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Comment: Re:Exploited procedural loophole (Score 1) 329

by Cyberdyne (#47559675) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

The two times I've had in-store card referrals (high value transactions: the first time was buying a P3 laptop, which was quite high end in those days; the second was furnishing a new apartment after moving to Houston), I'm pretty sure it was the issuing bank ultimately handling the call - I can't imagine the bank would have transferred the personal information they were asking for as a security check to the merchant services provider: past unlisted contact details, previous transactions etc. I suspect the call may have been transferred to them, though, rather than called directly.

I had a similar issue this year with British Telecom working on a broadband fault. The service manager wanted to speak directly to the field engineer working on the fault (different divisions: the engineer's BT Openreach, the manager was BT Wholesale) - but the Openreach guy said he couldn't call the Wholesale one directly. So, the Wholesale one called my number and asked to speak to him ...

Comment: shift of blame. (Score 1) 329

by Cyberdyne (#47559595) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

it is the retailer who is supposed to make the call to the financial institution on the retailer's own phone line

To be fair, the Apple Store staff tried phoning on their own iPhones first, but none of them could figure out how to hold it to get a signal, so they had to borrow the customer's phone instead...

Comment: Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (Score 1) 200

by Cyberdyne (#47392191) Attached to: The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

I say try because in a battle between a jet engine with the power to push 400 tons of steel into the sky VS a drone I'm going to put my money on the jet engine lasting long enough for them to turn around and land again.

You might want to rethink that after being reminded of jet airliners being brought down by birds - not an ounce of metallic content, just a few pounds of meat and soft lightweight bones - or the 747 which almost crashed after all four engines failed from ingesting some ash. (Fortunately, they happened to be relatively near an airport and were high enough to glide for over a hundred miles, which bought them just enough time to restart an engine while they had been preparing to ditch in the ocean, buying them enough time to limp to the nearest runway - although all four engines were damaged beyond repair.)

For that matter, the French Concorde which crashed in 2000 was destroyed by a single thin strip of metal, 17 inches long and just over an inch wide, less than four ounces: essentially, a slightly larger than average metal ruler. It didn't even go into an engine, it just burst a tire - violently enough that the ten pound lump of rubber ruptured the wing and number 5 fuel tank, causing the crash which killed everyone on board.

That was a single 4 oz strip of metal hitting a tire. A pound of bolts or nails will destroy the engine - or a metal drone engine that size.

Comment: Re:Annoying. (Score 1) 347

A business called "BT Wholesale / aka OpenReach"

Actually, BT Wholesale is a separate unit from Openreach. Openreach manages the 'final mile' services: all the copper wire, the local exchange buildings, and some but not all of the equipment in there. A few UK ISPs build their services on top of Openreach's products directly: TalkTalk and Sky, for example, went and installed their own DSLAMs in those exchange buildings, paying Openreach to connect the copper wires to them. BT Wholesale also takes those Openreach products, adds in their own national backbone and offers a service to other ISPs: they'll install a fast fibre backbone link to the ISP's premises/facilities, and connect the customers through that to the ISP.

This can cause problems; my own ISP is a BT Wholesale customer, so when I had a fault earlier this year they had to report it to BT Wholesale, who passed it on to Openreach to deal with. Openreach came out and tested their bit - my phone line, and the VDSL equipment on each end - and found nothing wrong there, so closed the fault. After six visits, BT Wholesale (or rather, BT TSOps and the Adhara Ops team at Adastral Park, where the fault got escalated to in the end) eventually found the problem was on their own backbone (a faulty router was corrupting traffic between certain IP addresses - one of which happened to be a core router at my ISP).

I agree with the overall approach, though, having a separate and regulated entity run just the local loop portion. (In practice, Openreach is still a part of BT - hence I got a sales pitch from at least one of the six Openreach engineers about BT Retail being a better option. Against all the rules - Openreach are officially supposed to be neutral - but could that ever really happen in practice while they're still the same company?)

Comment: Re:About time! (Score 2) 306

by Cyberdyne (#46827511) Attached to: ARIN Is Down To the Last<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/8 of IPv4 Addresses

Others such as Eli Lily or the UK Gov Dept of Pensions really don't need so many addresses

Someone in the UK government pointed that out recently - it turns out that "Dept of Pensions" allocation is actually used across most of the government as some sort of VPN extranet with various external contractors. Apparently, since they all use different RFC1918 blocks internally, they can't all be VPNed into any single RFC1918 block: they needed a globally-unique block for that purpose.

British Telecom uses the 30.0.0.0/8 block for managing all their customer modems - that block is actually allocated to the US DoD, but they don't allow external access to it anyway, so there's nothing to stop you using that block internally yourself as long as you don't need to communicate with any other networks using the same trick. Better than wasting an entire /8 of global address space just for internal administrative systems - or a /9, like Comcast grabbed back in 2010.

My inner geek - who cares about efficiency - would love to see all the legacy blocks revoked. I'm sure the DoD could use 10/8 instead of 30/8 quite easily for their non-routed block; the universities could easily fit in a /16 instead of a /8, or smaller with a bit of NAT. Still, we should be moving to IPv6 instead now: give each university and ISP a /48, or /32 for big complex networks needing multiple layers. I just have a nasty feeling we're in for a long time of CGNAT spreading instead - where we currently have ISPs that don't offer static IP addresses, in a few years they'll be refusing to issue anything other than a NATted 100.64/16 address.

Comment: Re:adware is malware (Score 4, Insightful) 177

I wonder when microsoft will get around to getting their vendors to stop accepting kickbacks for shitty adware on new systems.
This practice is one of the reasons why I still build my own desktop systems. Getting rid of the junk is a massive hassle, and restoration of the system from partition brings it all back.

I hate the usual crap that gets shovelled on too, but to be fair Microsoft have apparently been pushing against that for a few years now for exactly that reason. Of course, they need to tread carefully there for legal reasons: if they block, say, Dell bundling a limited-time version of Norton Anti-virus, Dell won't be happy (they lose the $5 or whatever kickback) and Symantec will probably lawyer up and come knocking, particularly with Microsoft offering their own AV product now. Remember all the fallout when they killed off Netscape, when they stopped IBM from bundling OS/2 as a dual-boot setup with Windows? We both know this is different, but Microsoft's lawyers are apparently paranoid about crossing that line again.
I'm told they also offer crapware-free machines in their own stores, which makes sense. I just wish they'd make OEMs ship a plain vanilla Windows install disk like they used to, no more "restore" BS - so anyone wanting a clean machine can just re-install.

Comment: Re:ACARS (Score 1) 491

by Cyberdyne (#46565509) Attached to: How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370

The article does not make it clear that the satellite signals in question are those of ARINC's ACARS data system, developed in 1978.

Probably because ACARS was turned off hours earlier in the flight, back before the aircraft flew back over Malaysia! Had it been active, ACARS would have reported the aircraft's location, altitude, speed and other useful data, making finding it much easier; it was switched off with the other cockpit systems, though, leaving just the Inmarsat terminal's hourly "ping" active, so until the Doppler analysis, all they knew was the distance between the satellite and aircraft.

Comment: Re:hacky (Score 1) 164

Unfortunately, 127.0.53.53 is a perfectly valid IP address already in use globally - try pinging it on most machines for proof. Remember, the loopback address is not just 127.0.0.1 - it's that whole /8 subnet, all the way up to 127.255.255.255. Indeed, two of my own DNS servers are bound to 127.0.0.53 right now (there's another DNS server bound to the public IP address, which forwards certain queries to this one).

This seems like a really, really stupid hack to me. If they are effectively revoking the domain, why not just return NXDOMAIN instead of bad data? Apart from the "people seeing it for the first time will be curious and go and Google 127.0.53.53 to see why", the rationale just doesn't hold up. Apart from anything else, returning that will cause mail servers to attempt delivery to themselves. Yes, it contains the traffic within the host - but NXDOMAIN would stop the traffic having anywhere to go too, and is the correct response. (One clueless hosting company did something very similar - any departing customer's DNS entries were updated to route mail to 127.0.0.1 - with the result mail bounced until the new delegation propagated fully. 127.0.53.53 would have exactly the same effect.)

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Submitted by Zachary Kessin
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Space

Life Could Have Evolved 15 Million Years After the Big Bang, Says Cosmologist 312

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the star-trek-explained dept.
KentuckyFC writes "Goldilocks zones are regions around stars that are 'just right' for liquid water and for the chemistry of life as we know it. Now one cosmologist points out that the universe must have been through a Goldilocks epoch, a period in which warm, watery conditions could have existed on almost any planet in the entire cosmos. The key phenomenon here is the cosmic background radiation, the afterglow of the Big Bang which was blazing hot when it first formed. But as the universe expanded, the wavelength of this radiation increased, lowering its energy. Today, it is an icy 3 Kelvin. But somewhere along the way, it must have been between 273 and 300 Kelvin, just right to keep water in liquid form. According to the new calculations, this Goldilocks epoch would have occurred when the universe was about 15 million years old and would have lasted for several million years. And since the first stars had a lifespan of only 3 million years or so, that allows plenty of time for the heavy elements to have formed which are necessary for planet formation and the chemistry of life. Indeed, if live did evolve a this time, it would have predated life on Earth by about 10 billion years."

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