* Posts by DCFusor

454 posts • joined 12 Oct 2013


Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

DCFusor Silver badge

Don't get the update

Here, on my linux boxes, new updates for Chrome are listed all the time - and I've been putting them in along with the rest.

Maybe it's time to stop doing that.

Maybe it's time to go ahead and do a full download and archive that (instead of downloading and running just the installer).

wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

Not sure if everything that uses WebKit will be affected (I also use Vivaldi) but if so....same for that.

Adblock+ used to be good and it's hanging around here, but became pretty useless compared to ublock Origin. If they break that...I will not use that browser anymore, period.

I advise making room on some disk or backup for full downloads of these things, not the easier to get installer that then does a download. You WILL want the opportunity to revert. And of course, they will somehow manage to find some 0 days/backdoors in the versions that still ad block - imagine that. You could even wonder if they already know about some and are leaving them in for just that reason.

Microsoft's Master Chief calls time on Cortana as a standalone AI platform

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Re: Turning her evil in Halo 5 wasn't enough...

Indeed - happy brrt day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvIJvPj_pjE

That's the plane that is too expensive to keep in the force! The much cheaper F-35 will replace it at lower cost (in some other galaxy with different laws of physics, that is - oh yeah, the pentagon).

DDoS sueball, felonious fonts, leaky Android file manager, blundering building security, etc etc

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Re: Premisis

Obviously you haven't watched this guy's videos. The keys are for sale on ebay and other places if you know the #, which I won't post here - but they are listed in his videos, along with screenshots of them for sale from various vendors on ebay as well as THE ORIGINAL MANUFACTURERS. Prices are under $20, not 300+.

Another link for short attention span types: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnmcRTnTNC8&t=154s

"Not allowed" means nothing at all.

How much stuff is illegal yet widespread? How many criminals are law-abiding? I'm sure you know cocaine, driving drunk, murder, burglary (relevant here) and tons of other stuff is "not allowed", right?

Crossing the border of the US without proper procedure is "not allowed", but an estimated 12 million or so have made it fine.

Watching this guy and other pen testers just walk in, needing at most only a small keyring with around 10 keys that cover > 90% of all lockboxes, is illuminating. And he and others list the specs of said keys, in standard locksmith lingo, as well as mention which ones you can just duplicate at your hardware store.

I'm sure police cruisers, which are pretty much all keyed the same, which become taxis, still keyed the same, are the exception, except they aren't and many departments don't even know this as he points out. You can't spec something be made more safe if you assume it already is.

I believe you are either uninformed or hoping that others remain so.

The status of physical security now is kind of like that of LAMP before someone realized how easy SQL injection was (or any number of now-obvious flaws).

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Re: Premisis

Deviant O, is that you? https://youtu.be/Rctzi66kCX4

Skip out to 6:06 or so. No need to pick locks when most installations are so bad you can just walk in without even breaking step - mis installed striker plate....stuff like that.

I've seen this guy open a locked door to a bank with a mouthful of whiskey spit through the crack to defeat the emergency let me out IR detector.

Many jurisdictions require all keys for a building to be put in a lockbox outside, which are all keyed the same so people like firemen can get in easily. And you can just buy that key that gives you all the others.

Lock Picking Lawyer (recommended YT) is good - but this guy is better. Picking even a simple lock is a last resort.

Guards and dogs...defense in depth (See Bruce Schneier on that topic too).

If at first, second, third... fourth time you don't succeed, you're Apple: Another appeal lost in $440m net patent war

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Re: Get rid of Software Patents completely.

Nope, it means we'd mess up our version English even further to avoid infringement...workarounds are commonly used for all cases like that.

Iran satellite fails: ICBM test drive or microsat test? Opinion is divided...

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Why the false distinction?

It need not be either-or at all. Learning about rockets and how to get things launched is at least "dual" use capability.

If I wanted to eventually do ICBM's, wouldn't I want a spy satellite first to know where best to aim them?

Not that I think trying to keep science or tech a secret is really a reasonable thing to do, practically or morally, but the discussion seems to miss some important points - everyone could be telling their idea of truth here.

Iran - nope, this is an attempt at a satellite launch - true.

Everyone else - we're afraid that if you learn how to do things like that, you might fight back against us - also true.

Wouldn't a better solution be to make some kind of friends, we're all gonna know how to do anything anyway at some point, but if we don't want

to kill each other it won't matter if we know how.

Remember how the crypto wars went, or DRM in pretty much everything from DVDs to video to games? This is a pointless and expensive exercise in the end.

Science hangs together - there's no way to know how things work without knowing how things work. It's a tool, not an end use, that's determined by things like politics.

Nissan EV app password reset prompts user panic

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I have a Volt, myself. The GM app stank also, I quit using it for anything myself long ago. the car itself is fantastic - at least the USB jack lets me play regular music files and I no longer have to have iTunes format (like the 2010 Camaro demanded). But of course, no plain old aux jack and bluetooth bugs that run the battery down(!) - and also give bluetooth quality sound, along with Sirius which of course anyone sane gets off of as quick as they can, finding out that like with Verizon, once they have your CC number it's really, really, near impossible to stop their billing robot. OnStar, one year's worth cost triple what a standalone GPS does at least lets you cancel gracefully - kind of, they can still track you by radio.

To me, the real issue is that car manufacturers all want to be Apple, lock you into their walled garden, but not even lift the fingers to innovate and update that even now-boring Apple does. I mean, upgrading an overpriced phone with nothing really new in it every couple years is bad enough....Cars still have 4 wheels and some of us just want to get there. A little sporty or luxury is nice, but...trying to be what they cannot be is just stupid.

Cars, north of $30,000, almost never get updates, never upgrades, can't have their now-vast networks of internal computer hardware updated or even replaced - try to do something with the audio system for example - now it's also all the bing-bong alerts, your hands-free cellphone and a bunch of other stuff and no car stereo shop will have anything to do with it - and neither can you. Even if you're a real EE, as I play on TV - I have other things to make a life's work of.

And then they wonder why sales are down (other than all our governments obvious lies about the economy catching up with them too). The more people burned, and I know a few myself, the less people are going to pay real serious money - > 50+ iphones, really? - to get caught up in this web of crap and get a minor upgrade if even that? I can buy a paint job and a can of new car smell cheap, guys.

Brit hacker hired by Liberian telco to nobble rival now behind bars

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Re: Bandwidth!

They were patting *themselves* on the back, AC. There's no glory in busting a trivial simpleton....

Talk about beating heads against brick walls... Hard disk drive unit shipments slowly spinning down

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Re: So mirror them

I use both types here, a lot. I've become more comfortable with SSDs now, but I do tend to overprovision them, and back them up. I also do that with spinners. So far, I've had really good luck both ways. I've had some fail, but that was apparently a quality control issue with an SSD from Crucial, supposedly due to shipping some stock from a company they'd bought that had problems or similar.

The drive had gone into total CMOS latchup - a flaw probably in the controller (acted like a short on 5v) but it was temperature dependent and I was able to recover *from that drive* which was a bit better than using the backups I also had.

The one spinner I recently had issues with was a seagate 2 tb 2.5" drive that started to have some vibration after about 2 years in 24/7 use for a home weather database - lots of writes. It's never failed, but I switched it out and now use it for archival backups. I think the bearings were starting to go bad after spinning that long. It was never spun down in use.

The only drives we had fail here - and we lost data, also the only time ever, were IBM deskstar drives, which had been backing up one another on workstations in an off grid system that had no central server - all was peer to peer. When they all failed within 3 days of one another, we lost some data, and they were right jerks about even giving us new drives, just before they sold that line to Fujitsu. They insisted we run their diagnostics, which passed (it had been warm but had cooled down by the time that happened) - but our data was gone anyway.

We used them as targets on the shooting range, most satisfying, along with a few old floppy drives.

I've had issues with USB flash more or less burning out if used constantly for writes on say, a raspberry pi. Never with a real SSD. When I set things like that up, I make a tempfs to do those usually not worth it logging writes (once things are setup, do you really need to know every time something else on your lan reads a database or connects via samba, or hits a local webserver?).

Long story short - our single actual data loss, and it was without warning, was spinners. In the decades from 1980 on up. Probably shouldn't use the same brand, model and age for backups as the main show.

It WASN'T the update, says Microsoft: Windows 7 suffers identity crisis as users hit by activation errors

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VA and TX in the US

Have laws making EULAs legally binding, and they'e been tested. VA because all the government stuff there (assumption is that they can and will pay), and TX because...tech, NASA and so on. This was certainly a fact a decade ago, whether it's changed, I haven't heard.

At any rate, back then the laws were definitely tested....

A customer of mine with ~~ 450 windows machines was shut down for 3 days, losing quite a bit of money, over a legally-enforced BSA inspection....

They now have a heck of a lot of Linux and Mac....(I got paid to help with that).

A privately owned electronics manufacturer, whose owner was able to hold and deliver on a grudge. He hadn't violated anything but were they going to reimburse him for the lost $$ due to acres of shut down production robotics? Not a chance.

Steamer closets, flying cars, robot boxers, smart-mock-cock ban hypocrisy – yes, it's the worst of CES this year

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Well, scale matters

You can make electricity "work like that" but it'd have to be a really tiny house. When my wife was wanting to lose weight but still watch TV all day, I fixed her up an exercise bike with a generator and used that to drive a small portable TV that would run on 12 volts. Vacuum tube type, minimal power for that sort, though, around a 6" screen.

When she found out how hard it was to pedal - and that the tiny battery I'd added would only keep the TV up for about 1 minute breaks...she lost her taste for western re-runs real quick. Total win...

1 Hp (about 3 times what a human in decent shape _can_ sustain, but probably won't like) = 745 watts with 100% conversion efficiency (yeah, right).

An efficient house with nothing spurious electric (like HVAC, cooking, water heat etc) might draw 300 or so watts...

Now let the Reg Standards guys have some fun with this! In pounds-feet/second how many busses would you need to drop from how far to keep your house running for a day?

Oracle's in-house lawyer denied access to Uncle Sam's procurement docs in JEDI legal battle

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Re: $10bn cloud contract

Well, one reason you don't see that in the news is that it doesn't happen? When was the last report of an underrun, in like, ever? That max is only theoretical, and everyone in the biz knows that.

a_yank_lurker has it right - I've been there too.

But for reference, from Google Finance, Amazon's gross from the last quarter alone was $56.58 billion.

That's one quarter...and for all of Amazon. I believe this contract is longer running and won't actually be super significant, though it is in the area that Amazon actually has a margin...

This compete-by-lawsuit wasn't begun by Oracle, but it's out of style enough that they might be signalling the end of it. Always late to the party and all that.

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit

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@Lee - Precisely from me too.

Now that there even IS a man page for systemd...wow. Back when it was breaking things like boot time mounts of NFS filesystems in /etc/fstab, I looked for some workaround on the 'net and found that you could make a .mount thing - that worked for about 2 distro updates (not upgrades) before the workaround was broken by a fix to an issue that originally had an E_WONTFIX tag...and now NFS mount in fstab works again.

I just checked the man page that now exists. To be sure, the usual bafflegab and when you have to link to a website, you've already failed. I note that no where in the "see also" 'is the name of the manpage you really need if you're customizing a desktop or other on-prem specialized machine -


Now, being that just about zero other man pages even have underscores in the name...how again was I supposed to guess that one?

How about if some daemon takes too long to start and systemd starts it over and over again without killing the previous attempt till the system goes down, as it did with Conky?

How about becoming unable to reboot if something mentioned in fstab can't be unmounted because it was never mounted due to another bug, or because someone manually unmounted it. I bet people who have to drive to a site to fix that got real happy.

Could some of the hostility be due to breaking things, and then breaking the workarounds, all while not ever admitting there was a problem in the first place?

Sorry about the double post above - the site said something messed up so I typed things in a second time.

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Cloud fad

"Unix doesn't reboot all the time."

In a properly run on-prem setup, that's right - it almost never needs to reboot.

However, with this new fad of cloud, and all that things that might entail, from tons of identical (or nearly) instances, containers, and the like, whatever the buzzword of the week is that sells the human service/conference for "well, now make it work for us", linux is forced to boot all the time.

Follow the money, it's often instructive. Red Hat was making a lot of its money off this cloud thing - the swing back to mainframes (again).

People make money selling ads for "buzzword of the week conference", present forum not excluded.

No way RedHat would have paid that clown and team all that money if they didn't perceive that pot of gold at the end.

But justice was served in a sense. No one sells themselves to IBM if things are all dandy, eh? Oh yeah, maybe people with a lot of stock they can't so easily sell without depressing the price....what was that we follow, again? $$$

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Cloud fad

To the comment above - unix doesn't reboot all the time....

It does in this fad world of a bunch of instances that are near-identical in the cloud, which business RedHat was making money on.

Of course, since it requires courses and consultants, the Reg is all for it - revenue, so they support this cloud fad thing themselves.

And all the related container/serverless/buzzword of the day junk that goes along, every now and then we need a new buzzword to sell the

same old "well, make it work for us, then" human services.

The swing back to mainframes, in essence. I've been around long enough to see the back and forth a few times now. Short attention span people don't see it.

Always follow the money, it's instructive. No way RedHat would have paid this loser and team to do this much major work if there wasn't that pot of gold perceived at the end of the rainbow.

Not that it's worked out for them - who would sell themselves to Big Blue if things were dandy? Oh yeah, people with a ton of not very liquid stock. Again, not that hard to follow...

Encryption? This time it'll be usable, Thunderbird promises

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Re: The trouble with PGP is that

Obviously some google haters here....or something. 3 downs really?

I suppose someone's going to tell me they can write encryption code for *any app in a connected computer whatever* that isn't trivially backdoored by some APT or even a kiddie who gets hold of the tools to do some 0 day persistent UEFI or rootkit hack undetectable by you. As if history hasn't proven you wrong time and time again...I get it, it'll be different this time.

If so, I'm real glad you're not doing my security. If it shows up - ever - in plaintext on a connected machine - then it's NOT safe...if your offline machine hasn't been backdoored in some way as to compromise the USB stick or whatever else you use to move it to the email machine and back.

If you only want crap security, I hear there's a one liner using ROT13. You could even use it to double-encrypt for extra safety.

Someone's never read enough Schneier? Or any basic security whatever?

Or is it someone loves tbird as it is? Wow....

I'll leave my coat with the bugging device in it....

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Re: The trouble with PGP is that

Well, some friends and I use FloyCrypt for Gmail and while we have no idea if it's any good, crypto-wise, it sure is easy to set up and use....Maybe it makes a little more work for snoops, I have no way to know.

I use gmail (oh well, slurp) and tbird and frankly, tbird is such a piece of junk with such a horrible UI I only point it at the email addresses I don't really use anymore, to go clean up the inbox by deleting the spam - which it detects about 1/10th as well as gmail, and which requires WAY TOO MANY clicks to delete.

I sincerely hope they fix this piece of crap, don't get me wrong, but it's going to be a good bit of work by someone who understands work flows...

And who understands how to make it easy for beginners, while letting power users have the good-trick features all at once. Missing that one, is of course, hardly limited to Tbird....How these fancy UX guys can miss the obvious (but difficult) while fussing about corners and such....participation trophy winners I guess.

I have met good human factors people - they had PhD's and years of experience in human studies like psychology....eg, not some self-styled "artist designer".

Dark matter's such a pushover: Baby stars can shove weird stuff around dwarf galaxies

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Alternate theory

Dark matter is formed over time during the life of a galaxy or its star forming. Works just as well as a theory for the production of something that isn't even named correctly.

It's dark gravity, people. Some idiot called it dark matter because they thought that'd make it easier to push the idea, since we know matter has mass and gravity. But then, since Einstein, we also know that energy does, and they are convertible anyway.

All we actually know - the only believable observations are:

1. angular velocity vs diameter of a spinning galaxy doesn't quite add up right.

2. something gravitationally lenses light from very far away - space is more warped than we thought.

That's it. "matter" might be what it is, under some very loose definition of "matter" that doesn't interact with anything but gravity - or so weakly that every single expensive test so far can't find whatever it is....maybe looking for the wrong thing?

Just a guess by someone who really does do science and who has been wrong enough times to not buy anyone else's first guess, either. The amount of press the idea has gotten has nothing to do with its validity.

Pewdiepie fanboi printer, Chromecast haxxx0r retreats, says they're 'afraid of being caught'

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Re: What the did is grey at best

Ah, well, setting the house on fire is more of a Mrs-use act.

Crap app tapped to trap mishaps: Demo insecure software built to school devs on secure coding

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Why not just copy stuff from the web?

Oh, I get it - this way we know upfront what the obvious vulns are and can write a "don't do that" about it, while pretending we covered the ground and there are no such things as 0 days. And get a few clicks. Win-win-um....

Open-source devs: Wget off your bloated festive behinds and patch this user cred-blabbing bug

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Re: From where

I just tried that /, and while it works, talk about obscure linux trivia (some terminal emulators have issues scrolling back or seeing a lot of a page at a time as well) - speaking of the problem I was trying to solve.

Try typing in /search or just // It's entertaining, I'll give you that. Seriously, nice way to respond to "thanks".

Some of us have things to do other than read man pages for decades on end. If man needs a man page (I know, it has one), then....people who think that's cool are why not many of us have linux on the desktop or as our daily driver (I only account for 15 or so machines running it. Since around y2k plus a couple).

PDF cleans its clock. Downvote away...

I'm wondering why whoever downvoted my first comment did it. Are there really a bunch of common uses for wget with a password? If so, how many hardcode that password in some script so are security bugs themselves? All of them? Who types a command line that long? I've been at this quite some time (see my site) - and I don't, and I LIKE CLI stuff.

Does anyone use the ssl key stuff instead? If not, why not? I didn't mean to start a flame war, but holy cow, what a bunch of flak from a simple question of "why TF do that anyway?".

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Re: From where

Thanks! As I get lazy when it's time to RTFM and all I have is the man command, I wrote a little script to convert man pages to .pdf files so I can search them - which took less time to do and find that out than I'd already spent in the man command - which is pretty clunky. I shared the little script here:


Yes, pdf is a horrible format with all kinds of dangers of its own, but it'd seem most or all of those are from malformed pdf files with executable code in them - not an issue here. The default font is also easier on the eyes in most pdf readers than the one the terminal uses.

I'm building up a few of these in a directory on my homestead share for the more hassleiferous man pages (think systemd stuff...rsync, other complex stuff you don't use every day).

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From where

Did a password come to be available for wget to store? Haven't used it much, but none of the things I've used it for asked me for a password at all, nor was there one on the command line I copy/pasted to get say, a perl CGI wrapper for NGINX from ... the NGINX site. Legit question? Is there any widespread use of wget that does somehow hand it a password ? Just read as much of the man page as I could handle on an empty stomach and saw no mention of a pword, and as far as I know, user level privilege programs on linux (which I'm running) can't get my user's password either.

Could you speak up a bit? I didn't catch your password

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Best buildup and ending line in a very long time! Thanks for the Christmas laugh!

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…

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Speaking of puppets

And deflecting the conversation to avoid truth, what I heard Bob say was that "all politicians lie for a living" and you know it's true - whether they are puppets to a 2nd rate ex-communist or a far longer established banking community.

I'd say the puppet are the people who believe ANY of them. Partisans on either side (as if there were only two real sides of truth) - are the puppets.

"I care not what puppets sits on the throne as long as I control the money". Look it up. You might have to go back a few centuries.

Downvote away. the truth is never popular, which again, is why ALL pols lie, all the time.

American bloke hauls US govt into court after border cops 'cuffed him, demanded he unlock his phone at airport'

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Like many laws, a smokescreen for dominance

Real slick of them to get themselves a law that allows searching people leaving, since that may someone magically allow terrorists in. I knew law was blind, but direction? Really? Can't tell in from out?

Too bad he's gonna lose, most likely.

When it comes to AI research the West is winning, the East is rising and women are being left behind

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Re: Bit of a boy's club

Women are vastly underrepresented as garbage truck loaders as well, but I don't hear any complaining. Maybe all this proves they are smarter?

If most punters are unlikely to pay more for 5G, why all the rush?

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5G will only ever work in those dense cesspools called cities. In the case of SF, literally a cesspool.

I will never live in a city again. Moved from DC in the '70s and never looked back. The only good thing about DC was free heat - abundant hot air.

FTTP for the win. You can always lay more fiber, but only push so many bits through a given RF bandwidth - and those high frequencies don't propagate well at all.

Since it's easier to get permission to lay fiber in rural areas, we may have the last laugh. No one here is going to mind another ditch to get better service. No sidewalks to dig up.

Surely no one here thinks that there will ever be any better deal on bits/$ unless and until the regulatory environment changes from "the best rules money can buy" do they?

In 2018, Facebook is the villain and Microsoft the shining light, according to techies

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Re: Legislate, regulate

IT would only be a pretense at best. What example can you name of a company that was big enough to buy a government representative with pocket change (or a few) who has ever been regulated in any meaningful way, ever?

You can't unless you cheat and name something like "well, we made them do crash safety tests" which cost them nothing but eliminated competition. Or a bunch of other examples of regulation that just lock in the big boys.

It's legal for me to avoid taxes the same way they do it - just that it would cost more than my income, but isn't even a rounding error for them. Wonder why that is?

Equifax how-it-was-mega-hacked damning dossier lands, in all of its infuriating glory

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Too much power

It's worse than you think. I recently retired (USA) and am on social security. For other reasons I had to get a paper verification of my status to a medical establishment in a tight time frame. So I log on to the government site, and try to start a "MYSSA" account, but the procedure fails. I then call the number, and after the usual multi-hour wait when calling the government, I got to a human who said that if I'm NOT in the equifax or experian databases, they cannot prove I exist! (I am in the OPM as I had a security clearance, or I should be, anyway - but two government entities here can't talk to each other apparently unless there's a political motive to incriminate someone).

Yep, the government can't keep track of my existence - even as an EMPLOYEE(!) if I'm not in a "private" database! One that has data that's all too powerful - identity theft is the least of it - can't get a loan?

Can't even get phone service with some providers, and here in the US you probably don't have a choice of that or ISP. Guess you your government really is - bankers and their services. Notice how they got bailed out with our money, how they get everything they want, and look at the horrible punishment they're getting here for history-making breach. /sarcasm

I'm sure you can connect those dots, they're real close together.

Lucky I was grandfathered in long ago on those things. All you have to do to drop off the earth is not use credit in any form or fail to pay a bill in 7+ years, and bam, you're a ghost. Screw someone - don't pay a bill, have them "screw up your rating" and it turns out that a negative number is better than no number at all! Suddenly everyone wants to lend you money, the government can find you again (which may be good or not)....

When I mentioned this to the government human and pointed out that they must know I exist and where I live as I get checks...they said "shhhhh, don't mess it up, if these dots get connected they'll stop".

And you guys think your UK government is screwy. Hold our beer. No telling who wins that one.

Oracle takes its gripes about Pentagon's JEDI contract to federal court

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Bare metal an advantage?

If you're gonna do that, you require certain expertise...and may as well not contract it out to begin with.

The point of cloud is leveraging some expertise at the vendor end, presumably including more than just keeping lights on and perhaps doing the odd backup...if they can manage to make that atomic.

US Homeland Security installs AI cameras at the White House, Google tries to make translation less sexist

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Re: Translation and Artificial Idiocy

i agree about the fool's errand, though not the gender fluid silliness you avoided mentioning, yank.

On the other hand, something that gets things consistently wrong ... is the kind of thing you can fix, or learn from your ideas on fixing being wrong. It's the intermittent bugs that kill ya. In the case of translation, as you point out, there are a lot of other issues that are a lot more important to most people "readable, accurate, idiomatically correct" seem like a good start on a list.

And the Vodka is still strong but the meat is rotten.

Peak tech! Bacon vending machine signals apex of human invention

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Seems to me the people complaining about American bacon - as if that was a singular thing...are missing something important.

Just like chinesium you get cheap from "bigvendor" yeah, the stuff you just buy precooked somewhere is going to be terrible - just like every other thing they offer. This is news?

If you do your own shopping and preparing, you can get heavenly bacon in the US, I do all the time.\

But then if I go to a modern supermarket (vs the small town market I usually use) - I've noticed that if microwave ovens and/or freezers were to quit working, most of America would starve or die of a soda pop/potato chip overdose, since it seems no one knows how to cook anymore....

Cities. ugh, all this crap is in cities where people think they are civilized but long ago lost anything but the advertising to those of us in more "salt of the earth" locations. There is only one fast-food outlet in the entire county I live in - and no one goes there.

I'd bet the US isn't alone there...it may be ahead, but it's a matter of degree.

There are plenty of specialty outfits in the US that sell the best bacon on earth, or so I'm convinced - if there's any better I wouldn't be able to tell and would be confused about whether I'd died and gone to heaven.

UK spies: You know how we said bulk device hacking would be used sparingly? Well, things have 'evolved'...

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And people laugh at the US government

Yeah, I know, it just irks me that others seem to think theirs is any better because your clowns use slightly different makeup.

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"When new powers are introduced, unless penalties are for misuse of those powers are introduced at the same time, they will always be abused."

Optimist. Haven't you watched long enough to see how redefinition/spin/selective enforcement work in the real world? How about "There are apparently no exceptions whatever to power always being abused".

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

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Re: It's not encrypted...

Sorry, Herby, it's worse than you think:


Now this guy is probably guilty and of some really bad stuff. But the 5th isn't keeping him out of jail for contempt of court for refusing to decrypt what is almost surely evidence against him.

That ship sailed awhile back. And in this case it's been going years and no time limit.

Why, you're no better than an 8-bit hustler: IBM punts paper on time-saving DNN-training trick

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So if you use lousier numbers, you can even more vastly overfit patterns you don't understand without the errors getting noticeably worse.

Couldn't be because they stank already in really important ways, right?

How's that turtle==gun stuff doing these days? Everything I see complaining about issues with NN's was identified in the 90's or earlier, by people who said it would only get worse with more layers, more overfitting, and a lousier squash function (relu) with...math to prove it. Guess what. GIGO is still a thing.

The dingo... er, Google stole my patent! Biz boss tells how Choc Factory staff tried to rip off idea from interview

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First to file is now the law

I originally started my online sci/tech forums for just this reason - myself and others needed a free place to publish so as to establish priority of inventions. The idea that it's hosted by an otherwise uninterested third party with logs and timestamps was one of the keys there. That used to be enough, and was relatively affordable.

Then...a "bipartisan" law change - patent "reform" it was called in the states, changed the rules from first to invent to first to file, blowing that out of the water without EXTREME legal fees, Yet another law to protect the big money against competition from the small outfit.

According to my patent attorneys, you must now file a provisional patent (which you have to follow up on, the good part of that law if any was to eliminate zombie patents) - at fairly high expense, or publish in a journal that the USPTO reads - also at fairly high expense - or all bets are off.

As the law sits now, someone can steal your idea, admit they did so - and still wind up owning it due to being first to file and you not having the bucks to make enough stink and present the court with enough ancillary stuff to keep them from owning it. But you also then have to patent it yourself at ever increasing costs (10's of k$ now even if you do most of the work yourself).

Unlike open source software, you can't even give your own stuff away, in the sense of preventing some other outfit from patenting it and charging others for using it - or just holding it off the market.

At least my lawyers tell me so...

Not to pimp my place which is near-dead due to this and other factors, but it's

www.coultersmithing.com/forums in case you get bored. Nope, not looking for average Joe type members at all, no bucks, no ads, that's not what we are about.

Apple in another dust-up with its fans: iMacs, MacBooks lack filters, choke on grime – lawsuit

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Was the real reason for them declaring they'd have dividends awhile back simply anticipation of, and making it harder, to short their stock?

It's been quite a long time since any real innovation, and things like this story keep going on and on - this outfit gets you coming and going and revels in the highest margins in the biz.

Which is insulting enough that I managed to avoid them so far...but it really does look like they might be getting ready to lose it in a way that is publicly recognized - and financially actionable.

Oh my chord! Sennheiser hits bum note with major HTTPS certificate cock-up

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Maybe they do get security

But work for, dunno, Amber Rudd or perhaps some .gov entity in Oz or the US?

The list of those who want backdoors isn't a short one.

Pulses quicken at NASA as SpaceX gets closer to crewed launches and Russia readies the next Soyuz

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Keeping your people from revolting

NASA is full of hardcore puritans (or used to be when I dealt with them) and old cold warrior neocons. My guess is that this noise is as much about keeping their own people happy that no one else is having fun when they can't.

As is evidenced by the moon race - at least one of NASAs prime goals is to produce propaganda fodder.

Once we "won"... well, the space race kind of ended. I was one of those kids who watched Apollo 11, and thought, man, someday I'll get to go. > 65 yo now...speak of dropped balls. As soon as the need for PR was gone...funding cut and we all know the rest.

Facebook spooked after MPs seize documents for privacy breach probe

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Re: Its about time

Blocking FB at network edge would then limit the data the UK government gets from them on the side as part of the 5 eyes, silly.

As if all of FB's servers were outside the UK to begin with...

"It's all connected" (Total Recall)

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget

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Re: Home security problem

@Lee and others

Well, at some point you have to draw a line...while stopping one more thing may be kind of futile in the overall picture, not trying is sending a message you don't care. This one wouldn't matter to me personally, as I have my own solar array, batteries and whatnot. Freedom from a power bill is pretty nice. I think in many cases people are realizing that a thief isn't the only threat - the state level actor who might be a problem is your own state - there is no instance of a state power that hasn't been abused.

These days they are amateurs at hiding that compared to my own youth and some people are working that out. Here, where pot isn't legal yet, smart meters would be used to discover grow operations for just one thing.

Now, I live in the extreme boonies - where if you have an emergency, the police are maybe 45 minutes away (or more, as has happened here) - thank heavens the neighborhood is pretty good people and we look out for one another insofar as we can - I for example, can't see any of my neighbor's houses from the rooftop here (which is on a hilltop!). We DO worry somewhat about security, as sometimes a stranger is here to steal something. Particularly in hunting season where they might have some excuse to be here at all. Normally we farmers are grateful for those who keep the game under control, as they eat crops.

You could literally use a chainsaw on someone's front door and burgle for most of an hour before the neighbors would notice or the cops come if they did. Rather than encase ourselves in steel bars, well, it turns out that in farm country there are a lot of people who "Still cling to their Bibles - and their guns" as both have been known to come in handy in the presence of varmints - the latter doesn't count how many legs they have, either.

Ring my doorbell, or most others around here, and you'll be looked at either by a window or a camera.

And likely invited in and given food and other comfort. It's a nice place with nice people.

Break in by kicking or other method, well, Mr Smith and Wesson is here to greet you with a likely permanent perforation or few. Unofficially, the cops are fine with this...they know it wouldn't happen unless the situation was dire.

For some reason, there's next to zero crime here. It's kinda too dangerous - grandma knows how to shoot and is in practice. While there are some criminals living in the area, they go to the nearest town or city where they are anonymous and their victim likely unprepared to resist their attentions. If you harm someone in a tiny town - you may as well move away, if you live through the experience. Modern tech that will reveal whodunit is widely adopted even out here.

At least here, John Lott's thesis works out.

Cities promote disease. Anonymity and a constant flow of transients in a situation where no one can know all the people around are a recipe for con artists, thieves, and other predators on the dark side to ply their trades. Those sorts are by definition looking for the easy no-brainer way to get their desires.

They only have to move a couple of blocks over to regain complete anonymity and continue their bad deeds if caught. That just doesn't work in a county where pretty much everyone knows everyone else.

This points to a flaw in the "one size fits all" thinking that is always associated with strong central statist governments. I'm here to tell you, one size does NOT fit all. I completely understand that if you're going to live somewhere dense you have to be much more careful swinging your arms as someone's nose is never far away, and loss of some freedoms is required in such places to make things work. But...many people move away from that situation for that very reason. Responsible people can have more freedom without creating harm than those who have no discipline.

Britain may not be able to fend off a determined cyber-attack, MPs warn

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So much so that even Bruce Schneier was quite late to the game, thinking that all critical infrastructure was still on things like T1 lines long after it'd gone to internet, even while those few of us public online were still in dialup mode....having read his blog since those days - and even having called him out on that one, it's been an interesting evolution, not all evenly applied. This of course was so long ago it'd take serious searching in his archives to even find it. Pre "911".

The old game of the attacker and defender keeps evolving endlessly, and not always linearly or evenly. For quite some time there was a mixture of private lines and even total lack of remote control! Things were "safe" that way, but at the cost of no remote control, someone reasonably competent had to be present and on duty. And hopefully not sleeping. Most industry never adopted the equivalent of the one legged stool used in nitroglycerin plants to ensure the operator stayed awake.

Now because that's no longer required, the trend is to simply have no one competent available at all, or so it seems.

Which even includes most of the attackers, so we're safe, surely. Shirley?

Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?

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Yet another

markup language is how I heard it described until very recently. Example:


The recursive acronym stuff is borrowed in my memory.

As the "ain't a markup language" disturbed me, I looked it up, and indeed in a rewrite of history that's frighteningly complete, it seems that indeed that's now what it's called even on the "official" website, insofar as there can be such a thing for something that originally open and that old news.

What's next? YACC moving from "yet another compiler compiler" to the less imaginative "YACC ain't a compiler compiler"?

In looking around, I even found reference to how YAML had been changed to become a proper subset of JSON (not the other way around) which of course is comparatively a johnny come lately by comparison.

I think I'm becoming glad I don't do this stuff for a living anymore. Learning everything there is to know once is hard enough. When you rewrite history it becomes that much harder, and for what?

China examines antitrust probe thrust into Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron: Claims to see 'massive evidence'

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Business is war

Sun Tzu was adapted long ago by people who thought so...


Washington Post offers invalid cookie consent under EU rules – ICO

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Re: Wouldn't read it anyway

Hey, no one who thinks believes Jeff Bezos bought the Post because he thought there would be a profitable resurgence in newspapers! Like him or not, he's not dumb.

It's the political mouthpiece for a person and outfit well above any law they don't like. The purpose often being the prevention of laws they don't like in the first place. Lobbying has a huge profit margin.

A few other huge companies also seem immune from things like paying taxes in the jurisdiction they make the money in. There's always some country that'll cave and who like sandwiches, thinking a little is better than none. Legislation doesn't seem to affect them much either.

Could there be a common rea$on for that?

Big $ pretty much always gets their way, almost like a JEDI...who know where they were going to put a new office from the get-go but found manipulating governments to get even more bennies a fun game anyway.

Is Jeff is trying to get into the running with Larry Ellison for who can be most evil? With that much power, it's easy to be evil even by accident.

Influential Valley gadfly and Intel 8051 architect John Wharton has died

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The original open source?

At the time of these events, I owned a Xerox 820 (a Z-80 based machine) and soon thereafter a Kaypro (pretty much the same thing in a nice box - the 820's we got as bare boards, surplus). At my job for a "beltway bandit" we'd been doing embedded work for various parts of the US government, and were embedding Z-80 and other similar things, and had an Intel Dev system (insanely overpriced but it was gov money).

I had the source code for CP/M (a friend in the government...) and basically used that as documentation for the Intel DOS system. We had phone support on that Intel system and even spoke with Gary Kildall a few times - nudging him (without success) to look into our interrupt driven and in most cases re-entrant system hardware drivers, developed for our customers, as they would have made the Intel system a lot better. He didn't go there - Gary was Gary and it seemed, working well below what should have been his pay grade, soon to leave Intel. He didn't think it worth the effort and frankly, that class of ideas was pretty blue-sky given the capabilities of the existing hardware.

At the time we didn't think much about how similar the opsys were - and it wasn't just the int 21 calls that were identical - int 10h also - the bios...that entire concept. We were super enthused about having actual disk drives (FAT 12!) - remember that back then people were fiddling with dodgy cassette things, or were old school users of restored/surplus PDP-8's and teletypes/paper tape. BYTE magazine hadn't started up yet, quite. Everything we saw, or nearly, was following the obvious trend of filling some utterly obvious need - adding storage - there's never enough memory - adding I/O and so on, and any framework that helped make that happen was welcome. Whatever-you-call that opsys (CP/M, DOS) didn't matter, and it didn't seem weird that they were really all the same thing inside - not just the api (glad Oracle wasn't around!) but the bits, the source, same stuff. There were only so many ways to skin a cat when every byte (all semiconductor ram was static then, as god intended) and clock tick seriously mattered.

MS claim to fame then - and make no mistake, they weren't bad guys then - was the very best tools to program the little 8 bit guys - M80 and L80. Nothing else out there "just worked".

There plain wasn't enough of this stuff around, or adoption of what there was for other than hobby use (and some avionics and other things my outfit built) for us to even think of IP issues (which weren't named at all then) or the fact that this would snowball into a huge effect on the world with attendant redistribution of $$$. That was the thing Gates got right....not necessarily in a pleasing way.

Similar to Jobs real main contribution was getting the **AA's to partly remove their crania from their anus and make digital sales of some content legal. In both cases the rest simply followed.

Over the years I pointed out the similarity or near identical nature of MS-DOS to CPM and Kildall's dev system only to receive scorn and "no way, it couldn't have been " and even saw wikipedia articles explaining parallel development and that this wasn't just copied from Kildall's work.

All I wish is that A: he'd listened to us and created the basis for real multitasking as a result, and B: Microsoft's blatant copying would have resulted in a lot better initial windows instead of how things did go. But Gary was Gary - from a little bit of contact as a customer, I tend to believe the tales of his "loose cannon" exploits. He was a real character.

Pretty sure no one really wants to hear possibly misremembered history from one who was THERE, so I'll just get that coat now. We'll all miss the guys who made this all go, and in my case created the chance at a really good and long career in the biz.

Sorry, Mr Zuckerberg isn't in London that day. Or that one. Nope. I'd give up if I were you

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Re: Glad I'm not him

I see from the voting we have many members of the press who don't like being called out.

See how easy it is to provoke irrationality? Joke icon because...

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Re: Glad I'm not him

Very much agreed!


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