* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Politician claims porn tabs a malware experiment, then finds God

DougS Silver badge

Re: I don't see the problem

The problem is that he's one of those holier than thou Christian conservatives who think they should be allowed to regulate what others do according to their own morality.

It is because he's a hypocrite who was caught looking at porn when he'd probably vote to ban online porn if he had a chance (which he probably won't get now) not because he was simply caught looking at porn.

The fact he's tying himself into verbal knots trying to explain this away with several different stories just makes it all the more newsworthy. Sort of a Streisand Effect via verbal diarrhea! I doubt it would have registered (sorry) on the Reg's radar or even got much notice outside the state of Virginia if he'd simply said "I apologize to my supporters for that, I experienced a moment of weakness and will pray for the strength to do better" and left it at that.

First ATM malware is back and badder than ever

DougS Silver badge

Re: Diebold ATMs are the least secure

Security is the least of the problems with Diebold voting machines. It is more the lack of any audit trail to allow recounts and reduce the ability to commit fraud (not just Diebold, but any electronic only voting machine suffers from this)

Got $130,000 down the back of the sofa? Great. Grab an HP 3D printer

DougS Silver badge

Re: "The market is forecast to rise from $4.1bn in 2015 to $16.2bn by 2020"

HP has claimed they are going to be able to revolutionize the market by bringing the quality and speed of the $50,000 3D printers to a consumer / small business price point, similar to what happened with laser printers over time.

With such a small number of units sold, it isn't that hard to quadruple the market revenue in four years regardless of whether you are selling at $500 or $120,000.

Manchester cops to strap on 3K bodycams

DougS Silver badge

They need good accountability laws

Otherwise these will be used only to clear the cop of wrongdoing, but anytime the cop is suspected of wrongdoing the coverage will be missing due to an "unexplained malfunction" or because the cop "forgot to turn it on", and the police will stonewall any attempts by the press or courts to release any video that can be proven to exist.

In an ideal world, there would be some sort of citizen accountability board that would have access to all footage, and they would review any footage that the public asked for to insure it doesn't compromise anyone's privacy or endanger informants, etc. but otherwise the default would be to release anything requested. They'd also randomly audit footage versus police reports to insure cops are turning it on when they were supposed to...at least most of the time, anyone can forget sometimes.

It would be better if it was always on, and just recorded video at a really slow frame rate if the cop is in the police car, or not moving. It is when he starts moving quickly / running that you really want it to be recording, and in an emergency situation that's not going to be top of his list of things to do. It really needs to be motion activated to insure it is always on when you really need it to be.

DougS Silver badge

Don't try that in the US, you'll get shot in the back eight times like Walter Scott and the officer will claim "he feared for his life", and it will take a bystander with a camera to prove the cop was a lying coward.

Nokia offers up 10 Gbps HFC demo

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Re: "Symmetrical"

Where do you live that you have such crappy service? You mention Canada, are they really worse than the US? I've been able to get 40/20 VDSL2 (unbonded, uncapped) here for almost a decade now, and my cable company now offers speeds of up to 150/20. A lot of people won't have my DSL speeds, but I'm sure a majority in the US can get as fast or faster speeds from their cable provider. What's the holdup in Canada?

DougS Silver badge

Re: "Symmetrical"

They won't offer it because consumers aren't demanding it. But if you get 1 gigabit down and 100 Mb up that's better than 100 Mb symmetrical so I don't see the problem. Even those of us who work from home and occasionally need to do big uploads likely download a lot more data than they upload...

They aren't going to replace all the splitters, taps and amps just to squeeze more bandwidth out of the plant when they can get more than they need out of the current HFC plant. Nokia's demo is interesting, but irrelevant. No consumer needs or will in my lifetime need 10 gigabit service (note to anyone who thinks I'm wrong and are ready to quote "640K is enough for anyone" at me: tell me the use case for even 1 gigabit service at home)

The only market for 10 gigabit service is businesses, but I think the cable company can be bothered to extend their fiber line that last 200 meters for a business willing to pay for 10 gigabit symmetric service and shouldn't be using DOCSIS 3.1.

One (storage) protocol to rule them all?

DougS Silver badge

The problem with FCoE

Was mainly that it doesn't fit the 'tower' model of modern system administration. Either the network team needs to learn zoning so they can manage the converged ethernet/FCoE switches, or you need two teams with administrative access and authority to make changes to the same equipment. Inevitably this sort of thing will lead to turf wars and finger pointing.

That's why FCoE has been mainly used in hyperconverged environments like vBlock where the lines have to blur anyway and there is less need for post-install switch configuration like zoning in the first place.

Apple's iOS updates brick iPads

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I doubt this is a problem with 9.3.2 specifically

There seem to be scattered reports of problems with just about every update - there's no way they could have issues with each one. I think it is more likely a bug in the update process that causes it not to complete properly or something along those lines. People who have a problem are going to take to the forums and start a thread, and even if only 50 people have a problem and post about it, The Reg is going to write an article about it and make it seem like some huge problem affecting millions.

One thing I've always done because of my past as a sysadmin is to insure the update always starts from a clean state - I close all apps, shut down my phone, restart it, then update. Sure, it should work without doing that, and maybe that doesn't do anything. But I'll continue to do it anyway, call it superstition if you like, but I recall issues with patching OSes back in the day were far less if you did a clean reboot before you patch. So I always do that now, Linux, Windows, iOS doesn't matter. Can't hurt and I'm going to be rebooting anyway so what's the difference if I reboot twice?

EU mulls €3bn fine for Google

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Re: itunes

The important thing is that iTunes isn't a monopoly. It doesn't have even half the market, what with Google Play, Amazon, and the many streaming alternatives.

Why is it whenever there is an article about the EU dinging Google some idiot has to come along and complain about Apple over the iPhone and iTunes. What part of about "dominant market" do you guys not understand being required for abuse of a dominant market position. Apple has a minority share of phones and less than a majority share of music (bought or streamed)

Just because you don't like the way the law is being applied (against Google but not against Apple) doesn't mean it is being wrongly applied. You can take issue with the law and say you don't think Google has a dominant market position, but it is hard to argue for Apple facing any punishment under current EU competition law other than "because I don't like them".

The Windows 10 future: Imagine a boot stamping on an upgrade treadmill forever

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80% will be on Windows 10 by end of 2018??

What a laugh, Gartner is on drugs as usual. Even after the extension in its lifetime I think we didn't see the 80% threshold for being off XP crossed until less than six months before the drop dead date for XP going off support. They will similarly wait until the last minute to go to Windows 10, because there's no reason and no incentive to move until the last minute - and I imagine there will be a lot of pressure on Microsoft to push out the end of support date for Windows 7 past the 2020 deadline.

I wonder if the rumors about Microsoft offering a Windows 10.1 this fall are to shrink the support deadline for Windows 10. That's the reason why there was never a SP2 for Windows 7 because they didn't want to extend its date beyond 2020. By dropping service packs and moving to "different" OS versions, they can avoid pushing out the end of support date for Windows 10 and try to keep people on the upgrade treadmill longer.

If they had the best interest of customers in mind they would have released a Windows 7 SP2 and maybe SP3, given the majority of customers are running it. Instead they are doing everything they can to push people off it onto Windows 10. If I were in charge of enterprise licensing, I'd take a real close look at the fine print in the license terms and what has changed between the Windows 7 days and today. I suspect they are trying to sneak a few fast ones there to screw customers and squeeze even more money out of them.

China's new rules may break the internet warns US government

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Are they just talking about .cn domain names?

If so, I don't see any reason why that's a problem. Aren't countries supposed to be able to manage those as they see fit? If they want real names, fingerprints and a blood sample that's for them to decide.

If the worries about them blocking is that they'd block all domains except those ending in .cn, that would simplify the great firewall pretty nicely. Then any IP address it sees, if it doesn't reverse map to a .cn name it gets blocked. That's not great for the freedom of their citizens, but I don't think the US would want China telling us what our laws should be, so I don't see why we should tell them what theirs should be (aside from my country's belief that everyone should be subject to our laws, and we should be subject to no one's but our own)

Google tries social again

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Google should concede they can't do everything

They are becoming a pathetic one trick pony that reminds one more and more of Microsoft - they have a terrific cash cow core market, but when they stray from it and try to compete outside their sphere (Windows/Office for Microsoft, advertising for Google) they fail miserably and waste billions.

Google doesn't yet have the long track record of failure that Microsoft does, but there is nothing about the way they have been and still are incompetently flailing about in the social media market that makes one think they're headed in a trajectory different from Microsoft's.

Say what you want about Apple, but at least it only took them one failure (Ping) to realize they don't understand social media at all and should leave it to those who do.

Apple posts patches

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Yet another trouble free update

Thanks for letting me know before my phone did - though I'd guess the iOS automatic notification is staged over a few days to avoid having a half billion iPhones DoS apple.com trying to download it five minutes after release :)

Smut apps infecting Androids with long-gestation nasties

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Re: "plunder older Android devices through infected porn apps"

I've always heard pirate sites for movie/software downloads were the most malware infected. I doubt there have been any studies, so it is all probably anecdotal.

DougS Silver badge

They don't need to be foolproof to be successful

Like those web sites that try to trap you on their page claiming you have been infecting with malware or that they're the FBI and have detected child porn on your PC. You can't get off them by closing the tab or whatever, but you can if you simply close your browser and uncheck that page when restarting it, or restart without your old tabs. Not everyone knows to do that though, and such pages wouldn't exist if they weren't successful in fooling some people.

Warren Buffett picks Apple

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Amazing the effect he can have on the market

Apple shares are up 3.5% in a flat market, so that move can be accounted for almost entirely on the news Buffett was buying Apple stock. If he had those holdings at the end of the first quarter, no doubt he has been loading up further since then. Apple's dividend yield is in the range he likes, and he obviously believed it is undervalued at Q1 price, and it is even lower now thanks to the proof iPhone sales have finally peaked people have been expecting and pushing back since 2012.

Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery

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Some breaks are even longer than that

I recently recorded a couple movies on BET, and there were a few breaks that required, I shit you not, 22 presses of the 30 second skip to get by. I can't fathom anyone sitting through an entire movie if they didn't have a DVR, you could make a quick run to the grocery store in that amount of time!

Sysadmin paid a month's salary for one day of nothing

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I've heard of time and a half for overtime, and double and in a few cases triple pay for holidays. But a month's pay for a night's work is like 20x! Surprised they didn't have a line of volunteers a lot longer than the number of slots they wanted to fill. Sounds like the CIO promised a trouble free Y2K and had a bonus based on that large enough that he was willing to spend almost anything to insure it.

I had a (mostly) memorable night in the largest crowd Bourbon Street had ever seen that night, in retrospect I'm glad I have those memories rather than the extra month's pay.

FBI director claims that videoing police is causing crime uptick

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Re: Just another election year here in the USA

Those aren't businesses, they are lobbyists. You can raise money and lobby for anything you want, and the NRA which lobbies for the opposite is far larger and employs a lot more people. They exploit shootings for their goals too, arguing that if more bystanders were armed all the time they couldn't have taken place.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Just another election year here in the USA

What are "gun control businesses"?

The businesses that do best when there's an anti-gun president in office are gun and ammo manufacturers. Look at all the "Obama is going to take away your guns" scare tactics they've used repeatedly, resulting in record gun sales and ammo shortages for months during his first team. They will do the same if Clinton is elected - or if Trump is elected (because he's kind of a wild card)

If I owned a gun or ammo manufacturing company, I'd be secretly donating to Clinton's campaign because for damn sure a president that's on record as wanting gun control is great for business!

DougS Silver badge

It makes sense

If cops are able to randomly kill unarmed citizens without any consequences, some of those citizens who will have gone on to commit crimes are prevented from doing so. Thus a reduction in crime!

Seriously though, the fix for the police is obvious. Have dash cams & body cams so they have their own evidence. That prevents the claim of only showing part of the story. But that's not really the problem, what makes some cops fear to act is that previously they knew without a shadow of a doubt they'd never face consequences for anything, even shooting an unarmed suspect eight times in the back while he ran away. Because cops would investigate cops, and always clear them of any wrongdoing.

Must suck to have to actually follow the laws they enforce on the rest of us for a change. If that causes an uptick in crime, that's a small price to pay. Violent crime is still down massively from the peak in the early 90s, any claimed uptick is probably just a natural variation as the factor that has been proven to be responsible for that peak (leaded gasoline - see http://www.ricknevin.com/uploads/Nevin_2000_Env_Res_Author_Manuscript.pdf) is no longer present so violent crime has returned to its "natural" levels

Paul backs FBI hack law

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Unfortunately both parties supporting such bills is common

There's a lot of privacy overlap between liberal democrats libertarian conservatives. The problem is that there are never enough of them to overcome the pressure from party leaders on both sides to toe the law and order line of "we always need more spying".

Guilty! Trump delivers orange justice to Amazon

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Pot calling the kettle black

Trump hasn't released his taxes yet like all presidential candidates have since Nixon, and it is pretty easy to guess the reason he keeps delaying and making excuses is because he's got something to hide. Maybe he's paying a very low tax rate himself, or perhaps has been keeping income from his offshore properties overseas to avoid paying taxes on them like he's criticized US corporations for. Or maybe it will put a lie to his claims that he's worth $10 billion.

If he actually showed a loss and received a refund I'm not sure what would be worse for him politically, getting a tax refund larger than what most of his voters earn in their entire life while flying around in his private jet, or showing that he isn't such a great businessman after all.

Super-slow RAID rebuilds: Gone in a flash?

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Re: RAID5 no longer has a role with hard drives

To that I say, so what? Use RAID6 and don't worry about a 72 hour rebuild time. What difference does it make how long it takes, so long as you don't have two more failures during that time? Back in the day you cared how long it took because it caused increased latency for regular I/O. It still will, but since your latency sensitive stuff is on SSD now, you don't really care if the nominal 10 ms response time becomes 15 ms for a few days. All your hot data / hot blocks should be on flash.

DougS Silver badge

RAID5 no longer has a role with hard drives

Hard drives should not be used for latency sensitive storage any longer, but only for bulk storage. Therefore you should be using big RAID sets, like 14+2. Then you don't care how long a rebuild takes, because you aren't going to have three drives fail during that time span unless you are incredibly unlucky (and if you "win" that particular lottery, that's what backups are for)

Americans cutting back on online activity over security and privacy fears

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POS system breaches don't matter if you use EMV

If you pay by inserting the card, or via Apple Pay/Android Pay, they don't have your real credit card number so a POS breach doesn't matter. The most they'll get is your name, if you give them other information like your phone number or email address that's your own fault.

Want to get $1bn from Apple? Step 1: Move to China. Step 2: Copy Uber

DougS Silver badge

China is where the first fully autonomous cars will be sold

There will be a lot of regulatory and insurance hurdles in the US / Europe, so China is the place to be. In the meantime they can probably get access to the data the company has about where the drivers are taking people so they can improve Apple Maps data in China, and down the road they can instrument some of the private drivers' cars who volunteer with similar hardware to what Apple's car will use for sensors. Any time there is an accident or a close call, that data can be reviewed and the software Apple is working on tested to see how it would handle the situation, to insure that it handles all such situations as well as possible.

Microsoft phone support contractors told to hang up after 15 minutes

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I had three months to do nothing once

As a consultant getting paid three figures per hour! I'd done the six months planned but two weeks before it was over the company's point man on the project figured out he could make 2.5x more becoming a consultant like me and quit without notice, so they hurriedly signed me up for another six months. The junior guys were able to pick up the slack pretty quickly with my help, and after three months the exec overseeing it all told me he didn't want me involved with anything unless he asked me personally because his team needed to learn to survive on their own.

The next three months I basically was paid to surf the web all day, though I did update and tidy project documentation when I'd run out of new stuff to look at on the web (this was back in the late 90s, when that was still sorta possible to do) since some of the docs were already getting out of date as the junior guys were too busy to keep them updated. The exec never asked for my help once; he'd walk by my desk sometimes and say hi, and probably grimaced to himself as he did about signing me up six months instead of three!

The fork? Node.js: Code showdown re-opens Open Source wounds

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There would still be a Microsoft, and it would be a lot more powerful Microsoft than what we have today. Still think that world sounds better?

US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'

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@AC - "computers are a British invention"

That's debatable.


Supernova bubble clocked at 19,000,000 km/h

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Re: Why indeed the observable Universe may not be spherical...

Artist's renderings of what our galaxy would look like from afar bear a striking resemblance to a sphincter. That would explain a lot about our world.

DougS Silver badge

Well it certainly can't speed up, so if it is expanding at 0.0176c now then your sloppy calculation should be roughly correct for the diameter of the wave front.

Boffins flip the unflippable: Meet the latest storage extender contender

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Moore's Law

No, Moore's Law lived well past 2003, arguably it is still going but at least continued until this year. Moore's Law is not about the feature size, it is about doubling the number of transistors on a chip every couple years. That has still been happening. Intel is changing their cadence to every three years starting this year, but TSMC has recently accelerated its timeline to catch up and possibly pass Intel - if they really do they might keep Moore's Law alive until 2020 or so.

It isn't that we've hit a technological wall, the wall is really more economic at this point. Fewer and fewer companies can justify the expense of designing leading edge chips so there are fewer potential customers who need higher and higher volumes to make it work.

Laser-zapping scientists will save the Earth from meteorite destruction

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Re: Or an anti-matter beam!

Why anti matter, when a laser beam would do the same? Or for that matter, drop a lot of white paint on one side to change its albedo and let solar radiation shove it to a different orbit that just misses Earth. If you've got time, that's probably the easiest option. Well it is, depending on how hard it is to cover a large asteroid with paint.

DougS Silver badge

They could grind off the ablation layer if they thought that was a problem.

Apple, AT&T, Verizon named in $7bn VoIP patent claim

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Re: Yes But...

$500/hr? They'll be charging more than that, if they're protecting their clients from potentially paying out billions.

DougS Silver badge

That patent seems so general

That every VOIP implementation ever would violate it. As would VoLTE.

You can't patent ideas, only implementations. Or at least that's how it is supposed to work.

First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

DougS Silver badge

Re: So many luddites...

Because we don't believe in an overhyped technology with a lot of obvious unresolved engineering and logistical issues (that bazza outlined better than I could earlier in this thread) we're Luddites? I suppose you were one of the cheerleaders for Segway when it was announced, too?

Google asks Unicode to look over 13 new emoji showing professional women

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Emoji proliferation

That's the problem, you can't try to be politically correct when it comes to emojis or we'll soon have billions of them and 32 bit unicode will be insufficient! I'd be really annoyed if I have to get an iPhone with more flash just to hold the billions of emojis required, not to mention how it would be near impossible to select the "right" one with so many choices. Already I'll bet there are some emojis that are only used once a month in the entire world.

People think now we have male emojis so you need female. Then you're biased against different races so you need different eyes, and a palette of different skin tones and hair color combinations. Then you are leaving out industries or unfairly combining them, because factory workers and mechanics aren't the same job so they need their own. And so on. Why not just let every person on Earth contribute their own personal emojis as long as we're forced to go with 64 bit Unicode anyway?

They should make them look as generic as possible, sexless with facial/eye features that don't tend to any particular race, and some sort of neutral skin tone that's unlike any real skin tone (maybe Trump orange would be a good choice?)

Label your cables: A cautionary tale from the server room

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Since we all carry a camera with us everywhere we go, a few pictures of the back of each server, each switch, etc. in the "before" state in the old data center can be worth its weight in gold when it comes to the "after" data center, given the propensity of labels to not be updated when things change, fall off due to the heat inherent in a server cabinet or in transit, etc.

I first recommended this 15 years ago, before cell phones had cameras but digital cameras were readily available. It took a little cajoling, but the guys who executed the move thanked me profusely afterwards. I've since always brought this up, and modern smartphones mean there is no excuse not to do it.

Brexit campaign group fined £50k for sending half a million spam texts

DougS Silver badge

Fines can't really address this

I'm sure those favoring a particular position/candidate would be happy to spend 50K on a fine if they felt reaching 500K people was worth it - that's only 10 pence per person which is pretty cheap advertising!

Even if you had fines big enough to make a difference, if you have an organization pushing a single position like Brexit or a particular candidate right before the election, what happens if the organization has no money to pay a fine? Let's say you want Brexit to happen, so you form a dozen corporations to send out unsolicited texts (we'll assume those help your position rather than hurt it for the purposes of this example) Money is put into their accounts only as needed to pay the immediate bills, so they will have nothing available to pay any fines levied on them. As one gets caught and fined it is simply abandoned and another takes up its place sending the unsolicited texts.

If the authorities could find out who is behind it all maybe they can go after him, but if all those corporations are owned by a shell corporation operating internationally, that might be kind of hard to do in practice, unless there's another Panama Papers type exposure.

Spaniard live streams 195km/h burn-up

DougS Silver badge

Re: I found... @Serenely

Nothing wrong with doing 80 and getting there faster, so long as you aren't driving in a dangerous manner (swerving in and out of traffic etc.) I typically drive faster than most of the traffic around me (probably get passed twice for every hundred cars that pass me) but I realize when traffic is more dense you don't have much control over your speed of travel and constantly switching lanes trying to find an 'advantage' isn't worth the stress.

I think one of the biggest problems isn't so much speed differential but lack of. That is, having some people doing 70, some 71, some 72, and so forth. If you have a line of cars in the slow lane doing 70 getting passed by a car doing 71, a bunch of cars doing 71-80 will get piled up behind him. When he finally gets past all the cars going 70, and shifts over to the right lane (you hope) it takes several minutes to untangle that mess of cars wanting to travel at different speeds. If there was less variation possible, for instance if you could only go 70, 72.5, 75, 77.5 and 80 that mess of passing cars would take less time to untangle.

But anyway, it isn't worth worrying about, the first use of self driving cars will be on expressways - probably in less than a decade - where the oncoming traffic is separated via a median and entrances/exits are controlled. You would lose control over the speed of travel, but even if you're forced to go the speed limit the ability to work, surf the web or sleep during long trips will more than make up for the extra hour of travel time.

Lyft, Uber throw Texas-sized tantrum over Austin driver law

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Re: They aren't unemployed

Oh please, because you have an example with one shitty app that Uber has some sort of programming gods that are the only ones who can figure out how to use GPS or a typed address to get your location?

That just proves that those taxi companies are behind the curve, not that Uber has some special sauce. There are no barriers to entry in Uber's market, and like I said it only takes someone who already has an app on people's phones to decide to break into the business and they could push Uber out pretty easily given Uber's psychotic CEO and the way they think they can push local governments around to get their way. Not that I'm a big fan of Facebook, but I'd choose a ride share from Facebook if it was part of their app before I'd choose Uber. Heck, I'd walk before I'd choose Uber.

SS7 spookery on the cheap allows hackers to impersonate mobile chat subscribers

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Re: And that..

What side channel would you recommend? SMS is compromised, how about email? Yeah that travels in cleartext most of the time, and email hacks are regular. Carrier pigeon, perhaps?

DougS Silver badge

I don't know the details, but that's trivial for SS7 attacks. They can also intercept your calls or listen in on them. No need to compromise your phone when compromising SS7 is so much easier.

DougS Silver badge

Yeah, this makes no sense. I could see needing some SMS support for the first WhatsApp message, but after that it should be IP only like iMessage I would think?

Transfer techies at SWIFT tell Bangladesh Bank: Don't shift blame for $81m cyberheist

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$10 switches are fine

Without management features they can't be exploited remotely. The lack of firewall was the problem.

Tabby's Star's twinkle probably the boring business of calibration

DougS Silver badge

But why would it show a consistent decline over 100 years?

At least that's my understanding of what it showed. If it showed some ups and some downs with a general trend of 20% down then I would accept this explanation, but if it has shown a consistent decline with few if any outliers going the other direction such an explanation doesn't pass the smell test.

There's no reason why calibration errors would always be in one direction, and changing at a set rate over time.

Google warns of breach

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Re: yay!

Yeah bad timing after the publicity about giving them all the UK health data and claiming they would keep it secure. Sure, they're able to blame this on a third party provider, but surely they will have third parties involved with access to that UK health data also.

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