* Posts by ma1010

682 posts • joined 30 Nov 2012

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Buried in the hype, one little detail: Amazon's Alexa-on-a-chip could steal smart home market

ma1010
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First prize is one device with Alexa-on-a-chip

Second prize is two devices with Alexa.

If I ever buy something with this (which I would only if there is no other choice), it sounds like I need to use MAC address filtering on the Wi-Fi.

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Spent your week box-ticking? It can't be as bad as the folk at this firm

ma1010
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Facepalm

Re: Cheaper option

Couldn't this have been done rather more quickly and efficiently by batches of simple SQL UPDATE queries?

That's just crazy talk - a simple solution for a simple problem, plainly you don't work in commercial I.T.

Or government! I've pointed out all sorts of simple ways to save time/money around here, but manglement isn't remotely interested. But they can spend millions paying con-sultants for a computer system that will slow down what we do here. Our tax dollars at work for us.

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ma1010
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Go

An honest consultant

I knew a woman who was an honest consultant (can be difficult to imagine, I know, but true in this case). Her clients had 4 companies and wanted some sort of computer program to sort out the mail between the individual companies. She suggested they forget using a computer and just get separate P.O. boxes for each company and let the Postal Service sort the mail for them. Problem solved.

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FCC's 5G masterstroke little more than big biz cash giveaway – expert

ma1010
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Mushroom

What did you expect?

As long as Big Telco's hollow little sock puppet, Ajit Pai, is running the FCC, there will be nothing but more subsidize-big-corporations-and-screw-the-citizens bullshit from them. This move is exactly in line with everything else that Pai has done from day one. He's an ass-sucking sycophant of Big Telco and the sworn enemy of everyone else in America. Probably the single worst appointment Trump ever made.

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'I am admin' bug turns WD's My Cloud boxes into Everyone's Cloud

ma1010
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Another WD nightmare

And their customer service is so good (not).

I was thinking of getting a MyCloud, but I saw another post on El Reg that suggested ownCloud, which sounded interesting. I now have a new project where I'm going to take some old hardware and build my own home NAS with ownCloud - and lock out its IP number at the Internet firewall.

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Microsoft: Like the Borg, we want to absorb all the world's biz computers

ma1010
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Re: Testing

@Doctor Syntax

Management fit their important stuff around what Microsoft plans. Problem solved.

This is so true. We're in the throes of getting a new major computer system, and when I pointed out to the project manager how the software will NOT do some functions we need, I was told that we will just need to change some of our business practices.

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Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok

ma1010
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ADA!

(Screaming loudly, banging head.) You guys are giving me a PTSD flashback to when I did my MSc. back in the early 90's. We were required to use Ada for our final project and to take a course in Ada beforehand. We had '386 computers at home and work, and they all ran Windows 3.1. We also had a really funky Ada compiler which was all we students could afford to buy at the time. It had the wonderful ability to compile code that ran fine on the computer you compiled it on, but would not run on any other computer. Given that one of our instructors insisted that we turn in everything as an executable (as well as source code, of course), we had a wonderful time getting downgraded when the executables, which ran fine on our computers at home, failed to run on his. Somehow I managed to get an "A" out of him, but I never worked harder or had more stress in any class.

If anyone else out there is using Ada, I sure hope you have a better compiler than we did!

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A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

ma1010
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Paris Hilton

Re: When you're set up to fail...

@chivo243

"She had plans to get more budget... waiting for the ultimate clusterFcsk to cry to her superiors."

I think you're really onto something here. In the particular corner of Hell where I'm condemned to work, I've come up with ways to simplify and speed up key tasks. For a while, when we were way behind and had no budget, the PHBs were very happy with me doing this. Then, the budget situation got better or something. When another "big job" came along, I came up with a way to speed it up by at least 4x over the stone-age process they were using - and got a bollocking for "not going through channels" and was told not to use my shortcut methods or give them to anyone.

WTF? I wondered. Only answer I could come up with (other than total insanity on the part of PHBs - which I can't rule out) is that they wanted the project to be a total time soak to try to get more budget/headcount or something out of their PHBs.

Paris because she's fully qualified to be a PHB here.

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Solid password practice on Capital One's site? Don't bank on it

ma1010
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Mushroom

Another miscreant who blocks password managers

21st Century Insurance. Wankers.

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Neutron star crash in a galaxy far, far... far away spews 'faster than light' radio signal jets at Earth

ma1010
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Re: Hope it's true

Well, tachyons are supposed to have mass, except it's an imaginary number since once v is higher than c, you're dealing with the square root of a negative number as mass = "rest" mass divided by sqrt(1- (v^2 / c^2)). The faster a tachyon travels, the less its (imaginary) mass would be.

But they are certainly undetectable so far as nobody has invented any way to detect them that has indicated they exist. Can't imagine how you could detect such a thing, but some boffin may well figure it out someday.

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Hundred-million Kiwi Oracle project on hold after Deloitte review

ma1010
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Megaphone

Re: Are all government health IT projects doomed to fail ?

It's government in general - they just can't do IT in any sensible way. The ones making the decisions are not the ones to USE the software, as well as many managers don't really understand the day-to-day processes that sustain their own department. That means you get software that either doesn't work at all or has such an atrocious user interface it requires 10 steps to do something that should be done with one click. The system we're getting before too long fits the latter category.

Deloitte throwing poo at Oracle is amusing. Deloitte took the California state court system for over $300 million for a supposedly statewide computer system that didn't work. The very idea was ridiculous because the scope made no sense. They were attempting to write software that would scale from a 2 judge rural court up to run Los Angeles County, which has a court system bigger than the entire U.S. Federal Court system. With such a ridiculous scope, of course it didn't work. Based on what I've seen, I wouldn't trust Oracle OR Deloitte any farther than I could throw one of their salesdroids. But those guys do know how to lie effectively to manglement, so the robbery and crap software will continue.

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Brit teen pleads guilty to Minecraft-linked bomb and airline hoaxes

ma1010
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Fools like this should pay

Idiots who think it's funny to make hoax threats shouldn't be put in jail. Instead let them pay civil damages equal to the cost of all the emergency responses they generated. If he gets a good job, it shouldn't take him more than 100 years or so to settle the bill while he lives on subsistence.

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Abracadabra! Tales of unexpected sysadmagic and dabbling in dark arts

ma1010
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Paris Hilton

Re: religious co workers

I well remember the "I love you" virus. We had a salesman who had been trying to get this one client signed up with our company, to no avail. Then one day he got an email from them - with the subject line "I love you."

Fortunately, our antivirus software flashed up a warning, so he came and got me before he opened it. I looked at it and quickly deleted it. He proceeded to have a fit because he thought that client had FINALLY replied to his attempts to contact them. I explained how that virus worked and eventually got him calmed down, but part of him kept thinking he'd missed some kind of sales opportunity there.

Paris because he was about that bright.

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Intel rips up microcode security fix license that banned benchmarking

ma1010
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Paris Hilton

Hmmm

Did somebody say "Streisand Effect"?

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You want how much?! Israel opts not to renew its Office 365 vows

ma1010
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Facepalm

Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

@big_D

I do a fair number of presentations. I hope you didn't buy from that supplier, because the presenter is an idiot. Why didn't he bring his own computer with the proper software for his presentation? Or, if he needed to use someone else's computer, save the presentation as a PDF?

All my presentations are done in LibreOffice Impress. When I do the presentation live, of course I have LibreOffice on my laptop. After the original presentation, I then export the LibreOffice file as a PDF, and that gets posted to the web site, and people can view them with no formatting problems.

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Now you can tell someone to literally go f--k themselves over the internet: Remote-control mock-cock patent dies

ma1010
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Mushroom

This just underscores that patents are crap

Our current patent system is beyond broken. It doesn't protect or foster innovation, but rather stifles it. This particular instance probably hasn't been a major loss for the world, but how many individuals and small companies don't even bother to TRY these days? If I had a great idea for some invention, given the minefield of patent law and patent trolls out there, I'd most likely just say "screw it" and go fishing or something, because likely some assbag imagined something vaguely like it and filed a patent on "thing that does stuff."

It's a marvel that any innovation at all happens in today's toxic environment. I expect there will be less and less until they fix patent law. Patents should be issued ONLY for WORKING devices or manufacturing processes, not for vague ideas like "oh, you know, we could do some kind of Internet sex thingy, I think" and other such "business method" patents.

Death to patent trolls!

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Democrats go on the offensive over fake FCC net neut'y cyberattack

ma1010
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Mushroom

The article is right, but...

I'm sorry, but I'm extremely opinionated and partisan (like most Americans, I guess). I despise that little sock puppet of big telco which are screwing over hundreds of millions of Americans, providing mediocre to poor service at nosebleed prices. He doesn't even PRETEND to give a shit about American consumers or anything that would benefit them if it costs big telco a dime.

As far as I'm concerned, if they brought Pai up on witchcraft charges, I'd cheer. Anything to get rid of that miserable assbag.

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Emma's Diary fined £140k for flogging data on over a million new mums to Labour Party

ma1010
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Experian CHARGED them?

I can't figure out why anyone paid Experian for this information. After all, Experian GAVE AWAY my personal information (along with that of millions of others) because they didn't have enough sense to patch a known vulnerability.

In the US, our alleged public guardians immediately swung into action, giving Experian a resounding "Now, now, don't do it again until next time!" No fine or other penalties, of course.

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Wondering what to do with that $2,300 burning a hole in your pocket?

ma1010
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Trollface

The BOFH has seen this before

SALESDROID: "Well, that would be version one. But we promise that version 1.1 would have perfect performance, no lag, and so secure it'll seem like magic."

BOFH: "You're lying aren't you?"

SALESDROID: "Of course, I'm in sales!"

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

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Facebook insists it has 'no plans' to exploit your personal banking info for ads – just as we have 'no plans' to trust it

ma1010
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Just say NO

To Facebook in any incarnation! I have never had a FB account and would much prefer that they not know I exist, much less have my bank sell them any information of any kind about me.

Who needs FB for alerts? If my bank account gets too low, my credit card too high, or I'm getting close to forgetting to send a timely payment, I get alerts via email. Those work just fine, thanks, without anyone (well, except for the government spies, of course) slurping my data. (And, no, I don't use GMail.)

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UK govt's top tech heavyweight Maxwell quits for Amazon job

ma1010
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Holmes

So, it's the same over there, then?

It seems Whitehall works about like D.C., then. Get a powerful government position (either in the bureaucracy or elected), use it to your corporate sponsor's advantage, and they will reward you later on with a nice, lucrative job.

Wondering what job Big Telco has waiting for their little sock puppet Ajit Pai (just to mention one of many such shills).

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Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

ma1010
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Terminator

Re: Need an IT equivalent of mechanical sympathy....

At one company I was the "computer guy": network, software development, DBA, helpdesk, "and crew of the captain's gig." We had one user who was always having some kind of problem with his computer.

One day the boss said to him, "Why is your computer always doing that? It never does that when [my name] is around." He replied, "It wouldn't dare!"

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I feel a plead... a plead for speed: FastMail naps amid network blunder

ma1010
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I like Fastmail

I've used Fastmail ever since Bluebottle went out of business. It works very well, and, AFAIK, they don't read all your email like Google and such. The price is very reasonable and more than worth it for the privacy. As they say, if it's free, then YOU are the commodity.

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Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

ma1010
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Re: Timing is everything

I once had an interview where I was asked how you'd create a text file in DOS if EDIT wasn't available.

The stock answer was to redirect TTY>C:\filename.txt and used ctrl-Z to end,

Or you could use COPY CON which was the main alternative to EDLIN before EDIT finally came along.

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ma1010
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Re: Logic bombs are unprofessional

@ Tinslave_the_Barelegged

What you said, many, many times! Where I work, if I didn't automate some repetitive and incredibly time-wasting processes, I would have been institutionalized for my own safety.

Also, a few years ago, I got laid off from a company where I was the general IT monkey (hardware/network/software-including writing the company's accounting software). After I was gone, the Sonicwall firewall burned out, and the "con-sultants" my former boss hired to replace me told him not to worry about it because the new little router they had installed (SOHOpeless variety) had a firewall, so he was all safe and protected.

After a few months, they noticed that every afternoon their network slowed to a crawl - they could hardly get anything done! Finally, his outsourced IT figured out that some Chinese hackers had penetrated the firewall (which had default passwords) and converted the company's main file server into a spam server and were using his accounts. Time for popcorn and schadenfreude!

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Some of you really don't want Windows 10's April 2018 update on your rigs

ma1010
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Linux

Re: Why so traumatic?

@JDX

The reason MS updates get in the news more when they have issues is it affects 100X as many users and businesses. If Mint balls up a new version, you're not going to hear about it outside tech forums.

You're right about that. But the reason I love Linux is because I am in control of my personal computer. I decide what distro to use. I decide what programs I want installed and can remove any "bloatware" I don't like. I decide when and what updates get applied.

MS, on the other hand, takes control away from the PC owner and installs whatever they like on "their" PC - which they are kind enough to let you use. And if some forced update borks your computer? Well, it sucks to be you! That's their attitude which their actions have made plain.

After using MS for everything since DOS 2, I finally joined the Penguin camp after Win X. I had a fairly steep learning curve, but it was worth it to keep my personal computer as my personal computer and not Satya's.

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Prof claims Lyft did a hit-and-run on his ride-sharing tech patent

ma1010
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Mushroom

The stupidity of "business method" patents

How to get rich in the US? Just use your imagination. Make something up! File a vague patent on some general idea. Then do absolutely NOTHING to make that idea actually work. Instead, wait for someone else to have the same (usually obvious) idea and spend a lot of money and time to make that idea into a reality the public can actually benefit from. Then sue those productive people because you did absolutely nothing to develop "your" idea.

Fsck this bugger and ALL patent trolls. May they burn in hell! Patents should only apply to something the claimant made actually WORK, not vague ideas anybody can think up or (as another poster pointed out) steal from SF movies or books.

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In Microsoft land, cloud comes to you! Office 365 stuff to be bled into on-prem Office 2019 Server

ma1010
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WTF?

OneDrive

Don't know how much this applies to other OneDrive users, but where my wife works, they've implemented Win 10 and OneDrive, taking away their network shares. The folks in the office refer to OneDrive as the "Black Hole" because they've had lots of files disappear there. Sometimes they get them back later, sometimes not. They've gotten in the habit of keeping their critical files on USB sticks now so they can actually get them when they need them.

I suppose it's a good thing for some, but personally, the more I hear about cloud, the less I like it.

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Insecure web still too prevalent: Boffins unveil HSTS wall of shame

ma1010
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Big Brother

Re: Fearmongering, Uncertainty and Doubt

They do it where I work, a complete MITM attack on almost all web sites (they did leave out some banking sites). The "official" browser is IE, and our intrepid IT department installed a bogus certificate in the Windows certificate store to keep IE quiet about it, and also Chrome, because it uses the Windows certificate store.

Fortunately, I use Firefox, which has its own store that hadn't been tampered with, so I was warned immediately. I deleted private accounts I had at work (mainly IMAP email) off my work computer and changed all the passwords.

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$100m sueball smacks Huawei over Facebook HQ infiltration claims

ma1010
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WTF?

Security? We've heard of it.

If the info at the F*book conference was all that special, one would think they'd have better vetting of attendees and not just allow someone from "BogusCo, Inc." to attend.

If the allegations are true, what Huawei did was wrong (although I'm not certain it was illegal), but I have to wonder how "secret" was this information they allegedly purloined.

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Google offers to leave robocallers hanging on the telephone

ma1010
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Happy

Whitelist by default

@User McUser

I use Extreme Call Blocker to accomplish this. Callers not in my phone's contacts are allowed to leave a voicemail, but my phone does not ring. Only those in my phone's contacts can call me and have it ring. It takes about 2-3 seconds of listening to a voicemail to identify it as being something you might care about or just crap to be deleted, not to mention you can listen to those voicemails later when you have time. Not being interrupted by crap calls all the time is BLISS. I can't do this with my landline, so I just turned the ringers off and use it for outgoing calls only.

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Dudes. Blockchain. In a phone. It's gonna smash the 'commoditization of humanity' or something

ma1010
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Joke

You're Lord Bong, and I claim my 5 quid!

I think we now know where Steve Bong wound up after he left the U.K., now living under the assumed name Phil Chen.

Will the new phones feature "Thinkfluence Design," also?

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Sueball claims Apple broke hacking laws with iOS batt throttling code

ma1010
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Alert

Watch those EULAs

Obligatory Dilbert here.

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Feds charge Man after FCC boss Ajit Pai's kids get death threat over net neutrality axe vote

ma1010
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Go

From El Reg's mouth to $DEITY's ear

It is just one more sign of a dangerous ramping up of rhetoric on both sides of the political divide, and one that you would hope federal officials would seek to dampen down rather than actively encourage.

Please!

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Bankrupt Aussie Hells Angel scoops £750k lottery jackpot

ma1010
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Paris Hilton

Huh?

In 2015 Roberts was ordered to pay the Australian tax office AU$1.5m

Interesting. He must have had a very lucrative income from somewhere, probably not (overtly, anyhow) drug related in order to get a tax bill like that. Pretty good wages for a "bikie."

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The butterfly defect: MacBook keys wrecked by single grain of sand

ma1010
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Facepalm

Re: Apple are shit nowadays

Johnny Ive - Another of these worthless "gurus" like Steven Sinofsky, who destroyed the Windows UI.

Why do large corporations listen to these shite "gurus" instead of their customers who tell them plainly what they want? Listening to these twats has been a total disaster for both companies.

MS and Apple seem to be totally deaf to anything remotely resembling common sense. MS at least had the sense to kick Sinofsky out, although they still don't listen to their customers any more than Apple.

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Another staffer at mega-hacked Equifax slapped with insider trading rap

ma1010
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Mushroom

Aaaaaaaand, YES, the big corporations skate again!

This is today's life in these United States: the big corporations can do whatever they like to consumers, and they will pay bugger all penalties for it. The MINIMUM they should have gotten is a very large fine and be required to provide credit protection FOR LIFE to every single person whose details were divulged.

Unfortunately penalties for this sort of thing will never happen because today the U.S. is a Government Of the Corporations, By the Corporations and For the Corporations. The people? They're just consumers to be slurped and ripped off any way the corporations like.

Sorry if I sounded a bit cynical there.

</old git>

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In huge privacy win, US Supreme Court rules warrant needed to slurp folks' location data

ma1010
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Paris Hilton

Will this actually stop them selling our movements?

In this article, the author said that all the major oligopoly carriers like Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, et al., stopped selling our movement details after the letter from the senator. However, in the article yesterday, I recall only Verizion saying they would stop while T-Mobile seemed to not care.

Will this court decision stop them from selling our private information now? I certainly hope so. Where we go, what web pages we look at, emails and texts we send should be private and never divulged by any carrier to anyone without a warrant, IMHO.

Paris, because I'm curious.

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Why the 'feudal' tech monopolies run rings around competition watchdogs

ma1010
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Unhappy

Monopolies and Oligopolies

And not only do monopolies buy out small startups, they sometimes also use patent-troll type lawsuits to destroy them if they won't knuckle under to the buyout. The problem is, thanks to mergers, we have fewer and fewer options all the time. When it's not a monopoly, it's an oligopoly. What difference, from the consumer's point of view, is there between AT&T and Comcast? It's like being allowed to choose between getting you throat cut and being beheaded - either way, the outcome won't be good. If you don't like one, switch to the other - ha-ha.

This is the way of the future, it seems. The only possible remedies I can see would involve legal ones, but since the big corporations pretty much own the government (see Ajit Pai, big telco's sock puppet chairman of the FCC), I don't see much hope there.

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BOFH: Is everybody ready for the meeting? Grab a crayon – let's get technical

ma1010
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Coat

I know who you mean!

...not my fault, I voted for Kodos.

<sad old geek mode>

When I read that, the first thing I thought of was the character "Kodos the Executioner" from the original Star Trek series.

</sad old geek mode>

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How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

ma1010
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Big Brother

Re: "Placement and styling is important."

What do you mean "'amending' articles"? Are you accusing the Ministry of Truth of using IT to "rectify" previous news stories? Crimethink! Expect a visit from the Ministry of Love.

Oceania is at war with Eastasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia!

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AT&T sends in startup shill to shake up Cali's net neutrality safeguards

ma1010
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Joke

Listening to AT&T and Uber?

As a resident of California, I would prefer my elected officials to be guided by the advice of more wholesome entities, say NAMBLA or the Russian Mob.

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Cisco snags potential customer-sniffing biz for an undisclosed sum

ma1010
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Mushroom

Damn tracking and trackers!

I'm getting to the point where I keep my phone in airplane mode more and more. Makes it difficult to contact me, but you can't have everything. We've pretty much lost the use of phones, cells or landlines, for their intended purpose unless you submit to endless spamming and/or tracking. I don't.

It would be nice if they would outlaw tracking people via phone unless they're using 911 for an emergency call or there's a law enforcement reason (with a WARRANT granted upon a show of probable cause to a court) for it. But for those like me, living in the USA, there's no hope of anything being done by our useless lawmakers because that would benefit the people at the expense of the big corporations, so it's a non-starter here. Maybe some states might do something, perhaps.

It won't be the marketing department of Sirius Cybernetics first up against the wall when the revolution comes. It will be these bastard trackers and their "targeted ad" people. The sooner, the better, I say.

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AI military upstart attacked by Russian malware, Twitter fires up TensorFlow, and more

ma1010
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Joke

Google Translate apparently works offline now on mobile phones

"My hovercraft is full of eels."

What?

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Open Source Security hit with bill for defamation claim

ma1010
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Alert

Freudian slip?

"Nonetheless, we are confident Open Source Security will ultimately persist."

Persist? No doubt the lawyers will keep the case going to keep charging those fees.

Prevail? I rather doubt it, as their sueball was crap to start with, as the courts have ruled.

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Comcast's mega-outage 'solution'... Have you tried turning your router off and on again?

ma1010
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Big Brother

Official Statement from Crapcast

We're very sorry for any inconvenience the outage may have caused. Well, actually, no, we're not. Frankly, we don't give a fuck one way or the other.

And, no, before any of you ask, you're not going to get an adjustment on your bills for the time we provided you with no service, nor will we compensate you for any lost revenues. The only thing we care about is that WE don't lose any revenue, so be sure to send us OUR money every month. If you don't like the way we do you business, you can try one of our twin sisters, AKA "the competition." (chuckle) You'll quickly find that they don't give a crap about your little problems, either.

Welcome to the Oligopoly, darlings. It's the way of the future. Remember the bit about a boot stamping on a human face? Well, it's not one boot. We'll ALL be putting the boot in. Suck it up, little "consumer."

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RoboCop-ter: Boffins build drone to pinpoint brutal thugs in crowds

ma1010
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Reminds me of a Larry Niven story

IIRC, in "Cloak of Anarchy," Larry Niven wrote about a gadget called a "copseye." It floated above crowds and had a camera and a stunner. They patrolled "free parks" in which there was no law except "no violence." If violence broke out, the copseye would stun the participants.

Then a clever guy found out how to short them all out - but his attack also caused the exits to all lock, so things got a bit interesting for a while as folks got to try anarchy for real.

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Did you test that? No, I thought you tested it. Now customers have it and it doesn't work

ma1010
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Facepalm

Re: Had a close call

Where I used to work, we had a sales guy who was the infamous "last minute guy," always doing everything at the last minute. He'd be going to meet with a client and need you to work overtime to help him get his presentation crap ready because he was basically incompetent. I got tired of it and put a sign up in my office that said "YOUR LACK OF PLANNING DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN EMERGENCY TO ME." He saw the sign and enthused all over, said he absolutely loved it and was going to make one for his office. Did I mention he was REALLY thick?

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Kill the blockchain! It'll make you fitter in the long run, honest

ma1010
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Black Helicopters

Those blockchains can be dangerous, too!

See obligatory Dilbert

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ma1010
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Re: AI lifts?

Don't you mean "Happy Vertical People Movers?"

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