* Posts by An_Old_Dog

1924 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Mar 2010

Call, text logs for 110M AT&T customers stolen from compromised cloud storage

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Better Yet

... if Trump's wife had been having an affair with Race Bannon*!

* C.f. 1960s American cartoon, Johnny Quest.

Game dev accuses Intel of selling ‘defective’ Raptor Lake CPUs

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Intel vs AMD vs ... CPUs

Over the years, I've had computers with Intel, NEC, Cyrix, Transmeta, VIA, and AMD x86-compatible CPUs. I've been lucky enough to have not had any CPU hardware faults.

These days, next-process-node development requires so much money that there's little effective competition in x86-compatible CPU manufacturing. No start-up will have the needed cash.

HPE to build supercomputer to 'enhance Japan's AI sovereignty'

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Mixed Metaphors, Cui Bono?

Ah, here comes ... and there goes ... the herd of stampeding cattle, chasing after the latest bandwagon. That bandwagon has been repainted so many times, in the colors of:

* the Prolog programming language (designed to be used for AI development)

* Expert systems

* Blockchain-derived systems

* Quantum computing

* (false-) AI/(real-) ML systems

As far as I can see, the only benefit from these things was to enrich software and/or hardware companies, salespeople-on-commission, researchers and consultants in those areas, fraudsters, and some clever stock traders.

Big Tech's eventual response to my LLM-crasher bug report was dire

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Consequences of Freeing the Prompt

Freeing the prompt might not cause trouble for just BadCorp, Inc. BadCorp's LLM engines might share network and storage infrastructure with its cloud services.

If some of BadCorp's cloud customers include police, ambulance services and hospitals, airlines, banks, or social-service agencies, you could be screwing up a lot of peoples' lives!

An_Old_Dog Silver badge

LLM "Bug Fix"

Old Code:


# remove LLM-Killer prompts

s/xyzzy//g ; s/All Your Base Are Belong to Us//g


New Code:


# remove LLM-Killer prompts

s/xyzzy//g ; s/All Your Base Are Belong to Us//g ; s/YYURYYBBYYUR4MEIC//g


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I'll Be Picky Here

1. The truth, by definition by most peoples' working definitions, cannot be "fabricated"; it simply exists.

2. What about writers who create fiction, and market it as such?

South Korea orders 'Star Wars' lasers to blast Northern drones out of the sky

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In the Future ...

I'd take DAPA's claims/plans for the future of this device with a crane-delivered, house-sized salt lick.

Jets and missiles take Oodles™-more power to disable/destroy than do drones, because they have so much more mass, which acts as a protective heat-sink.

Increased distance-to-target-from-laser reduces the beam's effectiveness, because particles in the atmosphere scatter the beam.

Further, jets and missiles travel hella faster than propeller-driven drones, so laser-based defence systems require Oodles™-better detection and tracking systems, vs what's needed for drones, for said laser-based defence systems systems to successfully defeat those jets and missiles.

Google: We're still working to defeat Microsoft's 'anticompetitive' cloud policy

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Legal Settlements

This sort of payoff-to-make-complaints/lawsuits/regulatory-enforcements-go-away is what governments and businesses around the world do every day.

(First-world) cops shot and killed innocents while said cops executed a raid on a house -- at the wrong address? Families must sue the government, the government will pay them off, and not change its police procedures or training to prevent a recurrance.

(First-world) manufacturer exceeds the amount of pollutants allowed by regulatory agency permit? Company reaches a settlement with the regulating agency, pays said agency money and promises not to do that bad thing in the future (while not admitting that they did it in the past -- which is critical in avoiding citizen-initiated lawsuits). &c.

Which rock have you been living under?

Firefox 128 bumps system requirements for old boxes

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"Father Knows Best" Attitude

Linux has been my daily driver for decades, but there have been increasing amounts of Father-Knows-Best-ism in mainstream Linux distros.

I suppose it's an increasing-level conflict between what I and what the kernel-, UI-, and app-designers consider "useful features" and "sensible defaults," as the designers attempt to appeal to MS-Windows users and to OS X-users, by mimicking what those users have become used to.

I hate systemd and its designers' philosophies and (successful) political manueverings. I have done Arch and its variants, and am thinking of going to Gentoo.

Privacy expert put away for 9 years after 'grotesque' cyberstalking campaign

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Re: A Simple Matter

If someone is trying to kill me, my response will be the same, whether they're a random asshole, or simply in need of psychiatric care. The danger to me ramains the same.

If everyone involved is sufficiently-lucky, such individuals will be placed in physically-secure, qualified psychiatric care before they commit any rapes, tortures, and/or murders.

Sadly, there's insufficient good luck to ensure universally-happy outcomes.

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Re: It took this much for action? [Taking Action]

If stalkees had waited for this guy to show up, killed him when he did, and were arrested and taken to court for murder, were I on the jury, I'd vote "not guilty."

This guy did so much that the stalkees were genuinely, reasonably in fear for their lives, while the authorities could/would not take sufficiently-effective measures to protect the stalkees.

Founder of Indian ride-share biz Ola calls for 70-hour work week

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Re: Typical of the "New Rich" all over the world

Jeeves: "Your wine, sir." (hands master a glass)

Master: "Thank you, Jeeves. You know, it's times like these in which ... in ..." (puts hands to his throat, falls to the floor) "Jeeves! Poison! How ... could you?! You've served me ... so faithfully ... fifty years."

Jeeves: "Yes, Master, I have. And in those fifty years, you never once have given me a pay rise or bonus. As the locals would say in their quaint little way, 'eat shit and die, motherfucker.'"

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WW III Bunkers

There was a "Mission Impossible" (TV) episode like that, where they scammed some bad dude into believing that WW III had happened, the nukes had dropped, the Earth's surface was a devastated, ash-covered wasteland, and consequently got him to reveal the codes to access his ill-gotten millions, of which they then relieved him of.

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Walking to School Barefoot in the Snow, Uphill Both Ways

Some possibilities:

1. He's simply lying about his working 20 hours/day, 7 days/week.

2. He has the ability to work in in his sleep.

3. He's using Bolivian marching powder to stay semi-conscious 20 hours/day, and it's making him mentally unbalanced.

4. His innate God-like genetics allow him to transcend the biological need for sleep.

See: "When I was Your Age" by Wierd Al Yankovic @:


Icon for, "When I was your age, we'd ..."

Users rage as Microsoft announces retirement of Office 365 connectors within Teams

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Re: "Office 365 connectors within Teams will be cut"


The only way I can think of to stop this syndrome is to make it visually-ugly, and functionally-stupid. No pretty GUIs. Pop up a full-screen console window, complete with fixed-width, 5x7 dot-matix font, make users type in full network path names, text menus of the "1. Blah / 2. Blew / 3. Blow / Enter the number of your choice?"-style, etc.

And, when asked by management if you could "Just pretty it up a bit", you must respond with an unreasonably-long time estimate, followed with, "It would be much-more cost-effective to design and code this properly."

Even that all might not be enough to sway a "right now" / "It'll only be temporary"-obssessive manager.

Outback shocker left Aussie techie with a secret not worth sharing

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Fingers and Phone Lines

As a 10-year-old who knew just enough about electricity to be a danger to himself, I was messing about with the telephone line fusebox on the side of our house, and managed to have my fingers touching tip and ring when a call came in.

Wow, did I jump!

Europol says mobile roaming tech is making its job too hard

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Any non-officer bringing guns or ammo in their airline carry-on bags deserves to be arrested. Even if they made a truly accidental mistake in doing so, they still deserve to be arrested, for being dangerously careless.

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Security Theatre

Despite all the "security theatre" measures put into place, allegedly for "security", or "anti-terrorism" reasons, in first-world countries, I, and probably most of you, can easily think of ways around these measures.

I presume that mid-eastern terrorist group leaders (vs the frothing footsoldiers) are at least as intelligent and creative as Joe Q. Firstworld Public, and could, if they desired to, conceive and execute a plan which would cause major death, suffering, terror, economic loss, etc. in a first world city.

As yet, they have not. Why not?

It's because most of both mid-eastern terrorist group leaders, and first-world political leaders, are putting on performances for their own followers, and it's an implicit, mutual back-scratching mechanism.

The (made-up name) Red Sword Faction sends "The Underwear Bomber", who is quickly caught before he can do his dastardly deed. The first-world politicos point to the Underwear Bomber, and shout, "See?! See?! There is a terrorist threat! Give me/the government more money and power. I'll/we'll save you!" The Red Sword Faction leader points to the Underwear Bomber and shouts, "Behold! Our noble brother struck a mighty blow against the corrupt, un-Godly Unbelievers! Give me your strength (read as: "money") and I shall lead us to victory in our righteous jihad to cleanse the world of (additional pejorative descriptors)!"

Yeah, for the most part, it's about money and power.

There are a few terrorists who come out of left field - think Timothy McVeigh - but not even the most repressive nanny nation/police state will be able to correctly anticipate or stop them (but they'll claim they can). That McVeigh and his ilk can do so much damage is simply a consequence of the power available to inhabitants of this modern technical age.

Algorithmic wage discrimination: Not just for gig workers

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Compensation Opacity and Dynamism Hides Corporate Wrongdoing

The only reason for opaque and many-multi-factor, dynamic compensation schemes - emphasis on the word schemes - is to scam workers into accepting lower wages.

The programmers implementing these schemes are evil bastards, because they know the results of what they are doing, yet do it anyway.

No mercy to those asshole programners, to the Boards of Directors, or to the chain of people in between them.

Apple says if you want to ship your own iOS browser engine in EU, you need to be there

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Not Wasting One's Life Messing w/Smartphones

In news today, the EU sanctioned Apple for its anti-competitive marketing of the not-a-smartphone Apple iPDA ...

Posted from my PalmPilot III.

EV world in serious trouble if China cuts off rare earth materials

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Re: Another attempt at monoploy.

I don't know whether or not "most" people swap cars more-quickly than every five years or not, but, those people who are obssessed with "new and shiny" simply lease their cars, and get a new one every year.

We've banned Chinese telco kit and drones. Next: Mountain bikes?

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Re: We're No.1! We're No.1!

Hint: Almost nobody in the business world cares about "what's best" for consumers.

RIP: WordPerfect co-founder Bruce Bastian dies at 76

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Re: WordPerfect had me stumble on the first step and never recovered

Function keys existed on the Commodore VIC-20, on the C-64, and on various other pre-IBM-PC microcomputers.

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The User-Speed of WordPerfect No Longer Possible

The thing which made high user-speed in DOS WordPerfect possible, the use of function key-combos to invoke WP commands, is no longer possible on laptops.

PC laptop keyboard designers, aping the KB design fashionistas at Apple, have made function keys tiny, and/or accessible only via a "Fn" key, or removed them entirely from the keyboard, as in some modern Dell laptops.

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What's in a Name?

"Bruce Wayne." And, "Bastien" sounds rather like, "Batman." Hmmm ...

FreeDOS and FreeBSD prove old code never dies, just gets nifty updates

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Re: Why?

@Yorick Hunt: I'm not disagreeing with you, but you left out an important piece: Microsoft enforces these provisions by in effect, saying, "If you, the XYZ Computer Company, do not agree to these conditions, Microsoft will not sell you any cheaper-than-retail-priced Windows licenses."

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Re: Why?

... and routers and firewalls ...

An arc welder in the datacenter: What could possibly go wrong?

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Re: chances are

Using the same bogus logic, I'd expect such a manager to say, "I've never had a flat tyre or car engine trouble, so I don't take a spare tyre, cellphone, Citizens' Band radio, toolkit, or container of cold water with me when I drive through Death Valley."

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Re: Ah the IBM 1403 Printer

I'd pay big money for a computer keyboard which had the feel and touch-response of a Selectric keyboard!

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Disassembling/re-assembling carburetors is a thing I know enough about, to know I should never attempt it -- and I have not!

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Re: Having rebuilt a couple of them ...

I've seen arc welders with the sort of damage jake described, but they had been sitting in old barns and disused automobile repair stations.

CISA looked at C/C++ projects and found a lot of C/C++ code. Wanna redo any of it in Rust?

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Devs Don't Exist in a Vacuum

Managers, who allocate corporate devs' time, will frequently say something like, "&#@4)+/!! no, we're not gonna spend the time and money to rewrite all that!"

Corporate devs frequently do not have their choice of software "tools".

So don't go indiscriminately slap-happy on the devs over this issue!

Windows: Insecure by design

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The Price of Freedom

There will always be companies which will try to lock you in with proprietary software, hardware, and closed standards/specifications. Sometimes these companies make exclusivity agreements with other companies ("Runs only on Windows," "Runs only on MacOS," "Only on Xbox," etc.)

The price of freedom is not dealing with those companies and their products. If you feel you MUST use such products, recognize that using MS-Windows, or whatever, will be part of the ongoing price you will pay. I have some old MS-Windows-only peripherals whose manufacturers don't support them (no drivers) on Windows version > Win98, so don't pretend that using MS-Windows will be trouble-free.

Some previously MS-Windows-only companies are releasing specs to allow people running MacOS, Linux, etc. to at least talk to their equipment.

Fingerprint readers? Bah. The concept of biometric authentication is flawed in multiple ways.

I've been running Linux and OpenBSD for decades. I've had a few problems where something, usually sound, did not work out-of-the-box, but I was always able to fix those problems via a boot-time command line, or a config file change. YMMV.

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Sweating Assets, SMBs

Unfortunately ... for many SMBs which are franchisees of some large chain, the legal agreements they make with the chain owners REQUIRE them to accept the technology stack specified by and/or provided by the chain's owners.

This includes point-of-sale systems, control systems ("beep-beep-beep" == "chips are done"), back-office systems, and IoT-based dispensing machines. Sometimes the agreements prohibit the franchisee's workers from fixing (or trying to fix) tech problems, but instead, rely on the chain's specified repair service.

I've seen a convenience store locked-up in the middle of the day with a scrawled note taped up in the door window: "CLOSED, COMPUTER DOWN. SORRY. --Mgt." I've seen a row of three IoT-based Slushie dispensers in a convenience store with taped-up signs on them reading, "Broke", presumably due to some sort of local Internet failure.

Those SMBs are losing a lot of money when these things happen, but they don't have the option of replacing their Windows- and/or IoT- based systems.

'Skeleton Key' attack unlocks the worst of AI, says Microsoft

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"Recipes for Explosives"

That's a self-correcting problem. I knew of a guy - a year above me in high school - who killed himself messing about with that. The investigators never learned which chemicals he'd had or what he'd been doing with them, but whatever it was, it (according to our local newspaper) raised the roof on his parents' house three inches. Fortunately, he was alone when he did this.

You can't fix human foolishness, or outright stupidity, though there are many misguided (foolish? outright stupid?) people who would like to wrap the world in a human-protective layer of giant marshmallow stuff.

Polyfill.io owner punches back at 'malicious defamation' amid domain shutdown

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I'm not disputing what you wrote, but it seems unreasonable that agents of the court (the bailiffs) couldn't get past private security.

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2000+ Companies at One Address

It's probably just a building with one or more solicitors' offices, where said solicitors are acting as the registered agents for various companies.

Microsoft yanks Windows 11 update after boot loop blunder

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Re: "Who Else Is There?

1. Home users: that frog has been slowly-boiled, is vulnerable to FUD, and frequently thinks, despite the M.S. failures they've experienced, "Better the Devil you know than the Devil you don't."

2. Business users: the dimensions here are business size and business specialization. Large businesses, even those which are all-"back-office", are more-likely to have craplets and app interdependancies than small businesses. Many of those are undocumented Excel spreadsheets and VBA things, where the dev - some long-gone beancounter - is unavailable. Manufacturers are at the mercy of whoever made their industrial control systems. Many of those industrial control makers are long-gone, and never provided source code. It's why the Harris/Intersil 6100 - a DEC PDP-8 on-a-chip - was as popular as it once was.

Microsoft founder Paul Allen's tech museum closes, sells off collection

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Undelivered Drafts

To the President of the United States

Dear Poopyhead (wads it up, throws it on his library floor, and starts again)

Dear Shit-for-Brains (nope)

You pusilanimous piece of greel-excreta (nah)

*Sigh* "Dear Honorable Colleague ..."

Maid walks in later, picks up one of the discarded copies and reads it. "These ... could be useful in later years." Maid picks up all discarded copies and squirrels rhem away for a rainy day.

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Re: Nooo!!!

His death would not have caused problems if things were properly set up. You'd think he could afford some good legal help with that.

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Don't kill those lovely mainframes (PDP-10, CDC 6500) ...

I do wonder if Mr. Allen set things up, then delegated the running of the things to some non-geek person, and turned his attention to something else (his jet, sports team, etc.).

WhisperGate suspect indicted as US offers a $10M bounty for his capture

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Gotta wonder if he did it for the lols, for his unquestioning patriotism to Russia, for the money, (if there was any), or because the Russian military and/or spy agencies threatened him with bad things happening to his relatives.

Korean telco allegedly infected its P2P users with malware

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Re: "an entire team at KT"

But you do not have the right to spread malware to your own customers.

Say that to the Board of Directors over at Sony. They'll get a laugh out of that. (Remember the Sony-developed and -distributed rootkit?)

Julian Assange pleads guilty, leaves courtroom a free man

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Assange Sings a Song

"... 'Cause I'm leavin', on a jet plane.

Don't know when I'll be back again.

Oh, babe, I hate to go.

There's so many times I let you down.

So many times I've played around.

I tell you now, they don't mean a thing ..."

Mozilla is trying to push me out because I have cancer, CPO says in bombshell lawsuit

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Are they afraid he has "cooties"?

Record labels gang up to sue AI music generator duo into utter oblivion

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4 Chords

My workmate played that for me on his car stereo about a week ago -- great stuff!

Apple Intelligence won't be available in Europe because Tim's terrified of watchdogs

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Re: Wow an internet connected toilet ….

A "smart toilet" vendor:


(Warning: the site stalls Firefox/NoScript on my mobe, but I can still return to the previous web page. Hmmm ...)

Change Healthcare finally spills the tea on what medical data was stolen by cyber-crew

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New(?) Legal Concept

We need to introduce a legal concept similar to "fiduciary responsibility", applicable to corporate protection of peoples' personal data. It should come with similar legal penalties for failure to properly meet that duty.

BOFH: Why's the network so slow?

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Alice is ...

Alice is the recipient of many encrypted messages from Bob.

If you don't believe me, go ask Alice. When you're ten feet tall.