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Comment Re:Duh... (Score -1, Offtopic) 109

Or... more people could start taking my advice as offered here:


And as I tried for unsuccessfully here:


(I really need to run some more experiments along these lines...)

I think I just had an idea to promote this...

Check this newly created Facebook group to see the idea begin and grow...


all the best,


United Kingdom

UK Govt's Expensive Mobile Coverage Project Builds Just 8 Masts In 4 Years 75

An anonymous reader points out a dismal report at The Register on a project intended by the UK government to connect lots of internet have-nots, but which has so far not accomplished as much as hoped. The Mobile Infrastructure Project is intended to provide last-mile connectivity, but the project has languished, and fallen short of its promises. This year, Department for Culture, Media and Sport has managed to erect only six masts, which can serve about 200 homes apiece. Originally more than 575 sites had been commissioned, following the publication of the “no coverage” database by watchdog Ofcom. At the rate seen so far of four masts a year it will take over 140 years to complete the £150m Mobile Infrastructure Project. The original deadline was to to have all the sites equipped and live by the end of 2015. However, that deadline was extended to March 2016 to "ensure that benefits of the program are maximized."

POS Vendor Uses Same Short, Numeric Password Non-Stop Since 1990 128

mask.of.sanity writes: Fraud fighters David Byrne and Charles Henderson say one of the world's largest Point of Sale systems vendors has been slapping the same default passwords – 166816 – on its kit since 1990. Worse still: about 90 per cent of customers are still using the password. Fraudsters would need physical access to the PoS in question to exploit it by opening a panel using a paperclip. But such physical PoS attacks are not uncommon and are child's play for malicious staff. Criminals won't pause before popping and unlocking. The enraged pair badged the unnamed PoS vendor by its other acronym labelling it 'Piece of S***t.

Nuclear Fusion Simulator Among Software Picked For US's Summit Supercomputer 57

An anonymous reader writes Today, The Register has learned of 13 science projects approved by boffins at the US Department of Energy to run on the 300-petaFLOPS Summit. These software packages, selected for the Center for Accelerated Application Readiness (CAAR) program, will be ported to the massive parallel machine, and are hoped to make full use of the supercomputer's architecture.They range from astrophysics, biophysics, chemistry, and climate modeling to combustion engineering, materials science, nuclear physics, plasma physics and seismology.

Comment It's been done. Now, it'll just be done more. (Score 1) 207

I know several bike groups here in the UK who keep old machines running with the help of some friendly light engineering firms. Certain parts are no longer available. Simple parts, like headlamp brackets, or exhaust clips, but with the mounting holes in *just* the right places. So, from time to time, one of the Panther user groups, or MZ user groups will take an intact part to a small manufacturing firm and ask for 25 or 50 of these - enough to make it worth their while setting up the tools to produce them; not so much as to be stuck with tons of them. Then put in the next newsletter that they're ready, and watch as people request one and a couple of spares for the next time it breaks. With 3D printers available, a lot of these will end up getting scanned, and printed out as required.

I also remember reading an article that said 3D printing won't impact big business, because what it'll make the most is Things Only I Want. Scan my hand, then make me a coffee mug that fits it *perfectly*. A set of spectacle frames that match my eye distance and my different height ears, to the millimetre. Ice trays that make ice in the shape of the Buckaroo Banzai logo. Nobody makes these - nobody could, at least not profitably. Some people have the manual dexterity and wood/metalworking skills to do these things for themselves. I'm not among their number. All of a sudden, I can have things custom-made to my specifications without it costing a fortune.

I can see that catching on massively, and when it does, all the legislation in the world won't even slow it down.

Google, Amazon, Microsoft Reportedly Paid AdBlock Plus To Unblock 619

RoccamOccam writes with the following news from The Register: Internet giants Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Taboola have reportedly paid AdBlock Plus to allow their ads to pass through its filter software. The confidential deals were confirmed by the Financial Times, the paper reported today [Paywalled]. From the Register's article: Eyeo GmbH, the German startup behind Adblock Plus, said it did not wish to comment. So far more than 300 million users have downloaded its software, it said. The add-on is free to download, with Eyeo generating revenue through its "whitelisting" programme. Companies can request their ads to be unblocked as long as they comply with AdBlock's "acceptable ads" policy. Large companies pay a fee for the service.

Comment While you're promising me shit... (Score 2) 132

can I have a unicorn, please? Local exchange has been 'enabled' since June 2013, but I don't know anyone who can actually get Infinity in my town. I live a mile from the exchange, and 100 yards from the cabinet, and am still on standard broadband.

The story keeps changing, too, whenever I talk to BT. First it was that the cabinet hadn't been upgraded, then that it couldn't be upgraded, and now it's because fuck you, that's why. Their website says they cover two-thirds of the UK (which is a weird definition of 'most', but I suppose it is greater than 50%), but it also says (in paraphrase) that if you live more than 300 feet from an exchange, forget it. Lots of the UK, and especially Scotland, is still pretty rural, so I don't expect to see anything better than broadband any time this decade.

So while I'd welcome the service they claim to be offering, the fact that they haven't managed to deliver the original service to about 40% of the UK yet, does make me wonder if it'll ever actually materialise.

Your High School Wants You To Install Snapchat 157

Bennett Haselton writes: They would never admit it, but your high school admins would probably breathe a sigh of relief if all of their sexting-mad students would go ahead and install Snapchat so that evidence of (sometimes) illegal sexting would disappear into the ether. They can't recommend that you do this, because it would sound like an implicit endorsement, just like they can't recommend designated drivers for teen drinking parties -- but it's a good bet they would be grateful. Read on for the rest.

Tor Network May Be Attacked, Says Project Leader 86

Earthquake Retrofit writes The Register is reporting that the Tor Project has warned that its network – used to mask peoples' identities on the internet – may be knocked offline in the coming days. In a Tor blog post, project leader Roger 'arma' Dingledine said an unnamed group may seize Tor's directory authority servers before the end of next week. These servers distribute the official lists of relays in the network, which are the systems that route users' traffic around the world to obfuscate their internet connections' public IP addresses.

Comment Problem - we live in the future. (Score 2) 368

This morning, the radio switched itself on and gently brought me awake with the news. After 10 minutes, I rolled out from under the duvet and reflected how the money we'd spent on that memory foam mattress had been totally worth it. 5 minutes in the shower saw me both cleaner and more awake in equal measure, and I rapped on my son's door as I went past. I'm sure he was on the Xbox until 3:00 a.m., and he knows it's a uni day, but there was no response. I made some scrambled eggs in the microwave, and by the time the toast had popped and the kettle had boiled for a cup of instant, I felt almost human. The bus stop isn't far from my house, and I paid my £3 and took my seat. My phone picked up the wi-fi automatically, so I pointed my browser at the BBC and started streaming an episode of ISIRTA I hadn't heard, before settling in for a few games of Angry Birds. Halfway to work, the sun was rising over the Pentlands, so I grabbed a couple of quick shots, and updated my facebook status.

When I got to work, I flashed my badge at the building and it let me in. I'd checked the rota the night before and knew I was gutter rat this week- cleaning up the messes, so I downloaded the overnight error logs to my workstation and got busy tracing batch script failures. Peter, Mandy and Eddie were already there, but my team leader, Meera, was off ill, so I covered her phone. 3 cappuccinos, and 16 error logs later it was lunchtime, and I'd been so busy, I hadn't even gone out for a cigarette.

A normal morning, slightly compressed to fit everything in. There's a lot in there. Socio-economic status, employment, I'm old enough to have a son at university, the fact that my immediate boss is both female and non-Caucasian, no smoking in the building. The team's split roughly equally on gender lines. Eddie's gay, but that won't enter into the story so I'll never mention it. There's a lot of implicit assumptions - the reader will know what an Xbox is, cultural references. Never mind 100 years, you only have to roll it back 10 years for the 'Angry Birds' and 'Facebook' items to have no intrinsic meaning. Roll it back just 50 and we lose 'Xbox', 'microwave', 'memory foam', 'wi-fi', 'browser' as words, and the concepts that go along with their use. And how would I take shots of the sunrise without a camera? 'Streaming' is still a word, but the context is missing. And in 1964, the idea that my boss at any job, let alone a technical one, would be female and non-Caucasian, would be pretty unusual. Why would I leave the building for a cigarette? And what's with £3 for bus fare to work - where do I live, the Outer Hebrides? How did I get cappuccinos at work? Why have I got a phone on a bus?

We live in a world that would have largely been science fiction just 50 years ago. Extrapolating was hard then, and harder now. You don't need the Singularity or a post-scarcity economy to mess things up, just the micro-processor and the Internet. Nobody saw them coming. The changes they've brought have been so staggering in magnitude that it makes it all the more obvious that attempting to predict the future changes is getting sillier all the time.

Mr Stross writes lovely Mythos stories, and Accelerando is pretty good. But the one I'm trying to read at the moment, about the immortal robots all pretending to be human after the humans all died out is purely fucking tedious. It's super-futuristic, and the hard science of long, boring planetary travel is well done, but I can't remember its name right now, or the main character, and that never bodes well.

18th Century Law Dredged Up To Force Decryption of Devices 446

Cognitive Dissident writes The Register has a story about federal prosecutors using a law signed by George Washington to force manufacturers to help law enforcement access encrypted data on devices they manufacture. The All Writs Act is a broad statute simply authorizing courts to issue any order necessary to obtain information within their jurisdiction. Quoting the Register article: "Last month, New York prosecutors successfully persuaded a judge that the ancient law could be used to force an unnamed smartphone manufacturer to help unlock a phone allegedly used in a credit card fraud case. The judge ordered the manufacturer to offer 'reasonable technical assistance' to make the phone's contents available." What will happen when this collides with Apple and Google deliberately creating encryption that they themselves cannot break?

Can Ello Legally Promise To Remain Ad-Free? 153

Bennett Haselton writes: Social networking company Ello has converted itself to a Public Benefit Corporation, bound by a charter saying that they will not now, nor in the future, make money by running advertisements or selling user data. Ello had followed these policies from the outset, but skeptics worried that venture capitalist investors might pressure Ello to change those policies, so this binding commitment was meant to assuage those fears. But is the commitment really legally binding and enforceable down the road? Read on for the rest.