* Posts by DropBear

4470 posts • joined 4 Mar 2013

Boss of venerable sect with millions of devoted followers meets boss of venerable sect with... yeah, you get the idea

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Coffee/keyboard

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Roses are red, this is sublime: We fed OpenAI's latest chat bot a classic Reg headline

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I'm almost certain it just vaguely realised on some level that "what is" tends to be associated with looking for the "definition" of a thing, and "a dog" means the thing is "dog", so just yanked the closest thing it had to a Wikipedia article and quoted it nearly verbatim - mixing it up with some other words just enough to make sure we realize it has no idea what it is doing...

OK, Google? Probably not! EU settles on wording for copyright reform legislation

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Pirate

Re: Not Copyright Reform.

It's becoming increasingly obvious that (preferably anonymous) peer-to-peer sharing of absolutely everything is the only way forward worth bothering with. And we better start thinking about how we'll bypass their inevitable attempts to block it, when it gets big enough.

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Facepalm

Re: "This tactic doesn't play well in the EU"

Well of course! Didn't it turn out that all the campaigning against the Pai's FCC was 100% just bots too...? /s

Why does that website take forever to load? Clues: Three syllables, starts with a J, rhymes with crock of sh...

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Oh really...? So do tell me, does Google still load the invisible little animated thing in the centre of the page every single time - you know, the thing I blocked years ago because it produces a sustained, continuous 50% CPU load on an older machine like mine...? Because I'm basically certain they still do... and after something like that I just don't see them giving any fucks whatsoever to the whole problem.

US counterintelligence agent helped Iran lob cyber-bombs at America, say Uncle Sam's lawyers

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Re: Yee Gods

Also, if your target accepts your friend request, one would assume that's because there is at least _some_ amount of real-world connection between him and whoever you're spoofing - but if that's so, how do you expect that real-world link to not uncover fairly quickly that your "spofee" never actually friended him...?

A once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity: NASA bids emotional farewell to its cocky, hardworking RC science car on Mars

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Not like it didn't last long enough, but strictly speaking - seeing as how big of an issue sand can be, is there anything preventing solar rovers being constructed with panels that can be tilted beyond the angle of repose, so sand can't settle on them, then just returning them to optimum angle when the weather is nice...? It could even be constructed as a passive mechanism that pre-stores the energy needed to un-tilt the panels back to horizontal during the stowing phase, so it would only need the tiniest amount of energy to trigger and effect a wake-up...

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

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Re: Hmmm

Don't be silly. How can learning what might put him in the slammer NOT be useful to a terrorist...?

If you want a vision of the future, imagine not a boot stamping on a face, but keystroke logging on govt contractors' PCs

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Trollface

Re: a good incentive

A nice way to easily triple your productivity... First it blindly counts the bot-injected rubbish characters, then the also bot-injected exactly equal ^H^H^H^H ones, then finally the ones of you doing the actual work! Win-win!

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Facepalm

Re: What muppet agrees to pay per hour?

I seem to recall Edison The Man Himself having a brush with workplace monitoring during his railway telegraphist days, in the form of having to send a letter each hour just to prove you're not asleep. Which of course he promptly spoofed with a mechanical autokey, nearly causing an rail accident by, ob(li)viously, failing to act on an advisory coming in while he, uh, slept. Moral of the story: don't. Just don't. It will inevitably be spoofed and it will not get you what you hoped to gain from it anyway. No force on Earth or outside it can make people into work-bots, and you don't want them that way anyway - the real world works only because it's lubricated by stuff folks are not supposed to be officially doing yet needs to be done somehow* anyway.

* let's not even get into how any sort of petty business involving another human being behind a counter or a desk can only be done during "business hours", the exact same "business hours" that are supposed to confine you, as employee, strictly behind your OWN desk. To this day it boggles my mind how this is supposed to work even in theory. And this is not stuff you do twice a year, so you could get a day off or something to take care of it - it's near-weekly minor bullshit that just needs taking care of all the bloody time. In the end, the work gets done by when it needs to get done, and that should be good enough for anyone.

US kids apparently talking like Peppa Pig... How about US lawmakers watching Doctor Who?

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Naaah. My Spirit Animal is still Spanky Ham...

Object-recognition AI – the dumb program's idea of a smart program: How neural nets are really just looking at textures

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Can we please...

...just puncture the current "AI" bubble already and call it a day...? Yes, it's 2019 and image recognition is a thing. Mostly. Sorta. If you squint at it just the right way, as this study demonstrates. None of it has absolutely anything to do with actual intelligence, as this study also demonstrates. So, world, just quit it already, my neck is on the brink of getting RSI from all the "nu-uh!" head-shaking I need to do every time I try reading all the effusive "AI" tech news these days.

I am just a mapper: Solar drones take to the skies above Blighty

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Trollface

Re: Just because you're paranoid...

Just wait until they start parachuting in peacekeeping forces too - I reckon 25Kg is enough for a smallish, really young shark with a laser...

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The 38m is the single number wot makes things make sense - no drone of any kind of more conventional dimensions has enough surface area to gather any meaningful amount of solar energy as far as powered flight is concerned; but yes, once your wingspan is measured in bus lengths, staying up there for quite a while definitely can be done and has been done. Although I'm not sure roads and rivers move around often enough to warrant 24/7 surveillance especially once you already mapped them; but as far as up-to-date "satellite imagery" is concerned, this would definitely help...

Intel SGX 'safe' room easily trashed by white-hat hacking marauders: Enclave malware demo'd

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WTF?

Re: "performing anti-piracy decryption of protected Hollywood movies"

If all code running on the machine is trusted, a protected enclave is pointless. As soon as we assume there is something on that machine that something else need protection from, your whole premise of running only trusted code is falsified. Which is just as well, as in practice there is no such thing as 100% trustworthy code.

Leaky child-tracking smartwatch maker hits back at bad PR

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Devil

Re: "regular" people wouldn't be able to do it, and if they did, it didn't really matter.

"Life is a risk ... get used to it."

"...but instead of teaching your kids some responsibility and showing some yourself, why not bravely surveil their ever step with a (ludicrously insecure) GPS watch instead...!" Oh, do go on. It's beer o'clock anyway, we could all use a good laugh...

OK, Google. Music in 2019 isn't what it was, but Play nice, will ya?

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Unhappy

Re: Out of curiosity ...

Because there's no essential freedom that most people wouldn't gladly give up for a bit of convenience.

Brit Mars bot named while NASA 'nauts must wait a bit longer for a US rocket trip to the ISS

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Le Sigh...

"NASA reckons that more testing, verification, reviewing and training is needed before any blue touchpaper can be lit."

Anyone still wondering how ideas like "move fast and break things" could have possibly ended up being touted as a Good Thing - now you know. Because of exactly this sort of bollocks.

Apple puts bullet through 'Do Not Track', FaceTime snooping bug and iOS vulnerabilities

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You easily can. But you probably do need a rooted phone. AdAway works nicely for me.

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

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Re: I generate the licenses..

Well, that's why I refuse to (personally) use any software that comes with any kind of "fuel"* that needs to be "topped up" periodically even if it insists it's free and will always be available. It's just voluntarily putting on a collar with a leash somebody else is free to tug on** any time.

* actual real-world example.

** you better be a latex-clad dominatrix if you want to try that with me

From Firefox to fired cocks: Look who's out to save you being shafted by insecure Internet of Dingalings – it's Mozilla!

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Gimp

Re: Surely the whole point of a Bluetooth Sex Toy

Compelling use case, granted. I still think it's kinda missing the matching T-shirt with a QR code on its front and back that would let anyone interested download the appropriate app. How else is anyone interested going to get clued in about when to try what...?

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign

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Trollface

Come on, you can't just leave us on a cliffhanger like that - which part of the family has work-related MS compatibility obligations that categorically preclude zero-cost options like LibreOffice - the wife or the kids? Or, wait... was it the butler wot dunnit...?!?

Sure, you can keep Grandpa Windows 7 snug in the old code home – for a price

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Re: Happily

While I'm not the OP, I fully endorse the sentiment. Linux desktop is absolutely fine for a non-Linux person - assuming they never want to touch anything other than Firefox and LibreOffice and whatever the photo viewer is called these days; one needs zero learning curve for that. For absolutely anything else though, as a non-kernel-developer, you hit a brick wall. And I'm not talking about having to use the CLI, as bas as that already makes things - I could live with that. No. It's just a matter of time until you stumble into something that most definitely doesn't work as it should, it cannot be configured to make it work, and the bug report(s) concerning the problem sit either unanswered for half a decade or straight-up wontfixed. That's assuming there is anyone still in charge of that piece of software at all of course.

Yeah, Mate is nice - so how does one go about having a "systray" indicator of received mails that isn't either Thunderbird running all the time or a Gmail-only thing? Because "Mail Notification" is deader than dead, broken, and nothing else works. I never had that problem under Windows. Or - how does one enable direct feedback from mic in back to the headphones, a thing that used to be trivial in the Windows XP mixer, still fairly easily doable under Win7 if you know what checkbox to tick, and flat-out impossible under any GUI mixer in any version of Linux I've seen (and just barely doable in alsamixer text-mode, in a sort of semi-accidental glitchy way)...? The official stance seems to be "just listen to the sampled input played straight back into the output" conveniently glossing over the horrible line delay that doesn't exist with the hardware-based mixer loopback.

And there are hundreds of these paper cuts - I _am_ trying to use Linux and I'm fighting them far, far more than I am actually getting on with what I came to _do_. Invariably, it turns out that the only way to get them to work would be to learn the ins and outs of the software package in question (and all the frameworks it relies on) and code a fix yourself. If you can't do that for whatever reason from "C++ is incompatible with my brain" to "my entire lifespan wouldn't be enough to get all of this working", tough shit. It just won't work. And these are all problems I never had under Windows,,,

Chrome devs attempt to slip muzzle on resource-guzzling browser beast with 'Never-Slow Mode'

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As theoretically long deprecated as synchronous http calls may be, to this day I immediately know when any server I touch anywhere slows down by... having the entire browser freeze up indefinitely, across all tabs. Lovely bit of coding, that.

It's 2019, and a PNG file can pwn your Android smartphone or tablet: Patch me if you can

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Re: Oh well

Fine, make it 7 months then...

Accused hacker Lauri Love to sue National Crime Agency to retrieve confiscated computing kit

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No idea what you're talking about. My desktop is a lot older than that, and was bought as a "best value for money, not the best there is" proposition at the time, yet to this day the only piece of software I have ever seen it drag its feet with was Star Citizen - and it even plays that one at a usable if not decent level. There was definitely CPU performance increase in the last ten years, but you seem to heavily overestimate how much, especially compared to typical software needs. See also PC OEMs incessant complaints about people showing no inclination to replace their existing PCs - there's a reason for that...

Google: All your leaked passwords are belong to us – here's a Chrome extension to find them

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The number of forums that forced me to register for a single comment or to view an image every now and then and the number of small online shops I might buy something from once every three years or so are legion. Due to their number there's no way in hell I'll ever use distinct passwords for each, not even through some "schema". Also due to their number it's basically a given that at any particular moment in time whatever password I used with more or less all of them is already compromised. I would not be able to update them all before the new one would leak too from whichever of them is the weakest link - even if I would remember every single one of these places, which I don't come anywhere even close to.

It's a lost battle I'm not in the mood of fighting so no password managers for me - not that anyone would seem to bother posting in my name anywhere (or to they? Is this the real DropBear?!? Dun-dun-dun...) or buying me anything (card numbers are not involved - I only ever buy CoD at these shops, the whole point is that they are country-local). Yes, there are some higher value accounts, less than a dozen, that I do try looking after slightly better - but they are a drop in the ocean compared to the rest, and funnily enough their passwords tend to stay un-compromised. Regardless, most (that allow it) already also use 2FA anyway (TOTP if it's up to me; SMS if it's up to my bank - thanks a lot...)

All in all, a password manager - either online or offline - just sounds like such a catastrophic single point of failure (and such a juicy target to grab for anyone ever driving by - which is 100% a "when" not an "if") that I just can't stomach using one - at least this way my small collection of more precious passwords is only stored in my brain...

Crypto exchange in court: It owes $190m to netizens after founder 'dies without telling anyone vault passwords'

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Re: Crypto-busting test case

If an encrypted computer (I'm going to assume that means "encrypted data on the hard drive" in this case) is a "problem with a solution", what is the point of encrypting any computer...?

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Trollface

Re: Damn.

....this wouldn't have happened in January 2000 perchance...?

Amid polar vortex... Honeywell gets frosty reception after remote smart thermostat tech freezes up for a week

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Re: IOT=Crap

The difference is that lots of us don't see any convenience* in rigging up our lightbulbs to the Internet, whether or not that makes them turn on or off in fancy ways - classic motion sensors or timers tend to do the job just fine if we truly feel our lives are pointless without lightbulbs with their own will. Nobody's preventing anyone here from going crazy with the stuff if they feel it really works for them, lots of us simply resent the ongoing implication that one needs to be crazy not to see all the marvellous advantages these modern net-connected wonders offer to allegedly absolutely everyone just as long as we're willing to repent our sins...

* Let me know when they make a lightbulb than can replace itself automatically when it burns out. I might just consider it actually convenient enough to buy a few...

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Re: Holiday Homes

I can't help but note that the number of one-percenters owning separate "holiday homes" is astonishingly high here.

Fake fuse: Bloke admits selling counterfeit chips for use in B-1 bomber, other US military gear

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Re: IC marking

Spotting counterfeits is one thing, but in this case these were supposed to be USED chips. Whether that means previously socketed or soldered, I cannot possibly imagine how one could fail spotting that, short of not looking too closely at the chips at all in the first place of course.

Boffin suggests Trappist monk approach for Spectre-Meltdown-grade processor flaws, other security holes: Don't say anything public – zip it

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Re: You don't say

"The professor addresses handwaves your point in his original post". Fixed.

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No. I'll just stick with "what an idiot!". Keeping vulnerabilities quiet is not a valid approach if your aim is to get them fixed. The one, single and only thing that causes that is announcing them publicly. Anyone arguing against it is an utter idiot at best and actively means you harm at worst.

Techies tinker with toilet-topper to turn it into ticker-tracker

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Nope

Any piece of technology trying to monitor/read any aspect of my health will find it is much more difficult to perform its function with an axe embedded in it, in short order. Do not want. My health basically never existed as such, and I don't want any further complication detected and announced to me any sooner than absolutely unavoidable. Yes, it's a conscious choice trading whatever hypothetical extension could be obtainable for a significantly less miserable existence up to that point, both in a physical and psychological sense. YMMV, feel free to disagree all you want and live your life any way you see fit, but I'm not taking advice concerning mine. Particularly not from a toilet seat...

Bug-hunter faces jail for vulnerability reports, DuckDuckPwn (almost), family spied on via Nest gizmo, and more

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Trollface

Re: Pretty soon, you won't be able to turn them off

How will you recognize their techs? By the cattle prod they'll carry, perchance...?

Ad-tech industry: GDPR complaint is like holding road builders to account for traffic violations

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Trollface

Re: Collective Authority

Not even so much a defence but the "nu-uh!" phase that comes right before "Mooooom!"

Wednesday: Facebook sparks another privacy brouhaha. Thursday: Facebook axes Iranian disinfo bods. Fancy that!

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"In May last year, Facebook estimated that between three per cent and four per cent of active Facebook accounts in Q1 2018 were fake. That number has since gone up, which could be a result of better detection or increased account registration."

I would think that number going up would definitely not be indicative of better detection...

OK, smarty pants AI. You can beat us humans at video games. But how about real-world puzzles like Jenga? Oh, oh no

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Re: Machine Jenga

To be fair that's more "hydraulically aided" than "machine" as in "autonomous" in any sense... but yeah it does look pretty ferocious.

Want a bit of privacy? Got a USB stick? Welcome to TAILS 3.12

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Re: Why Etcher?

"Why has everyone suddenly opted for the big old fat bloated Etcher for disk imaging on Windows?"

Because it is the literally sole (Yes, I looked. A lot...) image burning GUI on windows that doesn't look like it had its UI designed in the darkest ages of Win95 - control is nice when you need it, but what most people want is select image file -> select target drive -> click 'burn' -> DONE. Not eleventy billion options they have no idea what to set to. "I have been given an image file and sent here to burn it, so dammit stop asking me questions I don't know the answer to and just fucking make it happen!". And Etcher is the only one that does that. Yes, I'm perfectly capable of using any of the other ones. No, I profoundly loathe using any of them.

"Etcher is run by a company with the potential to fsck everyone over"

What do you mean "potential"...?!? If it wasn't clear enough how much they care about their users, take a loot at this undead feature request...

Chang'e 4 wakes and Yutu 2 stretches its solar panels for another day... on the friggin' MOON

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Re: Winter on the Moon

That's a weird way to spell "Mars"...

Japanese astronomers find tiniest Kuiper Belt object yet – using cheap 'scopes and off-the-shelf CMOS cameras

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Re: Hmmm...

Thanks. This is a bit over my head, but if so they clearly did have a reasonably novel approach. In that case, sure, all the props are deserved, for coming up with something that works better than the old state of the art...

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Hmmm...

Unless someone can point out the groundbreaking new technique that enabled them to make this discovery, I'm inclined to chalk this one up to "bothering to show up in the first place" and then getting ridiculously lucky. Which, admittedly, is still very much respectable and nothing to sneeze at, but far short of the fabulous amount of credit apparently both offered and taken. If they did do something radically differently, by all means, do correct me...

Apple: You can't sue us for slowing down your iPhones because you, er, invited us into, uh, your home... we can explain

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Re: Can I use this excuse...

Well, their backup was probably the Chewbacca defence...

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Re: Interesting argument

Also, if you contracted someone to rearrange your kitchen but found your walls 25% closer after the operation I reckon you'd be pretty pissed...

Post-Brexit plan for .EU tweaked: No dot-EU web domains for Europeans in UK, no appeals, etc

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_C_ordon.

Six Flags fingerprinted my son without consent, says mom. Y'know, this biometric case has teeth, say state supremes...

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Trollface

Of course you can cancel your face! I've clearly seen this done in a historical document from the great Hollywood library - "face/off", I think it was called...?

'Nun' drops goat head on pavement outside Cheltenham 'Spoons

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Oh, no! Mr. Tumnus...!!!

You heard the latest Chinese CRISPRs? They are real: Renegade bio-boffin did genetically modify baby twins

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Facepalm

In my crystal ball I see a glorious future where you purchase your offspring-enabling catalyst-serum from some megacorp or more likely the state itself - I just _know_ it would _love_ to get to decide who gets to reproduce (or both: either be rich or obedient; what's not to like?!?) - probably as a consequence of some earlier deal offering some kind of irresistible advantage* in exchange plus a propaganda campaign that manages to paint the whole Faustian affair as the Best Idea Ever That Is Totally Worth It - nay, more than that: the Only Reasonable And Morally Acceptable Choice!.

You don't think it will come to pass...? Oh, you bet it will. Just watch. Probably not in the 21st century - it would likely be too abrupt to try anything so soon, the idea requires lots of grooming and just the right kind of exigent circumstances - but at some point, this _so_ will come to pass...

* No need to make things complicated - just bundle the "serum conditioned fertility" part with a cure that you swear it is inextricably linked to, then engineer something the cure cures and protects against and - oopsie! - accidentally and surreptitiously let it loose, perhaps somewhere in Africa, as the newest horribly deadly super-bug. To make the choice easier for your victims, make sure your bug causes some sort of truly horrifying demise. Profit...!

Court orders moribund ZX Spectrum reboot firm's directors to stump up £38k legal costs bill

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Trollface

"The full judgment is here as a 250KB PDF."

They really couldn't have squished it into exactly 64KB - or at the very least, 128KB...?!?

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