* Posts by GrapeBunch

663 posts • joined 19 Apr 2015


Uncle Sam's disaster agency FEMA creates disaster of its own: 2.3 million survivors' personal records spilled

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FEMA - hospital slang for Failed EneMA.

Zees never happened. I was never here.

Sorry, I don't have a coat. And I was never here.

Netflix wants to choose its own adventure where Bandersnatch trademark case magically vanishes

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You Would Have Bet Your Bottom Dollar

I can't see "Sueball" without hearing "Stewball", a song about a horse race, covered by The Weavers.

And sueballs do have the unpredictability of a horse race.

Not quite the Bake Off they were expecting: Canadian seniors served weed-infused brownies

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Ask not for whom the bong bowls

O Ca-na-bis, our OM and naif lad!

Seriously, though, pot is among those medicines that should never be given to the unsuspecting. Some people react poorly to it, they should be given the opportunity to say "No, thank you." Almost as bad, even the ones who enjoy it may be disconcerted by the lack of warning. Am I high, or am I finally, irrevocably, Losing It? Tell Laura I love her.

TV piracy ring walks the plank after Euro cops launch 14 raids and shutter 11 data centres

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Pretty Boy Floyd

as sung by Joan Baez, as remembered by moi:

"... As through this world I've traveled, I've seen lots of funny men

Some will rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen.

As through this world you travel, as through this world you roam

You'll never see a video pirate drive a family from their home."

Obscure cultural reference: fountain pen is an ancient form of EULA, amongst other possibilities.

DRAM, bam, thank you Sam: Like a Flashbolt from the blue, Samsung flaunts its fastest RAM

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Speed before new USB standard

It would be nice to fill a USB stick in 2 seconds, rather than minutes. Would change the outcome of many a Hollywood movie plot.

Could OpenAI's 'too dangerous to release' language model be used to mimic you online? Yes, says this chap: I built a bot to prove it

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"What are you wearing?"

The cats broke the string holding the purple disco ball up in the light of the living room window. But my purple balls have never fallen off.

From MySpace to MyFreeDiskSpace: 12 years of music – 50m songs – blackholed amid mystery server move

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Restore authorized copies from originals ... ?

Sounds like a recording industry group offered them more in cash to lose the files, than the Sat-on-My-Face-All-Night-ers (apologies to Jennifer Saunders) offered to not-lose them. Why is there even the slightest surprise about this story?

Supplementary question, m'lud: were the uploaded-and-later-lost MP3 files authorized copies by the recording companies?

Q&A: Crypto-guru Bruce Schneier on teaching tech to lawmakers, plus privacy failures – and a call to techies to act

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Re: Power?

"Which is...?"

Fight it.

Fight the Power

Fight the Power that be.

Rhymes with Spike Lee

Not the guy who doesn't dig poetry

So un-hip that when you say Heinlein

Thinks you're talking about the worst tram eenie wine

Whatever that is.

TINSTAAFL is charming. I am reminded of my dad, who asked: "Who's that Roberta Heinlein you're reading? Does she write a good story?"

Aiming for ten.

What do WLinux and Benedict Cumberbatch have in common? They're both fond of Pengwin

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The Henge of Fate

Hengian A state of mind and the accompanying actions when attempting retrospectively to wall a garden.

For example, "Microsoft provides Hengian support for *nix."

The neologism is inspired not by stone, but by this very thread, as I attempted to imagine a penge-win.

If you're worried that quantum computers will crack your crypto, don't be – at least, not for a decade or so. Here's why

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Re: What about black projects?

Wait, may I change my membership type to "Right Dodgy Being"? Oh, yessss.

Mine's the overcoat that may not be there. But watch it doesn't leave without me. That would be UTterly pointlaisse.

Airlines in Asia, Africa ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after second death crash in four-ish months

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My summary of the death toll of those two flights received four downvotes so far, and zero upvotes. Yet, as implied, the incidents are resulting in regulatory close looks at this type of aircraft. Or were the downvoters imputing some different comment genesis?

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Holy Akron.

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157+189 = 346

The post is required, and must contain letters.

Uber driver drove sleeping woman miles away from home to 'up the fare'. Now he's facing years in the clink for kidnapping, fraud

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IANAL, but I'd say Uber is liable for all damages by that driver from the date the first complaint was filed (or attempted to be filed, or reported by phone). It must be their duty to follow up on complaints. No matter what weasel-words they put in their user agreement. No slight intended against any Mustela.

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Are you kidding?

"As soon as we became aware, we immediately removed this individual's access to the platform."

That hardly seems credible. A complaint against such a gross violation would have been lodged by every passenger. Yet the Uber driver admitted to doing this multiple times. It just doesn't add up. Or were Uber talking about removing the passenger's access !?!

What happens when security devices are insecure? Choose the nuclear option

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Re: Too depressing?

Bet she's twinned with the Museum of Torture in Amsterdam.

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Do not fret, Dabbsahib. Mr. Gadds-Addison thoroughly enjoyed his scurvy tablet, which arrived in the form of a cask of grog. What's more, the citrus component came from Australia, so all thought of hopping was banished. Or at least inclusive. In fact, when I last saw Mr. G-A, he said: "Mr. Gadds-Addison, that's rather formal for the 21st century don't you think, old chap? You may call me Rear-Admiral Gadds-Addison." I am replete.

Don't ask. Mine's the one with the cask.

Champagne corks undocked as SpaceX brings the Crew Dragon back to Earth

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Hello. My name is Jrti. I am a veterinarian from Århus. You may call me, "The Saint".

Liz Warren: I'll smash up Amazon, Google, and Facebook – if you elect me to the White House

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Here it is, explained in excruciating detail:


Or you can just downvote me in seconds, as achieved by Saturday night revelers, above. Come on, you know you want to.

El Reg doesn't normally delve into DNA technique. But I think this is important. Elizabeth Warren was quoted in this story on the basis of being a candidate for the US Presidency in 2020. If she's just josie blough, no story. More than one publication has stated that the Native American brouhaha has disqualified her as a candidate with a chance in 2020. I say Shirley the world isn't that crazy, quite yet.

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Telling lies does not disqualify a person from becoming President of the United States. Some might add "unfortunately". I read the Bustamante report (which is now not so easy to find as it once was) and am not convinced that Ms. Warren has uttered even a single lie. Self-identifying as Native American when she is 99% European is surprising, unrealistic, maybe even sad, but I would not call it a lie. Whereas the other guy ... I wouldn't believe him if he said that none of his recent ancestors was a bordello operator. I wouldn't even believe that, given his track record. Were he to claim that.

I like Elizabeth Warren's proposal. But I don't think it will happen, even if she wins in 2020. Pity.

That marketing email database that exposed 809 million contact records? Maybe make that two-BILLION-plus?

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Mon dieu!

How is that even a business? If I offered lists of, oh, where's the best place in each town to set up a bordello, for example, I'd be called a criminal.

Buffer overflow flaw in British Airways in-flight entertainment systems will affect other airlines, but why try it in the air?

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Ghee whiz

Sadly, no scampi were harmed in the making of this butter overflow. Mine's the one with the grease marks, but smells so goood.

Iranian-backed hackers ransacked Citrix, swiped 6TB+ of emails, docs, secrets, claims cyber-biz

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Lemon tree very pretty.

One-time Mars InSight Lander engineer scores $1.5m redress over whistleblower sacking

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Re: Costs?

I got it straight from the mars's man mouth.

Did you know?! Ghidra, the NSA's open-sourced decompiler toolkit, is ancient Norse for 'No backdoors, we swear!'

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There's gnupe in my soupe.

I can imagine it will be attacked. For example, commercial software houses wanting to find out if you've decompiled their software in contravention of a license. Replace a copyright text in the executable with a routine that sends them chapter and verse of your transgression. I guess this suggestion is so naive as to be laughable, but <replace with something that might work in 2019>. Might have something to do with repeated forking. Must be lunch time. Mine's the one with the dictaphone in the borscht and the runcible spoon.

When 2FA means sweet FA privacy: Facebook admits it slurps mobe numbers for more than just profile security

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Here in Canada, I have not been required to give a phone # to maintain a fb account. Of course, I wouldn't. I'd rather abandon the account. Canada might be different, because for historical reasons not everybody has a mobile.

There are (at least) two identificatory (not a word, according to the spellchecker) universes: phone numbers and e-mail addresses. FB tricking you to give a phone # allows them to unite those two universes. It is pure gold for whatever nefarious purpose they have in mind. I would not worry so much about what they have done with a phone number. Rather I would worry about what they can and will do with it. Yeah, of course the home address and the passport number and the social insurance number are also identificatory universes. I'm sure they'll get to those! In a unificatory way, for themselves.

LinkedIn ransacked my gmail contacts. Don't recall ever giving them permission.

When the bits hit the FAN: US military accused of knackering Russian trolls, news org's IT gear amid midterm elections

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It's our turn now.

Khell, I am waiting for Rossian computer at door with Front-Side Bus. And Rossian friend to do for me what no man should ever ask woman to do. For I am khery kapitalisticheski animal. And friend of oppressed.

Oh no, look out, Google, Facebook, and pals. You're doomed. Here comes another watchdog to, er, nip at your ankles

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If they're happy with Microsoft (the OS purveyor) being the same company as Microsoft (the publisher of user software), and the trade practices it has engaged in, then I don't foresee much joy in mudville.

Now you've read about the bonkers world of Elizabeth Holmes, own some Theranos history: Upstart's IT gear for sale

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Better Dead Than ~Sanguirana~

"What sounds like Death in a vacuum flask?"

"Correct for 500."

Mine's the one with the toad in the sprocket.

Mobile network Three UK's customer details exposed in homepage blunder

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Dear Three

I think you should change your name to Kazillion. Because there's no such thing as bad publicity.

World's favourite open-source PDF interpreter needs patching (again)

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Re: Alternatives

Forgive me, just consider that this comment is by somebody who has been out of this particular room for 20 years. And it is!

Deja Vu produced documents that were more compact than PDFs and, to my eye, looked just as good. HTML could have been written to properly format documents to a fixed page size, but the authors of HTML expressly rejected that concept. Years later, they retrofitted HTML to handle some of those concepts, but the results, at least at the time, didn't impress. From about 1988, either Ventura Publisher or Pagemaker could be used to make good-looking (eye of the beholder, naturally) documents.

I set web browsers to download PDF files rather than display them. My preferred free reader is Sumatra. But I find that when browsers update themselves, they tend to turn on internal rendering of PDF files, even when you've expressly set it off. It's a bit like Vivaldi, after it has updated, has changed my search engine from <search engine I wanted/> to Ecosia.

They're just documents, they shouldn't have vulnerabilities!</rant>

So is this problem just another symptom of jumping on the mercantile bandwagon, rather than following Best Practices? And the fun question: has anybody used Postscript as a general-purpose programming language? To keep track of inventory or something not immediately document related?

As netizens, devs scream bloody murder over Chrome ad-block block, Googlers insist: It's not set in stone (yet)

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Metal poisoning

I have not used Chrome in years. Though I do use Chromium-based Opera and Vivaldi. They have operated well, where Chrome didn't. The scary change seems to be targeted at Chromium, so I wonder to what extent Opera and Vivaldi will be able to go against the flow, and to what extent they will go against the flow.

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

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With all respect, the all-American solution would be to have the test equipment carried by pigeons. Now, how long before that can happen, Mr. Moore?

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

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Didn't Fred Hoyle and Asimov write about this?

Science Fiction is full of stories of humans putting life (even microscopic) on heavenly bodies and then the life coming back to bite the humans. Is this China experiment on the same page as the rest of Science? Or is the Moon considered contaminated because of what may or may not have happened circa 1969?

I've made smart-ass comments in these fora, but this time I do want to know the answer. Fire-arms opened the Wild West. Is all that is required for opening Space, just a rocket (a space-ass) with enough boosters? Shall we toss the last smollpox sample over to Deimos, to see what happens?

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

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In related news, on June 9th, 2022, Liberian President for Life Daniel Kaye today opened Liberia's first Duty Free Port.

Mr. President was overheard to say: "Because, in Africa, Life is not squiggly enough yet."

An AI system has just created the most realistic looking photos ever

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Science is Mankind's almost-identical sibling

As t gets large, so will the number of faces you can produce which both look enough like you to fool a human, but don't fool many an algorithm.

This could actually be good news for weaklin humings. For a short while.

Huawei exec out of jail, just as US accuses China of Marriott hack

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O Canada, we stand on guard for T.

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

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Alas, the meeting with her never happened.

Alas, the meeting with him never happened.

'Say hello to my little vacuum cleaner!' US drug squad puts spycams in cleaner's kit

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"We examined the device and it was clean."

"What do you mean by that?"

"I mean, there was nothing on it."

"Do you mean you are wasting the time of this court on a case without a shred of proof?"

"What did you expect? He was using a vacuum cleaner."

HCL picks up Notes, spanks total of $1.8bn at Honest John's IBM software sale

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Time Warp

Somewhere I still have a card that would supposedly give me a free upgrade to Lotus Notes for OS/2. The offer was from IBM in the 1990s.

We asked the US military for its 'do not buy' list of Russian, Chinese gear. Surprise: It doesn't exist

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Re: Deniability, old chap

I'll get my coat. Mine's the one labelled: "We never had this conversation".

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

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Too smart for our breeches.

What's the obsession with vulnerability and sticks? A kind of TITSUSB of the 21st?

My own obsession is mandatory (electricity) smart meters. They provide a vector for devilry that will cost lives, destroy buildings. Only the existence of lower-hanging fruit will delay the conflagration.

YouTube supremo says vid-streaming-slash-piracy giant can't afford EU's copyright overhaul

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Big Brother


Maybe the EU should make a rule that a certain percentage, say 75 or 125 or 300, of ad revenue for views of a copyrighted work, cast on behalf of a non-owner, must go to the copyright owner. Or to the EU itself. (<< see, I'm collecting down votes, it's the 21st century upgrade of Numismatics.) In addition to the familiar takedown measures. Yes, there are issues, but knowing the revenue should not be one of them.

Or mandate a $$ reward for (the first?) viewer who reports each copyrighted work cast on behalf of a non-holder of the copyright. That ought to be an entertaining scramble.

If people weren't fixated by the thought that they could watch or collect stuff, we'd be involved in more healthful recreations such as gardening, yoga, or playing Go. As we did before the invention of the VCR. It's like a 21st century upgrade of Philately. They want us to pay attention. The annoying screens and technologies are part of the process of hooking us on their game.

In news that will shock, er, actually a few of you, Amazon backs down in dispute with booksellers

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Re: Possessing an increasinly rare skill...

Two words "Black Books".

The intercalary hole exists in a parallel universe. The door to it is over there. Mine's the one with the black key in the pocket.

Google logins make JavaScript mandatory, Huawei China spy shock, Mac malware, Iran gets new Stuxnet, and more

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Big Brother

Marvin was an optimist

Is it just me, or is this particularly depressing? The claim by google that the web is safer with JavaScript on than with it off, sounds like something RHH would tweet. And aside from a few snide remarks in the comments, nothing going the other way. What could it be? A recipe for using google in a VM? Starting fresh every time like a library or cafe computer?

Here's another instance of behavioural engineering, if you like. Facebook now hides more of the comments on a thread. "View 2 more replies ", "More ...". Sometimes you have to click dozens of times to read an entire thread. Before, it was PgDn. They want to keep us clicking, automatically, the first step towards unfortunate results, and I wasn't thinking of RSIs.

In the title, it is Douglas Adams's Marvin, though perhaps Limeliters's Marvin would be a better thought.

In memoriam: See you in Valhalla, Skype Classic. Version 8 can never replace you

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Where is the bean?

Of course, you-know-who is evil. But under previous management, Skype also had a policy whereby if you didn't use the account for a few months, they'd hide your credit. You had to go through a process to get it back. I found that policy without reason and reprehensible. It's not quite theft, but I wonder how easy it is to get back my $8 in credit? To get it refunded? Or even credited to Amazon (ha ha)?

Multiply 100,000,000 quiescent accounts by $0.47, and that's still a heap of dosh.

I stopped Skype as a background process because it seemed to be slowing down the (XP) system. Inevitably, that led to reduced and then no usage. I discovered google voice (or whatever it was called) which allowed free calling in North America and worked better than Skype. Perhaps as a free service, this was too successful for google, so they muddied the waters by withdrawing services and introducing less-capable ones. Now we just use a pseudo-land-line, with handsets around the house, connected to cable. I really don't understand how this came to pass. Would Ned Ludd have been proud that we have forsaken the communications offerings of our masters, or disdainful that we came to it in such a mindless way?

Seagate HAMRs out a roadmap for future hard drive recording tech

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What do TLA's use to store what they slurp? It must be better than consumer kit....

Woman who hooked up with over 15 spectres has found her forever phantom after whirlwind romance and plane sex

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Getting there.

While you're taking the bus to work, she's working the incubus.

Apple might be 'collateral damage' in US and China trade dust-up

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The King of Damage is as Important as the Almond of Damage

Apple could be in for colorectal damage. In the palace, that's right next to the Doge's bullocks.

Mine's the one with the atholetic protector.

IBM sits draped over the bar at The Cloud or Bust saloon. In walks Red Hat

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Not Another Tupperware Opportunity

Maybe the people who voted IDK are awaiting an integrated developer's kit in the second post.

I don't know which one mine is.


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