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Password Gropers Hit Peak Stupid, Take the Spamtrap Bait

Spad Well (100 comments)

While reading this story I accidentally peak stupid.

about a month ago

UK Police Won't Comment On The Tracking of People's Phone Calls

Spad Well (52 comments)

...leaving citizens in the dark on what privacy protections, if any, are in place...

I'll give you a hint, there aren't any.

about a month ago

Utility Wants $17,500 Refund After Failure To Scrub Negative Search Results

Spad Re:That's Fine (110 comments)

Utilities can really only have neutral or negative reputations.

Think about it, how often do you go "Wow, that was some amazing electricity I used this morning! It came right out of the socket when I needed it and didn't electrocute me at all"? You don't, because you expect those things as a basic requirement of the service and there aren't really many added extras they can provide to help you view them in a positive light. On the flip side, if there are outages or faults you almost automatically acquire a negative view of them and again there isn't really a lot they can do to counteract it.

about 2 months ago

IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Spad Re:Pocket change (632 comments)

Pocket change for them, maybe, but it's slightly more significant for the people having to pay it.

about 5 months ago

Windows 8.1 Update Released, With Improvements For Non-Touch Hardware

Spad Re:It's a start (294 comments)

Wow, really can't tell if this is sarcasm or not (from the linked MSDN Blog entry)

It does NOT include the Start menu that you may have seen/heard about at the recent Build conference. That is some exciting near-future stuff, which demonstrates our on-going commitment to deliver on customer feedback.

about 5 months ago

Windows 8.1 Update Released, With Improvements For Non-Touch Hardware

Spad Re:It's a start (294 comments)

It has a Start *button* but still uses the Start Screen from vanilla Win 8.

about 5 months ago

Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

Spad Re:What DOESN'T run on WindowsXP? (641 comments)

Anything that requires a 64-bit OS and, by extension, anything that needs more than ~3.5Gb of RAM to run (well) as well as anything that needs DX10+ and any new hardware that doesn't ship with XP drivers. This might not be that much now, but it will start to increase dramatically from today onwards.

And no, XP 64-bit does not count, it's a bastard hybrid of XP & 2003 Server and nothing really supports it properly.

If forced into it today, business just might adopt Linux and WINE to run their apps and find out they are safer and more stable because of it

No, they won't, at least not in statistically significant numbers. The cost and hassle of an XP->7 upgrade is much less than the cost and hassle of an XP->Linux upgrade due mostly to the retraining costs for both IT and users (deny it all you like but Linux is not similar enough to Windows that average users will just be able to run with it, most of them panic & phone support when one of their desktop shortcuts disappears) as well as the fact that most of the desktop hardware currently running XP is too old to run a modern Linux distro comfortably - a bunch of Celerons with 256Mb of RAM might be fine if you're running a stripped down install with XFCE and don't want to run any intensive applications, but Linux is not a magic bullet that makes old PCs run like new ones.

On top of all that, you lose integration with all the Windows-based server side systems you already have in place, which leads to either whole-sale replacement or lots of fudging things so they sort of work like before.

I honestly don't think most people advocating businesses should switch all their machines to Linux instead of upgrading from XP really appreciate just how much work would be involved in doing so. Home users are a different matter and it's much more practical for them to take that route, in theory.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: User-Friendly Firewall For a Brand-New Linux User?

Spad Re:You're a "brand new Linux user" (187 comments)

Because, like he said, iptables is easy to screw up without realising it and you don't really want to take that approach on a machine you care about and are using day to day, you ideally want kind of abstraction layer to break you in gently where there's less chance of fucking it up and you can learn how it works at a sensible pace.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: User-Friendly Firewall For a Brand-New Linux User?

Spad Re:Hmmmm (187 comments)

Well, there are lists of ranges known to be used by malware, etc. such as this: - it's not that it's a list of *all* ranges used for those things, just that these ranges are known *only* to be used for those things and so can safely be blocked outright.

Most of the rest of it comes from random compromised residential machines or hosted boxes and so is hard to block other than when you find a really shitty host like Nobis/Ubiquity who just don't care about shutting down compromised machines on their networks.

about 5 months ago

British Domain Registrar Offers 'No Transfer Fees,' Charges Transfer Fee

Spad Re:Typical corporation bullshit (77 comments)

Wrong country, please attempt troll again.

about 5 months ago

Microsoft's Security Products Will Block Adware By Default Starting On July 1

Spad Why? (177 comments)

Presumably because of a deal struck with one of those weasel-word named "industry associations" like the "Really Helpful Consumer Notification Group" that represent shitty companies that do shitty things and who probably went to Microsoft and said "we need X amount of time to make sure our products meet your new standards so they don't get blocked" for which you can read "we need some time to find a way around your blocking so we can continue being shitty".

about 5 months ago

GameSpy Multiplayer Shutting Down, Affecting Hundreds of Games

Spad Re:Why do companies buy then shutdown something (145 comments)

In situations where it's not blatantly trying to kill the competition, it's usually that someone unrelated to the industry in question buys a fairly popular but financially struggling service figuring "how hard can it be to make it profitable?" only to find out after a year or so that actually it's quite hard to make it profitable, which is why the previous owners couldn't do it, and now their options are to close it down or find some horribly insidious way to force money from its users, which invariably leads to a fairly quick death anyway a few months down the line.

about 5 months ago

China Prosecuted Internet Policeman In Paid Deletion Cases

Spad Re:Incomprehensible Headline (26 comments)

"You Won't Believe What This Chinese Internet Policeman Did For Money"

"14 Cool Posts Deleted By Corrupt Chinese Official"

"The Amazing Secret To Censoring Unwanted Blog Posts"

about 6 months ago

EU Votes For Universal Phone Charger

Spad Re:AKA the I HATE AMERICA ACT (358 comments)

Except that's how it was and not only did every manufacturer have their own proprietary charger, but they tended to change them every couple of handsets just to keep things interesting. Your options were either to carry your charger everywhere with you (which somewhat defeats the point of having a mobile phone) or just hope that if you needed to charge your phone outside of your house that someone nearby had exactly the same charger as you so you could borrow it.

That's on top of the extra waste generated when you can't keep your old charger for use with your new phone.

There's nothing to stop the standard from being changed in the future as technology advances, it just means that you won't have 30 different proprietary cables to pick from.

about 6 months ago

Crytek Ports CRYENGINE To Linux Support Ahead of Steam Machines Launch

Spad Re:A 10 year old rendering engine? (132 comments)

No, this is CRYENGINE not CryEngine.

It's basically CryEngine 4, but they decided to drop the number and capitalise the lot, apparently because of how big a departure it is from CryEngines 1 through 3.

about 6 months ago

Crytek Ports CRYENGINE To Linux Support Ahead of Steam Machines Launch

Spad Re:Linux sales figures (132 comments)

Remember that, in terms of Steam at least, the majority of - if not all - games that are available on multiple platforms only require a single purchase to allow you to play them on any of those platforms (much like Sony's Crossplay) so while they may not see direct "Linux sales" I would imagine that Valve provides them with stats to show which platforms the games are being *played* on, which is probably more useful here.

about 6 months ago

Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

Spad Re:Yes and No (860 comments)

XP is over 12 years old, that's one hell of a *free* long term support package. Is there any other OS available that has a 12 year support lifecycle? Ubuntu's LTS releases have a 5 year support cycle, Apple doesn't have a published official policy for OSX but it's about 4 years on average. RHEL comes the closest I can find at between 10 & 13 years depending on the version, but you have to pay for that so it's not directly comparable.

XP has had a pretty good run of it, all things considered and if Windows 8 wasn't such a PR mess, this "forced" upgrade would probably a lot less contentious.

about 6 months ago



Adobe Still Offering Insecure Reader For Download

Spad Spad writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Spad writes "Almost 2 months after Adobe released a patch for Acrobat Reader 9.3.0 to resolve the highly critical remote execution vulnerability, they're still offering 9.3.0 as the only option for download

So unless you run the Adobe Updater immediately after install (Which seems to have issues with UAC unless you explicitly launch Reader as an Administrator), or make the effort to find the patch to 9.3.1, your machine is going to be at risk every time you open a PDF and most people will have no idea they're running unpatched.

It's not the first time they've done it, either."

Spad Spad writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Spad writes "Zeropaid is reporting that as part of its ongoing lawsuit, the RIAA will be seeking the maximum $150,000 per song for each of the 11 million MP3s downloaded from the Russian between June and October last year. This amounts to $1.65 trillion, probably a tad more than AllofMP3 has made in its lifetime. A representative of AllofMP3 stated: "AllofMP3 understands that several U.S. record label companies filed a lawsuit against Media Services in New York. This suit is unjustified as AllofMP3 does not operate in New York. Certainly the labels are free to file any suit they wish, despite knowing full well that AllofMP3 operates legally in Russia. In the mean time, AllofMP3 plans to continue to operate legally and comply with all Russian laws.""


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