* Posts by Steven Roper

1859 posts • joined 10 May 2011

Intel contextual awareness: 'We know what your wife is up to'

Steven Roper

Re: Should I call ?

Before you contact user, the following context information is available:

User Relationship: Spouse

Location : Western Star Motel, 1175 Interstate Highway 2

Room Allocated : 3 hours

'Phone Location: On Dresser

'Phone Microphone Data: "Oh god oh yes oh god oh god [spouse's name] do it me do it harder YES!..."


1) Call Spouse.

2) Call Divorce Lawyer.

3) Explode Spouse's Phone Battery.

Hacker uses Kindle as Raspberry Pi screen

Steven Roper

Re: Looks like an iPad

What is the point of polluting comments on a Raspberry Pi article with complaints about Fanboi trolling? Must be a fanboi.

Want to avoid another cookie law mess? Talk to EU bods next time

Steven Roper

Re: Yeah, good luck with that one

"if you want to use our site accept whatever cookies we want, otherwise our website won't work for you"

Their webmasters have already learned this tactic long ago because of NoScript. The number of sites I've seen that display nothing but an advisory that Javascript is disabled and must be enabled to see the site at all, was increasing long before this cookie issue came up.

It's all very well to take one's business to a competitor, but when all the competitors do the same thing as well simply because the benefits outweigh the costs, and there's no other way to replicate the required functionality, what are you going to do? Stop going online completely?

Australia won't back away from data retention plan

Steven Roper

Re: VPN everywhere

It's done with the client - it sets an icon in the systray (bottom right of the taskbar where the clock is). Right-click the icon and it pops up a menu from which you can switch VPNs, disconnect, or reconnect, with a couple of clicks.

There's no reason why your wife wouldn't be able to do it.

Steven Roper
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Re: VPN everywhere

Free VPNs and proxies are a waste of time, and all too often they're provided free by foreign governments or criminal agencies who use them to intercept your credentials, track your site visits and other nefarious purposes.

I use VyprVPN, which costs $19.95 AU per month, and gives me fast, reliable VPN service in a choice of 6 countries - USA, UK, Netherlands, Germany, France and Hong Kong. Their system uses OpenVPN, a FOSS VPN client that is easy to set up and use, and Goldenfrog (the providers of VyprVPN) also provide automated set up for the client, so all you do is download and install it, put in the username and password you signed up with, select a country you want to appear to be in, and off you go. Once it's running, all your net applications - browser, email, bittorrent, whatever - are automatically routed through the VPN.

It's not only useful for preventing data retention, my major use for it is circumventing geolocation lockouts. Can't watch Hulu TV because I'm in Australia? No problem - just set the VPN to America and I can watch all I want. BBC iPlayer? Set it to UK. Throw off the MAFIAA? Hong Kong.

I used to only use it for the above, but because of this law, I now leave the VPN on all the time - my computers boot with it on. The only records my ISP will have of me is a constant running encrypted connection to other countries.

A few caveats with using VPNs with secure sites, however - be careful if you log into your bank, or games like World of Warcraft (or systems like Steam), or any porn sites you may be a member of. If you try to log in to your bank, and you've normally done this from Australia, suddenly appearing to be from Hong Kong or America could cause them to raise questions. Likewise WoW gets very shitty if you appear to be outside your native country when you log in.

And porn sites use IP location to prevent account sharing - I've had accounts cancelled and my credit card blocked by a couple of such sites because I accidentally logged in with the VPN set to a different country than the one I signed up from - they thought I'd shared the account. So if you're going to sign up to such sites, do so with the VPN on and make sure it's always set to the same country whenever you log into that site. (I tend to sign up to porn sites from the France VPN given their laissez-faire attitude to sex!)

That's about all you need to be aware of, really. It's not rocket science. VyprVPN is very easy to set up and once it's going, it's completely transparent. And that lovely "fuck your geolocation" feeling you get when you download content from a region-locked site that normally blocks your country is worth every cent by itself!

'Picture of Dorian Gray' borrowed in 1934 is finally returned

Steven Roper

@ Fibbles

Absolutely agree on that point, but I suppose there is reason for it...

You see, the "local" library is in town, and my parents' house is in (what was then) the outer suburbs, and I was in grade 6 at the time, so as you can imagine I required Mum and Dad's Taxi Service to get me in and out of town. By the time I was old enough to go into town by myself I was more interested in discos and girls than libraries and books. After that I got into computers (which wasn't good for my interest in girls or books!), and the rest, as they say, is history.

But you're right, of course, and I'll try to make a bit more of an effort to visit the library in future. If only because it's something different to do!

Steven Roper

Wow, and I thought I was a record holder

for late library books.

While clearing out an old storage shed a couple of years ago, I discovered a copy of Wind In The Willows that I'd borrowed from the local library as a primary school kid in 1977 and forgotten to return. I also was trepidatious about the late fees, but I reckoned if the library tried to hit me up for that many times the book's value I could make enough of a song and dance about it in the local media that I'd most likely get away with it.

So I took it back, explaining to the librarian how I'd borrowed it as a primary school kid back in 1977 and forgotten to return it. She was so gobsmacked that she simply waived the late fees - which we computed just out of interest; adjusted for inflation it came to $955.50 AUD (for our UK readers, about £620.) The librarian said it had to be the latest book she'd ever seen returned - 33 years, although she was quite young and had only worked there for 4 years. The fact that I'd checked the book out 10 years before she was even born was a point of amusement for both of us!

In fact, the book wasn't even in the system any more, and hadn't been for years. Obviously it had been written off as lost decades ago, and since then the system had changed so many times any record of it was long since gone. The librarian had to enter it into the system as a new acquisition.

But yeah, I reckon 1934 beats my 1977 by a fair old chalk. Kudos to that woman!

Now Apple wants Samsung S III, Galaxy Notes off the shelves too

Steven Roper

Re: banning Samsung in us

And that post, ladies and gentlemen, is why we can thank whatever deities we do or do not believe in, that we are not telepaths.

Steven Roper

Hey terrorists!

Want to win worldwide support for your holy cause?

Would some kind-hearted terrorist please do the world a real favour and just let one of Russia's missing nukes off in Cupertino already?

If you have something along the lines of the Tsar Bomba that'd be fantastic, ta. Failing that, one of North Korea's spare dirty bombs should do the trick nicely. Pull that one off and I'll kneel at the feet of Kim Jong-Il's statue my bloody self!

Cambodia set to boot out Pirate Bay co-founder

Steven Roper
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Re: Quick...

Sorry, the Ecuadorian embassy is already taken. But he might have better luck trying North Korea. I hear they don't think much of intellectual property law over there lately...

China mutates plants ... IN SPAAAAAACE

Steven Roper

I'm still waiting

for someone like the Chinese or Russians to come out with some triffids.

Firefox, Opera allow crooks to hide an entire phish site in a link

Steven Roper

There's another reason

to avoid URL shortening services; it's one reason why I've blocked more than 100 of them at my company's firewall, and continue to add others as I find them.

That reason is perhaps best explained by this ArsTechnica article.

In short, there are trolls who think it's funny to post shortened-URL links to law-enforcement-monitored child pornography honeypots. Click on that, and your IP address gets logged by a law enforcement agency, who then come looking for child porn at your home. Given today's witch-hunt mentality in this arena, what that amounts to, especially if you are male, is that Your. Life. Is. Fucked. Innocent or not.

So in order to protect my staff and our business from this kind of fuckery, in addition to the aforementioned possibility of attack vectors and phishing sites all too often linked to by these services, I've chosen to globally block every URL shortening service I can find at the firewall. There are occasional complaints here and there, but I think most of my team understand the reasons why I won't allow these services at work.

Windows 7 passes XP, Mac OS X passes Vista

Steven Roper

Re: Windows 98

My friend also runs Windows 98 on his internet/email machine at home. He maintains it does everything he wants. What's interesting is, as somebody mentioned above about there being no security patches for it - well, according to my friend, there's none needed.

My friend hasn't had malware on that machine in years, and he's been to some damned dodgy sites on it. Most, if not all, malware these days relies on the NT kernel (i.e. Win NT, 2K, XP, Vista and 7) to do its evil business.

Which Windows 98 does not have.

Which means modern malware won't work on it. And so few people still use it that it's not worth the effort of the malware crooks to support it. My friend maintains that running Windows 98, a long-obsolete system almost no-one uses any more, has become more secure than running an NT-based machine with an antivirus. He has an old antivirus anyway, just in case there's a bit of Nimda or Melissa still floating around, but I haven't seen that machine catch anything since Geocities was big business!

Of course, there's still the many other security holes that might allow an attacker to get remote control of his machine, but they'd have to be running some pretty antiquated shit themselves to do it!

Boffins create super-muscular 'Hulk' mice: Humans next

Steven Roper

Re: But...

What clothing bill?

As far as I recall, David Banner usually pinched someone else's outfit off the nearest clothesline whenever he came to after a Hulk session...

Patent flame storm: Reg hack biteback in reader-pack sack attack

Steven Roper

"Which the one-man band in his workshop at home can't"

Nail on the head there, Dave. I wish I could upvote your post a dozen times.

The patent system is geared towards Big Business and NOT individual inventors, in much the same way copyright is geared towards Big Media. It costs so much to register, let alone defend, a patent that only multinational corporations can derive any benefits from them.

This makes any argument about "protecting struggling inventors", much like the furphy of the "struggling artist", specious in the extreme. A genuinely struggling independent artist has no more money or hope of defending her music from being plastered all over Pirate Bay, than a garage inventor has the ability to prevent his power-saving electrical circuit from being stolen or copied by the likes of Apple. The initial consultation fees of the lawyers alone are so far out of reach of either as to make the entire intellectual property system nothing more than a source of ammo for corporate warfare - and most importantly, as a tool for locking out the bedroom artist or garage inventor from protecting any innovations of their own.

Until justice, as well as the intellectual property system, are easily accessible by everyone, not just the super-rich and their cronies, that system will continue to only serve to place our culture, and our very way of life, increasingly under the heavy-handed control of organisations whose very existence has nothing at all to do with enriching or bettering humanity and everything to do with filling their shareholders' pockets at the expense of the rest of us.

3,000 Guild Wars 2 gamers banned for flogging stolen loot

Steven Roper

What these MMO devs don't understand is

basic human psychology. In this case, e-peen. MMO players place the greatest store on their in-game reputations and standing with other players and guildmates. (I know, been there, done that!)

So what you do with the cheats is you don't ban their accounts. Let them keep right on playing, but stick a bloody great finger over their in-game avatar's head with a huge flashing neon sign, advising everyone who sees the character, "I AM A PATHETIC CHEATING ARSEHOLE" or something to that effect. Then leave it there until the player has remedied the effect of their cheating.

As a bonus feature, the Cheating Arsehole debuff, by virtue of its much increased visibility, could have the NPC mobs also notice the cheat sign by increasing the character's aggro radius by a factor of 25. Then, even if other players don't care about their reputations enough to try to group with the cheat, hoping his unfair advantage will give them an edge, the fact that he'll aggro half the zone the moment they set foot in it will definitely discourage such attempts!

I guarantee that will fix the problem.

North Korea and Iran sign 'Axis of Tech Evil' deal

Steven Roper
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Re: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"

As Stalin found out with Hitler.

Those who fail to learn the lessons of history, etc. etc. Sigh.

Curiosity parks for a day, looks back in wonder

Steven Roper


Anyone who lives in South Australia will be laughing their heads off at that one!

(For those who don't, Glenelg is Adelaide's rather sorry attempt to imitate the Riviera...)

UK: 'We're legally bound to arrest Mr Assange'

Steven Roper
Big Brother

Re: I see a need for a lot of crates labelled "Not Julian at all"

This is London you're talking about. They'd have no problem finding that many rats if they needed them!

1984 because, you know, London and rats and all...


Steven Roper
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Fond memories

I bought the C64 version of Ghostbusters from a local department store, and I remember it as my first crack. A friend had shown me how to use the Hesmon assembler cartridge (this was before the days of Datel's Action Replay and push-button cracking!) to step through a game's code and track down the part that checked for errors on the disk - this was inevitably a copy-protection scheme (DRM on the C64 mainly consisted of deliberately writing errors on the disk and then checking for them, since an error wouldn't be copied by most disk copiers of the day.) He'd walked me through cracking Beach Head, but Ghostbusters was my first solo crack.

I still remember dancing with excitement around my bedroom after finally locating the disk-error-check code and replacing it all with NOP instructions, saving out the memory along with the auto-start pointer, and cheekily replacing the "Copyright 1984 Activision" message with a cracked-by notice, saving it all out to disk, and getting it working.

Especially considering the error-based copy-protection hammered the 1541 disk drive head out of alignment (but since when did DRM fucks ever give a shit about making your life hard or destroying your equipment if it means saving their precious intellectual property?) it meant that I would crack every game I bought thereafter, not only for the thrill but also to save my disk drive!

Fun times indeed...

Work for the military? Don't be evil, says ethicist

Steven Roper
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Re: Admirable corporations

There is actually a corporation that I do like, if not admire, and that's Advanced Micro Devices, more commonly known in geek circles as AMD. Their pro-hacker (in the true sense of the word) philosophy, keeping their CPUs overclockable and offering replacements if you send back your blown-up ones for them to study, is indicative of a company whose main interest is the science and engineering behind their product, rather than mere profit. Of course, that doesn't mean they aren't in it for the money - they have to be, by law - but they do put a priority on advancing the technology over gaining simple market volume (or snatching their patent toys out of everyone's reach like some companies I can think of). This makes AMD a geek amongst corporations!

Steven Roper


You can't simply stop warfare by telling people not to work on munitions - World War II illustrates this perfectly. If you doubt it, consider this: some of the scientists working on the Manhattan Project considered the possibility that an uncontrolled nuclear explosion in the open might contaminate the Earth's atmosphere and eradicate all life on Earth. Despite this possibility, they went ahead and tested it anyway, and hang the consequences. If these "boffins" were prepared to risk the destruction of all life on Earth in their pursuit of more effective weaponry, what makes anyone think that the prospect of a mere dystopian horror future is any kind of discouragement?

However, things balance out. People like the Rosenbergs, who were executed as traitors for providing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviets, actually did humanity a great service by ensuring that others besides the trigger-happy USA had the Bomb, and thus vastly reduced the possibility of nuclear war through the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction. If the Americans had remained the only ones with nuclear weapons, with no other country having any effective countermeasures, I'd bet 10 years' pay Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have only been the first of many nuclear targets; Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East would in all likelihood be glowing glass wastelands by now if the USA believed it could deploy nuclear weapons without fear of like retaliation.

With robotic weaponry, a balance will also be struck. Countermeasures will be devised the moment these things start to become a problem for anyone with the ability to develop such countermeasures. Iran has already shown us that this is possible, with the drone they downed and captured and which the USA so ardently denied was anything consequential.

Those with a need to protect themselves against such devices will certainly do so, and the solutions will invariably be much simpler than the robotic systems themselves. I picture radio jamming devices, which cut off the drones from their controllers; laser pointers to blind or damage the cameras mounted on them; microwave beam emitters to fry the circuitry controlling them (didn't a bunch of boffins just recently demonstrate a powerful room-temperature maser? That has some potential...!)

Remember, it is easier to destroy than to create; a principle which in this case works against the complicated systems of robotic ordnance.

I am reminded of Arthur C. Clarke's solution to orbiting weapons satellites; he said the best way to get rid of them would be to simply launch a rocket with a payload of ordinary sand, to be dumped into the path of the satellites. The high relative velocities of satellite and sand grains means that as soon as the satellite hits the sand it would be shredded like a tomato in a sandblaster.

And I am reminded of a Commodore 64 cracking crew I was in contact with back in the 80s; a well-known game house had spent thousands of dollars and more than six months developing a DRM system to prevent copying of their games; this cracking crew broke it in less than 10 minutes for no cost. That's months of work and thousands of dollars rendered useless in minutes!

So I'm certain that the more these robotic weapons are developed, the quicker people will develop countermeasures. And those countermeasures will be something cheaper and more readily available than the robots they are intended to fuck over. Instead of pleading with engineers not to work on robotic weapons, which is an exercise in futility, get other engineers to develop ways of counteracting them. I'll be interested to see what creative anti-robot measures people come up with.

For what man can make, man can break.

Greens launch anti-TPP Internationale

Steven Roper

Re: Who listens to the Greens?

Enough tree-hugging voters to give the bastards balance of power in the Senate, forcing the Gillard goverment to adopt the highly unpopular carbon tax, which has resulted in Australians paying the most expensive fucking electricity bills in the world. If you think pandering to the AGW believers is worth $500 - $800 a quarter, you'd realise just who listens to the fuckers.

Don't download that app: US presidential candidates will STALK you with it

Steven Roper
Big Brother

Which highlights the most important issue here

that being, your privacy is only as good as the least privacy-concerned person you are in contact with.

I loathe Facebook with a vengeance, and only joined at the insistence of my family and out of a need to observe and control what information was placed there about me; I went to great lengths to minimise the information about myself that was put on there. However, thanks to my Facebook-loving mother, bless her heart, they know almost as much about my private life, interests, hobbies, job and contact network as she does.

This is invasiveness of a scale even Orwell could never have imagined. A 1984 analogy would perhaps be people voluntarily demanding portable telescreens so Big Brother could watch them even on community hikes, and personal microphones that broadcast even a whisper from you to all in the vicinity.

If you know anyone who is on Facebook, or uses the sorts of apps mentioned in the article, you may as well have gone to the police yourself and voluntarily told them your whole life story. But hey, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear, right?

When even my own family - the people I love most in the world and would gladly die for - are effectively made into informants, without even realising it, by the fundamental invasiveness of social networking, the future is a horror to make the worst imaginings of Orwell, Huxley and Bradbury seem like libertarian paradises in comparison.

Watch out, PC disk drive floggers: Cloud will rust up those spinners

Steven Roper
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It's really very heartening

to see the Reg readership so united in their views on all this "cloud" bullshit. The article reminded me very much of those cloud-pushing marketing twonks who occasionally drift into our office and get sent packing by myself or my team as soon as we find out what they're here for. I went to a lot of effort last year to convince the board that moving our IT to "the cloud" would be a big mistake and I did such a good job (judging by the caustic claims of "incompetence" I got from one cloud-humping Reg commenter when I posted about this back then) of convincing them, that there's no way our company is going to be outsourcing our data storage or IT for years to come.

I'm against cloud storage as the sole means of retaining information for the same reasons as quoted by others here - control of my data, availability of data, transfer speed, cost, etc. But another major reason, which I haven't seen mentioned yet, in relation to storing media - movies, music, ebooks and so on - is Orwellian historical revisionism.

We live in an age of political correctness. Books such as those written by Enid Blyton, for example, have often been bowdlerised beyond recognition by self-righteous do-gooders bent on protecting our kids from the political incorrectness of our past. If all movies, music and books were to be hosted in the "cloud" and streamed to us as we require them, not only does that then enable the "pay-per-view/listen/read" scam model so beloved of the copyright lobby, it makes it vilely easy to "revise" said works to suit the political correctness of the day.

I know, for example, that the episodes of Buck Rogers (a "sexploitation" show of the sort today's feminists really loathe) that I have on my hard drive will always be the same ones I watched and loved as a teenager, not some future bowdlerised "let's cover all those miniskirted women with CGI-overlaid baggy clothing" version cooked up by the man-hater lobby. And they will always be there, unchanged, for me to watch whenever the mood takes me.

It is for this reason that I don't want to see media streaming from the cloud become the norm, either. If there's 10,000 copies of Enid Blyton's Golliwog books floating around, it's going to be that much harder for the PC revisionists to rid the historical record of them than it would be if there was just one centralised copy streamed by everyone who wanted to read them.

The cloud would make the Ministry of Truth's job that much easier if we succumbed to storing all our media on it.

Exposing China's vast underground economy

Steven Roper

You're slipping, AMFM

Those posts were almost understandable English. None of your usual "NEUKlearer XXXX CyberIntellAIgent" CryptoSpeak™ that always used to bring a smile to my face. I want the old AMFM back!

Beck's open-source challenge to freetards: play it yourself!

Steven Roper
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Re: ...as, indeed, is Orlowski.

Hey, don't complain! Andrew used the word "freetard" in an article about copyright and enabled the comments!

You see, Andrew? Now that didn't hurt so much, did it? ;)

RIP Harry Harrison: Stainless Steel Rat scurries no more

Steven Roper

RIP Harry

He was one of my favourite authors - I've read the Deathworld and To The Stars trilogies more times than I can count, and since a child I have maintained that both would make some blockbuster movie series, if only Hollywood would get off their endless Batman- and Spiderman-remaking arseholes and make some proper fucking sci-fi. I'd even be happy if Syfy and the crowd behind the Children of Dune mini-series got together and did the movies instead.

I just wish someone would do it, because Deathworld particularly is just screaming for the silver screen treatment. I'd like to see, say, Christian Bale as Jason dinAlt, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Kerk Pyrrus, and Jessica Alba as Meta.

Saudi royals seek ban on .virgin, .sex, .catholic, .wtf and 159 MORE

Steven Roper

Re: Saudi...

Actually, most of the maths and science that we credit the Muslim nations for, they pinched from India before passing it on to Europe.

Steven Roper
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@ Trevor Pott

Excellent post, Trevor, and sentiments I absolutely support. I also admire the measured and rational manner of your response to JDX, since what I felt like saying to him in response to his idiotic comment would not have passed moderation. Well said.

Australian Police want in-house social network

Steven Roper
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Re: I'm not sure but I don't think people are that stupid ;-)

Yes. They are.

Boffins create 100,000 DPI image

Steven Roper
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Re: .but what would be the point?

More like easy concealment...

Australia on path to social media regulation

Steven Roper
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Re: Because banning black jokes...

It's worse than that. Enforcing anti-racist values by law casts the racists themselves as victims of oppression by virtue of removing their right to express themselves. I've observed people starting to express support for racist groups in unprecedented numbers, not because they're particularly racist in themselves, but because they're sick of the political correctness lobby constantly telling them how they're allowed to think and feel about their fellow human beings. And the moment you start legislating thought processes and emotions, which is what the PC lobby want to do, you make yourselves as bad as the racists you are trying to impede.

Not only that, but in my own life I have on a number of occasions encountered discrimination on the basis of my sex and my race and there's been nothing I can do about it. Why? Because I am a member of that ultimate source of all of society's ills - the ubiquitous, overpowered, evil and perverted white male. The PC lobby isn't about equal opportunity and fair treatment for all so much as it has become about a War on White Men.

No doubt the PC zealots (the worst of whom are often themselves wealthy white men seeking to reduce the perceived competition) will get stuck into me at this point, but the facts will bear me out - the lack of any existence in Australia and elsewhere of facilities to assist white men as specifically as there are facilities to assist women, aboriginals and non-white people, is all the evidence required to establish the pervasiveness of this systematic reverse discrimination.

I am reminded of that passage in Orwell's 1984 where Winston cries, "I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don't want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone corrupt to the bone." This is because for him, the values of purity, goodness and virtue have been misappropriated to serve the agenda of his oppressors. Which is exactly what the PC lobby has done - they've turned the virtue of accepting people on their own merits into a weapon of hatred against white males.

I don't want to support racists, or sexists, of any stripe. I absolutely believe that freedom is founded upon treating everyone equally. I just as absolutely believe that civilisation can only achieve its full potential if every member of civilisation has the opportunity to realise their full potential. To discriminate on the basis of factors that have no bearing on ability is to waste resources, skills, and intelligence. But what the PC lobby is doing by discriminating against me on the basis of those same factors is forcing me into the same argumentative camp as those goose-stepping idiots whose wasteful, discriminatory values I equally despise, just to be able to assert my own dignity and rights as a human being.

Stop blaming white men for everything that's wrong with the world. Give us the EQUAL opportunity you give to everyone else, eliminate the evil of "affirmative action" and "hate speech" laws, and implement instead educational programs and assistance for those who are having trouble adopting the new ideals instead of merely punishing them. Then you won't be making underdogs and victims of the racists and sexists. You won't be reducing the essential values of civilised behaviour to hypocritical Orwellian false virtues. And the problems you are trying to eliminate will solve themselves by the simple nature of their inefficiency and the basic desire of every human being for freedom and self-determination.

Google, PayPal, banks, mobile networks in pay-by-bonk peace summit

Steven Roper
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Not for me either

As Google Wallet is involved it looks like I will be avoiding whatever payment system eventuates.

Microsoft: It was never 'Metro,' it was always 'Modern UI'

Steven Roper
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In that case

I believe "Windows Mehfronishcalistenpholilugielingishoforalliskoriancratoononinkyzarfolombalieralisimologicalasticallywerndrifochaleeshonurmuriocostalentarielindrexificentablotsarafendialcoronistrealholistolacktrelliantoralliemungocatanchelsoristelorracenatarrioluridumintro" isn't taken yet, as it's 256 characters long, so they might be able to use that. And since it starts with "Me" and ends in "tro" they could always then shorten it to "Me-tro" and claim it's just an abbreviation...

Google pays just $22.5m to FTC over Safari tracking blunder

Steven Roper


The legal system is so fucked up in most Western countries that if you did spray a trespasser on your property with a hose, they probably could sue you for damages and they'd most likely win. Not that the trespasser would get any of the winnings of course; the only reason these kinds of ridiculous lawsuits ever succeed is so the judge and his good mates, the lawyers, can rip even more money out of yet another member of the public - in this case you, as the target of the lawsuit.

Iran’s ‘domestic Internet’ schedule slips

Steven Roper

@Goat Jam

Do you consider armed thugs kicking your door in and dragging you off to be executed for uttering the words, "I don't believe in Allah anymore", to be a valid way of life?

Woz: Cloud computing trend is 'horrendous'

Steven Roper

Re: Oh bollocks Woz

Except that small business are more at risk from competitors. I part-own (and run the IT systems for) a small (< 20 staff) software development and publishing firm and there are dozens of other businesses in our region alone in the same field. They've poached customers from us (and we from them!) but the one thing in common between all of us is that we source most of our business from online searches and social networking - the same services that are now offering "cloud storage" as well.

By storing all our information in the cloud, all of our competing businesses are effectively giving control of our data to a few big companies who may very well have a vested interest in seeing one of our firms succeed at the expense of the others. Maybe some high-flying Google executive's son owns one, and so dear old Dad can use Google's access to all that data stored in their cloud "service" to give said son an advantage. Or maybe Google want to move in on our turf and put all the competition out of business. There are many possible scenarios where the consolidation of masses of SME information could be abused, and at some point in the future, almost certainly will be.

Not only that, but as others have wisely posted, when you store everything on the cloud, you effectively give up ownership of your data. If someone else misuses the cloud service you're using and the copyright mafia / homeland security / whatever decide to shut it down, an SME would be just as fucked, if not more so, as a big company that was stupid enough to rely on the same service. Megaupload anyone?

Most of my contemporaries in competing SMEs are as skeptical about the cloud as I am, for these and other reasons. I know full well that managing a round dozen of desktops and an assortment of notebooks, tablets and smartphones clustered around a homegrown server is nothing like managing the massive IT infrastructure of a big company; in fact it's nothing that a halfway competent sysadmin can't handle between cups of coffee. So for SMEs, hiring one grease monkey to look after your small tin (as opposed to big iron!) is more than worth the cost, when you consider the risks and potential costs of exposing, and losing, all your data to the cloud.

Olympic athletes compete in RAYGUN SHOOTING for the first time

Steven Roper
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Light sabres

Not as clumsy or random as a... laser pistol...

Anonymous declares war after French firm trademarks its logo

Steven Roper

Re: They're logo?

"It's a man in suit with no head sitting in front of a globe."

Exactly. And I'd really, really love to see the artist who originally created that image, sue the arse off these greedy, exploitative bastards for infringing HIS copyright. I will donate gladly to any fund that said artist wants to set up to fund the defence of his IP.

But what really amazes me is that it was the French, and not the Americans, that came up with the idea of trademarking the Anonymous logo... it's the sort of thing I wouldn't have put past the good old US of A!

Hobbyist builds working assault rifle using 3D printer

Steven Roper

Re: Damn

Once replicators are truly perfected, everyone will be out of a job. But in a world where you can just replicate everything you need, there'll be no need for jobs. Or money. Or any of that related bullshit that makes our present civilisation so unbearable... speed the day!

AIIA takes the ‘Australian’ out of price-gouge concerns

Steven Roper

What this is REALLY about

is bald two-faced, double-standard, fuck-you hypocrisy on the part of every business that rips off Australian consumers with differential pricing. Their boardroom mentality, stripped of all the bullshit, is simply this:

"WE want the benefits of globalisation so WE can pay less for cheap labour by outsourcing to third-world countries. YOU lowlife, consumer plebs, however, are not entitled to the same benefits, so YOU will pay full price regardless." One rule for us, and another for them. In. Your. Face.

My response is simply to buy most of my stuff directly from Chinese drop-shipping sites like Chinavasion or TMart instead. They sell more stuff than Amazon at third-world prices to anywhere in the world, from clothing and shoes to office stationery to CDs and DVDs to electronics, and with no middleman markups.

I will not buy anything from these hypocritical thieving bastards. If they can benefit from globalisation, I can as well.

Girls tricked by STEAMY message: Webcam spyware student jailed

Steven Roper

Re: I'd be a lot less ambivalent about feminism

You're ambivalent about feminism, Aaron? You could have fooled me, since I had you pegged as one of the more devotedly misandrist male feminists on here some time ago. So how's that anti-male crusade going? Gotten any more of the competition jailed yet?

You should club up with David W. and Oolons on these forums, since they seem to hate males about as much as you do!

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Iranian nuke plants rocked in midnight 'heavy metal blast'

Steven Roper

@ Fibbles and AC re "Sheeple"

Over multiple forums over the last couple of years, I've observed that those who most vociferously condemn the use of the word "sheeple" are the ones most often guilty of exactly what the word is intended to disparage.

Darth Vader is a pansy

Steven Roper

Re: Disagree

Look, I know The Black Hole is no Citizen Kane, but do you really expect anyone on this forum to seriously believe you, or anyone else with more than two discrete brain cells, capable of sitting through Battlefield Earth even once, let alone a dozen times, regardless of how bad any other movie might be?

I don't think so, sunshine!

Steven Roper
Thumb Up

MrT Re: white cars

My friend has an interesting theory on white cars, having owned quite a few different coloured ones in his time.

He maintains that white cars have the best "police invisibility" - that is, cops pull over white cars noticeably less often than cars of any other colour, with red being the "cop magnet" colour most likely to be pulled over. His experiences in 25 years of driving seem to bear him out on this: in the 4 years he was driving his red Datsun 1200, he was pulled over 12 times; in the same period driving his white Ford Falcon, he was pulled over only once.

Not only that, he also diligently takes note every time he sees someone else pulled over, and he says he sees less white cars pulled over than any other colour, despite white being one of the more common car colours on the road where we live.

Since he's a bit of a risk-taker and a leadfoot, his driving style is more likely than most to attract the notice of the local constabulary regardless of the car he's in, so he puts it down to the colour of the car as being the major determinant of police attention!

Japanese publisher, staff arrested over backup software offer

Steven Roper

Ah, I see

the MAFIAA have bought themselves some Japanese politicians, then.

WikiWin: Icelandic court orders Visa to process WikiLeaks $$$

Steven Roper

@ boltar re: religion becoming an ethnicity

When did religion become an ethnicity? I must have missed that memo.

Look up the word "Jew" sometime. You might find it quite enlightening.

Anonymous vows to wipe web clean of child abuse scum

Steven Roper

Oolons and David W.

Thank you for demonstrating my point about men being the most bigoted feminists. How quick you both were to spring to the defence of a noxious movement whose incessant attacks on men have caused the male suicide rate to rise to more than FOUR TIMES that of women. But I guess that's less competition for you two, right?

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