* Posts by usbac

212 posts • joined 4 Oct 2010

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Former Oracle product manager says he was forced out for refusing to deceive customers. Now he's suing the biz

usbac

Or, the entire software/tech industry...

Who else can sell products that they know don't work, and don't seem to care if they ever work, and then charge more money for some upgrade that they claim will fix things, but they know it won't fix anything? Isn't that the definition of fraud?

When an entire industry is based on fraud, how is that not organized crime?

Since the FCC won't act, Congress finally moves on robocalls by passing half-decent TRACED Act

usbac

Re: Color me skeptical

We did something similar. I run FreePBX at home, and set up an auto attendant to answer all calls. The greeting says "press 1 to speak to...", then after three seconds of no activity, it sends the call to Lenny.

I have inbound routes for family and friends that bypass the auto attendant.

This totally fixes the robocall problem at home for us. My cell phone is a different matter...

What a boar! Wild pigs snort and snuffle €20k worth of marching powder stashed in Tuscan forest

usbac

Re: Wild Boar..

I went wild boar hunting once. Once!!!

I put a .44 Magnum round through the head of one from about 3ft away (I surprised it in heavy brush), and had to run like hell as the thing chased me for about 200 yards. You could just about put your hand through the hole in the skull (both sides), and the damned thing was able chase my ass down!!!

Hard to kill is an understatement...

50 years ago, someone decided it would be OK to fire Apollo 12 through a rain cloud. Awks, or just 'SCE to Aux'?

usbac

John Aaron was the original steely-eyed missile man!!

Gas-guzzling Americans continue to shun electric vehicles as sales fail to bother US car market

usbac

Re: "plug-in hybrids, full electric or fuel cell cars"

And, is this wonderful SUV under $40,000? No, I thought not!!

The $60,000 difference in price will buy enough gas to drive a non-electric for about 15 years before I break even. By then, I would have changed several battery packs. They are free to replace, right?

No, the battery packs are about $5,000 each you say? So the break even point is... never?

Welcome to the World Of Tomorrow, where fridges suffer certificate errors. Just like everything else

usbac

Re: @Nick Kew

Just be careful not to drill through a refrigerant lines in the wall of the fridge. I've converted several fridges for keeping home-brew kegs, and I would only drill through the doors (for the taps). I always wanted to drill the back wall for the co2 lines, but never wanted to take the chance of ruining a working fridge in the process...

HP to hike upfront price of printer hardware as ink biz growth runs dry

usbac

Re: Classic FUD; meanwhile, the world's most expensive liquid used as a cleaning agent

Are you sure color laser costs more per page than inkjet? I have found that inkjet is more expensive every time I research it... Even without considering the cartridges that just dry out without printing a single page!

usbac

Re: Built-in-obsolescence

I did the same thing years ago too. I went to buy a pack of two cartridges for my HP inkjet (black and color) and found that the pack was $69!! We live in a very dry climate, and they just dry out in about 2-3 months here.

I bought a Dell color laser for $209 shipping included. That was about 7 years ago, and I'm still on the original toners. And, since the printer is 7 years old now, aftermarket toners are available cheap. I just bought a full set of four at about $11 each!

At a former employer, we in the IT department went on a crusade to get rid of inkjet printers. It seemed that many employees would go out and buy some cheap piece of crap inkjet (with their own money) for their office since walking the 15 feet to get to the shared departmental laser printer was too much effort. They would then put in purchase orders for the cartridges. We got tired of all of the trouble tickets for problems with all of these crap printers we had nothing to do with purchasing.

So, we went to the purchasing director and made our case about the costs for all of these cartridges when much more economical laser printers were quite convenient to users. He put a stop to all of the inkjet cartridge purchases. We sent out an email saying that on a certain date, we are going to go around and collect any inkjet printer we see, and send them out for disposal.

There was a lot of backlash from users, but the purchasing director backed us up, and he had a lot of clout. It also won us some good favor with the purchasing director for saving the company money. We had a little less trouble with equipment approvals after that.

Massachusetts city tells ransomware scumbags to RYUK off, our IT staff will handle this easily

usbac

I know this will be downvoted, but...

A while back I got severely down-voted for for posting this, but I still believe in it.

I think a Federal law should be passed making it illegal (jail time) to pay a ransom for data/systems. This would, hopefully, result in:

1) IT managers and system admins would know that there is not an option to "just pay the ransom". Maybe they would actually get their shit together and properly secure their systems like this city did?

2) The criminals would find that their income suddenly stopped coming in from ransomware.

The big problem right now is that the attitude of "oh well, our insurance will just pay the ransom for us" is perpetuating the problem. And as long as the cyber-criminals keep getting rich from it, it's never going to stop.

Cyberlaw wonks squint at NotPetya insurance smackdown: Should 'war exclusion' clauses apply to network hacks?

usbac

Prove it

I think the hardest part for Zurich is going to be to prove Russia's state involvement. At least to the standards of evidence that a court of law requires. It's one thing for the US government to say they "think" Russia was involved, but where does Zurich think they are going to get documented evidence that shows direct control by Russia's government and that meets "the preponderance of evidence" requirement of a civil court?

10 PRINT Memorial in New Hampshire marks the birthplace of BASIC

usbac

Re: School kids microsoft basic

I built my C1P from a kit. I still have it, and it still works!

Could you just pop into the network room and check- hello? The Away Team. They're... gone

usbac

Re: Not an explosion, just my own daftness...

A similar thing here. Back many years ago in college I had an electronics class. There were two levels, an into class and an advanced class. We shared the lab and lecture hall (there were large windows between the lab and lecture hall). They had it scheduled to where the intro class would have lab first, then lecture, and for us in the advanced class it was the opposite.

We had a couple of variable DC power supplies that would go up to 400V. The favorite thing was to take a few mid sized electrolytic caps, charge them to 400V and leave them laying around on the benches for the next class to discover. Have the big windows between rooms made for great entertainment!! Al least it tough the into students to respect capacitors and to discharge them before working with them!

Barbie Girl was wrong? Life is plastic, it's not fantastic: We each ingest '121,000 pieces' of microplastics a year

usbac

Re: Trees

I agree about the forests. The problem is that there are a bunch of wacko environmental groups that would raise holy hell that "you're destroying the pretty forests" if anyone tried to do something about it.

I'm definitely someone that enjoys the outdoors. I don't want to see the environment poisoned. The problem is the idiot radical groups that don't have a proper scientific understanding of things, but react only on emotion (I think due to a lack of intellect, sometimes). These groups have a lot of political power in places like California. This is one of the main reasons for the huge wildfire problems in California.

Bad news from science land: Fast-charging li-ion batteries may be quick to top up, but they're also quick to die

usbac

Re: Instead of better batteries...

I wish I could up-vote you a thousand times.

My phone battery (mid range Android phone) lasts me about two weeks. When people complain that their phone battery won't get them through a whole day, I tell them to "toss the phone and get a real life!!"

Smartphones are more addictive than drugs, and almost as destructive...

Gaze in awe at the first ever movie of a solar eclipse from recording long thought lost forever

usbac

I was going to post the same thing.

I see you were down-voted. What would be the crime in using some software IS to make it less jumpy?

I guess the down-voter thinks the camera shake makes it look authentic? Like the fake camera shake crap that is cool now. They must have been a big Blair Witch fan?

Never let something so flimsy as a locked door to the computer room stand in the way of an auditor on the warpath

usbac

Re: so easy to get in

This reminds me of a time back in my teenage days. My best friend Peter's dad owned a used car lot. His dad had given Peter a newer/nicer car. The problem was that Peter had installed a bunch of high end stereo equipment in his old car.

We were out at the movies until late, and Peter had a sudden thought "what if my dad sells my old car off before I get the stereo equipment out?" His old car was parked down at the car lot. His dad was kind of an ass; the type that would think "this car will sell for a lot of money with all of the nice stereo equipment in it". He was a used car salesman after all.

So, we decide we go and get the equipment out before his dad sells the car. We grab flashlights (torches) and toolboxes and head for the car lot. It was about 1:00am by this time. The lot was brightly lit to deter crime. It was in a great location, right on the corner of a busy intersection.

We're working away, doors open, stereo equipment scattered around the car, etc. when a police car stops at the red light. He's about 20 feet away from us, and turns around and looks right at us. We both look at each other and at the same time say "oh, crap we're going to jail". Worse yet, his dad was out of town. This was back in the 80's so the police couldn't just call his dad on his cell phone.

After about 30 seconds of sheer terror, the light turns green, and the cop just drives off. Peter turns around and says "phew, that was close", and then he thinks for a minute and says "wait, what the hell, this is my dad's business, and the police don't give a crap enough to at least stop and ask questions?" That's when we both learned just how stupid and lazy cops are.

Do Not Track is back in the US Senate. And this time it means business. As in, fining businesses that stalk you online

usbac

Re: Bad comparison

It's perfect then. It doesn't really work, so it keeps lobbyists happy (and keeps money train going), and it looks like they are "doing something" to the voters.

In the claws of a vulture: Nebra AnyBeam Laser Projector

usbac

Re: expensive when put up against traditional lamp-based devices.

We used to use a ceiling mounted projector for our main TV. We went through two different projector brands with mixed success.

The lamps started to get very dim after about 1 to 1 1/2 years. The OEM lamps were about $290 each, and aftermarket lamps were $170. The aftermarket lamps lasted 1/2 to 2/3 as long as OEM, so not any cheaper in the long run.

We went to a large LCD TV when the prices came way down. I'm not sure I would ever go back. You need to keep the room dark, no matter how good the projector is. You just don't get good contrast unless the room is completely dark.

Someone I work with tried one of the new laser projectors for their church, and found that the brightness was not good enough, and exchanged it for one with a regular lamp. I helped him choose the projector, and based on my experience with lamps, suggested he try the laser one. We both really wanted the laser projector to work, but it just didn't have the brightness.

I've seen some YouTube videos where people have hacked projectors and replaced the mercury lamps with LED modules. They seem to have good success. One person put in a 100W LED module, and it was significantly brighter than with the original lamp. It makes you wonder why projector manufacturers aren't doing the same?

'Software delivered to Boeing' now blamed for 737 Max warning fiasco

usbac

Boeing will just rename it to something else, and the public is too stupid to figure it out. Remember this is the same public that in polls said Ed Snowden is "that Wiki Leaks guy".

Southwest Airlines just ordered a bunch more 737 Max's.

As a pilot and an IT guy, I will never fly on one again.

My neighbor and I were flying back from Florida just before the Ethiopian crash on a 737 Max (before anyone knew how bad the problem really is) and as we boarded I joked with the captain "you know how to kill MCAS, right?" If he said "what is MCAS", I would have turned around and not boarded the flight. My neighbor is a pilot and a licensed aircraft mechanic, and we had talked about the Lion air crash and MCAS while on the way to Florida. I wouldn't step foot on one again, now.

usbac

Re: Surely...

It happens all the time with pilots and oxygen systems. Aircraft rated oxygen systems for small aircraft are very expensive. So, people buy medical oxygen tanks and regulators and try to use them in aircraft. The results are usually deadly.

You see, medical oxygen regulators are designed to operate at ground level. One side of the regulator diaphragm is vented to atmospheric pressure, witch is fine if the regulator is calibrated and then operated at ground level. Aircraft oxygen regulators on the other hand have a two stage design that compensates for changes in atmospheric pressure so that the oxygen flow is constant as the aircraft climbs.

Again, someone that owns a high performance airplane capable of high altitude flight is not a poor person, why save a few hundred bucks and kill yourself (and possible others) over it?

usbac

Re: Option extra why???

Most decent pilots would really like to have an AoA indicator. My neighbor just spent a lot of money to add one to his plane. It's the airlines that are too cheap to pay for it.

In the old days, when it was a physical instrument, I can see why there would be a cost. But to hold back a software feature that can improve the safety of flight just seems completely unethical to me.

By the way, it has nothing to do with "what angle the aircraft is at", it shows the angle of the airflow over the wings. You know, that whole lift thing that keeps an airplane in the air...

Boeing boss denies reports 737 Max safety systems weren't active

usbac

Re: Cue the queue jokes

And...some of us are both qualified pilots and IT professionals!

Idiot admits destroying scores of college PCs using USB Killer gizmo, filming himself doing it

usbac

Re: What a fucking idiot

Let's see... An MBA, no moral fiber, and a criminal record, that definitely makes him qualified for any area of politics.

Overzealous n00b takes out point-of-sale terminals across the UK on a Saturday afternoon

usbac

Re: AS/400 UPS

Many years ago, I worked for an IT managed services company. We were on site at a small medical clinic, late at night to do some upgrades on their server. The server we were working on had a RAID5 array with 9 drives in it. It hadn't been down in years we were told (the fear that always gives you). In those days backups would take all night, barely finishing before the offices opened in the morning, so we weren't able to wait for a backup before starting work.

So, we shut own the server and the array, add the RAM, etc. and power up the server and the external array. Sure enough, four of the drives decide not to spin up!! Once they cooled, that was it for the bearings!

I had a very young junior tech with me. I told him "quick look around under everyone's desk for a space heater". You know, in every office there is someone that is about to freeze to death at 78 degrees, and needs to have a heater under their desk (usually plugged into the same power strip as their PC). Sure enough, we found one.

I took it into the server room, laid it on it's back, like barbecue grill, and placed the four drives on "the grill". The junior tech looked horrified and said something like "what the hell are you doing?". We let them roast for a while, then put them back into the array. This time all but two drives spun up. So, those two went back on the grill. A few more minutes of roasting, and back into the array. This time only one wouldn't spin up, but with 8 drives working, the array came back up. This was about 3:00am.

We promptly ordered 9 new drives shipped overnight to replace the drives one at a time.

Hello, tech support? Yes, I've run out of desk... Yes, DESK... space

usbac

Re: Set up Guide?

I got in serious trouble taking things apart when I was a kid. The worst trouble I ever got into was when I was about 10, I completely disassembled our automatic dishwasher. When I say disassembled, I mean parts all over the kitchen. Solenoid valves in pieces (I thought the little springs inside were cool), wire bundles scattered all over, even the motor was in pieces!

So, after all of the yelling was over, I decided to try to put it back together. You should have seen the look on face of the poor appliance tech when he first saw it! My mother mode me be the one to tell him what happened as part of my punishment. He did admit that I somehow managed to get most of it back together okay. It was finding all of the little things I didn't get back together right that drove him nuts.

That was 40 years ago, but at least I can fix our dishwasher now when it breaks. I'm only slightly better at putting it back together now.

FYI: You could make Tesla's Autopilot swerve into traffic with a few stickers on the road

usbac

Re: @ John Robson

As a pilot, I don't know why you were down-voted. While some very advanced autopilot systems can land an aircraft, It's not that common for the autopilot to fly all the way to touchdown. Pilots do use the autopilot to fly the approach most of the time, but usually not all the way down.

I'm not sure I've ever seen an autopilot used for takeoff (outside of some drones, but even they are piloted remotely)? Most aircraft have a minimum height (above ground) where the autopilot can be activated. Usually about 400ft AGL.

While I've seen some demos of autopilots used for taxing, they were done under very controlled conditions. Kind of like the so-called self driving cars; limited areas with good roads and surveyed maps. The demos where "see, we can do this now..." without mentioning that it's only at this one airport, and only if there is little other traffic.

Are you sure you've got a floppy disk stuck in the drive? Or is it 100 lodged in the chassis?

usbac

Re: Endstop recalibration

Yeah, the distinct grinding sound each time you powered up an Apple ][. The thing is, those drives were built very well.

I recently dug out my old Apple ][ from the garage. It had been sitting there since the last time I moved (18 years ago) out in the open with about an inch of dust on the thing. A quick blowing out with some compressed air, and boom, it works. I pulled out a box of floppies I had from about 1982, and all but a couple of them would boot and read correctly. I even had an original Apple DOS disk dated 1977 that still booted.

I sold the whole thing on ebay recently for what I considered a stupid amount of money for an old Apple. Oh well, as long as someone is willing to pay that much, I guess?

All good, leave it with you...? Chap is roped into tech support role for clueless customer

usbac

Re: "While you're here, could you just..."

"if it plugs in the wall and doesn't make food it's IT equipment".

Not true here. I had to install the new dishwasher, microwave vent hood, and the new range in the break room.

usbac

Re: "This will only take a second..."

My dad's PC was always getting dropped off at my house, virus infected as hell. This was happening every few weeks. About the fifth time I told him that I will not fix it again. Period!

One of my best friends owns a local computer store. So, when the inevitable happened, I told my dad to take his PC over to Al's shop.

The next day I get a call from my friend Al that goes something like this...

Al: "Why is your dad bringing his PC to my shop?"

Me: "Because I told him I will not fix it anymore. This is the sixth time in three months he's got it infected."

Al: "Well... Okay, but I will give him a big discount because he's your father..."

Me: "NO!! If anything charge him a little extra. You'll hope you did when he brings it back infected in a week or two. Also, he needs to learn his lesson that behaving recklessly is going to cost him money from now on..."

Al: "Ummm.. I'm not sure I would feel right about charging him my full hourly rate..."

Me: "Well, suit yourself."

Al changed his mind about the third time my dad brought the PC in virus infected as hell!. I even tried to put him on Linux, but he just complained that he couldn't run this or that software.

I haven't seen his PC since this all went down, so I don't know he is doing these days?

Demand for HP printer supplies in free-fall – and Intel CPU shortages aren't helping either

usbac

At home I made the transition many years ago. Here in our climate where the humidity runs around 10-15% a lot of the year, ink cartridges last about 3-6 months whether you use them or not.

At one point I went to the local store to buy a set of ink cartridges, and found that the black/color combo was $59. That was the end for me with inkjet.

I ordered a Dell color laser printer for $210 shipping included. It's been at least five years now, and I'm still on the original toners. And, since the printer is now five years old, I can get aftermarket toners for about $15 each.

In hilariously petulant move, Apple shuts Texas stores and reopens them few miles down the road – for patent reasons

usbac

Re: My daughter learned in medical school...

If I were a doctor, I think I would refuse to treat lawyers. Mostly just out of self preservation!

At least make them sign a release before treating them. Unconscious, too bad!!

Insane homeowners association tries to fine resident for dick-shaped outline car left in snow

usbac

Re: "Insane homeowners association"

When we bought our house 18 years ago, I said I would never live where there is an HOA, but we bough our house anyway. The thing was that we were house number 6 in the development. There weren't even enough homeowners yet to set up the HOA until our house was finished.

I figured that the best way to avoid problems with the HOA was to be a board member. I was VP for the first two years, and then president for the next four years (no one would run for a board position). Finally, someone very reasonable was dumb enough to run against me. She got stuck with it until last summer.

My approach was to ignore most complaints and tell the complainer that the bylaws required complaints to be put in writing and mailed (certified mail) to each board member. That usually ended the problem right there. People will bitch, but they usually won't put it in writing and pay for certified mail. I think in 6 years, I only had one person submit a written complaint. And, that was against the builder of the subdivision who already had a written exemption from HOA rules in the bylaws.

We recently voted to disband our HOA, and I'm so glad we did. Some people at my work are actually glad they have an HOA. I usually suggest psychological treatment when they tell me they like having an HOA. I guess there are enough sheep in this world?

French data watchdog withdraws probe from location data guzzling adtech biz Vectaury

usbac

The big problem...

...is that idiot users don't care. If all they have to do is click accept, and then get "free" stuff, they don't care. Google has made billions from people willingly giving away their privacy. So has Facebook!

What good is it to have data protection laws when the public at large doesn't care?

When I ask people around me why they are giving their data willingly to the slurpers, they look at me like I'm some kind of wacko...

No yoke: 'Bored' Aussie test pilot passes time in the cockpit by drawing massive knobs in the air

usbac

It's a modern aircraft. He probably had a modern EFIS with the ability to plot his track over ground. It wouldn't be all that hard for a very good pilot to do this. Someone with "Test Pilot" in their title is usually an extremely good pilot!

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

usbac

Re: Remember DAT?

Yeah, we used them in the recording studio back in the 80's. It was a hell of an update for sending out CD masters. It sure beat Sony's system of using U-matic video tapes for masters.

Granddaddy of the DIY repair generation John Haynes has loosened his last nut

usbac

Re: Not always helpful

I have owned several Triumph Spitfires. The same thing applied with the inaccessible manifold bolts. To this day I don't know how the factory ever put the thing together!

I had both the Haynes manual and the original British Leyland factory service manual. I don't know which one was worse?

"This is true - engine removal was usually recommended!" I got really good at removing/re-installing the engine. I could drive the car into the garage, pull the engine/transmission, fix whatever little ting that required removing the engine, and drive it out about 2.5-3 hours later. About the 7th or 8th time you do it, you start to get good at it.

The Spitfires were a nightmare to keep running, and I sure like the reliability of modern cars, but damn I miss those little cars... So much fun driving our mountain roads in the summertime with the top down.

Hold horror stories: Chief, we've got a f*cking idiot on line 1. Oh, you heard all that

usbac

Many years ago I was the service manager for a local computer store (remember them?). My best friend owned a competing computer store across town. We always had a good matured rivalry going on.

One day my friend calls about a PC he got in for repair. He tells me that the customer said that we had worked on the PC last. He asks me some questions, and I told him that I would have to ask the tech Jeff about the repair. I go and find the work order. I tell my friend that the major problem we found with the PC was that the customer is a total idiot.

It turns out that my friend had me on speakerphone (which he seems to have an annoying fascination with), and the customer was standing right there. He learned not to do that again. Me, I really didn't care that much. The customer was pain in the ass, and a total jerk in general, so I wasn't upset to see him gone.

We always tried to take great care of customers, especially ones that need a lot of hand holding. But when you get someone that doesn't understand computers, and they act like a total ass when you try to help them, what can you do?

My friend later regretted trying to help this guy also...

Accused hacker Lauri Love to sue National Crime Agency to retrieve confiscated computing kit

usbac

Re: Representing himself

"It's entirely possible that it triggers a quicker prosecution on the original charges, in fact."

It's entirely possible that is the reason why his lawyers would not represent him on that issue? They told him something like "don't push the issue..."

So, he went ahead anyway, representing himself.

Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

usbac

It's the sock grinding mechanism in the dryer that takes them. I contend that accurate machine vision systems have secretly existed since at least the 80's. How else does the dryer know to eat one of each pairs of socks?

I though I would outsmart the dryer by doing what 'Persona' above mentioned and buy all the same socks. But alas the dryer still has an apatite for socks.

Where do you think all of that lint in the filter comes from? There's no way all of that is just coming off of your cloths, right?

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

usbac

Re: I can believe it!

I once had a call out at 3:00am and had to drive an hour in the middle of the night to put paper in a printer. We had a full time help desk (24/7) with four techs on each shift, and somehow they couldn't figure out that the paper was out, and had to call in a senior admin!!!

Needless to say I started looking for a new job that same day. Horrible place to work. The other two senior admins left within a year of me leaving. I should have known how bad it was when I found out that the person I replaced only worked there for six months.

It's a Christmas miracle: Logitech backs down from Harmony home hub API armageddon

usbac

Re: Joy to the World

It's too bad that Logitech only does it when forced! It should be the default, but the tech industry seems to prefer to kick their customers in the balls first.

Consultant misreads advice, ends up on a 200km journey to the Exchange expert

usbac

Re: Cut the red wire

Like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcaWQZlPXgQ

Bruce

Germany pushes router security rules, OpenWRT and CCC push back

usbac

We just got rid of all of our handheld bar code scanners that were WEP only. The problem is that they are pricey (about $2600 each), so replacing over a dozen, and having to re-write all of the custom software that they run, was a big expense. We just had a separate wireless network firewalled off from our other segments, just for the scanners. It worked but was a pain to manage.

Dell upping its margins again: Precision 5530 laptop will sting you for $13m. Yep, six zeroes

usbac

The question I have is did they sell any?

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait

usbac

Well... everyone wish me luck with the big lottery tonight. I told my wife that if we win, I'm giving $10 million to the React OS guys (she looked at me like I was from Mars). Maybe even more if it looked like they would actually finish the thing.

I would even fund an open source replacement for Outlook. For us, that's the one app I would have huge problems with prying from people's hands. I think it's the case for most enterprises. I could replace Word/Excel with Open Office or Libre Office, but Outlook is where I would get the most resistance.

usbac

"It's entirely possible that the absurd breakneck pace of change we're seeing masks a complete breakdown in Microsoft's ability to produce reliable software," wrote Woody Leonard. "All I know for sure is that Windows is on a vicious downward spiral."

Two comments:

1) Did Microsoft ever really produce reliable software? If they did, I don't seem to remember it. And, I've worked in IT for 27+ years.

2) The "vicious downward spiral" started about 20 years ago.

I don't think any of these things are a revelation?

Equifax exec's inside trade shame: Software boss sentenced for mega-hack stock profit

usbac

Re: So only getting caught trading on knowledge is punishable

The leaked information only affects the little people (like us). So, no it doesn't matter...

World's largest CCTV maker leaves at least 9 million cameras open to public viewing

usbac

Re: Security? We've heard of it.

We run a bunch of these cheap Chinese cameras at several sites. What we do is put them on their own physical network segment (not VLAN) fire-walled off from the rest of the network. They don't have access to the internet at all. We then run Blue Iris NVR software on rack-mount servers that are on the isolated segment. These servers are accessible from the internet through an enterprise class firewall for certain authorized people.

Any security contractor that installs a camera system that is not isolated from the company's internal network should be sued out of existence.

I once tossed an alarm contractor out of the building when the technicians (with very poor IT skills) insisted on having access to our internal network. I told our CFO to find a more cooperative vendor, and he did.

Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it

usbac

"But astronauts are a different breed. They probably said "wheeeee! Can we go again?"

I remember during my flight training the day we went out for spin recovery training. After our first deliberate spin and subsequent recovery, my comment was "that was fun, can we do it again?" followed by a cold stare from my instructor. I was young then. It's amazing how we change when we get older...

Super Micro China super spy chip super scandal: US Homeland Security, UK spies back Amazon, Apple denials

usbac

I don't think it's that difficult to do something like what is mentioned in the original article. Everyone needs to understand that the "chips" we see on circuit boards aren't the real chip. The actual die inside the package is much smaller than what we see on a board. The die can be as small as .1mm square. The dies are placed into much larger packages so that they can be soldered to a circuit board.

If properly done, a die could be placed between layers like an embedded via. It would take a great deal of knowledge and skill to do it, but it could be done. With some of the innovative assembly techniques being developed by companies like Apple (as much as I dislike Apple), the Chinese contract manufacturers have been taught how to do some crazy things.

Tapping something like an SPI bus isn't that hard. It's only 4 signals. One could create a chip that would normally be a pass-through, but would change commands when it needed to. I have done quite a bit of SPI software and hardware, and I can see how this could be done. It would be rally hard, but when state sponsored, it's possible.

Our government would not even blink at spending $100 million on something like this. With that kind of money, it would be easy to find a few very talented engineers that could pull this off.

I remember back in the 90's people were opening up ICs and probing them under a microscope in live running circuits to break the encryption on satellite TV receivers. If people will do this to get free TV channels, what do you think a government with nearly unlimited funds can do?

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