* Posts by Bendacious

24 posts • joined 13 Sep 2019

50 years ago, someone decided it would be OK to fire Apollo 12 through a rain cloud. Awks, or just 'SCE to Aux'?

Bendacious
Joke

Cryogenics

"A leak... meant [NASA had to] retank the cryogenics".

As we all know cryogenics are just chemicals that are liquid at very low temperatures. They have unremarkable uses aboard a space vehicle. It's a coincidence that this was three years after Walt Disney died.

What a boar! Wild pigs snort and snuffle €20k worth of marching powder stashed in Tuscan forest

Bendacious

Re: This Land is Your Land

An unbroken series of random events between the big bang and now led to the genesis of life on Earth and the evolution of boars and humans. Humans should try to tolerate animals living alongside them, including large disruptive mammals because the loss of animal diversity could have serious consequences for us. Even if it doesn't, it seems morally right that wild animals should be allowed to exist.

I've had it with these motherflipping eggs on this motherflipping train

Bendacious

It's not funny in this situation because it's just a wrong use of the phrase. As a Gen Xer myself I have no problem with it being applied to people of my age or even younger, if it is used correctly. If someone is trivialising the genuine concerns of millennials or Gen Z, then it's fine to say "OK Boomer". Baby boomers are now famous for being blasé about messing up the world for future generations, sucking up all the money because of macro-economic trends, rather than any efforts they put in and ruining the environment. If someone calls a younger person a snowflake because they are complaining that they belong to the first generation to be worse off than their parents since forever, then that young person is within their rights to respond "OK Boomer". If a forty year old tells a thirty year old to stop whinging about paying 70% of their income out as rent, then "OK Boomer" is a fair response. Here it has been used as a synonym for "OK Granddad", insinuating that a person is older than their years because of a tendency to complain excessively, which is just wrong.

Don't trust the Trusted Platform Module – it may leak your VPN server's private key (depending on your configuration)

Bendacious

Boffins

"Boffins from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and University of California, San Diego, in the US, and the University of Lübeck in Germany". These men and women are doing valuable, difficult, extremely boring work and they deserve respect. This must be weeks and months of grinding away at work that is difficult in terms of the maths and physics and mind-boggling in terms of the amount of trial and error that must be involved. I'm glad that these people exist and that someone pays their tiny academic salary.

Facebook iOS app silently turns on your phone camera. Ah, relax – it's just a bug, lol!?

Bendacious

Bulletproof

The saddening, maddening, thing is that none of this matters. The number of active Facebook users and the share price will carry on climbing. This is probably a bug but if it turns out to be a deliberate choice for Facebook to watch and listen to everything happening around a user's phone, even to people nearby who do not use Facebook then it will be business as usual. Only doomsday preppers or the odd one in the unlit corner of the IT department will notice or care. 2.45 billion monthly active users as of September 2019. An 8 percent increase year-on-year. We can quibble over the word 'free' but they offer a quite amazing free service to people who don't realise all those services are available elsewhere with minimal effort. Minimal effort being an insurmountable hurdle for most people. Why bother, it's right there? Since the WWW came along I've seen a few companies attempt to capture it and brand it as their own. Anyone remember the AOL browser that gave you everything you'd ever need, sanitised and monetised? It was fun watching MSN fail to be The Internet. For billions of people Facebook is The Internet. They provide the messaging, the news, the games, the recipes, the porn. Wikipedia comes to them through Facebook. I've seen recently a few people say that what happened to Myspace can happen to Facebook but I've lost faith in that. I think it's here to stay and here to be The Internet for most Internet users. I suspect our only hope is legislators forgetting who their biggest donor is and who offers them exec-director positions after their political careers and them writing some legislation to make Facebook do the right thing. I for one will be holding my breath until that happens. n.b. charitable donations instead of flowers for the funeral.

237 UK police force staff punished for misusing IT systems in last 2 years

Bendacious

Human nature (we are scum)

A few years ago a colleague of mine was looking to have some building work done on his house. He got quotes from three builders, as is advised. Then my colleague's wife went to work at her job in the local courts and looked up each of the builders on the court computer. Two of them had County Court Judgements pending against them so they went with the third one. My colleague told me this as though it was just a clever use of the resources available. This is why nothing should be in a database accessible to civil servants unless absolutely necessary and access is fully audited and access to data not required for your job is an instant criminal conviction.

I hear they share ISP browsing history records with council employees these days.

Bendacious

Nope - that's available publicly. I can see every crime that's happened on my street or any street on https://www.police.uk/ and that's been the case for many years. No need to access a secure database for that.

Surveillance kit slinger accused of slapping 'Made in America' on Chinese gear, selling it to the US government

Bendacious

Re: Value added!

I find that baking show quite dynamic and exciting.

All bets are Hoff: DXC exec is standing for Brexit Party in UK General Election

Bendacious

Re: [Rant alert]

Nice way to ignore the facts Cederic. The second strongest indicator that someone would vote leave was being concerned about immigration.

73% of those who are worried about immigration voted Leave, compared with 36% of those who did not identify this as a concern. https://www.bsa.natcen.ac.uk/media/39149/bsa34_brexit_final.pdf

The first indicator is of course education. Unsurprisingly the well educated realise that leaving a mutually beneficial trade agreement that has consistently improved workers rights and defended minorities, not to mention making another war in Europe seem unlikely, is not ideal. Also, putting more power in the hands of people who went to Eton is a really bad idea for 99% of us. Ages 35-54 81% of people with a degree voted remain.

DoHn't believe the hype! You are being lied to by data-hungry ISPs, Mozilla warns lawmakers

Bendacious

Mozilla has chosen Cloudflare as its default DoH provider but makes it really easy to set your own. According to Wikipedia: "The Do Not Track header was originally proposed in 2009, Mozilla Firefox became the first browser to implement the feature". I do remember Google stating that they would not honour the "do not track" flag (even after they added it to Chrome) because "users don't really know what they are asking for". I also seem to recall that the Tor project chose Firefox as it's go-to browser. Also, lest we forget, Mozilla is a not-for-profit organisation. I'm not saying that they have never taken a misstep. I know they take money to make Google their default search provider but that is what most people want and they make it as easy as they can to change that. Personally I think the world is a better place for Mozilla existing.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/08/30/mozilla_will_not_track/

GitLab mulls ban on hiring Chinese and Russian support staff because 'security'

Bendacious

Re: "wary of creating two classes of GitLab employee with different levels of access to systems."

I've never worked for a company where everyone has equal access to customer data. The way I read this article everyone working for Gitlab can read every line of code stored in its systems. Might need to increase my usage of git-crypt.

Tinfoil-hat search engine DuckDuckGo gifts more options, dark theme and other toys for the 0.43%

Bendacious

Thing that impressed me was about three weeks ago I discovered Dark Mode in Windows 10. After I switched it on, the home page of DuckDuckGo put itself into Dark Mode. The only website I have seen that did that. Nice touch I thought, although I use Startpage.com as my primary search and DuckDuckGo as secondary (it's better for Image searches).

Hey, I wrote this neat little program for you guys called the IMAC User Notification Tool

Bendacious

I wrote an internal help-desk system once that manglement decided to name Problem Management System, which was fine in the UK head office but whenever I mentioned it to the US office they would just start sniggering. Then one day they explained that it was the same as naming something PMT in the UK. Although to be honest the system performance made the name quite apt.

Same company went through a lengthy process of renaming a product we sell to PET, which was an acronym. After months of discussions and marketing material being produced it was finally release to the European sales offices. At that point the French office pointed out that 'pet' in French means 'fart', so all the marketing material had to be scrapped.

In 21st-century tech dystopia, smart TV watches you, warns Princeton privacy prof

Bendacious

Re: Roku now makes more from "platform", which is mostly advertising, than player revenue

Normally I agree with everything A Man from Mars says (that I understand) but not this time. A laptop plugged into a dumb TV gives so many more options for audiovisual vibrancy and televisual wakefulness than any of those devices that Mage is isolating himself from.

DoH! Mozilla assures UK minister that DNS-over-HTTPS won't be default in Firefox for Britons

Bendacious

trr.mode 2 is the default and also does not enable DoH in Firefox at the moment. At least that is my experience. If I leave it set it to 2 (by just clicking to enable DoH in the normal settings) and then browse a bit and then check about:networking, all of the trr results are false. When set to 3 the results are all true and I can browse the pirate bay at home or at work. I'm not sure what trr.mode 2 is supposed to do but it doesn't do it for me.

Bendacious

This doesn't just affect government snoops, it's also employers. My company uses Cisco Umbrella to protect me from gambling and porn and streaming video. When I enabled this in Firefox that 'protection' instantly disappeared. On the downside though, for obvious reasons, this kills internal DNS. Anyone working in support might want to prepare for a few tickets regarding intranet addresses being unreachable.

Chef melts under heat, will 86 future deals with family-separating US immigration agencies

Bendacious

All's well that ends well?

The charitable donation seems like a nice touch. I'm not sure if it completely makes up for the whole mess but it does seem contrite. For some reason it is the fact they took authorship of Vargo's code, however briefly, that really bothers me. Seems to speak to the character of Chef and not in a good way.

If Syria pioneered grain processing by watermill in 350BC, the UK in 2019 can do better... right?

Bendacious

Open University

Free life-long education for everyone. Let's kill the notion that education ends when you get your first job. Barry is losing his driving job because of self-driving trucks but he can't fulfil his burning ambition to become a social-media marketing executive. He just can't risk putting his family tens of thousands of pounds in debt at such an uncertain time. Barry ends up in a McJob and the world is deprived of his idea for getting 'influencers' to take vows of silence to advertise Abbot Ale.

700km on a single charge: Mercedes says it's in it for the long run

Bendacious

Re: to project graphics onto the road surface ahead

I have many times wanted to message other drivers on the road (beyond sign language). Every time I think about it I quickly realise what a terrible idea it would be. The message I want to display most is the question "who are you overtaking?" to cars sat in the middle lane. If a car has the ability to project images onto the road how long will it be until it is 'upgraded' by a driver to display custom messages. I would say 'this won't end well' but I can't see it ever being legal, at least in the UK.

Consumer ransomware insurance? You could be painting a target on us all for avaricious crims

Bendacious

I think you're exactly right. I thought one of the 'due diligence' clauses might be that the client must take regular backups - that way the insurance company can just tell their customer to restore their backup and they will pay the $500 costs the customer incurs doing that (minus the $500 deductible/excess). If the customer hasn't got a recent backup then the claim is rejected.

Might not be such a terrible thing - the insurance company gets paid and the customer is highly motivated to take regular backups.

Captain's coffee calamity causes transatlantic flight diversion

Bendacious

Re: Drying?

If that doesn't work at cruising altitude the outside temperature can be around -45°, so they could just open the cockpit window. The coffee will immediately freeze and can then be chipped off. I can't see a downside.

Charmin'. Garmin admits customers' full credit card data nicked from South African web store

Bendacious
Thumb Down

They've taken the website down so I can't check but it seems to be the norm these days to have bucket loads of third-party scripts loaded on payment pages. All those popular JavaScript libraries must be so tempting for card-skimmers to try and inject their code. I use the uMatrix add-on so I get a handy number pop-up in Firefox's toolbar that tells me how many external resources are being loaded on a page. In my experience websites that use eCommerce content management systems like Magento are often the worse. The web designer adds 15 JavaScript libraries to help the product pages look great and to track visitors and never thinks to remove them from the payment page. Every page uses the same template. Of course the libraries are loaded from a CDN (Credible? Don't Know) as well, not from the local server. I'm not offering any solutions, just complaining about a problem. It will be tough to fix although I suppose the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard should have more to say about this practice.

I agree with Trollslayer - I have my issues with Paypal but not having to type in my credit card details into a site that doesn't follow best practice is a winner every time. Also, in the past websites have saved my card details without asking and I only find out next time I visit - they can't do that with Paypal.

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