* Posts by Ken Mitchell

46 posts • joined 29 Dec 2014

Wells Fargo? Well fscked at the moment: Data center up in smoke, bank website, app down

Ken Mitchell

Wells Fraudo

Couldn't happen to a better bank than Wells Fraudo. And I was NOWHERE NEAR the place!

Another Apple engineer cuffed over alleged self-driving car data theft: FBI swoop on bod as he boards plane to China

Ken Mitchell

Out on Bail?

Why would ANY sane judge grant bail? He's ALREADY trying to flee the United States; that's the very definition of "flight risk"!

Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows... Yup, it's day 20 of Trump's govt shutdown

Ken Mitchell

Government PLANS To Be Stupid

Y'know, If I had been a government IT guy, and there was even a CHANCE that there would be a budget stalemate, I would have looked around and asked "If the government were to "shut down" and go on autopilot, what will go SERIOUSLY wrong in the next month?" Security certs are something that could EASILY have been renewed for another year well in advance.

Pure incompetence. Or malice; take your pick.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

Ken Mitchell

Re: Any computer game after 1994...

1998, "BattleZone". Excellent tank combat in space.

Ken Mitchell

Mostly Agree

I agree with all except #11, Any computer game invented after 1994. There have been a plethora of newer games. Granted; I still enjoy playing the original "Wizardry" game from 1981, I think, and "Might and Magic" of a slightly newer vintage. But the 1998 "BattleZone" game was outstanding for vector graphics.

But I'm still a big fan of the "World of Warcraft" and "Starcraft" series, from Blizzard.

What a meth: Woman held for 3 months after cops mistake candy floss for hard drugs

Ken Mitchell

You have a right to remain silent. But this only helps you if you SHUT UP:.

Ken Mitchell

If I'm on that jury, I'll award her $100 million, and demand that every attorney on the prosecution team be disbarred.

Between you, me and that dodgy-looking USB: A little bit of paranoia never hurt anyone

Ken Mitchell

Not Paranoid enough

On the balance of "Paranoid?" and "Not Paranoid Enough", I'm generally going to come down on the side of "Not paranoid enough".

OK Google, why was your web traffic hijacked and routed through China, Russia today?

Ken Mitchell

Harden the Infrastructure

Sounds like the major players need to harden their IT infrastructure and prevent such malicious actions.

If Shadow Home Sec Diane Abbott can be reeled in by phishers, truly no one is safe

Ken Mitchell

Politicians are Stupid

Most politicians in EVERY nation are ultimately stupid about most technical and security issues. She seems to be another tech-illiterate.

Android fans get fat November security patch bundle – if the networks or mobe makers are kind enough to let 'em have it

Ken Mitchell

Essential PH1

The Essential PH1 phone has the November security update. :-)

I love my PH1 phone.

Send up a satellite to zap space junk if you want Earth's orbit to be clean, say boffins

Ken Mitchell

Space GUARD, not Space FORCE

Donald Trump wants a "Space Force", but that's the wrong name. We don't need a "Space Force" modeled after the Air Force; we need a Space GUARD, modeled after the US Coast Guard. Search and rescue, because there's nothing like that up there now. Maintenance and repair of navigational aids such as satellites, much as the Coast Guard maintains buoys. Removal of "hazards to navigation", and there we are; collect all the space junk and broken satellites, and bring it back to the Space Guard space station.

Let's face it, ANY sort of mass that's already in orbit is very valuable. Use it to build new satellites and space stations.

Can't be done NOW, of course, but I think this would be a valuable goal.

Microsoft: You don't want to use Edge? Are you sure? Really sure?

Ken Mitchell

Speak To Cortana

Too bad that if such a popup appears, you can't tell Cortana "Go F*** off!" and have Micro$oft understand that no, we're NOT interested in M$ nagware.

FBI boss: We went to the Moon, so why can't we have crypto backdoors? – and more this week

Ken Mitchell

Re: Anonymization is a lie

Lying, every time. They may ALSO not understand what they're doing, but they ARE lying.

Ken Mitchell

While we did - a few times, 45 years ago - put men upon the Moon, we cannot do so NOW - nor will we be able to do so for longer than the entire Apollo Project took. If the cures for AIDS and all cancers were deposited on the Moon by godlike aliens, we couldn't go get it for at least 10 years.

And going to the Moon was trivial compared to creating crypto that the USA could crack - but that nobody else ever could. Any crypto backdoor _WILL_ be used against us. Not only are there more Chinese and North Korean programmers working on that, one of our own people would most certainly sell it to them. Aldrich Ames; the Walker brothers; Edward Snowden; Bradley Manning - the list of traitors goes on and on.

It MIGHT be possible to create crypto that they cannot hack - but not if there's a backdoor anywhere. By claiming that they want a way to hack our computers, they're flat out stating that the FBI and CIA and all the three-letter agencies DO NOT CARE about _OUR_ security. It's the "clipper chip" all over again!

No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Ken Mitchell

Cheek - Mute

When I hold my conventional Android phone (from my first HTC Evo to my Google Nexus 6 to my current Essential PH1) up to my head in the ordinary way, I frequently have problems. Because the "Mute" button on the phone's touchscreen is positioned so that my cheek often touches the Mute button.

I know, the phone is SUPPOSED to blank the screen when it's next to my head - but it often takes a significant fraction of a second to do so, and during that period it's susceptible to "Cheek Mute".

That's one reason why I prefer using a headset, either BlueTooth or wired.

User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

Ken Mitchell

Very Similar Problem

I spent 20 years as a computer trainer. I was sent out to do software training for a company where everybody had their own laptops with built-in trackballs. (LONG ago.) One user could make the cursor move up and down, but not side-to-side. Classic dirty mouse symptoms. So I turned the retaining ring, popped out the trackball, and looked in. This model laptop was light gray plastic, but hers was orange, and gritty.

I asked her "What have you been eating?". She held up her (orange) fingers and said "Cheetos". It took about 15 minutes to scrape the Cheeto-dust off the rollers in that trackball well. .

Microsoft tries cutting the Ribbon in Office UI upgrade

Ken Mitchell

Re: So we're basically back to toolbars again?

Download the UBIT Toolbar for Office. It adds a new "Menu" Ribbon which contains most of the Office 2003 menus and toolbars. So if there were some things that you like about the Ribbon, use the Ribbon. And if there are times when you need the old Office 2003 menus or toolbar buttons, select the "Menu" button and you're right back to 2003.

It is _literally_ the best of both worlds.

Ken Mitchell

Re: Die ribbon, die!

Download the UBIT Toolbar for Office. It adds another "Ribbon" containing most of the Office 2003 menus and toolbar buttons.


Which? calls for compensation for users hit by Windows 10 woes

Ken Mitchell

Re: software giant still needs to work a little harder

No, but they do eat the veggies growing in the gardens.

Deer are a problem as well. Deer like NOTHING better than fresh tender shoots of rose bushes. Deer. They're like rats with hooves.

Ken Mitchell

2 out of 3 Ain't Bad....

My 4-year-old Dell laptop gave me no end of fits last year with the first of the "Creator's" updates. I eventually got it installed, and haven't had any large problems since.

A 3-y.o. Lenovo desktop and a new Dell desktop worked with no problems for the latest round of updates.

The problem is that these aren't Windows "UPDATES"; it re-names the "Windows" folder to "Windows.old", and it does a complete fresh installation. If you've got anything in the Windows folder - such as MS SQL Server LocalDB - then you're going to have to move those files back into the new Windoze folder.

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

Ken Mitchell

Re: Old age + Experience != transferable skills

At age 67 here, I take some offense to that. And my father, at 90, is quite proficient using his computer.

Ken Mitchell

Mousy Foot Pedal

I knew a woman who swapped out her mouse for a trackball, and then put it on the floor. She had fairly severe carpal tunnel syndrome, and it was easier for her to keep her hands on the keyboard, and use her foot to control the mouse/trackball.

But since sewing machines have pedals to control the speed, it's sort of a natural mistake to make, to think that a computer's mouse might work the same way.

No Windows 10, no Office 2019, says Microsoft

Ken Mitchell

How Convenient!

How convenient, then, that LibreOffice Version 7 has just been released.

Car rental firms told: Tell your customers about in-car data slurps

Ken Mitchell

Bluetooth Headset

Want to use your phone hands-free while driving? Bring your Bluetooth headset. NEVER pair your phone with a RENTAL car.

You know what's coming next: FBI is upset it can't get into Texas church gunman's smartphone

Ken Mitchell

Why Do They Want That?

In the case of the San Bernardino murderer, he had destroyed his personal iPhone, but the Feds wated access to his work iPhone, to see if there was any record of contacts with other terrorists. Since that phone was owned by the county, that should have been easy - except the county hadn't installed the Apple software that would have allowed them to manage all of their phones. And then the Feds changed the shooter's iCloud password, so that they couldn't even connect to the phone that way. When they finally did get in, there was nothing useful there. Big surprise, right?

In this case, there's no reason to assume that there is anything useful on his phone. There wasn't anybody else involved. And the phone wasn't owned by any government agency to give them any pretense of right.

Fine, OK, no backdoors, says Deputy AG. Just keep PLAINTEXT copies of everyone's messages

Ken Mitchell

Good for the Goose, Good for the Gander

I support Rosenstein's proposal with two amendments.

1. Only to be used for terrorism or national defense issues. MANDATORY 10 years in prison for any government official who abuses this.

2. ALL government officials are subject to the same surveillance in order to detect and deter government corruption.

'There has never been a right to absolute privacy' – US Deputy AG slams 'warrant-proof' crypto

Ken Mitchell

Re: There has never been a right to absolute privacy'

Wile E Coyote says:

"There has never been a right to absolute privacy'


Oh okay if that's the case please kindly explain your presidents tax records"

Or Barack Obama's college transcripts and publications.

Ken Mitchell

They never can get enough

I _might_ be inclined to believe the government when they said that they needed complete access to all communications to prevent or punish terrorism, if only the creeps making those claims hadn't already demonstrated that EVERY police power that they claim will prevent terrorism is immediately used for petty crimes like tax non-compliance or divorce or child custody disagreements. EVERY tool that the police obtain will be used in EVERY case in which it might be useful.

Cops demand the use of "Stingray" cell site simulators to catch terrorists - and then use them to find low-level drug dealers and cigarette smugglers.

No! Police, you have abused EVERY tool that you've ever been given. NO MORE!

Docs ran a simulation of what would happen if really nasty malware hit a city's hospitals. RIP :(

Ken Mitchell

Triage, Defined

The article (or perhaps the doctors, it isn't entirely clear) is confused about the meaning of "triage". The original (Napoleonic War-era) definition divided combat casualties into three categories. The first group was expected to die, no matter what treatment was provided. The second group would probably survive, if treated immediately. The third, less severely injured, group would survive with minimal, perhaps "first aid"-level treatment.

The first group would get palliative, comfort care to make their deaths as easy as possible. It is the SECOND group that got the doctors' attentions, because they were the ones who could PROBABLY be saved.

No, the cops can't get a search warrant to just seize all devices in sight – US appeals court

Ken Mitchell

Wrong Solution

Suppressing the evidence obtained by an illegal search - the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine - allows criminals to go free, but does NOTHING to discourage rogue cops from doing the same things again. I'd allow the evidence of the crime to be used in court against the criminal.

But I'd ALSO like to have the court bring charges against the cop and the prosecutor, and the judge who issued the flawed warrant. Cops are supposed to be BETTER people, and we're allowing criminal cops to go free because they deserve a second chance. Baloney! We give cops expanded powers because we expect them to be better than the average citizen. If they're going to be just criminals with a badge, then they should lose the badges and should go to prison themselves.

Snopes lawsuit latest: Judge orders disputed cash can flow to fact-checking site

Ken Mitchell

Snopes is a Damaged Brand....

As long as they were sticking to reality and urban legends, Snopes had some purpose and value - but about 10 years back, they veered hard left into the political mire, and at this point it's difficult to trust them for ANYTHING.

If you see that Snopes has validated something - especially something political, like "global warming" or "climate change" or whatever name Algore is using for it these days - then you really ought to get that confirmed by a few other sources. Because Snopes is less trustworthy than whatever lies David and Barbara are telling about each other in their divorce..

Zero accidents, all of your data – what The Reg learnt at Bosch's autonomous car bash

Ken Mitchell

Re: "Inside the trunk of an autonomous vehicle"

Think "boot" if you're British.

Ken Mitchell

Cars withe EULA

"(There's already a black market for pirate tractor software that allows farmers to circumvent John Deere's proprietary systems.)"

That's an inaccurate description of what's going on. The "proprietary" systems are designed to prevent farmers from making their own repairs, or from going to a non-Deere-authorized repair center. And those rules are starting to be overridden by state "Right to Repair" laws. These will affect virtually ALL high-tech companies that try to limit competition in the repair business.

The question is, if I buy a car - or a cell phone, or a computer, or any other tech - do I OWN what I paid for, or do I merely have a non-transferable license to USE my car in accordance with the car's EULA?

Darkness to fall over North America from a total solar eclipse

Ken Mitchell

As Yoda said, "There is another...."

There will be another major solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 twice the duration of this one.


The path of totality starts in the Pacific, crosses Mexico, into Texas, and north into Canada.

If you live near Carbondale, IL, you're in the path for BOTH eclipses!

Ken Mitchell

You mean, like "Clouds"?

The Sun frequently disappears - at night and behind clouds, for example. The power grid won't have any problems handling it. Especially since the eclipse only lasts for 2 minutes 40 seconds, tops.

The biggest British Airways IT meltdown WTF: 200 systems in the critical path?

Ken Mitchell

What Puzzled Me About The Challenger Disaster...

The Space Shuttle, as magnificent as that system was, was a primitive first-generation attempt at a "space truck" to get things into orbit. They were practically rebuilding those things after every flight, and every reasonable person knew that it was risky and complex.

So what REALLY puzzled me about the Challenger disaster was that NASA didn't have PR response to a crash that should have been seen as "inevitable someday". Why hadn't all the astronauts recorded video messages of the "If you're seeing this, then I've died doing what I loved and trying to advance the causes of humanity. But we cannot allow my tragedy to derail the effort" category? It would have seemed to be an OBVIOUS way to mitigate, in some way, the PR disaster that would accompany the loss of a shuttle.

NASA and the news media together conspired to to the unthinkable; they made space travel BORING.

Happy birthday: Jimbo Wales' sweet 16 Wikipedia fails

Ken Mitchell

Anybody Who Believes Wikipedia....

... is an idiot and deserves whatever anybody says about him.

Could YOU survive a zombie apocalypse? Uni eggheads say you'd last just 100 days

Ken Mitchell

UK - Zombies Win. USA - Zombies LOSE

So in the UK, where guns and knives are forbidden, zombies will triumph.

In the USA, zombies will win in San Francisco and in Washington, DC. Everywhere else, humans win and zombies die. Especially in Texas.

MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer

Ken Mitchell

Sperm Is A Mutagen

It's quite simple; sperm is a mutagen. It can cause mutations in the cells it comes in contact with. Certainly, it's VERY effective in causing DNA changes in a woman's ovum.

If you don't have sex very often, then your own sperm can cause prostate cancer, because your own sperm accumulates in the prostate. If you're a woman, you can get uterine and cervical cancers that are related to your exposure to a man's sperm after intercourse. If you're a woman who has many sex partners, your risk of cancers is greater than if you have only one partner, because you're exposed to many different types of sperm.

If you are a man who has had a vasectomy, your risk of testicular cancer is increased, because the sperm is blocked in the testes and doesn't make it to the prostate.

If you're a gay man and are on the receiving end of anal sex, you're getting your OWN sperm, AND from your partner; hence the increased risk.

Sex is bad for older men, and even worse when it's good

Ken Mitchell

I also am willing to take that risk, especially to help my wife (who is also my best friend) to live a longer and happier life with me. :-)

Former US anti-terror chief tears into FBI over iPhone unlocking case

Ken Mitchell

It's a good thing that Apple has several billion dollars in cash, and is prepared to litigate this to the Supreme Court. (You don't hire Ted Olsen, former Solicitor General of the US, unless you EXPECT to take this to the Supreme Court.) I'm confident that the SC would side with Apple; even without Scalia, the rest of the Justices would consider this a slam-dunk. Except for Sotomayor, who owes her appointment to Obama.

But this would be a risky move for the government to take; this is SO overreaching that Apple might request personal sanctions against the government's attorneys for misconduct. The whole idea of "judicial immunity" is a judge-created fiction, and I think it might be ripe to be reined in or eliminated.

Ken Mitchell

Re: The NSA isn't stupid (for the most part)

The Soviets frequently re-used "one time pad" ciphers - which led to massive volumes of cracked Soviet messages. Read the Venona Transcripts for details.

Reddit CEO U-turn: Site no longer a bastion of free speech – and stop posting so much hate

Ken Mitchell

"Free Speech" is only free when it protects speech that you don't like. If you only protect speech that you approve of, then you're just a fascist. Most leftists differentiate between "free speech" that they approve of, such as an Iraqi journalist throwing a shoe at George Bush. Speech that they do NOT approve of, like Major Garrett asking a "disrespectful question" about how Barack Obama is abandoning four Americans in Iran after his "historic nuclear deal" - heck, that's HATE speech and the speaker should be horsewhipped, shot, and burned alive.

See the difference?

OTHER EARTHS may be orbiting our Sun beyond Neptune

Ken Mitchell

Of the three IAU criteria for a "planet" - orbits the Sun, spherical shape, and has cleared its orbit - the third would be almost impossible to demonstrate for Kuiper Belt objects. Heck, not even the Earth really qualifies, given all of the Earth-orbit-crossing asteroids that have been discovered since then. No matter how large such a planet might be, the volume of its orbital space is no doubt filled with other minor bodies following similar orbits.

So, until the IAU reverses itself, there will never be any more "planets" discovered. Dwarf plants by the dozens are likely.

Why has the Russian economy plunged SO SUDDENLY into the toilet?

Ken Mitchell

"The non-boring non-technical upshot of this is that Rosneft has just got a loan by the central bank printing roubles. That's inflationary and inflation is going to, at some future point, push down the exchange rate."

Big deal. The U.S. Federal Reserve has been doing the same thing to the US economy for 6 years now, to the tune of a TRILLION dollars a year. If and when any accurate inflation statistics are ever released (and the current inflation statistics are entirely bogus) then the dollar's collapse will make the ruble look tame.

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