* Posts by mrobaer

93 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010


As Uncle Sam flies spy drones over protest-packed cities, Homeland Security asks the public if that's a good idea


Domestic Terrorism Surveillance ?

I suspect the Predator drones are flying around to provide intel on some of the bad actors in this mess. There are anarchists attaching themselves to the Black Lives Matter protests. These people are inciting violence, riots, and looting. Some of it has been captured on, you guessed it, cell phone video. In several cases, the peaceful protesters have taken a stand and stopped these bad actors, exposing them before they are chased away. Kudos to them! I worry though, that the current administration, in it's private war on ANTIFA, will use this for the impending overreach that governments are known for.

Google Cloud's AI recog code 'biased' against black people – and more from ML land


Recurring trend?

A previous El Reg article reported similar troubles with racial profiling AI.

UK enters almost-lockdown: Brits urged to keep calm and carry on – as long as it doesn't involve leaving the house


Re: Here in the UK... off topic

Right. The US and South Korea had their first reported cases of COVID-19 the same day. The state of New York alone is responsible for about half of the cases here in the entire country, with New York City responsible for half the state's cases. If you were to take California and Pennsylvania (the 1st and 5th most populated states, getting you a population roughly equal to South Korea, albeit greater area) and their cases of COVID-19, it's about 1/3 of what South Korea currently has.

We have one place responding horribly (New York) while the rest of the country isn't as bad as it's portrayed to be.


Re: Here in the UK... off topic

South Korea is a poor example. They've got more infected per capita than the US or UK.

White House turns to Big Tech to fix coronavirus blunders while classifying previous conversations


Re: Prediction - America will suffer a shit storm

Not going to the hospital to get tested because you can't afford it is a bit ... silly. They'll do the tests and send you a bill. If you're too poor to pay it, more often than not, for critical things (such as this) the county/state pays for it. This is why even with a few cases of COVID-19, most states have declared an emergency of sorts, that allows more funding to become available.

The sick days thing, yeah that is a huge problem. Where I work we have to use our vacation time to cover sick leave or risk losing our job. We've brought up the 14 day quarantine with HR and they're "looking in to it." We do have unemployment benefits if your hours are reduced at work, such as a 14 day quarantine would do.

Let's look back at how my government (under Obama's care) responded to another outbreak: the 2009 swine flu. The response then was slower than the current response, and in four months there were 25,000 cases. We ended up with about 12,000 fatalities from it in a year's time. To be fare, this outbreak began much closer to home.

Most of the public has been aware of this risk from the get go. With so many gatherings, events, etc, being cancelled right now, and the months of media alarm sounding, I would say the biggest threat are the meatheads who were downplaying the seriousness of it. I see this all the time on social media, some tool claiming the seasonal flu is more dangerous, blah blah blah. Right now, the majority of Americans are not at an elevated risk for becoming exposed to this. We'll see how long that remains true.


Re: Testing in US is not as bad as reported?

Testing in the US is not as bad as being speculated. It's not very practical to compare what's being done here to other countries, such as South Korea. South Korea is smaller than many of the States that make up this country, and the population there is much more dense. Geographically, all the cases in my state (20 so far) are on one side of the state near a large metropolitan area. As of four hours ago, there are 219 people under investigation, 116 have tested negative, 81 are pending results, 20 presumptive positives, and 2 confirmed positive by the CDC. Our Department of Health for this state has assured us that we have enough tests for the current 'demand' and do not foresee running out of them. There have been just over 13,000 tested and we've found less than 1,300 positive results, I would speculate that testing is not falling horribly behind.

Alleged Vault 7 leaker trial finale: Want to know the CIA's password for its top-secret hacking tools? 123ABCdef


Re: Cell phones in prison

Often times there are prison staff complicit in smuggling in such things.

Time to patch your lightbulb? Researchers demonstrate Philips Hue exploit


Re: It's not just Smart bulbs that are at risk

You think that's bad. My electrical outlets are vulnerable to a DoS from people who insist on clapping.

A sprinkling of Star Wars and a dash of Jedi equals a slightly underbaked Rise Of Skywalker


Did I miss something important?

I fell asleep about 45 minutes into the debacle and woke up (about) 40 minutes from the ending. My pals were so enthralled by the movie they didn't notice I was snoring until a quiet scene, which is when someone woke me up. I'm sure I snored the entire time I was asleep, if what my ex-wife says about me sleeping while sitting is true.

Full disclosure: I was already physically and mentally exhausted going into this adventure.

OpenBSD bugs, Microsoft's bad update, a new Nork hacking crew, and more


Prisoners must serve at least 85% of their federal prison sentences here in the USA.

Gas-guzzling Americans continue to shun electric vehicles as sales fail to bother US car market


Re: SUVs and pickups are just a lifestyle fad.

Pickups and SUVs have certainly become novelty vehicles for many of us Americans. There are a few guys I work with who drive a pickup and have never hauled anything in the back of it! My personal favorite is the full size diesel pickup with an eight foot bed, over-sized exhaust pipes coming up through the bed, four doors, battering ram of a brush guard on the front, enough lights to distract aircraft, and dual rear wheels being driven as a daily driver.


Re: Electricity in the USA

There are certainly longer traveling distances here. But most people don't travel very far in vehicles. My small 25 year old pickup gets about 400 miles per tank. My 10 year old mid-sized sedan gets about 450 miles per tank. The truck has about 6 more gallons of fuel capacity. It's the go-to for hauling things or winter driving when 4x4 is required. Otherwise, I'm using the sedan.


Feeling safe in an SUV (in the USA)

The average mid to large size car come with as much risk as the average SUV. The compact and subcompact cars have slightly more risk. That being said, the risk SUVs impose on others is about twice as much as the mid to large size car. The pickup truck is probably the biggest concern we have on our highways. There are far more of them than there are sports cars, and the sports car is the only vehicle with more risk than the pickup.


Electricity in the USA

Hydro, wind, and solar make up about 15% of the net electricity we produce here in the USA. Nuclear provides more, coal even more, and natural gas the leading source. That means electric vehicles are using electricity produced mostly by fossil fuels to (re)charge their batteries. On top of that, I think we're now the top oil producing country. That leaves our fuels relatively cheap compared to the rest of the world. I'm not suggesting there is no concern for the environment. What I'm surmising is that money is the primary factor behind the resistance to electric cars, and the source of the electricity may be a major contributing factor.

Republican senators shoot down a triple whammy of proposed election security laws


Re: One Billion Dollars for FY2019

If you read the top portion, you'll see it was introduced in Senate (05/16/2019).

S.1989 was introduced in Senate (10/19/2017)

S.277 was introduced in Senate (02/28/2019)

Russian spacebot stranded outside the ISS as Soyuz fails to dock


Re: Transporter

"... doing it for an entire person has it's problems. As while every atom is an exact copy, and reaches it's destination... you may not be able to glue them back together as easily as teleporting a watch!"

Refer to Seth Brundle's fix: Teach the machine to be made crazy by the flesh.

Gonna be so cool when we finally get into space, float among the stars, work out every day, inject testosterone...

Thumb Up

Upvote for the effective trolling. :)

Hate your IT job? Sick of computers? Good news: An electronics-frying Sun superflare may hit 'in next 100 years'


Re: Valves

" I've seen all those US-based post-apocalyptic documentaries."

You've been watching the Detroit nightly news, have you?

America's anti-hacking laws are so loose, even Donald Trump Jr broke them. So, what do we do about it?


It's not a viable defense. It is something that would be taken into consideration in sentencing phase if it went that far, or in this case, in deciding to press charges at all.

Wannacry-slayer Marcus Hutchins pleads guilty to two counts of banking malware creation


Re: FBI acting on a tip-off collared Hutchins?

I don't think the tip-off was regarding his location. It probably had to do with what criminal activity he was involved with.

Humanity gazes into the abyss to get its first glimpse of a black hole


Re: Cross-Section?

I'd imagine the accretion disk of a black hole would form around it's equatorial plane, much like rings around a planet, and planets around a star, etc.


Re: Cough splutter

Isn't that what the graphic at the end of the article is?

Patch this run(DM)c Docker flaw or you be illin'... Tricky containers can root host boxes. It's like that – and that's the way it is


Downvoted for a RUN DMC song title. Fitting.

Thumb Up

It's not funny.

It's 2019, and a PNG file can pwn your Android smartphone or tablet: Patch me if you can


Re: Great

Mine are from Nov 2018, and indicated that the last *check* was mid December. It tells me, "The latest updates have already been installed." Gee thanks, Sprint.

Friday fun fact: If Stegosauruses had space telescopes, they wouldn't have seen any rings around Saturn



I came here expecting incredible discoveries regarding the vision capabilities of the Stegosauruses.

On the first day of Christmas, Microsoft gave to me... an emergency out-of-band security patch for IE


Re: Really?

Oddly enough, IE has more market share than Edge does.

Adobe Flash zero-day exploit... leveraging ActiveX… embedded in Office Doc... BINGO!


Re: Flash, ActiveX, Office doc embedding/scripting - should already be DISABLED

I had one pleasant sip left, and now my laptop is wearing it. Thank you!

Here are another 45,000 reasons to patch Windows systems against old NSA exploits


Re: how about

"Oh, and turn UPnP off, which has been standard advice for a decade." - The Article

Russia: We did not hack the US Democrats. But if we did, we're immune from prosecution... lmao


Kremlin: Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

Cosmoboffins think grav waves hold the key to sorting out the disputed Hubble Constant


There is no centre

Wouldn't there have to be a center in the Big Bang theory? In your analogy of the balloon, there is still the center of the balloon while it's surface is expanding.


The uneducated-in-this-field mind of mine wonders what is propelling the unverse from it's center, and how does it get faster in the process? Or is there something that the universe is expanding 'in to' that is drawing it away from the center, faster and faster?

Put your tin-foil hats on! Wi-Fi can be used to guesstimate number of people hidden in a room


3 years ago...

Isn't this just about the same thing MIT did waaaaaaaaaay back in 2013?


And then improved on the concept a bit in 2015?


Surprise, surprise. Here comes Big Cable to slay another rule that helps small ISPs compete


Companies won't compete with each other

In my area, the phone lines are owned by Sprint. They refuse to compete in the local broadband market, leaving it all to Comcast. The fastest speed they offer is 40mbit. For the same price, you can get 100mbit from Xfinity, or double the price and get 400mbit. If you're really feeling it, you can tripple the price and get 1000mbit.

Cops suspect Detroit fuel station was hacked before 10 drivers made off with 2.3k 'free' litres


Re: What about switching the pump off?

According to the FOX article, this took place around 1pm. That's a rather hectic time for fuel stations in my area, and we're not anywhere close to a major city. I don't know what it looks like from the clerks' point of view when customers are fueling, but it's not uncommon to have a steady flow of vehicles getting fuel, sometimes even waiting in line for it. I'd wager that several vehicles received the fuel before it was noticed, especially if there were people at the counter making purchases (distracting the clerk).

Your last point is very accurate. This poor lad was probably thinking of the ass chewing he'd get for turning off ALL the pumps and losing those profits, so was just focused on trying to turn off the problematic pump.

The butterfly defect: MacBook keys wrecked by single grain of sand


Re: Apple are shit nowadays


Why do large corporations listen to these shite "gurus" instead of their customers who tell them plainly what they want?

Didn't Steve Jobs paraphrase Henry Ford and say, "People don't know what they want until you show it to them."

Uncle Sam is shocked, SHOCKED to find dark-web bazaars trading drugs, weapons, etc



It reminds me of the economy headlines where such and such cost $300 million to the US Economy. When compared to the GDP is close to $20 trillion. The numbers are just so out of touch with the average viewer....

Sophos SafeGuard anything but – thanks to 7 serious security bugs


Nettitude blog entry

The disclosure timeline was interesting to see.

I wonder if Microsoft schedules a specific Tuesday within sixteen months of having a bug disclosed to them to release a patch?

'Black hat' extortionist thrown back in the clink after Yelp-slamming biz


Re: 8 years?

He was picked up in 2014 some time and was locked up from that point on. It seems logical he was credited with that time served towards his sentence.


Re: 8 years?

What's wrong with 8yrs for a 2nd offense (and possibly a parole/probaiton violation?) and the nature of it being against a victim of his previous offense? Typically, here in the states 8yrs would be eligible for parole after 4, so he might sit 4 and walk off 4.

NASA eggheads draw up blueprints for spotting, surviving asteroid hits


Re: Border patrol

Here's the thing. There are many places to apply for asylum in Mexico (embassy and consulates). Also, you can do so at the border crossing. If you cross elsewhere, and are seeking asylum to the US, you have a year to apply.

Arresting people on the suspicion of illegal immigration is not illegal. People are arrested all the time, in every country, due to being suspects of criminal activity. Then the judicial process goes to work and if asylum is granted, the migrant is released and not deported. It's not rocket science. It's rather close to common sense.

Also, asylum seekers only make up about 1/10th of the migrants to the US. We get about twice as many migrants from Mexico than from the number two 'sender' China. I speculate that the majority of the migrants are simply seeking a better life, which is certainly attainable here.

Speaking of Mexico, their immigration laws are much stricter than ours. They have a similar southern border problem, probably even worse. Yet, where are they in the news cycle?

In huge privacy win, US Supreme Court rules warrant needed to slurp folks' location data


Re: You're gonna need a warrant

The public at large does not know where I am when I'm in public, or what book I buy, or what newspaper I read, or who I meat and talk to. There are, however, eye-witnesses to those things, which is what is freely available to those who wish to know without having a warrant.


You're gonna need a warrant

I believe any law enforcement agency or agent of the justice system should be required to have a warrant to obtain any information on someone that is not in the public domain.

For example, here in the states they are accessing geneology sites to compare DNA to what was recovered at old murder scenes. If "lucky" they find a relative of the perp and begin to narrow it down. In Washington state, they followed one of these suspects and collected a napkin he used to wipe his mouth. Using that DNA, they fingered him as the rapist/murderer of a teenage girl over 30 years ago.

I have no problem with them tailing a suspect in hopes of collecting DNA that has been discarded. However, it is a little unnerving that they're sifting through geneology records for DNA hits.

Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed


Re: 7 million people, less than 10 gun deaths in 10 years?

Well then, aren't I the fool for not knowing what a city is. =(

By the way, the "wtf' icon was for the town population, not the murder rate. I was really curious to know where this safer city was. =)


7 million people, less than 10 gun deaths in 10 years?

Please, do share the name of that 'town' of 7 million people!


Re: $0.02 from a gunless veteran

I live in a town with a population just under 52,000 and it's rather diverse. I believe we've had less than 10 homicides by firearms in the last 10 years. The most recent that I can remember was a domestic case of murder suicide. Most were robberies, one was an actual 'hit' organized by a wife and her lover to kill her husband. With the exception of the murder/suicide, they all received about the same amount of local media coverage. The vitriol of a couple of the victims' lifestyles was very shocking. When it came to light that they were either a drug deal gone bad, or someone robbing a known dealer, it's like the 'vocal' public turned on the victim. I can see how that might be similar around the country, and why such stories don't "gain traction" in the news.


$0.02 from a gunless veteran

I believe the gun owners should be held criminally liable to some extent due to their negligence when it comes to not having secured their weapons.

Guns are a very polarizing subject, without a doubt. These senseless shootings are an absolute tragedy. I think everyone understands that. It bothers me that it's only a 'problem' that deserves national attention when children are shot. What about all the other shooting victims? This is where the media does have some role in glamorizing these killers. Also, what about all the other children killed in automobile accidents? Yes, vehicles kill more children than guns do. We give children the privilege to drive at 16 years old (younger on farms) and the privilege to hunt at 12 years old. Is this too young?

There has to be more than just bandage solutions to these problems. Putting metal detectors at schools will surely help stop the shootings inside the schools. But I fear that will just change the venue to other places more public where the desired target group frequents.

I believe this is a moral issue that has to be dealt with in every home. Somehow doing horrible things is becoming acceptable in the minds of our children. There has to be something influencing this.

It also goes without saying that our healthcare system is failing many mentally ill people. I've seen it rapidly decline in my area over the last 15 years or so.

IPv6 growth is slowing and no one knows why. Let's see if El Reg can address what's going on


Mid-Atlantic (USA) Comcast

We have IPv6 functionality with our "Xfinity" service here. I pretty much only use it to get on IRC, but apparently it shows up when I'm browsing the web as well.

Furious gunwoman opens fire at YouTube HQ, three people shot


Re: Of all places

When I said, "Of all places" I didn't mean California. I meant a big ass corporation headquarters building like Youtube has. Do they have no security to stop people who don't belong there from walking in and blasting away? I'm not sure why I mentioned Cali's strict gun laws, probably a programmed response or something.

To be clear, I haven't owned a firearm in about 20 years, and have served honorably in the US Military. I don't own one to defend myself, because (here it comes) I have faith. Should I be afraid of someone killing me and sending me to heaven? Nah. And if there's no heaven and I just cease to exist, once I'm dead I won't be around to care. So there really isn't anything to fear. Sorry, the whiskey is talking, I better press submit quick!


Of all places

I wonder how someone managed to bring in a firearm to such a place? California, I believe, still is the state with the strictest gun laws.

What has to happen for people to stop wanting to kill one another? :(



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