* Posts by Ashentaine

88 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Dec 2018


LockBit leaks expose nearly 200 affiliates and bespoke data-stealing malware


Re: Warning

I presume LockBit was keeping extensive data about their thralls, I mean affiliates, on the chance that one or more of them might get the notion to go into business for themselves. No honor among thieves, and all that. In that case it doesn't really matter if they try to cover their tracks because the evidence is already well documented.

Not to mention what the federales really want are the top ranking folks in the organization, so rattling the small fry like this may convince some of them to try and strike a deal to save themselves if they have something particularly spicy to share.

Hackers mod a Sony PlayStation Portal to run PSP games


Re: Back catalogue

They tried a few years ago with the Playstation Classic, and did it so poorly that it ended up being a disaster because they don't apparently didn't understand how emulation even works (using PAL formats on games on NTSC units, using a less capable emulator software, and so on). Plus a lot of the games that really sold the earlier systems were made by studios that don't exist anymore and finding out who holds the rights to them is a slow and expensive process, one Sony probably doesn't care to undertake.

Cops turn LockBit ransomware gang's countdown timers against them


Re: I suppose they earned their corn, but...

If the LockBit gang happens to be sponsored by the Russian state though, then this will probably put them on the bad side of Putin and the problem will eventually resolve itself (most likely via a tall building and an open window, like so many of Putin's other "problems" lately). Why pay for such unsavory services when you can find ways to have them done for free, and keep your own hands clean as well?

HP CEO pay for 2023 = 270,315 printer cartridges


The article headline gave me the mental image of one of those giant quarry dump trucks backing up to Lores' house and burying it under a mountain of used cartridges, which was certainly a good laugh to start the day off with.

AI won't take our jobs and it might even save the middle class


This line of thinking makes it feel like we're already approaching the backside of the boom cycle, where the true limitations of the technology are starting to show and those invested heavily in selling it have started pitching more practical sounding but still highly improbable use cases to keep interest high.

Saying that an LLM could be used as an instruction book that can enable non-skilled people to performed highly skilled tasks sounds silly to people who have been watching this closely over the last couple years, but there are just as many who weren't scrutinizing it as much that will hear that and think "Oh, it could do that? Wow that sounds great, let's go ahead and look into that then. Here, have a research budget." And thus, another year or so on the payroll while they try to stretch out that dead avenue as long as they can.

It's time we add friction to digital experiences and slow them down


Re: Ain't Gonna Happen ...

That's the unfortunate truth, convenience will always trump security for the average person. Providing a faster and hands-off experience is always going to be more attractive because people are inherently lazy and would rather have mundane tasks completed quickly rather than ensuring they're done safely (and yes, I'm including myself in that lot as well). Give the average person a choice between using 2FA and manually entering their details and going through a basic security check, or just dumping all their credentials into a one-click solution presented to them and just presuming that it's going to be fine and never end up being compromised and they don't have to worry about it anymore, and they'll always go for the easier option.

It's never a problem, until it is a problem.

Forcing AI on developers is a bad idea that is going to happen


Exactly. If there isn't a specific reason for it to be there, and I didn't request for it to be put there, then it shouldn't be there to begin with.

At best it's just wasting storage space going unused, at worst someone who shouldn't be messing with it WILL mess with it and cause a real problem.

Angry mob trashes and sets fire to Waymo self-driving car


Re: Curious?

> Although an underemployed, bored polloi might latch on to 'wrecking a waymo' as a 'fun thing' to do after the recreational drug(s) of one's choice.

Most likely the case. Several years ago here we had a couple of smaller companies that were trying to establish car-sharing services in the city with a bunch of Smart Fortwos. Only a couple of months later a bunch of them were found flipped onto their sides and heavily damaged, and eventually the culprits were identified as local college students who were filming themselves doing it and posting the videos onto Dailymotion. They had no hatred towards the company, no real or percieved grudge, it was just a bunch of idiot frat kids who wanted social media clout and decided that the urban version of cow tipping was the way to do it.

You know the rule, never attribute to malice that which can be sufficiently explained by stupidity.

Making sense of Microsoft's 'confusing' Copilot functionality carnival


"It's a marathon, not a sprint"

Correction: It's a marathon for the clients who gets locked into long term contracts for this stuff long after its relevance and possible use case has faded away, but it's a drag race for vendors and consultants to sucker people into as many of those contracts as possible before the next new shiny comes along and AI gets chucked off the cliff along with all the other "essential" tech fads of the last couple decades.

Steve Jobs' $4.01 RadioShack check set to fetch small fortune at auction


Re: 01/100 a US thing?

I've always heard it was a practice from way back when paper checks were still new-ish to the average household, both to fill up the line to prevent someone from altering it and to make sure that an unattentive bank employee didn't overlook the decimal point when adjusting your bank balance. Dunno if that's true, but everyone who was my parent's age always claimed to have that horror story of how a $10.00 check was cashed for $1000 and the bank refused to fix it, so take what you will from that.

Ex-school IT admin binned student, staff accounts and trashed phone system


Re: Dontcha love the US court system?

Though in this case his professional reputation is completely ruined, and even in a non-technical position potential employers are going to be putting him at the back of the hiring line because they're not going to trust anyone who willingly destroys property. That's going to be far more punishing in the long run than a stint in a minimum security jail cell.

Impatient LockBit says it's leaked 50GB of stolen Boeing files after ransom fails to land


Like trying to find diamonds in a septic tank

These kind of breaches are always quantity over quality. It's not like robbing a house where you can quickly eyeball things to determine what's valuable and what isn't, they're really just gambling that they managed to break into a part of the network containing data sensitive enough that the company wouldn't want to risk it being exposed, most likely something related to financials or suppliers.

The latter would probably be the most valuable to other data thieves since it's not really time-sensitive data and can lead them to other companies who are worth compromising, as I imagine anyone who is or previously was selling parts to Boeing would also be doing business with other big industry names as well.

Boston Dynamics teaches robo-dog to recognise speech, respond using ChatGPT


>"For example, we asked the robot 'who is Marc Raibert?'" – the founder, former CEO and now chair of BD. "It responded 'I don't know. Let's go to the IT help desk and ask!'. And then it did so."

I have to admit, I found this amusingly wholesome in a 1970's sci-fi sort of way. Maybe if they programmed these robodogs to act more like Twiki they'd have a better reputation.

X looks back at year of so-called 'engineering excellence' under Musk


Re: He's hopeful

>After demonstrating the most crap headed managerial incompetence in running the company, who is going to be daft enough to trust him or the company with anything other than the vacuous brain farts that is all Twitter ever was?

When it comes to the majority, convenience always trumps security. A large number of people will think nothing of shoving all their personal and sensitive information into a single point of failure if it means they can save two clicks on their next Amazon impulse purchase.

Thankfully though, Elon seems to be hell-bent on making Xwitter as inconvenient to use as absolutely possible so I imagine there won't be that many takers on this little venture.


Re: It's tax season

>How do the dumbest animals on the planet have the most wealth?

They either luck into a genuinely useful concept and then have just enough sense to sell it on at an inflated value to people who have the wherewithal to do something useful with it, or they manage to find a way to exploit a system they could otherwise never meaningfully participate in and squeeze as much as they can out of it before slithering away.

Unfortunately, both methods then give them the false belief that they're smarter than the rest of humanity because of this, and then they get idolized by others who hope to take the same shortcut to the top which feeds their bulbous egos even more, and that's how we get to situations like this.

Amazon Ads rolls out generative AI for ad image composition


This will be a boon to all those fly-by-night tat peddlers who change their seller names with every drop shipment of knockoff Shenzhen dumpster goods. Now instead of paying for access to a stock image library and hoping someone has enough Photoshop skill to make it look decent, or posting those images with tons of badly translated text that are an obvious tipoff that it's trash, they can just click a couple buttons and hey presto! Totally Legitimate Product, honest!

So well done to Amazon for more easily facilitating consumer deception in favor of their own profits, I guess.

NASA celebrates 40 years of Discovery, the longest-serving Space Shuttle


Not to mention all those atmospheric re-entries. That'll do a number on your paint job that no amount of washing and waxing will protect from.

Unity closes offices, cancels town hall after threat in wake of runtime fee restructure


For perspective...

The current CEO of Unity, John Riccitiello, is a former CEO of EA and came up with such amazing brainwaves in his tenure there as wanting to charge Battlefield 3 players a dollar every time they reloaded their guns in a match.


The man is a total clown who is completely out of touch with the industry he works in, and seeing him drive Unity into the ground like this is both amusing and frustrating at the same time.



I'm almost certain that the primary tenet of H&S instruction is "don't leave until you find a problem, and if you can't find one then invent one".


Re: Spoiler alert - game solution

As opposed to Sierra adventure games, where you could easily render the whole thing unwinnable by doing or neglecting to do something many hours previous, or even just wandering onto a screen where you weren't supposed to be without a specific item, and having no idea where you made the mistake to avoid it in another playthrough.

Why yes, King's Quest V, I am in fact pointing directly at you.

It's 2023, let's check in with the metaverse... Nope, still doesn't exist


Pokemon GO brought a public interest in AR, but that was as you mentioned that was largely due to the Pokemon brand; also people have largely forgotten that it was built off the back of Niantic's first AR game Ingress, which has a much smaller userbase but helped to establish the massive database of real world locations that the Pokestops and gyms are found at. Without all that pre-existing data to make it widely accessible from the start, it probably would have been another forgotten niche side game in the Pokemon franchise rather than becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

Personally I feel like the real limiting factor to public acceptance now is that AR is just too cumbersome to access, requiring you to be physically holding your phone/tablet/whatever in front of your face constantly to make it work. Google Glass was probably the closest potential method of unencumbered AR use so far, but as we all know that was so obvious and invasive that it became extremely undesirable. I can't see AR really becoming a fully everyday thing until it can be accessed in a way that's inexpensive, unobtrusive and convenient. If/when the hardware reaches that point, the software will eventually follow.

Founder of zero-emissions truck venture Nikola found guilty of $1b fraud


Re: This one runs

Given that GM owns a majority stake in Nikola, to the point that they may as well own the entire company outright, looks like this is a nice little backdoor way for GM to get into the electric hauler market without actually spending any of their own money to develop it.

Artist formerly known as Kanye reveals Parler trick: Buying the far-right haven


Ah, time for the latest bout of "Musician rapidly fading into irrelevancy does increasingly erratic things in a desperate attempt to remind the world they exist", I see. I guess buying a mostly dead social media platform to turn into his own personal echo chamber is better than some of the more questionable things others have done in the past, even if it is still a huge waste of resources.

Sony, Honda collaborate on 'premium' electric vehicles that are born in the USA


'Mobility tech company'

Considering every domestic car company is rushing to rebrand themselves as a 'mobility company', simply because the auto market is over-saturated to the point of being far less profitable than it was 20 years ago and battery manufacturing is now cheap enough that they can horn in on the still small and lucrative medical/assisted mobility market (think scooters, electric wheelchairs, etc), I'm expecting this offering won't be a car per se, so much as a car-shaped electric runabout for the ancient boomers that want to have some vestige of independence but still need to keep up appearances. You likely won't be seeing them on the highways so much as puttering from the retirement condos to the supermarket across the street.

Toyota already started moving into this space last year, GM quickly grabbed their coattails to follow, and now all the others are scrambling to get a foothold while there's still time. Sony has had designs on this for a while too, so taking on a partnership with Honda to get established is no real surprise.

Google kills off Stadia


Re: Landfill

Instead of throwing it out they could just box it back up, sit on it for a few years and sell it on eBay to a collector of obscure video game tech. There are people still buying recent flops like the OUYA for a decent amount, after all.

And there's still very active tinkering communities for mostly forgotten web appliances from the dot-com boom, so I'm sure there are folks who'll want to dig into these after the ability to phone home has been cut off. Especially since the hardware in them is still at a relatively acceptable level.

'Last man standing in the floppy disk business' reckons his company has 4 years left


And in the case of some Formula 1 cars from the mid to late '90s the software is also designed to only work on one specific laptop with a bespoke hardwired cable that connects directly to the engine, to ensure that any engineers who departed between seasons didn't swipe a copy to take with them to whatever team they landed at later on.

If anything from the connector on the engine to the cable to the laptop itself stops working, the car is effectively bricked because none of those parts have been made in over 30 years and no spares were ever created.

Shape-shifting cryptominer savages Linux endpoints and IoT


Not to mention that after the crooks have extracted the actual paydata they came for, the cyptominer works as both a convenient diversion from the real crime and can also grind out some spare change before it's detected.

The trade ban that wasn't: US allows 94% of restricted tech exports to China anyway


To be fair, it is a pretty accurate visual representation of international politics... there's always a third wheel somewhere getting in the way and jamming things up.

Apple to compel workers to spend '3 days a week' in the office


Not to mention it costs the same amount to keep the lights on in offices that aren't being used, and eventually the shareholders are going to look at that money being spent on mostly idle properties and start grumbling about it. And I'm sure Apple is much more scared of upsetting its shareholders than it is of upsetting its employees.

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables


While it's not as lucrative an option as it was maybe 10 years ago, and depends largely on your location, trawling thrift stores like Goodwill can still yield some fantastic results for good quality vintage audio gear if you're not adverse to doing some cleaning and restoration.

'Red-rated' legacy IT gets refresh in UK as US battles theirs with bills


What they need versus what they "need"

>What they probably need are people who know the ancient systems they are running on.

Yes, but what they "need" according to every middle manager who's been dazzle-eyed by the latest flavor of the month programming language and wants bonuses they don't really deserve is a modernized, future-proofed system that's so efficient it doesn't need expensive permanent staff to maintain.

So while they may need properly trained programmers who can maintain existing code indefinitely and keep the status quo going smoothly, what they'll get are a few fly-by-night code cowboys who bodge together a makeshift version of the app that can't be upscaled, relies on a very specific hardware configuration to work correctly, and becomes impossible to maintain after the language it's written in falls out of favor and nobody supports it anymore. And then five years later we end up right back where we started...

US carriers want to junk three times more Chinese comms kit than planned


>If Beijing really does have backdoors into Huawei and ZTE kit, it therefore has plenty of time to deploy them.

...and the telcos will have plenty of time to "re-allocate" all the funding they're clamoring for to replace that kit, most of which is probably many years overdue for replacement anyway and never dealt with because nobody wanted to spend money to replace what's still working and not currently on fire.

Another US president, time for another big Intel factory promise by another CEO


Re: At what cost to the state?

If it goes like any other time some big company claims they want to set up manufacturing plants here in Central Ohio, what will happen is:

They'll come in, see the inadequate and crumbling road network around the Columbus area that doesn't have enough room to properly expand, get a year or two of pushback from the people in the area who don't care about the local impact so much as they see an opportunity to get a chunk of money in their pocket, squeeze a more favorable and one-sided offer from some desert location even more desperate for employment, then quietly duck out when the next election comes around.

So no cost, other than a lot of wasted time on everyone's part.

Activision Blizzard to pay out three days of annual profit to settle sex discrimination case


From what I've heard a substantial amount of WoW loyalists finally got fed up and bounced over to Final Fantasy XIV recently, so much so that Square Enix had to suspend new account creations for a couple days because their servers couldn't keep up with the sudden influx of new players. Might want to skip ordering the caviar for that party, then...

A real go-GETTR: Former Trump aide tries to batter Twitter by ripping off its UI


Re: 88 Seems More Traditional

Much as I'd like to think the 777 is a sly reference to Trump's ill-fated and now demolished Atlantic City casino (which he often used as proof of his business acumen, despite it being one of the most unprofitable casinos in America), I'm pretty sure it's more that a rounded up number like 800 wouldn't have been as catchy a marketing point.

AWS offers you the opportunity to pay cloud bills before they’ve been issued


Re: Public Sector Budgets

I figured that was the main reason anyone would use this, as a way to safely dispose of any surplus operating budget so the beancounters don't try to claw it back at the end of the year. And if they still complain then the scorn can be easily shunted up the ladder because hey, it was the boss/department manager/board members who were always banging on about how putting everything in the cloud would save us so much money, wasn't it?

Toyota buys Lyft’s autonomous car group for $550m


Re: Toyotas acquisition

>Where are Ford/GM/Volkwagen/Fiat crysler /Renault Nissan and Daimler-Benz?

Ford and GM have largely retreated back to North America to fight over the full-size pickup truck market, which is still a high volume, high margin sector that uses its penchant for excessive waste as a selling point. Ironically this is the segment that would probably welcome full autonomy the most, given how stuffed those vehicles are with distracting gadgetry now.

Everyone else, I presume, is just waiting for the smaller companies to do all the work and then go bust, so they can scoop up the completed research for bargain prices. Toyota doesn't need to wait though, as they've effectively consumed the entire mid-size passenger car market in America and have more than enough money to just do whatever they please at this point.

US Air Force deploys robot security dogs to guard base


Re: Burning books...

"So tell me again why you need another $2 million added to the defense budget?"

"Well ah, we need to upgrade our 10 robot dogs so they can bark bullets at trespassers".

"..at least you didn't say something about dinosaurs with lasers on their heads."


Re: Burning books...

>although I think it's only a matter of time before someone decides to put some sort of offensive (AKA 'Self-defensive') capability on board.

I'm not really sure what you could realistically mount on it, though. Ballistic weapons are a bad idea, as the recoil and vibration from firing would probably damage the robot and be highly inaccurate after the first shot (to say nothing of the problems of ammo storage and hardpoint location). Taser/electrical would likely require lots of shielding to protect the electronic parts, which is more cost than it's worth. At most, these could maybe have some kind of pepper spray or smoke canister dispenser.

And even then, considering they're being used on a military base they don't really need to do much more than pinpoint the location of a troublemaker, as there are surely enough properly armed and armored humans about to do the job properly.


People are pretty much conditioned to ignore whirly-blade type drones now. But you see something even vaguely shaped like a four-legged animal coming your way, it's going to make you stop and pay attention, or possibly freak you out and get you to leave very quickly. Both of which I would imagine is the desired effect in this case.

China compromised F-35 subcontractor and forced expensive software system rewrite, academic tells MPs


Military projects tend to have multiple subcontractors, who also have their own subcontractors, and even those sub-subcontractors can have their own subcontractors that may not even be aware that the parts and pieces they're working on is for the military. It's nearly impossible to keep every aspect of the project in a vacuum when everything is spread out that widely.

Zero. Zilch. Nada. That's how many signs of intelligent life astroboffins found in probe of TEN MILLION stars


Re: The depressing possibility is that there may just be no aliens.

The really, really depressing possibility is that they WERE out there, but got killed off by some cosmic event beyond their control before we had the ability to discover them, and now we'll never even know that their civilization existed.

We've come to wish you an unhappy birthday: Microsoft to yank services from Internet Explorer, kill off Legacy Edge by 2021


>They need it for enterprise software. When they say enterprise software they mean badly-written stuff perched on top of these "technologies" which is never ever, ever, updated.

This also includes the industrial sector where there are lots of big machines being run by crusty old software dependent on those ancient underpinnings, and can't be upgraded either because too much money would be lost by shutting down for the time needed to upgrade, or because the machine was designed to work only with that very specific configuration for proprietary reasons.

Oh what a feeling: New Toyotas will upload data to AWS to help create custom insurance premiums based on driver behaviour

Big Brother

Re: good joke

Considering the ever-increasing number of people who consider their car to be an expensive appliance and lease instead of buying because they are led to believe that it's cheaper than long-term maintenence, and considering those same people will see anything the car company touts as a "convenience feature" to be a good thing... probably a lot.

I mean, people are already comfortable with plugging their cellphone directly into a car and giving it free reign to grab up whatever data it wants, so security clearly isn't on their top 10 priorities list.

Single-line software bug causes fledgling YAM cryptocurrency to implode just two days after launch


Re: Who didn't bother to test their code?

Move fast and break things, baby!

Unless one of those things is the backbone of your whole project... maybe don't break that.

USA decides to cleanse local networks of anything Chinese under new five-point national data security plan


Nothing will probably come of this

If Trump loses the election, all these anti-China policies will either be swept out with him or buried under legislation to the point of being stalled indefinitely.

If Trump wins the election, he'll say that he miraculously convinced China to "play nice" a month later and that they'll be allowed to continue as normal.

Unless there's an actual timeline set for putting any of this plan into action, then odds are it's just the typical jingoistic pandering that happens at the tail end of every American election cycle, except this time it's focused on a specific country instead of the nebulous "foreigners taking our jobs".

This investor blew nearly $300,000 on Intel shares the day before 7nm disaster reveal. Yup, she's suing



She probably also has plans to sue for damages against the convenience store she bought a losing scratch-off lottery ticket from last month.

Firefighters to UK Home Office: Yeah, maybe don't turn off emergency comms network before replacement is ready


Re: "Anyone surprised at the gigantean cock-up"

Or maybe just leave it on standby for a while, as the new one is most likely going to fall over a couple times before they actually get it working properly.

Be sure to also allow for the time spent on rounds of blame assignment in the statehouse and searching the couch cushions to find the budget for repairs, replacement and testing that should have been done before going live, but wasn't for a variety of short-sighted reasons.

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up


Re: Trials?

>Surely it would make most sense to scatter a set of stands around a city (e.g. next to transit hubs, car parks, major shopping locations etc). Most people who want to use these things will likely arrive in a city via a transit hub etc and will likely be returning there at the end of the day.

From what I understand with the rental bicycles that we have here, you'll get charged a return fee if the bike is left outside a designated return point for more than a few hours. I would reckon they'll make a tidy profit off people who don't read the service terms on the app that unlocks the things and presume they can just ditch it wherever because "I'm only using it this one time", or consider the fee to be an acceptable alternative to finding the nearest return point and walking the rest of the way, since it's still probably cheaper overall than taking a cab.

While eyes are fixed on Apple announcements, Microsoft's streaming service Mixer goes the way of the Windows Phone


Hardly surprising

I mean yeah, Ninja had the Twitch channel with the most viewers at the time... an insane amount really. But most of those viewers were there specifically for that one channel and had no interest in anything else. When he was done streaming they simply left instead of migrating to other channels. You're not going to build a platform if the potential users can't be bothered to stick around and explore the other content.

Then again, Mixer really didn't do that great of a job of promoting its content creators to begin with, so there's that too.