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Comments

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India Successfully Launches Region-Specific Navigation Satellite

oobayly Re:GPS (85 comments)

Not on the Block IIIA Satellites - DoD Permanently Discontinues Procurement Of Global Positioning System Selective Availability. Granted, they're not in the sky yet, but the US military already has the capability to deny GPS to specific areas, so they wouldn't need it anyway.

Remember, it was the FAA that was the force behind deactivating SA. Turning it back on now could well be more dangerous than just denying GPS and issuing a NOTAM.

4 days ago
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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

oobayly Re:Oh great (546 comments)

How the hell is that 7 word phrase with punctuation (I'll ignore the case, as only the first word is capitalised) susceptible to a dictionary attack?

If I tell you that my password contains 7 words (contained in my /usr/share/dict/words which is 99171 lines long), with a comma after the 3rd and a full stop at the end, you will still have to search through 94,339,343,028,749,422,154,850,189,341,666,091 (9.4E34) combinations - best get cracking. If I'm even nicer to you and tell you that none of the words are repeated, then there are only 94,319,367,837,042,826,040,647,505,756,227,200 (9.4E34). It turns out that when I'm being nice, I'm not being that helpful.

I do use random alphanumeric passwords, because I can remember quite a few of them - it takes a while to remember them and it's massively annoying when I have to change one.

However for my company's keepass file, I use a pass-phrase that is an incorrect quotation from a well know poem - go on, have a guess.

about two weeks ago
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PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

oobayly Re:but (367 comments)

They're overrated - getting all the spokes out of the carcase is worse than plucking a pheasant any day. Also, the thighs don't tend to have much meat on them.

about two weeks ago
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Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

oobayly Re:And Java fail again (349 comments)

No, the search string was:

if(version,startswith("windows 9")

I'm guessing the person who ran the search made the assumption the search engine query is comma delimited, but was in fact space delimited.

about three weeks ago
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Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

oobayly Re:And Java fail again (349 comments)

I noticed the abundance of java files too, searchcode.com seems to match a whole load of Python files which don't even match the search string - go figure. However I wouldn't really call it observational bias - you run a search for a piece of text and you see a correlation in the results. The code fragment being searched for is "fairly" language neutral - it would match most CLR languages in addition to java, javascript, python etc. What's more interesting is why the OS detection is being done in the first place - the cynic in me says it's probably because they're using the OS version to make assumptions about file system locations.

On the plus side, some of the java files are checking the version number as well as the OS name, so at least that's something.

about three weeks ago
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Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

oobayly Re:This is Java code (349 comments)

Shame there's not some method for inserting plain text into code that will explain what you're doing, but has no effect on the actual compiled application. Maybe we could call them comments or something.

Or maybe there's some way of referencing a number, but with a name which describes what the number is so that it can be reused. It's be great if you could guarantee that the number couldn't be changed. Hmm, what could we call that?

about three weeks ago
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Piracy Police Chief Calls For State Interference To Stop Internet "Anarchy"

oobayly Re:Anarchy??? (302 comments)

Brilliant - I normally check the links, but this time I *assumed* I'd copied and pasted it correctly,

about three weeks ago
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Mysterious Feature Appears and Disappears In a Sea On Titan

oobayly Re:subsurface terrain & tides (65 comments)

The Bramble Bank in the central Solent does the same. It's also the location for an annual cricket match. I've hit it numerous time when racing, but never actually seen it.

about three weeks ago
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CEO of Spyware Maker Arrested For Enabling Stalkers

oobayly Re:ok, next up (195 comments)

The argument may be tired because it keeps being dragged out. it's certainly not tired of being incorrect though. I'd like to see a world where it can retire in peace, living out its days in a wicker chair with a rug over it's legs telling the youth "you've never had it so good".

about three weeks ago
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Piracy Police Chief Calls For State Interference To Stop Internet "Anarchy"

oobayly Re:Anarchy??? (302 comments)

Also known as Muphry's Law.

about three weeks ago
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The Physics of Space Battles

oobayly Re:That depends upon the writer. (470 comments)

The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea.
They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall
mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by
small robots. And as you go forth today remember always your duty is
clear: To build and maintain those robots. Thank you.

-- Military school Commandant's graduation address

about three weeks ago
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Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

oobayly Re:30-46% less force is required to deform?! (304 comments)

No, but customers who have bought previous versions will have an expectation that the new one will survive being used (and abused) in the same manner as their old phone.

If I'm used to putting my phone into the same pocket as my wallet (which is rounded with change)*, then it's *somewhat* reasonable to expect to be able to do as before.

* I've never that done because I've never wanted to risk damaging my phone. However I did damage an old resistive touchscreen WinMobile phone in my [non-skinny] jeans pocket because of too much pressure from my leg, so I learnt early on to be careful.

about three weeks ago
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Two Explorers Descend Into An Active Volcano, and Live to Tell About It

oobayly The last sentence of the summary is spot on (66 comments)

I am so full of envy right now, with a generous side order of awe. Watch that actually brought a tear to my eye.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

oobayly Re:Stick Shift transmissions. (635 comments)

I drive in the UK too, and that was my feeling not too long ago. Sure, driving a manual is a good skill to know, and one the can deteriorate rapidly (after driving my dad's Disco for a week or two, getting back into my car takes a few miles to get comfortable again), but my point is that the DSG and DCT gearboxes *can* really improve your driving experience. However saying "I'd never have an automatic" is [imo] saying that just because the original tech was inferior, any subsequent devices will remain being inferior. That said, there are still automatic boxes out there nicknamed "suicide boxes" because they were so laggy that the delay could kill you when pulling out in traffic - but [like most things in life] don't tar subsequent generations with the same brush.

The only analogy I can think of at the moment is this - I refuse to use modern calculators because the original electronic calculators were more cumbersome and slower to use than a slide rule - "I'd never have a electronic calculator".

Technology progresses [generally for the better] and I personally feel it's daft to ignore improvements because of previous failures.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

oobayly Re:Stick Shift transmissions. (635 comments)

I was talking to a friend about this - my current car is a manual, but all of the Dual Clutch automatic transmissions I've driven are amazing (Audi DSG, BMW DCT). There's no comparison to my Dad's automatic Discovery (which takes an age to change gear). Put a set of flappy paddles on the steering wheel and you've got the gear control you're used to with much faster shift times (DSG is apparently 8ms - you've changed gear before the your foot would have touched the clutch). I'm also actively trying to get my mum to get a manual - it's scary when she flails around with gears after pulling out on a roundabout - at some stage she'll get hit by a lorry.

For the people that claim to be driving purists, maybe they should go back to manual chokes and non-synchronous transmissions.

about 2 months ago
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The 2014 Hugo Awards

oobayly Re:Informative winners list (180 comments)

Yes, they were from the 70s. The reason I bought the book was exactly because of Asimov. It's possible that the stories he liked were nothing like his writing (which I love).

about 2 months ago
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The 2014 Hugo Awards

oobayly Re:Informative winners list (180 comments)

I wholeheartedly agree - I picked up a collection of Hugo Award winners, as edited by Isaac Asimov - I found the writing incredibly pretentious and the stories almost seemed to take a back seat. They were a massive disappointment to me.

about 2 months ago
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Fighting Invasive Fish With Forks and Knives

oobayly Re:Yum. (180 comments)

It's not a bad idea - in the UK the grey squirrels introduced from North America have caused havoc with the native red squirrel, it turns out they're quite tasty too - a local restaurant serves shredded squirrel meat. Same (apparently) goes for the signal crayfish that were introduced here.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Some company in Belize tried to trademark "MH17" and "MH370"

oobayly oobayly writes  |  about 2 months ago

oobayly (1056050) writes "The Guardian reports that a company in Belize has filed to trademark MH17 and MH370 — full article on Coconuts Kuala Lumpur. The application MH17 was filed on 17th July 2014 — the same day as the disaster occurred, whereas the application for MH370 was filed on 2nd May 2014 — almost two months after the flight disappeared.

The application for "MH17" was filed on the European Trade Mark and Design Network website, while details for the "MH370" application was found on the Justia Trademarks site.

The scope of the application is also wide ranging:

From conferences, exhibitions and competitions; to education and instruction, and entertainment services (namely, the provision of continuing programmes, segments, movies, and shows delivered by television, radio, satellite and the Internet).

Clearly, this is cynical way of attempting to collect (I hesitate to use the word "earn") money from the reporting of Malaysian Airlines two disasters, however, does this actually have any merit? Seeing as the MH17 trademark application has been filed in Europe — the region from where most of the victims came from, it seems highly unlikely, but past experience tells us that we can't make any assumptions."

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Bruce Willis 'considering iTunes legal action' against Apple

oobayly oobayly writes  |  more than 2 years ago

oobayly (1056050) writes "It appears that Bruce "Die Hard" Willis isn't too impressed that he can't include his iTunes collection in his estate when he dies.

Bruce Willis, the Hollywood actor, is said to be considering legal action against Apple so he can leave his iTunes music collection to his three daughters.

Such a high profile individual complaining about the ability to own your digital music can only be a good thing, right? I suggest that also assaulting Cupertino in a dirty white vest would do the job."
Link to Original Source

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Arizona drivers say no to Gatso cameras

oobayly oobayly writes  |  more than 4 years ago

oobayly (1056050) writes "The Daily Telegraph reports that Arizona drivers are ignoring tickets being issued by UK style fixed speeding cameras. It appears that as the fines are not being delivered in person it's possible for them to be ignored as there's no proof of receipt. Judges appear to be agreeing with this (in the US anyway).
Why can't we use the same excuse here in the UK?"

Link to Original Source
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Estate of Philip K. Dick to sue Google.

oobayly oobayly writes  |  more than 4 years ago

oobayly (1056050) writes "The Daily Telegraph reports that the estate of science fiction author Philip K. Dick is sueing Google for copying the name Nexus Six for their new Android phone. There's no evidence that the estate has trademarked Nexus Six in regards to mobile phones, so what case could they have and what solicitor would take up this case?
As an owner of Philip K. Dick books & an Android developer I never saw the connection (sad but true), and even though Google say it's nothing to do with Do androids dream of electric sheep I see it as a geeky nod to the authors work, essentially memorialising him."

Link to Original Source
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The legality of publishing email addresses.

oobayly oobayly writes  |  more than 4 years ago

oobayly (1056050) writes "Like most people I receive a fair amount of chain emails, some humourous, most downright idiotic. No matter how I try educating colleagues, family & friends, I still receive them and am now resigned to the fact that you just can't help some people.
One of my explanations of why forwarding these emails is a bad idea was that they are a perfect harvesting ground for spammers: a very high percentage of the addresses will be live. This, it turned out fell upon deaf ears. If you're stupid enough to believe that Dell will give you a free laptop then you're probably the type of person that believes that a Nigerian general wants to give you $150,000,000 (ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS!!!!).

As a bit of an experiment, I used a few tools (grep, awk, etc) to parse my Maildir for any emails that appeared to have been forwarded and extracted anything that looked like an email address. As one would imagine there were a good few (thousand) email addresses. Most of these email addresses belong to innocent by-standers. The real culprits are the people who forward them, and it takes only a little more effort to extract only those.

Part of me has decided these people who waste bandwidth, time and have caused me to lose my hair deserve to pay. What better way to do it than to publish their email addresses for spammers to harvest?

Of course, this is unethical, but is it actually illegal? By sending an email urging others to forward the content, are they not actively pushing their details into the public domain?

Answers on postcards please."

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