* Posts by Anonymous Vulture

47 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Feb 2008

Uncle Sam recovers 63.7 of 75 Bitcoins Colonial Pipeline paid to ransomware crew

Anonymous Vulture

Not your keys, not your crypto

I will observe that the document referenced states "The private key for the Subject Address is in the possession of the FBI in the Northern District of California."

Is it coincidence that the largest US Crypto Exchange, Coinbase is out of San Francisco, which is within the Northern District?

In my mind its pretty clear how that private key wound up with the FBI. Coinbase or another exchange turned it over. This is why leaving crypto in an exchange wallet is a risky proposition.

It's right here: https://www.coinbase.com/learn/crypto-basics/what-is-a-crypto-wallet "The Coinbase app will securely manage the rights to your private keys." Yes, and in this case it securely managed those rights to the FBI.

Even the bad guys don't have a good handle on crypto management.

McCain: Come to my encryption hearing. Tim Cook: No, I'm good. McCain: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you

Anonymous Vulture

Re: Dear Senator McCain

Given the choice between the unstable egomaniacal demagogue and the corrupt politician, I am reluctantly backing the historical trend. We know what the corrupt politicians can and will do. Unstable egomaniacs are by definition a wild card. Wild cards equipped with nuclear weapons make me very nervous. See the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The major difference is the rockets in Montana and North Dakota have been proven to work. In any event, I am not eligible to weigh in on the former colonies elections.

Anonymous Vulture

Dear Senator McCain

You have a demagogical, narcissist, egomaniac who is the presumptive nominee from your political party for the position of chief executive of the country currently equipped with the largest nuclear weapons stockpile. Please reprioritize your agenda. When you have addressed this issue as well as several others, Mr. Cook might be persuaded to sit still while you belittle him. In the meantime, he and the rest of the world have better things to do.

Thank you for your time.

PS - Congressional hearings were once used so members could learn about a variety of topics from a variety of viewpoints. I suggest exercising some leadership on the subject and trying to return to form rather than continuing to use them as public witch burnings.

Icon selected as to how said presumptive nominee tends to state he will address most issues relating to foreign policy.

Since you love Flash so much, Adobe now has TWO versions for you

Anonymous Vulture
Thumb Up

That says it all

I had a pithy comment but the above addresses it so very succinctly.

Have an upvote

Google's Nexii stand tall among Android's insecure swill

Anonymous Vulture

Nexii do not run AOSP

At least not when they are purchased and still running the "stock" OS they are not.

From the AOSP website: "After building an Android compatible device, consider licensing Google Mobile Services (GMS), Google’s proprietary suite of apps (Google Play, YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, and more ) that run on top of Android. GMS is not part of the Android Open Source Project and is available only through a license with Google."

Applications like Hangouts do not run on a stock AOSP system. You need GMS. When you buy a Nexus device from Google directly, or from any "usual" provider, it comes not only with what is included in AOSP, but GMS and its components as well as any binaries needed to run important bits and bobs like Wi-Fi or GPS.

Sorry for the pedantic rant, but the fact that Google contributes very little of what your average user considers to be integral Android functionality back to AOSP gets my goat. Even if it is it their right.

Google quietly takes gag off Mississippi AG after wrecking ads probe

Anonymous Vulture

Re: Apt description ...

Beat me to it.

"Mississippi House members attempted to crush his ability to investigate major corporations, restricting the filing of any lawsuit from which the improvised American state could receive more than $250,000 in damages."

While those in the remaining 49 States are occasionally grateful for Mississippi occupying the bottom rung in unimportant categories like education or median household income, it is in fact a full State. An impoverished one to be sure, but not improvised. Perhaps one of the thirty admitted to the Union after it might qualify as improvised.

Mississippi does have a problem with keeping up with the rest of the Union. For example it did not remove its ban on interracial marriage until 1987, twenty years after the Supreme Court ruled similar laws unconstitutional. The state did not manage to ratify the Amendment to ban slavery until 2013, one hundred and forty eight years late.

I am not saying the educational issues are related to the rest of the problems, but I am not saying they are not either.

Microsoft wins landmark Irish data slurp warrant case against the US

Anonymous Vulture

Things I never thought I would say....

Hurrah for Microsoft!

That being said, if the United States Government really wants that data they will get it. Ideally that will be through a formal request to the Irish Government where it will wind its way through the various courts. More likely it will be a formal request to GCHQ to obtain said data and then share it back under some sort of Five Eyes agreement.

Then of course if the data is to be used in a criminal prosecution someone has to take the time to fabricate and obfuscate how the data was actually obtained but that is just a minor detail if the desire is great.

Google slammed over its 'free' school service

Anonymous Vulture

Plain language

Clearly there is a need for plain language in contracts. They should be written so any student enrolled in an A-level can understand it. Too often plain language is interpreted as meaning that your average lawyer thinks she understands it enough to file a suit in order to collect fees over a perceived ambiguity.

As for "Don't Be Evil" my retort is "Don't Make Me Laugh".

TeamViewer: So sorry we blamed you after your PC was hacked

Anonymous Vulture

Let us read between the lines

"What we intended to make clear is when you use a tool like TeamViewer you need to take extra care"

Because we certainly did not when we developed our security model or when we deployed our security measures. At this point we want to make it clear that all of the risk resided with you, our beloved users. Please review our hastily rewritten EULA and Terms of Service and click agree about fifty pages below the artfully hidden binding arbitration clause.

A significant number of customers have claimed to be compromised, but they represent an incredibly small portion of our total customers.

An incredibly large number of our customers have been had, probably twice as many have been had and do not know it. The good news is those numbers represent a small percentage of the total number of downloads of our software product since we released v1.0

We want those customers who have been breached to send us their log files, in particular if they were using 2FA.

We would desperately like our customers to send us their log files because ours are incomplete or not properly configured and we really want to know what kind of evidence will be presented against us in the inevitable legal battles to come. There is no way the attorneys will pass that information on once the lawsuits are filed, so be a dear and send that information straight away.

FAA to test Brit drone-busting kit

Anonymous Vulture

Re: Using AUDS, the operator can effectively take control of a drone

The only problem with jamming GPS on the drone is you are jamming GPS for everyone else in the area at the same time. In the vicinity of airports this is a Bad Thing © ® ™ Modern aircraft are extremely dependent on GPS for important things like altitude, in my opinion too dependent, but that is a subject for another comment.

SEC warns cybersecurity is biggest threat to financial system

Anonymous Vulture

If you store things of value...

...in the form of ones and zeroes, then of course maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and availability of those ones and zeroes is important.

Of course the inevitable "Won't someone think of the children" and "But terrorists!" cries degrade the steps taken to protect the ones and zeroes. The strong cryptography push/pull pointed out by a fellow poster is a great example of this. We have to be able to look at encrypted e-mail because terrorists will kill us all in our beds if we don't, but at the same time we need to have secure banking transactions.

The fundamental failure of Government and others in power to understand the basic tenets of the technology that underpins everyday life both amazes and terrifies me. I cannot even pinpoint where the failure starts.

FTC's Jerk ruling against ex-Napster boss upheld by court

Anonymous Vulture

Why privacy is still important

As others have said - no social media footprint, no problem. What is interesting to me is I thought the horror that is/was Peeple was original. Apparently Mr. Fanning had the idea first.

I truly believe that there needs to be some basic required education in schools that covers social networking and the permanence of actions taken on the internet. Or some people will find themselves paying a 'subscription' to keep their mildly embarrassing antics under cover. How long before Zuckerberg or Twitter see this as an alternative revenue stream? I can see the e-mail now "Do not forget to pay your Erasure(tm) subscription fee this month to continue hiding those posts you made under the influence five years ago."

Landmark computer hacking archive deposited at TNMOC

Anonymous Vulture

Relic of an age when security wasn’t treated seriously

El Reg jests! I demand my yearly free keyboard - this one is no longer fit for purpose.

I realize I am preaching to the choir, but security still is not treated seriously. Until general societal standards undergo the tectonic shift to penalize those who through conscious choice or negligence inflict damage on customers or the general public, security will not be treated seriously.

Passing laws that penalize those who actually perform white hat work does not count.

I would go on but Trevor did a much better job a little under a year ago .

Girls outpace boys in US IT and engineering test

Anonymous Vulture
IT Angle

Only an observation

That predominately one side of this discussion only posts as AC, while the other is comfortable posting under their actual tag. Meaningless correlation? Perhaps. An off-shoot of the GIFT? I have not yet received a grant to investigate further.

Kill Flash now? Chrome may be about to do just that

Anonymous Vulture

Re: Google catches up to Apple, while Microsoft trails the pack

patrickstar spake:

To be fair, its bug count or frequency isn't worse than any of the major browsers.

No argument, but its line of code count should be less than a browser and its stated set of functions certainly is smaller. Just because someone else writes terrible code does not mean you are excused for doing the same.

Forgive me for using hyperbole to make my original point. I am not revising history to gloss over the atrocious lack of security controls in Windows 98, but given the choice between the two terrible alternatives I will take the obsolete and unlikely to be targeted Windows 98 box over a modern Windows box running Flash. Adobe seems to keep including bugs in each Flash release that allow for sundry nastiness despite OS security enhancements

Anonymous Vulture

Google catches up to Apple, while Microsoft trails the pack

So the Almighty Jobs killed Flash on mobile back in 2011, and Google is set to do the same on the desktop in 2016. All I can say is, it is about bloody time!

Flash has been a security joke forever. The numbers there amaze even me, 314 vulnerabilities in 2015? You're probably safer running a Windows 98 box than a modern Windows flavor with Flash installed.

That said, the Flash plague will probably haunt the Internet for at least another 5 years until Microsoft finally kills it in an undocumented "functional" update to Windows 10. This nonsense about exempting the top 10 Flash domains seems like it could extend the nightmare for a bit.

Sloppy security in IoT putting 'life and limb' at risk, guru warns

Anonymous Vulture

I welcome our new IoT overlords...

...and their never updated, security hole ridden, constantly phoning home devices - and the accompanying rise in my income that they will bring.

I see a strong demand for the crippling of these devices 'phone home' capability, patching of security holes in 'obsolete models' and so on, amongst a growing segment of the population. If you can wield a soldering iron, provide a limited warranty of basic functionality after the modification, and avoid crippling the useful functions in the process you can probably earn a good off the books living. Shade tree mechanics did this kind of work for decades when automotive dealers demanded exorbitant prices for repairing their broken designs. I have yet to coin a term for this new occupation, privacy repairman does not quite have the ring I am looking for.

UK.gov is about to fling your data at anyone who wants it. How? Why? Shut up, pleb

Anonymous Vulture
Thumb Up

Excellent idea! But I have one small change...

Regardless of how the voters feel, we are all aware that this data sharing will occur, even if the Government needs to justify it under anti-terrorism measures. My proposed modification requires all civil servants, members of the Government, employees of non-public entities, local council members and so forth that share or access shared data to permit unlimited public access to the following:

1) Their banking records and transactions

2) Tax records

3) Internet search history

4) Telephone records

5) Time-stamped location data from their mobiles

6) Medical records

After all this level of transparency will instill trust in the public that we do not have terrorists* serving in positions of power.

*Yes, I am aware of the opinion that members of the current Government could be accused of terrifying the populace to support such atrocities as the Snooper's Charter. I am neither confirming or denying I share this opinion in the hopes that I can keep my name lower on the 'Watch this one' list.

Cities are investigating, workers are on strike, but it's not all good news for Verizon

Anonymous Vulture

Re: I can tell you exactly how things can get worse

Warm Braw spake:

Prisoners seem to be one of a growing number of subhuman underclasses - along with people on benefits and immigrants - who are being written out of mainstream society and excluded from the same rights as everyone else.

While prisons should be humane, people who are imprisoned are there specifically to exclude them from everyone else. They have been convicted of being incapable keeping to the code of behavior embraced by the remainder of mainstream society and have been deprived of a subset of the rights enjoyed by everyone else as a result*.

Prison should be unpleasant to discourage recidivism. It also must allow for rehabilitation and provide opportunities for those incarcerated to learn skills to either aid them to function appropriately within mainstream society upon release, or to contribute to society from prison if they are serving a whole life order.

*Yes, I am aware of the issues in justice systems around the globe, particularly in those countries where justice is not only blind, but bound, gagged, and buried in a shallow grave. This is not the situation I am discussing.

Russia poised to unleash 'Son of Satan' ICBM

Anonymous Vulture

Re: Two steps forward...

I rarely comment against AC, but I have to jump in here.

Your statements are 95% correct in fact, ignoring the slight deltas in numbers which I attribute to your sources.

Unfortunately your conclusions ignore recent history. Russia defaulted on her debt in 1998 when inflation hit 84% and she appealed for international aid, including emergency food aid. This led to a crisis in government which resulted in the eventual resignation of President Yeltsin and the rapid rise of Vladimir Putin from Deputy Prime Minister to President where he has essentially remained since. Yes, I am hand waving the power swap between his second and third terms as President that took place with Dmitry Medvedev. Its easy to look good on paper when you wrote off every foreign debt in one fell swoop less than twenty years ago.

I agree that military spending is a threat to world peace, since you cannot justify the expenditures without using the new military toys a bit, which in turn leads to additional military spending, which leads to, which leads to, which leads to. That issue applies to the world as a whole, since no government can seem to avoid testing the latest military toy, be it a rifle, tank or aircraft. Thankfully we have well documented agreements for testing the subject of the article, at least sans warhead.

Where Russia and the United States differ is the US, at least under the most recent administration, lurches from good intentioned intervention that gets messy (see Libya), to cleaning up the previous administrations mess (Iraq and Afghanistan), to another good intentioned intervention that turns into a mess (see Syria). Russia on the other hand seizes territory for strategic advantage and to distract citizens from an economy devastated by the recent drop in oil prices. Neither is ideal, but I would rather work with the good intentioned neighbor than the calculating malicious one.

Finally, the market disagrees with you with the threat posed by borrowing. US 10 Year Treasuries are yielding just about 1.76%, while Russian Federation 10 year bonds are yielding just over 8.8%.

All told, I would much rather work with the US, at least until the body politic loses its mind entirely, yields to the lure of bread and circuses, and elects Donald Trump. Then all bets are off and I refuse to offer odds on the insanity that follows.

Microsoft to add a touch of Chrome to Edge

Anonymous Vulture

Finally a solution...

..for everyone who supports a family member who refuses to believe anything other than the blue E leads to the internet. Also those who are stuck on small business networks. If this goes through, its uBlock Origin on all of those bloody machines and perhaps, just perhaps, I will be able to go a week without restoring backups after another Cryptolocker derivative strikes, or someone downloads a "Flash upgrade, because the website told me I should".

Fingers crossed and a pint to those at Microsoft who finally acknowledged that if its not made in Redmond, it does not mean its crap.

Between this and SQL Server for Linux perhaps there is hope after all. Maybe some of this common sense will float over to the Windows 10 division and they can knock off this GWX nonsense.

Probably not, but its fun to think about.

Apple engineers rebel, refuse to work on iOS amid FBI iPhone battle

Anonymous Vulture

If you have the time

Apple does publish the security model for iOS 9 and later. It makes interesting technical reading and if you truly want to understand the security model that everyone is discussing, its worth the time.


Here's another from 2014: <https://www.apple.com/br/privacy/docs/iOS_Security_Guide_Oct_2014.pdf>

Please read them, or any of the other explanations available here or through a quick search, before posting what is or is not possible for Apple or the FBI to do in this case. It will save you looking a little foolish on the internet, and the rest of us from having a heart attack over having to explain the situation for the nth time.

I have gotten to the point I've printed the document and just hand it to people at the office who start in the whole subject.

T-Mobile USA’s BingeOn is a smash hit. So what now?

Anonymous Vulture
Thumb Up

Real world trumps philosophy once again

So the punters like it, T-Mobile likes it, the partner websites like it, and even the non-partner websites are seeing increased traffic. I think the net neutrality camp, the Google oriented lobbyist organizations and just the sundry part-time technology philosophers on their blogs, are going to find themselves in the ideological wilderness with Richard Stallman.

BingeOn might not be in compliance with your philosophical beliefs, but the punters have voted with their time, money, and bandwidth. Pure ideology is never going to win against that particular opponent.

Activist investors want tepid Yahoo! to reboot crashed Marissa Mayer

Anonymous Vulture

Feaguing Yahoo!

"To feague a horse; to put ginger up a horse’s fundament, and formerly, as it is said, a live eel, to make him lively and carry his tail well"

First off, I think El Reg needs to anticipate a call from the Animal Welfare League for resurrecting this concept. Moving on...

First we have to consider the source. Starboard Value LP was founded in 2011. It has not exactly performed well since. Most recent quarter ending 30 September 2015 it was up approximately 1%. When investing in such stocks as DRI (down 12% since 30 September) that is to be expected. My suspicion is some of this noise is to distract from lackluster performance.

Yahoo was not a sound investment for anyone looking for an immediate profit when Mayer became CEO in 2012. There were two choices at the time: strip the company down for sale, including the 24% stake in Alibaba, or try and turn it around over a minimum of five years. The global economy still being significantly stalled in 2012 drove the choice to trying a turnaround.

Anyone who remained invested in Yahoo at that point should have been aware this was a boom/bust proposition. Either the turnaround was going to succeed or there was going to be a fire sale when it failed. My opinion is that the outcome is yet to be determined. Changing management yet again will only increase the chances of a fire sale. Place your bets and take your chances, but do not try and feague the horse with a stick of dynamite when it still has a chance to win the race.

IT security is a safe job? Tell that to Norse staff laid off this week

Anonymous Vulture

...life in the VC lane

That is how life goes in a small VC backed company. Nothing new to see here. As an employee you are trading in job stability and traditional Personnel resources in exchange for potential stock options and the opportunity to advance your career much faster than you would in a well established publically traded company such as Oracle or HP.

As far as your complaint about an "unexpectedly announced...mass layoff", when are mass layoffs ever expected by or communicated to the rank and file in any industry?

Your future daughter-in-law swung for the fences and struck out. It happens more often than not, but I hope she continues to push ahead in the field.

FBI-baiter Barrett Brown gets five years in chokey plus $890,000 fine

Anonymous Vulture
Black Helicopters

Re: Smart???

Simply threatening a federal agent is a Class D felony, and is a fairly easy charge to convict on in most federal districts. If the case is made correctly, that charge can be upgraded to making terroristic threats which is a Class C felony. Terrorism charges are even easier to make in most federal districts. Once terrorism has been invoked the dark and twisted pathway of the PATRIOT Act is in play. His lawyers likely explained that while the case against him represented a serious risk reward problem and he pled out as a result.

Based on his video rants he would likely make a very unsympathetic character in the witness box and he does not strike me as someone who is willing to forgo testifying in his own defence.

Anonymous Vulture

Re: Club Fed

Once again El Reg falls down on the reporting of nontechnical details. Not entirely unreasonable since the majority of news outlets have missed the details as well. There is no parole in the US federal prison system since it was eliminated in 1987. The sentence includes the option for him to be released under the supervised release program upon meeting several prerequisites including completion of a drug treatment program. He will also have his computer access monitored for the duration of the sentence in prison or out. The difficult part for Mr. Brown will the need to meet all of his obligations for the duration of supervised release if he earns it. Violating the conditions of supervised release, even on the last week can result in serving a period equivalent to the original sentence inside prison walls.

The Year of Living Danishly, The Internet is Not the Answer and Classical Literature

Anonymous Vulture

Fact checking

I could truly care less about any of the books but the fact that the reviewer throws rocks at Denmark in an attempt to be funny is more than mildly annoying. I am not a resident or citizen of Denmark but I have found it to be a very pleasant place to visit and conduct business.

Per capita alcohol consumption in the UK exceeds that of Denmark:

WHO Substance Abuse

While the per capita consumption of antidepressants is high in Denmark it is exceeded by that of Iceland.

OECD Prescription Statistics

Grammar Nazi since it is the closest to obnoxious fact checking Nazi.

YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins

Anonymous Vulture

Re: So in short, you've four motivations to look out for.

The four methods of compromise are actually represented by the acronym MICE - Money, Ideology, Conscience and Ego. Same methods used in every conflict throughout human history to compromise an individual and entice, persuade, or force them to do your bidding.

Money - Clear enough. Pay them what they want and they do what you want.

Ideology - They think that you believe what they believe and will work towards a mutual goal as a result.

Conscience - You can either persuade them that what you are asking them to do is morally right, or you can appeal to their conscience more directly by threatening loved ones.

Ego - Oddly enough, this may be the underlying weakness in most IT personnel. Do something just to prove you can.

NASA space shuttle landing site to turn commercial

Anonymous Vulture

So once again we're going to..

..subsidize a private business which is highly unlikely to get off the ground -terrible pun, I know- with the fruits of Government spending.

I am not saying I have a better idea of what to do with that much reinforced concrete, but there has to be something better than giving it away in support of a yet to be determined business that is likely to need additional government funding and/or tax breaks. Oh and that is not to mention the additional environmental impact of draining and filling more wetlands.

The idea behind capitalism was to let businesses succeed or fail based on their merits. Clearly this definition has been replaced by the one where businesses are launched on the whims of lobbyists and politicians and succeed based on how well they repay those who back them.

Newsweek knocks on door of dad-of-six, tells him he invented Bitcoin

Anonymous Vulture

The American press strikes again

I am not sure what the public interest in this story is - it was far more entertaining to speculate about the identity of creator, particularly since he or she had made it clear they had not developed the bitcoin protocol for fame, although perhaps for fortune.

Regardless, the public outing of the creator does potentially put him and his family in danger either from physical threats or knowing the legal system, legal threats related to the crash of various exchanges. A good tactic in lawsuits is naming everyone even remotely involved in an issue just to see what you can find in discovery, or to try and force a settlement.

If an inventor wants to remain anonymous and has created something people find of value, that is certainly fine with me and I respect that. I wish more people would, particularly the press. But it is probably easier to research a single individual than to do hard reporting on government corruption or overreach, just to make two examples.

MtGox boss vows to keep going despite $429m Bitcoin 'theft'

Anonymous Vulture

Re: Ironic

@emmanuel goldstein

You are quite correct of course. The Silk Road administrator had such strict rules about harming others that he allegedly tried to hire hitmen to kill at least two people. Whatever your thoughts on the site it was not a Disney attraction.

Anonymous Vulture


The <ahem> services that are being sought by disgruntled Mt. Gox users are exactly those that were offered by some through Silk Road. Even with the marketplace being replaced, they're going to have a hard time hiring hitmen without access to their Bitcoin wallets. Maybe a contigency contract is in order - you know, if you beat my money out of Karpeles you can keep half kind of deal.

Of course the dodgy element that likely lost the large majority of the funds 'missing' at Mt. Gox are likely to extract their funds, everyone elses funds, and various body parts from Mr. Karpeles well before any independent effort gets off the ground.

Schneier: NSA snooping tactics will be copied by criminals in 3 to 5 years

Anonymous Vulture

Strong crypto is not a magic bullet

First there is the consideration of who created the various cryptosystems. If you can find one constructed by parties you have faith in, and that has been throughly vetted by experts, you are still not out of the woods. You now have to find a proper implementation that works on your preferred operating system and was coded by parties you have faith in. Clearing these hurdles is only sufficient to secure your data locally.

Data you share with medical providers, search providers, service providers, financial institutions, and so on is a completely different matter. All of this data is being moved to the magical cloud. You have no control over the encryption used there, and more importantly over the key management used there. Even if AES-256 is bullet proof and properly implemented, if the key management system is flawed, you are just as screwed as if the data had been stored unencrypted.

Real security is painful and costs money. It is also something that does not show up in the positive column on a balance sheet - so anyone motivated by financial gain is going to implement just enough to get you to share your data or to skate by whatever regulator might glance in their direction. Witness the Bitcoin hacks, and the recent credit card leaks.

China in the grip of a 'NUCLEAR WINTER': Smog threat to crops

Anonymous Vulture

Economics Chinese Style

China is modernizing its economy on the backs of its people. Unfortunately for the population, this is the country of the Great Leap Forward. People are considered just another economic resource, just like the coal burning in the power plants poisoning the factory workers who rely on those same power plants to keep running so they can scratch out a living.

As for the rest of the world, the pollution is not going to remain in China. Neither are the rising food prices resulting from the need to import additional food to feed those who have not yet been laid low from the pollution.

The only upside is that a few multinational corporations will report a bump in earnings from coal and food sales to China.

'G-WIZ like' object doing 40,000 MPH CRASHES on the MOON

Anonymous Vulture

When the attention span of your average politician....

...is about four sentences of a written report long, including statistical error bars is something best left for the end of the report.

Various special interests use this to their advantage, its a good thing that the scientific community is finally catching on.

We do need to have a El Reg conversion from G-Wiz for our American cousins. I propose a Harley-Davidson Wide Glide(r) [683 lbs] ridden by a pair of joy riding intoxicated Greys [about 100 lbs each].

SpaceX set to try HOVER LANDING for re-usable rockets on March ISS mission

Anonymous Vulture

This is the real engineering spirit

Mr. Musk was not content to sit back and retire with his eBay profits, he has moved on and invested them into additional ventures. Whether you think any of his ventures have a chance of being a real commercial success or not, you have to respect the fact that he has taken on the established norms, particularly with spaceflight.

I have long mourned the numerous stalls experienced in the area of space exploration since the late 70's and early 80's. Mr. Musk has shaken up an industry that had become all too lethargic and has hopefully opened the door to future innovation. I look forward to seeing what comes next on this program. Hopefully many successes, but spectacular engineering failures are not only fun to look at, but can often teach us nearly as much as a success!

I raise a beer to SpaceX and all others challenging the all too stagnant status quo in many engineering disciplines!

How God and übergeek Ron Crane saved 3Com's bacon

Anonymous Vulture

And if he decided to add another feature....

...3Com would have crashed and burned? It's nice to see that this worked out, 3Com used to be make some really nice kit. But far too often you see some engineers engaged in this behavior on items that really just should be declared done. Polishing the cannonball as it were. To be fair you do see some programmers shipping code marked final that doesn't deserve to see the light of day as a pre-alpha leak.

AVG nukes stalking ads at press of BIG SHINY BUTTON

Anonymous Vulture
Thumb Down

Re: Question from the ignorant?

1. AVG comes with all sorts of bloated crap in the background

2. It works about half as well as any other AV suite out there

3. They blanket you with ads even after you've purchased the software to the point where friends and family regard it as worse than the malware AV popups

It's a total pile. Ghostery at least works, although I'm waiting for them to come up with something for IE - not everyone in a corporate environment can load whatever they want.

The Register Comments Guidelines

Anonymous Vulture

This title is optional

Test, test, one, one, two, three.....

Boffin breakthrough doubles Wi-Fi speed

Anonymous Vulture

On the order of

They call out in the paper real world nulls that achieve reductions on the order of 20-30 dB. Granted the testing occured in a fairly controlled office environment (a hall at the Uni), but they did note its a fairly active radio environment, (802.11, Bluetooth and so on). I was hoping they'd provide some information on actual background levels in the text, but they did not. At any rate, they did move the location of the access points around quite a bit (see the text for the map), which should have resulted in several fairly different reflective environments.

Anonymous Vulture

Read the article

They clearly note they are approaching this from an 802.15.4 network perspective, not 802.11 They have spelled out the fact that they have difficult in applications that have high transmit power (they tested at 0dBm), and large bandwidth (100 MHz and above is noted as being very difficult to handle). They're achieving significant reduction (on the order of 20dB to 30dB) from the antenna cancellation alone, and as much as 50dB when including a digital noise cancellation circuit.

They would have to improve the noise cancellation circuit, and have very precise antenna placement in order to have this technique work reliability at 802.11 power levels, yes, but they note that both are possible in the text.

Google Street View logs WiFi networks, Mac addresses

Anonymous Vulture
Black Helicopters

Only if...

...you want your opt our request filed in their database. Actually, the spooks would probably prefer that.

Austrian takes pickaxe to Street View spymobile

Anonymous Vulture

Google != Secret Service

Google may not be an arm of the secret service, but they certainly are on more than speaking terms with them. If it was a ground level photographic record of what a place looked like at a particular point in time maintained by say, the British Museum or American Smithsonian? That would be a lot more innocuous than by a company that "wants to know everything about you", and has a vested interested in keeping governments of all different political bents happy.

I'm fairly privacy conscious, and wish the Founders had put something a little more clear into the Constitution with regards to personal privacy. But in an era when you could walk a hundred yards away from others, check the bushes, and be confident of having a private conversation, it probably didn't come up.

Mozilla tries to shunt Firefox 3.0 users over to 3.5

Anonymous Vulture

High CPU issue

3.5.X causes a high cpu condition after several minutes on all of our corporate machine builds, even with just one tab open - ie, open the browser and sit on home page. No amount of tweaking or help from the Mozilla folks cleared it up. So we'll be on 3.0.x indefinitely. If they stop issuing security patches, we're going to have to move to another browser platform. Too bad, it was a huge uphill battle to get Firefox approved.

White House network pwned 'multiple' times by Chinese

Anonymous Vulture

Maybe Yahoo is safer?

Perhaps Ms. Palin had it right, its safer to store things in a Yahoo account. Or we could follow Mr. Rove's example and conduct government business from a political account.

Yahoo could probably use this as advertising considering their sorry plight. "Use Yahoo - free from FOIA requests, mandatory archive requirements, and Chinese hackers".

Mine's the one with not_a_government_account@yahoo.com e-mail address in the pocket.

Calls to ban hoodie-busting sonic weapon

Anonymous Vulture

Chavs in the US of A

Disclaimer: I'm a twenty something lucky enough to be a in professional position relevant to my degree and that noise drives me absolute insane. Now onwards:

While this may not be an ideal solution there needs to be SOMETHING done about groups of young people, loitering in packs (no other word for it really), in front of shops and elsewhere. It deters traffic to the store, and while the majority might be 'just hanging out', you will often see a distracted shopkeeper trying to do business while keeping another eye out for shoplifting attempts. A local shopping area recently banned groups larger than three after certain hours and found themselves on the wrong end of a 'right to assemble' lawsuit. Thankfully common sense prevailed and it was tossed. I've never seen the place so busy since.

I'm a fairly tall individual and I've encountered several attempts to 'bum a dollar' from these kind of groups, sometimes late at night when I'm out with friends. They can get demonstrably violent if refused, or even if accommodated. One of my female friends made the mistake of opening her purse to fetch a dollar and was invited 'not to be so stingy' and was set upon by the entire group (none of whom could have been older than 15). Thankfully we've not yet been stripped of our right to self defense and they were dissuaded by the offer of some high velocity trans-cortical lead therapy to go with their dollar. Although if she'd actually done it there would have been SOME lawsuit. If you're under 18 you're automatically a victim don't you know?

But I digress. Its both a social issue and an enforcement issue. There are laws on the books against loitering, its just a matter of enforcing them, perhaps with a little community service rather than the usual talking to from an overworked judge. Even if its digging drainage ditches. Sounds like that might be useful across the pond as well. Socially...well that's a problem you can't tackle in an El Reg comment box.

As to the comment that we don't have adult chavs here in the US? We may not have them, but the organized gang issue is more than enough thank you kindly.

Mine's the with 'Generation Why?' on the back. Thanks.