* Posts by Cheshire Cat

137 posts • joined 8 Nov 2007


Something to look forward to: Being told your child or parent was radicalized by an AI bot into believing a bonkers antisemitic conspiracy theory

Cheshire Cat

Re: Wibble

Yes! Feed it the entire bibliography of Terry Pratchett and see if it can make some new Discworld books!

Though, I suspect even Hex would not have the necessary creative genius.

Putting the d'oh! in Adobe: 'Years of photos' permanently wiped from iPhones, iPads by bad Lightroom app update

Cheshire Cat

Cloud replication is NOT a backup

So users should be made to write "Cloud replication is not a backup" 100 times before you are allowed to use it.

It's not a backup unless you have at least 2 copies, and they are offline. And, ideally, tested.

Just having a synch tool from your device-of-choice to The Cloud (tm) is not a backup, as any phule kno. It's handy for remote access, and sometimes for 'whoops' moments, but its NOT a BACKUP.

For comparison, my photos are kept on the local disk, in one cloud sync (with delete disabled), 2 offline monthly USB disk backups, and a set of annual printed albums (for the annual favourites). And I'm far from being a professional photographer. I am constantly amazed by people (both home users and businesses) who put critical data that they would be heartbroken to lose in a single vulnerable place with no backups... my Work data are backed up in even more revisions and replicas.

If the Solar System's 'Planet Nine' is actually a small black hole, here's how we could detect it... wait, what?

Cheshire Cat

Re: Great just what I need in 2020

I may have failed O level biology, but I'm pretty sure that getting pregnant requires some sort of contact

If you don't LARP, you'll cry: Armed fun police swoop to disarm knight-errant spotted patrolling Welsh parkland

Cheshire Cat

Mr Nosebonk looks like your UK prime minister I think...

Mirror mirror on the wall, why will my mouse not work at all?

Cheshire Cat

Re: But if you're used to it...

This makes a lot of sense. I have to credit MS with an unusually successful idea.

Microsoft attempts to up its Teams game with new features while locked-down folk flock to rival Zoom... warts and all

Cheshire Cat

Re: NHS.net

"Yeah, we don't let any old Tom Dick and Harry create their own teams either - because if it's open slather, you get a whole bunch of crappy little teams people use for 2 days, then abandon. Then we need to spend significant time/expense tracking the owners down and ask them if they still want their crappy data."

Yes, THIS. Teams is designed to allow every Tom, Dick and Harriet to create a new group and the potential chaos for the admins is a nightmare. Not to mention that since you cannot add people to a team using a group, you end up with dozens of things to update when on/offboarding employees.

Cheshire Cat

But I still prefer Zoom...

While I wouldn't use zoom for anything highly confidential at government level, I think it's fine for other things, provided you configure it correctly (waiting room, password, etc). I am using it for our Scout group meetings with much success.

Teams cannot do the tiled multi-person view of up to 25 users like Zoom can; the teams client for Linux and phones is cut-down and a resource hog; and Teams doesnt support anonymous attendees. Zoom is just much, much easier to get someone into a meeting if they're not already part of your company. Also, administration of Teams is a nightmare - tracking down uploaded files, new groups proliferating uncontrolled, and inability to use existing groups to define membership.

Maker of Linux patch batch grsecurity can't duck $260,000 legal bills, says Cali appeals court in anti-SLAPP case

Cheshire Cat

Whether or not the OSS contract is illegal probably depends on the wording. Saying "we won't do business with you in the future if you do X" is very different from "Accepting the contract means you promise to never do X"

Perens clearly thinks they said the latter. However the judgement is solely on the belief that he has every right to state his opinion, and OSS were trying to shut him up. Too often it seems that US companies use legal threats to prevent people discussing or stating opinions.

Windows 7 back in black as holdouts report wallpaper-stripping shenanigans

Cheshire Cat

Actually, funeral strippers are a Taiwanese custom, not (mainland) China. They also have funeral processions containing flatbed trucks with pole-dancers on them, and "Professional Mourners" who can spend hours "crying" into a PA system about how sad they are that Uncle Wu has kicked the bucket, so that you don't have to.

When I was in Taiwan, one of the neighbours had one of these funerals. In the afternoon, there were puppet shows for the kids. After 9pm, the kids were sent home and the strippers came on. I wanted to go and experience the authentic local customs but the wife wouldn't let me ;)

Pair charged with murder, manslaughter after IBM Aspera boffin killed in New Year's Eve laptop theft struggle

Cheshire Cat

Re: Not worth dying for

"There's a deeper question here about why after so many arrests these alleged perps were still at large and unreformed."

The US penal system is not designed to reform, it is a business intended to make money. When they come out, they are even less able to get employment, and have larger debts, so go straight back to crime - and become more raw material for the prison business.

When is an electrical engineer not an engineer? When Arizona's state regulators decide to play word games

Cheshire Cat

Re: AKA Libertarians

I think the important distinction is between being "qualified" (which many places do require for professions such as hairdressers, chefs, and so on) and being "licensed" (which in most places is reserved for professions such as doctors, teachers, drivers, etc)

Requiring licensing for such a broad title as "engineer" is likely a holdover from some overzealous lawmaker in the US back when an "engineer" worked with heavy machinery and steam.

When the satellite network has literally gone glacial, it's vital you snow your enemy

Cheshire Cat

Lightning on phone lines

Back when I was about 20, has a lightning strike on the local phone lines. The local BBS had 4 modems explode, and a huge blue spark leapt out of my USR 14k4 modem ... which then continued to work fine. The PC was undamaged too.

Behold the perils of trying to turn the family and friends support line into a sideline

Cheshire Cat

Re: Obligatory XKCD

> Ah - that was my first motorbike. Yamaha XJ600N in black.

You too? Was a great bike, I even brought it out to New Zealand with me when I emigrated 17 years back. Loved riding that bike and was planning to tour the South Island on it some time with SWMBO.

Then 8 years ago, an unlicensed driver decided to drive over the top of it while I was riding it...

Wife won't let me ride a bike any more.

Tesco parking app hauled offline after exposing 10s of millions of Automatic Number Plate Recognition images

Cheshire Cat

Re: Shuttered?

"click to embiggen" is a Simpsons reference.

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name

Cheshire Cat
Thumb Up

Being outside the US I needed to look up what the word means out there.

If they can fix that abysmal UI then they can call it Susan for all I care.

Psst. Hey. Hey you. We have to whisper this in case the cool kidz hear, but... it's OK to pull your data back from the cloud

Cheshire Cat

Mission-critical should not be in the cloud...

Just last week, a whole town in New Zealand was cut off form the Internet due to a contractor with a JCB accidentally cutting the one fibre out of the place.

Business owners were on TV complaining that they couldn't get access to their bookings data or accounts (which were in the cloud), couldn't accept EFTPOS and couldn't run their businesses without their clouded functionality. Schools couldn't run without Google Docs, GMail and website.

I was yelling at the TV like a grumpy old man (so SWMBO tells me) about the idiocy of (a) making your business unable to operate without the Internet link, and (b) having no plan for disaster recovery. I mean, if you have to keep your calendar online, then at least have a printout of the day's bookings!

I would like to think that the people affected would now reconsider their dependence on the Internet, but I bet they won't.

Cheshire Cat

Re: Yes, by all means

I just had to say "fungible" again. It's an awesome word.

Fungible. Fungible. Fuuuungible.

OK, carry on...

Xbox daddy bakes bread with 4,000-year-old Egyptian yeast

Cheshire Cat

Its all in the temperature

Well, when you being the water up to 100 degrees in America, it's barely warm enough to make a decent cup of tea. UK kettles bring up to a proper 100 degrees.

Fed-up graphic design outfit dangles cash to anyone who can free infosec of hoodie pics

Cheshire Cat
Black Helicopters

I wear a hoodie

Well -- I work in infosec, AND I regularly wear a hoodie (since I obtained a nice one from Kiwicon last year). So I guess I'm the only REAL hacker around here, then?

Bet you all wish you had th3s3 l33t t0gs like wot I has.

How an ace-hole AI bot built by Facebook, CMU boffins whipped a table of human poker pros

Cheshire Cat
Big Brother

Re: Of course online poker is ruined

What makes you think that the online poke companies aren't already doing this *themselves*?

The best and worst of GitHub: Repos wiped without notice, quickly restored – but why?

Cheshire Cat

AI should never be able to *permanently* delete accounts. However, when you number your accounts in the hundreds of thousands or millions, you have to have some automatic disabling. Then the rare false positive can be manually corrected.

Of course, if you have a lot of false positives, you have a different issue and should tune your algorithm better before you give it teeth

Legal bombs fall on TurboTax maker Intuit for 'hiding' free service from search engines

Cheshire Cat

They aren't *always* lying

"We stand behind our actions as being [...] consistent with our values"

Yes, this looks 100% true. Underhand tricks, misleading customers and outright lies seem to certainly be consistent with their values.

So how'd this go again... A sea goddess told you in a dream to run for president of Taiwan? OK, Mr Foxconn boss

Cheshire Cat

Meanwhile,back in Taiwan

According to the (Taiwanese) wife, the joke currently going around in Taiwan is this:

After he announced that his candidacy was on the orders of Matzu, all the different Matzus from the many temples around the country got together and had a meeting.

"OK, who was it that gave him this stupid idea?" they all asked.

"Not me!" "Not me!" they all responded loudly together, pounding the table angrily...

And this is what caused the recent earthquake in Taiwan.

Prince Harry takes a stand against poverty, injustice, inequality? Er, no, Fortnite

Cheshire Cat


Show me someone older than 30 who hasn't done some questionable things in their youth that they would rather not have done. Harry's list of faux pas seems tame compared to some less public people I know.

The only difference is that Harry is young enough that these things were more easily recorded and spread to the Internet; and royal enough that tabloids and gossip mags are interested in doing so.

He's entitle to his opinion, and we're entitled to listen or ignore as we choose. Personally, I'd say that anything fun can get addictive if you've not much self-control, and I wouldn't let my kids play it without the teamspeak disabled, or at least restricted to known friends only.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Cheshire Cat

Another little-known fact

- In the North of England, Water Otters are colloquially referred to as 'kettles'

$24m in fun bux stolen from crypto-mogul. Now he fires off huge fraud charge. Like, RICO, say?

Cheshire Cat

AT&T security fail

I have some sympathy with him suing AT&T - their incompetence in not properly verifying his identity before making such a big change as porting his number is pretty clear.

Though, I wouldn't ever advise securing $million assets with nothing but an SMS for 2FA.

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

Cheshire Cat

We are legion! Fear us

Wizarding World of Harry Potter awaits Microsoft Office exam winners

Cheshire Cat

Re: Wizarding World of Harry Potter....

Well, if people want to watch/read it, then why not...

I think Ms Rowling (officially the richest woman in the UK?) actually gives much of her excess money away to worthy charities. Certainly a greater fraction than the majority of people in the 1% do, so good luck to her.

Dying! Yahoo! loses! fight! to! lock! dead! man's! dead! account!

Cheshire Cat

Re: No need to rule on terms of service

They've probably already lost the email, and atr trying to get out of admitting it...

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

Cheshire Cat

Happened to me as well

A few years ago, I was travelling to the US. The security goons demanded I start up my laptop, log in -- and then they took it away for 20 min without a word. I assume they were cloning the hard drive. Then they brought it back without a word, and sent me on to the frisking and shoe-xraying. Not a word of explanation, not a word of thanks.

Were I bringing in anything dodgy, I'd have encrypted it and hidden it on a website somewhere for late download; so the whole things was intrusive and pointless.

Of course, I am an Evil Foreigner (albeit white and non-beardy) so presumably I'm fair game.

Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired

Cheshire Cat

Looks like Europe only

I have a Samsung out here in NZ,and it is (fortunately) not affected.

Telegram chat app founder claims Feds offered backdoor bribe

Cheshire Cat

Re: Secure Chats

> The gazebo prances fluffy in the moonlight.

I attack the gazebo with my +1 sword!

... how many xp do I get?

When can real-world laws invade augmented reality fantasies? A trial in Milwaukee will decide

Cheshire Cat

Wont somebody think of the flowers?

So - this county wants to ban AR games, because someone irresponsible might walk on their flower beds while playing them.

However I bet they don't want to ban sales of assault rifles because someone might use them to commit murder.

Ever visited a land now under Islamic State rule? And you want to see America? Hand over that Facebook, Twitter, pal

Cheshire Cat

What if...

What if you don't have a twitter account? Will you not be allowed in until you make one?

Two-thirds of TV Licensing prosecutions at one London court targeted women

Cheshire Cat
Thumb Up

Seems a good deal to me

Those of us outside the UK are wondering why UK people complain about paying only $145/year for access to the whole of the BBC. I would gladly pay so little for such a huge number of advertising-free decent programs.

Try living in Au/NZ for a bit with only Sky at 50 quid/month that is 40% advertising by time.

Mars isn't the garbage wasteworld you think it is: Swirling polar ice cap photographed

Cheshire Cat

Re: Deteriorating cognitive function?

Re: Send the politicians

And, as a bonus, we don't need to bother about bringing them back.

And the spaceship can be named the "B Ark".

Apple again late to another market others pioneered. Or is it?

Cheshire Cat

The all-new Apple iCar!

Of course, the iCar can only be fuelled by a special, proprietary fuel nozzle (adaptor hoses available for US$139 each).

You can also only use Apple Maps to navigate, and require an Apple Driving license ... and any time they want, they can cause your car to lock you out and drive itself back to the Apple office.

How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript

Cheshire Cat

Looks like everyone is being a dick

Well, from reading the email exchanges made public and so on, it looks like everyone involved is coming off as a dick.

Koçulu seems to be less than professional and not particularly polite in his responses. The Kik people seem to have opened by threats of legal action if they didnt get what they wanted. When they offered compensation, Koçulu asked for $30K, and there was no negotiation on either side.

It would have been easier for Kik to have opened with "we'd like to take over the name, because trademark, and offer $10k in compensation". Even paying the asked $30k would have been so much easier and amicable all round. And, Koçulu should have responded a bit more professionally to the initial contacts, and not throw his toys out of the pram so soon - though I doubt anyone could have predicted how much would break from his removing the code.

When asked 'What's a .CNT file?' there's a polite way to answer

Cheshire Cat

Re: Computer User Not Technical

Error 13: Insufficient User IQ detected

Sneaky Microsoft renamed its data slurper before sticking it back in Windows 10

Cheshire Cat

Re: If someone can show me

Steam runs natively on Linux.

Also, I found that using the vendor-supplied graphics card drivers (NVidea Geforce) made a huge difference in game framerate for games like Minecraft, though X seems to run fine using either.

Drones are dropping drugs into prisons and the US govt just doesn't know what to do

Cheshire Cat

Use tanglers

String wires over the courtyard at a distance of about 3m apart.

Tie to the wires a large number of 1m long plastic strips that will blow in the wind.

Then, any drone coming past will tangle its rotors in the strips and get hung up.

Of course, if the drone then drops its package, this might be an issue, though you should have the wires at least 5m up in the air so anything dropped is likely to break.

Hack a garage and the car inside with a child's toy and a few chips

Cheshire Cat

Re: Well...

"Don't all garage door openers use rolling codes now?"

Some do, some don't. I know ours does, because I can't use a cheap record-and-replay replacement key but need to buy a special one and program the system to accept it (rather than the other way around). However cheaper ones (such as the ones used to secure stargates) do use fixed codes.

Intel doubles its bounty for women and ethnic minorities

Cheshire Cat

Surely any prejudiced company should darwinate itself

In the current climate of there never being enough competent tech workers, surely any company that uses any criteria other than technical competence when selecting a new employee will eventually darwinate itself out of existence. I know my employer is desperate to find competent IT people, regardless of any other criteria.

There are fewer women working in IT because there are fewer studying IT at uni and fewer playing with IT at high school. If you want more in tech roles, concentrate on getting more into the market. This is the same reason for there being fewer men in teaching or nursing - less of them study for the profession at uni. If you want to balance these out, remove the social disincentives of these career choices at high school and college; quotas at hiring time will not help as the candidates are simply not there.

GOOGLE GMAIL ATE MY LINUX: Gobbled email enrages Torvalds

Cheshire Cat


DMARC is massively broken, because it mandates an SPF test on the From header, even if a Sender header is present. What it should do is to test the Sender if present, else the From, but it doesn't.

Most mailing lists work completely RFC-compliant by adding a Sender header (known as the 'secretary scenario'). However, to get past DMARC tests, they have to violate the RFC and rewrite the From header instead, concealing the originator of the mail.

Kiwi company posts job ad for Windows support scammers

Cheshire Cat

Looks like a joke advert

Pretty sure this is a fake joke advert.

"If willing and compromise ethics = make money, then you fit in well."

I can't imagine anyone would say this in a real ad, plus the poor english is a bit of a giveaway - and the real scammers only recruit in India anyways....

Mega fatcat Kim Dotcom in deportation drama over SPEEDING ticket

Cheshire Cat

He's a jerk, but...

It goes without saying that he's a total jerk, and most people in NZ wish he'd never bribed his way into... err, I mean, 'been granted' residency.

However, the US (and by association, the NZ) governments are out to destroy him any way they can.

Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid

Cheshire Cat

I'd happily pay the license fee to access BBC from New Zealand

I - and many ex-pats - would be quite happy to pay the BBC license fee, if it meant being able to legally access the UK broadcast channels on demand. Sadly it is not possible to do this.

People who complain that their license fee is used to fund Eastenders, Top Gear and other tat, while applauding the occasional documentary and drama series, should be aware that it is in fact the Eastenders viewers subsidising the documentaries and dramas. If everything were funded proportional to the number of people watching them, Eastenders and Top Gear is all you'd have. The TV License funding model is why the BBC can risk funding on less popular or new series, dramas and documentaries. If funding were proportional to the number of viewers, then it would soon be goodbye to anything innovative or highbrow, and you'd have TV like they get in the US...

To Russia With Love: Snowden's pole-dancer girlfriend is living with him in Moscow

Cheshire Cat

Re: "worked as an occasional exotic dancer"

"For your next furneral, why not hire one of our exotic dancers!"

You think this is a joke -- but in Taiwan, this genuinely happens. Regularly. Seen it myself...

Girl gamers sexism row: Top e-sports federation finds reverse gear

Cheshire Cat
Thumb Down

Doesnt look like equality to me.

Playing computer games is not dependent on your physical strength, and so there should be no difference between the capabilities of male or female players. So why have separate tournaments? Fewer females win because fewer enter. Fewer enter because fewer are interested. Making a separate tournament for females is highly patronising and implies they are less capable of winning than a male player. Having a 'female only' tournament without a separate 'male only' is even more patronising, in addition to being by definition sexual discrimination.

By having two competitions, they are keeping female playes out of the 'real' tournament, decreasing the liklihood of a female reaching the finals, and propping up the myth that gender has anything to do with an ability to push buttons on a gamepad.

'Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World!' says email guru

Cheshire Cat

DKIM abuse

So, further investigation reveals that what they've done is to (a) use a DKIM signature that includes the Subject, Reply-To and Received headers, meaning that the moment it passes through a mailing list or redirector the DKIM signature becomes invalid, and (b) use a DMARC record which specifies that 100% of messages failing DKIM should be dropped into the bitbucket. They also implemented this straight off without gradual implementation or warning.

In addition, they've set up their own mail servers to bounce any imcoming dkim-failed messages, which means that any mailing lists to which a yahoo.com address has subscribed will receive a bounce message, and will then auto-unsubscribe said user...

Mail admin FAIL I think.



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