* Posts by James O'Shea

1697 posts • joined 14 Jun 2007

Google's ChromeOS Flex turned my old MacBook into new frustrations

James O'Shea

Re: I’ll take that MacBook off your hands

If the author wants to get rid of it, send it here. I'll even pay for the shipping. My latest laptop is a brand-new Lenovo, but I'll gladly take (and use!) a 5-year-old MacBook in preference to it. (The Lenovo isn't bad, it's just a Lenovo and runs (ick!) Win11, but it's not great. And it runs Win11. It could be worse. It could be a Dell.)

Anti-piracy messaging may just encourage more piracy

James O'Shea

Re: False equivalence as well...

I do love how certain files, allegedly videos (not that I've seen, for example, 'pirated' versions of Star Wars:Rogue One, given that I have a legit copy and don't need to, ah, 'pirate' it...) which were directly copied from DVD or Blu-ray and contain _everything_, including the 'FBI Warning' notice. (Note to those who might have ideas: I got Rogue one in BR... and it shipped with a DVD version, _and_ an 'electronic' downloadable version. I stuck the BR and DVD in a safe place, and have only played the 'downloadable' version. I do have copies of certain tools available which can make 100% copies of pretty much any BR or DVD ever made, so if the 'downloadable' version ever gives me static it can be replaced... and Disney can bite me.

This might or might not have already happened.

A character catastrophe for a joker working his last day

James O'Shea

Something similar was part of the plot of Alistar MacLean's "HMS Ulysses", his first novel, his first and last story about the Russian convoys in mid WWII. Senior electrical rating Ralston has showed up extremely stupid Sublieutenant Carslake several times, and the Sub is going to have his revenge. Ralston is up the main mast, playing with the radio, having taken the 'Safe to Transmit' boards down and notifying the officer of the deck. While he's up on the mast someone needs to send an urgent message; Carslake hands them the 'Safe to Transmit' boards, and the message gets sent, roughly 45 seconds after Ralston gets down from the mast. Ralston thumps Carslake good. The senior officers are forced to have Ralston arrested for striking a vastly inferior officer, but their hearts aren't in it. (MacLean was in the RN in the war, and it shows) Later on, Ralston is back on duty, while Carslake gets what he deserves... shortly before the Commander takes Ulysses in, battle ensign flying, at 44 knots, to attempt to ram a Hipper cruiser, the Admiral and the Captain being dead, 'X' turret out of action with the remnants of a German bomber draped around it, 'B' turret firing only starshell because that was all they had left.

James O'Shea

Re: I'd say that ....

Ah. Queen Bee,, She Who Ruled. None of this 'reign' nonsense, just an absolute dictatorship. Certain commentards would not have lasted long before facing Her Royal Displeasure.

Those were the days.

Microsoft 365 patches for Windows 7 to end in 2023

James O'Shea

Re: "Complex" features in MS Office

'Complex' documents would include Word documents with tables, indexes, tables of contents, certain types of borders, certain font styles (including some styles which are in LO, but are implemented differently) and more. Excel documents with tables and using certain functions... and, especially, certain add-ins, have _serious_ problems. Some PowerPoint documents simply choke, and I don't know why. I don't play with Access enough to know (or care) about its troubles.

Note that these problems are not unique to LO. Many of them apply even to other variants of Office, especially to Office for Mac. Office for Windows 2010 had multiple issues with round-tripping files to Office for Mac 2008. Amazingly all the problems went away on updating to Office for Mac 2011. Who could have imagined _that_? (It was a good thing that Office 2011 fixed problems, as the next version of Office for Mac was 2016...)

Supply chain blamed amid claims of Azure capacity issues

James O'Shea

hmm. Most of my servers are at 99.999% availability over the last year. The exceptions would be WinServers, they have to go down every ever so often because MS insists on a reboot to install certain patches. Non-MS servers stay up all year. One non-MS server has been out of service 9 minutes in the last 18 months. I'm fairly sure that even that one is over five nines availability.

Why would I want to _decrease_ my availability to please some unknown yahoo on Ye InterTubes?

Is computer vision the cure for school shootings? Likely not

James O'Shea

That's a machine gun. You need a special, very expensive, very hard to get, license to get one legally, and that's a requirement going back nearly 100 years, specifically due to the widespread use of machine guns by assorted criminals in the 1920s.

Banning a magazine size is utterly useless; it's trivial to make large-capacity magazines. Worse, they're not bloody necessary if you want to shoot a lot of people in a short time. Example: At Mons in 1914, British infantry armed with Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk III rifles, with 10-round fixed magazines (you have to charge them with clips, you can't just change magazines) engaged the Germans with heavy, accurate, aimed, rifle fire such that the Germans thought that they had run into massed machine guns. Normal British infantry could and did fire 20 to 30 aimed rounds per minute using 10-round magazines reloaded with clips and a blot-action rifle; the Foot Guards could do up to double the rate of fire of non-Guards units. Seriously. Up to 60 rounds/minute, aime fire, 10-round magazine, bolt-action rifle. You don't bloody need a large capacity magazine if you know what you're doing! Full auto is merely a way to waste ammunition! The family still has grandpa's old SMLE III*, the RN issued rifles to everyone on his cruiser and then for reasons of N avy didn't want them back after the war, so we still have it (if the RN wants it back now, we'll be charging them for storage). I've fired it. I can't get 30 rounds per minute out of it, that would take more practice and 0.303 SAA ain't cheap. I can get 20 round/minute, 20 _aimed_ rounds per minute, I can hit a man-sized target, in the torso, at 1000 yards with all 20 in a minute. It's not hard to do, and a hit anywhere from 0.303 SAA will be noticed. A torso hit will almost always be fatal. You'd damn well better consider a SMLE III* in competent hands to be an 'assault weapon'. Despite it not being even semi-auto and having just 10 rounds in the magazine!

Define 'assault weapon'. Be careful how you do it.

James O'Shea

Re: "That. Will. Not. Work."

It's been tried in the US. It won't work there. This is not news. Bonnie and Clyde used Browning Automatic Rifles; the BAR was the standard US Army and Marines squad machine gun in WWII and Korea, and would have been in WWI except that the US Army wanted to keep their wonderwaffe Utter Top Secret. (The US Army and Marine in WWI used a French machine gun which was so bad that the French refused to use it, instead. Things did not go well. They should have used Lewis guns instead. By WWII the BAR was no longer such a wonderwaffe.) Federal law was set up to make it difficult and expensive to access machine guns, especially including BARs. The result was that those who had the Federal Class 2 license were very law-abiding indeed, they didn't want to lose the license, it was hard to get and very expensive. Those who just wanted to use machine guns didn't care, and still don't. It's trivial to convert a M-1 Garand from semi-auto to full auto (the Official Government Version is, basically, the M-14) and there are a lot of Garands out there. It's just as easy to convert semi-auto AR-15s. Or even Colt 1911s. There are literally hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of various rifles and pistols which can be converted to full auto in the US. Prying them out of private hands, particularly when the vast majority are in the hands of people who have always been law-abiding, would cause serious problems. It literally cannot be done. The time to do it would have been some time in the past, probably near the end of WWI, before the easy availability of Thomson guns and BARs and more.

Note that the posse who got Bonnie and Clyde were also armed with BARs.

James O'Shea

That. Will. Not. Work.

1. Define 'assault weaponry'. Be very careful how you do it; many common definitions mean that M-1 carbines and M-1 Garands from WWII are 'assault weapons'. If you squint, a SMLE Mk 3* from 1917 (such as my grandfather's old rifle) would be an 'assault weapon'. (Officially a SMLE is a 'battle rifle' and so is a Garand. A M1 carbine is definitely an 'assault weapon' though. The difference is... most don't give a damn.) The US had an 'assault weapons ban' a few years ago; they banned certain features, such as flash-hiders and bayonet lugs. Gun vendors removed those items. Hoo-rah.

2. 'semi-auto' weaponry would include almost all pistols which aren't revolvers, and some revolvers. (Yes, really.) It would still leave other revolvers. May I suggest that being shot by a 9mm Parabellum semi-auto is slightly more survivable than being shot by a 0.44 magnum revolver?

End-of-life smartphone? Penguins at postmarketOS aim to revive it

James O'Shea

Re: 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste

The only reason why I replaced my aged SE (1st gen) was that the battery was getting a bit past it. It was more economical, long term, to get a new phone (a SE (2nd gen)) than to replace the battery. I got it last year, the original SE was 5 years old. If I'd waited another year I could have got a 3rd gen, with 5G, instead. The 2nd gen is working fine. I'll be keeping it until it shows battery problems. In about 4 years or so.

Teeth marks yield clue to widespread internet outage in Canada

James O'Shea

Anyone who's done a Google for 'beaver'. (Hint: don't do that at work.)

James O'Shea

Re: Emergency credit?

Not necessarily. My Discover card isn't embossed. My Capital One card is. My Chase card isn't.

And my brand-new Truist (used to be SunTrust) bank card isn't, but my elderly Chase bank card is.

The newer cards, credit or debit, tend to not be embossed, the older ones tend to be. My Discover and Chase cards are a year or so old, the Cap One card expires this year. The Truist card is less than six months old, SunTrust just merged with another bank to become Truist and issued all new cards. The Chase debit card expires this year.

It appears that major national and regional banks in the US are moving away from embossed cards.

Zero-day vuln in Microsoft Office: 'Follina' will work even when macros are disabled

James O'Shea

It appears that

this is, as usual, a Windows-only problem. It appears to leverage things found only on Windows boxes. So... that means that Word on Macs is. umm, safe? How about the web version of Word? That can work on Windows, and so might be vulnerable... but also works on Macs, and, sort of, on Linux. Can the web version be affected? Enquiring minds want to know. My bowl of popcorn is ready to go.

The Return of Gopher: Pre-web hypertext service is still around

James O'Shea

Re: Gopher isn't actually any older than the Web...

I still lurk in various newsgroups, mostly in the rec.arts.sf.* hierarchy. Some of them see only a few posts per month (one group gets one post/month, the autoposted info post) but some get a lot of posts still. r.a.sf.written is not nearly as lively as it was in the 1990s, but still gets dozens of posts daily, mostly on topic (or as nearly on topic as they ever were). A lot of groups are full of spam and nothing but spam, and others have continuous flamewars involving under a half dozen regulars. Some of those flamewars have been going for nearly two decades or even longer; see, for example, talk.origins, where certain regulars have been flaming and counter flaming since the 1990s. Anyone who thinks that I'm exaggerating can look up, for example 'Peter Nyikos'. (He is, apparently, a brilliant mathematician. He's also an Ancient Astronaut creationist crackpot and a firm believer in Directed Panspermia. Look that up, too. And he's rather far to the right. It could be worse. He's not a Velikovskian or a Young Earth Creationist; there are two or three YECs who are further to the right than he is currently posting on t.o, they merely haven't been around as long as he has.)

IoT biz Insteon goes silent, smart home gear plays dumb

James O'Shea

A class-action lawsuit

Against who, exactly? Unless those incorporating the company screwed up as badly as did those running it, none of the corporate officers (if you can find them) will have any liability. Users will be left holding a big bag of nothing.

And that is one of many reasons why I stay as far as possible away from IoT.

DARPA says US hypersonic missile is ready for real world

James O'Shea

They were fitted with either half a ton of explosives or a 2 or a 20 kt nuke. There was a Nike station in the Florida Everglades, officially to cover Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. The effective slant range of a Nike Hercules mean that Havana was in range. I'm sure that a 20 kt warhead going off above Havana would have got Fidel's attention.

And, while on the subject of nukes... There are some who claim that Boy George Bush skipped out on his time in the Air National Guard. His unit, the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Texas Air National Guard, flew F-102 fighters and had responsibility for the air defence of the south east US. Including Florida. (He later moved to an Alabama squadron, also flying F-102s, also tasked with the air defence of the south eastern US.) Typically, F-102s in air-defence configuration carried five Falcon missiles, usually three infra red guided and two radar guided, and one Genie rocket with a 1.5 kt warhead, or six Falcons, three of each. The idea was to use the Genie to break up Soviet bomber formations, and then go hunting survivors with Falcons and then go home, F-102s didn't have a gun. F-102s could get within Genie range of Havana from Alabama; they'd probably need refueling to get there from Texas. I wonder what a few 1.5 kt Genies would do to Havana... Boy George (sometimes) had a nuke directly under his control. Shouldn't those who think that he's stupid, which in comparison to a certain recent ex-Prez he isn't, be happy that he skipped out on the job?

(Every day that certain recent ex-Prez makes Boy George look better and better.)

Ubiquiti sues Krebs on Security for defamation

James O'Shea

He's a (Fresh) Prince. He doesn't care.

Rolling Rhino: A rolling-release remix of Ubuntu

James O'Shea


He's right. The world does NOT need Yet Another Linux Distro. The world needs a solid, easy-to-install, easy-to-maintain, easy-to-support (not the same thing) distro which can actually be used to get work done for a _lot_ of non-technical users. It has to support lots of hardware, including hardware which might have 'binary blob' drivers, so that users can get work done. It has to support lots of software, so users can get work done. And software which has strange UIs (I'm looking at _you_, GIMP) won' cut it. Most users don't want to learn something new, they want to do what they need to do to get work done. They don't care if the latest version of Gentoo installs in 0.27 nanoseconds--if the user knows how to get down to the bare metal and use a few really neat hacks. Most users don't know, and don't care about, really neat hacks. Most users don't care about how superior GPL is to any other license (or not). Most users couldn't give a damn about how LibreOffice is ribbonfrei.They want to get work done, and they know how to use Photoshop and MS Office. Any replacements had better work the same way, or at least close, or the users will revolt.. Until there is a simple-to-install, simple-to-use, distro which has standard tools which behave the way users expect, users will use OSes which do support lots of hardware and lots of software, such as Windows or macOS. Users can buy computers with Windows or Mac already installed, with lots of drivers for all kinds of hardware, with lots of software which they already know how to use, and which they can be confident will be supported for at least the next few years. Most Linux distros simp0ly don't make the cut, and those which do 'rolling-release' are _worse_, they _change all the time_, which is something that most users DO NOT LIKE. Those who like to tweak their boxes will just love rolling releases. Those who must do actual work, no play with computers, will not.

We take Asahi Linux alpha for a spin on an M1 Mac Mini

James O'Shea

Re: Why?

How did you get it to load Big Sur? I have a 2012 Mac mini server and it's running Catalina. I'd like to have at least the option to go to Big Sur, as Catalina will be out of support Real Soon Now.

Tonga's submarine cable reconnects to the world

James O'Shea

I didn't realise that Boris was an El Reg reader.

James O'Shea

Jamaica would be happy to take Missus Queen. The rest of Blighty, especially including Boris the Clown, can go to hell.

Journalist won't be prosecuted for pressing 'view source'

James O'Shea

Re: The State changed its tune

I remember a review for a Neil Diamond (remember him?) CD in Amazon. It was, according to the review, Diamond's best work in years. It was great. It got one star and a recommendation for all to stay away because it was 'infected' with the SonyBMG rootkit. I understand that sales of that CD were poor, and that some of the artists who had CDs carrying the infection sued Sony. (Don't know if Diamond was one of them.)

James O'Shea

Re: Transcendental question

Indiana was the state where it was proposed that pi be set equal to 4.

They can't count that high in Missouri.

UK.gov threatens to make adults give credit card details for access to Facebook or TikTok

James O'Shea


Many credit cards, including mine, allow you to set up one-time card numbers that you can use. The CC company knows which real card is behind the fake number, and the fake number can be used exactly once and never again. So send the snoopers a fake number. It's useless to anyone who hacks their site. If possible, send a fake address, too. 935 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, is a popular choice. 300 E Street SW, Washington, DC, is also popular. In the UK, Whitehall. London SW1A 2HB or perhaps 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ might be useful. Alternative addresses for those in other countries are left as exercises for the student.

Photon fantastic: James Webb Space Telescope spies its first starlight

James O'Shea

Re: What’s in a name?

Famously Sagan objected to Apple using 'Carl Sagan' for the codename for one of its computers (the Power Mac 7100; I had one. Great machine. Butt-ugly, but incredibly powerful.) Carl sued. Apple changed the codename to BHA, for Butt Head (or Hole...) Astronomer. Carl sued again. https://www.engadget.com/2014-02-26-when-carl-sagan-sued-apple-twice.html

IPv6 is built to be better, but that's not the route to success

James O'Shea

Re: Won't happen in my lifetime

It is quite unlikely that anything would lead me to allow the IPs on my private networks to be visible on the Internet. If necessary I would set up two nets: a private net running on a Class B or C IPv4 private net range, and a public net of one machine which is visible on the Internet, and which cannot see the private net. Or at least can't see the private net without going to a lot of trouble. This would give me one IP which is visible on the Internet, which is what I have now. Also, as cell devices usually have IPv6 around here when connected to cell data services, I could use cell devices. Oh. Wait. Both T-Mobile and AT&T have problems with VPNs, including Apple's Private Relay and Cloudflare's It's almost as if some people don't respect other people's privacy. No doubt Ipv6 partisans would agree with AT&T and T-Mobile. I'm looking for new cellcos. (I have a 'ticket' out with T-Mobile about this issue, and have had one since 11 Jan. So far it is not resolved, and I'm not holding my breath while waiting.) Apparently Verizon, despite its other failings, don't block VPNs. They may be getting new customers.

And, frankly, I don't care about 'the next big thing'. Their problems are their own, and not mine. And your attitude towards the 'incumbent Scrooges' would be a lot less hypocritical if you weren't trying to force me, and everyone else, to reveal every IP on our private networks to the world. All I ask is that I can keep my private net private; those who love IPv6 absolutely positively refuse to allow this. Unless and until I can keep my private IPs private on Ipv6 with the same ease that I can with IPv4, I will not be moving to IPv6.

James O'Shea

Re: Won't happen in my lifetime

You seem to have missed the part where I said that there are no sites using IPv6 only that I care about. No sites. None. Zero. There is literally no reason for me to set up IPv6.

James O'Shea

Re: Won't happen in my lifetime

But I _do_ want my personal devices to be not visible on the Internet. This is one thing that those who like IPv6 always seem to fail to understand: I, and many, many, MANY others, do not want to have our devices visible on the Internet. Being on a non-routable, orivate, network wusing NAT (or something else, I don't care) is a Good Ting(™). It's literally what we want. That way the router is the only thing exposed to the Internet, and outsiders can't tell if I have one device, 50 devices, or 500 devices, they just see the one IP. (They might be able to guess that I have more than one device by looking at how much bandwidthI use, but even that isn't certain, not in these days of streaming everything.) It's literally none of their business what I have on my personal network. I like that. IPv6 destroys that... and it get even some control back I would have to reconfigure my router and buy new hardware. Not to mention that some of my existing hardware is NOT compatible with IPv6, and so would have to be replaced. I would literally have to spend more money, time, and effort, to get a network which can still be seen by outsiders.Going to IPv6 gains me nothing, as every site I wanmt to go to, on my local net and on the Internet, is either IPv4 or double-stacked and therefore reachable by IPv4. I fail to see why going to a lot of trouble and expense to set up IPv6, either at home or the office, is a good idea.

Now, if there was a compelling reason to use IPv6, such as some site which I must use which is IPv6 only, then there might be a reason. This is quite unlikely; most sites are run by people who know that they will lose business/visits/whatever if they went IPv6 only. At leasy most sites I care about know this; if there are sites which are IPv6-only, frankly I don't go there and simply don't care about them.

The time may come when I'm forced to go IPv6, but it will not be at any time soon. Not unless I can easily and inexpensively set up private networks to which some random stranger on the Internet cannot access without going to a lot of trouble. And my existing hardware had better work with the net, or someone will have to give me a good reason to junk working equipment.

You have not done this.

And, oh... I have a perfectly adequate hardware firewall at work. I don't have one at home and see absolutely no reason to get one just to use IPv6. A firewall plus NAT is, in my opinion at least, better than a firewall by itself. IPv6 is actively hostile to NAT. Those who like IPv6 need to convince me that getting rid of NAT is a good thing. So far this has not happened, and I doubt that it ever will.

James O'Shea

Re: Won't happen in my lifetime

"Take the concept of all devices having a public IP address. Maybe I don't want that?"

IPv6 puts every IP live on the Internet. So how do you put locks on the router so that you prevent that? Seriously. That's a major reason why I don't put IPv6 on my net.

James O'Shea

Re: Won't happen in my lifetime

And you just missed the entire point. Hint: you might be able to find the OS grid reference for my house, but you'd have to go to a bit of trouble to look it up, and that grid reference would be _all_ that you know about it unless you do considerably more research. Meanwhile, you can get my IPv6 address (if I had one, I'm at the office now and none of the office machines have IPv6 addresses for security reasons) just by my visiting a web site or sending an email. It is trivial to determine all kinds of things about whatever machine is at that IP while staying halfway around the world; you can't walk into my house and eat my porridge without getting actual physical access. (And without getting past my dogs. And the Attack Cat. But that's another matter.) You can access the machine remotely. You can't eat the porridge remotely. You can see the IP4 address of the router, but that's all. And the router can be, and is, configured to lock annoyances out.

The simplest way of preventing someone from using IPv6 to violate my privacy is to not have IPv6 turned on. With IPv4 and NAT, I set one set of locks, on the router. With IPv6, I have to set locks on every single device in the building. At home that's multiple computers, printers, cell phones, tablets, and more. At the office, that's computers (lots of them) and printers/MFDs and lots and lots of other things. Explain to me why it's better to have to set locks on dozens to hundreds or even thousands of things than it is to set locks on one or two things?

James O'Shea

Re: But it will happen

You haven't tried to get MFDs from Epson and Canon and HP to have their scanner sections show up. Hint: it's usually trivial to get the printer section to show. Getting the scanner to work can be a pain and a half. One particular Canon device (since junked with extreme prejudice) refused to have the scanner section show up... on Windows machines... if the MFD was connected by 802.11 wireless (wireless n or lower, the MFD had 802.11n built in) but would work with Macs with wireless or Ethernet, and would work with Windows systems with Ethernet. I ended up stopping trying to argue with the thing and connecting using Ethernet, until other problems forced a replacement, which was with a much better behaved Brother.

James O'Shea

Re: But it will happen

Oh, it's worse than that, especially for certain older printers and multifunction devices. The old MFDs on my home network _both_ do not support IPv6 in any way. I would have to either connect by USB, and there's a reason why I got network devices, or would have to rig something with IPv4-to-IPv6 and make it work consistently (the keyword being 'consistently') or I would not be able to print or scan. The scanner sections of both MFDs in particular hate messing with the IP. As is, everything works. Why should I buy new devices and reconfigure my entire network just to run IPv6? I have some other older hardware which, in theory, works with IPv6. I really don't want to put that to the test.

I reconfigured my local net to use something other than the default 192.168.1.x Class C net. (I used a Class B private net and reserved IPs for all legitimate devices...) This means that someone trying to access my net will quickly discover that there are lower-hanging fruit elsewhere. Yes, if I add a new device I have to go to a little trouble. No, I don't add new devices that often, and the fact that I have to go to a bit of trouble helps ensure that any device I add is actually required. Hint: smart TVs and other IoT crap are not actually required; if necessary they may be placed on an entirely different network than my home net, denying Samsung & Co. snooping privileges. I am uncertain on how to set up an IPv6 net to lock out IoT crap and other undesirables.

Mobile networks really hate Apple's Private Relay: Some folks find iOS privacy feature blocked on their iPhones

James O'Shea

Re: Calling T-mob

I have a 'ticket'. They are 'addressing the problem'.

James O'Shea

Calling T-mob

I ran a little test. T-Mob is definitely allergic to Cloudflare's free VPN service. If I turn it on, and am connected only to a T-Mob cell net, any attempt to use data, by web or email or anything else, results in a long wait and then a timeout. If I turn it off, and am connected only to a T-Mob cell net, I get more or less an instant, very fast, connection. If I have it on and am connected to a local 802.11 net, and I've tried two different nets, in a local eatery and at the office, again I have an instant, very fast, connection. Turning on Apple's Private Relay, I may or may not get the timeout when connected to a T-Mob cell net, it varies. I definitely don't have problems when on a local 802.11 net.

I am currently on hold with T-Mob support. I expressed my displeasure at having VPNs blocked, pointed out that I'd been with T-Mob for nearly two decades (I started when the hot cell phone was a Motorola Razr) and that I really, really, REALLY wanted to know what in God's name they thought that they were playing at. T-Mob Support had a look at my account, at the number of lines and and the length of time that I'd been with T-Mob, and became most apologetic. I'm holding for transfer to 'someone technical' who can 'permanently fix' this 'unfortunate problem'. You'll notice that they failed to admit that the 'problem' might have been caused by them. They really don't want to lose all the beautiful cash that I feed them.

Meg Whitman – former HP and eBay CEO – nominated as US ambassador to Kenya

James O'Shea

Oy! The sum and trash in free dating apps have _standards_ and won't allow Tories in! (Unless the Tories pay. A lot.)

Autonomy accounts whistleblowers may testify at founder Mike Lynch's US criminal trial

James O'Shea

I was just about to post something along that line.

Alleged Brit SIM-swapper will kill himself if extradited to US for trial, London court told

James O'Shea

Re: No excuse

Yes. This. I'm _really_ sick of the "I'm autistic, so I'm not responsible" crowd, and the "if someone tries to punish me for what I'm guilty of, I'll kill myself" crowd. Really, really, REALLY sick of them. They make it even more difficult for those of us who have assorted autistic problems; others are now expecting criminal behaviour when they see us. I GREATLY DISLIKE being lumped in with entitled criminals who want a get-out-of-jail-free card instead of punishment for their actions. I manage to do not do anything criminal, and have managed to not do anything criminal for over 60 years. I have zero sympathy. I want the book heaved at this twit. Hard. And fast. He did a serious crime. He needs to take serious punishment.

My previous comment on this thread was modded. I wonder if this one will make it through.

Northrop Grumman throws hat in the ring to design NASA's next-gen Lunar Terrain Vehicle

James O'Shea

Elon has the experience driving a battery-powered vehicle over obstacles. Pick him.

Oh. Wait. He lost the contract as a whole. Pity.

22-year-old Brit accused of Twitter SIM-swap heists charged with $784k cryptocurrency theft

James O'Shea

Re: Sim-swapping

I don't let banking apps use the phone # for 2FA. Even if the thief could get on the phone, and good luck with that, they couldn't access most accounts as they wouldn't have the 2FA factors necessary.

James O'Shea

Re: Sim-swapping

So what would happen if someone stole one of my phones?

1 They'd have to be quick about doing something with it, as Apple's new 'device left behind' feature in Find My will scream at me if the damn things got too far away. Or they'd have to steal both phones. And both iPads. And the Apple Watch. As soon as I detect that one or more is gone, I'd light up Find My and go looking for them... or just remote erase the things. If found, it's trivial to reimage them by plugging into a computer and downloading the last saved backup. I back up the various devices nightly. Doesn't everyone?

2 The facial recognition on one phone and one iPad are turned off. The fingerprint recognition on the others are turned off. I have 12 digit passcodes, with capital letters, common letters, and numbers. Different passcodes for each. Yes, it's a pain, but working out how to unlock the things before I remote erase them would be more of a pain for the thief. The watch is on my wrist when it's not charging at night. I'm fairly sure that I'd notice if the watch went missing.

How about trying a SIM-swap? Well, if they did, one device would drop off the net... and Find My would scream. And the attempted thief would have a problem, as my backups are to my local computers, not to iCloud. They could restore the apps, but not the various settings, including passcodes, because iCloud knows what apps I have but not anything else. Also, I have my Discover card linked to Apple's wallet thingy... and as soon as the phone drops off the net, the wallet thingy would scream. I might/might not notice Find My screaming. It's hard to miss the wallet notifying me that my Discover card is not linked anymore. I get on the non-SIM-swapped phone and yell at the telco pretty much immediately. The thief isn't going to have much time to even download the various apps before the SIM-swap is reversed, if necessary by my canceling the phone. If they somehow get the their phone to access my AppleID, I can remote erase their phone. And they'll have a problem signing in to my AppleID; first, they have to know the ID, then they have to know the 15-digit passcode, uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, symbols. And then they have to get the access code for turning on a new device; Apple sends a six-digit code, all numbers, to trusted devices. Which the new device isn't, yet. They can't get on the phone easily, before I can nuke them. They can't access any of my Apple stuff, easily, before I can nuke them. They can't get to pretty much anything else, not even my Kindle books; that's a different account and a different 10-digit passcode. And if they somehow get the AppleID, I can nuke them _easily_ and with extreme prejudice. Meanwhile, I get the telco to SIM-swap back.

I don't use webmail unless I have to, and never on a phone. My email passwords are in my Keychain... but that's locked up unless my AppleID is available, and if they somehow get my AppleID on their phone I'll nuke them in under a minute. The Keychain on the iDevices allows access to certain accounts, but does not tell the user the actual passcode. They'd have to figure out which accounts to access, and fire up the Keychain, and do it before I dropped a bucket of instant sunshine on their ass. Using most email on the iDevices would demand 2FA, which they won't have, and the Keychain, which they won't have. 'Most email' includes Apple's mail, Google's mail (which I no longer use, so they are welcome to try to access than non-existent account...) Zoho's mail, and a lot more. The only email that I have that doesn't require 2FA is AT&Stupid, and as I only use the AT&Stupid email to talk to AT&Stupid, lots of luck getting anything useful out of that.

And, oh... I have iDevices on two different telcos, always have. One telco is currently T-mob, the other is currently AT&T. I used to use Sprint, before they got eaten by T-mob, and Verizon; I dumped Verizon after one encounter too many with Verizon non-support. Believe it or not, Verizon makes AT&Stupid look good. Verizon support is worse than Comcast. Let that sink in for a minute, there's something worse than a cableco! Both T-Mob and AT&Stupid require a PIN before they can do anything to the account, including making a SIM-swap. T-Mob is six or more digits, AT&Stupid is four. I picked my PINs to be hard to guess. And not to be the minimum, except with AT&Stupid because they max out at 4. They're _stupid_. But they're not as customer-hostile as Verizon.

Good Grief! Ransomware gang has only gone and pwned the NRA – or so it claims

James O'Shea

Re: Thoughts and prayers folks ...

ARs can be belt-fed. See, for example.https://ar15tactical.com/ares-15-mcr-magazine-belt-fed-ar15-upper/ and note the date on the site. Belt feeding ARs has been a thing for years now.

James O'Shea

It was with John W. Campbell, who was egged on by Robert Heinlein. Both Heinlein and Hubbard wrote for Campbell. The three of them were at a table at a WorldCon together, and were not particularly sober; Heinlein, being a sailor, held his liquor better than the other two and decided to have some fun. Hubbard was drunk enough to agree.That Hubbard was one of Campbell's writers, by the way, is another sign that Hubbard wasn't a 'failed' writer. Failed writers got rejected from Astounding/Analog.

James O'Shea

Only those idiot enough to believe. Suckers should not be allowed to keep their money.

These couldn't wait for Patch Tuesday: Adobe issues bonus fixes for 92 security holes in 14 products

James O'Shea

Re: It's bugs all the way down

That would be a very short list.

31-year-old piece of hardware not working very well: Hubble telescope back in safe mode over 'synchronization issues'

James O'Shea

This is the way NASA, and Boeing, and McDonnell-Douglas, used to do things. I think that Nortrup-Grumman still works that way. A Grumman product once towed a McDonnell product back from the Moon, so if Grumman still builds 'em right, then I'd pick them for anything I would ride in out beyond the atmosphere.

'Windows 11 has been successfully downloaded,' says update for Xbox version of Microsoft Flight Simulator

James O'Shea

The Master Chief would not be amused

Time for a little house-cleaning in MS-ville. Lock and load, boyz'n'grrlz.

Oh my, Grandma, what a big meteorite you have right there on your pillow under that hole in the roof

James O'Shea

Re: A meteor shower in Golden

that would make it something a certain Orange Person would like.

Perhaps we could export him to Canada. And then close the border.

Microsoft turns Windows Subsystem for Linux into an app for Windows

James O'Shea

Re: Found a shortcut

"I have never met a Windows Admin/User be quite so rabid about hating on other OS's or their users decisions to use them."

I've met many Windows admins who rave on and on about Crapple and refuse to even contemplate allowing Macs on their network... and who get quite irate when Macs get on the network, anyway, without their assistance and despite their objections. And who refuse to support the Macs. And who then discover that the Macs tend to require far less support than Windows, which means that their refusal matters not a jot.

The same people tend to be even more rabid about about Linux. Anyone who knows Linux well enough to put it on one of their networks doesn't need support.

A common dodge is to require that all systems on the net have antimalware installed. Those kind of guys tend to be rabid MS-everything; MS makes a client for MS Defender for Endpoint for Mac. And for Linux. Cue heads exploding.

Back in the dim dark past, Mac OS X Server could be rigged to behave like a domain controller on Active Directory... That feature is no longer with us, and was never official, but it was there if you dug deep enough and _really_ caused gibbering. As it is, current Macs can be full members of ADDS networks with minimal configuration...

James O'Shea

Re: Found a shortcut

I've found that Outlook on Mac is far superior to Outlook on Windows. In particular, Outlook has problems on two of my Windows machines but works just fine on Macs ranging down to 12-year-old units.

James O'Shea

Re: Found a shortcut

Err... no.

MS makes their rep, such as it is, on Windows. They make their money on Office and Azure. Seriously. Office alone accounts for at least 300% of Windows sales, Azure adds another 35-400%. At least. if Windows sales dropped to zero, MS would notice only when that started affecting Office and Azure sales. And recall that Office runs on Macs; the single most profitable department in MS has been, for _decades_, the unit which creates Office for Mac. Azure works with just about all OSes, including Linux. (see https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/linux-on-azure/ for more)

Large companies use business licensing and tend to be auto-renewing and locked in with Windows and, increasingly, Azure, anyway. MS cares little about small businesses or home users, except perhaps for gamers... who are locked in to Windows until the rest of the gaming infrastructure breaks away. That especially includes the video card and audio card people.

MS no longer has to care about Windows licenses.


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