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* Posts by Herby

2756 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Trump backs push for bumpkin broadband with presidential orders

Herby
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Somebody...

Needs to pay the bill for all of this. Whoever this is will need to build things to make it work. You have several technologies that vie for this, cable, wireless, DSL, etc. When we use the broadband internet, for whatever price whatever company provides the service must not do it at a loss (or it won't last long). All of this costs $$$ (or whatever your local currency is today), and the money comes from two sources, a government, or individuals. Take your pick. For the most part government money comes with a spaghetti mess of "strings attached" that some politician (or group of them) has put in place to accommodate someone. Private money wants to be paid for, so I pay for my DSL.

Do you get what you pay for? I really don't know, but I do get DSL for a few bucks a month, and it seems to work OK. Yes, I wish it were cheaper, but life goes on. (*SIGH*).

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Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap

Herby
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Getting clost to being explosive...

As batteries get more "efficient", they approach being explosive devices. The problem is that the batteries are self contained energy devices, whereas common fuels (diesel, petrol/gasoline) need to be supplied with oxygen form the air to be useful.

Another way to have self contained energy sources, is to use hypergolic fuels (rockets use these). At least they are binary in nature and need both parts to generate heat.

This is the reason that batteries catch fire/explode all by themselves. Not fun.

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US border cops told to stop copying people's files just for the hell of it

Herby
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Wonder what would happen...

If you had very descriptive names of random number data. Put in a directory/folder labeled "encrypted".

I really don't want to try this though. I like being "free". I leave it to those who are suitably endowed with lawyer like skills on tap, as well as time to spare.

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Nvidia: Using cheap GeForce, Titan GPUs in servers? Haha, nope!

Herby
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Note to Nvidia:

Look guys, you sell HARDWARE. Let anyone do anything to it. You might even sell more.

Even better would be open source the software so we could all improve it.

Will it happen? I doubt it.

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Herby
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Genetic Diversity?

Given that a major share of the CPUs out there are from one vendor, this is what you get. A hardware bug that permeates over several chips. Nice to see that AMD (minority report) doesn't have the problem.

Maybe Chipzilla Intel is too big and needs to be sliced and diced.

Thought experiment: What would Intel be if IBM had picked a different processor for its PC back in 1981 (Motorola 68000?)?

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Long Island Iced Tea Corp renamed itself to Long Blockchain – and its shares went bananas

Herby
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Names change opinions of lots of people.

Just remember that MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) was once called NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance). The name was changed because of the bad vibes that anything with the name "nuclear" in it.

So now you know the rest of the story.

Yes, there was a company that changed its name from "Apple Computer" to "Apple, Inc.". If it changed to "Apple Blockchain" I might be a multimillionaire.

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Fridge killed my baby? Mag-field radiation from household stuff 'boosts miscarriage risk'

Herby
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Joke

Danger...

Will Robinson...

Watch out inside your computer are ONE MILLION ohms. With that many, it is overloading, and quite dangerous.

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Hot chips crashed servers, but were still delicious

Herby
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The first question you ALWAYS ask...

Is the power plugged in?

Second question:

Is the On/Off switch in the proper position.

Funny how this cures quite a bit of user (1d10t) problems.

If you want to go further you can always ask:

Are the lights on?

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FBI tells Jo(e) Sixpack to become an expert in IoT security

Herby
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Maybe they shoud also turn off...

Something that Microsoft calls "Universal plug and pray play".

All of this "automatic" stuff makes for complacent users that probably don't know better. How many times have you wandered around to find routers with default names.

Another alternative might be to require vendors that don't keep updating software on their interconnected devices to release it under a GPL type license.

Then there was the router near my mother-in-law's condo that had its default credentials (and was open). I made a point of adding a password to the administrative access and locking it up to keep it open. It has since gone dark (*SIGH*).

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IETF protects privacy and helps net neutrality with DNS over HTTPS

Herby
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This proves it...

There was an old adage (from when Usenet was going strong), that went like "The net sees censorship and routes around it".

Now we know for sure!

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Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

Herby
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Punched card equipment...

If you have worked with this stuff (especially punches) that are high speed, they had lots of pent-up energy. You took off ALL your rings, and ties if you ever worked with this stuff. Most were belt driven which increased the likelihood of getting stuff caught in the "works".

Be careful out there!

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Boffins foresee most software written by machines in 2040

Herby
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Wasn't COBOL....

Designed to make it to code for accountants back in the 1950's. You wouldn't need programmers, and anyone could "write code".

This whole thing is a case of "been there, done that", and it will continue. We humans are the ones that think into the future and can "design" things. Very little (if any, as I can't think of anything) is designed without human input. I have strong doubts that this will change.

Nice try though.

p.s. COBOL is still here, writing paychecks and checking general ledger stuff.

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Voyager 1 fires thrusters last used in 1980 – and they worked!

Herby
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Interesting skit about the "record".

Saturday Night Live back in the 70's announced that they had received a message from someone who intercepted the Voyager probe. They held up a card that said:

SEND MORE CHUCK BERRY

Oh, and he was a guest of JPL at the "finish" party after the Neptune encounter.

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Expert gives Congress solution to vote machine cyber-security fears: Keep a paper backup

Herby
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Need to seperate casting and counting of ballots

The casting of a ballot should be a simple and verifiable action. The voter should be able to "count" his own ballot to see that he actually did the "right thing" (another topic for discussion). The counting process can be "automated" or "manual", but it should be doable by ANYONE who desires. Sure they might take multiple days of time to manually count the ballots, but the same result should be obtained as from an "automated" process.

Yes, some sort of nice paper as the intermediary is necessary for this to happen. It should be both human AND machine readable. For all the flaws, punch cards were human readable, but there was the silly "hanging chad" problem.

There should be no "trade secrets" in either process, and an advance "audit" (if necessary) of ALL the software should be available. Sorry, I really don't trust Diebold.

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Stick to the script, kiddies: Some dos and don'ts for the workplace

Herby
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Check for "errors" and make sure!

Yes, they are wonderful, but scripts should be through. Many a time I have looked at scripts only to find out that the writer is lazy n the third degree. Some examples:

Routing stderr to /dev/null

chmod 777 <file> just because it solved the "problem".

Leaving temp files floating around

Such things as "cat file | command"

No explanatory comments on what is going on.

Scripts that say "Doing xxx" when they are actually "Doing yyy".

scripts that mimic standard commands in weird ways with errors themselves (see above)

right

Unfortunately this happens with all to much regularity, and the "clean-up" usually find an error undiscovered that will really much things up if executed in the wrong/right way.

So we all fix them drawing from experience, and life goes on. (*SIGH*)

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Boss made dirt list of minions' mistakes, kept his own rampage off it

Herby
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Don't touch switch

A friend of mine had his "shop" setup with one like that. He had gotten a load of flash bulbs with edison (screw( bases, and decided to wire all of them up to the "do not touch" switch. On many occasions we had left the room only to return with the person he had left behind in a somewhat blind and dazed look. He mentioned that it was "priceless".

Yes, I have plugged 120 volt kit (my case it was a tape recorder in the 60's) into 240 volt outlet. In my defense, I didn't know the outlet was 240 volts. I confirmed that it was by looking at the light bulb in a lamp socket. Of course I did "return to shelf" the item and didn't say many words about the incident. Oh, and yes, it was in the USA, and I was in the third form.

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Arm Inside: Is Apple ready for the next big switch?

Herby
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There is ALWAYS an option...

One wonders what Intel might be had IBM picked the 68k as its processor for the PeeCee. Then (1980 or so as I recall) IBM had a chunk of ownership in Intel, so the choice was made for them. Fast forward to around 1990 when Apple, IBM, and Motorola chummied up and eventually decided to go the PPC route. Who knows what the world might be if they had different decisions. Sadly the 68k processors didn't get the backing from Motorola (Freescale, whoever it is now), and the shift was on again. It happens. For the most part if all you need to do is cycle the source through a different compiler chain, and you get something that "works", I suspect that nobody will really care. Rare is the application now that touches the instruction set directly, it is all some sort of compiled code.

Personally, the 68k instruction set was pretty good, and could have improved given the chance (*SIGH*). Who knows, maybe there is a 68k emulator that runs under ARM (at reasonable speed).

Life goes on.

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Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

Herby
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Meanwhile in sunny (it rained last night) California..

We have these things issued by our wonderful friendly DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) called stickers. We attach them to our license plates to indicate we have paid $$$ in fees and taxes to our wonderful state. These change color every year so friendly policemen can tell if you have paid up. Thankfully, they allow one to renew registrations online eliminating ghastly lines at the local DMV office (hours!).

Of course the local police aren't that observant. While I do renew, the sticker on my vehicle still says 2015. In a year or so the color will be back in vogue. If you DON'T pay (and get your vehicle smog checked every other year), the fines are a real mess. I won't even go there.

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Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

Herby
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Of course, one wonders...

If Apple still supports an Imagewriter (2). That would be telling..

Sorry I just don't know.

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How can airlines stop hackers pwning planes over the air? And don't say 'regular patches'

Herby
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Coat

This gives new meaning to...

The friendly skies. Friendly to WiFi intrusions.

My coat is already on.

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Red Hat opens its ARMs to Enterprise Linux... er, wait, perhaps it's the other way round

Herby
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What is really needed...

Is some vendor to make nice form factor compatible motherboards with ARM CPU chips. Throw in a couple of PCI (or whatever buss is popular) slots and there you have it.

Given this, just plunk down a Linux distro and you are in business.

Works for me. Arm & Linux, a nice alternative to "wintel".

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Guess who's now automating small-biz IT jobs? Yes, it's Microsoft

Herby
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Haven't I heard this before??

I'm from Microsoft and I'm here to help you.

I'm sure everyone knows how this turns out.

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Funnily enough, when Qualcomm's licensees stop sending in their royalty checks, profits start going south

Herby
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Could be....

That Qualcomm is an acquisition target. When Apple gets a chance to repatriate all of its overseas $$$$ it might want to spend it on something worthwhile.

You never know.

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A draft US law to secure election computers that isn't braindead. Well, I'm stunned! I gotta lie down

Herby
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Couple of things needed here...

There are TWO parts of an election with very different qualities needed.

First, there is the voting itself. Very "private" by its nature, and should remain so.

Second, there is the counting. It needs to be VERY public so we have some faith in the process.

The big problem is attempting to combine these two very different functions into one "device". It shouldn't be done AT ALL.

What to do? Have the "voting machine" accept nice inputs from a touch screen, and with a connected printer generate a both human and machine readable document that you stuff into a ballot box. Then anyone can tally up things and all is good. If the voter doesn't like the votes recorded (by inspection), tear it up and try again.

Will it be done this way? Probably not, but we can hope.

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New phishing campaign uses 30-year-old Microsoft mess as bait

Herby
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Joke

Microsoft Windows...

Is a feature, not a bug...

Sorry, I must categorize this as a joke, but for some reason, it isn't that much of one.

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US-CERT study predicts machine learning, transport systems to become security risks

Herby
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Nothing...

Will go wrong go wrong go wrong...

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You're doing open source wrong, Microsoft tsk-tsk-tsks at Google: Chrome security fixes made public too early

Herby
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This reminds of...

Pot...Kettle...Black.

Enough said.

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Microsoft Azure ████ secret ██ █████ ██ US govt's ███ ███ centers

Herby
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Strange partners...

Microsoft and the Government.

They probably deserve each other, but I can always turn off Microsoft, but not the government, so I wonder what is going on.

Of course mentioning security and Microsoft in the same sentence is always problematical.

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Programming bootcamp compiles $375,000 check after triggering New York AG's error handlers

Herby
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So...

This is where the "wonderful coding" that populates The daily WTF. They must use the _Learn_<insert topic here>_in_24_hours_ as a textbook.

Sorry, but it takes a few years to be "good", and hopefully you have some "real world" experience.

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Watch out for Microsoft Word DDE nasties: Now Freddie Mac menaced

Herby
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Joke

Security warnings??

Isn't that the Windows Boot screen. There is no 'OK' there.

Maybe this isn't a joke after all.

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Has Git ever driven you so mad you wanted to bomb it? Well, now you can with this tiny repo

Herby
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Joke

That does it...

I'm going back to SCCS.

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I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs

Herby
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What, me worry?

I always called it FORTRAN.

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Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

Herby
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It just happened to me...

Yesterday the power went out (unbeknownst to me) and my wonderful wife with iPhone in hand complained to me that out WiFi wasn't working. So she rolled over and handed me the iPhone and I attempted to look for WiFi to no avail. The next complaint was that the charger wasn't working either. This usually happens when I switch off the outlet connected to the light on her size of the sleeping apparatus (there is a switch on my side). So I flick the switch and hope that the light comes on. Nope that doesn't work either. I then "rise and shine" and look around. No power. Not a good thing.

So, yes, it can take a few minutes to realize that the power is out, and it did happen to me.

(*SIGH*)

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FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'

Herby
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Is anything ever obsolete?

I suspect that "new" video display boxen (aka TV's) will attempt to be compatible with new standards, but you never know. In my house, I still have (count 'em) 5 NTSC only TVs. They still work quite nicely with the TiVo box that emits proper signals. Yes, I do have a bunch of "adapters" (with enough $40 coupons you can get quite a few) and a single W I D E screen video display box for watching sporting events at times (it also makes a great display for a Raspberry Pi).

Someone should have designed the ATSC standard to last a bit longer. NTSC lasted over 60 years in one form or another, and served us quite well. One thing I learned is that we humans can interpolate quite a bit in the visual field, and while some things need lots of resolution (computer monitors seem to be high on the list), entertainment TV got by quite well at 480p resolution for quite a while!

So, life goes on and another standard goes obsolete. (*SIGH*)

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Dear America, best not share that password with your pals. Lots of love, the US Supremes

Herby
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What happens if...

You guess the password and do it anyway?

What is "authorized"? By whom?

Inquiring minds need to know.

Now if they will convict the ransomware people, that would be a start.

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Dumb bug of the week: Outlook staples your encrypted emails to, er, plaintext copies when sending messages

Herby
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By design?

Maybe some government entity is lurking in Redmond's back pocket. They always wanted backdoors.

Than again, trusting Microsoft is a risky thing anyway.

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Microsoft silently fixes security holes in Windows 10 – dumps Win 7, 8 out in the cold

Herby
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Windows Security??

I believe that that is an OXYMORON.

For some reason I believe it will always be until Redmond turns to dust.

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SCARY SPICE: Pumpkin air freshener sparks school evacuation

Herby
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Pumpkin spice??

Wasn't that one of the Spice Girls. At least that is what I thought.

p.s. I really don't like pumpkin for eating AT ALL. They are bet for carving weird faces to scare people. Candles for illuminating optional. Oh, yes, they don't last long so you do it a couple of days before. Be sure to throw away sometime on November 1.

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Facebook posts put Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli in prison as a danger to society

Herby
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The lesson here...

Is that the internet is "forever" and "very public". Lose these lessons, and you are in a bit of trouble.

As for the former secretary of state, if she lost a hair for each of the lies she told, a cue ball would have more hair (probably by an order of magnitude).

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Uber loses bid to avoid trial in Waymo case

Herby
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Joke

This just in....

Uber for sale. Please take liabilities as well.

Google may get a bargain price then. You never know.

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Pennsylvania cops deploy electronics sniffer dog to catch child abusers

Herby
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I suspect...

That a dip in ammonia (let air dry) will probably do the trick.

As for the particular case, I suspect that they already had a warrant for the entire premises, and locating the nasty device was the task at hand, the pooch assisting. Just a time saver for the police who didn't want to paw through "everything".

Of course "encrypted cloud storage" is the order of the day.

Yes, beware of the BOFH!

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US government sued by 11 pissed-off travellers over computer searches

Herby
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Searches, Searches...

When you cross a frontier, EVERYTHING is subject to search for contraband. If a customs bozo opens up your suitcase and sees plans for (insert terrible thing here), what do you think he is going to do?

Yes, the problem is now compounded with the amount of data you can carry in such a small space, but is just the same. Try going to places like China where after they seize your laptop they put monitoring software on to see what subversive stuff you are doing and what secrets they can have you graciously ship back to them for competitive reasons.

I suspect the moral of the story is "Don't piss off a border agent".

It would be nice if we didn't need to do such things, but that ideal world sadly doesn't exist.

I'll probably get downvotes for this (*SIGH*)

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North Korea attacks Bitcoin bods to swell its war chest says FireEye

Herby
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Maybe...

The ransomware is being promulgated by the NORKs themselves. They asked for payment in BTC, now they want to cash out.

You never know!

Of course it may be a bit difficult to get those fake $100 bills converted, but they will still try.

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El Reg is hiring an intern. Apply now before it closes

Herby
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"Note that we do not have an IT helpdesk"

This is probably the smartest thing that you mention. You already have a BOFH in residence, so additional ones really aren't needed.

Best of luck.

A bit too far away for me to apply, and I might not fit the proper demographic (50 years and counting being paid for computer work).

Thankfully BOFH's are not age bound.

On requirements? Does having a bronze, silver or gold badge count?

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Stand up who HASN'T been hit in the Equifax mega-hack – whoa, whoa, sit down everyone

Herby
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Scott McNealy was right.....

We should all remember the quote and treat data accordingly:

"You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it."

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Amazon crowd-sources new HQ location, Bezos tells mayors to woo him

Herby
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What if...

They gave a party and nobody came?

One wonders. Build a stadium? It seems that cities like to do this to get football (American) teams to move. Las Vegas likes to do just that.

Maybe he needs to build a city from scratch. Call it "Amazonia", and eventually it will have a million people fawning over it.

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Dude who claimed he invented email is told by judge: It's safe to say you didn't invent email

Herby
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Email...1978...Huh?

Email in one form or another has been around since the 1960's (then is was to users on the same computer). It did take a while to get from machine to machine, but there it was.

Anyone can implement and email program (I thought about at one time, but passed), and call it "EMAIL". I'm sure many have done so. Not very unique.

Invention implies "new and novel". I suspect that this chap has done neither.

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Memo to Microsoft: Keeping your promises is probably a good idea

Herby
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We don't care...

...We're Microsoft, we don't have to.

Seems this is the slogan they're working with these days.

At least the phone company and IBM did care to some degree. Maybe someone WILL get fired for buying Microsoft products. We can only hope.

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Chinese smartphone cable-maker chucks sueball at Apple

Herby
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Wait, more is coming...

Wait for USB-C connectors and their ilk. From what I understand most (not all, thankfully) cables will have some sort of chip in them to diddle pins around.

It is coming folks, just wait and see.

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US government: We can jail you indefinitely for not decrypting your data

Herby
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Can you keep a secret??

Well, so can I.

A secret is only a secret if ONE person knows it. I guess the same goes for encryption. Of course, we forget ALL the time.

I've always wondered what would happen if I had files of landscapes labeled as "suzie.jpg". Somehow I really don't want to find out.

Now where is the "Forgot password" for the encrypted file......

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