* Posts by Clarecats

73 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Feb 2018


Google guru roasts useless phishing tests, calls for fire drill-style overhaul


Re: Not just e-mails

I would think it was random sending. The other day my phone rang in my pocket and a person said he was calling me back as my number had shown up as a missed call. I didn't know his number, I hadn't been calling anyone. Looks like the phishers are spoofing send numbers too - but that didn't happen on WhatsApp.


Re: Not sure if it's possible

I always tell people that I do not click shortened links. If they want me to click something they will have to send it to me shown fully. I don't know anyone who sends a shortened version any more.


Not just e-mails

A friend showed me a WhatsApp message they'd just received. This said the sender was from an Irish agency and wanted to know if my pal was interested in some work. He was quite chuffed to be remembered as he's a few years out of that business. He'd checked that the firm exists.

How did they get your number? I asked.

Don't know.

Their phone number starts with 062. Where is that?


Wouldn't that be 0044?


Look it up on Google. +62 = Indonesia. Why is an agent calling you from Indonesia?


Did you reply? Tell them anything about yourself?


Block that number. I recommend telling the agency in an e-mail that someone is using their name.

He did. A couple of days later I got a similar WhatsApp message, but as the new EU Digital Services Act had just come into play, WhatsApp had added a warning that the message originated in Bangladesh, and I did not have them in my contacts. If I blocked the sender, WhatsApp would read their last three messages and check for suspicious activity.

I blocked, of course, and have not had repeats of the activity.

Europol op shutters 12 scam call centers and cuffs 21 suspected fraudsters


Re: "plus cash and other assets totaling €1 million"

European TV - I holidayed in Spain during winter a few years ago, and on a wet day I spent time learning Spanish from the rolling news TV channel. The programme contained 20 minutes of Spanish football, 20 minutes of Spanish culture - theatre, dancing festivals etc., and 20 minutes of national and international news, every hour.

Google all at sea over rising tide of robo-spam


AI spam checkers

Nothing beats eyes on the page.

If that sounds too slow, they need to hire more people.

Kremlin's Sandworm blamed for cyberattacks on US, European water utilities


Re: Warfare

An army marches on its stomach, and it takes a long time to open enough cans of bully beef to feed an army, so maybe fridges are the way they could go.

Garlic chicken without garlic? Critics think Amazon recipe book was cooked up by AI


Re: What about Coq au vin?

Statistically, the vast majority of male chicks do not live longer than a day. Nowadays.

Users now keep cellphones for 40+ months and it's hurting the secondhand market


Re: No real surprise

Have you heard of text?

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


Re: A simpler solution…

There is apparently a service called bitcoin mixing - several people provide bitcoins, the service scrambles them all up and takes 10% off the top before returning coins randomly to holders. The only evident use for this is criminal money laundering. Should be made illegal and any coins so mixed should be liable to seizure.


Re: A simpler solution…

This relates to the puzzlingly high issuance of €500 notes in the EU, given that reputable firms do not settle their accounts in €500 notes. Now discontinued issuance, but still legal tender.


Value of euro banknotes in circulation 2013-2021, by denomination

Sep 12, 2023

The amount of cash in circulation in the Eurozone has increased in the last eight years for all currency denominations, except for 500 euro bills. The total of fifty euro bills amounted to 684.2 billion euros in 2021, by far the highest total for any bill. The 500 euro bills summed to around 186.7 billion euros, though they have not been issued by most Eurozone central banks since January 2019.


Regulator says stranger entered hospital, treated a patient, took a document ... then vanished


Re: Pardon?

Maybe the burglars liked dolphins.

Interpol makes first border arrest using Biometric Hub to ID suspect



"Interpol and Idemia have worked together for years. In 1999, he police organization"

Is there a she police organisation?

Bad news, older tech workers: Job advert language works against you


Re: Examples?

"I agree, if a 20-year old has managed to accumulate the same 30 years of professional experience in apparently no time at all, he's definitely somebody you'd want in your team: By 50 he'd "

He or she. These days, maybe they.

Ageist language will reveal itself.

Amazon workers are in a warehouse of pain, independent report finds



I recommend reading Nomadland, this generation's Nickel And Dimed. The author Jessica Bruder went undercover in, and interviewed employees of, a last-quarter seasonally employed force of seniors, living in campervans and RVs while staffing an Amazon's warehouse. Painkiller dispensers, a man hit on the head and knocked flat by a box flying off a belt, robots fenced off and seemingly repeating the same job they just did. The author found that many seniors came back year after year, because they needed the money. They were in this position because of losing their job, home or family, most having worked responsible and higher graded jobs for decades. Amazon made them welcome, and worked them hard.

I believe the book has been filmed.

Musk decides to bury dead Twitter accounts, warns users follower counts could sink


Deleting dormant accounts

Just a way of getting rid of bots and fakes.

Bots, fakes, spam farms, troll farms and follower panels, which comprise about 10% of the web identities and will increase with AI. Some of the followers are paid for monthly, and those might remain active, but the once-off purchases or creations will go.

Storage space is a concern, not because of cost of storage itself, but because of the energy needed to search, store and re-organise this content on an ongoing basis, and the energy used by search engines trawling through the content on a regular basis. Energy has to be produced and paid for. Energy from renewable sources used to do the tasks is energy not available to replace carbon fuelled energy.

Twitter is a business built to serve its users (including advertisers). Not someone who thought they might like to use it several years ago but then didn't use it. Telling advertisers they can potentially reach X number of viewers could be dishonest if many viewers never access the account, or just don't exist. Reputable businesses will serve advertisers and users better.





World's richest man posts memes as $44b Twitter acquisition veers off course


Elon Musk asked for a general poll on whether to admit Donald Trump to twitter again.

Great way to cut in half the number of accounts you need to check for Russian trolls and bots.


Re: Catch-22

"SpaceX is an amazing achievement, which I suspect will be important to the future of mankind."

Humanity. Thank you for including the other half of the human race.

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe


Re: Back whilst incarcerated with the NHS ....

"one of my cow-orker"

Freudian slip?

Google battles bots, puts Workspace admins on alert


Cheaper by the dozen

I am reading offers of 1,000 Instagram follower bots for $39.99. Seems to be a monthly rental, which is quite a smart move by the merchandisers. Maybe Google could help ID them. Oddly, these sorts are easily recognisable as bots to (most) humans.

It's time to kick China off social media, says tech governance expert


Wherever the bots come from, they are well established

Many of these accounts are just bots. China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh make plenty, as no doubt do other nations.

Instagram bots sell for about 0.78cent I am informed. It's called SMM panel reselling. These bots are found on many platforms. The older the bot, the more validity it has, because panels regularly conduct searches and erase bots, don't they. So if it survived a few years its vote, comment, like etc. looks more real.

USA Today cleaned up its Twitter followers a few years ago and found that 1 million of the 8 million were bots.

Facebook cleaned 1.3 billion bots and fake accounts during Q1 of 2021, down from 1.7 billion in Q1 of 2020. 1.7 billion were removed /cleaned up during Q4 of 2021.


Not only the panel activity, but the activity of search engines endlessly visiting the pages, wastes electricity and datacentre space.

There are also zombie accounts, real people's accounts pwned, some exacerbated by the fact that what would be visible on a desktop is not visible on a phone app. The real user keeps using it unknowing that something has been added.

Some panels have taken steps to require proof of identity on opening an account.


Re: re: Digital societies need to be protected.

Thanks for telling your story, Mr Zuckerberg.

John Deere tractors 'bricked' after Russia steals machinery from Ukraine


Your turn, Toyota

Pity Toyota can't brick its work vehicles. Though I am sure that might prove unpopular with everyone except warlords.


Michigan Micro Mote works well escargot: Tiny computer makes it into the field strapped to backs of predatory snails


Link to paper


Communications Biology from nature.com

No amount of Glasgow handshaking will revive this borked kiosk


Reminds me of...

Riven. I've always seen that as the cave mouth in Riven.

No cars in Riven, but there was a bullet train and big kettle/ submarine.

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location


Re: Poor Reliability.. better idea

"wouldn't an individual ID forehead tattoo be far more reliable?"

At some point you would be mistaken for a can of beautiful soup. Once that happens there's no way back to society.

Fancy Bear hacker crew Putin dirty RATs in Word documents emailed to govt orgs – report


Re: Here we go again

"Being hit by 20-year-old exploits like WORD MACROS would be an EMBARASSMENT."

Whereas using a word processor correctly would not be an embarrassment.

Creepy or super creepy? That is the question Mozilla's throwing at IoT Christmas pressies


Re: Word association football

I took it as a hot water bottle too, probably because I don't use or buy the other kind.

'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU


Re: I think some people might have missed something...

"Yet insurance companies do this very thing and no one says anything about it."

The EU has stopped motor insurers from offering cheaper quotes to women, on the basis that men, especially young men, are more likely to speed and have serious crashes, but firms must not discriminate against them.

A firm selling motor insurance is called its4women.ie and offers quotes to women or men without bias.

Thus all other drivers now have to pay more on the premium to account for the non-loading against young men.


Re: In the current environment, women are too much of a business risk..

..."aren't meaning how I am reading it.

Since Jews are the only ones who can experience antisemitism, be the target of it, as that's what it means, being anti-Jewish, then comparing that to your leading sentence implies to me that you are saying only women can experience sexual harassment."

I disagree with your statement. A non-Jewish person who is friendly with a Jewish person, or who employs them or is employed by them, can also be the target, directly or indirectly, of antisemitism. Much as a shop could suffer vandalism because some idiot decided they did not like the look of one of the employees.

Men, women and non-binary persons can experience sexual harassment.

Don't mean to alarm you – but NASA is about to pummel the planet with huge frikkin' space laser


Re: Keep Calm and Carry On

"Yep plenty of room in a Pope's hat for a decent sized teapot on top of the head.

I should say so - the thing is a mitre high"

His Holiness is currently visiting Ireland so I don't imagine he needed to bring his own teapot.

Cup of tea, Father? Ah go on.

Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you


Re: Actually my own computer..

"After spending hours looking for the bug, and finding nothing, I leaned toward the computer. I asked it if it wanted to be thrown out the window (pointing to the window for dramatic effect)."

Amazing how often in this thread people resort to defenestration.


Re: Sometimes it's the user

Polyester clothes and static?


Re: Sometimes violence is the only answer

"But I DID get a new one as there had been put manure on the flowerbed and when it got warm the fans wafted 'the smell of a stable' around the office."

I hope you donated the old one to a riding stables nearby, so it could waft the smell of an office around the stables.

Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn


Re: Timing is everything

Shrunk to three inches - so maybe you have actually been turned into a shrew, which is about that size and does have a fast enough heart rate to cope with heat loss.

In which case, wriggle your bristly nose and scuttle up out of the blender.

Or a gecko, about the same size, which has a reptilian heart and can Velcro itself to hard surfaces like blenders because its pads sink into the molecules of the surface.

Life beckons.

Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks


Re: What a relief

"Male nudity is obviously not a problem for Catholics (surprise!). This will make Sunday's service much more comfortable."

I have seen a classical painting print on the wall in a girls' school in which the nuns (presumably) had charcoaled briefs over the men.

No such prints of partly clothed women were on display.


Budgie smugglers

"For those that don't spik 'strain, "budgie smugglers" is Australian slang for Speedos, which in turn is an Australian brand of very skimpy swim pants for men."

According to an episode of Friends, an American alternative is banana hammock.


Re: Please drop the pedophile priest stereotype

"You make some fair points.

But why, according to the article, is ~80% of child molestation by priests committed against boys, while in the broader community girls are the most frequent victims? "

Because nuns were in charge of girls and women, so they worked them to death in the case of unmarried mothers. Nuns had no power in the church, so they exercised their power on those less fortunate who were in their control. Priests did not live alongside nuns as that would be potentially indecent. The priest would call to say mass and hear confessions.

Priests and brothers were in charge of boys. Generally there were no nuns on the premises, because that would be potentially indecent.

Boss helped sysadmin take down horrible client with swift kick to the nether regions



Welcome Rebecca!



Thanks and good luck!

British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage


Re: weight calculation

"The other important calculation for load sheets involves the fuel, whose centre of gravity can move around as it is consumed."

This is similar to driving a tanker of liquid. There are three stages - full, empty and half full, all of which affect speed and braking. To stop all the liquid rushing forward at the red traffic light, or the milk turning to butter, there are baffles in the tank, and / or a series of tanks. Of course, the tanker does not consume the contents on the journey.

Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no


Re: Well, with all of NATO being either personal foes or parts of the "greatest Foe"

Re Canada - America - EU trade:

The most recent trade agreement between Canada and EU stalled because Canada slaughters horses, including racehorses and American mustangs which the Americans ship over the border, and sends the meat to Belgium for human consumption; but Belgium was insisting that the horses had to be certified free of any medications for three months prior to slaughter.


Re: Tee hee. Trump is to Putin as --

"Germany couldnt deliver pilots and planes to fight ISIS. Only the war minister managed to arrive at the destination. ... Germany spent their money on other things which is why they really dont want the US protection to leave."

From a friend I hear Germany has many fine young men who have done a year's military training voluntarily. However, they have all gone back to Turkey to do it. They're the second, third generation of ethnic Turkish people in Germany to whom, for some strange reason, Germany doesn't want to give German nationality. I am sure they are saving Germany money in this way.

'Plane Hacker' Roberts: I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing. Holy crap!


Re: "Aren't they then driving without insurance?"

"I don't know about the R.O.W. but in the UK if you own a vehicle with fully comprehensive insurance you usually get what's called a third party extension, which allows you to drive pretty mutch any vehicle you are licenced for with 3rd party cover on your insurance."

No, it doesn't work that way where I live. Unless you are a motor dealer, you are insured for the car you own/ keep. Each vehicle and driver has to be specified for additional insurance on the policy.

If you drive a van, you can't transfer your insurance to a car temporarily, because more passengers can fit in a car than a van.

Being a named driver on someone else's policy does not count towards a no-claim bonus; and you can come out of a few years of 'named driver' and still be considered a first-time insured driver by a firm. This implies that the firm is more concerned about whether its premiums will get paid by the new paying customer.

The cybercriminal's cash cow and the marketer's machine: Inside the mad sad bad web ad world


Your phone is listening too

And showing you ads based on what you discuss with friends, even when you are not making phone calls.

Younger people have different expectations of privacy online.

One lady claimed this setup was helpful, as she had been discussing with a pal how she would like such a product to be invented, and next day an ad for this product showed up on her phone. She hadn't known it existed.

Me: Don't you find that creepy, intrusive and invasive of privacy?

She: No.

Google weeps as its home state of California passes its own GDPR


Data transfer

I don't use FB and many young people don't use it because they don't want to be on the same site as their parents. This is why FB tries to grab them with instagram and whats app - also to expand into different countries to compensate for a shrinking base.

How long before FB says, most of our members are now in the southern hemisphere so let's move our data storage down there?


"Oh? AT&T is still standing and arguably bigger than ever. The Baby Bells simply glommed themselves back together through attrition, mergers, and buyouts. It's hard to break up something that big without it naturally trying to come back together through those methods."

Like putting a sponge through a blender.


Re: Legitimate business interests

"Google.. let me make this absolutely clear. you have NO legitimnate interest in my personal data, it is MINE not yours and I am the only arbitor of "legitimate" use of that data. I have spent too many moment in my life trying to shield my life from your pervasive and unwanted voyeurism."

Okay, it's your data. I agree we need more privacy.

Are you now going to pay Google or others every time you conduct a net search? How else will this work? Getting advertisers to pay more to Google won't necessarily improve your life either; and more of us would use ad blockers.

I suggest some kind of a happy medium would work. You could tell data collectors what you agreed would be stored, sold or traded. Any other use would be in breach.

Potato, potato. Toma6to, I'm going to kill you... How a typo can turn an AI translator against us


Re: Time to do things the easier way

"Once upon a time, anyone who was anyone in Europe understood Latin. Peasant languages such as English were not rated for serious discourse."

As seen in Shogun.

Trainee techie ran away and hid after screwing up a job, literally


Re: Key word is "Trainee"

"giving them a crappy task that needs little or no training, (except, making the tea for the workers on a site can be a very skilled job to get right, getting everyone's tea made to exactly how they like it, i.e. more or less milk, 3 or 5 sugars)** is part of the training...."

Agree. I started out on sites, anyone working there had filthy hands. You do not want them lining up to make tea using general tea making equipment. Much better to have one person with clean hands make it all. The lads appreciated straightening up and being handed a nice warm mug of tea or coming to sit down and getting them all handed out. Don't suggest they each go wash their hands first, they would always leave the facilities filthy and coveed in Swarfega.

UK taxman has amassed voice profiles of 5.1 million taxpayers


Re: Don't Talk To Me - I'm Hard Of Hearing (Wink, Wink) - Use Text!

"There are two practical ways to defeat these 'voice analysis' systems. One is to make calls with a radio or other disruptive variable tones in the background."

I'm reading this with a large truck reversing outside the window, making a nice loud beep - beep. Hardly my fault if I make the call now.

Puzzled as to why / how you were altering your appearance with Photoshop. Maybe better not to know.