* Posts by Tromos

1139 posts • joined 23 Sep 2013


Amnesty International and French media protection org claim massive misuse of NSO spyware


Vetted and approved...

...or, in other words, passed all the credit checks.

Spyware, trade-secret theft, and $30m in damages: How two online support partners spectacularly fell out


Re: Call that "support"?

"LivePerson provides online engagement technology, which takes the form of chatbots that corporate clients add to their websites to field questions, gather interaction data, and reduce customer support costs."

Or, to be more precise, just trim 'er support costs' off the end.

Wyoming powers ahead with Bill Gates-backed sodium-cooled nuclear generation plant


I had three jokes about Sodium...

...but Ms. Mouskouri objected to two of them and the third is not applicable.

Amazon puts an $8.5bn MGM in its shopping cart, clicks on checkout


Was there also the usual suggestion...

...people who bought MGM also purchased (list)

UK data regulator fines American Express up to 0.021p per email after opted-out folk spammed 4.1 million times


Re: Reputational consequences?

One thing that would ensure there were consequences and instil a desire to ensure it never happened again would be a simple addition to the fine. Make them publish an apology and promise to not reoffend in the form of half-page adverts in 4 leading national newspapers.

Apple's macOS is sub-par for security, Apple exec Craig Federighi tells Epic trial


Further safety measures needed.

Are they absolutely insane? The iPhone telephone and SMS services are totally unlocked and capable of receiving abusive messages, hate speech, etc. Even worse, they enable telephone banking without allowing Apple a 30% cut!

These services need to be curated via the official call and message store which will ensure you are kept up to date on the releases of new iShiny products and safe from all these pesky callers like family and friends.

What happens when cancel culture meets Adolf Hitler pareidolia? Amazon decides it needs a new app icon


Re: Shaving off his moustache was all that was required to avoid being noticed at customs.

Why would he do that when all that was necessary was to fold over a small triangle of it on one side?

Brave takes brave stand against Google's plan to turn websites into ad-blocker-thwarting Web Bundles


Advertising companies not thrilled with people being able to block their ads

This is identical to criminals being less than thrilled by padlocks and burglar alarms.

Aviation regulator outlines fixes that will get the 737 MAX flying again


Still not good enough

Software changes and additional sensors are all very well, but there is still one fundamental safety item missing - a physical switch to isolate MCAS from input to the motors controlling elevator trim. This simple and effective device would have saved many lives had it been in place from the start, but it would have meant pilot training, so was skipped.

I think it is still necessary to have this as an additional safety feature as the software and sensors may well be working fine, but a physical problem due to heat/fatigue/whatever may cause a continuous nose down output from MCAS. Unlikely but not impossible, so stick in a simple and cheap, easy to test and maintain on/off switch.

Chinese tat bazaar Xiaomi to light a fire under Amazon's Kindle with new e-book reader


Re: Can Xiaomi make a go where Sony gave up?

Sony were only in the market while e-readers could fetch three figure prices. I suspect Xiaomi might be aiming at a somewhat lower price point.

Wailing Wednesday follows Patch Tuesday as versions of Windows 10 stop playing nicely with plugged-in printers


Re: Still waiting for Win 10 to "stable".

If by "stable" you mean "somewhere full of horse-shit", I think it's got there.

Vodafone woes far from over for Xiaomi Mi 9 owners amid complaints of leaky batteries and voicemails in Romanian



"...automatically applied a compensation credit to affected customers' accounts to cover the time they couldn't connect to our network."

This isn't compensation. It is more like a refund for services paid for but not received. Not even that, as there is no cash back, just credit. Compensation would involve considerably more to make up for the stress, the time and effort spent to report a problem and get a fix, plus something for being deprived of an essential service.

Should I ever have to switch from my current mobile service, Voda have just moved from last place in the list I'd consider to off the list entirely.

Caltech to Apple, Broadcom: You know that $1.1bn you owe for ripping off Wi-Fi patents? Double it, hotshots


With billions at stake...

...the lawyers will drag it out until their fees reduce what's left to the price of a Big Mac (plus fries if you're lucky).

Find your wallet, Apple: Ex-engineer adds eight more patents to lawsuit seeking credit for his developer work


Prior art

The judge should go with Apple's argument that the work is not new or novel and is covered by “prior art”. This way, Apple win the case and lose all their patents.

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother


Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

Primary and secondary have a totally different meaning to master and slave. I have several systems that involve use of primary and secondary masters. How do I sort these out using your terminology?

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word


Re: What's next? (@doublelayer)



So how do the coronavirus smartphone tracking apps actually work and should you download one to help?


Re: Crooks will use this to play on people's worries

> (quite why off-licences are essential and bookshops are not is one for the social historians of the future)

Books are available online. Ever tried downloading a bottle of IPA?

Internet samurai says he'll sell 14,700,000 IPv4 addresses worth $300m-plus, plow it all into Asia-Pacific connectivity



Just a small step towards the final target - ownership of the Internet.

World's smallest violin to be played for opportunistic sellers banned from eBay and Amazon for price gouging


Re: Online marketplaces descend into wretched hives of scum and villainy

Never mind turning them in. March them off to Grimbledon Down (or whatever it's called these days) and use them as guinea pigs for vaccine testing.

Britain's courts lurch towards Skype and conference calls for trials as COVID-19 distancing kicks in


Re: https://jitsi.org/

I'm using Edge on this machine. I know MS products are generally despised around these parts, but I'm not prepared to clutter up this computer with third-party browsers and addons when the existing one (assisted by just a hosts file) has been working just fine. I especially distrust the recommendation to switch to Chrome.


Re: https://jitsi.org/

"free, open source, trusted"

It's just totally blown the 'trusted' element. Doesn't like my browser, wants me to use Chrome. I'd rather stick with Skype and go through Microsoft servers.

Techie collective to whip together official WHO-backed COVID-19 app within a week to meet 'urgent, global need'


Re: Question for the rest of the world

The Google home page here has a link to gov.uk/coronavirus. I expect the /covid19/ page is the same (i.e. US focused) everywhere.

Deliveroo UK adds 'Don't interact with the help' option for when ordering a burger


Forget the kebab...

...eat the bog roll, it's a healthier option.

Australian privacy watchdog sues Facebook for *checks notes* up to £266bn


Unlikely that a fine of that magnitude would actually be paid. FB would probably just shut down operations in Australia instead. But that's a result too.

Also sends a message to the other data rapists.

Drones must be constantly connected to the internet to give Feds real-time location data – new US govt proposal


"...illegal to operate a drone with a dangerous weapon attached.”

Do fast spinning blades count?

Microsoft's Cortana turns its back on consumers as skills are stripped from Windows 10


Global pandemic over

The Cortanavirus threat is being eradicated

Google's second stab at preserving both privacy and ad revenue draws fire


Acronym too long and contrived

Why not shorten it to:

Two Uncorrelated Requests, Decision

Americans should have strong privacy-protecting encryption ...that the Feds and cops can break, say senators


Next on the TO DO list...

...for whoever solves this.

Implement a borderless border for post Brexit NI.

Banish famine by providing everybody with a perpetual cake.

Windows 10 Insiders: Begone, foul Store version of Notepad!


I'm seriously showing my age too, therefore Notepad++ is eminently suitable for me.

EU gets a bit STRESSED out about 5G: With great economic benefits come great security risks


"...rule of law, protection of privacy, personal data and intellectual property..."

Well, that rules out any USA involvement.

Bose customers beg for firmware ceasefire after headphones fall victim to another crap update


All these customers making so much noise...

...good job we've got an answer to that.

Gospel according to HPE: And lo, on the 32,768th hour did thy SSD give up the ghost


Easy to recover from

Just leave it running for another 32768 hours and it should cycle round and be as good as new.

Welcome to cultured meat – not pigs reading Proust but a viable alternative to slaughter


This wouldn't appeal to Vegans anyway.

From the article: "You might need to cut a chunk out of a cow as a biopsy sample now and again to get starter cells"

Physicists are rather giddy after creating a rare type of laser using laughing gas



It might be able to limit who can 'see' your THz laser, but as you rely on a reflection, it can still be detected from twice as far away as its maximum range. This could limit the military potential.

Weird flex but OK... Motorola's comeback is a $1,500 Razr flip-phone with folding 6.2" screen


Feeble battery

Presumably there was only room for just over half the normal size of battery for a phone of this class because of the fold.

I'm pretty sure I'd be happier with a phone that cost about what the VAT alone on this comes to.

Fancy renting your developer environment? Visual Studio goes online


Re: The Cloud is just a 1960s mainframe model for the 21st century

Exactly right. Also, in those days, the mainframe people were quite disparaging as the personal computers then were hundreds or even thousands of times slower than the top mainframes of the era.

What they failed to take into consideration was the length of time it took the operators of the wonder machines to deign to notice your card deck in the input pigeonholes and feed it through the card reader.

Then a wait while a request for a data tape is flashing on the system console. The tape monkey is usually making tea for the entire operations shift, so sometime after tea your job gets to execute. At lightning speed it finishes and then you only have to wait until someone takes a huge stack of fanfold paper off the back of the printer, separates it into the individual job outputs and places yours in the output pigeonhole.

Meanwhile, your colleague with the new, but ever so slow PC, has corrected the error that also caused your program to crash, started his second run and is enjoying his coffee while the PC chugs away merrily with results expected about the same time as you finish punching the replacement cards to submit your second attempt.

The freedom people felt in the early 70's with just a 4.77MHz 8086 with a few hundred kilobytes of RAM and, if you were lucky, a 10Mb hard disk, was just amazing. About the only people who stuck with the mainframes were the ones needing extremely large volumes of data/number-crunching/printed output. Even those were increasingly sorted by larger disks, maths coprocessors and laser printers over the next decade.

I can't see those that tasted that freedom going back to relying ever again on someone else's hardware.

'Sophisticated' cyber attack on UK Labour Party platforms was probably just a DDoS, says official


Sophisticated attack

Probably some kid trying to login as 'admin' and trying passwords 'Jeremy1', 'Jeremy2',...

Facebook iOS app silently turns on your phone camera. Ah, relax – it's just a bug, lol!?


Re: WhatsApp too?

Try getting by without it? Can't be that difficult. Humanity has managed to do without it for several millennia. I find e-mail and using one of the mobile phones rarely used facilities, making a call, seem perfectly adequate for keeping in touch with people and even, gasp, arranging to meet face-to-face.

Then again, I have a lot less than the several hundred friends that most facebook users seem to have, so it's probably easier for me to interact with them without the aid of Mr Zuckerberg's (dis)services.

UK ads watchdog slaps Amazon for UX dark arts after folk bought Prime subs they didn't want


Re: Prime is basically a scam.

I've taken advantage of one of those offers without being subscribed to Prime. I added the product in question to my basket and proceeded through checkout whilst being very careful at every stage to ensure there are no boxes ticked signing me up to anything else. I chose free 3-5 day delivery as the order was over £20, and checked that the final price was exactly the amount on the initial offer page. The item duly arrived in 3 days. I was charged the 'Prime subscribers' price, months have gone by and no attempts made to collect subscription money, so I reckon these so-called "special prices" are just another piece of bait.

If you see one of these offers and want it, try going through the purchase process. If it's genuinely Prime only, it should either stop you or ask you to add a prime subscription. If you don't like what's on the final order summary page, bail out before giving final confirmation.

'Earworn Wearables' will save the day (wireless earbuds, but cool name for your D&D halfling)


I remember the days...

...when smart clothing was something like a well tailored jacket. Also, being greeted with "You're looking smart today." did not mean you'd just entered the room festooned with LCD displays and a couple of aerials sticking out of your head.

Pentagon beams down $10bn JEDI contract to Microsoft: Windows giant beats off Bezos



If I look at your sub-heading repeatedly, 9 times out of 10, the ending reads "is now ruining the US military's IT."

Remember when Bezos whined about having too much money? Amazon's Q3 will help out with that


Re: This is good?

The people who bought in around 10 years ago have mostly had even less quarterly income. I don't hear many complaints as their $50 investment has gone up to $1660. How do your Building Society shares compare?

Real investors don't just look at dividend yield.

Er, hi. Small Q. Where's our billion-ish dollars gone? We summarize Bitcoin exchange's subpoena requests


What did they expect?

It has been a known fact for centuries that in the laundry business, items go missing.

UK culture sec hints at replacing TV licence fee, defends encryption ban proposals and her boss in Hacker House inquiry


Re: Hmm

Greece has a licence fee, and it can't be dodged. You pay even if you don't have a TV. Many people pay twice as much as others, or even 3, 4 or more times. It is simply a charge added to the monthly standing charge for an electricity supply. Shops, factories, offices, restaurants, etc. all pay. It does have the advantage of being simple to administer and fairly cheap provided you don't have a holiday home and a small shop and pay multiple bills.

Doesn't help though, there are no advert-free channels and the content is crap.

TalkTalk bollocked after fibre marketing emails found to be full of sh!t


ASA (After Stabledoor Ajar)

The usual pointless ASA response. Forbid someone from continuing a particular advert long after that campaign has finished and they had no intention of continuing anyway. BT have recently been claiming to be the "only provider guaranteeing wi-fi coverage in every room", concurrently with Sky advertising the same thing. Without doubt these adverts will be allowed to run until the next set of bloated claims is ready for air time and then the ASA will step in and demand they are discontinued.

Ban the offending company from ALL advertising for a month for the first offence and double the ban for each subsequent offence. That should sort out the persistent offenders and discourage those who try it on from repeating their misdeeds. ASA? More like ASLR. Totally lacking in Authority, more like a Limp Rag.

Astroboffins spy the most ancient protocluster of galaxies yet found post Big Bang


most ancient protocluster of galaxies yet found post Big Bang

Yawn. Wake me up when they find some pre Big Bang.

Boffins build AI that can detect cyber-abuse – and if you don't believe us, YOU CAN *%**#* *&**%* #** OFF


Obfuscation could be the key

Throw in a few positive terms like 'grand' and 'master' and I bet the AI let's you get away with calling someone a big w*****.

"A master baiter of grand proportion."

Devon knows how they make it so steamy: Phantom squatter of Torquay curls one out on bloke's motor


"It takes all sorts."

To be fair, liquorice confectionery can have a bit of a laxative effect.

For Foxit's sake: PDF editor biz breached, users' passwords among stolen data


Isn't this secure enough?

It was, until you splashed it all over el Reg!

Hacktivist skids nip at Mounties' ankles, Emotet ransomware rides again, and more


Russian blockchain voting system

Anyone voting for the wrong party will be chained to a block.



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