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Comments

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New Zealand's Hackable Transport Card Grants Free Bus Rides

pdcull They did have some other priorities... (96 comments)

Although there is no excuse for lousy security, the "security hobbyist" did fail to mention in the article that the city was hit by an earthquake in February 2011, which mostly destroyed the central city. I suspect that might have more to do with Ecan's delay in implementing a new system, rather than just "they wanted a new flashy-looking website".

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is the Best Way To Add Forums To a Website?

pdcull Re:Simple Machines Forum (259 comments)

Bummer, why do I always see the typos after previewing and submitting? That should have been "I wouldn't say that it's totally customizable"... Also their site seems slashdotted at the moment (has someone already posted a link here or is that just coincidence)?

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is the Best Way To Add Forums To a Website?

pdcull Simple Machines Forum (259 comments)

I've been using Simple Machines Forum for a number of years, and although I would say that it's totally customizable, there are number of templates and adds for it, it's very stable, and has worked great for me. And it's free, although it's a always a good idea to become a through $50 a year at them and become a charter member (having said that, I think I've let my charter membership lapse at the moment!). Development seems very slow, with releases few and far between; however I'm still very pleased that I chose SMF when I went looking for forum software.

about 2 years ago
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Amazon Patents Deducing Religion From Gift Wrap

pdcull Re:Right... (164 comments)

Wouldn't just the date of the present-giving be more of a give-away than the type of wrapping paper?

more than 2 years ago
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Interpol Issues Wanted Notice For Julian Assange

pdcull Re:He should hide out in Brazil (1020 comments)

Oh bummer, finger trouble and firefox freezes... that should have read:

Successful thieves don't steal a little and hope that nobody finds out - they steal so much that, even though everybody knows, they can't be punished. Brazilians talk about "rouba mas faz" - he steals but does something - which I suppose it still better than "steals and does nothing for the country".

This guy was the highest voted Federal Congressman in 2006, although this time round an illiterate clown took first place.

more than 3 years ago
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Interpol Issues Wanted Notice For Julian Assange

pdcull Re:He should hide out in Brazil (1020 comments)

Successful thieves don't steal a little and hope that nobody finds out - they steal so much that, even though everybody knows, they can't be punished. Brazilians talk about "rouba mas faz" - he steals but does something - which I suppose it still better than "steals and does nothing for the country". This guy was the in 2006, although this time round an illiterate clown" took first place.

more than 3 years ago
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Medieval Copy Protection

pdcull Re:That's not copy protection (226 comments)

That story - or one very similar - is in the book "How the Irish saved civilization" by Thomas Cahill (chapter 6), where a monk named Columcille made an unauthorized copy of a psalter that belonged to the Bishop Finian of Clonard. The dispute as to whether he could keep the unauthorized copy was resolved by the King Diarmait, whose decision in history’s first copyright case was logical: "To every cow her calf; to every book its copy". However, for some reason the RIAA must have existed in some medieval variant, and Columcille was forced to return the copy to Finian, and the story ends with Columcille's not-so-pacifistic followers defeating Diarmait’s soldiers in battle, and the copied psalter, henceforth known as the “Cathach” or Warrior, returning to Columcille, which I guess is one way to resolve copyright disputes!

more than 4 years ago
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AOL Shuts Down CompuServe

pdcull Re:Migrating from CompuServe (224 comments)

Oh, and 100242,1513 too by the way... I think I signed up around 1993. I remember taking my notebook to a bar inside what was then the most violent slum in Rio de Janeiro city, Santa Marta, to use their telephone to dial in... somehow the system worked enough for me to send and receive emails. And then worrying about whether the drug lords were wanting a computer or whether the police would steal it from me during a raid... .those were the days! Paul

more than 5 years ago
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AOL Shuts Down CompuServe

pdcull Re:Migrating from CompuServe (224 comments)

I recently used a product called CS2OutlookExpress from CS2Exchange to import from WinCim, through Outlook Express, into Outlook 2003. It cost me $25 but worked great and now means that I have my ancient history available once again. Paul

more than 5 years ago
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Online Website Backup Options?

pdcull Thanks for your comments... (173 comments)

Hi everyone, I didn't mention in my question that where I'm living (Rio de Janeiro slum) there aren't that many options for internet access. Also, as all my sites are my very much not-for-profit, I'm limited as to how much I can spend on my hosting plan. I've been using Lunarpages for a number of years now, and generally find them very good, although if I stupidly overwrite a file, or want to go back to a previous version of something, I'm out of luck. As I am a lazy (read time-challenged) individual, I tend to use Pmwiki and maintain my sites online, hence my need for regular, physical backups. Anyway, thanks everyone for your help, I still can't help thinking that somebody must be able to make a pile of cash offering such as service to non-techie site owners...

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Software bug caused Qantas Airbus A330 to nose-div

pdcull pdcull writes  |  more than 2 years ago

pdcull writes "According to this article, the Australian Transport Safety Board found that a software bug was responsible for a Qantas Airbus A330 nose-diving twice while at cruising altitude, injuring 12 people seriously and causing 39 to be taken to hospital.

The event, which happened three years ago, was found to be caused by an airspeed sensor malfunction, linked to a bug in an algorithm which 'translated the sensors' data into actions, where the flight control computer could put the plane into a nosedive using bad data from just one sensor.' A software updated was installed in November 2009, and the ATSB concluded that 'as a result of this redesign, passengers, crew and operators can be confident that the same type of accident will not reoccur.'

I can't help wondering just how could a piece of code, which presumable didn't test its' input data for validity before acting on it, become part of a modern jet's onboard software suit?"
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World cup predication failures

pdcull pdcull writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pdcull (469825) writes "We all read on Slashdot about the investiment banks using their massive computer power and clever modelling techniques to predicate the FIFA World Cup outcome. Now that Goldman Sachs', UBS' and Danske Bank's favorite, Brazil, has been eliminated, and with JP Morgan's England long gone, the question that begs to be asked is: can we really trust these guys to predict the financial markets any better than they did World Cup?"
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Brazilian police puzzled by ATM robbery

pdcull pdcull writes  |  about 5 years ago

pdcull writes "According to this article (in Portuguese) or it's translation here, São Paulo police are puzzled by the theft of nearly R$150,000 (US $80,000) from a branch of the Banco do Brasil.

From the article: "Remaing from the invasion over the weekend are two unusable ATMs and a mystery for the police: how the criminals managed to withdraw R$147,950.00 without damaging the machines. The bank suspects that the thieves had connected a portable computer to the cables from the ATMs. With this they managed to invade the system and withdraw the money". It sounds a lot different from the normal Brazilian ATM smash-and-grab, which usually involve trucks and machine guns."

Link to Original Source
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Online website backup options

pdcull pdcull writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pdcull writes "I can't be the only person on the planet who has this problem: I have a couple of websites, with around 2 gigabytes of space in use on my hosting provider, plus a few MySQL databases. I need to keep up-to-date backups, as my host provides only minimum backup provisions, however with a internet connection which gets to 150 Kbits on a very good day, there is no way that I can guarantee a decent backup on my home PC using FTP transfer software.

So my question is: does somebody provide an online service where I can feed them a URL, an FTP password and some money, and they will post me DVDs with my web site on them? If such services already exist (and the closest I found was a site which promised to send me CDs and had a special deal for customers which expired in June!), has anybody had experience with them which they could share? Any recommendations of services to use or avoid?"

Link to Original Source
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Latest XP update kills Zone Alarm firewall

pdcull pdcull writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pdcull writes "I can't have been the only XP user to suffer a sudden lose of internet connectivity today after Microsoft kindly automatically "upgraded" my XP. According to the Zone Alarm front page and this press release the Microsoft update KB951748 may cause a "sudden loss of internet access" in conjunction with the Zone Alarm firewall. The recommended solution is to download the latest version of Zone Alarm firewall, although only the paid version appears to be available at the moment. Can anyone recommend another good free firewall? I just tried to install PC Tools but it my XP freezes on boot with it so I had to uninstall it..."
Link to Original Source
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Counterstrike and Everquest outlawed in Brazil

pdcull pdcull writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pdcull writes "According to this news article (in Portuguese), a decision by the 17th Federal Justice Branch in the state of Minas Gerais has confirmed a previous judge's decision, from June last year, to outlaw the distribution and sale of Counter-Strike and Everquest within Brazil. The Consumer Protection Department in the state of Goiás started seizing copies of these games yesterday, according to whom the games are considered "harmful to the consumers' health".

According to the judge, the games "incite violence, propagating the idea that the weakest must succumb to the strongest, dissimating pleasure through pain, hate and death." The CS-Rio mod, which simulates gun battles between police and drug dealers in Rio's slums, was considered to be especially harmful.

The judge's decree determines that that all copies of the game that are for sale be seized, and sets a fine of R$5,000 (around US $2,800) per day for those who continue to sell or import them. The judge's decision was partly based in a previous judge's recommendation to also ban Mortal Kombat, Duke Nukem, Blood, Requiem, Doom and Postal."

Link to Original Source
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New Zealand anti-spam operation

pdcull pdcull writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pdcull writes "New Zealand news site Stuff is reporting that two businessmen were "interviewed" and twenty-two computers seized in what is believed to be the country's first anti-spam operation:

The Internal Affairs Department's anti-spam unit executed four search warrants simulataneously, seizing 22 computers and boxes of documents from four Christchurch addresses. Anti-spam investigators interviewed two Christchurch businessmen as part of the operation, the result of two-months of work with international agencies, Internal Affairs deputy secretary Keith Manch said.
The article states that the operation had to be rushed due the BBC publishing this article which could have alerted the spammers that their location had been identified as being in New Zealand's South Island."

Link to Original Source
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Skype outage continues

pdcull pdcull writes  |  more than 7 years ago

pdcull writes "I'm surprised that the first news I received about Skype's big outage didn't come from Slashdot. It appears that since yesterday the service has been offline, and that only recently have users been able to start logging in again.

The Skype heartbeat blog says that the outage was not caused by a recent site upgrade nor by hackers, however it doesn't give any clues as to what may have been the reason."

Link to Original Source
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pdcull pdcull writes  |  more than 7 years ago

pdcull writes "According to this news article, the New Zealand government will permit secondary school students to use "text speak" (abbreviations commonly used in SMS text messages) in national certification exams, although they won't be permitted in the English language exams.

Is this the beginning of the end of the English language as we know and love it (or at least the kiwi version thereof)?"

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