email to or from it.

That's Microsoft for you.

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Google weeps as its home state of California passes its own GDPR

BillG
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Happy

Re: No 'Meaningful change' in user numbers

@JohnFen wrote: Teens are leaving Facebook because they (correctly) perceive that Facebook is for businesses and old farts.

Teens are leaving Facebook because it's harder to be anonymous on FB, and parents are demanding access to their teen's FB page.

So teens use Twitter instead because they like how Twitter is much easier to use while being anonymous. They also like how it's easier to hide a Twitter account from parents.

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Science fiction legend Harlan Ellison ends his short time on Earth

BillG
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Happy

All Roads Lead To Amber

I enjoyed Harlan Ellison's writings.

But not as much as Roger Zelazny.

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IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'

BillG
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Happy

Re: where i work

I wonder if the Austin office has a lot of young employees that aren't aware of protocol when a C-level executive shows up.

Reminds me of the Dilbert where Asok fantasizes: "I can meet the CEO in the rest room and give him my opinions! And he'll be so impressed with me, he'll promote me to Special Assistant To The CEO! That'll show my boss and co-workers how smart I really am!"

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