* Posts by Not Yb

331 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Sep 2021


Tesla Cybertruck turns into world's most expensive brick after car wash

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Re: 'you know it’s shite when you put the word “Cyber” on it'

They looked extremely silly back in the '70s. Walk through any (good) hardware store plumbing department for examples... At least they managed to get to kinda silly in more recent eps.

Europe gives TikTok 24 hours to explain 'addictive and toxic' new app

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Re: Moral panic

Back then, that was true. Well, at least in one coffee shop, somewhere in America.

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I had a coworker who took advantage of one of the rewards apps by turning the phone on very low volume and putting it on an out of the way desk until the long-form adverts finished playing... Made enough for lunch once a week or so. Silly, not that lucrative, but at least one app wasn't getting what it thought it was. There are "phone rockers" available to simulate walking for those apps that require that, too.

Your trainee just took down our business and has no idea how or why

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Re: Whoopsie!

Also, five years of experience in ____, where the blank is filled by something that's only existed for 2 years.

YouTube now sabotages ad-blocking apps that stream its vids

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Apparently my adblocker blocks "screw up videos if ads blocked" function.

It's interesting to know that YouTube is trying to stop people from enjoying it's videos without ads. I hardly ever notice though. uBlock Origin + sponsorblock = pretty good at blocking either the adblocker detection, the error creation routines, or both. Maybe a tad slower opening videos, but I've gotten used to that.

Tired techie 'fixed' a server, blamed Microsoft, and got away with it

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Re: On another note

The lesson I learned from one all-night coding session was "make sure you take the cassette tape with the software on it with you to class the next day".

Thankfully could find someone to bring it to me before class, but .... after realizing it wasn't in my bag, cue panic!

(project was "write a text editor in assembly language", which apparently I could do in my sleep at the time, ha)

Senator Warren slams Intuit's 'junk fees' as America's Tax Day rolls around again

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Re: A solution?

First, the IRS had to get around the problem of "not being allowed to provide tax filing software directly" which was a problem in the US for many years. Thanks to Intuit and other tax software providers lobbying against it because "freedom, liberty, market share, etc." it took much longer than it should.

In the very early days of doing taxes with computer assistance, you could find people who had used spreadsheet software to create their own "auto-calculating" tax returns, and provided them in various places for other people to use with the understanding that "hey, the calculations might be wrong, just my best effort, etc.". IRS would even accept, (and still might) electronic filing of a spreadsheet-based return, once the spreadsheet people worked out the proper format. (E-filing was mostly sending the form type, followed by line number/amount pairs)

Intuit got itself (and the rest of the "industry") in trouble by using the "Free Filing" system as a marketing tool to sell people software they didn't actually need to be paying for. It's a whole rabbit hole to go down, working out exactly why it's taken this long for the US to catch up with the rest of the modern world in tax filing.

We never agreed to only buy HP ink, say printer owners

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Re: This feels like an own goal...

Even on the "no official maintenance box available" printers, that counter can usually be reset, Epson just refuses to do so without an "authorized Epson service center" on many of the cheaper models. Several third party suppliers provide a fix for this (self-imposed by Epson) problem, and as long as you replace the soaked sponge with a fresh one at the same time, it works fine.

It's mostly one third-party supplier, and the rest are resellers, I've never quite worked out which one is the original hacker though.

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It's not communicated to the user until partway through the install process, and of course HPs process is designed to convince you to agree with the idea that only HP ink can be used.

While people who read things like The Register do know about HP's desire for lock in, it's nowhere near as obvious to the more casual tech user who just wants "a printer".

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If this worked the way HP seems to want it to, car manufacturers could, for example, claim immunity from lawsuits for "terrible engine design that fails in 10K miles" by just saying that it was the motor oil and gasoline sellers that should really be sued.

HP really wishes the Magnuson-Moss warranty act did not exist.

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Re: Instead of hiring lawyers

I'm guessing you're unaware of the difficulty of writing firmware for a product full of trade secrets and "documented only inside HP" timing requirements. This is not a simple problem, and neither is "cracking the firmware" to remove the ink checks. This could also easily hit the "DMCA takedown" level of hack, especially as HP considers this a "security feature".

HP customers claim firmware update rendered third-party ink verboten

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Re: Obsession with colour printing is the problem

Can I just point out that xsane has one of the most insane user interfaces on the planet? Definitely not designed for the "average user" at all.

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Every new car I have purchased came with a full tank of gas. Your local dealer clearly sucks.

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Re: THAT'S why they failed.

I believe the solution for "my HP LaserJet 4MP finally dies" will be "order replacement parts" for many more years. It's a workhorse.

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Printing is not as subject to Moore's Law as other computing components. Having worked for a printer manufacturer, the only place the "number of transistors per millimeter" matters is in the control circuitry, which isn't the main driver of cost now. (one reason "Windows printers" didn't take off was that putting more of the control circuit into Windows instead of the printer, didn't save much production money at all)

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Constant (but ignorable) warnings are one thing, HP just says "cartridge problem" and refuses to use third party cartridges entirely every time their firmware update figures out how to detect the new "faked" chips. Most of the rest just say something equivalent to "Oh, hey, we noticed you're using 3rd party ink, please don't do that."

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"the previously discontinued "Dynamic Security.""

Having kept track of this "security" system for a while, it was discontinued for only a few months at best. They quietly put it back into new (and old) printers almost immediately.

If you were running 3rd party cartridges and installed an update... a few days/weeks later, it would claim a carefully vague "cartridge problem" and refuse to print as if your cartridges just broke for no reason. No real breakage occurred other than a flag in their firmware saying "this is 3rd party ink, refuse to use it in about a week". The idea being to convince customers that it wasn't the update that broke the cartridges, while it actually was that update.

Techie saved the day and was then criticized for the fix

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Re: Locks.

First person who taught me about how locks aren't always secure, was Dad, showing me the second method of using the key to open the server room where he worked.

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Re: Floor loading, what is that

If it was an old Tandem server that fell over, they'd just need someone to lift it back upright, and possibly reconnect some cables.

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Re: Sounds like management all right

Brings to mind one definition of a trusted computer being "A computer that can break your security policy."

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Re: Sounds About Right

And of course there are locks the only purpose of which is to meet a particular security standard to the letter. "We were told to meet this standard, here's proof we did, so you don't get to hold us liable for not meeting the standard" is a very common refrain in corporate lands when something expensive goes wrong/stolen.

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Re: I have done the air-con shuffle in the past!

0 Celsius Cold

100 Celsius Dead

0 Fahrenheit Quite Cold

100 Fahrenheit Quite Hot

0 Kelvin Dead

100 Kelvin Dead

Fahrenheit will always make more sense to me for talking about temperatures meant for human presence.

Greener, cheaper, what's not to love about a secondhand smartphone?

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Budget phones, every time...

I don't ever have the latest (or even recent) common phone, but so far budget phones from lesser-known brands have been 100% fine for every use I've made of them. There is, as far as I can tell, no reason to insist on Apple/Google/Samsung/Motorola any more, and there might never have been a reason other than "Motorola's the only one available in the US supported by our network" in the very early days.

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Re: "unsupported" battery

"unsupported battery"?

That's an impressive amount of monopolist power they have, to make even the batteries a "only use our consumables or have a worse experience". Even HP printers haven't gone so far as to deem extension cords "third party", which would sort of be equivalent.

Lawsuit claims gift card fraud is the gift that keeps on giving, to Google

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Google Play's app installer keeps asking me to set up a payment method on my accounts, I keep hitting "skip". So far, so good!

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Re: To sum up ...

Mom keeps telling me that the next time her "grandson" calls up for money she's just going to tell them he's a good-for-nothing waste of space and not to call again. (She has no grandchildren, yet...)

AI hallucinates software packages and devs download them – even if potentially poisoned with malware

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Accepting the terminology isn't the issue. Using it as if these things are somehow "smarter" than general software, and can "hallucinate" instead of be bug-ridden pieces of something? That's the problem.

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Considering some of the programmers I've met, yes.

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Not "hallucinates"

These AI chatbots are not hallucinating, they don't "know" anything, and calling it hallucinating grants too much credit. They're MUCH too random to have any sort of thoughts or hallucinations about anything.

Anywhere else, this would be called "making things up", "lying", "misleading", but somehow AI gets a free pass to instead be considered "hallucinating".

FTX crypto-crook Sam Bankman-Fried gets 25 years in prison

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Re: Crypto = Ponzi = Crypto

In this case, it was very much Ponzi style. The crypto bit just made it slightly easier to hide, but not really. (The bit where there's an immutable ledger that tracks all the transactions? Yeah... that's not as "anonymous" as some seem to think)

Majority of Americans now use ad blockers

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Re: I allow "acceptable ads"

One problem I have with ABP's acceptable ads policy is that they are rumored to accept money from companies for them to be considered in the "acceptable ads" list. Maybe they don't do that any more, but I was very skeptical.

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Re: Do they work?

Sponsorblock add on for Firefox will help skip through youtube ads/self-promo/whatever, but it does need occasional manual intervention because very few content creators mark their own videos with "this part's an ad".

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Re: Do they work?

Google doesn't provide an adblocker that they created. Neither does Firefox. What are you asking here?

Some adblockers do say they let "unobtrusive ads" through, but I don't use those.

Most adblockers do block all ads.

It's even possible in many browsers to block the search bar from going to google or whatever.

The way Apple, Alphabet implemented DMA rules 'seems to be at odds' with law

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Re: I hope they kill the 'pay or consent' model

I must be running something that blocks most of those, I didn't even know that was a choice. (ublock origin, and several

other adblockers tend to block the anti-ad-block-block things, too)

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Re: Ignoring Android Uncontrollable/Uninstallable Add-Ins

There's one "cleanup" app on my phone that I can't remove, and can't stop from occasionally popping up a "your phone is low on storage space" request to be run again. I KNOW my phone is low on storage space, the non-removable system apps keep getting bigger...

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They removed it for the same reason most news sites don't have direct "send corrections to" links any more. Too many junk "corrections" suggesting that the article should lean more towards whatever direction the "corrector" wanted it to be. (well, and tons of spam [link in bio], I'm sure)

There are still ways to contact them with actual corrections.

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Sorry, but if regulators prefer not to fine, in favor of "soft power" approaches, we wind up with things like OSHA. It does have some effect in the US, but the fine for something as bad as a death of a worker due to unsafe operating conditions is only in the 10s of thousands. Back when that was a bunch of money, it made sense, but the fine hasn't gone up with inflation and is now almost pointless.

"Regulatory capture", where the companies wind up eventually sending people to be on the regulatory board, leads to things like Boeing's current safety culture failure.

I'm in favor of soft power encouragement to meet requirements, but when there's no enforcement mechanism (or it's a tiny token amount of a fine), I don't think that works well at all.

(For an example, see the FTC/FCC trying to stop various types of spam or false advertising, they only stop one or two big operations a year if we're lucky)

When life gives you Lemon, sack him

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Re: Official Tucker Carlson YouTube page.

Tucker also revealed that Don Lemon is a person of color, as opposed to a person of mostly botox.

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Re: Ketamine

Not to an anesthesiologist. Jargon's everywhere, not just in tech.

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Re: Jellied Eel, are you related to Marjorie Taylor Greene by any chance?

The ones that decide that "racism" means "talking about race in any context" are very annoying.

Vernor Vinge, first author to describe cyberspace and 'The Singularity,' dies at 79

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Re: Steganography & Cryptography

Try detecting spread spectrum signals without prior knowledge of the pRNG that generated it. I suspect that's a harder problem than regular "digital" signals which can be very random-ish even without spread spectrum tech.

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Re: Fire Upon the Deep - spoilers

"The net of a million lies at some time [in] the 1980s"...

So much unlike our current internet (/s)

What's brown and sticky and broke this PC?

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Re: The user was left to set the time on her PC every day

Many newer CMOS batteries do have sockets. It's only on the really cheap boards that they get soldered in these days.

What strange beauty is this? Microsoft commits to two more non-subscription Office editions

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Re: First hit is always free-ish.

OpenOffice still exists, but, yeah, trust Oracle? hahaha...

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Re: First hit is always free-ish.

"We do not currently release ... Windows binaries." has been there for at least 7 (and probably 10) years. Unlikely to ever change unless someone figures out how to build it for Windows, and jumps in with "OK, I'll create the binaries, here's some samples to prove it", etc.

NASA missions are being delayed by oversubscribed, overburdened, and out-of-date supercomputers

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Re: Mind the GPU Gap

Simulating engine internals fast enough to create better engines is just one possible use of "too many petaflops to waste on the moon". Detailed aerodynamics analysis, weather prediction, trajectory optimization for some of the more ludicrous trajectory ideas that are currently "too much work to try but might be better"

Lots of useful things to try...

FTC goes undercover to probe suspected antivirus scam, scores $26M settlement

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Curious about how trustworthy AppEsteem might be?

They still list Restoro and Reimage as being trustworthy after marking them deceptive for a while. "Company fixed"... suuuure.

Then again it seems the only testing they actually do is "UI-based", which wouldn't necessarily check for "how does the company actually use this app."

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It was probably not these guys, but I did manage to help out a friend who had been attacked by a "technical support" scam. They had used "syskey" to lock it with a password the owner was not told. Luckily he stopped them before going any further once they said something about $x00 to "repair" it. Fairly simple fix for someone with a bootable USB "fix Windows" flash drive, but beyond the average user.

Checking with MS recently, "syskey" has been removed from more current versions of the OS, for many reasons including this kind of basic ransom-by-locking attack.

'Crash test dummy' smashed VIP demo by offering a helping hand

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Re: There's a reason pilots always do their own walkaround inspection

Pitot tubes frequently measure both dynamic and static air pressure using holes on the tip and sides.

Cryptocurrency laundryman gets hung out to dry

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Unwarranted optimism. It's more likely they wait until it's too late, and then hire someone from the industry to come up with regulations.