* Posts by MooJohn

52 posts • joined 22 Feb 2014


Feds put $10m bounty on Putin pal accused of bankrolling US election troll farm


"work to undermine the American political system"

You mean memes? That's a threat to the election process?! That's "meddling" to a criminal degree? That's their dastardly master plan to overthrow the country?

Thousands of hacks try the same thing every day. The Russians don't have any special abilities in this area.

The end of free Google storage for education


Storage is cheap - with a catch

Google went out of its way to make sure getting a Chromebook to talk to a local file server is nearly impossible. They even had an official addon for it -- until they removed it.

The "just move your files in house" option doesn't really exist at this point. Most of their ecosystem is simple to use. I operate at a 600:1 device-to-staff (me) ratio with no problem. We're small enough that the new limitations aren't an issue but everyone should have the ability to map to local storage.

US lawmakers get a second shot at forcing FBI agents to obtain a warrant before they leaf through web histories


Are they actually logging?

Are we to believe that ISPs are logging every URL each customer accesses? Even the hundreds of advertising tracking bits embedded into all the major sites? Everything a customer types into any text box? They've got the storage space (and desire) to retain this data for weeks (or months, or years) at a time -- "just in case?"

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


"If you're not adversely affected by racial stereotyping yourself..."

Hey Emma -- making THAT statement is itself a racist assumption. It implies that white people aren't stereotyped, except that this change basically declares they're all closet racists and somehow associate any instance of the word "black" with "bad."

Claims that anyone opposed to this change must be racist is also a stereotype.

See what happens when you start making broad statements?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare fragged our business VOIP: US ISP blames outage on smash-hit video game rush


Re: So

Windstream is a legacy telephone company so if there is one thing they should get right, it's voice. They're the "provider of last resort" for most of their customers. Except for small areas with a fiber buildout they offer 3-6 mbs DSL service. You can get into the low 20s if you're close enough.

My business was eligible for 3 meg service from Windstream while cable offered 200 meg for the same price or even less. That was an easy choice.

How to fool infosec wonks into pinning a cyber attack on China, Russia, Iran, whomever


Prince Humperdinck?

So all you have to do is plant a piece of fabric from a Guilder army uniform on Buttercup's horse and it'll allow Florin to declare war on them? Looks like The Princess Bride had this nailed 32 years ago!

Trump's axing of cyber czar role has left gaping holes in US defence


It's just a figurehead

"just two months later the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) told politicians that Uncle Sam had failed to implement 1,000 cyber protection recommendations from a list of 3,000 made since 2010"

Mean ol' Trump axed the figurehead, not the division. So they ignored 1/3 of the suggestions made while they had a "czar." Does that sound like the person really made a difference? The departments and the IT staff that did these jobs are still there. They're just not paying a ridiculous salary for a famous name who can go to meetings and look important.

I hear McAfee is available...

US Congress finally emits all 3,000 Russian 'troll' Facebook ads. Let's take a look at some


It only proves

that they *tried* to influence the election, not that they *did* influence the results. Getting a hundred views and a dozen clicks doesn't exactly qualify as a resounding success to me. You can get 10x that amount by posting cat pictures!

City of Atlanta's IT gear thoroughly pwned by ransomware nasty


Payroll wasn't affected

Because it is most likely outsourced! And probably to a company with actual tested ransomware mitigation tactics in place. You would think that a city with a combined population of over 5.5 million people would have a more capable, proactive IT staff.

Desktop PC shipments dip below 100m/year


Bang for the buck

My customers are thrilled to see that just swapping an SSD into the desktop my shop built for them 5-6 years ago brings the speed increase they thought they would get only by purchasing a new computer. They might need more memory and some want to move from 7 to 10 but overall they're glad to go faster without changing anything else.

I would say that this puts a damper on new PC sales but the price of memory has taken care of that. It's already hard for the custom shop to compete vs. the big manufacturers who pay $5 for Windows while I fork over $100 but with memory now costing twice what it did a year ago, it's hard to sell vs. machines that have been on warehouse shelves for a year, packed with previous-generation CPUs and are now being sold on clearance at $100-200 or more off list price.

The NAKED truth: Why flashing us your nude pics is a good idea – by Facebook's safety boss


My nudes

Every time I upload pics of myself, Facebook asks if I want to tag Burt Reynolds in the photo.

"where a trained staffer will verify the photo"

What are the qualifications for this job? And how do you "train" for it?! I would love to see the textbooks on this subject. I assume they're illustrated.

Facebook, Twitter slammed for deleting evidence of Russia's US election mischief


I'd like to see some examples

We keep hearing about these ads but I haven't seen a single example of an "interference" ad that was so compelling it would have changed my vote. Let's see what the Russians wrote that was so persuasive that it changed the election. I'm sure professional political advisers can't wait to see what kind of verbiage they need to use next time!

Legacy clearout? Not all at once, surely. Keeping tech up to snuff in an SMB


Outsource it all!

That's a main problem in this industry today. People are in a hurry to outsource so that there's a "single point of blame" if something goes wrong. You can wipe your hands of it and say "Not our fault; they were paid to do it and messed it up." It also lets people with zero IT skills end up in IT management positions by just hiring every aspect to other people. The remaining IT staff is then just a liaison between the organization and the external companies.

If you have thousands of users you have no business using outsourced email. You should have the IT talent on board that can capably run an email system. "Cloudy" backups are fine but they better not be your only backups. I couldn't convince a former employer that if a contractor could manage printers and printing supplies for X amount, we could do it in-house for cheaper since they're making a profit at that price.

Universities have outsourced their student email systems to Google for free. Well, we all know Google doesn't do anything for free. They promise not to mine the emails for targeted advertising. I guess it helps them build advertising profiles that will follow these people forever. You've got all their vital information *and* their college grades and know everyone they communicated with. What could go wrong with that?!

Top tip, hacker newbs: Don't use the same Skype ID for IoT bot herding and job ads


13 and leaving the country

Yeah, because kids can always just fly to another country and live on their own... That ranks right up there with hacking = fast typing while 0s and 1s fall down the screen, followed by a picture of a brick wall that's actually on fire. "Uh oh, we've reached their firewall!"

Tech billionaire Khosla loses battle over public beach again – and still grants no access


Boo Freakin' Hoo

Who is volunteering to pay his legal costs when someone "falls" on that pathway? You can bet they'll file a six-figure injury lawsuit against him because he's "rich." Falling on that pathway could become a cottage industry.

Why does the owner of a piece of private property owe ANYONE free travel across it just because they were allowed by a previous owner? Everyone freely admits the land carried no such covenants or restrictions on the deed. He isn't claiming ownership of the beach; he is saying to go around his land to get there. If someone wants to take a shortcut through your yard to reach the block behind you, you have to allow them? What if that shortcut was in your front door and out the back door? Don't you dare lock it - those people want to reach the beach!

This is precisely the point of property ownership. Just because it would make people feel warm and fuzzy shouldn't mean he should be compelled to allow them onto his land. "Feelings" and "laws" are separate things. Property ownership means you can do more than just admire it from afar. If you don't want strangers traipsing across it, it's YOUR gate to close!

California's state motto should be "What's Yours Is Mine" so naturally the socialists there are quick to demand that the mean ol' rich guy stop blocking those poor hippies from their salt water paradise. People are simply unable to separate their "big guy picking on the little guy" feelings from hard, legal facts. It sounds like the judge in that case was unable to do this as well.

Dark web souk AlphaBay shuts for good after police raids


He's actually living like a king in Patagonia.

Tremble in fear, America, as Daesh-bags scrawl cyber-graffiti on .gov webpages no one visits


The best part is that the script kiddie group is allowed to maintain a Facebook page. Spewing hate and the overthrow of half the world's governments? Facebook has a template for that! Don't forget to join their mailing list so you can get your jihad supplies at wholesale prices.

RadioShack bankruptcy savior to file for, you guessed it, bankruptcy


The Phone Bubble Burst

I don't know why they thought phones would be their salvation. Throwing the store almost 100% into phones is what killed the business in the first place. They killed the store brands - Archer, Realistic, Optimus - and started selling the same brands you can get elsewhere. Yes, those store brands were just re-badged gear from other companies but for the most part it was pretty good. I still own a wired telephone "just in case" and it's a RadioShack model I bought in 1994. At my place of business I have Optimus speakers (the heavy metal-cased "AV" models) playing 24x7 in the shop area that were a Father's Day gift for my dad in 1992.

They got rid of the car stereo section and all its associated adapters, harnesses, and cables. They got rid of the huge selection of electronic components and replaced it with a small sampling and the promise that they could order anything that wasn't there. So can we - that's what ebay and Amazon are for.

I am a former Shack employee with several stints in the mid 1990s, store 01-1936. I sold Tandy and IBM Aptiva computers, floppy discs, and CD laser cleaners. I was there for the Newton PDA and the original one-penny cell phone sales. I've matched more DC adapters and weird batteries than I care to imagine. It was a place where people without a lot of technical knowledge could get gear that was better than what they would have chosen on their own at a big-box store, and we could answer any questions they had about it. Some bean counter decided that phones were more profitable and they threw away the rest of the store to chase the money. It didn't work.

Comcast staffers join walkout over Trump's immigration crackdown


So - would Comcast have paid their workers had they walked out to SUPPORT the president? Or does "social justice" work in only one direction?

Donald Trump running insecure email servers


He's just a candidate

Right now his campaign is run just like a lot of misguided small businesses out there -- just enough IT experience to cause problems. They got email up and running and called it a day when it could send & receive.

They could have outsourced the whole thing to almost any competent hosting company and they wouldn't have to manage anything themselves. This is a non-story because he's just a regular citizen. That would change if he was holding an elected office, and the criticism and outrage would be justified from that point.

As others have pointed out: If it's so insecure, where is all the purloined information? You know it would be front page, right next to the articles trying to convince Trump voters to stay home because Hillary has it in the bag already.

Uni student cuffed for 'hacking professor's PC to change his grades'


It's always "hacking"

Journalists love to use the word "hack" as often as possible. You can just picture him typing furiously as the 0s and 1s fall down the screen. Next he's flying through a Doom-like maze. Then you see a brick wall on fire, which finally tumbles as he ceases typing and announces in a deep voice: "I'm in."

Another article mentioned that he had a professor's login credentials as well as those of 26 others in a notebook found at his house. That tells me he probably used a keylogger, as no system keeps a plaintext list of logins and passwords ready to grab.

So, he found a USB keylogger online and used it. That is hardly "hacking" by any stretch. If he was worth anything at all he would have done it from open wifi from somewhere (not his girlfriend's ISP like he used) and they would have zero evidence on him.

Ex-Citibank IT bloke wiped bank's core routers, will now spend 21 months in the clink


Real criminal off the streets!

People who commit real (physical) crimes get probation or a slap on the wrist. This guy slowed down a network (didn't even manage to take it offline) and gets 2 years in prison. Priorities, anyone? I've had janitors accidentally cause a bigger outage than this!

He could have shot someone and would have received 6 months in the county lockup.

FBI director claims that videoing police is causing crime uptick


Boo hoo

Sometimes policing isn't pretty. The poor "unarmed thug" that was shot in Ferguson just robbed a store and attacked the officer before getting shot. He was an alpha male and nobody was going to tell him what to do. If he wanted something, he took it. No damn store owner was going to keep him from his cigars! That stupid cop told him to get out of the street. It was HIS street and nobody tells him what to do.

There is no reason any officer should have to compete in hand-to-hand combat before escalating their response. There is no point during a fight at which the action stops while he picks his next weapon. An officer who loses consciousness loses control of their weapons and may very well die as a result. Their only option is to stop the threat NOW. You can critique it all you want when it is over. Anyone attacking a police officer should expect to be shot. That's just common sense. And yes, by a real gun, not a tazer or baton. Those frequently have no effect and by the time you know it hasn't worked it can be too late.

I don't want any officer to fail to act because of what it might look like on camera. It could get innocent people or themselves killed. Now they are more likely to hesitate because their career could be ended because they dared to be aggressive while putting and end to a dangerous situation.

The movie Road House summed it up perfectly:

Dalton: "I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice."

Bouncer: "How are we supposed to know when that is?"

Dalton: "You won't. I'll let you know."

When it's time to "not be nice" it means decisive action is taken to subdue or take down the criminal. If the officer is being threatened, end the threat. The criminal is the one who put on his "big boy" pants and decided to fight with law enforcement. This is real life, and if he decided he isn't going to jail he can go to the morgue. I won't lose any sleep with either of his choices because he made the choice, not the officers.

And for all the "drugs should be free" pot heads, down-vote all you want! (if you can find the button in your stupor)

ICANN in a strop that Intel, Netflix, Lego, Nike and others aren't using their dot-brand domains


Is it too late to get the rights to .fud domains?!

Adobe preps emergency Flash patch for bug hackers are exploiting


Meanwhile, Adobe plans to make Flash harder to maintain

Those who update systems in bulk don't want their adware-laden installer stub. We need a no-frills installer that fixes the bug of the month. For some reason they don't like it being available to anyone who needs it so it is going away.

From the download site:

"This page and the download links will soon be decommissioned and will be replaced by a new Adobe Flash Player distribution portal that will require a valid distribution license to access."


That shows they are really in tune with what their users really need!

Silent Nork satellite tumbling in orbit


No data being transmitted?

It just needs more time for the vacuum tubes to warm up. That always takes longer in the coldness of space!

US police contracts and private forum posts dumped online


Big deal

Who conducts private business over a web forum anyway? He's got 18 TB of nothing anyone cares about. Old flame wars, bragging, complaining, war stories, and maybe the occasional job application where one guy wants to work for another department. This is hardly Snowden-level data.

Upset Microsoft stashes hard drive encryption keys in OneDrive cloud?


What if you don't use OneDrive?

I know it's a foreign concept to Microsoft but I set up computers with only a local account. I have no need for their "cloud" services or their store. I still call them "programs" instead of "apps." Since they never mentioned that encryption would be on by default if a TPM was present, I would have no idea my files were inaccessible until something happened that rendered the OS unbootable. Instead of copying files & doing a re-install I'd be left with nothing.

Like many of the issues with Windows 10, it would be less of a big deal if they would just TELL us what is being done instead of sneaking it in!

Apple pays two seconds of quarterly profit for wiping pensioner's pics


Thus the "service agreement"

My bog-standard agreement includes a clause that though we try to retain or back up files, data can be lost during the repair process and the owner is responsible for backups BEFORE bringing the device for repair. There is another line item that limits my liability to the amount charged for the repair. This agreement is signed and filed for every item I have ever worked on - that's 6300 and counting!

My mother is of retirement age and owns dozens of USB storage drives. Even she knows not to leave files only on a phone or laptop!

Music lovers move to block Phil Collins' rebirth


The old man

Today's "stars" say they can't possibly do a live show without lip-synching but this guy does 2 solid hours while playing instruments and singing live, without "autotune." He's got songs that fit all moods and many of them will instantly take you back to where you first heard them.

He did something right to sell so many albums, and for so many years. Any one-hit wonder can do an album or two but if you put out platinum albums and sell out concerts for 3 decades you may be onto something good. Beiber is never going to have a comeback tour 20 years from now. You don't see anybody clamoring for a Hanson reunion do you?

And I'll turn up the volume any time Silent Running comes on, so Mike & the Mechanics got one right too!

332M Kick Ass pirates get asses kicked by scareware ass-kickers


Back in the old days

During the time of Back Orifice, I would scan our ISP's dialup IPs (I was a system admin) for infected PCs and give them a popup stating to call tech support and even which tech to ask for. Sometimes it took a few messages but they would eventually call, slightly surprised to learn that the popup was true and they really had an issue to address.

Bitdefender feeling a bit tender: Hackers enter anti-distemper vendor


True security is not just keeping the bad guy out but also mitigating what he can do if he does get in. It looks like they had it set up well enough to accomplish that, so it's not a total failure.

Ashley Madison invites red-faced cheats to bolt stable door for free


DMCA - the magic shield

I love how they think removing a few forum posts via DMCA requests will somehow mitigate the damages. They present that as if it settles the incident for good. "Nothing to see here!"

Pray for AMD


Low end parts

AMD's biggest problem is the big PC manufacturers use only AMD's cheapest processors. People get a nifty new computer at a low price only to notice later that it runs at 1.0 or 1.3 gHz, and sometimes it's a single core at that speed! Laptop or desktop, that's the AMD processors they choose to highlight.

The owner of a computer like that finally gets annoyed enough to replace it and they make sure to avoid an AMD processor, never understanding that it wasn't the brand but the cheap parts that made their computer so terrible at everything.

How Project Centennial brings potentially millions of desktop apps to the Windows 10 Store


Choices? Who needs choices?!

"We really got it mixed up with Win32. We kinda let you do anything," Sheehan said.

You mean that for 20+ years we could do what we wanted to with out computers, without needing Microsoft's approval? Oh, the horror!

MS knows that their only profit will come from an app store and they'll do anything to force that upon us. Nothing provides full control over what people can do like a single point of access -- just ask Apple.

Ransomware crims drop Bitcoin faster than Google axes services


Stop paying the ransom

Like negotiating with terrorists, ransomware would cease to exist if people didn't pay the ransom. Criminals do it only because it's profitable and requires little to no effort to extort money. Even if only one in 1000 victims pay it's still a cash-cow that runs by itself.

People pay because it's an easy fix. Just hand over a few hundred dollars and all your data magically reappears. They still won't learn a proper backup routine and it will all get encrypted again as soon as they click on another "Your package has been delivered" email.

$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience


Directional ethernet cable

From the item's description:

"All audio cables are directional. The correct direction is determined by listening to every batch of metal conductors used in every AudioQuest audio cable. Arrows are clearly marked on the connectors to ensure superior sound quality. For best results have the arrow pointing in the direction of the flow of music."

This is comedic genius! Now data cables have a direction of flow *and* sound better in one orientation! What if the cables go down hill, or in a loop - will that distort the sound?

Intel offers big bucks for black women


Forget true equality

Don't worry about hiring the best candidate for the job without regard for race or sex. Now you've got to make sure that your employee pool checks all the right boxes on the "diversity" survey. You may not end up with the talent you need but you'll sure win the PR battle!

If he had made the same announcement about white men there would be an uproar over the "racism" at Intel. Quotas are bad, period.

Sun of a beach! Java biz founder loses battle to keep his shore private


They get beach access, but

Why does he have to maintain a road for that purpose? Just because the last guy did? If the last guy gave away free snacks to passers-by, would he have to as well?

If they have just got to reach that section of beach, let the greedy lazy bastards walk from the nearest public access point. He should still be allowed to fence around the property he does own.

Is he now liable for injuries that happen if someone is traipsing across his property to get to that "special" beach?

As bankruptcy looms for RadioShack, we ask its chief financial officer... oh. He's quit


RIP RadioShack

They should never have abandoned their core products. I was a Shack shopper all through the 80s and worked there several years in the 90s. I would get each new catalog and read it cover to cover, looking for the new products - usually speakers or other audio equipment. I remember when people would stop by just to see the IBM Aptiva on display.

Yes, their offerings were all rebranded gear made by others but it was usually good gear. You knew the house brands - Tandy computer products, Realistic for the regular audio gear and later Optimus for the good stuff. They had all the car stereo offerings you'd want too; maybe not your first choice but usually not the worst either. I picked Radio Shack phones for my business because I knew they'd last. No matter what cable, adapter, or harness you needed, they'd have it hanging on a peg somewhere.

Not anymore. Once they decided they were a cell phone store, the rest of the products disappeared. Now that phones are sold everywhere there is no reason to go to Radio Shack. Nothing sold there can't be purchase a few stores away for less. There's no selection of repair parts for anything. If I wanted to order it online I'd get it from another (cheaper, quicker) retailer. In fact, I'm not sure what they do sell these days. In the last decade I've purchased a variety pack of resistors and perhaps an odd battery or two. Other than that they have nothing left to offer me.

AVG stung as search revenue from freebie scanners dries up


Stop clicking "next"

Don't ever do a default install, especially of a free product! All you have to do is un-check the options you don't want, like the toolbar, and there will be no popup ads or search data to be sold.

AVG works fine for a free product. Sure, the attempts to get you to move to the paid version (even the free trial) are a pain when you just want the free product. No AV catches everything. Any decent malware author tests their new creation against all the main scanners before releasing it.

There's no AV company that hasn't had bad definitions bork a system file. There isn't an AV, free or paid, that I haven't seen "protecting" a horribly infected machine. They are just one tool, not a total immunization!

Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY


Incremental versions?

Gotta love their decision that each minor revision = a new major version number. After all, the browser with the highest number is the newest, right? Take that, IE 11 - they're 20 versions ahead of you!

Next week they'll fix a typo and we'll be on version 32.

Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers


It's all about mitigation

You can't stop all attacks; you can only do your best to mitigate them by limiting what the malware can do if it does make it inside. It's the basics like running the web server as a user who can do little else, and specifically blocking access to other areas of the filesystem and even to basic system commands if you can manage it.

The goal is to leave them with perhaps a site defacement but nothing in the way of "real" access to the rest of that machine or the rest of your network. Look at each user and ask yourself "If this user is compromised, what can it do?" You want it capable of doing its job and as little else as you can get away with!

Aereo has to pay TV show creators? Yes. This isn't rocket science


Aereo is NOT broadcasting

Connecting one user to one physical antenna is NOT broadcasting, which by its very definition means one source to many viewers. It isn't "public performance." Nothing is shared.

The argument always goes back to "But they get money to provide our content to others." No they don't. Aereo is paid for its link to the antennas, not for the content received by them.

Instead of legitimate viewers who still get the advertising along with the content, television stations will continue to lose those eyes to downloads that are stripped of advertising and packaged in an easy-to-download format. Then they'll blame "those darn pirates" instead of themselves for failing to provide what the market was longing for.

US Supremes just blew Aereo out of the water


Judges are too old

This just proves that most of the Supreme Court justices are too old to understand the technology behind what they're ruling on. Justice Breyer wrote "Aereo's system is, for all practical purposes, identical to a cable system..." when it has NOTHING in common. Aereo matched one viewer to one physical antenna, creating a "bridge" between the user and the source. If all antennas were in use, no more viewers.

Cable TV simply doesn't work that way. When was the last time a cable viewer got a message that all antennas were in use? I think those who voted against Aereo went by the cable lobby's "executive summary" instead of looking at exactly how the technology worked. Sending a signal from one antenna to one user is NOT broadcasting!

San Francisco issues SMACKDOWN on parking spot sale software


Money For Nothing

" in general the company hopes that cities will regulate the service rather than issue an outright ban."

In general, the company hopes the city will bankroll its business model by allowing people to sell something that is already owned by the public.

Hackers lay claim to exploit that defeats iPhone anti-theft tools


It's ok - nobody else will find out

"Just because some hackers might have found a way around that element of the protection doesn’t mean that the vast majority of phone thieves would have a clue how to go about it..."

Worst quote from a security professional ever. You know, because exploits stay secret forever!

'My house is on fire m8 lol' ... 911 texting tested in the US


Haven't they seen The IT Crowd?

I'm sure texting emergency services would look a bit like this:

Moss: Dear Sir/Madam: I am writing to inform you of a fire which has broken out at the premises of... no, that's too formal...

Dear Sir/Madam: Fire! Fire! Help me! 123 Carrendon Road. Looking forward to hearing from you!

All the best,

Maurice Moss

$3.2bn Apple deal would make hip-hop mogul Dr Dre a BEEELLLIONAIRE


Listening to beets would sound better

Another case of paying for image or "street cred" when the product itself is absolute junk. A value of over 3 BEEELION dollars is absurd. You'd think they could purchase a real audio company for far less than that.

The IT Crowd tops BAFTA nominations with four nods


To place your vote

just dial 0118 999 881 999 119 725 --- 3.

Well that's easy to remember!



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