* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring

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Forget pardons

I'm hoping Obama resigns tomorrow so Biden is president for one day, ruining all Trump's cheap inauguration clothing with '45' emblazoned on it his supporters will be wearing.

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Re: Assange will back out of his word somehow

The important part was that he said he'd leave the embassy. As expected, he's broken his word.

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Assange will back out of his word somehow

He'll claim that a commutation of the sentence isn't good enough, that it should have involved immediate release or reducing the sentence instead of the time to serve.

LTE-Broadcast has broad deployment models. What it doesn't have is the iPhone

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Re: It makes sense, so it probably won't happen.

The question is, why do broadcast specific to LTE? What stops your phone from receiving multicast IP packets with 3G or anything else as the transport? Nothing, except the lack of revenue stream to Qualcomm and other patent holders!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Does the fault only lie with Apple?

From what I can tell of Qualcomm's offerings, it seems likely that LTE-B is supported in the chips the last couple iPhone generations have in them. It would need to be supported on the software side by Apple, and if there are extra royalties for it (which is likely) then Apple would have to pay for it. Why would they want to pay for something that no one is using, and no one is demanding?

Apple has never been aggressive in supporting new wireless standards, the only times they are aggressive in supporting new standards (i.e. Bluetooth LE) is when they are making use of it directly. If it isn't something they are using (they have no need for the "operators broadcasting software updates" feature) then why should they spend money on licensing and development to enable a feature no one wants right now aside from an industry association trying to drum up licensing revenue for its membership?

While I can see some uses for LTE-B especially when cars start becoming 'connected', there is still a lot of "solution looking for a problem" around its use cases. Where is the groundswell of people itching to watch live TV and sit through tons of commercials on a phone?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why LTE Broadcast when DVB-T2 exists?

And mobile TV is advertised as one of the big reasons to go with the non backwards compatible ATSC 3.0 in the US. Personally I think mobile TV is something that is simply not being demanded, but the TV station owners and networks keep hoping for it because they have a dream of selling undefined "enhanced services" on subchannels.

US watchdog sues Qualcomm for 'bribing' Apple to swallow chips

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Re: WiMax?

Bribing Apple not to support WiMax was a waste of money, because Apple was exclusive with AT&T in the US at first. The iPhone didn't even support Sprint as a carrier until the 4S in Oct 2011, by which time WiMax was already dead.

Apple sings another iTune following Brexit as prices rise by up to a third

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Joining the EEA

You're assuming the UK would be allowed to join the EEA. I doubt they would. What incentive does the EU have to make it less painful for the UK to Brexit? Instead they have all the incentive in the world to inflict maximum pain, as an object lesson to other countries in the EU that might consider this route, because if another country leaves the whole thing will probably come tumbling down.

I suspect others who might be interested in doing the same thing (i.e. LePen and a Frexit) will be watching closely to see how the UK does. The EU wants you guys to suffer, and are not going to throw a lifeline other than maybe allowing you back in the EU as a full member in the future if you have Regrexit - but they would require FULL membership meaning goodbye pound.

Stanford boffins find 'correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity'

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What about soda?

Hate coffee. Hate tea even more (sorry Brits) but I do drink soda, mostly Diet Dr Pepper. Not a ton - maybe 25-30 oz per day which equals the caffeine in one cup of coffee.

It is funny how people on health kicks will proudly declare that they have quit drinking soda but keep pounding the coffee. This study will only encourage them since it talks about the benefit from caffeine, but only mentions coffee!

Google reveals its servers all contain custom security silicon

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Re: Google's security would not have prevented OPM hack

Sorry AC, repeating a claim over and over again with zero evidence doesn't make it true, despite what Donald Trump seems to think.

DougS Silver badge

Google's security would not have prevented OPM hack

Despite what an AC thinks. Having a security chip (which I'll bet is just a TPM chip that has only Google's certificate installed, because what they claim for it is exactly what TPM does) and encrypting devices doesn't prevent software security issues. And based on all the holes they find and fix in every release of Android, it is pretty evident that Google is no better than anyone else in terms of software quality.

While I'd guess the OPM servers were way behind in patching, and that probably aided the attack, bog standard TPM chips and encrypted drives wouldn't help there. Regular patching may have, but that would be pretty silly for Google to brag about, especially when 'custom security silicon' sounds so much better.

S Korea prosecutors seek arrest warrant for Samsung heir apparent

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Re: @Doug S -- Really??

Don't worry, we're learning fast. Trump's Health and Human Services nominee was discovered to have bought thousands of shares in an Australian drug company in a special sweetheart deal (i.e. not something the rest of us could get) a week before he proposed a bill that would help that company's attempts to penetrate the US medicare/medicaid market.

Maybe Trump will be the one to take us to the next level, with international cooperative corruption through his alliance with Putin (the only person he NEVER criticizes)

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Re: Really??

The corruption in South Korea appears to go much deeper than it in the US, at least if the allegations they are making are true. This is closer to how Russia operates than the United States.

Believe me, I'm as cynical as anyone about the extent of corporate influence in the US government, but this is on a whole different level.

Dovecot mailserver graded 'nearly impenetrable'

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Re: Props....now what about SMTP?

When was the last time you heard about a sendmail exploit? If there are still exploits being found it, I guess it isn't news anymore because I haven't heard of any for many years.

Trump fan Peter Thiel 'considering' CA Terminator role*

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Re: How much money spent campaigning???

You get a lot of donations, it isn't like there's one guy giving $144 million to a campaign. Some of it is obviously self interest (making their companies more successful, lowering their taxes) but some of it is just people who crave power and may not get any personal gain out of it. Hopefully there are a few who have truly altruistic motivations, who knows?

Unfortunately without a constitutional amendment, we won't be able to get rid of the money in US politics, since the Supreme Court has ruled political donations are a form of speech and thus protected under the First Amendment. A new amendment would require a 2/3 majority in both the house and senate, and approval by 38 of the 50 states. Since the politicians that won are generally going to be able to raise more money than any challengers, they do not have much incentive to support such an amendment.

Given how divided the US is politically, getting both parties to agree on anything is unlikely, especially when one party controls everything as is the current situation in the US when Trump takes office. Why would they risk rocking the boat by making such a major change, unless they were sure it would hurt the democrats more than it hurt themselves? Since there's no way of knowing that, better to play it safe and stick with the status quo.

French spies warn politicians of hack risk as election draws near

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Joke

He was pretty specific several times mentioning a "400 pound guy sitting on a bed somewhere"...maybe he found someone willing to take payment in Ding Dongs?

Father of Android II: A Hardware Comeback

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"Expandable" smartphones have already flopped multiple times

As the article said, several companies have tried it, and Google itself was working on it until someone told the idiot engineers running the project that it was something no one wants except ubergeeks, and there aren't enough of them to support such an ecosystem.

If expandability is this new phone's main claim to fame like it sounds, it will only succeed if the hardware is awesome and it runs Android, and the useless expandability feature doesn't raise the price or compromise the hardware to any noticeable degree. If it runs some new OS instead of Android, no matter what the hardware can do its minuscule sales will make Windows Phone look like a raging success by comparison!

SpaceX makes successful rocket launch

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Joke

Re: Odd.

Of course they can orbit. The earth is flat, but its round. They just go round and round the outside then come back to the middle to land. Its going around the back side that's impossible, because that's where the turtle lives!

BT installs phone 'spam filter', says it'll strain out mass cold-callers

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Numbers that put out a lot of calls?

And how do they determine that? Probably most spammers are using some VOIP gateways to route their calls through, and probably have the ability to switch between them quickly. Once the spammers figure out how BT's system operates, they'll quickly work out how to get around it, and BT will always remain a couple steps behind.

I don't see how stopping spam in phone calls is all that much easier than stopping it in email, and we all see evidence in our inboxes that email spam is still very much a thing.

Nielsen, eat your heart out: TiVo woos admen with prediction engine

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Re: TiVo board meeting.

I am worried as a Tivo owner that they will make it more difficult to skip ads in the future, or somehow charge for it. Hopefully if they do it'll just be for the IMHO near-useless 'skip mode', and they'll leave those of us who repeatedly hit the 30 second skip alone.

Between their inexplicable lack of a way to transfer all settings (including thumb ratings and whatnot) from one Tivo to another like any cell phone has been able to do for years, and this Rovi acquisition, I'm thinking it is likely my Tivo Premiere will be my last. If they provided a seamless upgrade and I felt assured they wouldn't cripple the product to placate Rovi's advertising clients, I'd probably have upgraded to a Bolt already.

Samsung fans flames of burning Galaxy Note 7 mystery

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Or could be a problem in the charging circuit hardware in the phone. If it was software, they could have fixed it via a firmware update (assuming they had found it in time)

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Hard to do that since the company that made most of the first batch of bad batteries was Samsung SDI.

Market researchers big up NRAM

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Capacity is probably more about investment

Right now NRAM is just a hope and a prayer, so who is going to invest in building it in leading edge fabs where mask sets alone cost millions of dollars? Its low capacities are probably due to that. If the demand was there, it could be a lot more dense, though yields and other factors might mean it can't be as dense as DRAM.

Just give up: 123456 is still the world's most popular password

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Re: List # 15 and 20

I'll bet those are standard passwords used by spam bots to post spam on public forums, which then got added to the dictionary attack list.

Flight 666 lands safely in HEL on Friday the 13th

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Mushroom

Flight time 1:15?

Surely they could sped up a bit for just that one flight. After all, what's the worst that could happen?

Promising compsci student sold key-logger, infects 16,000 machines, pleads guilty, faces jail

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Re: Another lost opportunity

He developed something that enabled others to commit a crime, but had he not, many other similar options existed (at $25/ea, he was probably undercutting the competition and stealing their profit)

I view it as similar to selling a lockpick set, which like a keylogger has legitimate uses but can also be used to commit a crime.

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Re: Another lost opportunity

Writing a keylogger hardly indicates a proficiency for "cyber warfare". Getting caught in such a stupid manner indicates he may be book smart, but probably spent way too much time behind a keyboard and lacks basic social skills. And breaking the law is always going to be a strike against hiring a guy, he has to offer enough upside to make it worth the risk that he turns his talents against them from the inside.

I don't think they are losing anything by not hiring this guy, though putting him behind bars would be kind of pointless since it was a victimless crime and he isn't a threat to society. They should make him do IT for schools, old folks homes, community centers, etc. With some occasional monitoring at random times, of course, to insure he doesn't turn to the dark side again.

Aaarrgh, zombie! Dead Apple iOS monopoly lawsuit is reanimated

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Re: Who is paying these corrupted judges, uh?

Microsoft had over 95% of the relevant market - i.e. the market for personal computers - during that time. Apple was in its death throes around that time. The FTC believed that gave them sufficient market power to exercise control over pricing and suppliers, which was proven by the fact that they DID do exactly that. Monopoly does not and never has required 100% share of a market. Only a large enough share that they dominate all market relationships.

Compare with Apple and the App Store. Apple exercises control over the App Store - i.e. choosing what apps can be offered in it. Crucially however, that control DOES NOT extend to the Google Play store. i.e. Apple is not telling devs "if you want to get your app approved for the App Store, you can't write an Android version of it". If they had sufficient market power to do that, and used it, then the FTC could consider antitrust action against them.

The language about "Intel based PCs" came about because Microsoft and Intel worked together to dominate that market, and the FTC also took action against Intel on multiple occasions as well. But they did consider Apple as competition in the personal computer space, just such minor competition that they really didn't make any difference in the amount of control Microsoft was able to exercise over OEMs.

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Re: How were they not customers?

Apple's devs are giving their apps away for free, so even if the App Store charged nothing it would be hard to compete with that.

Anyway, the fact Google takes the same 30% means any attempts to claim that 30% is excessive are unlikely to succeed.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Who is paying these corrupted judges, uh?

I guess it looks like a monopoly to you because you don't understand the meaning of monopoly. The US defines it as having all or substantially all the market share in a relevant market, and an ability to exert control over that market (i.e. pricing etc.)

What's a relevant market? It is a market category, like "mobile phones" or "smartphones". It is NEVER "product x from a single company" unless there are no comparable products available from other companies (i.e. if Apple had patents that prevented anyone else from making a smartphone that worked even remotely like an iPhone, or possessed trade secrets and no one else had the technical know how) Since Samsung among many other makes smartphones comparable to the iPhone, Apple by definition has no App Store monopoly.

The ruling is only about whether this group of people have legal standing to sue. Saying they do does not mean the suit will be successful. It has 0% chance of success, because people who want smartphones not locked to Apple's App Store have tons of choices.

Uber, Apple, Amazon and Sully Sullenberger walk into a bar – er, self-driving car committee

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Re: Ask Them

I don't think Apple has tried to hide the fact they are doing research into it. Hiring people in the auto business makes that pretty obvious. But that's a far cry from "Apple is building a self driving car".

Oh, for F...acebook: WhatsApp, critics spar over alleged 'backdoor'

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Re: This doesn't seem to be as damning as it might appear

So you have to know to turn on a non-default option and look for two mysterious check marks to appear. Simple enough for a typical Reg reader, but not the average Joe in the street.

Stuff should default to being secure. If you want to trade security and possibly open up a backdoor the Feds could use to decrease the chances of an undeliverable message, THAT should be done via a non-default option!

I agree 100% with the view this was deliberately done to enable backdoor access for governments while maintaining plausible deniability for Facebook.

Somehow Apple seems to have reliable communication using iMessage without leaving such a backdoor open in their protocol. So what Facebook claims is necessary to avoid "millions of lost messages" is clearly not.

Congrats, PC slingers. That's now FIVE straight years of shrinking sales

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Joke

@Wibble

First you say MS Office gets worse with every iteration and never fixes bugs, then you suggest Apple is even worse because all they do is add new emojis. Unless you think the addition of new emojis makes things 'more worse' (oh, my mom would kill me if she read that) than new Office releases, Apple isn't the "could be worse" example you were searching for.

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Bank using XP?

I sure hope you don't bank there, only a matter of time before that bites them in the ass!

DougS Silver badge

Are you nuts?

Overpriced in what universe? Looking at Best Buy pricing on the web, for a new laptop or desktop, running Windows 10, with a Core i3, they start at just over $300. You can pay well under $300 if you will take an AMD CPU or one of Intel's 'lesser' CPUs like a Celeron/Pentium/Atom. The parts have a cost, so just because you assign a value of $100 to a $300 PC doesn't mean they should lower their price and take a $200 loss on every one they sell!

They also offer refurbished laptops and desktops starting at little over $100! Price is absolutely NOT the reason sales are falling. It is because a brand new Kaby Lake PC or laptop you buy today is a fairly minor advancement over Sandy Bridge PC that came out six years ago. And even more importantly, because people who just browse the web, send emails, visit Facebook and so forth and can do that on a more portable tablet or large smartphone that they already carry with them, and have no need of a PC at all.

It wouldn't matter if they sold PCs for $1, people who don't need them aren't going to buy them.

Donald Trump will take cybersecurity advice from, um, Rudy Giuliani

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No, a 400 pound guy sitting in a bed somewhere is going to pay for it. Why should the Russians pay for it, when good ol Vlad said he didn't hack us. His word is good enough for Donald, so its good enough for me!

Trump's cyber-guru Giuliani runs ancient 'easily hackable website'

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Re: IMHO is already a sucess...

There's no evidence Hillary's email server was ever hacked, and didn't most or all of the DNC emails come courtesy of social engineering attacks used to get the passwords of people like Leon Podesta? They could have had the most secure server in the world, but if someone gives up their password or uses the same password there as they do elsewhere that gets hacked, all that security means nothing.

Yes, hacks like the OPS database are serious and we need to tighten up our "cyber" security. But Guliani's server's security issues have nothing to do with most of the "hacks" that have been in the news the last few years. They had nothing to do with the state department cables, that was an insider. They had nothing to do with Snowden's NSA grab, that was an insider. They had nothing to do with Guccifer, he used social engineering. They had nothing to do with iCloud "celebgate", that was social engineering.

You can tighten up the security of computer systems, you can make things more difficult for insiders to reduce the ability for an insider to download 'everything' and make a huge data dump. But you can't stop an insider from getting some stuff out, and you can't teach people to not fall victim to social engineering attacks. If you could, there would be no spam.

State sponsored actors have access to a lot of exploits, but if you could patch them all it would hardly even slow them down. They'd just resort to social engineering, malware, and so forth to get in if they could no longer exploit weaknesses from the outside over the internet.

Europe mulls treating robots legally as people ... but with kill switches

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Re: Can they please clarify

In the US we call it targeted killing, a.k.a. death by drone.

Ex-Autonomy CFO pleads not guilty to charges he inflated the company's value

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You're assuming his claim he followed UK accounting rules is true

If he was acting fraudulently, as HP claims, he didn't. I have no idea who is right or wrong in this case, and don't particularly care, but I think it is safe to say that HP's case won't be "he followed accounting rules and laws governed by the UK, but did things that would be against such practices in the US so we're suing him here".

AT&T CEO clambers up Trump's tower, explains why he should shower gold for Time Warner

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Re: Not sure

Maybe he thinks he can get some sort of concession from TW that CNN will fire reporters/editors he thinks are "unfair" to him.

How Apple exploded Europe's crony capitalism

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Re: 'Microsoft making cash on Apple's turf'

How can MacWorld report Apple's Q4 sales when Apple hasn't reported them yet? They're just guessing. And Apple's iPhone and iPad sales are irrelevant to the question of whether Surface is affecting Macbook sales. The growth of Surface sales is irrelevant too - it was starting from a pretty low point as it took them several iterations before they stumbled on a formula (making their "tablet" be a fully functional Windows laptop) that consumers wanted.

Even if Surface sales grow and Macbook sales fall that doesn't mean that Surface buyers would have bought the Macbook otherwise. The entire Windows PC market has seen sales fall for five straight years, so there are plenty of OEMs showing sales drops who could be losing sales to Microsoft. Or maybe it has something to do with how long Apple took to update the Macbook line (the current quarter is the first where all sales will be of the new line, Q4 will only have a month of sales of the new model) or people don't like the lack of USB-A ports, or whatever. Maybe some are buying an iPad Pro instead. Maybe enough have Macbooks still going strong and the new Intel CPUs don't offer enough of a performance jump they are going to wait for Apple's next update in a year or two.

DougS Silver badge

'Microsoft making cash on Apple's turf'

It isn't as though Apple had the 'premium laptop' segment all to itself, because while a Macbook will run Windows well, it isn't generally the best option out there if you have zero interest in running macOS. Surface isn't stealing any sales from Apple, it is stealing them from Wintel partners like Dell.

The top doc, the FBI, the Geek Squad informant – and the child porn pic that technically wasn't

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$500 enough to put it there yourself?

No, not even close. If the evidence is found to be planted you'd be guilty of possession of child porn yourself. How do you think a the typical Geek Squad guy would do sent up to prison for child porn? While it is certainly possible to plant such evidence in an undetectable way, a guy making $12/hr isn't likely to get everything right.

You could make thousands if you planted evidence on a lot of PCs, but it wouldn't take long before that looked REALLY suspicious to the FBI guy taking the reports. "Hmmmm, the sixth case this guy has logged this year, while all of the other Geek Squad informants in this district have logged one between them..."

DougS Silver badge

Re: This is repair?

The tech was doing it hoping to score the $500 bounty, obviously. I would guess that if you take your PC to Geek Squad to be repaired, they are going to look through all your shit pretty closely, so if you have pictures of you, your wife, your MILF neighbor or whatever they'll have looked through and if they can't find something worth $500 at least grab themselves a copy.

I would think Best Buy would want to discourage this, as it would have a chilling effect on people bringing in their PCs (I wouldn't need their help, but until reading this I might have suggested them as an option for a friend who needs their PC fixed) It would also seem likely to make their techs service fewer PCs per day, as they'll waste time hunting for a photo worth $500 to them.

MIT brainiacs wrangle 2D graphene into super-strong 3D art homework

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Lighter than air?

They were shooting pretty high there. If they could find a way to effectively 3D print such structures from steel and use say 25% of the steel currently used for structural components in buildings that would be a pretty big advance without getting into exotic materials we can't yet make in large quantities.

Peace-sign selfie fools menaced by fingerprint-harvesting tech

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Titanium dioxide film?

So you're supposed to cover your fingers with this stuff to prevent the prints being lifted from a photograph? Talk about an impractical solution!

Face it, fingerprints, irises, etc. should not be used as secure authentication. I use it on my iPhone because I don't need ultimate security on it - I certainly wouldn't keep my medical records on my phone protected only by a fingerprint, but what I actually have on there, sure.

The problem is that the public has seen fingerprint readers and iris scanners as "high security" for 30 years, ever since they first started showing up in spy films. Laptop vendors and more recently smartphone vendors have capitalized on that with their marketing, but they shouldn't be trusted as the sole means of authentication for anything important.

Tell us about that $1m horse, Mr Samsung: Bribery probe slips deep into South Korean giant

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Re: Shocking!

Note to Trump fans - this is what draining the swamp looks like. Not bringing in a bunch of corporate cronies (even a billionaire from Goldman Sachs after all his criticism of Hillary's connections!) for more business as usual bribery and corruption.

Dieselgate: VW pleads guilty, will cough up $4.3bn, throws 6 staff under its cheatware bus

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I wonder how the higher ups avoided the blame?

Surely the ones being indicted would give up the names of those C level execs and board members who approved this scheme? Are they getting paid off, or will VW secretly pay for some high priced lawyers to get them off, or give them $5 million in exchange for keeping quiet and serving a few years in a country club prison?

Digital video recorder installers master password list 'leaked' – claims

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Re: I ran a payrolll system

You assume that the end users know the admin password.

Having default passwords isn't a bad idea if there was a set procedure required to enable their use. i.e. if you had a CCTV DVR you needed to have the installer get in and look at something, he tells you "hit that black button recessed on the side" and it enables the ability for an installer to login using that password for the next x hours. Then if the list escapes into the wild, who cares?

Anti-smut law dubs PCs, phones 'pornographic vendor machines', demands internet filters

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North Dakota is a very low population state

If I was say Apple or Dell, I'd just refuse to sell my products to residents of that state. Not financially worth the cost of making special provisions for such a small number of customers. Let's see how the state legislators react when angry constituents call them when they can't buy a new iPhone or Dell XPS 13.

Nevermind how third parties like Amazon are supposed to handle this. They aren't allowed to add software to the phones and computers they resell, so they may have no option but to refuse permission to sell stuff too. All it will do is create hassle for citizens of the state as they will have to go to neighboring states to buy phones and computers.

I hope they pass this law, the fallout will be a great object lesson to anyone else who gets such a stupid idea. A state the size of California or New York can get away with stuff like this, but not the little or even medium sized ones.

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