* Posts by trindflo

430 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Jan 2011


You break it, you ... run away and hope somebody else fixes it

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I don't recall anything ever being close to a 6250 tape drive that wasn't properly sealed (half-assed put together because it was being used for test). The air whistling past made a very loud, very high frequency shriek and I was apparently the only person in the building young enough to hear it. I wondered if it was affecting anyone else even though they couldn't hear it because I wasn't too far from running mindlessly out of the building it was that painful. It seemed like they tested me a couple of times to verify I wasn't faking it then checked me out some hearing protection.

NASA gives IXPE observatory the Ctrl-Alt-Del treatment to make it talk sense

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Reset isn't a built in command?

If the spacecraft processes commands, I'm a little surprised nobody thought 'reset' should be one of those commands prior to 2023. From the article it sounds like a trick is used to force the reset behavior.

BBC exterminates AI experiments used to promote Doctor Who

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Re: You will be upgraded, resistance is futile

The evening. It just died. And the four hours ahead of me, all dead. Soon to be consumed by binging on the adventures of Sue.

BOFH: So you want more boardroom tech that no one knows how to use

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Re: Oh yeah !

Any special branding you putting on those caps to make them more attractive to your target audience?

Filipino police free hundreds of slaves toiling in romance scam operation

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Re: "despite slavery now being illegal in every nation on Earth"

There are current attempts to fix prison slave labor: US pending legislation to remove prison slave labor exemption

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Re: Modern slavery

Awesome. Thank you.

I recall a few cultures that would regularly go on raids to steal wives, and the figures for the 1800s were only for the advertised slave trade from Africa to the Americas. The numbers are clearly arguable.

Modern slavery could mean a lot of things too (such as parents owning their infant children), but I satisfied myself that in the second link the criteria for selecting who is a modern slave sounded reasonable: forced labor or marriage with no real chance of escape. I didn't dig into their methods, but am making a good faith estimate they are more interested in being a good source of information than in generating click-bait.

I can't argue that as a percentage of world population, the slave population has gone down. I still think the numbers are crazy in the modern world regardless of how we agree to filter the numbers, and some of what you are saying might make the modern numbers larger.

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Modern slavery

Slightly dated information from 2018: https://theexodusroad.com/does-slavery-exist-in-america-today/

Estimates 403,000 actual slaves in the US defined as either forced labor or forced marriage

Worldwide, the slave trade from has grown from 12.5 million slaves captured and shipped, largely to the Americas, From 1526–1867 to something more like 50 million slaves at any one time circa 2021:


Just going by 50 / 12.5, that says the trade has grown 4 to 1 or 400%

A major reason for this growth is how inexpensive it is to own a slave now. In 1886 you would have spent $40,000 for a slave (adjusted for inflation). Today you can get a slave for more like $90.

That's mind boggling. Control over another human's dreams and aspirations for less than the cost of a meal for two in Los Angeles.

Please fact check me. I'm more than a little aghast at what I found.

Trump 'tried to sell Truth Social to Musk' as SPAC deal stalled

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Re: Trump isn't planning to invade Russia in winter

Hard telling. He might flee to Russia when it becomes apparent he is about to serve jail time. It would be in the eye of the beholder whether that would be an invasion, an absorption, a merger, or an acquisition.

You got legal trouble? Better call SauLM-7B

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Re: Legal Opinions generated By AI?

Maybe the best use for such technology is to block "manufactured nonsense" before the judge needs to get involved. The defense team wants to make ridiculous claims to delay? Let the AI run an analysis of likelihood of success. If the odds are < 50% defense pays all fees for the nonsense hearings. If the odds of success are < 5% then no - just no - no hearing, don't bother the judge with this one, and only the next level of appellate court can pull it back out of the trash bin.

Americans wake to widespread AT&T cellular outages

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Re: Well that's interesting...

Are you saying it is the unmitigated chaos of the US that is their saving grace?

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What might the problem be?

Mandatory return to work order applied unwisely? Not sure if that is your first or second suggestion.

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Sun spots.

In my neck of the woods the local cable company would take an unnegotiated shortcut.

Twice a year the satellite you are getting your shows from passes in front of the sun and your antenna sees nothing but sun.

Nowadays most satellite companys put up a 2nd antenna and point you where the sun is not.

Back in the day, cable companys were supposed to record at a different time of day and play back from the good source.

When the company couldn't be arsed you would see the show fuzz out and disappear. If you called the cable company, they would call it sun spots. Close I guess? The antenna was spotting the sun.

Icon because that is what the antenna sees.

Firefly software snafu sends Lockheed satellite on short-lived space safari

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Re: ITYM...

I take it you pronounce '*' as 'splat'

Biden will veto attempts to kill off SEC's security breach reporting rules

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Re: Республиканцы

It is even easier to manipulate terrified masses.

FCC gets tough: Telcos must now tell you when your personal info is stolen

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Great start!

Next go after sim swapping. Get them to do something meaningful before it happens like buzz the phone as well as ring it, flash the screen, make the swapper take a day or two and give them a temporary sim until the delay is over. The carriers can do it; they just need to be strongarmed into making it a priority.

US regulators crack down on AI playing doctor in healthcare

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Re: bullshit generators

I don't think insurance companies use BS generators. What works best for them is to stall things as long as they can with the least effort. CEO pay is part of administrative costs, and medical insurance has to have a minimum 'health care' / 'admin cost' ratio. If they can delay their payout by automatically rejecting a claim for missing the dot on an I, they continue to earn on that that money. If they do wacky things, it starts to involve people, that leads to higher administrative costs and reducing the CEO's paycheck.

Insurance companies will try new services that promise to reduce costs (reject more claims), but when a hospital gets too many complaints, making the admin costs go up, the new service gets scrapped, the insurance companies show the palms of their hands swearing they had nothing to do with it, and the payment gets delayed. The insurance company can get sued if they willfully make up BS. As long as there are sacrificial contractors, all is good.

The doctors / service providers usually resubmit those claims and eat the costs of the payment delays. As the patients, we get to live (or not) with the consequences of delayed treatments if we are found to be ineligible.

To your first comment about diagnoses: I would not want an AI triage kiosk deciding I need an extra finger somewhere.

IT suppliers hacked off with Uncle Sam's demands in aftermath of cyberattacks

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covering up the incident

Like what DigiNotar did? That certainly had consequences for the company. I'm not sure if it had any consequences for the people running (or should I say ruining) the company.

Leaked memo: Microsoft employees should be using Copilot too

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More Microsoft features more quickly in the mandatory updates that I never asked for along with new vulnerabilities. It's Christmas all over again, complete with Krampus.

Microsoft embraces its inner penguin as sudo sneaks into Windows 11

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Will the new sudo still disconnect mapped drives?

One of the annoying things that happens with elevated command prompts in Windows is that it sort-of disconnects all your mapped drives within the elevated sessions. I believe RunAs does the same thing. There is a registry setting to defeat it, but it is still annoying anyway you flavor it.

The spyware business is booming despite government crackdowns

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How much are we doing this to ourselves for convenience?

When we give our smartphones access to our banking and install every fun sounding app, aren't we part of the problem? Would the spyware industry exist if only flip phones and hardened operating systems were being used? Does single signon make things more secure?

How not to write about network security – and I'm speaking from experience

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Re: ensure that my computer is not an open book for the Internet ?


Snow day in corporate world thanks to another frustrating Microsoft Teams outage

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Yes! Decentralised is what we want to do. That is not what Microsoft wants to do. Microsoft likes to gather up our eggs and brood on them.

Psst … wanna jailbreak ChatGPT? Thousands of malicious prompts for sale

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Re: AI != Human

I agree with most of what you say (have a vote). Artificial Intelligence is not Human Intelligence. Where I disagree is that there should be no expectation of analogous behavior.

Chat bots are based on neural networks, which are opaque feedback loops that somehow store information and allow the information to be retrieved for problem solving goals. Computer neural networks were originally created to test the theory that this is how the mammalian brain stores information.

Chat bots are designed to generate human-like responses. They are more than just clever code, which seems to imply a complex decision tree. We cannot demand a proof from a neural net the way we can from an inference engine like Prolog. The way the neural net comes up with an answer is opaque.

To the degree we are using chat bots to simulate human responses, we should expect problems analogous to human foibles and that they may be susceptible to being tricked by the hacker equivalents of hypnotists, mentalists, and magicians. It won’t be the same, but it may be strikingly similar and may offer opportunities to learn about ourselves.

For instance, while chatbots hallucinate, humans are susceptible to recovered memories, misremembering, and false memories.

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AI is easily misdirected

It shouldn't be surprising considering how easily humans are misdirected. Give a competent psychologist or hypnotist a little while with a human and see how thoroughly scrambled the human's thinking becomes. Make the AI as paranoid as a decent IT person and it starts cursing at users.

What Microsoft's latest email breach says about this IT security heavyweight

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Re: "a password spray attack to compromise a legacy non-production test tenant account"

With connectivity to bridge the non-production test systems to the production systems because segmenting networks is so hard.

And where they somehow got hold of a private key? That means the people with that key can publish software as Microsoft and nobody will be the wiser!

India again backs down on its controversial PC import restrictions

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Do call centers use laptops or desktops?

My guess is that there is a business need for desktop computers in businesses with low margins, while laptops are purchased by people that can afford to spend more.

Cloudflare defends firing of staffer for reasons HR could not explain

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employment may be terminated for any reason

Except for illegal reasons. Women are a protected class and can demand some sorts of BS stops. Termination because a woman doesn't seem nearly as charming after being hired could be considered retaliation. A big customer that took a personal dislike can be another. Nobody in management is going to talk about it. Management can lock shoulders and keep the quiet part quiet, especially if they all agree among themselves they are being reasonable. And there is much less scrutiny during the probationary period. Many large companies only convert contractors and never hire a permanent position until they are very certain, effectively extending the probationary period indefinitely.

BOFH: Nice air conditioning system. Would be a shame if anything happened to it

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Everything is a subscription these days

You couldn't possibly be talking about Broadcom and VMWare?

OpenAI: 'Impossible to train today’s leading AI models without using copyrighted materials'

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Re: training is similar to a child reading

Only if the child can perfectly reproduce what it has read without understanding it at all. It is the exception for two talented programmers to produce the same exact code, although I have seen it happen. Humans need to strain or plagiarize to produce that level of conformity. The AI seem to require extra work to avoid it.

Ransomware payment ban: Wrong idea at the wrong time

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Re: Wrong

The article did make some salient points, but I couldn't escape the feeling I was listening to a lobbyist for the ransomware industry. Aside from hand-wringing and a stern finger-waving, the advice was study groups, or did I miss something?

After injecting cancer hospital with ransomware, crims threaten to swat patients

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Eventual violence

Violence was being threatened in extortion emails for a *very* short while (maybe two days). Similar to the "I turned on your webcam and caught you doing something nasty" threats, these were very simply "we know where you live, and ...". I assumed they stopped because that crossed a line. I also was hoping the feds would be interested and forwarded them to official channels. I can't imagine swatting being any less interesting to authorities.

We had a horrible spam filtering company for a while and I ended up needing to scan a lot of emails by hand, so I saw most flavors of the garbage. Some of it was funny in a very sad way, assuming some people were responding to it.

Freight giant Estes refuses to deliver ransom, says personal data opened and stolen

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Bravo to Estes for doing the right thing, but...why SS #s?

why did you have social security numbers available online and unencrypted?

I'm really curious why a shipper *needs* to have something as sensitive as social security numbers. I doubt there is a good reason to have them available in a form that can easily be exfiltrated, and I'm making an assumption they were unencrypted and not air-gapped.

I'll say again, good on you for not feeding the monster.

Microsoft kills off Windows app installation from the web, again

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This has proven to be a popular feature, according to Microsoft

Popular with who? Microsoft? They're the ones constantly installing apps I never asked for all over my enterprise.

Formal ban on ransomware payments? Asking orgs nicely to not cough up ain't working

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Are we supposed to say this part out loud?

The majority of that problem is that there is a free and potentially anonymous internet. The majority of western countries want it that way. Totalitarian regimes do not want anyone to be anonymous on the internet, but are forced to put up with it because of commerce.

Irony alert: Lawsuit alleging Chrome’s Incognito Mode isn’t will settle on unknown terms

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That is a great point. Incognito is something the user is doing; like wearing a dorky mask to a party and everyone still knows who it is versus something the browser is doing to give you a modicum of personal space.

Scientists mull Solar Radiation Management – a potential climate-change stop-gap

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I have an idea!

What if we were able to generate weather systems that would just lift the heat up from the ground? Maybe we could make them spin too! I think we'd need a lot of them though. We should probably start warning people we're going to do that.

Windows 12: Savior of PC makers, or just an apology for Windows 11?

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Re: My way or the highway

You need a Thneed!

Iranian cyberspies target US defense orgs with a brand new backdoor

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Exquisite humor post

Loved it. Was it Ilya that set you off in that direction? I'm sure there must be a Napolean involved in this many rounds of crazy. Thanks for the summary and extra info.

California approves lavatory-to-faucet water recycling

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Re: California water...

Wells can have wonderful water. They also can have mineral laden water. California's central coast is notorious for mineral laden water and it tends to come from wells.

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Re: California water...

The worst tasting and hardest (most loaded with minerals) water is pumped from wells. In many places a water softener is required to keep from ruining the pipes.

Some places that 'consume' water are dumping it more or less into the ocean. Once data center water is mixed in with bog water and industrial waste the cost to clean it goes up dramatically. The water should be reclaimed at the data center before the cost to clean it skyrockets.

We already recycle water to a degree; this new legislation is saying they don't need to clean the water as much before handing it back to people to drink. It seems to me that if the data centers are so thirsty they should be using the waste water rather than putting it into our taps.

Something nasty injected login-stealing JavaScript into 50K online banking sessions

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Was there something I could use in the article?

I got that it was tricky to detect. No mention of any sort of test or antivirus I could run. There was a suggestion of "strong passwords", but those don't really do much against injection / keystroke logging. Information is good, but I'd like some more details. Several AV suites detect Danabot, which is mentioned in the article. It's not obvious anyone detects DBot v3.

Musk floats idea of boat mod for Cybertruck

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Re: scraping the bottom

Really. You'd think with all his money he could afford something better to put in his pipe.

A fully electric vehicle in salt water. Can't think of anything that might go wrong there: Sinking of the Conception

Interesting that the initial cause of that disaster was attributed to lithium batteries, but by the time the bureaucrats completed their reports it was all human error and the batteries officially had nothing to do with it. Yes, the crew was negligent...which is why they didn't notice that the batteries had caught fire.

FTC bans Rite Aid from using AI facial recognition in stores for 5 years

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I wonder how difficult it would be...

I bet you all know where this is going based on the subject!

I wonder how difficult it would be, strictly for educational purposes of course, to feed facial images of the company management into such a system. If politicians were fed into it, it might provide insight into what it takes to get images removed and just how quickly it can be done. This would be important information to have if suing the operators of the system for negligent libel.

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Re: 5 years isn't good enough.

It sort of ended up being permanent. Part of what forced Rite-Aid into bankruptcy was lawsuits. Attacking your customers seems to be part of the death throes of a failing business if the business is large enough.

Internet's deep-level architects slam US, UK, Europe for pushing device-side scanning

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various tricks

"listen in on your house even when the phone is hung up"

Check. Did you think your window shades are giving you privacy?

"wherever Russia leads"

What I came to say. Is Putin on-board? Of course he is. Could that possibly bode well?

"One world govt"

Don't see how that is going to happen. The EU isn't united. The US isn't united. I only recall one dictator willing to abrogate their power.

CLIs are simply wizard at character building. Let’s not keep them to ourselves

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Re: Intuitive GUI? My arse.

One of the most unintuitive things about Windows is where they hide the network settings - and it changes with every version! I stopped trying to find it at some point and just memorized ncpa.cpl

Kraft Heinz suggests we simmer down about Snatch ransomware attack claims

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If I read the article correctly, this looks like a way to detect the compromise:

REG query HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\VSS

REG query HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\mXoRpcSsx

The keys do not necessarily mean you are compromised, but the absence of the keys might mean the machine you ran the query on is not compromised by this particular attack.

Sports Illustrated boss fired – but it's totally nothing to do with AI fake news

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Mercantilism everywhere

"to improve the operational efficiency and revenue of the company."

more like: Because we just discovered we can charge rents and not pay to create anything! Pure Profit! I'm a genius!

Tesla says California's Autopilot action violates its free speech rights

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It's a great country

It is the land of opportunity. Positive and Negative.