* Posts by Barry Rueger

565 posts • joined 20 Feb 2007

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What's got a vast attack surface and runs on Linux? Windows Defender, of course

Barry Rueger
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Fuzz?

Jargon that was new to me, so;

Fuzz testing or fuzzing is a software testing technique used to discover coding errors and security loopholes in software, operating systems or networks by inputting massive amounts of random data, called fuzz, to the system in an attempt to make it crash. If a vulnerability is found, a tool called a fuzz tester (or fuzzer), indicates potential causes. Fuzz testing was originally developed by Barton Miller at the University of Wisconsin in 1989.

http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/fuzz-testing

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IT firms guilty of blasting customers with soul-numbing canned music

Barry Rueger
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Re: Years Ago

Radio on hold invariably involved a dirt cheap AM/FM transistor radio, always slightly off the exact frequency, sitting atop the telco box in the warehouse.

And nine times out of ten, instead of tuning to CBC (or BBC in the UK) they chose a local commercial radio station that played adverts for their competitor.

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Samsung Galaxy S8+: Seriously. What were they thinking?

Barry Rueger
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Prior Art

The fingerprint sensor is right next to the main camera on the back, but is poorly defined. This means that your finger typically finds the lens when unlocking the phone.

LG G4. Power and volume buttons on back of phone, right below the camera lens.

Great camera if the lens wasn't always mucked up.

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Beaten passenger, check. Dead giant rabbit, check. Now United loses cockpit door codes

Barry Rueger
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Re: Strengthened doors with electronic locks on airliners are stupid

Plus, how secure is the code changing procedure? Is it really involved, or are they hiding the fact that anyone with a motive, access, and a paper clip could change it?

I'll hazard a guess that it requires one of the super secret, super secure universal luggage keys that the TSA agents use to rifle through your belongings.

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DeX Station: Samsung's Windows-killer is ready for prime time

Barry Rueger
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Re: Why would you need a dock?

My G4 rocks an Otterbox Defender. Since discovering this lovely product my MTBF for phones has gone from months to years.

I like the idea of phone as PC, but want to know that the Otterbox will fit the dock, and want some outboard local storage - don't trust "the Cloud"

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Microsoft touts next Windows 10 Creators Update: It's set for a Fall

Barry Rueger
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Mixed Reality

Seriously? Augmented and Virtual Reality weren't nonsense enough?

Why not just call 'em "Space Goggles" or something similar?

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Avast blocks the entire internet – again

Barry Rueger
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Who's the Joker?

Stories like this are why a lot of truly important information is stored behind me, on paper, in big three-ring binders.

So much of the Internet, much less "the Cloud," seems to be a house of cards, built on sand, over an earthquake fault line.

Sooner or later, through malice or incompetence, the day will come when the whole thing comes crashing down.

Losing LastPass will be the least of your problems.

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Facebook fake news: Sort it out yourself, readers

Barry Rueger
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Only one rule needed

Is there a professional, journalism trained editor in charge?

It does make a difference, and there is still a reason why the NYT is more trusted than BuzzFeed.

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US copyright law shake-up: Days of flinging stuff on the web and waiting for a DMCA may be over

Barry Rueger
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Guess what, you ARE responsible

Where all of this is heading, whether these cases, or Google and Facebook's struggle with "fake news" and objectionable content, is to an obvious conclusion: just like print publishers, you need well trained editorial staff if you're hoping to maintain quality, trust, and avoid lawsuits.

It was never realistic to think that armies of random posters, trolls, and "citizen journalists" would avoid <a href="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon%27s_law”>Sturgeon's Law.</a> In the days of print or broadcast the barriers to entry filtered out the loons and half-baked theorists because the price of printing a book or filming a TV series was prohibitive.

Now any fool can launch a free website in ten minutes and fill it with unmentionable deck.

Fifteen years ago at an NPR conference about digital it was pointed out that the real power on the Internet was with the gatekeepers, the organizations that were trusted to select and curate information on behalf of end users.

I no longer have an interest in tracking down the truth of sketchy reports. I'm much happier if some large organizations that I trust can do it on my behalf.

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After years of warnings, mobile network hackers exploit SS7 flaws to drain bank accounts

Barry Rueger
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Re: Head in the sand

Maybe the right business decision as it seems to have taken 20 years for the crims to catch up and actually exploit the weakness.

The fact that someone is only now admitting this happened does not mean it's the first time the exploit has been used.

It's entirely possible that either clever criminals just never got caught, or that the telcos managed to keep incursions secret.

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S is for Sandbox: The logic behind Microsoft's new lockdown Windows gambit

Barry Rueger
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Re: Windows Store, oh goody!

WordPerfect is still around! I believe mostly with lawyers. Corel Draw too.

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How would you pronounce 'Cyxtera'?

Barry Rueger
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JCEYUIJOKVBYHUJIOK.com

(repost) Yet again a tech firm grabs a handful of tiles out of the Scrabble bag, slams them down, and says, "That's our new name!"

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Post Unity 8 Ubuntu shock? Relax, Linux has been here before

Barry Rueger
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Excuse me!

I am shocked and appalled that there have been 20+ comments without a single moan about System D. And honestly, the pro-Windows trolls have been very poor.

I remember when the Reg commentards had standards!

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'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

Barry Rueger
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People literally died, politicians contracting for roads and buildings started asking "how can I be sure this builder knows what he is doing, takes his work seriously, is more interested in my safety than his bottom line?"

Surely we can trust that market forces will take of this without burdensome red tape? What's next? Government telling me that I have to follow some "Code" when I build a house, or need to remove my sewage to somewhere other than the next town's water supply?

The Oregon story is idiotic, but it's also pretty imbecilic to argue against the idea that only qualified Engineers should be trusted to build bridges and dams.

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Need the toilet? Wanna watch a video ad about erectile dysfunction?

Barry Rueger
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Re: air dryers - ugh

In the Good Old Days there were ongoing PR battles between paper towel, electric blower, and cloth roller towel manufacturers, each claiming cost efficiency and superior sanitation.

The dunning phrase "towel litter" still makes me smile.

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Apple fanbois are officially sheeple. Yes, you heard. Deal with it

Barry Rueger
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Re: (delete as appropriate)

Up vote for you. Most of these epithets became tedious a week after they were coined. Now they just embarrass the writer.

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Teen charged with 'cyberstalking' in bomb hoax case

Barry Rueger
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Re: "tumour"

I'm not a brain surgeon

Yes, the rest of your comment made that clear.

Despite what you may have learned watching "House" or "ER," brain stuff is actually complicated, and doesn't lend itself to armchair diagnosis.

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LinkedIn U-turns on Bluetooth-enabled 'Tinder for marketers'

Barry Rueger
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Apps, Apps, Apps

Why does every Web site believe that I need or want a dedicated app to access their services? Especially since most Apps are piss poor in terms of usability, and demand ridiculous access to stuff they don't need.

95% of my browsing is perfectly fine as long as a proper mobile site is available.

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Web celeb product whores told to put on the red light – or else

Barry Rueger
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Choose Your Celebrity

My favourite celebrity is Richard Stallman! Quick! What should I buy?!

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Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04

Barry Rueger
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Re: My thoughts on this ...

1. Is Files really that bad? I've used Mac's Finder, so I know how bad things can be.

Beat me to it. What is it about file managers that developers find so difficult?

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Apple nabs permit to experiment with self-driving iCars in Cali

Barry Rueger
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A-tunes

Just what I want. A car from the people who gave us iTunes.

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Back to the Future 2: Gasp! America's trade watchdog discovers the risks of 'free' movies

Barry Rueger
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Re: "served up a slew of unwanted ads …"

Seriously, do advertisers not understand that pretty much every ad on YouTube is skipped at exactly five seconds?

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Verizon's bogus bills tanked my credit score, claims sueball slinger

Barry Rueger
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Canada, Rogers, repeat

What is it about wireless companies? Scum.

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Apple’s premium TV plans – the hobby doomed to stay that way

Barry Rueger
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Not Available in Your Region

No matter what any of these companies do, the 30 million people in Canada won't be offered the service, or will get 30% of the content offered to IP addresses five miles south of here.

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WD unveils grown-up USB stick in My Passport slab form

Barry Rueger
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Sigh....

I think that my first hard drive, in a 386 machine, was a whopping 40MB. In the days when you still did backups onto floppy disks, and when "malware" was limited to screeching virus alarms from Central Point Anti-Virus every couple of months.

Though I miss WordPerfect 5.1, it's altogether pretty damned amazing where things have got to!

Harrumph, Off to wind the Victrola.

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Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Barry Rueger
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The added irony being that the phrase "Customer satisfaction" is most often heard while on "hold."

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Put down your coffee and admire the sheer amount of data Windows 10 Creators Update will slurp from your PC

Barry Rueger
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Years ago, in an interview, Sting described his horror at realizing that this song was incredibly popular as a wedding reception "first dance.”

"Fucking evil song," he said.

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BezosBux: Amazon gets into scrip game with Cash scheme

Barry Rueger
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No Paper Trail?

Amazon Cash could have a particular appeal to ... those who, ahem… may not want to leave a paper trail of their financial activities.

Since shopping on Amazon requires an e-mail address and a shipping address, I'd argue that you're generating a pretty solid paper trail despite buying your gift card with cash.

Better to use your wad of cash to buy off a guy in the alley - stuff that has "fallen off the back of a truck."

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Windows 10 Creators Update: Clearing the mines with livestock (that's you by the way)

Barry Rueger
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Re: What MS giveth MS taketh away

Here in Canada an $80 a month wireless plan will generally include 1 gig of data. Increasing that will push the monthly spend over $100.

Just last week I deleted a very, very nice newspaper app because it had gobbled 150+ megs in less than a month.

The people who design software like this really need to get out of Silicon Valley and try using their products in the real world, while paying out of their own pocket.

The Windows 10 machine in our household is an endless source of irritation, with no indication that the design team has ever used Win10 to do an honest day's work. 3D is the last thing that should be a priority.

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Ubuntu 17.04 inches closer to production

Barry Rueger
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Re: Swings and those other things

I've never met anyone who uses Mint, despite reading posts about it all the time.

Pleased to meet you! I'm the guy who moved from Windows to Ubuntu, but wound up with Mint because I really disliked Unity.

I've had no reason to look elsewhere because Mint out of the box Just Works for me.

This isn't about Linux, it's about the 98% of people who just want to get work done without mucking about.

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Microsoft kills Windows Vista on April 11: No security patches, no hot fixes, no support, nada

Barry Rueger
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Options?

I use Vista once a month inside of VirtualBox to run our accounting software. It's one of those programs that never ran under WINE, and probably still doesn't. (Although I haven't checked recently, because there's been no reason.)

Do I really want to cough up the money for newer version of Windows? (and God no, I do not want Windows 10) Do I cross my fingers and carry on with Vista? Or, now that I think of it, just disable network access in VB and assume it's safe?

Bah. Maybe paper ledgers are a better choice.

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This week's top token gesture: Google Chrome chokes energy-hungry background tabs

Barry Rueger
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Re: Second, it's impossible to foresee the next big use case or form factor for mobile devices.

Shurely Siri, Alexa, OK Google (forget what they call it now) make it unnecessary to actually type or look at your phone?

Imagine an elevator full of Townsend level tinnitus afflicted old farts all trying to use voice activated devices.

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Sad fact of the day: Most people still don't know how to protect themselves online

Barry Rueger
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Door locks - bad analogy

For the most part all you need to secure your door is one key and a turn of your wrist. And a key is a key and a lock is a lock.

Online security is an endless forest of sites, applications, functions, and threats; all different, all needing a specific approach to security, and all changing daily.

Much of your security also relies on things you can't control, like Android updates.

I'm fairly knowledgeable, but I'll admit that there are occasions when I decide it's just not worth the hassle. Things are an order of magnitude worse for ordinary users.

Story of the week: I installed a "Pay by Phone" app yesterday so that I could pay for a parking meter with my phone instead of digging for $2.50 in loose change. Not only did it demand that I enable a lock screen with PIN, it forces my dig out my credit card and enter the CVS code every time I park.

Overkill like this why people hate security.

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Situation All Canucked Up: Canadian Mounties boss blasts blundering government IT merge

Barry Rueger
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Harper era garbage

At the same time tens of thousands of government employees were being overpaid, underpaid, or not paid at all by the super duper Phoenix payroll system, and two provinces worth of year end tax statements are being replaced as we speak.

Never should have let the Conservatives near a pocket calculator, much less real computers.

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Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

Barry Rueger
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Re: I want my Palm back!

Oh, those are easy. I'm now trying to kill off the "Your battery is charged" notification, the "You took seven pictures today, would you like to review them?" pop-up, and the bizarre "You're at location X, {something something} pictures?" request. (I've never actually bothered to explore the last one, so I'm kind of guessing what it said.)

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Barry Rueger
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I want my Palm back!

Just this week we were talking about how poorly smartphones seem to handle the basics - calendar and contacts. They're just too clever by far for what should be simple functions.

I was reminded how my old Palm used to do these things very well, without a cel connection, and without constantly beeping, vibrating, and flashing at me.

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New Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters can't transmit vital data

Barry Rueger
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Re: No problem

Starbucks & Costa DO serve a liquid 'described as Coffee', it just is being somewhat 'economical with the truth'

"Alternative facts" if you please.

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WTF is up with the W3C, DRM and security bods threatened – we explain

Barry Rueger
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Open the Door

Surely this is only the beginning of the end. This fairly benign DRM regime will expand to eventually block all manner of activity that rightsholders consider threatening.

I can easily see a day when visiting the Pirate Bay would be pointless because the underpinnings of the Web will make it impossible to download using a torrent, or at least a torrent without a corporate seal of approval.

I've no doubt that new ways will be found to circumvent new restrictions, but slowly but surely you'll see end users give up all control over what they view and read.

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Tech Trailblazers Awards: Shortlist out - now it’s over to you

Barry Rueger
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Web Design Award?

Apparently not, that is one butt ugly web site. Would it have been too much to ask for a capsule summary of what the finalists do? In the big empty space beside the logo perhaps?

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Vivaldi and me: Just browsing? Nah, I'm sold

Barry Rueger
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Customizing

Yeah, I used to spend hours fiddling with all sorts of settings on my computer, and spent hours tuning my '67 Impala for that little bit of performance.

Eventually though you reach a point where you just want to get work done, choose a stable platform, and get on with it. For me that has been Mint Cinnamon for several years, with exactly two settings to change: turn off Caps Lock and change the wallpaper to something NASA.

That's also why I stay far away from Windows 10.

Chrome is popular because it's simple, and "just works" out of the box, and because it stays the same from one version to the next. For the vast majority of users that consistency is more important than stacked tabs or command line interfaces.

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Tablets become feebleslabs as sales spiral down

Barry Rueger
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Re: How many tablets does a person need?

I would actually use a tablet, but thus far any brand name fondle-slab is priced the same or higher than a midrange laptop.

Handy though it may be, I can't bring myself to pay more money for half the utility.

So I continue to read the papers (and The Reg) on my smart phone. The bigger screen would be nice, but not X hundred dollars nicer.

Now, if the street price of 7+ inch tablets can get below $200....

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MEEELLIONs of Brits stick with current broadband provider rather than risk no Netflix

Barry Rueger
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Re: If UK'ISPs are like Canada's Bell...

Although, assuming Bell is like Telus, that discount will cost you an hour on the phone with an obtuse employee determined to also sell you cable TV that you don't want.

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President Trump tweets from insecure Android, security boffins roll eyes

Barry Rueger
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But not Facebook

At least it's Twitter and not Facebook. I can just imagine the Department of Agriculture run to reflect Trump's YUGE success at playing Farmville.

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President Donald Trump taken on by unlikely foe: Badass park rangers

Barry Rueger
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Oh Canada!

Trump is so unimaginative. Or, alternately, learns from past masters.

Stephen Harper had exactly the same draconian policies when Prime Minister, muzzling employees, refusing to allow scientists to speak at scholarly conferences, and insisting that everything issued to the public had to be vetted by his minions before release.

As if that wasn't bad enough, they went one step further and dumpstered several scientific libraries, trashing decades of fisheries data and research.

Seriously folks, anything of scientific value that you think might offend the Trumpists should be copied and stored off-site NOW.

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Wine 2.0 lands: It's not Soylent for booze but more Windows apps on Linux and Mac OS

Barry Rueger
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Re: All is Strange in MS Land

I'll second the VirtualBox suggestion. Mine runs Vista so we can access our QuickBooks accounting software. On any reasonably up to date machine it's an easy install, and best of all if you change machines you don't need to re-install Windows and the apps - just copy over the directory.

In my experience the success of WINE depends entirely on there being someone knowledgeable who needed a specific app bad enough to keep at it until it actually worked reliably. The WINE database is full of entries that more or less say "THIS version works sometimes with THIS version of WINE, but not necessarily with YOUR hardware."

With notable exceptions like MS Office and popular games it's really a case of trial and error - try to install it and see if it works.

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Welcome to the Wipe House: President Trump shreds climate change, privacy, LGBT policies on WhiteHouse.gov

Barry Rueger
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Just the Guy We Need

Sources tell me that Trump's choice to head the National Archives is a fellow named Montag.

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Silence is golden: How Google hunts Android malware in the wild

Barry Rueger
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Security Through Irritation

I seriously doubt that the endless trickle of Android "security" pop-ups do anything other than irritate the end user.

I tend to assume that anything running Android is insecure five minutes after it's been purchased.

Instead of sending users pop-ups and nags that will just be ignored, Google would do better to figure out how to keep the millions of Android devices in use patched and safe.

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Happy birthday: Jimbo Wales' sweet 16 Wikipedia fails

Barry Rueger
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Old Timer Here

Yes, I actually owned a real, honest to God Encyclopedia Brittanica. Moved it from house to house a few times too. Heavy sucker.

At the end of the day this all comes down to one fact: a strong, smart editor makes content better and a skilled, knowledgeable fact-checking staff will find and remove gross, and even small mistakes.

Publishing on paper gives the time and incentive to make sure what you're publishing is accurate and honest. You want to find and fix mistakes before the presses roll, and don't want dumb errors looking you in the face for years or decades.

Handy though Wikipedia is, it does not have a centuries long reputation for professionally prepared content and reliable accuracy.

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Just give up: 123456 is still the world's most popular password

Barry Rueger
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Don't Just Blame Users

One of my banks doesn't allow uppercase or special characters. The other, after a major software upgrade that took much of their systems of line for several days, only allows numbers in passwords.

On the other hand, there are sites like infrequently visited tech forums that represent no real security risk to me. A short and weak password is fine.

The point being, the strength of a password should reflect risk levels. Sometimes 12345 is good enough.

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Canada fines Amazon seven hours of profit for false advertising

Barry Rueger
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Re: As A Canadian, I would Just Like to Add ...

Whatever happened to NAFTA?

Silly rabbit. You actually thought that NAFTA was intended to benefit the proles?

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