* Posts by DropBear

3766 posts • joined 4 Mar 2013

Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: A colleague simply smashed the box to pieces

Well maybe it was a sort of parable about how as soon as the attacker has physical access, your security is invariably fucked...

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DropBear
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Trollface

Re: First of all, I don't accept bribes. Ever. Personal policy.

"Three piece Armani"

Dang it, even suits come in DIY IKEA kits now?!?

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BOFH: We know where the bodies are buried

DropBear
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Re: "great heatproof kitchen furniture"

Hmmm, tough one... dunno, maybe... sprockets...?

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There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

DropBear
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Joke

Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

But that's too simplistic! Are those things before or after the whooshy-spongy thing...?

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DropBear
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Well, let me know when you've finished the Kalevala...

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CEO insisted his email was on server that had been offline for years

DropBear
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Re: Dumbest dot com bubble company I've ever seen

Attempting to start any online business with inherent local clientele limitations (like personally delivering fish ought to be) is a monumental mistake. It's fine if you're merely tacking a webpage onto an already flourishing local business but it has zero hope of ever taking off if it can't even take advantage of at least national (and preferably worldwide) market coverage...

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DropBear
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Re: Deleting emails

Yeah, I do keep all my mail* indefinitely, ever since my 14400 baud modem days. What of it? My storage space, my mail, my rules. And no, I don't keep them all in the Inbox - I have a few categories in different folders, each one is a different file and that's that. Even so, compared to the whole drive's capacity, the mail folder is basically a rounding error.

* well not quite; I do get a certain amount of advertising fluff that isn't quite spam and other random notifications eg. about forum messages and such - no, I don't keep those. Anything related to an actual online transaction (ie. anything I chose to get actively involved in) or any personal correspondence is however definitely kept.

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OK, this time it's for real: The last available IPv4 address block has gone

DropBear
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Re: Carrot will always work over stick

What you are talking about is the equivalent of bouncing a basketball off a moored oil tanker and expecting it to float away. Not even close.

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Gang way! Compsci geeks coming through! AI engine can finger fakes on social networks

DropBear
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So... be a good little sheep. Revel in your conformity. Don't have significantly different interests than your designated peer group. Or else risk getting declared a non-person. Lovely...

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You're a govt official. You accidentally slap personal info on the web. Quick, blame a kid!

DropBear
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Meh

Re: Good Ol' Government Mentality

Yes. Embarrassing your liege has been a crime since before we invented fire. It still is. The laws proclaiming it so just happen to be unwritten, but not any less real.

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DropBear
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Re: Govt publishes unpublic public documents! Details at <random> o'clock.

For some definitions, something only counts as "authorized" access on the web if there is a way to arrive at a link saying "click here to download <thing>" strictly by clicking through from the site's main landing page. Not that I particularly agree, but things are what they are, and I can see institutions preferring to stick to this one whenever they have egg on their faces; and in a world capable of seriously debating whether linking to something is the exact same thing as publishing it yourself I wouldn't fancy my chances of judges making the right call.

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Cambridge Analytica's ex-CEO decides not to front UK Parliamentary Committee again

DropBear
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Big Brother

Re: "There is no legal reason for him to appear."

I'm thoroughly astonished that there still are apparently sane adult people willing to use concepts like "honour" and "anything related to politics, government or the state" in the same paragraph with a straight face - I have to conclude it must be some kind of Stockholm syndrome. Now do excuse me, I need to lie down and laugh uncontrollably for the rest of the day.

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NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: TESS GNC issue

Well maybe the plumb line broke and they need hang a new one from the top of the rocket. I mean, that's why rockets are so bloody tall, isn't it - so they can house a super-long plumb line inside for extra-precise detection of which way "up" is...?

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Google, AWS IPs blocked by Russia in Telegram crackdown

DropBear
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Joke

Re: Well, I'm surprised

No. They're busy conducting talks for taking over Geocities.com

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If you guessed China’s heavy lifter failed due to a liquid hydrogen turbo engine fault, well done!

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: So, no new timeframe on moon launch

Of course those things do go together: it's just that the first is the consequence of the second...

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DropBear
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Mushroom

Re: “local structure anomaly”?

"local structure anomaly"...? Don't those tend to decay into a "global structure anomaly" with a very short half-life...?

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France building encrypted messaging app for politicians

DropBear
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Devil

Maybe he meant "life is a lemon and I want my money back"...? Hard to disagree with that...

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US, UK cyber cops warn Russians are rooting around in your routers

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: Russians are rooting around in your routers

"how would I know"

There's a simple test; just start watching FailArmy videos - if you hear a faint "blyat!" after each gag from your router, it's probably compromised...

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'I crashed AOL for 19 hours and messed up global email for a week'

DropBear
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Re: Sendmail hacking to the rescue

Oh boo-hoo. And punched cards held mere bytes. Yeah, the 8" floppies on our CP/M Z80 boxes held stupid little, but it's irrelevant - by the time buying a HDD for a home computer was a thing that even non-NASA personnel could reasonably do, nobody used anything other than 1.44 floppies; compared to which 40 megs were a luxury, but a vewwy-vewwy modest luxury indeed. Nobody I knew walked around with less than a full box of floppies by then, and when your existing data instantly takes up over a third of your allegedly humongolicious new HDD, starting to longingly ogle one at least four times as big before you even installed this one is what you do, not expecting it to never fill up.

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DropBear
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Re: Sendmail hacking to the rescue

"I bought a 40MB HDD [...] I was never likely to fill"

Considering floppy disks used to carry 1.44 megs meaning 40 megs held less than thirty disks, and even back then a single floppy held basically not a whole lot of anything, that sounds a tad bit optimistic if said PC was meant for anything beyond Haiku storage.

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DropBear
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Re: "INSTEAD OF his phone number."

From random vans? No idea, never tried. From a passing cab? Hells yeah!

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Exposed: Lazy Android mobe makers couldn't care less about security

DropBear
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Re: Brave New World

"we will have to buy a new phone of some kind or else run the risk of being pwned"

There's your mistake right there, assuming that buying a new phone you're somehow magically free of the risk of being pwned. Actually, ANY statement extolling the security benefits of new phones beyond a simple "older = more pwnable" is highly arguable regarding the exact amount of "additional protection" they are supposed to be offering. No amount of money in the world can buy you "security". You cannot achieve it. You cannot get anywhere near it. You can only get very, very, very, very, very, very slightly closer...

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DropBear
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Re: Android update statistics

It may well work like that now, I wouldn't know. That said, My Galaxy S2 started shipping with Gingerbread, got upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, and currently keeps marching on Jelly Bean. Not a bad run altogether I'd say.

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While Zuck squirmed, Reddit revealed it found and killed 944 Russian troll factory accounts

DropBear
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Re: I don't believe it.

@veti how dare you suggest using one's own head! These days both (all) sides agree that you're either with them unconditionally, or part of the problem...

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Facebook admits: Apps were given users' permission to go into their inboxes

DropBear
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Re: Any developers in the house?

Unfortunately in today's Network-Based Everything there is an alarming number of genuinely useful apps that are legitimately useless if you don't allow them network access. What then? And no offense, but which "firewalled" app is prevented from launching the system browser at the URL "http://www.shadysite.com/?ScrewNetworkPermissions=true&UsersPhoneNumber=123456"...?

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European Space Agency squirts a code update at Mars Express orbiter

DropBear
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Pint

Re: Blue screens

Dang it, ninja'd by half a day... *redfaced* ...say, can I buy you a pint...?

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DropBear
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Trollface

Re: Deep space comms

Screw tunnelling through the Sun. Let's just use gravity wave comms...!

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DropBear
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Re: Quality Control

To be fair, while the pucker factor of restarting something like this so far away is never going to be zero, it shouldn't exactly be that hard to make something damn near update-proof*. Just make sure you have enough memory to store at least two whole OS images and ensure that unless the updated OS can present suitable proof of successful two-way comms with Earth within a convenient time frame following an update (or on an ongoing basis), it gets mercilessly booted by a hardware watchdog** back into the original OS image which tells you this and asks "okay, now what?"

*don't even THINK about "completely update-proof". No such thing. The Universe is on Murphy's side.

**by which I mean multiple redundant independent watchdogs of course. Paranoia IS a virtue.

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No password? No worries! Two new standards aim to make logins an API experience

DropBear
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Alert

Not happy

Sorry but I find it hard to trust all the "keys of the kingdom" to a specification (U2F) containing phrases such as "assuming the browser is working as it should", especially in the same sentence as "this is a critical privacy property". Furthermore, as long as U2F in practice seems to mainly just mean "Yubikey", which specifically chooses to base the security of every single account you entrust to it to ONE single, common, fixed (to the key) secret, I won't be using any of it thankyouverymuch. Especially seeing as how they still want me to remember a per-site password, completely eradicating the need of which being the absolute minimum I would expect in exchange for agreeing to keep all my eggs in a single basket that isn't my brain.

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Data exfiltrators send info over PCs' power supply cables

DropBear
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Trollface

That's quite ok, would you like to buy some of my consumption-randomizing desktop UPSes? They also have embedded AI that starts beeping like crazy as soon as it detects suspicious patterns in the consumption of the attached load! The AIs even share their experience securely, via blockchain...!

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You. FCC. Get out there and do something about these mystery bogus cell towers, huff bigwigs

DropBear
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Trollface

An inconspicuous van

Oh, those should be easy to recognize if you know what to look for - Hollywood taught me all those have a company name that includes two adjacent "O"s painted on their sides in large, friendly letters to mask the holes where you're supposed to stick the binoculars out...

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Modern life is rubbish – so why not take a trip down memory lane with Windows File Manager?

DropBear
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Facepalm

Re: Still have one

Find will for me forever be associated with having to look up Yet Again how to redirect eleven hundred pages worth of "unable to open" to /dev/null. Until the next time I need it, when I duly have to look it up again. As for locate - it can find absolutely everything under the sun in the current- and any number of parallel dimensions, _except_ the exact file you're looking for.

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DropBear
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Devil

Screw Norton. Volkov Commander for me! (Well ok, these days I accept MC as a substitute...)

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DropBear
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Trollface

Re: life extension - file extension

Ah, you're right - I forgot search isn't spelled "Agent Ransack" by default in windows...

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Linux Beep bug joke backfires as branded fix falls short

DropBear
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I'm puzzled...

...How come the first commit to the vulnerability's "Github repo" dates several months back...? How long have they been keeping us in the dark?!? Soylent green is people...!!!

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DropBear
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Re: Eh..

Motherboards with 7-segment LED displays do exist, but they're by far the exception, not the rule.

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Is there alien life out there? Let's turn to AI, problem solver du jour

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: Garbage in, garbage out

Based on the laws of natural selection I predict that the first true AI will be a system developed to write convincing AI research grant applications...

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I say, I say, I say: What's the difference between a king penguin and liquid?

DropBear
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Trollface

Re: I say, I say, I say: What's the difference between a king penguin and liquid?

Well, you could have chosen to go fashionably noir instead and propose "a bathtub full of acid"...

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2001 set the standard for the next 50 years of hard (and some soft) sci-fi

DropBear
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Re: HAL

"We can discuss these with them, but we cannot force an intelligent being to do something against their will."

Oh, really? Robocop would like to have a word with you*...

* starting to argue on what is and isn't possible with an intelligent brain while we have hardly any idea what either of those two words really mean is not a worthwhile use of anyone's time IMHO. But placing constraints on intelligence is definitely a neither novel nor unexplored concept.

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Mozilla rejects your reality and substitutes its own … browser for VR and AR goggles

DropBear
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Re: *sigh*

It's not really complicated though. "What can we possibly do next to delay slowly sliding even further into irrelevance? Quick, throw some fashionable buzzwords at me...!"

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DropBear
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Re: Right there with the special web browser for dogs & cats

Are we back yet at "it's a Unix system, I know this"...? More prosaically, does anyone still remember VRML? From the era when people thought Second Life and its ilk is the Next Big Thing...? Do we need to go all the way back to Microsoft Bob...? Yes, I grok the great deal of mental comfort provided by using a familiar paradigm; unfortunately the concept of "things nicely laid out in 3D space" invariably turns out to be a much, much inferior paradigm to the ethereal alternative of "there is zero distance between any two object connected through a single click".

In practice, 3D's superior storage density based on its extra dimension compared to 2D inevitably turns out to be an illusion as soon as we need to access any of it - a 2D surface is something humans can perceive and interact with in its entirety, while a true 3D one (that doesn't just decorate 3D walls with 2D windows) isn't; you can see all objects in a 2D matrix at a glance, but the first layer of a proper 3D matrix of objects would be obscuring everything behind it. And making everything transparent would just serve to confuse things even worse - I'll prefer a browser with thirty tabs any day over one with thirty windows overlaid on top of (or behind) each other. The specific relation between each object and all the others that 3D seeks to preserve and express simply doesn't exist in the amorphous world of ones and zeros.

IMHO as long as we are attempting to replicate things from the real world in the form of VR (or especially if we are attempting to pull data out onto the real world AR-style) 3D does make sense in computing - but as soon as we start dealing with abstract concepts related to pure-data-in-a-box, 3D immediately becomes more of a hindrance than an advantage regardless of how attractive it may seem at first glance.

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Mad March Meltdown! Microsoft's patch for a patch for a patch may need another patch

DropBear
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Re: Keep; 'em coming

Obligatory flashback to the comic strip with the (from memory) "here's a nickel son, go buy yourself a real computer..."

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DropBear
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Re: Askwoody

You mean compared to the list of updates I just applied on Debian which at some point modestly noted: "A reboot is required to replace the running dbus-daemon. Please reboot the system when convenient."...?

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2001: A Space Odyssey has haunted pop culture with anxiety about rogue AIs for half a century

DropBear
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Re: a crystal tetrahedron pyramid

I'm trying to picture this hypothetical crystal pyramid and somehow I keep seeing the sort of visuals associated with the original Battlestar Galactica's Cylons (best viewed through welding goggles)...

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Linux 4.16 arrives, keeps melting Meltdown, preps to axe eight CPUs

DropBear
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Re: And so fairwell blackfin, cris, frv, m32r, metag, mn10300, score, and tile.

"Because it's there"

How odd the same never seems to apply to certain other contexts like eg. "why wash those dishes"...

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Watchdog growls at Tesla for spilling death crash details: 'Autopilot on, hands off wheel'

DropBear
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Re: Damage control mode

What they should have done was reserve the name "Autopilot" to their fully autonomous driving tech (if they do indeed have that capability) and call their non-autonomous assist features something more reasonable and intuitive like "CO-pilot".

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DropBear
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Re: Crash (almost) re-created by another driver

Holy shit, that section of road is murder materialized! I saw the setting of the accident before so I knew what to look for and yet watching the "recreation" the first I realized anything at all is wrong was when the guy dropped the camera and hit the breaks. By the fourth re-watch I could see where the lane split marking were supposed to be, but they're dim as fuck, I would have probably completely missed them the first time around even driving personally. Yes, a fully self-driving vehicle would need to be able to detect that, but I'm not particularly surprised Tesla's glorified lane assist didn't. Crash barrier or no crash barrier, the absolute non-negotiable bare minimum that road needs there at all times is a long string of traffic cones in that "lane". And some actual fucking paint.

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User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

DropBear
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Meh

Re: Contrary to popular belief, the customer is not always right.

@jake we know. You told us. Verbatim...

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Uber self-driving car death riddle: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame?

DropBear
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Re: Jaywalking

No they don't. Maybe they do where you live. Sure as fuck not where I do. Strangely enough, that's the sole point of the existence of marked pedestrian crossing points. No idea how it works in the US, but considering the mere existence of the term "jaywalking" your odds don't look good.

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DropBear
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Re: "...a [Lidar] blind spot low to the ground all around the car."

Not really, no. The whole sensor package looks mounted to the front section on the roof. There isn't any roof in front of it to block anything. I would expect the whole "blind spot" to be on the order of "something shorter than a foot, within two or three feet of the front bumper".

LIDAR maker CEO waxing about the indisputable need for more of its wares... laughable. That single one should have been perfectly capable of detecting the pedestrian, and I'm pretty sure it did too - at least at LIDAR reflection level. Why that never resulted in the car breaking is the actual million dollar question.

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