* Posts by Robert Helpmann??

1911 posts • joined 31 May 2011

Crazy bug of the week: Gnome Files' .MSI parser runs evil VBScripts

Robert Helpmann??
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Just the tip

...if you can create arbitrary files, you can have all sorts of fun with a Linux environment (even if only in the current user's context).

The first and most obvious thing to do with this is try to gain root and have some real fun.

Arbitrary files equals arbitrary commands leads to eventual pwnage.

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Google G-Suite spotted erecting stiff member vetting tool

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: It won't work...

The latest protections apply to newly created web apps and Apps Scripts.

The 90s called. They want to know if we are enjoying the macro viruses.

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SQL Server 2017's first rc lands and – yes! – it runs on Linux

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You have to think not only of the database, but also what else will be used with the database.

Indeed, there are any number of apps that were built with MS SQL as their back end. If the devs for these apps decided to move to Linux, this is the only way for MS to stay in the game.

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Truck spills slimy load all over Oregon road – drivers slip in eel slick

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Beware susi eel

Don't know why salmon is an exception.

Salmon used in sushi are from Norway. Salmon from the Pacific are considered to be undesirable for sashimi due to parasites and low fat content. Here is an article that tells the tale:

http://www.norwayexports.no/sectors/articles/norways-introduction-of-salmon-sushi-to-japan/

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Want to kill your IT security team? Put the top hacker in charge

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Re: Best advice

There isn't an easy way around this problem. Shitty management courses aren't the answer but good management programmes (there really are some and they require time and investment) might be the least worst treatment, at least improving some people's skills.

Management is a skill. It take time, effort and energy to learn and grow, just like any other skill. It also requires a good knowledge of the people and projects being managed, so pulling someone up from the ranks makes sense to a certain extent, but is not enough on its own. One of my greatest peeves are managers who claim that they can manage anything simply because they are great managers.

I've worked both tech and management (in IT security, as it happens) and have spent time in effort learning both skill sets. What I typically I see in promoting top talent is a general lack of experience on the part of upper management. The idea isn't new; the term Peter Principle has been around since 1969.

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Pretty fly for an AI: Bioboffins use machine learning to decipher fruit flies' brains

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It was a task RIPE for machine learning.

I see what you did there!

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If we could just get a word in Edgewise... New kid says it can do data center firewalls better

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: NS

More on our website: www.edgewise.net

I went looking for product guides and other documentation, but it looks as though I have to sign up for the beta release in order to get any of that. Not much there on the site, but I see you are hiring.

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Robert Helpmann??
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What am I missing?

The devil is in the details and we only have an executive summary. It looks like an interesting tool, but I would want to know how much training and time it would take to implement, how it will scale, how well it can be tuned (to your comment concerning error rates, really_adf), what kind of overhead it will impose on equipment and how much maintenance is required once it is put in place. This certainly does not sound like a fire and forget sort of application. Also, since it is a very young tech, I would expect there to be the sorts of issues that any new software brings.

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AGFEO smart home controllers need patching

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Coffee/keyboard

Best Practice Internet Things Security

I wonder what kind of questions this new domain will generate for the CISSP or Security+ tests. No, I take it back: this material is already covered on the CEH.

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Russia, China vow to kill off VPNs, Tor browser

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Trollface

Re: Simple explanation

Russia has not "invaded" any country since 1991.

Do you perform stand up as well? Tell us another one!

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Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Mensa

"But at least it have me bragging rights with my brother - I beat him.."

Clearly they didn't teach you English.

Looks to be more a question of typing and proof reading ability than one of grammar... but a good beating is its own reward.

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Uncle Sam says 'nyet' to Kaspersky amid fresh claims of Russian ties

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Only in Russia

...foreign governments might have to ban Microsoft/Google/Intel/etc

They did it first!

I am not really sure which they "They" is, but this is just the latest in a long chain of bans. Mostly, we hear about China, Russia and the US banning each other's tech. There have to be other examples that don't get the same amount of coverage. Perhaps India has banned Pakistani AV products. Maybe the Canadian government is harshing on Sri Lankan firewall imports. Any other real world examples?

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Just in time for summer boozing: Boffins smash world record for the most perfect ice cubes

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: most perfect

In this case it is not a range of perfection that is being stipulated, but an amount relative to other efforts. The scientists created more examples or a greater percentage of perfect ice cubes than previous groups have.

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GitHub flub spaffs 8Tracks database, 18 million accounts leaked

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Facepalm

I'm guessing that the dev got complacent and started treating a remote repo like a personal disk volume.

You had me at "complacent".

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NATO: 'Cyber' is a military domain

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Meh

Re: I'm fine with NATO working on cyber-defense

I'm not so fine with... [e]xpanding NATO to include the Ukraine

Not sure how this fits in with your other points, MH. They seem to be related a little more closely than this one. I'm not attacking your opinion on this, even if I do not necessarily agree, it's that it doesn't track from the rest of what you've stated. Care to tie it together?

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O Rly? O'Reilly exits direct book sales

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Re: As long as they're still publishing dead tree books ...

We live in a bizarre world where everyone makes their documentation in railway carriage form and is surprised when it doesnt fit into the matter transporter.

I know the article and above comments mostly refer to IT documentation, but digitization projects that have involved scanning historical texts and making them available online have brought rare texts in reach of many people who would not otherwise have access. There are a number of transcription efforts that are crowd-sourced, allowing said texts to become easily searched. As otherwise noted, it depends on what your particular needs are, but for many if not most in this area digital texts have far outstripped the utility of the physical page.

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US Copyright Office suggests 'right to repair' laws a good idea

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: OH RLY?

Creative breakage, anyone?

Please. The correct term is "percussive maintenance".

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50th anniversary of the ATM opens debate about mobile payments

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thus, if you're in this city and you ask for an ATM machine, you could be driven to a metro/bus ticket dispenser...

Possibly the only time it is appropriate to ask for an ATM machine. Cheers to the Milanese for getting that right.

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SpaceX nails two launches and barge landings in one weekend

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Even old curmudgeons are happy!

...remember that space shuttle design work began before the Apollo 11 landing.

Yes, in 1968, IIRC. I have pic on my phone of the first concept design for the shuttle (1969). It looks an awful lot like SpaceShipOne.

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Let's go live to the 3rd circle of Hell – and see what Comcast and Charter are screwing up

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: 3rd level of hell

The 3rd circle of Hell is Gluttony. I would think that the 4th (Greed) would be more applicable or perhaps a little further down because of fraud. As far as I am concerned, these two can burn so any level will do.

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Latest Windows 10 Insider build pulls the trigger on crappy SMB1

Robert Helpmann??
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Revisionist History

From the article: "SMB1 was developed almost 30 years ago..."

So, late 80s early 90s?

From Wikipedia: "Barry Feigenbaum originally designed SMB at IBM ... Microsoft merged the SMB protocol with the LAN Manager product ...around 1990, and continued to add features to the protocol in Windows for Workgroups (c. 1992) and in later versions of Windows."

Yes, that's about right.

Again, from the article, "It was designed for a world that no longer exists... A world without malicious actors."

What? I saw the movie War Games in the theater when it came out in 1983. I know, it's a work of fiction, but hacker's were a real enough part of the world to write a movie about, even if it depicted them in Hollywood implausible ways. A quick search shows viruses started in the early 70s (https://www.radware.com/resources/malware_timeline.aspx) and that Mitnik gained unauthorized access to the Ark computer network in 1979 (https://web.archive.org/web/20090317050834/http://www.thememoryhole.org/lit/deception-ch1.htm).

I call BS! Which world had no malicious actors? Human nature being what it is should give a clue to those designing any system. There will always be the curious, the thrill seekers and the bad actors. There have been locks on doors since there were doors. To claim that things were otherwise is stupidity or lies. To operate as if there are no bad actors now... well, we can watch that play out with IoT among an unfortunate number of examples.

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Waymo: We've got a hot smoking gun in Uber 'tech theft' brouhaha

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Joke

Re: Okay...

...those things are probably the tip of a larger iceberg.

That's right. It's just the tip.

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NSA had NFI about opsec: 2016 audit found laughably bad security

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: 2 sweet FA

While 2FA may be non-trivial to implement on all systems, it may be implemented on the systems needed to reach those that don't have it. To my mind, the lack of physical security on servers is more damning than the fact that 2FA had not been fully deployed or implemented.

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No, really. You can see through walls using drones and Wi-Fi

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Re: Just one problem with that.

...for the majority of users there is no chance in hell of them penetrating their dwelling.

Two points concerning this: 1) the signal strength needed to form an image is not necessarily the same as that needed to create a usable image and 2) passive scanning might be more effective as most houses and businesses have wi-fi of some sort running all the time. In fact, passive scanning has the potential for clearer images in some cases as it has to go through, on average, half of what an active system would.

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You're all too skeptical of super-duper self-driving cars, apparently

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: What worries me is that a lot of large corporations

To push back on the idea of losers a bit, AC, while there definitely will be shifts, not all of these are inevitable or even bad. Also, I don't think it is about control so much as money, though the two understandably may be conflated.

From your list of losers:

- luxury car manufacturers: One argument I have heard concerning electrics, which are going to be more and more common especially among self-driving cars, is that the base components are going to become commodities. This means that for car manufacturers to differentiate themselves, they will have to focus more on styling. This would seem to indicate that there will be more freedom for boutique car shops to provide a higher degree of customization. In other words, we are likely to have more companies working in this area rather than fewer.

- insurance companies: Insurance of one form or another will always be a part of this equation. Insurance companies may achieve cost savings by streamlining their operations as having fewer large customers will make this feasible. Individuals will pay whether they owe or rent. It's that way with houses (renter's insurance plus rolled into rent). Why would it be any different with cars? One thing you can always count on is that they will game the system to their advantage.

- marketing boutiques: While there may not be much marketing by smaller cab companies, I have seen ads for both Uber and Lyft. Also, why wouldn't ad companies negotiate to place marketing in vehicles for hire and at pick-up stations and in ride hailing aps? They already do all of these, of course.

- second car dealers: You are probably right on this one, though those that hang on will be more of the nature of antique dealers. I would not think this would be traumatic or abrupt as the widespread adoption of the new technology will not be overnight and there will always be old car enthusiasts.

- repair shops: More apt to be taken entirely in-house. While there probably will be some economic impact to this, it is not a bad thing. As with used car dealerships, this is not apt to disappear overnight and the workers in this area are also some that are apt to be able to pick up a new set of technical skills.

- taxi drivers: Again, you are probably right, but this is not apt to be abrupt. Those that persist in this profession are apt to be at the high end of the market. There are still doormen, so chauffeurs are likely to hang around, too.

- health systems (especially in US): This is likely to have the opposite effect from what you predict. By reducing mortality, average lifespan is increased. As the population's average age increases, so too does the need for health care. Increased demand leads to more jobs, et cetera.

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Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Lesser of two evils?

So it rather looks as if you think humans can learn from something, whether it be from mistakes or from simple practice. And yet you say they can't.

I have plenty of time behind the wheel and from that experience I gather that while people are capable of learning, they typically don't unless forced to do so. In the case of fatal automobile accidents, or fatal accidents of any sort, that presents a bit of a problem as the learning curve can be both steep and abrupt.

From a personal point of view, I don't have any sympathy for folks clinging on to their ability to drive when there are much, much safer alternatives available. Much in the same fashion that preventing people from smoking in most public places has improved the health of those who would otherwise be exposed to second-hand smoke, preventing people from inflicting now-unnecessary risk on everyone around them seems reasonable. To carry the analogy forward, perhaps to an absurd degree, we should next create roads just for human drivers isolated from the rest and let nature run its course.

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BOFH: Halon is not a rad new vape flavour

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Facepalm

Boxes or Mercedes

These sales drones really lacked imagination. They should have known it was going to be down to how and not if they were going to go, so why not go in the most spectacular fashion possible? Cannonball into the Mercedes! Actually, just throw something heavy into the car and stick your head out the window as high up as possible for a chance at going on to round two.

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Europe-wide BitTorrent indexer blockade looms after Pirate Bay blow

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Paris Hilton

Re: Don't shoot the messenger

So since Microsoft, Facebook, Google et all do not categorize other people's files, posts, messages etc., especially being aware of the legal or illegal status of said content, in the same way, that legal nuance doesn't apply.

Do you use a different Google than I do? They have been pioneers of automatic categorization and have also put their metaphorical backs into making others' work available online, regardless of their wishes. MS, FB and others are playing catch-up, but see the value in following suit. In fact, Google hosts plenty of copyrighted material (YouTube is still theirs, right?), so the comparison with TPB looks even worse in that light.

I am not apologizing for bad behavior on anyone's part by pointing out that all the cool kids do it, but there is more than a bit of hypocrisy at play here.

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Disney mulls Mickey Mouse magic material to thwart pirates' 3D scans

Robert Helpmann??
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...and who wants a counterfit toy?

There are thousands upon thousands of cheap knock-offs out there. Kids don't care and sellers are happy to save a few bucks and parents just want their kids to be happy. There is definitely a market. A bigger problem for Disney is that so much of what they do is copied from other sources. Anyone can make a Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, et cetera movie, toys, books and so on. Perhaps the Haus of Maus ought to come up with more original content rather than recycling stories they have already covered.

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Banking websites are 'littered with trackers' ogling your credit risk

Robert Helpmann??
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FAIL

Re: I think we need to know...

There is one additional domain that interferes with the logon process with an annoying popup ad...They said that the popup will go away if I 1) reconfigure my browsers to never delete cookies and 2) let the popup run once.

Translation: If you just let us track everything you do, we will stop annoying you with those pesky pop-ups.

Nice.

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Internet hygiene still stinks despite botnet and ransomware flood

Robert Helpmann??
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Oblivious of the Situation

Why couldn't the first action of a system virus scanner be to call a remote port scan of the user's IP followed by a vulnerability report?

Great idea! So you want the first thing a consumer grade security product to do is scan everything in the immediate environment and send up alarms to the completely uneducated system owner? Good. I assume the report will be accompanied by a set of recommendations of actions to take accompanied by buttons to press ordering said actions? Also good. Customer pushes buttons and stuff stops working. Now what? How is this behavior different from that of any number of sketchy "security" products currently available. The problem in providing reasonable security is it takes a certain amount of expertise which is difficult to automate. The best alternative is to have a trained person help out, of which there are not enough.

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It came from space! Two-headed flatworm stuns scientists

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Boffin

What next?

So when do we move on from animal testing to using politicians as subjects? No? Perhaps testing on other animals with regenerative abilities is next on the list.

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Ever wonder why those Apple iPhone updates take so damn long?

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: no no no no no no no, Apple

The Apple employees get new ones every year, so they can't count on seeing everything that the other billion iPhones have.

So Apple doesn't keep old hardware on hand for testing? They don't have an automated test process that would allow multiple test scenarios to play out? They don't have any sort of virtualized test environment?

Two issues stand out to me: lack of transparency concerning what they do and lack of informed consent from their customers to do it. There are a lot of good things to be said concerning Apple's products, but their practices leave a bit to be desired.

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Fear the dentist? Strap on some nerd goggles

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: The march of technology

Best dentist I had pulled my top wisdom teeth (the bottom were pulled by an Army dentist, who was the worst). He asked me what music I wanted to listen two while he worked. I gave him a blank look and he explained that he had his patients wear headphones while he worked because it helped them to relax. I told him whatever he thought was best. The next thing I knew, I was listening to Jimmy Buffett and enjoying lots of nitrous. I was very, very relaxed.

Perhaps the use of VR is not as helpful. As Little Mouse mentioned, you don't really get much use out of a system that requires active participation if you are in this situation. Being able to just sit back and zone out is likely to be better. Also, a lack of audio is crap. If you can hear everything that is going on, you are going to tense up even if you are in no pain. Headphones, loud music and dark sunglasses for the win!

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Mac ransomware author is giving away malicious code to script kiddies

Robert Helpmann??
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Putting the Win in Windows

The ransomware only encrypts a maximum of 128 files...[and] is being offered through a ransomware-as-a-service delivery model...

Poor Mac users! They only get some of their files encrypted. Looks as though Windows users get the best service after all.

Please see icon before sending virtual glares or worse my direction.

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Gordon Ramsay's father-in-law gets six months for hacking sweary super-chef's computer

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: not with read or lead

not with lead, as Pb? seriously, how do you say that word?

Follow me and I won't lead [pronounced "leed"] you astray unless I feel inclined to hit you with a lead [pronounced "led"] pipe.

I know that people from different regions often pronounce the same words quite differently; this may be the case between you and I. I had an interesting conversation with a lady from New Zealand concerning the pronunciation of the word "bear". From what I recall, they say "beer" where Americans say "bare". I know which I would prefer if it came to a choice of having beer or being bare, but to each their own.

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Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

I think you will find that the common verbs in all languages are irregular...

I get by in a few different languages and that matches my experience, but it is not just verbs I am referring to though using the word "irregular" might imply that. Simple pronunciation rules for English are nothing more than a figurative container for storage of exceptions. Diphthongs can be especially difficult for non-native speakers and even native speakers have trouble expressing "rules" that govern pronunciation. For example, when should "th" be soft as in "thin" and when should it be hard as in "the"?

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Robert Helpmann??
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Headmaster

Well pled.

Which rhymes with said but not with read or lead...

Is there a more irregular language than English? I say "more irregular" rather than "less regular" as English seems to be aggressively so rather than having occasional lapses of judgement.

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NSA leaker bust gets weirder: Senator claims hacking is wider than leak revealed

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Coat

Re: curiouser and curiouser

I feel sorry for the gent who's wife has passed and while I'm sure it's possible to get her removed...

Other than the obvious regret of someone's spouse passing away (or not, depending), it sounds more like an opportunity to log an extra entry at the polls. Who better to know the intent of one's dearly departed?

Mine has the extra voter registration in the pocket.

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Paxo trashes privacy, social media and fake news at Infosec 2017

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Re: What is this?

Service Guarantees Citizenship.

I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking this! While Heinlein did not subscribe to every political system he described (he wrote fiction, after all), he certainly did well to make the point that citizenship ought to imply citizens have skin in the game. Under current systems of Democracy, those who vote are the only people who count. Those who can but don't vote, don't count by their own choice.

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ESA astronaut decelerates from 28,800kph to zero in first bumpy landing

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Re: You are missing the point

It was my understanding that the Americans chose water landings because they didn't have large enough tracts of land where nobody lived, unlike Russia which is enormous[Citation needed].

I don't claim to know why the splashdown was chosen as the preferred method by the US space program (there are trade-offs for each method), but it certainly has nothing to do with available land. Though smaller and more densely populated than Russia, the US has many areas with sparse population.

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Going to Mars may give you cancer, warns doc

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Re: I suspect that ...

...if they ALL went...

I vote for implementing one of Douglas Adams' better ideas at the earliest possible. B Ark for the win!

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Your emotionally absent pic-snapping partner's going to look you in the eye again

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Who to punch?

You could go to the product web site (https://www.spectacles.com/), but you only have yourself to blame if you do.

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Boffins play with the world's most powerful X‑ray gun to shoot molecules

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Childcatcher

He pulled the trigger, which implies he was the Igor.

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Security company finds unsecured bucket of US military images on AWS

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Tell me again, why putting sensitive information in the cloud is a good idea?

Configuration error my ass! I know the US DoD is shifting to public cloud services, but ASFIK classified data is not supposed to be stored there. There are isolated networks for that. There is no reason that TS data should be on AWS.

More than anything else, though, I am happy I am not the one having to fill out the paperwork on this spillage. If the data simply being on the host machine(s) also constitutes spillage (which it should), then the systems that it is or was previously on will have to be quarantined. Given the nature of cloud services, that would be a... difficult and involved task.

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Pentagon trumpets successful mock-ICBM interception test

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An ICBM re-entry vehicle is moving at a balmy mach 14 or faster...

Balmy? Don't you mean "bomby"?

Mine's the one with the lead lining.

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TRUMP SCANDAL! No, not that one. Or that one. Or that one. Or that one.

Robert Helpmann??
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Headmaster

Re: I think Chomsky had something to say about that.

...idols that are squamous yet ruguous...

I will give you an up-vote for the attempt at a Lovecraft reference, though the latter is spelled "rugose" (see The Shadow out of Time).

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Your job might be automated within 120 years, AI experts reckon

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Childcatcher

Re: Can Machines really learn 'experience' and 'judgement'?

The advancement of AI and automation does not take place independent of everything else. I have argued in the past that we have raised the average standard of living to the point where the relatively poor in developed countries have access to things only royalty did previously (exotic foods and spices, music and other entertainment on demand, more than one set of clothes, etc.). Automation is just one more step down this road. Soon, we all will have robot maids, secretaries and chauffeurs. Concerned that the peasants will revolt? I would be more concerned with ennui among the noveau noble.

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NASA duo plan Tuesday ISS spacewalk to replace the mux that sux

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Childcatcher

Re: Unscheduled?

...an unscheduled spacewalk is not something one would want to contemplate...

Yeah. Watch that first step: it's a doozy!

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