* Posts by ShelLuser

2473 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

McDonald's sues Italian city for $20m after being burger-blocked

ShelLuser
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WTF?

What damages?

The arrogance of McD really ticks me off here to be honest. They claim to have damages, but how can this be if they haven't invested anything yet? Also: if no one wants to buy your stuff (it seems most local residences agree with the mayor, I guess McD also doesn't respect democracy anymore) then how do you plan on selling?

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Retiring IETF veteran warns: Stop adding so many damn protocols

ShelLuser
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He's right...

Everyone agrees that community efforts are a good thing, but we all still want to do things "our" way. Because "our" way is best. Although they can be the best option for you, that does not automatically make them a viable candidate to become an official standard for everyone.

I think xkcd shows a good example of this ;)

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

ShelLuser
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IMO the whole concept was flawed from the getgo...

There have been so many attempts like this and the problems with these kind of things can bring are numerous. For example: what if companyA wants to give companyB a bad reputation? Well, then apply a botnet of some sort and lets all down vote companyB. Using plugins for ratings is a bad idea per definition I think.

Another thing: personal preference anyone? Just because some people think a website is bad doesn't automatically make it bad. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but opinions usually heavily differ. What such plugin tries to do is to label websites and to invoke some kind of global opinion on 'm. But.. that doesn't work all the time and I can't help wonder that it does more damage than good.

And finally: warning for exploits and such. Puhlease: how many websites and options do we already have? It would help if people would try to re-invent the wheel each and every time and instead try to support some of the already existing solutions out there. Fragmentation can lead to insecurity too.

(edit) Still, one thing: it's not as if they made a secret out of it. It's all right there in their privacy policy. I don't get it why anyone would want to use this after reading that. Or maybe... yeah, who reads all that huh?

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UK prison reform report wants hard-coded no-fly zones in drones to keep them out of jail

ShelLuser
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Black Helicopters

@Pascal

"I really don't see that this is in any actually useful. The only people it will hinder are the honest ones that, by definition, should have no interest in flying their drone over a prison anyway."

Or worse... Imagine a riot starting and a prison getting taken over. Just to ensure the current situation and to determine who does what they set out a drone and... uh, oh.... This could go wrong on so many levels.

My main problem with this though is that governments apparently don't want to bother upholding their own rules anymore. If you do the crime then get 'm to do their time, but this is just taking the cheap way out. And it also raises the question what could be next on their "no-go list"?

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Is password security at just $1/month too expensive for most?

ShelLuser
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Black Helicopters

I think it's obvious...

They want your data, and they'll make the deal looking as sweet as it possibly can.

As Crazy (first poster) already mentioned: it's an online service, so all your stuff will be stored "in the cloud" and you get to hope that they're using a good encryption algorithm. But there's more: using the service like this would also give them a pretty much undeniable trace of all your activities. After all: surely you wouldn't recall a Google password if you weren't really using Google at that time.

That amounts to very precious and verifiable user data, and we all know that there are dozens of companies looking to monetize on that.

I'm not just saying so, just check their Terms of service, I quote: "LMI receives or is otherwise granted access to any Customer personal data while providing the Services, LMI agrees to (i) use such personal data solely for the purposes of providing the Services to Customer; (ii) process the personal data only in accordance with Customer’s instructions, which, unless expressly stated otherwise in a mutually agreed upon amendment to this Agreement, are represented in the form of this Agreement".

So what is required for providing this service? It would be easy to argue that maintaining their cloud is essential for this. And how does one do that? By generating revenue to pay for it. Now, sure, I can see that the intent of this service agreement is most likely different. They're probably referring to storing the data, possible backing it up and making it available again to the user(s). But even so: it doesn't rule out the other options either.

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Windows 10 market share stalls after free upgrade offer ends

ShelLuser
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Windows

It's a sad story...

I honestly believe that Microsoft can achieve some great things, some of their technology is impressive. I mean, it's not easy mixing an (somewhat) easy to use GUI and still allow for pro's to perform more complex (commandline) tasks. I also think some of their software is a bit under appreciated. When taking a look at Office for example there are plenty of people who fail to realize that the VBA backend is basically a complete programming environment on its own. The interactivity doesn't stop between the Office components.

But yeah... I think the main problem here is that Microsoft still fails to realize (or they're in denial, I have no idea) that they no longer dominate the market. Instead of forcing their ideals onto people (Windows 10) they should try to appeal to them instead.

I mean, am I the only one who spots the massive irony in this thread? People don't use Windows 10 because of the spying and intrusion of Microsoft but will easily mention the ease of use Google provides. Don't get me wrong: the arguments are most definitely legit, Google knows really well how to provide appealing products. But don't think for one second that all of that is free!

As to Win 10... "Teaserware" is what I call it. I have no love lost for software which shows you dozens of options which you cannot use because "you should get the premium version!". Instead of focusing on the tease why not focus on giving me better and more direct access to the features which you do provide instead of trying to send me on a goose chase?

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ShelLuser
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Stop

@Field commander

"users won't adopt it if they have to pay for it"

There is truth to your comment: there are plenty of users who associate "open source software" with "free software", and that 'free' is free as in beer.

However.... I'd like to point your attention to the FreeBSD foundation, the Free Software Foundation and the Apache foundation.

Note how they all manage to receive donations in order to carry on their work? Hosting software isn't free, hosting a website not so much either and here we are: I can visit those websites and my ad blocker doesn't have to block one single ad.

As you can see the FreeBSD foundation even managed to raise $270,000 worth of donations (at the time of writing). That's all coming from people and companies who care for the project, who realize that they can be saving money by using it and then spending some of that money on the project itself.

Please note: the only reason I focus on the FreeBSD foundation is because this is my personal favorite, but my story holds true for all the other foundations as well (main difference is that I have no idea about their current funds).

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Kids today are so stupid they fall for security scams more often than greybeards

ShelLuser
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Megaphone

It's a mentality change IMO

Slowly but steadily things are shifting and the more technology people get to use the dumber they get, at least that's my impression of it. And you see this happening everywhere, not just with tech and scamming. Take the game market! I remember the times when certain gaming companies were getting very critical comments from game magazines when they did something as releasing a technically un-finished game. The classic: "Sorry, it might not work on your PC right now but it'll soon will after the next patch!". These days most people seem to easily accept this behavior because "that's just the way it is", which is utter nonsense of course. But it gets even more ridiculous when players who do see this behavior speak up about it (and in a mature and normal way). Because then your fanboy army often gets out... In some cases I'd say people allow themselves to be fooled and scammed because they don't (want to?) bother to think things over.

It even goes as far as turning things completely upside down and placing the responsibility for mishaps with everyone except the actual people who did it.

Here in Holland there's a huge concern about "tracking": companies which pick up wifi signals from passing phones, store them and then use the data they get to track people. Caused a bit of an uproar because they were obviously tramping on people's privacy. They were the bad guys for using all that data. But, like... If you value privacy so much then why on earth do you allow your phone to try and use other people's wifi networks?

It's a complete mentality change IMO. People stop to think, they're not interested at all how stuff works anymore and then you get idiotic scenarios like these.

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NSA, GCHQ and even Donald Trump are all after your data

ShelLuser
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Stop

Even worse...

"it’s worth remembering that the US government wants access to your information and will use warrants, decryption or hacking to get to it."

Have we already forgotten about all the data which the US demands gets handed over from whoever is visiting the country or did you guys simply ignore so that it doesn't look too bad?

If you want to visit the US from Europe and you apply for a visa then they even reserve the rights to look at your bank accounts and go through your whole financial administration. Guilty until proven innocent. And the EU is even more than willing to help them with it. Of course there was a little uproar when the EU considered asking the same from US citizens, that was obviously a blatant intrusion on their privacy.

As to snooping: agreed. You'll even get on their radar if you do something as simple as maintaining a VPN between server home servers. Because that sure looks suspicious! (when IPsec/OpenSWAN was just out a group of friends and me decided to put it to the test and we connected our Linux boxes using a VPN to goof around. Even build our own root DNS server (yes, we're geeks) and a crude (controlled!) gateway. at one time one of our US friends/peers got a visit from 'certain people' to inquire about the increase in encrypted traffic from his home Internet connection, and this was all long before 9/11 mind you!).

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Tesla's big news today:
sudo killall -9 Autopilot

ShelLuser
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@hyper

I'm not sure of course, but considering Tesla's eagerness to sue television shows which shared negative opinions about their cars I wouldn't be surprised at all if they got this legally covered as well. Something tells me they have to, I don't think they can afford to get sued over a malfunctioning auto pilot for example...

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Microsoft tries, fails to crush 'gender bias' lawsuit brought by its own women engineers

ShelLuser
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Stop

Always a one-sided story

Sure, it could be true. But it could also be an issue of people who got it into their head that they 'deserve' a positive promotion and will now start blaming everything except themselves.

I think people sometimes get it into their head that they're entitled for things like a promotion, but fact of the matter is that you're entitled to getting paid to perform the job for which you've been hired. It is awesome if you get promoted and rise up in the ranks, but it's most certainly not the companies obligation to even do so.

And I think that last part is what some people tend to forget sometimes.

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

ShelLuser
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Open? Or is Money?

"By being open source, not only do the security problems get smaller – because of all the eyeballs on it – but the ability to work with new products grows."

Do they get smaller? If we look at the Debian OpenSSL disaster we've seen a major problem sitting at the very heart of the encryption engine yet it was undiscovered for over three years. And that's but one example, many open source projects have had issues (both big and small) which took their sweet time to be found.

What this theory is ignoring is that many eyes can still overlook the obvious. And I don't mean that in a negative or disrespectful way. But if you know a certain environment inside-out then the chances of overlooking obvious small caveats only increases. This is also why you usually let other (outside) people test your stuff. Open source doesn't change this concept at all.

Another problem is that not every user of open source software will actually look at the source code. And even if they do: with bigger projects you'll have several people working on it, who usually all have their own coding style. This only makes it more difficult for an outsider to actually grasp the whole code structure. It's the same issue with forking; although one of the major advantages of open source projects is that you can fork one to make it your own, forking isn't the thing to worry about: it's maintaining the new source tree, especially with those bigger projects.

So basically I see a lot of hollow marketing talk here. And that usually indicates commercial interests, which make me convinced that, as usual, the money factor is going to be the real winner.

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Dutch govt ordered to use open standards for comms from 2017

ShelLuser
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Change because of the change?

I'm a big advocate of open source software because I believe that it's much safer and more transparent than software which comes with risks of hidden agenda's. And it can work. Take a look at foundations such as the FreeBSD foundation (personal favorite), the Free Software foundation and Apache (to name three).

However...

I'm not much in favor of governments setting out rules to use open source software merely because it's open source software. Get the software which is right for the job and which does the job best. If that is an open source solution: brilliant! But if the current environment can also support the new standards then please don't start changing stuff merely because of the change.

Because I can only shudder at the thought of the massive amounts of tax money which will go down the drain with that.

Such stories always remind me of that German city counsel which was determined to remove all Microsoft influence and switch everything onto Linux and open source software. They lasted for 3 or 4 years, completely exhausted their budget (even went over it) and eventually switched back again. Partly because of costs (read: because of total mismanagement).

Pick open source software because it's the best candidate for the job, not just because it's open source software.

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Will Microsoft's nerd goggles soar like an Eagle, or flop like a turkey?

ShelLuser
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@snowy

I wouldn't say that Apple lost but it is true that at one point Microsoft donated (or loaned) a heavy amount of cash to Apple in order to help it survive. This happened in 1997, check out this article on the Wired. Lost maybe a big word but if the two were to compete then Microsoft would have ended up on top.

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Astronauts on long-haul space flights risk getting 'space brains'

ShelLuser
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Stop

@AC

"I am always shocked the majority of the world is willing to deal with countries that have such terrible human rights record"

That you know off.

That is the whole key element: what you (don't) know is going on. Take Gitmo for example, that is a blatant disgrace and major insult to human rights if there was one (in case people forgot: the option to detain people without any trial and then torturing them for confessions). Last I checked this concentration camp hasn't been shut down, despite all previously made promises.

So how much of these installations are out there which we don't know off?

I also don't particular like the Islamic laws which are upheld in countries such as Saudi Arabia but at least they don't make a secret out of it. You know up front what you're getting yourself into if you visit, which is more I can say for the way "Gitmo law" was applied.

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'There may be no hackers' says Trump in Presidential Debate II

ShelLuser
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FAIL

So, uhm, what about that NSA?

I know, he's living in Russia and there for is probably a "commie", not patriotic anymore and probably an enemy of the state. But, as reported by El Reg, the Snowden files showed that (I quote): "Documents from the Edward Snowden archive prove that the malware and exploits dumped on the public internet on Monday originated from the NSA. Among the files leaked by whistleblower Snowden in 2013 is a draft NSA manual on how to redirect people's web browsers using a man-in-the-middle tool called SECONDDATE.".

See this article.

Or is this something which both candidates don't want us to know about? Or, <gasp>, could it be that they simply have no clue themselves either?

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'Too big to fail' cloud giants like AWS threaten civilization as we know it

ShelLuser
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I don't get it...

Of course I do get it but in general I simply don't get how this would be different with, say, a data center or such. In one data center you'll also find hundreds if not thousands of companies who host their services there. When that goes down (whatever kind of outage) then you risk to run into the same kind of hazards.

I do agree that the single point of failure is often bigger. Especially if cloud companies are hosting on single pieces of hardware and not actually in a virtual networked system which consists of multiple hardware 'components' (which is what most cloud providers seem to be doing, once the computer goes down then so go dozens of virtual instances).

But too big? Nah, they'll have their asses covered with the usual legal mumbo jumbo.

In my opinion it's not an issue of size but an issue of actually getting it right: only promising that which you actually deliver instead of pretending that your cloud solution is something which it's actually not.

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Microsoft disbands Band band – and there'll be no version 3

ShelLuser
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Joke

So I guess...

The Microsoft band banded together to witness the disbanding of the Microsoft Band band before they could jump on the bandwagon? I wonder how long it'll take them before they're getting the band back together.

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Ladies in tech, have you considered not letting us know you're female?

ShelLuser
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@tfewster

"I truly believe I'm colour and gender blind"

And I truly believe honesty and transparency should be a top priority when you're looking for a job. If I can't trust you to speak the truth during your application then what guarantees do I have that you will do so when the company hires you?

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Our Windows windows will be resizable, soooon, vows Microsoft

ShelLuser
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Windows

I suppose...

This is Microsoft's way to keep a steady revenue going: once you reach a point where you basically provide everything people need and want then you simply drop features for no apparent reason and then promise to think about possibly re-adding them somewhere "soon".

In the mean time, I know it gets old, my Windows 7 presents me with plenty of resizeable, movable and closeable windows :)

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Sage advice: Avoid the Windows 10 Anniversary Update – it knackers our accounting app

ShelLuser
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Avoid the Windows 10 Anniversary Update?

I stopped reading after "Windows 10", which I intend to ignore entirely.

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Official: Windows 10 has hit the 400 million device mark

ShelLuser
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@Joe

"On the privacy issue, you have no problem giving facebook all your details, photos of your children and details of where you have been, where you are now and where you are going next week."

I do, I don't even have Facebook or Twitter or whatever. So yeah, guess Win10 is only for the younger social-media generation? ;)

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Ordinary punters will get squat from smart meters, reckons report

ShelLuser
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FAIL

What savings?

This is such a load of theoretical nonsense. My house also has "smart" meters, they measure the usage of the heater and they can be read from a distance, so the company doesn't have to actually enter my house. Works fine for me.

But even though they save money that doesn't mean that their benefit will also find its way to me. I continue to pay the same amount of costs.

I always hear those stories about "it'll save money" but no one bothers to tell us where that money is supposed to be coming from :P

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Microsoft deletes Windows 10 nagware from Windows 7 and 8

ShelLuser
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Now lets hope...

It deletes the right nagware, and not something else. Because I can imagine it already: "Ok, so now that Win7/Win8 users can no longer upgrade to Windows 10 I guess they won't be needing that update option anymore either...".

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Opera debuts free VPN built into desktop browser

ShelLuser
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Thumb Up

Impressive!

I picked up Opera around version 19 or 20 (I think) because I wanted to try something else but I don't trust Google enough to start using Chrome, it's also a matter of principle (a bit). The first start was an instant hit: it could easily import favorites from both Internet Explorer (which I used sporadically) and SeaMonkey (which is still my 2nd browser). Both without any problems.

A lot of stuff got added over time and I think it's impressive. Take the internal Ad blocker: I tested this against AdBlock pro and it's doing an excellent job! I have several friends who now fully rely on Opera to keep things out. And I noticed something: they're much more open to the idea that Opera might allow a few ads to slip through than an AdBlocker plugin. Simple reasoning really: "They gave us a free browser, so why shouldn't they try to make some money out of that?".

Not sure I fully agree with that idea (Opera also pushes some of their favorites forward I'm sure) but I do agree that they're really trying to work with their users instead of against them. For example: ever since I started using it (1 - 2 years ago) I've always had (roughly) the same interface. Eventually 1 extra icon appeared in the programs title bar (tab menu) but that's hardly intrusive. I still remember Firefox with its always changing interface (which is also why I stopped using it).

This VPN feature is just the next step in my opinion. I probably won't be using it myself, but I still think it's an awesome feature. Especially for those who might be in need for free speech options (protection).

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Is Tesla telling us the truth over autopilot spat?

ShelLuser
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Tesla does have a weird reputation...

And they're not exactly friendly in some ways either. First to think about the infamous Top Gear episode which made Tesla actually sue Top Gear not once, but several times. And they lost every time. I can understand that Tesla didn't like that episode, but really: what did they expect? The original Top Gear crew never made it a secret that they weren't exactly fond of electric cars. And it's not as if they hadn't done something similar before (they tried to take a road trip using electric cars, and ended up stranded several times because some cities didn't have any charging options).

But I also remember the recent crash in the Netherlands. Tesla was plain out disrespectful with the way they handled the aftermath and cared more about their precious reputation than the family of the deceased. The problem: while the Dutch police were still investigating the crash and hadn't officially informed the next of kin yet Tesla felt the need to share a press release in which they shared a lot of details about the crash before the official police report came out.

Tesla could have waited a week, or heck: 3 - 4 days or so, so that the family didn't have to hear all details from a press release, but apparently they obviously didn't care all that much about showing a bit of respect and courtesy towards those family members who had lost someone.

And with all that in mind I wouldn't be surprised one single bit if Tesla did bend the truth a little here as well.

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IPv4 apocalypse means we just can't measure the internet any more

ShelLuser
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@Novex

"If the industry wants me to adopt IPv6, then give me a translation router that: allows my v4 network to work internally, via static addresses if necessary; allows my website and email servers to be connected either via v4 or v6; allows me to prevent snooping backwards into my individual devices."

Well, fun fact: I actually have an IPv6 connection but mostly use IPv4, for the simple reason that apparently my provider doesn't fully realize how IPv6 should (or could) work.

You see: my router supports IPv6 on the outside (also has an IPv6 address) but only provides IPv4 on the inside. It gets more bizarre: my IPv6 address is an /128 one. In other words: one fixed address, I'd have expected some kind of subnet for sure.

As such my connection still relies on IPv4. Heck, because of the lack of IPv6 on the inside its the only thing I can do. Note that I don't mind all that much: I'm happy to have a gateway between my PC and the Internet instead of having my PC's firewall act as the first and last line of defense. But this wasn't the way they intended IPv6 to be used, that's for sure!

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Skype shuts down London office, hangs up on hundreds of devs

ShelLuser
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@Dan

"They created MSN Messenger from scratch and people quite liked it."

So much this! And I think it also goes to show that it almost seems as if one part of Microsoft has no clue at all what the other part is doing. Take MSN: that got shut down. That is: it was supposed to, then someone suddenly remembered that the XBox was fully build upon MSN / Messenger. Oops! As such the original shutdown got delayed.

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Ransomware scum infect Comic Relief server: Internal systems taken down

ShelLuser
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Pint

@William

"Charities these days are a sham."

Just because a majority seems to be taking it lightly with ethics and such doesn't automatically make the whole thing a scam. Though I do agree with you that there are many problems right now.

For me a charity which needs some kind of profit to sustain itself (and its staff) is usually a scam. Because of their double morale: they maybe trying to do some good things, but as a commercial institute their first priority will always be to generate profit in order to sustain themselves. Because of that they can = per definition = no longer put other peoples interest above their own. Which should be the basic principle of a charity.

This goes double when the founder / CEO / board of directors / etc. all get a very hefty income out of the whole thing. And with hefty I refer to having the ability to easily purchase luxury items like mansions, boats and yachts. Because in my opinion those things have nothing to do with charity.

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Wanna prove you’re a Tech Trailblazer? Entries close in a week

ShelLuser
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Holmes

Uhm...

"With the entry fee capped at $295 if you’re company that’s less than six years old, privately funded, or at C-series stage, what have you got to lose?"

$295.

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Alleged buggy software wrongly flunks wannabe lawyers from bar exam. What happened next won't shock you

ShelLuser
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@MrDamage

"The wannabee lawyers would not have seen it, therefore they have fair grounds to sue."

I'm actually not too sure about that, though I don't want to pretend to know exactly how the law works in this manner. But it would be more logical for these students to sue the institute which held the exams. The software may have caused the mistake, but it was the institute itself which eventually didn't pass them. So it seems more logical to me to put the blame on the institution.

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It's OK for the FBI's fake hacks to hack suspects' PCs, says DoJ watchdog

ShelLuser
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Coffee/keyboard

Aww, the press shedding crocodile tears...

I would be more inclined to side with the press if it weren't for the fact that the press themselves more than often work without any scrutiny or morale at all. A major accident or catastrophe? Lets make as many pictures as we can, preferably from people who actually got hurt. Who cares if they might be improperly dressed or if the police hasn't had the time to identify everyone and inform their next of kin (in case of a fatality). That is more than often a regular journalist at work for you.

As to the incident itself... Everyone who knows a tiny bit about computers knows better than to blindly click on a link in an e-mail. No matter who it's from. It wouldn't be the first time that spammers try to impersonate someone else (like an African lottery agency).

Also important: it's not as this was a destructive piece of malware, all it did was call home; send back any available (contact) information. I agree that there are always risks, but in this case nothing too major. This was a carefully orchestrated pin-point attack, and I honestly can't find too much wrong with it.

I'm happy to hear they caught that annoying SOB.

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Trump website server config snafu left interns' CVs exposed

ShelLuser
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Joke

I have the solution!

They should listen more to Trump: maybe they can build a wall around the server, a great wall made out of fire to keep all the pesky intruders out. We could call it... A firewall!

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Dear sysadmin: This is how you stay relevant

ShelLuser
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Pint

A good sysadmin...

Can put the need of others above their own. In a way I've always considered my sysadmin job to be a bit ironic, because in a way you're always busy by making yourself obsolete. To a certain extend.

Think about the things you do in day to day operations. A good practice is to have those documented so that others can take over your tasks if the need arises. Yet this also means that theoretically they could kick you out from doing that task in its entirety and have someone cheaper simply follow the procedures which you laid out.

Even so, this has always been my philosophy on sysadmin work: you're basically doing things which make yourself obsolete. Because you always strive to make things better, but making things better also often means less interaction and more automation (not always!).

Of course there is much more to this. But that's also where the danger lies: the moment when the shit hits the fan, then we're getting where things count. Now your expertise and knowledge will be put to the test, and that is something which your "procedure following John Doe" won't be able to cope with. But that part is dangerous, especially when the upper brass starts to assess risk calculations. How often could this happen? How much costs would it take for them to get "ad-hoc" help? Maybe outsourcing so you only pay when you need a sysadmin's help?

For the record: I'm also one of those old guys who despises the fact that in many companies the helpdesk (sorry: service desk) is where they park sysadmins, claiming that the job is actually the same. It is not, and any managers who claim otherwise are in my humble opinion stupid idiots. As a sysadmin I do not mind doing service desk help, absolutely not. But don't think that I can actually work on server maintenance or other specific tasks while there's a risk that I'll be interrupted at any given time. Concentration is key with some things, and that's an issue many "highly trained managers" apparently never heard of, or can't even remotely imagine.

Just my 2 cents here.

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EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords

ShelLuser
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Re: Meh

"That Brexit is looking better every day...

Well, there is definitely some irony to be found here. Because I know city councils who are busy to experiment with providing free Wi-Fi for the entire city and all its guests. Guess Europe now put a stop to that ;)

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ShelLuser
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Megaphone

Must be fun...

Being able to make up rules and tell people what they should do while you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Cynical? Yessir, but that's honestly my impression about these political 'geniuses'.

Why I say that? Because I can turn this around. When a machine interacts with a wifi hotspot it'll send out its MAC address (you know: you can limit wifi access based on that as well, works quite effectively). Therefor I can argue that the identity got revealed, in the form of a MAC address. Which is, by theoretical definition anyway, a unique identifier.

I know what you're thinking: that is not really an identification because I don't know who the person is. Welcome to the phenomenon of: "the letter of the law". They clearly said:

"it is necessary to require users to reveal their identity to be prevented from acting anonymously before obtaining the required password."

And the definition of identity is left out. So when looking this up on the Innernets (Oxford dictionary):

"Identity - The characteristics determining who or what a person or thing is.

Note: or thing? And as said: a MAC address is supposed to be unique, ergo, I have established the identity (of the machine aka the thing, which is still operated by the user), so they're free to use the open Wi-Fi.

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'What this video game needs is actual footage of real gruesome deaths'

ShelLuser
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Stop

They forget one small detail...

"The lobby group thinks that the developer has an obligation to depict the swine-herding experience with complete verisimilitude, including pigs being slaughtered by being “hung upside down, stabbed, and dropped into scalding-hot water.

I can actually respect their opinion, because it is true that sometimes us humans don't exactly treat animals as gentle or kindly as we could. Not every country has applied laws which demand that slaughter houses try to keep the stress on the animals as small as possible.

But having said that... Slaughter houses... A farmer who has livestock usually doesn't slaughter these animals themselves. They get loaded into a truck, unloaded at the slaughter house and after processing (yes, I know how that sounds) the farmer gets the end product(s): the meat and such.

So... even though I can respect PETA's opinion on this matter I also think it would suit them to get their own facts straightened out as well.

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Using a thing made by Microsoft, Apple or Adobe? It probably needs a patch today

ShelLuser
Silver badge

It's not the brand, but the software...

Modern software as a whole seems to be fully relying on patching. From games which are released while the product actually wasn't fully finished right down to open source projects where small caveats are found during usage which then also need to be fixed through patching. I know: sometimes a new version gets released. But is that really so much different from releasing a patch?

This thing doesn't stop with Microsoft, Adobe and Google....

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Ad flog Plus: Adblock Plus now an advertising network, takes cash to broker web banners

ShelLuser
Silver badge

@Crazy

"The fact that ABP users aren't very likely to click on ads, let alone purchase the item advertised, causes the whole advertising 'value proposition' to fall on its face."

You seem to be under the impression that those advertisers actually think these things through. Would you buy something from a firm which has (proven!) infected your computer with malware which made your browser automatically go their website dozens of times (unwanted), even up to a point where your PC slowed down to such extremes that you called in some help from a friend to "clean up" your PC?

I don't think so either. Yet malware is still heavily spread around and actually being used.

You seem to forget the golden rule of advertising: It doesn't matter how they talk about you, as long as they are talking about you. (your product, brand, etc.).

Here in Holland we have a TV show which allows viewers to vote for the most irritating TV commercial of them all. The intend (or so we're led to believe) is to shame those companies for annoying so many people. Guess what? The "prize of shame" is actually highly appreciated by companies, and they're actually proud if they won it. Why? Simple: because that prize is also solid proof that dozens of people were talking about their product, the undeniable fact that their commercial actually raised product awareness, right up to a point where people voted for it, which is all they care for.

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Plusnet broadband outage: Customers fume as TITSUP* continues

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Mushroom

And this is why...

You won't easily get me to use an Internet-only product such as Office 365. Once the Internet goes down my demand to be able to work or at least do something goes up. Heck, even Minecraft works perfectly without Internet, so why shouldn't all the other stuff?

2
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The Rise, Fall and Return of TomTom

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Ah, Psion...

Same... I think fondly back about my 3mx and my 5. I loved both, but in all honesty I also think the 3mx was a bit more suitable for its intended use: keeping track of notes and schedules and such. The 5 was most definitely more feature rich (I even managed to run Norton Commander on it through the use of a DOS emulator!) but also quite bulky.

Still, the moving keyboard to preserve space was brilliant in my opinion. Even had a very nice touch response to it as well, I was even able to type letters on it!

If it wasn't for the (more) difficult way to synchronize my data with my PC I might have still been using it today. Because that has always been the problem with Psion for me: syncing. Psion 6 + better sync. support would be an instant winner with me. But... unfortunately they stopped their consumer line :(

3
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Tesla driver dies after Model S hits tree

ShelLuser
Silver badge

@AndyS

Another post, while the thread is more or less 'done', but even so... Usually the aftermath is just as important (if not more) than the moments shortly after the event itself.

"And yet you want to have a go at bashing them. Well, good for you."

Well, no bashing from me, but in the aftermath of this incident Tesla has shown to have very little consideration for the drivers family. Which I think is appalling. Here's the problem: while the police were still busy investigating the crash and had not given any official statement yet Tesla considered it necessary to send out a press release in which they declared that the driver was speeding together with other information involving the crash. Before the police had given any official reports, even before the police had a chance to contact the next of kin.

In my opinion Tesla only had their own reputation in mind here and apparently couldn't care less about the drivers family. Who got to hear some details first from a company's press statement before being contacted by the police.

I think that's disgusting on the part of Tesla. They could have waited a week or so before releasing this but no... Their reputation obviously came first.

So yeah, you still think they're doing everything they can to keep people safe? Or are they doing everything they can to preserve their own reputation?

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ShelLuser
Silver badge

Re: standard operating procedures

I mean, they are firefighters, how would they tackle an electrical fire in any other situation?

By making sure the power gets shut down.

Why didn't they just use the already-existing steps to tackle electrical fires? It's not as if a Tesla car is anything special in that regard.

Because the safety system which should have done a complete shut down had failed due to the crash, therefor the risks of electrocution were still there. Also because some of the batteries had caught fire.

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ShelLuser
Silver badge

@AndyS

I'm actually from the Netherlands and could follow the news around this...

"In this case, a man has, tragically, died in a car crash. That is all we know."

Oh, we know a lot more. It took 5 hours before the fire department finally could start to remove the body. It's also not 100% sure yet if the man actually died during the crash or after because... As it turned out the safety system which should have done a total shut down failed, due to the crash (ironic in my opinion), and because the batteries of the car had caught fire the fire department feared risk of electrocution, therefor couldn't do much. As such it took them 5 hours.

I do agree that you can't blame Tesla here, though the failed failsave sounds peculiar to me. However I do think people might want to re-consider driving electric cars considering the extra hazards it could cause.

If this had been a normal petrol car then the fire department could have acted a whole lot quicker.

4
2

Sony wins case over pre-installed Windows software

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Windows

So what about Windows browser choice?

"The CJEU said that it is not necessarily an unfair commercial practice to bundle computers with pre-installed software, so long as "such an offer is not contrary to the requirements of professional diligence and does not distort the economic behaviour of consumers".

Yet Microsoft got fined and were forced to provide users with a choice of browsers and quite frankly I fail to see the difference. Especially considering the fact that all those browsers can be picked up free of charge, therefor I'd argue that there is little commercial impact. In fact, one could even argue that the browser can be used to download other browsers on the Internet.

"A commercial practice is to be regarded as misleading if it omits material information that the average consumer needs in order to make an informed transactional decision"

I think one could also argue that it's not the role of an operating system to inform the end users that there are more choices when it comes to browsers, also because the role of an operating system is to be used to run software on it (any software). And with search engines such as Google and Bing (or the Internet as a whole) I think it's not that far fetched to argue that consumers can easily use that to get hold of other software (such as browsers). All they'd need is a browser to get there.

Now, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with the EU's ruling back then, but I do think that this new ruling contradicts the verdict we got back then. And that's not exactly how the law should work: it should apply to everyone. Which then leads me to wonder if there are any benefits for the EU with Sony's current presence.

2
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Come in HTTP, your time is up: Google Chrome to shame leaky non-HTTPS sites from January

ShelLuser
Silver badge
WTF?

Dumb idea IMO..

Dumb on many levels.

Have we already forgotten about running out of IPv4 addresses? A website which uses plain HTTP allows the webserver to perform name based lookups. In other words: you can host several websites using 1 single IP address. Enforcing HTTPS takes this advantage away due to its structure, HTTPS needs a dedicated IP address for a website. So basically... While we're in the middle of struggling with running out of IPv4 addresses Google tries to push the demand for IP addresses even more forward.

Second, just as obvious: by marking all HTTP using websites as insecure people will become more immune to such warnings. And that can have serious effects when they actually do come across insecure websites. Because how are they going to notice the difference? Worse: would they still care as much? I can picture it now: "Meh, Google calls all the websites I visit insecure these days and nothing bad happened, so how bad could this site be? <clicks>".

As also stated in the article: it's not as if the use of HTTPS ensures safety. That's plain out bollocks. Don't believe me? How about that story on the SSL skeleton key? Or what about the story earlier this year about a Compromised HTTPS website.

Third: we already established time and time again that there are dozens of CA's out there who don't exactly take safety very seriously. Remember those articles about easily obtaining certificates for known domains? Like getting one for Mozilla? There has been a recent issue as well, but I wasn't able to find the article so quickly.

Even so... HTTPS is no guarantee for security. And I think it's stupid if someone tries to make it look as if it does. Makes me wonder: I know Google sells domains, do they also sell certificates by any chance? Conflict of interest perhaps?

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EU court: Linking to pirated stuff doesn't breach copyright... except when it does

ShelLuser
Silver badge
FAIL

And the worst part..

The party who truly violated copyrights, those who put those pictures online in the first place, are fully ignored. And the pictures remain as-is, because it's that hyperlink which is the root of all evil here.

See no evil, hear no evil... Ignorance and in my opinion plain out stupidity at its finest.

5
0

Hello, Star Trek? 25th Century here: It's time to move on

ShelLuser
Silver badge
Pint

There's a simple reason for all this...

Problem is, all this lacks the big-picture feel that added the gravitas, the appeal and the narrative of the TV series – and even the follow-on films."

I think the main underlying issue here is what drives current producers and what drove the original ones. The original ones had to come up with something new and creative, also because there was some "Sci-fi competition" on the other channel, and that led to Star Trek.

The current drive, in my opinion obviously, is solely fueled by money. That's why they're trying to keep a broad appeal: the more people go to see it the more money they'll get. Nothing more or less.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned but if they truly loved the Star Trek franchise then I think they should have either left it alone or come up with a new spin off / idea instead of continuously trying to re-do the original era. Take the Next Generation, I think that series was quite satisfying, and in general I don't even like reboots and the re-doing of stuff all that much.

Of course that comes with a risk, and that brings us to the underlying issue again: taking a risk with something new could mean that it might fail. And that would cost them money, so they won't do that. Instead they go with something which has much bigger chances of grossing in some extra cash: stuff which people already like.

5
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Star Trek film theory: 50 years, 13 films, odds good, evens bad? Horta puckey!

ShelLuser
Silver badge

Good movies, but...

When I was a kid I never really liked the Star Trek movies even though I loved the series. And the reason for that was quite simple: it was all different! Different uniforms, different settings, the actors looked different (or so I thought)...

And that problem manifested itself in many movies which were based on television series. Heck, it was one of the things I immediately liked about the Transformers movie (no, not that modern nonsense, I'm talking about the 80's animated movie): the intro music did honor to the original. It was different, sure, but you could at least recognize the opening theme in it. And the same more or less applied to the settings of the movie itself (Cybertron, Metroplex, etc.) and the figures in it.

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Forget Khan and Klingons, Star Trek's greatest trick was simply surviving

ShelLuser
Silver badge

So how do you rate this 'success'?

"The most successful Star Trek film of all time, JJ Abrams’ 2009 reboot, made less than the least successful entry from Star Wars – $299m versus $450m."

Most successful? Or did you mean to say "most grossing"? And even if you refer to that then I think you're comparing apples and oranges. For starters you should take inflation into account. Since most people have more to spend these days in comparison to last century I don't think it should come as a surprise that movies today make more money in comparison. But does that really mean being more successful?

I somewhat beg to differ, I think the most successful movie is still Wrath of Khan, whereas the most successful era being the original. Even the modern reboots couldn't stop referring back to the original era, including Khan.

And well, wouldn't you call it a success if people still talk about something 34 years later?

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