* Posts by Mr Sceptical

184 posts • joined 21 Jan 2010

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Crane horror Reg reader uses his severed finger to unlock Samsung Galaxy phone

Mr Sceptical
Facepalm

Re: Biometrics should not be part of ID or Security

There was a news report years ago about some guy in South America who thought it was smart to protect his expensive car from theft by installing a biometric reader to start it.

Guess what the theives did to steal it then??

Can't remember if he survived or not, but would answer to Stumpy if he did.

Mr Sceptical
Thumb Down

Re: severed finger unlocker

For amusement and morbid interest, I checked out a book on hand injuries from the pre-clinical library at Uni.

I'm not squeamish, but my housemates did struggle with many of the graphic photos.

One that stuck in the mind was a poor guy who had all his fingers on one hand torn out, including 30cm of tendons that controlled them, preventing them being meaningfully reattached...

Icon for what his hand looked like afterwards --->

Yes, there's nothing quite like braving the M4 into London on the eve of a bank holiday just to eject a non-bootable floppy

Mr Sceptical
Facepalm

"OLD interactive whiteboards"???

Those things were pure science fiction when I was at school!

I had an idea they'd make a brilliant product, but then did a 'Tension Sheet' and forgot to patent the damn things.

Could have been drinking fresh mango juice, with goldfish shoals nibbling at my toes.

Smeg!

Mr Sceptical
Flame

"I had a go at fixing it..."

Do they follow that with, "Good news, the fire is out now"?

Could have been either the fire OR murshroom cloud depending on level of incompetence -->

OVH reveals it's scrubbing servers – to get smoke residue off before rebooting

Mr Sceptical
Paris Hilton

Re: Worth saying again......

Damn skippy!

"But, but, but - surely clouds just float around the sky? Did it dry up or something?" - an Exective Team, last week.

Aaaaaand, that's why you always need someone who actually understands IT sitting on the board at every organisation that uses technology....

Clouds: someone else's servers (TM)

Your average user's comprehension of IT icon ----->

Ship stranded in Suez Canal shifts, but not before spawning some choice tech memes

Mr Sceptical
IT Angle

Dual redundant canal jokes?

C'mon, no one posted a joke about a second backup canal? For shame...

At least our elebenty-gazillion hamsters (I forget the correct Reg units) worth of consumer tat can start blocking up ports again. Show's over!

BP Chargemaster's Pulse rebrand let crims send IcedID banking trojan from formerly legit mailboxes

Mr Sceptical

Re: Inevitable?

We whitelist the IP/domain for our marketing drone emails by including it in our SPF records. They should be being flagged as spam if they don't but YMMV...

ESA mulls sending waves of robot explorers into dark depths of lunar lava tubes

Mr Sceptical
Mushroom

Re: U-drone

In that case we know what will happen next...

Icon for the Nuke from orbit, its the only way to be sure option -->>

Where in the world is Jack Ma? Alibaba tycoon not seen since October after slamming Chinese government

Mr Sceptical
Mushroom

You flick the tiger's nuts, you get mauled!!!

Funny how these suddenly rich (and feeling powerful) people can seriously underestimate their corporeal vulnerability. He's clearly got a crappy security team who failed to stop him shooting himself in the face.

Same thing happens in Russia to the oligarchs - toe the party line and you can enjoy the rewards you stole from the people, piss Putin off and you can enjoy a poison jockstrap.

As long as they value their own flesh, shut the hell up - or better still, get an anonymous front organisation to express your true feelings as you tuck into your virtual steak in the Matrix.

Julian Assange will NOT be extradited to the US over WikiLeaks hacking and spy charges, rules British judge

Mr Sceptical
Black Helicopters

Re: I'd rather we keep Assange

Stick to the facts - Snowden released details on activities of the US government that they themselves would be screaming as illegal espionage if it was being done by anyone else.

Hello, pot & kettle - oh, suprise, you're both the same!

What would you rather them have done - tried to stand and fight an entire army? They aren't Rambo/Commando/Superman you know!

Alleged Ponzi mastermind on the run from FBI hid in lake with sea-scooter, collared after he surfaced half-hour later

Mr Sceptical
Thumb Up

Re: Sounds like he was a dick but...

I can see we share follow the same logic in escape route planning, you've got most of my points too ;-)

For the corpse, it's probably an advantage if it can be left somewhere it's going to have time to decompose enough to confuse the investigators, so could be left to defrost on it's own. Really though, you need somewhere warm, preferrably with sharks/alligators to take the blame.

Think I might be watching too many heist movies...

Mr Sceptical
FAIL

Rank amateur...

Good grief, if your master escape plan involves an underwater getaway (in winter!) then you'd better spend some of your ill-gotten gains on:

1) A rebreather tank so you don't leave a trail of bubbles (and maybe a faster model submersible?)

2) A decoy air tank to fake your own drowning

3) A decoy body (optional) - depends on access to a morgue/corrupt undertaker

4) A covered location to surface in & second getaway vehicle (the most common one on local roads c.f. Drive, The Sentinel, etc.)

5) Route to your non-extradition country of choice with home already set up (Heat, etc.)

Various other steps too, but jeez, if you're going to go to the effort of maintaining a Ponzi scheme, plan the out!

He'll have plenty of time to do 20/20 hindsight planning in the pokey, I'm sure...

I'll give you my passwords if you investigate police corruption, accused missile systems leaker told cops

Mr Sceptical
Paris Hilton

Re: failing to hand over his passwords to police on demand – a crime in the UK

That's exactly why we need to replace passwords with something else, but not an obvious biometric either - it's far too easy to grab a corpse's finger to unlock their phone on TV.

How about an erect todger? It would imply you are at least relaxed enough with your surroundings that you're unlikely to be in a police cell - unless you're a shameless exhibitionist, in which case you need the opposite.

"Honestly officer, I swear this doesn't happen often - oh well, I can't unlock the phone now..."

Paris, as that might be their secret weapon ->

US govt ups minimum H-1B tech salaries to $208,000 a year, more than startups can hope to afford, say VCs

Mr Sceptical
WTF?

Wages are not comparable

We' ve got an embedded engineer (read: technician) at a client in the US - his package is $125K for what would be a £35-45K role in the UK...

There ain't no problem that can't be solved with the help of American horsepower – even yanking on a coax cable

Mr Sceptical
WTF?

45 degree electricians

I had the same thing in our flat - you could clearly see diagonal channels up the living room wall. God knows what the sparky was thinking (or not)...

Mr Sceptical
Linux

Never work with children or animals?

That said - I've often wished for a trained weasel or something strong and agile enough to pull a cable through a difficult run!

Penguins are probably only suitable for aquatic cable runs... >>

Cops called to Singapore golf club after 'wrongdoers' use scripts to book popular timeslots

Mr Sceptical
Pint

Re: Is it hacking?

My keyboard can record macros - is it hacking if I record a previous session, then replay it the next time I want to book?

After all - I (not a bot) have entered the text and had to manually trigger the input the second time.

Case close, M'lud and off to the 19th hole for a celebration!

Mate, it's the '90s. You don't need to be reachable every minute of every hour. Your operating system can't cope

Mr Sceptical
Pirate

A Keyboard Killer...

... Providing you've got one of the early IBM keyboards you stand a good change in any hand-to-hand combat.

Mr Sceptical
Alert

Deserved a good BOFHing

That's the kind of user who clearly deserves to get up close and personal with the stained end of a bulk eraser or cattle prod...

Or maybe they'd care to inspect the Halon system in operation?

Mr Sceptical
Thumb Up

Re: Self-Inflicted Silliness

I think you're right about PCW - it was a massive tomb back then and I spent ages lusting after all the hardware I definitely couldn't buy as a kid.

You do learn your most important lessons from those moments though, so it's good you managed it on a system you had no issues accessing and were also able to fix it!

Mr Sceptical
Paris Hilton

Re: Self-Inflicted Silliness

That's the bitty! It was back in the early 90s, so memory is equally as fuzzy...

Mr Sceptical
Devil

Re: Self-Inflicted Silliness

I once disabled my uncle's CD ROM drive for a couple over year by editing the resources file so I could get the sound working in Wolfenstein on his 386 ;-)

In my defence, I did fix it next time I was there, but seeing they lived in a different continent, we weren't exactly over weekly.

Ed Snowden has raked in $1m+ from speeches – and Uncle Sam wants its cut, specifically, absolutely all of it

Mr Sceptical
Thumb Up

Re: Let's make it hypothetical:

@Jonathan Richards 1 - yep, I deliberately left out the 'legal/illegal' bit as that's coloured by local laws and what's legal in US vs GDPR vs UK vs [insert regime of choice] will vary for example.

Completely agree with you though. However, it muddies the waters in respect to the Snowden good/bad question so I left it out to focus on the state spying scenario.

Mr Sceptical
Headmaster

Let's make it hypothetical:

So we have a country, "ABC" – who are secretly intercepting the communications of all and sundry, whilst also decrying surveillance by other countries.

Then we have an individual, “Jay”, who works for that government and decides to freely release all the information they have gathered on those spying programs to the world.

From a purely philosophical point of view; are they good/bad, altruistic/selfish, moral/immoral or a patriot/traitor?

Even from the point of view of citizens of that nation; it depends on if you consider at the very least hypocritical actions of the ABC government defensible or illegal.

From the point of view of the rest of the world, it is easy to support actions that reduce mass spying activities by any government – the hallmark of oppressive regimes throughout history. Or do you think the Stasi were a virtuous public service…

All together now, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Sun welcomes vampire dating website company: Arrgh! No! It burns! It buuurrrrnsss!

Mr Sceptical
Windows

Re: Inappropriate garb

Of the few times I've done interviews I wore suits, but the last was in 2006. Of the recent people we've interviewed none were wearing suits (it was mid-lockdown) - they had shirts only, no ties on the men. Nor was I expecting a suit - even in person.

I might wear a suit to a really serious tender meeting, but standards have changed and ties are an endangered species overall. Virtually all meetings in our sector top out at smart causal (shirt and trousers), shoes or smart trainers, even for those in the City with finance types.

And now we're all on video calls, anything more than a T-shirt is practically black tie.

Please stop hard-wiring AWS credentials in your code. Looking at you, uni COVID-19 track-and-test app makers

Mr Sceptical
Pint

FYI - in the UK student loans are supposed* to written off after 30 years if you've not paid them back. It's on the basis you aren't earning enough to have benefitted from your degree in pocelain studies to burden you with lifelong debt and society should be willing to share that for the greater good.

What interest rate are US student loans at - full commercial rates or government (taxpayer) subsidised ones?

* Obviously, the current system hasn't been in place that long, so who knows if it won't be 'updated' in line with longeveity and the requirement to work into your 70s before you get a state pension anyway...

PS. I used my student loan to buy a PC - money well spent! In those days, you repaid it by direct debit rather than the insane PAYE supplement we have now...

Icon for time spent well, sort of.. - >>

Privacy Shield binned after EU court rules transatlantic data protection arrangements 'inadequate'

Mr Sceptical
Trollface

Re: Good

Viz top tip:

Need to throw an abusive message at a passing stranger without littering?

Simply put the paper on the end of a dart and hurl with force at the intended recipient!

Everything must go! Distributors clear shelves of ALL notebooks in Q2, even ones gathering dust over last 12 months

Mr Sceptical
Mushroom

Laptops...

We've only got ~25 staff so I've always had a policy of issuing staff something that give them maximum productivity without going overboard. Started with moving all the O/S drives from spinning rust around 2010 as those .Net updates we're always a massive time waster when they arrived.

In recent years, more than half the staff have laptops as they need to work in different locations but it's amazing how a laptop will always be 'too heavy' to carry eveywhere. It's almost as if all that data increases it's mass.

More than once I've had to point out that so-and-so's laptop may look lighter (newer and shinier) but it actually weighs the same or more...!

Screen size is also a stupid contention point - they all want smaller, then increase the text size cause it's too hard to read. They're always amazed I can read 100% text and I point out that's why I wear glasses...

Icon for my blood pressure now --- >

Twitter admits 130 A-lister accounts compromised to promote Bitcoin scam after 'social engineering' attack

Mr Sceptical
Holmes

Follow the money?

Any guesses on which country the currency is extracted through?

If you're despairing at staff sharing admin passwords, look on the bright side. That's CIA-grade security

Mr Sceptical
Facepalm

Re: Don't Panic

I think you're supposed to leave keys under the doormat? Or flowerpot?

Mr Sceptical
Mushroom

Re: Numpties, the lot of 'em.

First dibs on playing war games with the real satellite battle stations.

Now where's the button marked Project Thor?

NY Attorney General warns Apple, Google to police COVID-19 tracing apps in their souks – or she will herself

Mr Sceptical
Big Brother

Re: tracing apps

So should we accept the one that downloads from mil.gov too?

Seems very friendly as it keeps asking questions about all my contacts!

Seriously, someone needs to explain 'right to privacy' to the various government agencies using picture cards and a taser.

Hey Mister Prime Minister ... Scott! Can you get off my lawn please, mate?

Mr Sceptical
Pint

Re: GIT ORF MY LAWN

And not with water?

Recycled >>>

Mr Sceptical
Pirate

I salute that man!

Suspect I would have been rather less polite in the same circumstances...

Release the hounds!, sorry Koalas.

Coronavirus didn't hurt UK broadband speeds in March. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, on the other hand...

Mr Sceptical
Unhappy

QoS much?

On Plusnet London here;

I've not noticed limited quality on Amazon Prime, been watching the new season of Bosch in UHD and it's takes a few seconds to go from SD > HD > UHD, but once it's there I can't see any degredation in quality. Netflix is the same AFAIK, but most of it has been kids cartoons recently so hard to say.

YouTube videos are still resolution selectable to 4K60, no difference there either.

The absolute bugger has been stuttering, frame drops and audio sync in the multitude of video calls!!!

Ampere, Nvidia's latest GPU architecture is finally here – spanking-new acceleration for AI across the board

Mr Sceptical
Terminator

Re: That's all very impressive...

I was going to come in with the Crysis question, with a tangent:

Can it give you a realistic, learning, Turing test (of behaviour) passing, AI foe in Crysis?

And once it's beaten the best humanity can offer, time to power up the cyborgs and ROTM! --->

Sweet TCAS! We can make airliners go up-diddly-up whenever we want, say infosec researchers

Mr Sceptical
Joke

Re: Need both

Programmers rarely have their lives on the line at the time the +++Out of Cheese+++ error occurs.

You could always institute a sort of bonus/penalty system - bonus payments for every successful landing vs shark fodder for any fatal crash. It would probably fully concentrate their minds on the code.

Had an AI been given the requirement to pancake a plane, would it necessarily be able to work out the glide slope required to avoid bridges/ships/obstructions on the surface bearing in mind it won't be able to 'see' and understand them the way we do. You'd need to train the AI on all possible manner of objects found in the real world first.

Latvian drone wrests control from human overlords and shuts down entire nation's skies

Mr Sceptical
Black Helicopters

Wot no AWACS?

For that matter, don't they just need to call up the nearest NATO AWACS to find out where it is? Don't NATO keep a very close eye on everything flying in the European Theatre becuase of the Bears?

Or did they sell them all off / scrap them all?

What does £55 get you in the noise-cancelling headphones world? Something like the Taotronics SoundSurge 85

Mr Sceptical
Thumb Up

Re: Tatronics

+1 for Taotronics - I've been using a set of their in-ear bluetooth headphones (~£25 at the time) since Feb '18 according to my Amazon order history. They've since been superceded by fancier ones at a lower price when I just checked.

Sound is very good for price and function (but not as clear as my Audio-Technica ATH-M50X studio monitor headphones obviously).

The mic perfectly fine for the numerous conference calls I've been on recently. Battery life still quite good too, enough for a couple of days commuting (when that was a thing).

Overall, excellent value for money.

Billionaires showered with wealth as experts say global economy set for long and deep recession

Mr Sceptical
Coffee/keyboard

It's not poo-narmi...

It's poonami, all one word.

As coined by my sister's friend to describe to contents of nappies everywhere.

I prefer 'furgatory' to descibe the current mess.

That is all.

Bose shouts down claims that it borked noise cancellation firmware to sell more headphones

Mr Sceptical
Windows

Re: Audiophiles

You've totally missed the step of running a rare earth magnet along your optical leads to get the right spin on the quantum* photons or they get stuck in the cable cause they don't know the way out.

* If it's good enough for Samsung...

From Amanda Holden to petrol-filled water guns: It has been a weird week for 5G

Mr Sceptical
Facepalm

Re: Consequeneces

It's quite hard to upload from your mobile when you've torched your local mast...

Still, no one's accusing them of properly thinking things through.

Mr Sceptical
Paris Hilton

Re: Unqalified 'Z' list Celeb talks rubbish

Why don't they just kill off their mobile service as punishment?

I think they'd soon realise 5G =>= internet =>= adoring minions: "Oh, maybe 5G is OK after all?!?"

Paris, because she looks like Einstein in comparison to these airheads =>

PS. May I suggest "Furgatory" to describe the purgatorial sense of daily life caused by most of the country being on 'Furlough'.

PPS. Also, "Weaponised 5G Bats" as phrase of the week.

Nation's home workers hitting refresh on 7 April can buy... Honor's bargain-basement Ryzen ultrabook

Mr Sceptical
Linux

Should be standard HW under the hood - just take a Live USB distro along with you and try it out.

It's only if it's got a non-standard NIC/Wifi card I'd be concerned about Linux drivers.

Pervasive digital surveillance of citizens deployed in COVID-19 fight, with rules that send genie back to bottle

Mr Sceptical
Windows

Re: Inflated expectations

Funny how the obligatory face masks screw up the facial recognition though - wait until they insist they have a picture of your real face printed on them!

Extra points if your mask makes you look like Donald Trump.

Mr Sceptical
Childcatcher

What - you need to waste time & trees WRITING (hello, 19th century calling) a form!

Couldn't they have released an app for that? It could then double as a tracker ;-)

All that should happen is that should a policeman stop you, you explain what you're doing. Forms are a waste of time and bad for the environment.

Won't someone think of the trees (& children)?

Auf wiedersehen, pet: UK Deutsche Bank contractors plan to leave rather than take 25% pay cut for IR35 – report

Mr Sceptical
Headmaster

Re: Alternatively

There's a bit of an issue there - you're assuming the highly paid 'management' are actually capable of attaining the level of knowledge to be considered 'clinincally trained' - unless you just mean getting them to mop the floors? They'd probably get the hang of it after a few months...

They'd be sitting in the corner with the Dunce hat on -->

SF tech biz forks out $146m in fines, settlements after painkiller makers bribed it to design medical software that pushed opioids to patients

Mr Sceptical
Gimp

"Jail would be too sweet for these bastards"... maybe not?

I dunno, I think being stuck in a cell with someone suffering from symptoms of opioid withdrawl + steroid abuse might be quite a just punishment.

Alternatively: "Welcome Mr Pharnaco Exec. Your new cell mate is known as Bowling Ball Bag Bob. Enjoy!"

Icon for their eventual prison 'outfit' --->

Just in case you were expecting 10Gbps, Wi-Fi 6 hits 700Mbps in real-world download tests

Mr Sceptical

Judder much?

Err, you might want to check out the multitude of monitor refresh rate tests on reaction times and gaming performance before you go any further. Try the Linus Tech Tips recent video on YouTube where it was only over 144Hz there was limited improvement.

As for saying 20fps = motion, have you tried playing an FPS at that rate?!? It would be more fun poking yourself in the eye with a blunt stick...

Close the windows, it's coming through the walls: Copper Cthulu invades Dabbsy's living room

Mr Sceptical
Megaphone

Re: Tone tracker

We just call them cable tracers - used to help try and keep Maplin in business by buying ours there.

Cheap ones are fine - just be aware they will not work on shielded cables like CAT5 (clue's in the name) until you get to the other end. Also not great on short-cicuits like loop would be.

Set the unit to pulse tone for ease of listening and some have an LED to indicate its picking up a signal.

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