* Posts by ma1010

734 posts • joined 30 Nov 2012

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Label your cables: A cautionary tale from the server room

ma1010
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So VERY true!

If I had a dollar (or, better yet, a quid) for every time I've heard one of those, I'd be writing this from my own private island.

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Android's security patch quagmire probed by US watchdogs

ma1010
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Sounds like a GREAT idea!

It really does. But likely this will degenerate into finger-pointing between Google and the phone manufacturers. Google will be absolutely safe, no matter what, because the FTC will never do anything to harm them in any way.

If anyone thinks they will, see this article from El Reg last month. Google will just call a certain close friend in the White House, and the nasty FTC will go away and leave poor, abused Google alone.

Don't hold your breath waiting for any patches.

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Researcher arrested after reporting pwnage hole in elections site

ma1010
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Trollface

Obligatory Dilbert

Sort of says it all about Internet voting. It's right here.

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Gobble away! Charter-Time Warner Cable merger OK'd by FCC

ma1010
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FAIL

A cornucopia of benefits for consumers!

"The significant benefits of these transactions are clear; greater competition..."

Of COURSE! Merging companies obviously produces MORE competition. I can't wait until AT&T, Comcast and Charter merge. Then we'll have LOTS of competition so it will be a buyer's market. Right? I said, "RIGHT?"

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'I thought my daughter clicked on ransomware – it was the damn Windows 10 installer'

ma1010
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Angel

Windows X now runs on over 300 MILLION devices!

And in other news, Big Brother has INCREASED the chocolate ration by 10 grams per week!

The GWX virus hit my wife's computer, too. She complained that wouldn't boot correctly, nor would any of her programs work. She was right, it didn't work at all. Then I realized it had tried to sneak Win X on behind our backs. I managed to do a system rollback and got Win 7 working again, then quickly installed GWX Control Panel to keep her computer safe from the GWX virus.

Next move will be to get her onto Linux, as I did with my own machines many months ago.

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'Apple ate my music!' Streaming jukebox wipes 122GB – including muso's original tracks

ma1010
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Holmes

Really?

"Even in my most Orwellian paranoia I never could have dreamed that the content holders, like Apple, would also reach into your computer and take away what you already owned," the musician said.

Guess he never heard about the Kindles that had content remote erased by Amazon, then. El Reg covered it here.

All the big companies have the same attitude, really, whether it's Apple, MS, Amazon, etc. They truly feel that "All your device are belong to us."

We all have two choices. We can either go along with the manufacturers and stay connected like good, little sheep. Or DISCONNECT your devices from the Internet and/or carefully control what access your devices have (and what data the manufacturers can slurp/delete from them). Take your choice.

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Siemens Healthcare struck by rebranding madness

ma1010
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Trollface

The obvious benefits of Thinkfluence

I have a suspicion that Lord Bong was involved in the rebranding, as the decision shows clear signs of being Thinkfluence-inspired. Perhaps Lord Bong was involved as a Thinkfluence consultant. Or would that now be correctly referred to as a thinkfluenceer (sounds like "Thinkfluence seer")?

Looking forward to hearing from him soon.

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Mega mail breach fears

ma1010
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Alert

I'm not surprised

I DAILY get several emails like "your account was signed into by an iPhone in Angola. If this was you, you're all set. Otherwise, click the link below to go to our 'Resolution Center'." And other similar crap. Given how many folks just can't get the idea of how phishing works, I wouldn't be surprised by any number of pawned accounts they have available for sale.

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Space boffins win $3m prize for discovering gravitational waves

ma1010
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Joke

They're giving out MONEY to folks who worked on LIGO?

In that event, I'm one of the engineers. And so's my wife!

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Ex-HP boss Carly Fiorina sacked one week into new job

ma1010
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Childcatcher

Re: Trump? Who's he?

Being a "'Merican," I hear folks discuss who they're supporting for president a fair bit. I like to listen to WHY they prefer a certain candidate. Most Trump supporters I've heard aren't for him because they expect him to dig a moat between the US and Mexico, set up death camps for illegal immigrants or invade Canada, etc. I mainly hear two reasons for supporting Trump:

1) He has enough money of his own that he can't easily be bought.

2) People are so sick of our federal government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations that they feel it might not be a bad idea to smash it up and start over. They think that Trump might make a good wrecking ball.

To me (1) seems somewhat reasonable, but as for (2), I think Trump would find that Washington has a lot more inertia than one person can overcome. If he wins in November, I guess we'll see -- we'll certainly have to HOPE that he's been talking a lot of bollocks.

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How to evade the NSA: OpSec guide for journalists also used by terrorists

ma1010
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Megaphone

Technology is a tool

ANY tool can be used for good or evil. I can use a hammer to do repairs or build projects in my home. Or, if I were so inclined, I could use it to murder someone.

The "good guys" use encryption tools to smuggle information out of evil nation states. The "bad guys" use these tools to help promote terrorism. Tools aren't good or evil in themselves. The difference is simply how they're used. Be nice if the government could figure that one out.

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Verizon worker strike now in its third week

ma1010
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Go

Good on 'em!

It's the people vs. the giant corporations, and it's a scary battle. Let's hope the human beings win out over the mega-corporations. We can't beat them at the ballot box anymore, so maybe we can hurt them with strikes, at least.

Verizon thinks they're invulnerable. Maybe they are. But they might want to think about what happened to UPS. They totally dominated shipping - until their strike. After that they haven't seemed (to me, anyhow) to have ever gained back the business or respect they once had.

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Engineer uses binary on voting bumpf to flag up Cali election flaws

ma1010
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FAIL

It's not California

That imposes the very low limit on what you can spend without filing a ton of paperwork. It's the FED. Therefore, if you're a candidate anywhere in the US, you either have little money, file a ton of paperwork or belong to whoever bankrolls you. One guess which one is most common among the "winners" holding office?

Then stir in the worst Supreme Court decision in history, Citizens United, and the US is totally doomed with hardly a pretense of "government by the people."

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F-35s failed 'scramble test' because of buggy software

ma1010
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Paris Hilton

Yes Senator, we have now reached one 9 of uptime!

Of course that means 1 and 9, so about 19%. Or maybe 1.9%. Or was that .19%? Something like that, anyhow.

Paris 'cause she's smarter than the crooks who are in charge of this inanity. They can't even seem to PRETEND to be providing a useful service here. The clowns who call with the "This is MS Technical Support, and Your Windows has a Virus, but WE CAN HELP!" scam manage a much more convincing job of pretending to do something useful.

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Japan's Hitomi space 'scope bricked, declared lost after software bug

ma1010
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Coat

They just didn't listen

when I told them not to use "kill -9".

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Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell

ma1010
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Devil

LOVE IT

Hopefully the creators of this masterpiece won't mind when I put this on my voicemail for those who call and want to leave a message when blocking their caller ID. Priceless!

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America edges closer to get-a-proper-warrant-to-read-my-email law

ma1010
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This is such a joke

This reminds me of Hitler's touting the "big lie" as being the best way to control the mob. You get caught telling little lies, but big ones somehow slip by in some sort of cognitive dissonance.

LOOK, EVERYONE! WE'RE LIMITING GOVERNMENT SNOOPING! Says the same folks who brought you the Patriot Act, the secret intelligence court and CISA.

The fed could probably bypass the entire normal court process by just going to the NSA archives. Well, they might have to ask the secret intelligence court for permission, but who knows what that court does, since it is, after all, secret? Did someone say "accountability"? No, I didn't think so.

And forget FOIA requests, too, because CISA says they don't apply.

Feinstein getting upset about this? Nope, Feinstein will be laughing at anyone who is foolish enough to buy this big lie. Where the fed is concerned, there ARE no protections. They pry and spy however they like. "All your information are belong to us!" If you don't like the spying, you can go someplace where they don't spy on you, like....uh....well...I dunno, Jupiter, maybe?

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Kids racking up huge in-app bills on Kindles, Android is all your fault, Amazon – US court

ma1010
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Happy

Re: Issues

My own Kindle is wifi only, and the wifi stays turned OFF. I do everything via USB. Don't need any "cloud" or Amazon snooping on what I'm reading or not reading, and I can manage my books just fine without their help. It may help that it's an old Kindle 3 and not one of the newer "improved" ones.

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ma1010
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Holmes

GOOD!

Amazon has a lot of things going for it, and generally good customer service. However, they have some total twats working there, too. This isn't their only scam. About a year ago, when you bought something, a box would pop up offering a "trial" subscription to Prime ($100 USD/year). The nasty bit is that the "YES" choice was checked by default, and it was small. When trying to do anything with a computer, most people just want rid of any damn pop-up that gets in the way, so they hit the close button. With the default still marked "YES."

So a month or so later, many got a little surprise in the form of a $100 charge on their credit cards (if they used credit cards) or bank accounts (if they used debit cards). I avoided this personally because my paranoia drove me to carefully read the box before I dismissed it, but I know people who were hooked this way, including to the point of getting NSF charges on their checking accounts due to funds unexpectedly missing thanks to this scam. To give what little credit is due, Amazon did refund the $100 charges upon demand.

I'd think Amazon make enough money doing honest business without resorting to deceptive business practices, but I guess I'd be wrong. Bezos really needs to give his business a close, personal look and do a bit of housecleaning.

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FBI ends second iPhone fight after someone, um, 'remembers' the PIN

ma1010
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Big Brother

Suddenly "Remembered" the PIN?

"Well," said O'Brien, "it's just amazing how a little electricity, properly applied, can help restore one's memories, isn't it, Winston?"

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Ten years in the clink, file-sharing monsters! (If UK govt gets its way)

ma1010
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Unhappy

Good to know the US doesn't have a monopoly on stupidity

Apparently you Brits have an equivalent of Diane Feinstein? Well, sorry to hear it and all that. These are the sort of people we need to get onto the "B" Ark (we'd have to tell them it was the "A" Ark, of course, to massage their egos). We don't need FTL travel. Just launch it into the sun.

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FBI's PRISM slurping is 'unconstitutional' – and America's secret spy court is OK with that

ma1010
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Big Brother

WHAT Constitution?

Icon says it all. Welcome to Oceania. Long live Big Brother and INGSOC!

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Peak Cable looms: One in five US homes now mobile-only for internet

ma1010
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FAIL

Mobile at home is likely a bad idea in the long run

The problem here is that there is only so much radio spectrum available. We're pushing up into the TeraHertz realm nowadays, but it's still short-sighted to tie wireless spectrum up streaming movies and TV to people in their homes.

Of course, people are doing what is cheapest and works for them NOW. Given the current market dynamics, it makes sense to cut your cable and go with mobile. However, as we run out of mobile spectrum because we are using it to stream entertainment to people in their homes, we're going to see a major shift, either through higher fees for mobile access (most likely) or possibly government intervention to keep spectrum from getting clogged up with data for which there are reasonable alternatives that don't involve broadcast spectrum.

This would be even more true if we can ever get fiber laid to where we need it. Even though I live in a large city in California, my choices are to use slow DSL (which I do), mobile data (and blow out my "fast" allocation in a week or so and then be stuck with 3G or slower speeds the rest of the month), or pay through the nose for Comcast cable. There is no cable or fiber competition, of course. And with more people jumping on the "mobile data for streaming at home" bandwagon, there won't be any motivation for the carriers to lay cable or fiber -- until the crunch comes, at which time they will be laying cable and fiber -- at nosebleed prices. But by then it will be either the cheapest or only game in town for home consumption.

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Why we should learn to stop worrying and love legacy – Fujitsu's UK head

ma1010
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Joke

Wow! Digital watches, that's a pretty neat idea.

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Misco: We're moving to the cloud after yesterday's bit barn meltdown

ma1010
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Facepalm

From bad to worse?

Oops, our backups didn't work. But why work on fixing the problem in our infrastructure that caused it? Instead, let's just sign up to use "someone else's infrastructure" that we don't control or really know much of anything about. Of COURSE that will work so much reliably than anything we control.

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Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

ma1010
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WTF?

Next Month Feinstein introduces

A bill to make both pi and e equal to 3.0. This will be known as the "Making Scientific Calculations Simpler Act." Every bit as well-thought out as her encryption bill (or any of her many other Great Ideas), this will foster scientific innovation by making math much simpler for scientists and others. It will catapult the USA into a real leadership position in the scientific world.

Future projects include assisting work on conquering space by getting Congress to repeal the law of gravity.

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'Cat-flap' pendulum offers 7x improvement for grav-wave detectors

ma1010
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Paris Hilton

Units?

But if the "tsunami-like wave" were water instead of gravity, how many Olympic swimming pools or Rose Bowl stadiums would it fill? Perhaps we need a new unit for gravity waves?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Russian boffins want to nuke asteroids

ma1010
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Mushroom

How about an Orion?

Instead of trying to vaporize a big rock with a big warhead, how about using a string of small warheads? You detonate them right on the surface. Vaporized rock will be the reaction mass. Repeat until you've got enough delta vee for the rock to be in a desirable orbit.

You'd be hitting the rock in the "side" as viewed from Earth. The radioactive debris would mostly be ejected at high speed away from Earth.

This technique could also be used to slow down the spin of a rock and even nudge it into orbit around the Earth if its original orbit were close enough to Earth's. Bore tunnels in it (away from the radioactive bits), seal and pressurize them. Space station, anyone? This technique could provide quite a bit of cubic space for human use while reducing the need to lift building materials to Earth orbit. If you're lucky, the rock may even contain water, so you could make breathing air and fuel on the spot, again not having to lift it from Earth.

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Read America's insane draft crypto-borking law that no one's willing to admit they wrote

ma1010
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Big Brother

Re: "No one is above the law"

What do you mean fighting Russians? We are at war with Eastasia. Oceania has ALWAYS been at war with Eastasia.

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Verizon peeps gobbled by Frontier enter week two of crap internet

ma1010
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Coat

This just highlights the biggest broadband problem we have in America

A lot of people, confronted with this sort of bollocks would just say "I'm off!" and go to another provider. But there's the problem, you see. Our ISPs conspire to make sure there's little or no actual competition anywhere. So it's "Oh, you're off? To where, precisely?"

I won't pay the one "broadband" provider available where I live their extortionate fee. So, yes, I have slow Internet. It would be nice if this problem could be fixed, which I'm certain our government will attend to right after they get the pigs flying in formation properly. In the meantime, there are worse things than slow Internet.

Mine's the one with the DSL router in the pocket.

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PayPal freezes 400-job expansion in North Carolina over bonkers religious freedom law

ma1010
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Paris Hilton

North Carolina can't do math, either

A few years ago, they jacked property taxes, but it wasn't implemented correctly. The result was that most homeowners underpaid their taxes. Once the problem was found, the homeowners were all told to cough up ALL of it NOW. For most, this was several thousand $, and they could not do it.

Finally, after petitions and all sorts of political pushback, the state allowed people to pay their back taxes in installments, or so I've heard.

Gotta wonder what those folks over there are up to?

Paris because I think somebody that bright is in charge over there.

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What's all this? Welcome to The Register's News Bytes

ma1010
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Thumb Down

So these are news items?

I guess I've been confused all this time. I thought that all the other stuff on the page was news items? And these need to be some different (and quite annoying) context because.....?

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Windows 7's grip on the enterprise desktop is loosening

ma1010
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FAIL

Re: If they'd made Windows 10...

Like many folks, I recently had an experience with the "Windows X virus." My wife complained that her PC didn't boot right and had no Internet at all. I checked it, and found that Windows X had downloaded (no wonder my Internet connection had been so slow earlier) and tried, but failed, to install.

A quick rollback, installation of GWX Control Panel and some heavy-handed deleting of everything Windows X related solved all her problems. The next fix for her will be Linux Mint.

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Mobe and Wi-Fi firms flog your location data to commercial firms, claim reports

ma1010
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Childcatcher

Space travel is the solution

Looking at that complex diagram gives me the feeling there are a lot of people involved in all this cell phone tracking/advertising/etc.

I think it's time to build the "B Ark" (with apologies to Douglas Adams) and put all these folks aboard. I know we don't have interstellar travel working yet, but we could just shoot it into the sun, which would work well enough. Being rid of these buggers would be worth every penny it cost, too.

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Just how close are Obama and Google? You won’t believe the answer

ma1010
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Holmes

Downvotes?

Apparently some folks are unhappy with my snarky crack above. Okay. But doesn't this whole story sound like the mayor's daughter calling daddy and saying "Oh, I got a ticket today!" And daddy says "No problem, honey. I'll call the chief of police, and he'll take care of that for you."

So Google is upset they got caught breaking several laws designed to protect people against monopolies? No problem, call Obama, and make that nasty FTC go away. But WHY would he do that? Philosophical reasons? Maybe he's a total laissez-faire free-market guy that makes Tim Worstall look like a socialist? I doubt it. Then why take the part of a large corporation against the people he's supposed to protect? There's something else going on here, and I doubt it would bear the light of day.

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ma1010
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Holmes

For Sale

I will have you all know that the U S of A has one of the FINEST governments that money can buy.

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JAXA confirms ASTRO-H breakup

ma1010
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Alien

The explanation is obvous

Icon says it all.

Excuse me, while I put on my tinfoil hat.

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Hospital servers in crosshairs of new ransomware strain

ma1010
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Flame

Balance of Trade needed here?

Apparently the vast majority of these ransomware attacks seem to come from Russia. I could be wrong about that, although the variant discussed in the article avoids Russian keyboards, and the author speculates, quite reasonably, that it might be to avoid local law enforcement. If Russians are the main actors here, we need to do something to balance out the flow of good and services.

I propose that DARPA, GCHQ or some other appropriate government agency (or agencies) encourage Western hackers to write and deploy locker software that attacks ONLY computers that ARE Russian. Maybe even pass laws specifically exempting citizens who launch computer attacks against Russia. It's a bit of reciprocity, you see. After Russia complains, we can tell them "We have a proposition for you. We'll stop our people from doing this to your country if you work with us on stopping YOUR bad boys and girls doing it to our country."

Might be a way to get some international cooperation, for the first time, in stopping the ransomware plague. Something certainly needs to be done about stopping it, and AFAIK, bugger all has been done so far. Wherever in the world these scum live, they need to be tracked down and jailed.

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East Coast: Verizon on the hook for landline hikes. West Coast: AT&T denies hooking $100m for 10Mbps broadband

ma1010
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FAIL

California joins Tennessee

As another legislature purchased by big telecoms? Why am I not surprised?

Truly, the boards of both AT&T and Verizon (and probably the other ones, too -- better safe than sorry) should be taken out and SHOT. Well, okay, maybe just give them life without parole. In the worst prison they can find. But really, either of those options is too good for them.

Of course, nothing like that will never happen. Instead, the big companies will continue to laugh all the way to the bank. They will screw the taxpayers by getting crooked and incompetent legislatures to hand over tax money to them, and will then screw the taxpayers AGAIN by continuing to charge ridiculous prices for crap service. Then the government will have to raise taxes again because they're out of money. It's just the way government works, folks.

A recently found copy of the Encyclopedia Galactica that fell through a time warp has an entry under "Telecomms Companies." They are defined as "A bunch of evil jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came." Viva la revolucion!

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Zombie SCO rises from the grave again

ma1010
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Mushroom

Wish I could give you more upvotes

Don't forget to cut their heads off and bury the head separately from the body. With garlic in the mouth. Best to also cover the body in garlic, too. And put some crucifixes in there, as well. THEN nuke it all.

This is like some bad horror movie where the monster just WON'T DIE, no matter what they do to it.

World + Dog to SCO: Please, please, do EVERYONE ELSE a favor and just DIE ALREADY. Okay?

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Software automation and AI in DevOps aren't the fast track to Skynet

ma1010
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Boffin

Intelligence is not enough

Children are pretty much "intelligent," but I've watched kids smashing stuff just for fun. What about an air traffic control system that just decided to "smash stuff" just to see what would happen? Oh, look, the pretty flames! In addition to creating intelligence, you need to figure out a way to make AIs CARE about what they are doing, both from a quality standpoint, and a moral standpoint. Morals programming, anybody? Maybe start with Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics.

Obligatory XKCD: http://xkcd.com/1613

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Oracle v Google: Big Red wants $9.3bn in Java copyright damages

ma1010
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Holmes

As to lawyers checking potential jurors' profiles

The judge is right. And I think that Googling a juror's personal life should ALWAYS be banned in any trial. Juries for some cases, particularly RICO cases, are already completely anonymous, for obvious reasons. This privacy protection should be extended to all juries. It's fair game to ask them questions about what sort of work they do and their opinions on matters that could affect the case, but I strongly feel that their personal identity should never be reveled to anyone outside the court itself. Ever.

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Cunning scam: Mobe app stalks victims then emails booby-trapped bogus speeding tickets

ma1010
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Big Brother

They'll probabaly start doing it for real

One of these days, what with requiring automatic crash detection, etc. installed in cars, they'll probably add in a speed monitoring app that WILL snitch you off to the police, who will happily mail (or perhaps e-mail) you a REAL traffic ticket if you speed. Why bother with speed cameras when they can make your car do their job for them?

Got to love Big Brother, don't we, fellow citizens of Oceania?

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How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript

ma1010
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Trollface

Re: Good for the guy that pulled it

Money talks, bullshit common sense walks.

There, fixed it for you.

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PC World's cloudy backup failed when exposed to ransomware

ma1010
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Coat

I guess you could say

That sometimes your "cloud backup" can turn out to be just vaporware.

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Boffins find a way to put your facial expression on Donald Trump's mug

ma1010
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Unhappy

It's been on the way for a while

As other posters have pointed out, this has been a theme in some Science Fiction stories. I remember something like this in the book Rising Sun by Michael Crichton in which a character was framed for murder by means of an altered video. There was also a Battlestar Galactica episode where Baltar was framed (by who, one wonders, exactly?) for tampering with the defense master computer on the eve of the Cylon attack.

Really can't see a lot of GOOD coming from this technology, except, as one poster mentioned, we can get Humphrey Bogart doing TV ads, if you call that good.

And it's easy to see a lot of BAD things coming from this technology. It's been years since "the camera does not lie" was anything like the truth, and this new tech isn't likely to really help.

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Apple engineers rebel, refuse to work on iOS amid FBI iPhone battle

ma1010
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Black Helicopters

You're missing one point

Not saying I hope they do, please understand, but if the fed drops the hammer and actually orders Apple to do this, those engineers really won't have any choice. If they refuse to do as they are told, they could be held personally accountable and put in jail for civil contempt of court and left in jail until they change their minds about cooperating. That sort of thing doesn't happen a lot, but judges, particularly federal ones, do have that kind of power.

Pissing off the FBI isn't illegal, but it's not recommended, really, if you like peace and quiet in your life. And pissing off federal judges is almost as dangerous as pissing off the BOFH.

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Telling your wife why you were fired is the only punishment

ma1010
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Pint

I ran into this sort of thing once

About 13 years ago, I took over as the IT guy in a medium-sized business. The computer I was using had LOTS of viruses and malware, which made me wonder a bit about my predecessor. Then I saw the directory PORN with several sub-directories. I noticed a couple with names like GAY and BESTIALITY, and I decided I really did not want to view any of the content. I just nuked the PORN directory and all its sub-directories, then started cleaning up the viruses and malware. Took me about a week to get the computer cleaned up (no backups, of course). Also did a wipe of all slack space, just to make sure it was really gone.

Beer icon because it's Friday, and I could have used one after just seeing the sub-directory names, much less the contents.

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How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world's PC pest

ma1010
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Linux

Re: Enough is enough!

@ Robert Moore

Absolutely agreed! My main computer went Linux Mint in response to Windows X, and my dual-boot laptop has Win 7 (for a couple of "Windows only" programs I need) and Ubuntu with a Cinnamon desktop. It's exactly as you say, Mint and Libreoffice does about everything one needs with a nice, shallow learning curve.

Not sure who downvoted the original post, but I figure it's some employee of Microshaft. Sorry to rain on your parade, Satya. Try to have a better day.

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Apps that 'listen in' to your mobile get slapped by US watchdog

ma1010
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Mushroom

Re: What Frequency is used?

@Hurn

Thanks for giving these bastards more ideas on how to snoop on people!

I've got an idea. Instead of doing that, why don't we tell them all to sod right the hell off?

Fortunately the newest Android system allows me to lock out permissions in each app, and I lock out everything the app doesn't need to do what *I* want it to do. Permission to use microphone for an app that doesn't clearly need it? DENY.

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