* Posts by Chairman of the Bored

818 posts • joined 19 Apr 2017


Take your pick: 'Hack-proof' blockchain-powered padlock defeated by Bluetooth replay attack or 1kg lump hammer

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Social engineering and pick sets

I sometimes had to open locks in the office, for perfectly ethical reasons, such as "Need backup drives from some guy's locked container and he's on leave abroad..."

Management was uncomfortable at best that I had the pick set.

Solution? Teach the head secretary how to pick locks and let her hold onto the pick set and practice locks. The organization gains a powerful tool against people losing keys to random racks of crap, you gain serious political capital by helping the head admin, and you can have the pick set whenever you need - no questions asked

Entity list? Pah! Huawei rolls out updated laptops, including a pricey i7 ultrabook

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Power connector?

Is there an actual connector or does power use up your USB-C?

I hate carrying hubs around just to distribute juice while I keep peripherals connected. Yeah, it's a first world problem but I'm getting old and lazy...

Three middle-aged Dutch hackers slipped into Donald Trump's Twitter account days before 2016 US election

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Re: What this means

Wait, so some poor bastard had to read every single tweet? Drink up.

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Re: If you check on https://crackstation.net/ (as I just did, as I was curious)


This one seems to use ALL CAPS, and no special characters. At best seven bits of entropy per character. Should be an easy search.

I think my first try will be: YUGEWANKER

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Need better pseudonyms

Might I suggest "Dewey, Screwum, and Howe?"

With apologies to the entire legal profession.

In all seriousness, well done gentlemen.

Old and busted: Targeting servers and web bugs. New hotness: Pwning devs with targeted poisoned stacks

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Not quite so simple...

...agree pulling random bullshit from Stack Overflow is probably not a good idea. Even if you don't get owned, you've incurred technical debt.

But what of the millions of lines of code I pull into my projects linking against standard libraries? How confident are we that libc is OK? libqt? lib*? .net?

ByteDance says it will abide by China's new export laws

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One hell of an expensive temper tantrum

Nobody in the US Govt cared about Tik Tok until (allegedly) it was used by teens to pump and dump attendance at Trump's Tulsa rally.

I suspect that neither Alphabet nor Walmart actually feel a sense of business urgency to buy that crap app. Perhaps it's more of a feeling of political urgency and a need to purchase favors from the royal court.

'My wife tried to order some clothes tonight. When she logged in, she was in someone else's account ... Now someone's charged her card'

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Re: Walmart?

Lube was relatively edible? Not sure, it was KY brand "warming liquid".

Methinks that if you need chemical help getting that fire lit, your technique is not kwite right. Some things require time, patience, skill, and creativity...

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I do not use their online ordering / delivery service.

Imagine my surprise when a Walmart box shows up at my door, properly addressed. I opened it and found four large boxes of incontinence briefs. I'm getting old, but not that old!

Called Wally world and they had no idea how it was ordered and didn't seem to care that I had them... "just drop it at a store, or keep it"

Other boxes appearing from the void this past year: 4 large tubes of personal lube, a box of relatively edible food, and a box of junk food.

Not Half bad: Microsoft back to 16 bits with new storage-saving type in .NET 5

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I hereby propose...

...when they get around to creating new operators for type half we get a new assignment operator called HALFASS

We've heard some made-up stories but this is ridiculous: Microsoft Flight Simulator, Bing erect huge skyscraper out of bad data

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If it stays up like that more than 4 hours...

Call your doctor.

Thanks for the memories... now pay up or else: Maze ransomware crew claims to have hacked SK hynix, leaks '5% of stolen files'

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That is all.

Ex-Apple engineer lifts lid on Uncle Sam's top-secret plan to turn customized iPod into 'Geiger counter'

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Re: I call BS

Nice! Thanks

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I call BS

If you want to differentiate between materials, you need something with energy discrimination- a scintillation counter, not a Geiger counter. That implies a liquid or solid scintillator... No need for high voltage electronics and photomultiplier tubes these days, we have silicon photomultipliers. See:


But sensitivity varies directly as the volume of your scintillator. Something small enough to fit in a ipod will have very little volume and roughly the sensitivity of Helen Keller. Workable, but you need a lot of patience. Instead of wandering the city, you would be standing or lying still for tens of minutes to an hour until your pulse height discriminator has something to work with. Then you move another half meter. Unless you're pretending to sleep rough, this is not suspicious at all. Size matters.

My coat? The one with the zinc sulphide in the pocket.

Trump administration labels WeChat, TikTok ‘threats’ to national security, bans transactions with both

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Re: Trump is a moron


”[ban] ... because kids sharing dance videos on a Chinese owned platform is a national emergency?

Almost. I think this temper tantrum is because teens allegedly colluded over TikTok to reserve tickets for Trump's Tulsa reelection rally and, obviously, not show up. He was apparently incandescent with rage that the venue wasn't packed with people.

And here we are.

Rejoice! China's smartphone market drops 10% as 5G purchases surge

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Well, good on them

Glad someone got COVID under control. I have a hard time believing official case numbers from China. Or my own govt for that matter. But economic numbers across multiple firms gives one hope.

Meanwhile, in the land of the free, my wife gets yelled at for WEARING a mask to the market...

That's how we roll: OWC savagely undercuts Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels with bargain $199 alternative

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Sheets of PTFE

If I think a rack or something might have to become itinerant, I will put a 1cm thick sheet of PTFE under it before loading it up with equipment. Then I can slide it about the lab without needing, say, a rugby team to help me out.

What a good eye-dea: Battery-less, grain-of-sand-sized 2.4GHz transmitter to help save your eyesight

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At some point I would hope that natural selection will start to thin that herd. Hopefully the bug that does them in isn't as transmissible as COVID.

In the meantime, I get to send a kid back to school knowing two of the offspring in his class were sites by anti-vax nuts. Nothing like knowing your kid will be sitting next to Marco Polio.

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

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Paranoia- inducing signatures

I worked for an organization that required your basic "I am not a contracting officer... You cannot construe anything in this email as a constructive change or commitment..." signature. Written by lawyers, the sigs were generally longer than our emails.

A few users were observed to have terse, cryptic signatures when communicating with each other. OMG! Non-conformists! Spies! Traitors! Bag biters! Call the authorities!!!!

Turns out they were playing multiple simultaneous games of chess.

Only the nails that stand up get hammered flat.

Twitter Qracks down on QAnon and its Qooky Qonspiracies

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Juvenal called?

So mass appeasement has gone from "panem et circenses" - let them have bread and circuses - to "Let them have Twitter and twats"

We're screwed.

€13bn wings its way back to Apple after Euro court rules Irish tax deal wasn't 'state aid'

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Re: Two things

1) Quite right, sounds fun!

2) No, PWC not involved. They won't give you a single PowerPoint for only 3.9e6

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan

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Re: / tmp

Thanks, all, for the corrections on my -i fixation. I've been doing that since SunOS 2 and it definitely helped me way back then.

In getting old enough to cargo cult MYSELF? Guess that explains all the gray hair!

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Re: / tmp

Aye! I've shot my toes off in much the same way.

Tip: put a zero length file called -i in the root directory. It will force a rampaging rm -rf back to interactive mode. Then the trick to to not hit 'y' when prompted...

It's a zero length file, but at least once has covered my entire posterior.

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Speaking about the f*ing manual...

I think there is some sort of physical law that says something to the effect of, "If you're in deep ship when working on a production system, you will not find the required manual in your documentation wall. Nor will the requisite man pages be installed. After the disaster, you will find the resources with ease."

White elephants in the mist: Google's upcoming Pixel 4A may ship without Soli motion recognition, per FCC filing

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Gesture recognition?

Combined with the inevitable security failures in complex phone software, I can see apps being developed that finally answer the question- 'Are the punters around us primarily wankers or tossers?'

As Uncle Sam flies spy drones over protest-packed cities, Homeland Security asks the public if that's a good idea

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Re: "lol they're just using them for surveillance"

My fault using "order of battle"; it's probably uncommon outside of military and law enforcement circles.

I learned my electronics in the military. OOB refers to the command authority, structure, number of people, disposition of personnel, and equipment of a military or police force. No matter how peaceful your local coppers are, they think in these terms.

Personally I don't think the solution to US problems is to refund the police, but let's stop giving them military-grade kit and hiring guys who think they're freaking Rambo. If you step on the street with enough weapons to whack everyone in a block's radius you are sending a message...

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Re: I submitted my comment

Well, I sent my $0.02. Accessed the survey through Tor, natch. That probably just means my comment is deleted.

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Re: "lol they're just using them for surveillance"

I definitely cannot speak for conditions across the US, but the five counties and cites around me all have had UAS integrated into their order of battle for years. With a common APCO P.25 radio infrastructure and officers co-locating at each others' emergency communication centers, they do a reasonably good job of sharing actionable information. UAS are indeed used to find lost people and assess fires, and have done so successfully. The police do UAS demos at schools all the time to show students what can and cannot be done with the platforms, and of course to recruit I suppose.

So why does local law enforcement need a Predator? When they already have UAS up (I've seen 'em)? They probably don't. A time of crisis in not an appropriate moment for integrating a new system into your order of battle.

So there are three reasons: ISR for the federal forces in the ground, intimidate the local police, and to send a big f__k you to the governor of a state. The latter makes sense only if the national leader is prone to temper tantrums. Oh, wait...

Northrop Grumman to polish NASA's HALO, techies test tardy telescope tower, SLS boosters ready for Florida

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I thought...

...the tweet said we were going to put boobs on the moon in 2024. But we think that was a typo

Pablo Escobar's big bro and former accountant sues Apple for $2.6bn over FaceTime bug

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So you blow 100k on "added security"...

...and effen install FaceTime? Are you kidding me?

Someone needs to stop using his own product!

Resistance is futile: Some Cisco security appliances are ticking time bombs of fail thanks to faulty resistors

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Re: "Resistors, which cost a few cents apiece"

Meanwhile, in a particular research lab I worked in, every.single.fscking.resistor or other component would get entered individually into an ERP database, tracked, and "dispensed" as needed. This makes sense for a computer or $50,000 spectrum analyzer. But a $0.005 discrete?

No ship! Buy a reel of 5,000 resistors? You get 5,000 manual entries in ERP. Care to guess how many entries are jacked? That's how your $0.005 component becomes $2-5. Granted, we were a lab instead of a manufacturer, but that's unreal.

On top of this, I'd frequently get called in the carpet to justify things such as, "why does this design have four precision resistors and several hundred other resistors?" My reply would be along the lines of "We've got five guys in here, at 150 bucks an hour, arguing over six cents on a $45k piece of equipment. What are you smoking? I want some...'

Any they wonder why the competent design engineers left, followed by the clients

Royal Navy nuclear submarine captain rapped for letting crew throw shoreside BBQ party

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Re: I fail to see anything wrong here

Why sanctions? Whomever tried to send all the Puritans to the Americas back in the day didn't do a proper job.

Iran military manages to keep a straight face while waggling miracle widget that 'can detect coronavirus from 100m away'

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Re: you may laugh

Yes, quite right. See: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/11/24/cdc-inspection-findings-reveal-more-about-fort-detrick-research-suspension.html/amp

I'm surprised the anti-vaxxers' and conspiracy nutjobs' heads haven't exploded over this. I will shut up now.

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Re: you may laugh

Splitting a hair here, I've not seen any serious claims the virus "originated" in a lab, meaning that it's a bioweapon. The claims are more to the point that BSL-4 labs research nasty crap and some may have escaped.

Supposedly Chinese labs have leaked in the past. The Russians offed a bunch of people at Mayak with an Anthrax screwup (that was a BWC violation...). The US Army's Ft Derrick lab was shut down by CDC last year, only got it's approval for restart this March. Sometimes s..t happens. When the nitrogenous waste hits the rotating aspirator, it's time to check your ego at the door and figure out what the hell happened ... so you can share information on how to prevent another occurrence with everyone else doing similar work

Intelsat orbital comms satellite is back online after first robo-recovery mounting and tug job gets it back into position

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Re: Makes me wonder...

My understanding is that it inserted a probe into the bell of 901's main thruster. Seems uncomfortable, but it works.

Stop us if you've heard this before: Boeing's working on 737 Max software fixes for autopilot, stabilization bugs

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Re: Flying less

For us blebs, perhaps.

But for the management class, it's a whole different story.

Start of flight announcement, "Ladies and gentlemen, and the cattle in coach...."

Hi, Google Duplex here, trying to book a haircut for a socially inept human. Sorry, 'COVID-19'?... DOES NOT COMPUTE

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And let the mischief begin

I can see it now:

Me:" Hey, Google!"

G: "Yes, sir?"

Me: "Call that girl who handles my taxes, I want to talk to her about payment"

G: "Ok, I got you a call girl who will give you a hand job, you need to pay."

Me: "What the fsck??!!"

G: "That's another hundred bucks."

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much

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Re: Cambridge Police are too busy with serious crime

Transphobic tweet?

#toyota #hybrid I'm afraid the wifes everfscking hybrid tranny has lost another seal. POS.

That should work, no?

Apollo astronaut Al Worden – once named most isolated human being of all time – dies aged 88

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So long, astronaut

I'm amazed the mighty Saturn V could even lift off given the mass of the brass pairs you and your mates were packing.

IBM's outgoing boss Rometty awarded $20m+ in 2019 for growing revenue 0.1%

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Number not kwite right

$1.1M for limos, jets, and blow seems low.

Want to own a bit of Concorde? Got £750k burning a hole in your pocket? We have just the thing

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Re: Which was the bigger engineering challenge ? Concorde. Or Apollo ?

Bad intakes? Close but not quite.

Top speed of the B1-A prototypes were about 2.1 to 2.3 Mach at high altitude. B1-B, though, added the requirement of low level penetration and reduced RCS, as the USAF realized high speed / high altitude was useless against contemporary air defense systems. Hence the abandonment of the XB-70 (3+ Mach) bomber and the 2+ Mach B-58 Hustler, which was removed from service all the way back in 1970.

Why is the B1-B slower than -1A? For RCS reduction, the B1-B ended up with fixed vice variable intake ramps instead of the variable ramps of -1A and a serpentine duct that prevents any direct line of sight to the fan face. Limits speed to something like 1.2 Mach... But then, it can go 0.92 Mach on the deck, which is damned impressive. Above 1.2Mach, supposedly the intake serpentine can incur damage.

Basically, a nice, hot 3+ Mach aircraft at altitude is a hell of a missile sponge. And you're not outrunning any missiles. Survival involves terrain masking and RCS reduction, not peak speed.

Amazon staffer based just a stone's throw away from Seattle HQ tests positive for COVID-19 coronavirus

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Re: Respirators

Shots, aye! What scares me are the anti-vaxxers kids in my kids school. nothing like knowing your son is sitting next to Marco Polio.

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Re: Respirators

I don't think COVID-19 or any of the other coronaviruses have reverse transcriptase; so no DNA modification to host. Thank $deity.

I'm not sure what it is about the AIDS drugs that makes them interesting for this problem.

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Re: Respirators

Not Tamiflu. Some researchers are apparently working with cocktails of the HIV drugs to see if they can get some response. I am not qualified to discuss whether that makes sense or is just wishful thinking.

Discussion on a National Public Radio broadcast a couple of days ago included a statement that struck me as very interesting. Children seem to be somewhat immune to the novel coronavirus. That's not too surprising because usually the aged get hammered by respiratory stuff more than young, non-smoking, and generally healthy people. But the doctor who was being interviewed said there's a body of thought that children are constantly exposed to all types of coronaviruses in school settings, and generally have a low level of permanent infection. Something about a total lack of social distancing and questionable personal hygiene. So it raises the question- if this theory is correct then closing schools may be precisely the wrong answer... There may be a benefit to zero social distancing.

But gooooood luck getting a controlled test for THAT experiment approved by a Medical Review Board!

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Re: Respirators

I know! I'm definitely not of sound mind and body. Definite dirt nap material, and my doctor friend is already completely wasted about away from whatever crud he's been screwing around with through his career.

It's morbid, but sometimes we've got to look in the mirror and admit that were not 20 anymore :(

I think I need a large, unhealthy, and totally satisfying drink. To your health, eh?

'Unfixable' boot ROM security flaw in millions of Intel chips could spell 'utter chaos' for DRM, file encryption, etc

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Re: "maintain physical possession of their platform"

At my age, maybe the only hard drive possible!

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Honest question...

Is the system DMA controller in modern Intel chipsets baked into the CPU silicon and part of the HW trust boundary, or is this a separate chip?

What's inside a tech freelancer's backpack? That's right, EVERYTHING

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Freelancer? You forgot four items!

Or four copies of one item, to be precise:

One little black ledger book for you,

One for the tax man, one for the missus, one for the mistress

Fancy that: Hacking airliner systems doesn't make them magically fall out of the sky

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Re: The human factor

@Elledan- awesome post. Needs an upvote and a pint for thoroughness.

Human factors are hard. That's why my previous life we said there were three ways to do things: the right way, the wrong way, and the Marine way.

The Marine way involves drilling your man senseless, then let him recover enough to hyper focus on task. You break complex tasks into smaller and smaller and smaller tasks. When the task is small enough, you assign a man to do it, trained and drilled until it can be done to perfection. That's why you go on a warship and you will see men and women physically watching gauges. SCADA? DCS? We've heard of it. Industrial automation? Meh. Marine attitude is that if I want a valve opened I want a human to experience the flow. Does the pipe vibrate? Smell different? Sound different? I can automate that, but how do you cover all the eventualities?

My problem is that I have to the faintest idea how to strike a good compromise between cost-efficient, minimal staffing (airlines) against my urge to throw a bunch of people at a problem.



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