2533 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009
Re: Pierre A doofus, with weak lawyers, but the law is broken
> Yeah, because such a device being found in an office only a limited number of people (including you) will have had access to,
Why would I put a covert wifi AP in my office? At night? The entire point is to put it in an area I don't (normally) have access to, so that the connections come from a network socket, an IP (and a MAC) that do exist on the network but can't possibly be traced back to me.
PS: Re: Pierre A doofus, with weak lawyers, but the law is broken
> I think you'll find that, not only would it put you in breach of laws relating to unauthorised access (to the LAN in this case),
I would also have to break in, which is arguably worst.
Re: Pierre A doofus, with weak lawyers, but the law is broken
> I think you'll find that, not only would it put you in breach of laws relating to unauthorised access (to the LAN in this case)
Yeah well, that's the whole point of this though experiment, so I'll give you that
> you would be leaving a very easily traceable piece of hardware for the Police to use as evidence
Really? I won't even mention bitcoins because I probably couldn't be arsed, but last time I checked cash was quite hard to trace. There's a a few shops around where I can physically buy a Pi without being traced or even recorded on CCTV (well, looping CCTV systems don't count when the device won't be discovered for a few month -and that's if I'm out of luck). Preferably 100-200km away from home just in case the temp behind the counter would recognise me. Or I could buy (cash) a virtual credit card and buy it over the 'net, having it delivered somewhere almost random with a false name: in _some_ delivery points they ask you for real ID but in others anything laminated will do.
FACEPALM right back at you, amateur ;-)
Re: A doofus, with weak lawyers, but the law is broken
> Sending dodgy emails from the university server? Don't they have internet cafes in Newcastle?
Ha. I wouldn't advise sending those from an Internet Café. These have CCTV now, and chances are that you could not disguise your connection very well, so even a throwaway webmail account will correctly stamp the IP and date.
> Or Tor?
That would work, although using TOR too much for unlawful purposes will ruin it for everyone (another problem entirely, but I thought I'd mention it anyway).
> Or free ports on the lan in an empty office?
That and a spectacularly incompetent IT dept., then. I've yet to see unused-but-active network sockets in empty offices. In most places even active in-use sockets are retricted to a single MAC adress. You can circumvent that, by cloning the MAC of the legit machine before unplugging it and using the socket, but it's hard to do it if it's not your machine, and a bit pointless if it is. You could set up some sort of covert router that would transparently allow the "leeched" machine to connect while allowing you to connect via wifi for example, but there's some night work involved, because you'll want to hide it very well. In the offices here for example I _could_ probably open the cabling duct, terminate the Cat5 a bit before the socket, put a passive splitter, reconnect one branch to the wall socket and the other to a very small wifi router (a hacked Fonera would fit, once stripped from its plastic casing, or a Pi with a USB wifi dongle).
Then I'd have to draw the power from somewhere. I'm guessing I'd derive cabling from the lights system wich is in the adjacent duct, because it's easy to turn off: I'd hate having to work on live mains, and I'm not sure I wouldn't expose the whole scheme if I tripped the mains by "inadvertently" spilling tea in a power plug on the same breaker. My pirate wifi would only be up while the lights are on, but that's probably enough: I can pass by, catch the wifi from the corridor and send my emails without even stopping (assuming the email is already typed and only needs to be sent). Of course I'd have to trick the network into accepting the SMTP connection (webmail is too easily traceable /leaks too much info), but that's doable.
Or, since I'd need to come in at night anyway, I could just come in, spoof the MAC, plug my laptop in, send the email and leave; but I would need to break back in each time I wanted to send an email, which is hardly safe, given the CCTV cameras in the corridors.
Fair enough; but again, since you forgot an easy and (almost) safe way to do it (anonymous remailers), perhaps _you_ are the amateur ;-)
Man, does it feel like a Friday... it's gonna be a long week.
Re: 300 Grams of...
> High explosive? Surrounded by shrapnel? Sounds like a pretty effective weapon to me!
Not sure about that. First, that would be 300 g all-comprised; Shrapnell has to be pretty dense to be effective, and that entails weight. Then there's the issue of detonating it at the right altitude and in the right place! Precise bombing from above is an extremely delicate matter. Historically the accuracy problem has been solved by carpet-bombing (why do you think bombers where made so huge?). With a single payload you'd miss with almost certainty (especially a relatively light payload, as winds up there are quite powerful); and for altitude you'd have to affix a complex detonating machinery to the payload. That leaves so little efficacy to the device that a Molotov cocktail would almost certainly beat it in all possible aspects (including the range/accuracy ratio, as strange as it may seem: there's pretty few places above which you can accurately fly a drone to which you couldn't more accurately catapult a molotov cocktail or ten with a pretty simple mechanical implement). Now if you could get a RPG launcher...
TL/DR: civilian drones are not terribly threatening.
Re: For those that think the helicopter pilot is exaggerating
> I am still getting used to seeing people in the Shard looking down on the aircraft as it comes into LCY...
And then you realize that most of them may be new-gen cybermen, too! Remeber to check the number of earsets on these plane-gazers next time.
> Think about what would happen when a large pigeon hit the windscreen of your car if you are travelling at around 120mph.
Then multiply by 10-100, surely? a large pigeon is 400-500 g, the Phantom 2 is ~1.3 kg (including camera). A pigeon is bouncy flesh, the Phantom 2 is 2/3 lithium battery. I'd assume the protective grid on the turbine inlet is pigeon-proof; the more I think about it the more I think it's probably not completely Phantom2-proof. In any case, I certainly had failed to factor in forward speed; I'm now quite certain a rogue Phantom 2 is definitely a very credible threat to the copter.
Re: Struck by "comparatively flimsy"
> The police helicopter was only endangered after it began following the quad-copter
Where did you get that from? The article I found only mention that the plods observed the drone circling the area, and that at some point they had to change course to avoid it. Police helicopter are usually up there to observe traffic, not to follow gnats all day long.
The way I first interpreted it was that the plods were up there looking at Washington bridge and its surroundings, when they noticed the drone. I presume that both the drone and the copter were circling the area, not on a straight course, because that's what drone operators do (Yay Youtube!) and that's also what police copters do (Yay speeding tickets!). So it stands to reason that the drone almost hit the copter, perhaps without even seing it; that would be because the copter's pilot is inside the machine with an almost omnidirectionnal awareness of its surroundings, while the drone operator only sees what is in front of the camera.
I'm with you except for the following bit: "Not to mention what creative uses of the technology Joe Jihad is thinking about.".
The max payload for these things is about 300 g, so unless you're thinking about jamming it in a plodcopter's tail rotor on purpose there's not much you can do*. Even dispersing some harmful biological agent such as the Ebola virus would be easier to do from a rooftop than from a drone.
*The danger of this happening by accident is too high to be ignored, but the chances of managing that on purpose is to low for it to be a credible threat.
Re: Struck by "comparatively flimsy"
> By this logic I assume that raptors and other decent sized birds will be charged with endangerment in future?
Birds do cause accidents, yet they are
-very agile in-flight, which is not the case for drones
-very good at avoiding aircrafts, which is not necessarily the case for amateur drone operators
-made of soft flesh and flimsy empty bones*, which is definitely not the case drones.
*to lighten the structure, bird's bones are filled with an air compartment that is, developpmentally speaking, an extention to their lungs)
I'm no expert either but if I was flying a copter I would not like even a "comparatively flimsy" piece of metal flying too close to my tail rotor. Or too close to the turbine inlet for that matter: I doubt a quadcopter could do too much damage to the protective grid, but I'm not sure I would want to find out.
Re: Major downside
> If it's a saturday morning, [...] exercising your wrist...(don't look at me like that, you all do it)...
Not sure the missus would let me. She'd insist and show me how it's done. Women are like that, they always think they know better.
> Azure is still MS only. Name me one other Azure provider. Go on.
WTF? Of course Microsoft Azure is only provided by Microsoft, it's the bloody name of their bloody cloud. Same as Amazon is the only provider for AWS and VMware is the only provider for vSphere etc*. It doesn't make it "MS-only" in any commonly-accepted meaning of the term. Because MS also sells the whole stack that you may or may not run on their servers, "MS-only" does mean that you can run only MS software. That's the "only" in your "MS-only"; and because they will let you run plenty of things not related to Microsoft in any way, it's definitely not MS-only. The servers will be "MS" but the OS can be Debian and the DB can be Oracle, perhaps with Apache to present the web front-end... so, how is an Azure/Debian/Oracle/Apache stack "MS-only"? Care to explain?
* it's in no way limited to cloud: that's how brands work. Care to name a Ford Mustang not provided by Ford? An O2 phone line not provided by O2? A Wilkinson razor blade not provided by Wilkinson? I could go on all day.
Re: How to prefer XP to 7/8
> My last ex-XP machine will be retired next week and replaced by a faster 4 core 1GHz (Fanless!) A9 ARM (That is were the £100 price point came from).
Care to share the vendor name? I used to build my own boxen but at that price point I may give in to laziness...
Re: What's to look forward to?
>>"Office 2013 is far more capable than older Office versions
>Now that is where I have to start disagreeing.
I don't get why MSOffice now insists in hiding your document whenever you want to do something with it, like save or print; that's completely idiotic and serves no purpose that I can fathom (appart from "annoying the user for the heck of it", à la Clippy).
But MSExcel can now draw graphs that don't look like the dabblings of a 3-yo with a box of coloured crayons (still not a great graphing tool, but at least semi-usable now). So there's progress.
Re: Market growth / Sales
"badly written apps that needed gurus to set them up so non-Admin users could run them."
You mean that non-admin users can _use_ applications?
Re: What's to look forward to?
> MS have improved things in many areas.
I still dislike them quite a lot but I have to give you that. They recently fixed quite a lot of the most inacceptable shortcomings in their products. I still regret 2000's footprint, but 7 is rather glaringly better than any other of the previous incarnations (other as in not 2000, obviously). I couldn't comment on 8.x.
Yeah, we use Oracle's "solution" here.
Whenever it has decided to work, that is. It's one of the most fickle, unreliable system I've ever seen. "hit refresh until it works" is part of the SOP at almost every step...
"I thought the really clever bit was talking him through doing all the other stuff, including reentering the WiFi password, while it was switched off......"
Not sure how, but it may have involved an overcharged cattleprod. That, or we're being bullsh...at (?)
Guiding a person through all the config options, from several hundred km away, while their computer was off the whole time is bordering on genius. Or bullshit. Either one.
(edit) just saw Dabbsie's answer to the same... see up
Re: Turn off the what and do what again now?
Oh, the beige box. So, what was it you were saying?
Re: you know your demographic
And with this comment I break the 900 downvote barrier! Yay me! That's from ... before El Reg even accepted comments, so I must have typed relatively few obviously crap comments since then. That includes the Golden Sarah Bee period of Ore Shower (or sumfin; She of The Comment Yanking Leash was sorely missed). I'll drink to... all that, Please do, too!
"If a source is already the subject of targeted surveillance, Invisible.im cannot facilitate secure, anonymous chats," it concedes."
Given that merely showing interest for the tech will tag you as a juicy target for surveillance (as seen here ), isn't that a bit pointless then?
At least it raises the concern and perhaps leads the way. So, good anyway.
"Disappointingly for a country where cricket reports and Bollywood films are so popular, the A50S is reported to have quite a poor speaker."
You don't need a very good speaker for a cricket match report. As for Bollywood films, I think it is _necessary_ to have a bad one!
mixminion -Check (and mixmaster also, while we're at it)
various infosec-related searces, several times a week -check
Good. It would seem that I can save money on backup media: the NSA has several mirrors of all my data already!
If you can read it, you can copy it. End of.
All that DRM thing is a bit silly surely. If you can play a song or a movie, it automatically follows that you can copy it. End of. The only way to do "proper" DRM is to prevent playing of the media altogether (which some flavours of DRM achieve with near-100% efficiency actually). So it's a lot of ado for not much; these borked schemes forced upon the world by the Morons Ass. of America and their delocalized subsidiaries _will_ be broken eventually. All and any of them, by design.
stupidity upon stupidity
I may be wrong but the way I understand it is "a way to render the device inoperable if it gets to unusual places". So... turn a mobe into a landline then? Smart move!
The "usual" places for me (as, I suspect, for most people) would be home and workplace. I do have landlines in both, I don't need no mobe there. I may, however, take my bike and go for a few-hendred-km tour with friends. During that tour I may have to call home (that's the very reason why the handbrake plagued me with a phone to begin with) to reassure people that I wasn't run over by a lorry or that I did not hug a tree at humpteen hundred km/h. By definition the "tour" would lead me to "unusual places" -at rather high speeds, too-, that's the whole point of it.
So... in addition to being a software patent (Boo hiss; and not exactly anything innovative or non-obvious, either), it is a particularly dumb one. No? It's the phone equivalent of that dumb Yahoo! thing that won't allow me to log on from abroad; because obviously a webmail platform is not intended for "roaming" users... or is it?
Yep, especially as the sentence "Wildcards are interpreted by a shell script before any other action is taken" is dubious at best...
Re: Here come the lawsuits.
"Why is it at all important that we reassure MPs that they are, once again, especially privileged?"
It is very important because they are supposed to be the direct representatives of the people and the people's will. They are thus very tempting targets for anyone in pursuit of a less-than-honest agenda. While it would be quite impractical to individually blackmail or otherwise pressure every single citizen, you can have a law passed -or otherwise influence local and world politics- by controlling relatively few of their delegates. Hence, the delegates must be specifically protected.
Of course it's all very theoretical in modern times, for a number of reasons, including but not limited to,
-the elected representatives not generally giving a fuck about what their constituents want.
-most of the important decisions, and the interpretation of the laws, being largely controlled by non-elected quangos who don't give a fuck about what the elected representatives might think (just in case one would listen to their constituents for a change).
-the law enforcement machine, local authorities and other "seculiar" powers not caring terribly much about the laws or their interpretation most of the time anyway.
> Surly this hurts the consumer rather than Amazon.
Amazon virtually doesn't exist in France. The market of online bookstores (and ebook readers, too) is massively dominated by the French FNAC.
Book prices are already quite low in France (much lower than in the UK for example), because there's been quite a lot of governmental regulation going to keep them so. Penguin Book's racket would not have been tolerated in France; also, pocket books are classified as "essential items" for tax purposes, not as "luxury items". As such they're taxed ~5% instead of ~20%.
All in all, pocket books in France are half the price compared to the UK, and ~60% the price compared to North America. That leaves very little wiggle room for the likes of Amazon (and that is probably why Amazon never really made it in the market); that also makes the brick-and-mortar shops very vulnerable: they have fixed charges and their margins are wafer-thin. Protecting them from unfair practices (such as people using them as showrooms for the loss-driven online shops) is only fair.
Re: >dead in the water
> As a result, I used to find that French books, imported in Quebec were cheaper than in France.
Complete bullshit. Not only are they almost always more expensive, but if you have them delivered from a French outlet the Canadian customs charge you an extra 20% -despite the taxes being already paid in France, and yes, even if it's labelled as a gift. Plus the 5-15 bucks commission for the so-called "broker". When in Montreal I've been sent French books as gifts that ended up costing me several times the price of the book, should I have bought it directly. How protectionnist is that?
As for the comments on French bookstores, well. Perhaps you'll want to actually go there, for a try?
Re: >dead in the water
> It brilliantly manages to keep costs artificially high in bookstores for just about any books in France.
In stores, pocket books in France are about 1/2 the price they are in the UK and 2/3 of the price they are in Canada. I should know, I've lived in all three. Nice try, perhaps you'll want to test your luck again next time?
> Mais, vous savez, le Amazon est Amerloque, donc evil. Sacre bleu!
There are plenty of French online booksellers. In fact, Amazon is a very minor player in France, most of the market for that is owned by the very French FNAC (and to a smaller extent by the decidedly-not-Amerloque Virgin)
Re: Forget it Jake, It's Chinatown
Actually you'll find that the French Socialist party is only socialist by name; a bit like how Labour is related to actual labour, how much Democrats relate to democracy or Republicans to republic. In France there's also a party called "radical-socialiste" which is neither radical nor socialist but a group of middle-of-the-chessboard please-everyone limpwrists.
You'll also find that "socialist" doesn't really mean what most overpondians seem to think it means.
Re: I live in France and I'm happy with this
> So what you're saying is, everyone in France should have to pay more for their books so that you can feel good about going into a bookshop?
No; what I'm saying is that I'm tired of paying more so that the people who use bokshops as Amazon's showroom can pay less.
Also, second-hand books; your reading skills? Update them to 1.0.
I live in France and I'm happy with this
Actually I'm quite happy with that law. I live in France, and even though I don't have much time to read, when I do buy a book I don't want just "the latest thing everything is reading". If I did, I'd just be buying the Harry Potter series and Dan Brown's crap from Amazon and I would not like this law ;-)
What I do instead is I go to the small shop next block, I flip though the book that the nice old lady carefully hand-picked, I talk about them with her. She has a nice wide selection too, including things you'd have trouble to think a nice old lady would hand-pick. That way I find a lot of hidden gems that will never make the NYT bestseller list but are arguably better that anything that does. I do pay a bit more because the nice old lady can't compete with Amazon on price... and that's part of the reason why she struggles, as some dicks do exactly what I do except they don't buy, and instead go to Amazon to get the books they were recommended by the nice old lady. Because some people will do litterally anything to save an euro these days.
And I live in a pretty huge city; in small villages where the bokshops need to sell fishing rods to survive, if the price of books fall too much they'll just drop the books. And yes, that'd be a bad thing. People read too little as it is, and these people would NOT buy books from amazon, much less an eBook reader. They're not urbanite, they need something they can carry in their overalls' pocket all day.
So, yeah, regulating discounts on books seems fair to me. That's already the case for... almost everything actually. The sales period is reglemented etc.
And before you tell me "the consumer will pay more", I've been broke, for quite a long time. Second-hand books are dirt cheap, and there's a pretty special feeling about them that I kinda like. Even now I still buy some from time to time, they're comfy like a well-worn corduroy jacket.
Look at the display!
the on-stage display reads "ne jamais travailler avec nouvelle technologie sur scene" which translates to "never work with new technology on stage"*
So the guy chooses to use a boring old MacBook instead of a new exciting ChromeBook. Makes perfect sense!
Coat, door, cab
*(grammar error faithfully reproduced in the translation, btw)
"Within its limitations, And IF done by someone who had slogged up the very long and very steep learning curve Acess generally reasonable - IF: [...]"
I totally agree: Access is almost as good as any other entry-level database system, only a lot more convoluted to use, less reliable, with more limitations, and (for most) more expensive. It doesn't make it completely unusable if you really, really have to (as I did at some point). It does make it the least efficient tool of its class* and a right PITA though.
*that I have encountered, obviously. There may be worse. I've been told horror tales about the database tools in early releases of OpenOffice, for example, but I have no first-hand experience about it.
"proper way" and "Access"...
...within 4 lines in the same text. Uncanny what modern science can do.
Google can't find a good enough problem?
"we're now trying to identify a class of problems for which the current quantum hardware might outperform all known classical solvers. But it will take us a bit of time to publish firm conclusions."
That sounds pretty damning. If Google of all people can't find a problem "hard enough" for "quantum" tech to outperform older tech, then the new tech is pretty much the definition of a solution that can't solve any problem. Surely Google's "soft" analyse needs are the perfect use case for something like quantum computing?
Re: Used to be a remedy for home sickness
> I suppose now I have to buy a TV tuner card and try and get some software in place.
Depending on how annoying your ISP is, that could just me a matter of 100 bucks and perhaps 2 hours of work (I was tempted to write 1/2 h but obviously the "think of how much time you need then double that. That's half of what it'll take" rule prevails). Basically if you can connect to your home network from outside then Bob is your uncle. Otherwise you may have to set up an NoIP account or similar; I would suggest using a cheap small computer as the streaming server, not an expensive big noisy power-hungry thing. A Pi or a Sheeva plug; perhaps a cubieboard (cubietruck if you're feeling flush).
> Can you contact your supplier if Microsoft are claiming your licences are illegal?
Had done that. They came back to me with new activation codes; hope these work for longer!
> How did Microsoft *know* about these - were you audited?
According to Microsoft, I am responsible for 3 pirated Windows7 (not my choice) installs at work. Licences that I duly bought and paid for barely 1 month ago. Together with MSOffice licences (not my choice either), which of course are also labelled "pirate" by MicroSauron's all-seying eye. So I guess I am currently considererd as stealing thousands from poor MS nigh-empty purse. Or sumfin.
On the other hands I directed the affected -and frightened- users to open-source alternatives, some of which did stick thanks to MS' ill-advised anti-legit-user nagging.
Re: stupid question...
BTW i don't disagree with you on the fact that planting trees is good, for all kinds of thing; it's just not a very efficient way of trapping CO2.
Re: stupid question...
> but a forest ties up a lot more carbon compared to an open grassy plain or arable field
Not that much more, and it's very little. It's about 15% of the weight of trunks; the rest is mostly water. From back-of the envelope estimates, planting a tree a day would offset roughly the "carbon footprint" of the very act of planting it (given reasonnable values for growing saplings, transportation, the energy you put in it which means you need to eat, etc). Of course by planting thousands at a time you may scavenge more than you produce, but not much. Not much at all.
As for wood as a construction material, that's so low in terms of carbon storage as to be negligible; plaster and concrete, by comparison, are made in large parts from the shell of small marine organisms, i.e. carbon dioxide that was taken from the atmosphere and combined with calcium. Quite a lot of it, much more (by volume) than wood. Same as plastic which is made from dead organisms. Yet no-one in their right mind would pretend that building in plastic, plaster and concrete offsets your "carbon footprint" (quite the contrary in fact, you'd be burnt at the stake by envirotype for suggesting that, and they would not be wrong).
If you really want to scavenge large quantities of CO2, I'm afraid you'll need to take it permanently (or at least durably) out of the carbon circle. And the only way to do that in large quantities is marine microorganisms at present (then they become petrol and natural gas and it all goes back to the atmosphere via the guts of your hummer, but that's a considerably longer cycle, on that timescale that we can't even begin to fathom climate cycles, given that our model consistently produce previsions that fail to materialize in as little as 5 years)
Re: stupid question...
yeah, planting trees doesn't actually trap CO2. The rainforests are actually carbon-neutral That's due to the annoying fact that 100% of the carbon in a tree is released as C02 as it decays and rots (or as the critters that chomped on it decay). But at least planting trees make nice forests in which people can go have fun with their dirtbikes, AWD gaz-guzzlers etc ;-)
The only real way to trap CO2 is plankton, as the dead things drop in anoxic waters in which the carbon stays in solid form. To a (much) smaller extent, marshes do trap carbon too, for the same reason. But not forests.
You mean the nasty chemtrails, made of 47% refined evillium, 58% pinkokomium, and 29% mindcontrollium? These chemtrails:
No wonder the mind-controlled alien-governed scientists would push to make them less visible, they know we're on to them. etc...