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Comments

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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 two weeks 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 three weeks 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 three weeks 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 a month 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 a month 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 1 month ago
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Clever Workaround: Visual Cryptography On Austrian Postage Stamps

oobayly Re:China (74 comments)

Now I didn't know that - I suppose that I'm just used to using Republic of Ireland (rather than "Southern Ireland", which really grates at me)

about a month ago
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Clever Workaround: Visual Cryptography On Austrian Postage Stamps

oobayly Re:China (74 comments)

That's rather a sweeping statement. Republic of Ireland anyone?

about a month ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

oobayly Re:Alternative explanation (398 comments)

Surely what you'd do is traceroute to the VPN server, which will show you where the packets leave the ISP network (as long as the VPN is outside of it), and then traceroute to Netflix via the VPN. The compare it do the route taken directly to Netflix.

about 2 months ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

oobayly Re: Alternative explanation (398 comments)

Have they started naming and shaming the ISPs who refuse to host a Netflix Open Connect box in their data centres?

about 2 months ago
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Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

oobayly Re:So (160 comments)

Or even a comparison with his brain activity when inactive.

about 2 months ago
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Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

oobayly Re:Millionare panhandlers (200 comments)

As a teenager in Dublin, I once needed change for a bus, so went into a shop and bought a sandwich. After walking past a beggar with a sign saying "need money for food", I thought "I don't really want this sandwich", so I gave it to him. That was one withering look he gave me.

about 2 months ago
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"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

oobayly Re:Cost (184 comments)

Don't worry, it'll come down in price:

The helmet runs for about $600,000, ... But Lockheed Martin hopes the cost will drop as production ramps up.

Yup, I can see production really ramping up for the F-35. Like most things in life, it's possibly to build something to do everything, just don't be upset when it does everything badly.

about 2 months ago
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The Psychology of Phishing

oobayly Re:well (128 comments)

They register domains similar enough to the company and often related (support-raytheon for example) so that even people that look for questionable URLs can be fooled.

This is also made harder with the use of CDNs nowadays. A while ago our office started receiving large numbers of "InterFax" notification with a download link. I don't know what a proper InterFax notification looks like, but as you said, they did look professional, and in some cases the URL didn't look too dissimilar to some CDN URLs we've used.

I tend to visit web pages used in phishing attacks for a couple of reasons. First, I like to input useless data. Second, I like to rate what sort of job the scammers did in cloning he web site - I always feel a little let down when I see dead links, as they didn't make the effort to duplicate all the pages linked to by the cloned login page. Seriously guys, put some effort into your scams - the work ethic of the criminal world is really dropping.

about 2 months ago
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Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

oobayly Re: Trusting a binary from Cisco (194 comments)

They're probably the same people who signed off the switches I bought. The same switches that conveniently changed into a hub* after a couple of months. Maybe they expected them to be rebooted constantly.

* Entries weren't being added to the ARP table, probably because of a timestamp overflow.

about 2 months ago
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China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

oobayly Re:How many broken parts trying to spin up? (219 comments)

Why wouldn't they:

... the second has been defined as the duration of 9192631770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom

It's clearly the obvious way to define time.

about 2 months ago
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UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters

oobayly Re:Sensible response by an ISP (115 comments)

I'm a little disappointed that they even ask about filtering - obviously it's something they've been forced to do, which is shit because having to have the ability to filter connections adds to their costs.

I might log onto IRC and ask if they can provide what percentage of customers actually ask for a filtered connection.

about 2 months ago
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UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters

oobayly Re:More inconvienient than the average filter. (115 comments)

I suggest blocking religious websites by default

Well, the stories the tell are loaded with sex and violence, and sometimes they even mix the two together - somebody should tell the Tories & Daily Mail readers, I bet they'd be furious.

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  |  about 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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